Spitfire eDNA01: Earth – A massive collection of sounds never before heard
Not too long ago, Spitfire Audio released the first in their eDNA series: Earth – a massive and intuitive strong competitor in the sample library industry for electronic and hybrid sound design and music making. They’ve spent close to a decade recording and storing sounds to be able to create a product like this; a collection of samples packed into 1900+ instruments and over a thousand unique patches. Not only that, but the library is extremely tweakable with the powerful built-in engine.
In this review, we’ll look at what’s inside the library, how patch-tweaking works and ultimately how it sounds and what uses there are for it. I’ll say it right now: if you make cinematic or hybrid/electronic music, this library will NOT disappoint, on the contrary – it has enough to inspire you for a very long time. And it’s cheap.
- £149 (+VAT in EU)
- Kontakt 5 (can also be used with free version of Kontakt)
- 26.8 GB compressed .nki
- 1900+ instruments
- Hybrid, electronic & organic
- Fantastic tweakability
- Simple, intuitive and powerful interface
- Pads, Bass, Keys, Seq., FX, Drones, Synths, Leads
- and a lot more
What is eDNA?
With the silliest price tag ever (£149 +VAT) for what you actually get, eDNA01: Earth is a library that boasts a 26.8 GB (compressed .nki) worth of sounds ranging from earth-shaking and face-melting to soft, deep and atmospheric. The patches in this library are quite complex; there’s a lot of sound mangling and modulating going on in many of them, and this can all be tweaked in whatever way you want – meaning if you don’t want the patch to be crazy and infinitely modulating, you can turn those effects off and tweak to your heart’s desire.
The sound of Earth
The samples in eDNA01: Earth derive from the orchestral and instrumental recordings created by Spitfire these last 7 years. As soon as you hear the sounds of this library, you feel the organic connection to the real instruments hidden in these mangled and painted sounds. What I love most about the sounds is the quality of them – they have a rich and lush feel but without losing any bite or clarity. They blend very nicely in my orchestral mixes, and I can’t really see why you couldn’t use this library in any genre that benefits from electronic and hybrid sounds.
At first, when opening up Earth and playing around with it, I was blown away by how cool everything sounded. But for some of the patches I thought “how do I use this in a project?”, but then I started to play around a bit with the engine and a big smile widened on my face and I got tons of musical ideas. You can really tweak the sounds so much, and basically anything you do inside the engine will sound real bad ass and pro. There is just so much in here that there is bound to be at least one patch that pays off for the entire library itself – even without tweaking it.
So what is this tweakability fuss all about? Let’s take a quick look at the engine.
The eDNA engine
To host these great samples, Spitfire Audio has developed a built-in engine inside of Kontakt. The interface is cool, simple and very effective. You can build up and tweak the patches by morphing and modulating between two different loaded instruments (or just use one) from different Cartridges (more on that later), loaded in Bay A and Bay B. These both have their own modulators, FX and various settings.
There are two pages in the interface:
- Mixer & Sequencer
- FX & Motor
The Mixer & Seq is the main page. There is a lot you can do in here to shape and sculpt the sound the way you want it – and it’s really simple and fun. There is a gate sequencer, an FX part, wobble, pitch and volume modulators, ADSR envelopes, pan, slide, bend, clone, offset, trim – man there is just so much in here that you can play with all day long and end up with highly useful soundscapes, rhythms, basses and leads.
I love how you can preview the sounds inside the Collection patches when choosing the sounds for Bay A and Bay B.
Then we have the FX & Motor page which is solely dedicated for the FX of your patch. You can choose master FX, the FX to Bay A and B, Aux and Motor. If you find an FX you like, and want to quick access from the main page (Mixer & Seq) you can favorite it and it will pop up in the main page.
Every setting, slider and knob can be assigned to CC by a simple right click. If you want to check out more about eDNA01: Earth and all its settings, check out Spitfire’s website.
The patches are categorized into folders that are called Artist and Factory, with Individualized and Collection type and also Construction kits – all of these have different tweakability and content. But the sounds and instruments are packed into different sets called “Cartridges”.
These have their own sonic signatures and styles and all of them have a wide variety of patches and instruments put together by the Spitfire team. Some of these are called Disphoria, Sound Swamp, Discoman, Moviedrome, Analoganaut, Mutant Winds, Alien Brass, etc. – these names are equally as crazy and bad ass as the patches themselves. You can access these Cartridges through the regular way you browse through patches and folders in the Kontakt library tab.
eDNA01: Earth includes most of the things you would want when creating cinematic music or any electronic, ambient and hard EDM style. It has sounds from the very low gritty, dark and deep to the highest and brightest sparkling end. While many patches are crazy and wild, you can tweak them to be calm and soothing if you so wish with the powerful built-in engine.
Its sound collections, or Cartridges, have thousands of different sounds and patches in them just ready to be tweaked quick and easy or used right out of the box. The only thing I would like to be added is a randomizer for the gate sequencer (meaning every sequence cycle repeat is random), and the ability to load and save presets for the sequencer.
I am sure I will have many fun times playing around with this sample library, experimenting and finding new awesome drones, pads, basses and all of what eDNA01: Earth has to offer. It truly is a magnificently well put together product with many years of thought and effort.
Now I’m going back to playing this thing – it’s just too cool. Go get it and see for yourself.