Sonokinetic have released 80 Retro Symphonics, a new sample library that features orchestral phrases doubled with FM synth lines, inspired by the sounds of film and TV soundtracks of the 1980s. Built on the same orchestral phrase engine as their Indie and Noir libraries and adding some new features and functions, Sonokinetic say that this latest offering will be both familiar, and shockingly different.
The main interface features grid of 12 ‘preset fields’, which are are mapped to keys C3 - B3. Pressing a key in this range triggers a tempo-synced phrase, with users able to assign string quartet, string ensemble, woodwind, brass quintet or melodic percussion variants. The E0 - B2 range of the keyboard is dedicated to major and minor triad chords, and when played, any phrases that are running will change in key to match to the chord. A ‘Harmonic Shift’ function mapped to keys C6 - B6 enables users to play phrases in different, but related, keys, allowing for complex chord combinations and harmonies when different phrases are played together. This function can be turned on or off independently for each preset field.
Each preset field is equipped with a set of controls to adjust the playback the assigned phrase. A sample offset function allows the start and end points of a sample to be altered, and a crossfade option allows users to smooth transitions between samples when changing chords. Panning and volume controls for each sample are on offer, and a dedicated release volume enable adjustment of the tail samples of all phrases. By default, the mod wheel is set to control the output volume of all preset fields, but it can be disabled for one or more fields, allowing users to keep the volume of some phrases constant whilst changing the level of others.
A function new to 80 comes in the form of ‘Retrofier’ faders, which allow a vintage synth layer to be blended with many of the library’s orchestral phrases. Coloured bars at the bottom of the interface can be dragged to increase or decrease the level of the synth layer, and the sounds on offer range from subtle pads that compliment string parts, through to more pronounced sawtooth stabs adding weight to brass sections. The library also retains some features that will be familiar to Sonokinetic users, including major and minor phrases that are playable in any root key, four microphone positions and comprehensive playback controls, along with a suite of randomisation options.
The samples in 80 have been recorded with four different microphone setups (Close, Decca Tree, Wide and Far), all of which are available to choose from within the interface. It is possible to choose a single position or to mix between any two, and this choice is global and applies to all phrases and fields within each instance of 80. An additional microphone control is present for the ‘Retrofier’ synth layer, allowing it to either follow the global setting, or just use the close position.
80 runs within Native Instruments’ Kontakt Player 6.7.1, and features NKS support for advanced integration with Komplete Kontrol series controllers. The library contains over 30,000 samples, and requires 13GB of disk space.
80 is available from today, 26 July 2022, via the Sonokinetics website, and for the first 10 days will be priced at €199.90. After this introductory period, the library will be priced at €249.90.