Cinesamples give you the tools to design your perfect impact.
Crash, bang and wallop may be core sound components for trailer music composers, but pretty much every modern media composer needs some sort of impact design tool within their virtual instrument arsenal. There are a lot to choose from but the latest company to chuck their hat into the ring are Cinesamples. Collision Impact Designer is a Kontakt‑based library and includes some 5GB of underlying samples developed in collaboration with LA Percussion Rentals.
Collision’s sounds are based upon combinations of original instruments rather than single hits so, if you want a conventional ‘big drum’ instrument, Collision would perhaps not be the most obvious choice. That said, the ‘designed’ nature of the sounds (there are over 650 or them, divided into Tick, Hits, Subs and Sus categories) has plenty of character and, when auditioned individually, they are suitably impressive.
Equally impressive is the design of the UI and underlying engine. As shown in the screenshot, the 12 layers within a preset are divided into four subsets of three, and each subset can be drawn from one of the four sound groups. Collision ships with 100 presets for you to audition and provides 25 empty slots for your own creations. Within a preset, you can mix‑and‑match between the four sound groups so, if you want more Hits and no Ticks in your design, that’s perfectly possible. Once the group type has been set, you can open browsers for each individual sound layer and make selections to configure custom sound groups to suit your needs.
It is more likely to suit those composers who eventually get to score the actual movie rather than just the trailer.
The three buttons located top‑left provide access to the Settings, Effects and Mixer pages. Each is very straightforward in use, but they provide plenty of options for customising the individual sound layers. This includes basic sample trimming, volume, pitch and pan (both with LFO options), filter, EQ, saturation, compression, ambience and... well, more than enough to totally transform an individual sound layer and mean that you can get plenty of mileage out of Collision’s underlying sample set.
Particularly neat is the MIDI mapping system for triggering these 12 sound layers and four groups. As indicated by Kontakt’s colour‑coded mini keyboard display, there are keys allocated to each individual sound layer as well as four keys allowing you to trigger all three sound layers in a specific group simultaneously. Triggering is velocity sensitive, and you can trigger any combination of sound layers at the same time. Finally, you also get 12 keys where you can pre‑configure each key to trigger a specific combination of the 12 sound layers. This whole system is simple, yet very well thought out. Unlike some impact designer tools, where you might only get to create one impact sound within a single instance of the instrument, it gives you tremendous flexibility and variety in your impact sounds from just a single instance of the instrument. It makes for a very efficient workflow.
If you are just looking for the super‑hyped hits required for modern sci‑fi or action trailers, then there may be more targeted options out there. That’s not to say Collision can’t do ‘hyped’, but I think it is more likely to suit those composers who eventually get to score the actual movie rather than just the trailer. That’s a complement though not a criticism; stylistically, Collision covers a lot of impact ground. As a palette of sounds for scoring duties in drama, action, sci‑fi or horror, it has plenty to offer. The diverse nature of the sound base, allied with the sound‑design options and triggering flexibility of the UI, make for a winning combination. Collision is most certainly worth bumping into for an audition.
As a tool for designing a wide range of impact sounds, Collision is most certainly a bit of a hit.