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Emergence Audio Quantum

Kontakt Instrument By Paul White
Published March 2022

Rating: **** 4/5 Stars

Hosted by either the full or free Player version of Kontakt 6.4 or later, Quantum is a two‑layer instrument dedicated to producing pad and drone sounds. What sets Quantum apart from apparently similar products is mainly the duration and complexity of the samples, some stretching into minutes in length. The sounds were designed specifically to incorporate shifting timbres and modulations so that it is possible to create long underscores or atmospheres that are constantly evolving.

Emergence Audio Quantum sample libraryAs well as 7.4GB of source material, Quantum also includes a flexible effects section with 10 effect types, and basic synth parameters for each layer comprising envelope, filter, pan and modulation controls. There’s also a large mix knob to balance the two layers, with the ability to modulate the mix via a choice of five LFO shapes covering the usual waveforms plus a random setting. The master LFO can either be free‑running or sync’ed to tempo and each layer can be shifted by up to ±1 octave. Notable in the effects department, which opens on its own page via the Main/FX tab, is a convolution engine with a choice of 50 impulse responses covering both real spaces and high‑end hardware reverbs.

Looking more closely at the preset categories, Drones tend to be warm and deep sounding while Infinite Pads, which uses both layers, produces sounds that can evolve for up to two minutes before repeating. We’re informed that every note was sampled in a slightly different way to add to the sense of shifting textures. There are also Pulses, which use LFO amplitude modulation to add a rhythmic element, and Multis, which combines multiple patches. In the main the sounds are gentle and atmospheric, making them ideal for creating beds under dialogue or, in a more musical context, for creating drones or warm pads to underpin melodic parts.

Quantum comes with a generous selection of carefully crafted samples and presets, but it only shows its true colours when you allow notes time to evolve. If you’re looking for pad sounds you can use to change chords every bar or two, then many of Quantum’s benefits will be diluted. If, on the other hand, your compositions require long sections playing the same chords, notes or background drones, Quantum does the job beautifully.