Rating: 5/5 Stars *****
Heavyocity’s Mosaic Series will have found a welcome home in the instrument collection of many a media composer over the last few years. Each title in the series features a different sound‑source type — for example, Keys, Vocals, Tape, Pluck and Bass — but delivered via the same Kontakt front‑end. And, while the sounds themselves are of a consistently high standard, it’s that front‑end that definitely provides the icing on the composer’s cake, allowing you to blend up to three individual sounds into a single preset and with some inspiring channel‑specific effects, sophisticated sound modulation (including the macro knob feature at the centre of the UI) and arpeggiation options. It’s a potent combination.
The latest release in the series is Mosaic Pads. The sound set is built from nearly 7GB of original synthesised samples featuring atmospheres, textures and evolving soundscapes. These have been classified into Ethereal (soft/gentle), Dirty (more complex/darker), Decaying (more obvious attack/decay), Sweep (sonic movement built in) and Noise Layer (unpitched and unsettling) groups within the UI’s browser. Over 100 preset snapshots based on combinations of these sources are included for the user and these are divided into Tonal (a stronger sense of pitch), Atonal (textural sounds) and Chordal (the three sound channels provide a harmonic element) categories. And you can, of course, build your own presets from scratch.
Pads, atmospheres, textures and soundscapes tend to be used to support an underlying mood within a composition, whether that’s magical, mysterious, romantic, sinister, tense or downright scary. Browsing the preset snapshots quickly demonstrates that Mosaic Pads can cover all this sonic ground and much more. Understandably given the ‘pads’ theme, the arpeggiator is less in evidence in this library. Instead, the sound design is focused on using the engine’s modulation system to manipulate the EQ, filter, reverb, saturation, gate and envelope options that are available for each individual sound slot. The result is plenty of dynamic and evolving elements to the sounds and, via the macro knob (and your mod wheel), you can easily control how much or how little of that sonic motion you get.
...there are lots of excellent virtual instruments that can provide evolving pad‑style sounds.
Mosaic Pads is a perfect complement to the more obviously melodic nature of most of the other titles within the series. Mosaic Pads sounds fabulous and, while it might not break any obviously new sonic ground (there are lots of excellent virtual instruments that can provide evolving pad‑style sounds), if you are already familiar with — and a fan of — Heavyocity’s powerful Mosaic engine, then Mosaic Pads is an ideal companion to any of the other titles in the series.