Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars
There can be few instruments with a simpler interface than Sound Dust’s Drift 001, but then that was the design ethos behind its creation. This Kontakt instrument requires the full version of Kontakt 5.8 or later and is based around 5GB of multi‑samples arranged into 11 hybrid articulations. There are 100 snapshots based on these samples, but despite the obvious simplicity of the controls it’s possible to coax a surprisingly wide array of sounds from them.
There are only two tabs on the screen, one for Drift and another, labelled RTFM, which takes you to the manual (which is just a copy of the panel with text descriptions attached to each control). The down arrow at the left of the control row selects a Snapshot, of which there are 11 defaults and several variations on a theme to make up the 100. There are no legends attached to the controls unless you hover the mouse above the knob, presumably to make the minimalist interface seem even more minimalist.
The first knob, Grist, adds various degrees of dirt to the sound and as you turn it the distortion changes from sounding fairly analogue to somewhat digital and gritty. Next along is a single control that morphs through a range of ADSR permutations so you can get anything from a piano‑type attack to a slow attack, slow release sound or even a pseudo reverse sound.
The third knob, which is the largest, is modestly named EQ, but this is no simple tone control as it again morphs between a number of EQ characters, from deep and smooth via fizzy and bright to strongly resonant. Careful use of this control makes it possible to extract a range of quite different timbres from a single sample set.
Finally we get the Space knob, which ties in with the selector to its right offering a choice of Small, Medium or Large Spaces as well as Reverse and Spring. Each of these choices has its own sub‑menu of variations such as Shimmer, Swell, Cloud and even Endless. These offer a lot of tonal and textural variation so when added in large amounts they can completely change the character of a sound.
The same sample can produce warm sounds, aggressive sounds, smooth attacks, percussive attacks, pulsing tremolo and cavernous washes...
Most of the core samples are generated using a combination of synthesizers and effects, and range from a woolly‑sounding ‘Bad Piano’, orchestral strings and dense synth layers to abstract pads and electronic stabs. The same sample can produce warm sounds, aggressive sounds, smooth attacks, percussive attacks, pulsing tremolo and cavernous washes, so don’t let the simplistic interface put you off — I managed to create several useful and very different‑sounding string pads just starting from the default Sielchestra Snapshot. There’s a lot to like here, especially if you like your gratification to be almost instant.