Rating: **** 4/5 Stars
Zero-G suggest Ignition is aimed at those with an interest in scoring sci-fi themed cinematic material and the main categories of sounds — ambiences, textures, atmospheres, distorted, drones, FX, percussive impacts, risers, synth one-shots, transitions — while perhaps not breaking much by way of new ground, are very much in the right ballpark.
In terms of format, Zero-G's Ignition is a little old-school (in a good way) as it comes in a multi-format package totalling 3.75GB with WAV, AIFF, EXS24, HALion and NN‑XT support. However, I explored the 400+ individual sounds using the Kontakt (v.3 or later) version that are presented in a simple, but effective, front-end.
Within Kontakt, the categories are presented as a number of individual NKI presets and, within each of these, you can browse and load individual samples from that category. There is also a collection of vocal dialogue samples and, while these are perhaps a little on the cheesy side, they might be a fun novelty in the right musical context.
The UI is divided into two pages of controls. The main page provides options for browsing the available samples and then customising sample playback by adjusting the start point and tweaking the amplitude and filter properties. Both of these can be subjected to envelope and LFO modulation and these are particularly effective for adding sonic movement on the longer samples. In most of the presets, a single sample is simply mapped across the MIDI note range and can be played back at the required pitch (or pitches). There is nothing fancy here — just basic sample triggering — but it works well enough.
Zero-G's Ignition is a little old-school (in a good way) as it comes in a multi-format package...
Beneath the main screen's sample waveform display are buttons to engage each of the modules within the effects section. These include reverb, delay, modulation, compression, EQ, an additional filter, overdrive, an amp sim and a speaker cab sim. If you switch to the second page of the UI — the FX Rack — then you can dig into the various effects options in more detail. Again, this doesn't break any new ground, but it is easy to use and provides plenty of additional sound-shaping options.
While you could easily create some complete minimalist sci-fi-style cues using just Ignition, it is perhaps more obviously indented as a sound palette that you can blend into other more conventional instrumentation to provide the sci-fi vibe. In that role, it does a pretty good job and can provide plenty of ear-candy sounds, and there is plenty of mileage to be had, especially if you are prepared to get busy with the various sound manipulation options. Yes, it's an old-school type of Kontakt library but the sounds (OK, perhaps with the exception of those dialogue samples!) are very good sci-fi sound design fodder. Ignition perhaps doesn't break new ground, but it is accessibly priced for the aspiring media composer looking for some sci-fi sonics to ignite their next project.