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The Wild 13 - plug-in package of superlatives!

Review: NI Komplete 13 Ultimate

Published 8:13 am on Saturday 14th November 2020 by Beat Magazine

Piano, Strings and Guitars

Noire brings the concert grand piano by Nils Frahm to your own studio. In addition to various sound banks, including a muted version, Noire makes the built-in particles engine especially interesting. It generates different echoes with different timbres that follow your piano playing and creates a special atmosphere - this is exciting not for more than just ambient and film music.

It becomes even more realistic with the string quartet, named after its recording location at Cremona. It combines cello, viola and two violins, including a Stradivari. Each of the four coordinated libraries offers over 20 gigabytes of recordings of the most diverse playing techniques with different miking. We liked the uncomplicated adjustment options and keyswitches, which allow even beginners to create very natural string arrangements without much effort. The Cremona Quartet is thus a very good addition to the still existing Symphony series.

The virtual guitarist was also expanded: With Sunburst Deluxe you can play a second voice over your strum, and the picked playing technique of the acoustic guitar is also included.

Cinematic Instruments

Another focus in Komplete 13 Ultimate is the cinematic instruments, which provide interesting and extraordinary sounds for composers of more than just soundtracks and trailers for film, video and games. Arkhis offers a wide selection of samples of classic instruments that can be layered for the appropriate underscoring. Again, the developers have made sure that there is a good balance between sufficient customization options and uncomplicated operation, making Arkhis interesting for both professionals and beginners. Mallet Flux creates moods with samples of glockenspiel, celesta, xylophone, vibraphone and marimba in combination with a flexible phrase sequencer.

Straylight and Pharlight also offer cinematic sounds of the highest quality under identical surfaces, but use different sound sources. Pharlight focuses on unique voice textures, pad sounds, leads and effects based on natural vocal timb- res. Using a large X/Y pad or modulation wheel and touch strip on the complete keyboard, you can mix the different sources in real time and, thus, ensure the right mood swings. Mysteria is also dedicated to the fascination of the human voice and lets you create the right atmosphere from a pool of over 800 sound sources based on 45 hours of choir recordings.

When it comes to effects, Komplete 13 scores, besides the creative reverb called Raum, with the brand new version 6 of Guitar Rig Pro which we will check out in a separate review in the next issue.

Verdict

Native Instruments is expanding its already impressive complete package with version 13. Highlights include a wealth of modern and classical synthesizer sounds, as well as elaborately sampled acoustic instruments, such as Nils Frahm‘s concert grand piano, the Cremona String Quartet and the new cinematic libraries. In addition to the excellent sound quality, we were very pleased with the successful balance between creative possibilities and intuitive, beginner-friendly operation, as well as the seamless integration with Maschine and Komplete Kontrol keyboards.


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