Thrill Kontakt Library Review Thrill Kontakt Library Review
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Article... Thrill Kontakt Library Review 4

The Unbearable Tension of Being

At it’s core, THRILL is a digital instrument library for creating & performing escalating soundscapes & atmospheres. It’s particularly useful for a quick way to spot the flow of a scene in real time. It’s also decent tool to have around when creating spaces for your project to live in. Depending on the amount of tweaking, you can achieve eerie tension or musical air. One of the biggest selling points is it’s ability to create cinematic textures in realtime with little effort and even less musical knowledge.

Right from the get go it’s clear that THRILL is designed for the creation of limitless soundscapes. 41GB of uncompressed samples include 348 Master snapshots, 500 “Thrill” engine presets, 963 source sounds, 75 cluster presets. All of which can be interchanged and modified via EQ and FX parameters. The number of possibilities is large enough to keep you up through the night as your head spins – whilst THRILL provides the appropriate texture to accompany.

“Right from the get go it’s clear that THRILL is designed for the creation of limitless soundscapes.”

HOME

Upon loading, Thrill starts out with the default preset Adrenaline located at the top right of the interface. From here you can see at the bottom corner of each side that this preset is comprised of Adrenaline 1 & Massive Strings, which are sub-presets called Thrills. In this home page you have access to the volume control and threshold parameters of each Thrill.  Located in the center of the interface is the X-Y crossfader that controls the flow and textures of the instrument. The X-axis

blends the two selected Thrills; the Y-axis controls the amount of intensity applied to the texture. Click on the Adrenaline preset to access the main preset page. This menu is divided up in to 6 columns, Type: Atmosphere & Cluster, Dynamic: Soft, Medium, Loud and Wide, Category: Orchestral & Hybrid, Character: Low, Full, High Warm, Bright etc. Preset and INFO. The list of preset options narrow in on your column selections. Once you decide on your preset you can customize in the source page.

SOURCE

This page allows you to see all four sources and manipulate key parameters for each, including Volume and Pan position. You can click on any sound source to view the Sources Menu. You see the same 6 column layout as the main presets menu. Make your selections of the 963 sources available to replace & combine

any source you choose, then click the checkmark to return to the sound source page. You can customize volume, pan, mic positions, stereo spread, attack, release and crossfade parameters to your liking. Once you’ve dialed your sound and realize you need it to go a step further, you can navigate over to the FX page.

FX

This is where one could easily lose track of time and have loved ones worried about you. Here you can customize each sound with THRILL’s powerful Mod Fx. Mutate options include: mystique, resonant, morphs and timbre; each with their own presets. Color, Drive, Stereo and phaser parameters each have their own list of unique presets. Sculpt the overall EQ over your Thrill, then throw in an abundance of reverberation options. You’re provided with 6 Space choices: physical spaces, spheres, resonant, vintage, echo and reverse; all of which have their own presets that are also modifiable.

Master

Treat the parameters here the same way you would a master bus within a session. Adjustments made here go a long way and will affect the entire overall sound. Options include: EQ, Saturation, Dynamic Compression, Curve Selection and XY midi controllers. It’s easy to assign your preferred controllers to all parameters which I will cover in the following section.

“…you can customize each sound with THRILL’s powerful Mod Fx.”

Thrill Real-Time Scoring Example

I started with a brand new fresh session in Logic Pro X with the classic 1968 film, “Night of the Living Dead,” (Public Domain via archive.org) pre-loaded into the session. I have the particular section of the film that I felt would be a good place to utilize THRILL’s atmospheric tension to build into William Loose and Fred Steiner’s classic score. In this example, I wanted to showcase the quickness and ease of use necessary to create some quick unique sounds, set up X-Y midi controllers for automation and spot a scene in realtime. First off, I add a new track in the session, select the

software instrument option and click create. I head over to the new channel strip and select Kontakt 5 as my instrument drop down menu then I select THIRLL. Here you see the main home page with the default Adrenaline preset loaded up. You can drag the X-Y crossfader to the left and right to hear the individual Thrill presets. Click on the sound wave right of the home icon to see the sound sources (Rushed Strings 2 & Bends Up N’ Down) that make up the Adrenaline preset. My goal is speed and to achieve unique textures, so I’ll be utilizing the randomize menu feature next to the Thrill subpresets at the

bottom of the page. The randomize menu allows you to select your preferred types of sources to randomize from. In this case I’m going with loud and orchestral for my first atmosphere selection and I got a combo of Rdn Re-attacks 1 & Brass Waves Loud. Check out the sound spectrum up and down and adjust parameters you like. I changed the mic position to close to get more of a growl sound and hopefully blend a little better into the original score. Over to the other Thrill side, I open up the presets and select the cluster option instead of atmosphere for the sake of showing it’s features.

I use the same randomize feature and select wide and dense for the voicing options. First random option was Flutter Brass, but we already have brass not he other side so we roll the dice again for versatility’s sake. Next random selection is Sharp Movement, and after checking it out, I think it’s string texture good addition for this particular soundscape. Click over to the FX menu to see if there’s anything else we should change right away and decide to skip to the master controls to get on with controller assignments. Mainly because these movements feel most natural to me, I’m using my expression foot controller for the overall volume, a twisting knob on my keyboard for the left to right X-axis, and the mod wheel up and down to control

the intensity Y-axis. Right click on the individual master volume knobs and select “Learn MIDI CC# Automation” and move expression pedal to assign control here. Click the midi input under the X-axis and twist the knob for response. Click midi input under the Y-axis to assign the mod wheel. Now that you’ll have a foot and two hands occupied, you need to draw in some midi so you can focus all of your attention on responding to picture and controlling the sound. Using the pencil stylus in Logic, create a midi region on the THRILL instrument track and drag to your desired duration. Here we are going from where Johnny says, “You’re still afraid” up until Barbara is attacked by the zombie and the Loose/Steiner score is audible.

Respond To Picture

Within that midi region draw in a note at the beginning of the region and force legato the note so it stops at the end of the midi region. Now play at the beginning of the region so Thrill is triggered. You’re now free to manipulate the X-Y crossfaders and volume. Play around for a minute to familiarize yourself with the sound and response of the instrument and controllers.

Once you feel comfortable enough, it’s time to record and respond to the picture.

Nitty Gritty

When finished with your first pass, you can use the drop down automation feature in Logic to see the automation you just created. Here you can select parameters you would like to smooth or fine tune. Open THRILL back up if you want to customize the sound deeper with EQ or FX and add more tracks if you want to stack up even more sounds together.

“I applaud and commend the development team for creating such an in depth instrument .”

CONCLUSION

I applaud and commend the development team for creating such an in depth instrument with massive content, endless combinations and modifiable features. Although you can tweak enough to get out of a the horror/suspense genre, THRILL is definitely aimed directly toward that genre in mind. So if you are in constant need or demand of this

type of sound for your work or pleasure, then this is the instrument for you. I’d probably incorporate at least one instance of this in my template if I did this genre on a regular basis. However, I don’t. At $299, THRILL teeters toward luxury over necessity but, depending on your budget, could be a fine addition for both work flow and creativity.

“I would probably incorporate at least one instance of this in my template if I did this genre on a regular basis.”

Price and Availability

Native Instruments’ Thrill library for Kontakt weighs in at $299 (or roughly 249€) and is available to direct download from here.

Compatibility

Compatible on Mac:

Mac OS X 10.10 or later

Compatible on Windows:

Windows 7 or later

KONTAKT 5 or KONTAKT 5 PLAYER (version 5.6.8 or higher) required

An Internet connection and a graphics card that supports OpenGL 2.1 or higher are required to download and activate this product. Once installed and activated, the product can be used offline.

Check out the manual here

Lush suspenseful cinematic soundscapes with massive modification capabilities. As appropriate for beginners as it is for seasoned pro's.
  • Fast workflow
  • Vast preset options
  • Customization features
  • Genre specific.
  • Gimmicky
  • Price on the high side

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Paul Paramo

A Los Angeles, CA based musician-composer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in media music composition from California State University Northridge and has written, produced and orchestrated for a number of television networks and short films. His music has been featured on network productions such as Shark Tank, America’s Got Talent, Recipe for Deception, Monsters Inside Me, Betrayed and Married by Mom & Dad. Paramo continues to develop imaginative material inspired by his adoration and commit to authenticity.

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