Kosmology – Analog
Kosmology Analog – The Sounds
The sound of the Elektron Analog Four has entered the world of Kosmology. Even though the instruments are more on the experimental side compared to the previous Kosmology Releases, the end result is a quite surprisingly mellow sample set, filled with lots of movement and discovery when sequencing. These Instruments were designed specifically for use with Kosmology to bring some of the warmth and characteristics from the excellent sounding Analog Synthesizer, which has it’s own very distinct character.
All 200 instruments are multi-sampled, using 4 samples per instrument at 24-bit using pure synthesis with very few effects. Whilst many sounds are chromatically useful, there are also plenty of FX instruments throughout the collection to add some nice surprises and interests whilst Wave Sequencing. Although Kosmology is not really about presets considering how easy and fun it is to make your own, there are Fifty Presets included and of course presets from other Kosmology Releases can also be opened.
These Videos are using Kosmology Awakenings, but if you are new to it they give a good idea of what the Sequencer does:
Kosmology – The Script
Kosmology is inspired by Modular based sequencers with the aim of providing 8 completely distinct multi-sequencers which can be switched in real-time using 8 keys on your midi Keyboard. A Kosmology release includes the Sequencing Capabilities combined with a set of 200 multi-sampled instruments which form the basis of it’s character. It mimics a classic dual oscillator synth structure in it’s design with complete control over all parameters, and is also capable of Wave sequencing the Instruments. Although Kontakt is known more as a Sample Preset Plugin, Kosmology is akin to a hardware Groovebox with onboard sounds to sequence and manipulate in almost infinite ways.
Each of these 8 sequencers are known as instances and are made up of pitch, velocity and 5 freely assignable sequencers from a large list of destinations. Each Instance also has complete control over the 48 parameters which shape the sound, such as Filters, Envelopes, LFOs and FX, each instance can be a slight variation or radically different depending on how you want to use it. Each sub sequence has it’s own step size and can be set to follow the main tempo division or use it’s own for great Syncopation capabilities, and it is also polyphonic with each sequence retriggering when it is played and so good for complex polyrythms.
A lot of work has gone into making the workflow intuitive and quick, with copy & paste for the sequencers, and the current instance can be easily copied to another instance or to All Instances simultaneously with a single click. The latter is great for working on a base sequence and then when you are happy, copy to all and then work on variations. There are also Randomizers everywhere for quickly finding unexpected gems, in fact Kosmology excels at creating the unexpected via this method, but also provides ease when you know what you want to create. The creative possibilities are endless.
If you enjoy Performance Sequencers, you would be hard pushed to find a software system this flexible and fun.
The Golden Crown of Kosmology is undoubtedly the fact that it can perform Wave Sequencing which means that you can assign a sequencer to select the currently playing instruments from all the included Sampled instruments. Both Synth A and B can be targeted individually which leads to instant satisfaction, creating an original sounding sequence can be as easy as selecting Wave A/B in a sequencer and hitting the Random Button.
There is also a Globals section which allows affecting 25 Parameters at the global Level, which can be automated in the host. These Parameters can add or remove from the current values, so as an example you could have a complex midi track in your DAW which switches between sequences rapidly and then automate a slow movement on the Cutoff Global which will open and close the filer regardless of which sequence is playing.
Kosmology Key Features:
- v 1.1 Adds Kosmology Lite which uses a single synth as opposed to Dual
- 8 Instances that can be switched on the fly via Midi. each Instance has:
- control over 48 Distinct Parameters which include Cutoff, Resonance, Filter and Amp Envelopes Envelopes (Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release), Filter Envelope Amounts, Octave, Various A/B Tune options, FX Sends plus more.
- Pitch Sequencer – Offsets the root note by -+12 semitones and can Tie notes and mute them
- Velocity Sequencer – Velocity in turn can be assigned to both Volume and/or the Filter Cutoff
- 5 assignable Sequencers – each of these sequencers can target any of the 46 available Destinations and can like the other synth parameters can be completely different for each of the 8 instances.
- All sequencers have independent Clock Divisions
- All sequencers have an independent Step Size (maximum 64 steps) which is great for Syncopation
- Dual Synth Architecture - each synth has its own waveform (sampled Instrument), Filter Type, Pan, Tune and Envelope Depth.
- FX Engine:
- Convolution Reverb -Uses Kontakts Convolution engine with a selection of 50 unique Impulse Responses.
- Standard Reverb – Also includes the older Kontakt Reverb which can work well in conjunction with the Convolver
- Tempo Delay -Stereo Ping Pong Delay with adjustable tempo based times
- Modulator – Has a choice between Flanger, Phaser or Chorus with adjustable LFO Frequency.
- Echo – Can be used as a Comb effect (think Sabres of Paradise) or as a short non tempo delay.
- 2 tempo synched LFOs – LFO1 has a selection of 20 shapes, and can target Cutoff and Volume individually for both synths A and B, and Pitch B. LFO 2 is dedicated to the main Cutoff and locked to a RAMP shape and is great for the classic Rhythmic Sound.
- Wave Sequencing – it is possible to target both synth destinations independently to switch waveforms on a step by step basis which leads to extremely sophisticated Sequences with very little effort.
- Integrated Preset Browser and ability to save Presets and Templates.
- Rescalers – Force notes to a Scale for each Note of the Octave
- Randomizers – You can randomize everywhere
- Large Screen editor – Allows working on the Pitch plus any other sequencer for easy Editing when needed
- 15 Timing Based Triggers for Live Manipulation including Freeze Pitch, Freeze Waveforms, Half Step, Double Step, Mute, Reverse, Max Note Length, Min Note Length plus more
- 25 Global Parameters for Automating across all Instances or radically transforming a Preset on the fly
- 3 Mod Triggers – You can offset up to 9 Parameters for each of these triggers for an instant remix via the assigned Midi Keys
- -+1 Octave Triggers
- Easy and Intuitive Workflow
- Download Size – 800MB
- Minimum Requirements – Native Instruments Kontakt 5.3 Full Version (will only work in Kontakt player for 15 minutes)
Kosmos Sequencer vs Kosmology
If you own a Kosmos product such as Infected, then you may be fooled into thinking the Sequencer looks the same, however this is an older sibling with a PHD in Groove Mechanics! I went back to the drawing board based on my experience creating the Kosmos sequencer and how I thought it could be improved. The wave Sequencing also required a re-design of the internal code, and so under the hood it works very differently.
Here are the important differences:
- There is no synth Panel, all Synth Parameters have been moved into the Sequencer.
- The Destinations are Relational to the Parameter sliders - when moving a slider the Sequence range will shift along with it.
- Kosmology is a Sequencer only, there are no standard Midi based Instruments.
- The Kosmos Sequencer used a single sampled instrument, however Kosmology loads all samples in the collection so that they can be Wave sequenced. Wave sequencing means that if you assign either Synth A or B to a Sequencer, you can offset the Waveform used by -+50 for each step which creates complex and interesting sequences very easily! Both synths can be sequenced individually or simultaneously as a single sequencer destination.
- Kosmology replaces the Pause All Sequences trigger with a pause Waves trigger, which will freeze the Wave Sequenced waveform which is a great performance tool.
- The Pitch triggers are removed with the exception of the -+ Octaves.
- There are 3 new configurable Mod Triggers which can each offset 9 parameters for creating remixed Micro Sequences. The parameters are Wave A, Wave B, Filter Cutoff, Resonance, Envelope Amount, Start Offset, Release, Convolver Amount and Delay Amount.
- As well as the Kosmos Reverb, Kosmology also uses the Convolution Reverb and comes with a large selection of unique Impulse Responses.
- Kosmology uses more CPU especially when wave Sequencing as all parameters must be updated for each current waveform, however it is well optimized.
- There is a Globals section for offsetting 21 of the parameters, designed as a way to Automate across all Instances.
- There is an Echo Unit capable of tight combs and short delays.
- The Dual architecture of the Kosmos FULL Synths is used, however it is slightly different. There are now just 2 LFOs and LFO 2 is dedicated to the Filter.
- All Sampled are loaded to RAM and then purged. It is recommended to Purge the Samples when you have finished editing to reduce the Memory consumption. They all must be loaded to RAM so that the Start Offset can be used as a Sequencer Destination.
- Reverb, Delay and Echo are now all Send Effects as opposed to Insert Effects in Kosmos. This is so that the Effect send Levels can be used as destinations. The Modulator is still an insert effect.