Kosmology – Awakenings
Kosmology is an Advanced Performance Sequencing Tool in comparison with many other Kontakt products, it is not a sample library with a few bells and whistles, rather it’s a Music Composition tool which is bundled with a collection of sounds. Although there are a number of presets included, it is designed to be fun and to intuitively build your own complex grooves quickly. In a nutshell you build up to 8 instances which can be switched and manipulated by a series of triggers in real-time. Each Instance contains a Pitch Sequencer, Velocity sequencer, 5 freely assignable Sequencers (from a list of 46 Destinations) and 48 Synth Parameters. Each Instance can have completely different settings and assignments, which gives an enormous amount of freedom for creating unique grooves.
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.
Awakenings – The Sounds
With this first soundset specifically designed for Kosmology, the intention was to design sounds which were capable of producing Synth Pop and Electro such as Grimes, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk. They were produced with Wave Sequencing in mind to provide a rich palette to build rhythms with, and contain enough movement to be good for sequencing the Start Offset.
All 200 instruments are multi-sampled, using 4 samples per instrument at 24-bit using pure synthesis with very few effects. For for the most part they have the Filter Wide Open so they can be upfront and powerful, whilst they can be tamed easily using Kosmology itself. There are a few effect, detuned and drop instruments scattered throughout the collection to add some nice surprises and interests when Wave Sequencing.
Kosmology Key Features:
- 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 – 700MB
- 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.