Slate + Ash Kontakt libraries

Choreographs is amazing, so easy to blend sounds and create something unique to you. Run it through some gear or some plugins and it’s just magic. Slate and Ash knocked it out of the park with this one.

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Just spent the last 2 hours fiddling with Choreographs and it’s absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t get it to make a bad sound. Simple and intuitive interface but also an insane amount of depth. Well done Slate and Ash.

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On my Windows machine, I just noticed that I had the Kontakt 7 Player installed, and I still have Kontakt 6 Full installed as well. I just tried one of the presets (Gestural/Gliss and Do Gestures (MW)), and holding two notes down and pushing the mod wheel to 100% (which increases the Trigger/Rate parameter) had somewhat different results.

On 6, the peak note addition rate was markedly slower than in 7, and so consequently it took longer to get to a crackle-filled 100%. But in both cases, at 450+ voices or so, it got overwhelmed.

Not a solution per se, just an observation.

I realize I’m speaking to the converted here :sweat_smile: but curious to hear what you all see as the main selling point for Choreographs. Unique samples? The effects? The sequencing capabilities? I haven’t taken the plunge on an S+A instrument yet, but am super interested in both Choreographs and Cycles.

check out the engine overview video linked above. i think the main selling point is concept and workflow.

I checked it out! Definitely really inspiring and, to your comment on workflow, I suppose there’s no single element that one can isolate as particularly stand out. Rather, the way everything works together as a cohesive system / generative environment is the main appeal

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Hmmm… for me the appeal is that the combination of Choreographs and Cycles covers most of what I would want to do (and have attempted to do) with a eurorack system. The workflow is obviously massively different for better and for worse.

There are a couple of things from songs that I love which I’ve been trying to figure out how to do in euro for years, and there are presets in Choreographs that do exactly those things. That knowledge is then transferable to other ways of realizing those techniques, or you can just swap out some sound sources and tweak a few parameters in Choreographs and build on their work and suddenly it doesn’t feel as much like their preset as it does the realization of some long held wish.

I’d said before that imo the best thing S+A could offer would be a tutorial in how they do what they do as creative sound designers…. But at this point I feel like the choices they’ve made in their last three libraries actually offer that education. You can easily decode what makes their work special with the interfaces they’ve created and by reverse engineering their presets.

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The thing I’m enjoying most about choreographs is the ease that you can apply complex, rhythmic (and random) modulation to most of the parameters including (very importantly) quantized pitch and microtuning (and triggers). It quickly gets you into the “modular” way of thinking-- ‘what if I just change the timing or loop length of x modulation and listen to what happens to the patch’. I’ve never gotten closer to that feeling with software than choreographs. Obvs, this can be done with many other pieces of software (like Bitwig, for instance) but choreographs UI just makes it a real simple joy to tweak and manage. It also should be said that it sounds very very good. Not exactly sure what they have going on under the hood but the “oscillators (samples)” filters, and effects just sound very polished.

Cycles also sounds incredible but I eventually moved on from that because it somehow felt like the heavy lifting of the music had already been made by the developers and I was just playing in their sandbox. (and when I dropped my own samples in I felt like I was just using a very expensive granular processor/sample slicer).

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That’s how I felt about Cycles for a while too. What changed that for me was when I started mapping controls to a midi controller. Each different engine of Cycles really comes alive with gestural control. The granular engine is probably most obvious to imagine, but the sample slicer is really really cool when you assign parameters like the A-Z patterns of each of the 4 banks, the length, speed, scale, etc. I throw in one of my own loops and mess with sliders for a bit and I can easily find some very cool approaches that I wouldn’t get through manually working with each separate element of the UI.

I’ve also gotten really into using Cycles with one shots and doing the same as above.

Maybe this way of using Cycles was obvious to others, but it really changed it from a Cool Black Box Sound Goodifier to a very expressive instrument for me.

Edit: I uploaded a quick video showing what this looks like. Not musically amazing or anything, but does show that you can generate a lot of variation with mapping things this way.

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This is definitely something I worry about while looking through overview videos (especially with Landforms). I might be totally wrong about Landforms though haha!

This is a great demo though Xylr – definitely displays the power of Cycles as a performance instrument.

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What a generous and exceptional thing to share. Thank you very much!

@rstn I’d felt that way too until a recent live improvisation with a pianist and an upright bassist. There was a general feeling that somone needed to set up some kind of beats. I set up input quantization on bitwig and started jamming with Cycles (with the machinedrum sample set) with my linnstrument. In short order I was playing chords in clusters that was brining in and dropping out different layers of beats while periodically tapping the tuning notes in the lower register to follow the changtes the other players were playing. And then I started to use the clip recorder in bitwig to record 16 bar clips of this kind of playing. The results sounded nothing like any of the original loops.

And now I’m thinking about what is demonstrated in the video above and realizing that I could have these clips triggering the loops playing while I’m using realtime controls to modulate what is playing.

tasty. makes me think of the software that they built to record Radiohead’s King of Limbs.

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This is pretty genius. Thanks for sharing this. Seems like one could find the rhythmic backbone of a whole track here.

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Has anyone used any of the slate and ash stuff in nks with either a maschine or an ni kontrol keyboard? Interested in how deep you can go with programming a patch from the hardware.

This is a good question. As a Maschine+ user, I haven’t used Maschine on the computer much. I’d actually be curious to see how much could be done without using the computer monitor. I’d assume it would be very limited, but I may try and check today.

Please do, I have all the slate and ash bits and have been considering a new ni controller at some point. I would imagine you can’t edit too much but interested to know what is editable.

I feel like an idiot here, but once I click into the Euclidean generator, I can’t figure out how to get back to the main page with the voices, filter, etc. :sweat_smile:

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Just click on the M.

Still not entirely sure what it stands for though.
M for mixer, M for main? Who knows?
Could do with a manual tbh.

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Happened to me too, i had it in my brain that it stood for Modulation but it might be Main?

Ahhhhh thank you! 20202020

The engine overview video is the manual and they cover it there. It is not a great design choice to hide the main view behind the smallest button in the UI, though. But if you havent watched that video yet, I’d say you’d likely find it worthwhile… they point to some use cases that I wouldn’t come up with on my own with modulators and the like that are key to why this is a pretty great instrument.

I use the drivenbymoss Bitwig controller script for my NI controller, not the NI Komplete Kontrol, so I’ve been mapping parameters out to remote pages and using the bitwig modulators… which is a great suppliment to Choreographs since you are limited in how many modulators you can map to a parameter internal to the instrument. I like what is happening, especially with subtle pitch modulation.

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