By | November 2nd, 2015|review|

Sonic Faction’s Archetype is based on legendary analog hardware and is comprising a suite of 8 instruments, each distinguished by its unique character and sound.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been really lucky to have the chance to try out Archetype, and first I must say that the guys from Sonic Faction have raised the standards very high, they managed to present us 8 different visions of the near future in music production. I must specify that these instruments are not new, they have been offered for some time in the form of Ableton instruments, and they were a real success.

Having a positive signal from users, Archetype gathers all these, improves them “with a modern twist”, and translates them on a powerful platform like Native Instruments Kontakt. In the following, you’ll see a brief description of each of these superb instruments.

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Beatdown is not just a drum machine, is an advanced module to create and further process drum beats and rhythms. In the global mode, you can select between 43 drum kits (808s, 909s, tech, house, indie, hip hop, EDM etc). This can be done either with the drop-down menu or Select button, the last one being a really fast and useful way to browse through the kits. Once you selected the desired kit, you can fine tune it, and globally sculpt the amp, filter and pitch ADSR envelopes. Further drum kit customizations include a distortion unit, a filter with 10 filter types, a compression and an amazing articulations module where you can choose from 10 types including flam, roll, drag, ruff, humanize and buzz. Keep in mind that all the changes will affect the sound globally.

Moving on the sample mode, you can focus on each individual sample and make the same customizations as the global settings, the difference being that they will apply for each sample individually. Beatdown also offers a detailed mixer, 2 LFO modules, global FX with limiter, bus compression, equalizer, redux, saturation and two delay and reverb returns. If you’re getting discouraged by all of these settings, on the final page of GUI there is a rich presets section with tons of presets grouped as distorted, electronic, glitch and organic.

Clone is a replica of an 80’s hardware synthesizer and stands out by its distinct analog tone and modulation capabilities. This is a serious instrument which sports an intimidating GUI, but once you go through all its pages and analyze each parameter, it will unfold in all its splendor.

At the heart of Clone is Delta Triangulator, which allows you to mutate sounds to a higher frequency. Delta Triangulator is an unique approach to sound design, allowing you to change on the fly LFO type and LFO rate for Amp, Filter and Pitch. Four more pages of customizations include a voltage-controlled filter, envelopes, two LFOs and global granulizer/distortion, reverb, delay, chorus & phaser.

Evilfish 303 is a reinterpretation of the famous TB-303, a powerful acid bass synth with filter morphing, amp & pitch envelopes, 2 LFO modules and effects like granulizer, reverb, delay, chorus and flanger. You can easily generate acid basslines, as well as rhythmic patterns and SciFI sound effects.

I like the Nuke and Pump buttons, first adds saturation and the second pumps the sound in the style of sidechaining, also the overdrive- an 8 levels selector between two waveforms (saw and square).

Hatchet is a melodic mono-synth capable of rich sounding basses and leads. At its base stand four oscillators: noise, sawtooth, square and pulse width, the last one changing the width of the square osc. We can directly choose one of the 4 filter types (low pass, band pass, high pass and notch) or morph between them, shape the filter envelope, pitch envelope or add reverb and granulizer effects.

Hatchet is capable of rich pulses, leads, detuned basses and rhythmic textures.

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Pulsator is digital synthesizer primarily designed for creating pads and leads. In the middle of the interface is a pulsating biomechanical heart, with two dials, one for adjusting the x-mod volume and the other, for fine tuning. Pulsator consists of two OSC, each with 3 possible shapes and controls for volume, pulse width and semitone. The filter section allows filter morphing and envelope adjustments, while the envelope sections gets you into amp and pitch envelopes. Going further, we find two LFOs each with its own rate knobs, and next a granulizer linked to pulsating heart plus reverb, delay, chorus and phaser units.

If you’re looking for violent and unusual sounds, then Pulsator is for you, it fits well with aggressive dubstep leads and hooks, but also is perfect for distorted basslines and pads.

Having almost same characteristics as Pulsator, Rogue-One is built after a legendary mono-synth, and is capable of dark, cinematic tones and deep, brooding soundscapes. The octaves selector allows you to reach some rich harmonics and the glide fader let’s you create some cool note transitions in the style of recent complextro productions.

Sickness is a real beast! It features twin switchable oscillators plus sub and noise, also you can use the custom dial to mix between sounds and create your desired sound. The sound is fat and really burns through your speaker.

The custom dial in the middle and the three LFOs, linked with a MIDI controller is a superb way to add presence and character to the sound, I spent some time playing with these.

Whoosh is also is offered separately as freeware instrument for Kontakt. As its name suggests, Whoosh Machine generates transitional FX, drones, atmospherics, FX, rhythmic patterns and more. You can easily control the frequency and the ramp, scalable up to 13 bars. The sound is generated from 3 sources- noise, synth and texture, mixing these with tons of effects and parameters brings endless possibilities.

Video presentation:

Each instrument (except Whoosh) has its own sequencer built in, which allows for creating note patterns on the fly, selecting scales, sequence modulation, pattern save & recall and more. Also, for each instrument there are available plenty of presets to start with, covering basses, rhythms, arpeggios, pads, leads, poly etc. Besides these, the unique interfaces come with modern animations and comprehensive dials and controls.

Archetype is simply amazing. At first, you’re amazed by the sound quality, then by the ease with which you can create unique sounds in your music, while the lively interface lets you interact with the instrument. You can create tracks using only the Archetype bundle, and the experience brings a big smile on your face – the Kontakt bundle being fast, complete and really unique. I gladly recommend Archetype Kontakt Bundle to all producers who take music and their work seriously and want in their arsenal a powerful and versatile tool.

For all those you don’t own a full copy of Native Instrument Kontakt, keep in mind that Archetype Kontakt Bundle is also powered by the free Kontakt 5 Player. Archetype is available now at a price of $199.