Version: Kontakt 5.6.5 / NCW / V1
Emulation of an 80s hidden gem
Download Method: Kontakt Hub
The RetroSound MK100 is a combined synth and drum machine based on the MK100 from the early 80s, lovingly recreated for NI’s Kontakt sampler.
All synth presets can be customised with different waveforms and envelopes in exactly the same way as the hardware, together with the chorus and tremolo effects.
In addition we have the ability to bring Kontakt’s synth engine to bear on the source sounds, so each of the two synth layers can have it’s own independent filter and envelope settings.
All the preset drum patterns and fills are present, as is the Custom Drummer. The drum voices aren’t just limited to the straight preset sounds on the hardware, but can be modified in a number ways - and in addition to the real-time pattern recording from the original, a full graphic step editor lets you edit your patterns, as well as full MIDI keyboard driven operation for real-time jamming and creative sessions.
And the effects page ties it all together with a reverb and delay, and some other output effects to further shape the output - or you can just leave the FX off and use your usual plugins as required.
The MK100 was a little gem of a home keyboard. Unlike it's contemporaries, the stereo-chorus equipped MK100 had 12 standard presets consisting of two layers, and you could customise the waveforms and envelopes each used (the manual proudly proclaimed “1,376 sound possibilities!”). And it actually sounded good!
While it’s not an FM machine, it’s voicings and waveforms (and colour scheme!) were clearly derived from the brand new DX range. As it result, it sounded afresh, and looked fabulous!
Not only that, but alongside the preset drum patterns you had a programmable drum machine - yes, for perhaps the first time in a home keyboard you could write your own drum patterns!
A big selling point was the “Multi-Menu”, an innovative device where you would spin a wheel revealing a new set of menu options - nine pages in all, giving the user the ability to customise sounds, access the Custom Drummer, Custom Bassist and Music Recorder functions, and save/load data from cassette.
The RetroSound MK100 features the 12 main preset sounds of the hardware.
Each preset can be customised individually by turning on Vari 1 (Waves) and/or Vari 2 (Envelopes) and choosing different options - the first group of four in the menu applying to Wave 1, and the second group of four to Wave 2.
Many presets have additional “hidden” waves and/or envelope settings, so different presets have different sound possibilities to explore, true to the behaviour of the hardware.
By turning the Extended Synthesis page on, you now have full control over the filter settings, filter and amp envelopes, and velocity response for each of the two layers (or both together in “Link” mode), to give more creative options while still retaining the character of the instrument.
You can also detune and spread the layers.
The MK100’s drum machine features 12 pattern preset “styles”, each with three variations, and it’s own fill pattern, and synchronises to the Host tempo.
With “Syncro Start” enabled, the drum machine will start either on a key press, or will follow your Hosts transport controls.
By turning on “Key Play”, the patterns and fills can be triggered in real-time from your MIDI keyboard.
“Custom Drummer” reveals the step editor and allows you to edit/create your own patterns in place of the 36 presets. You can use both the step editor and real-time recording/erasing to create your patterns, using the 6 built-in drum sounds.
“Voice” lets you customise each of the drum sounds - you can change Pitch, shorten the Decay, change the Tone and Colour (the effect of these vary for each voice), send to the global Reverb and Delay (if they are turned on), and balance the Level.
If you chose an output configuration in Kontakt with more outputs than the main stereo output, each drum will be routed to it’s own individual output to your interface/host for further processing.
The Effects page features global FX, and other instrument preferences.
Global Reverb and Delay are available on the synth engine (you also can send individual drum voices to each as well), as is a slow deep phaser setting.
The Output effects include tape Warmth, a Wide setting, and an overall Compression effect.
You can disable the FX completely with one button press, and by using the “FX Lock” button, leave your chosen setting in place while browsing additional presets.
- Sampled at 24-bit 44.1Khz, Output to 16-bit 44.1KHz NCW
- 49 chromatic samples per Wave, 17 Waves in total, 6 sampled drum sounds Synth
- All the 12 presets & synthesis options (“1376 combinations”) of the hardware
- Extended synthesis features - independent filter, filter and amp envelopes for each of the two Waves
- Integrated Rhythm/Drum machine
- All 36 preset patterns and 36 fills of the hardware
- Custom Drummer for programming user patterns
- Step drum pattern editor
- Real-time pattern recording
- Pattern recording/playback triggering, voice selection and editing from MIDI keyboard
- Individual drum sounds can be edited with pitch, envelope and FX controls
- Individual drum outputs, Host Sync and Transport support
- Effects - Reverb, Delay, Phaser
- Global Effects - Warmth, Wide, Compression, Speaker
- Authentic interface
- Four main pages - Main, Synth, Rhythm, Effects
- Host Automation support
- Snapshots and Multis included
- PDF Manual