Version: Kontakt 5.8.1 / WAV / V1.1
Analog Based Sound Design Library
Download Method: Kontakt Hub
Refraction, now at version 1.1 is an inspiring Analog based Synth Sound Design library, containing everything from Deep Synth Bass to lush evolving Ambient Pads and short Analog Synths to complex Pulses & Rhythm’s . It contains nearly 350 snapshots utilising the Analog samples and has a highly flexible interface with a multitude of tools for shaping your own sounds, rhythms, pulses and arpeggiations. Introduced in version 1.1, it also features Simply Analog snapshots for an authentic 80’s analog sound!
You can layer up to 3 different sounds which can be selected from Long, Short & Sustained categories, and can also be chosen randomly, either per layer or all 3 layers together. This can be a great way to get started, putting together combinations you wouldn’t have thought to.
Refraction includes just over 3.5GB of samples taken mainly from a Korg EX800 analogue synth from 1984 (Desktop version of the Poly 800), with a few samples from a Casio HT-3000 from 1987 (whilst not Analog VCO’s it has an analog filter which was used in all sounds).
All of the samples were recorded through a tube/valve preamp to add more warmth to the sound, and every note over 4 octaves was recorded to ensure the character of the sound was captured. Some samples were also recorded through a hardware analog filter as well as the preamp.
- Short & Ambient Synths
- Ambient & Evolving Pads
- Long Ambient Synths
- Noises & Hits
- Simply Analog
- Up to 3 layered sounds
- 3.5GB of Warm Analog Samples
- Amp, Pitch and Filter Envelopes for Each Layer
- 6 Filter types for each layer
- Sample start position for each layer
- Per Layer LFO pulses and Filter Sequence
- Separate Send levels per layer
- Nearly 350 Snapshots
- Pan, Pitch, Gain & Filter LFO’s
- Step Sequencer & Arpeggiator with randomisation
- Save and Load Arpeggiator & Sequencer settings
- Monophonic & Unison Modes
- 10 Send / Insert Effects
- Compressor, Limiter & Equaliser
Starting here, you select up to 3 sounds and then you have access to the following tools for each layer:
- Amp Envelope
- Pitch Envelope
- 6 Different Types of Filter
- Filter Envelope
- Start Position
- Layer Mixer
- XFade Slider
The Xfade slider allows you to start with 1 layer and gradually fade in the 2nd & 3rd ones creating the possibility for building a sound or introducing a rhythmic element at the push of a fader.
You have access to 5 Send effects with a send level for each layer, effectively allowing you to turn off effects for a particular layer, or add more or less effect. Available effects are Chorus, Delay, Reverb, Convolution Reverb (with custom sound design IR’s) and Phaser.
You then have 5 Insert effects that affect the overall sound which can be applied post or pre-filter. The effects available are Transients, Saturation, Skreamer, Lo-Fi and Distortion.
Rhythm & LFO Page
You have access to 4 different LFO’s; Gain, Pan, Pitch and Filter (with 6 Filter Types to choose from). You can adjust the amount and rate of the LFO and select Sine, Triangle, Saw, Random and Rectangle shapes – or a combination of multiple shapes! These are synced to host tempo by default, but sync can be turned off. There is also a Step Sequencer that can be applied to the Filter, complete with a random pattern feature.
Introduced in version 1.1, you now have the option to fade in the LFO over time (up to 10 seconds) and also randomise the waveform amounts for rhythmic inspiration!
Each layer can access all of these separately giving some powerful rhythmic possibilities.
Seq & Arp Page
This page allows you to choose from an Arpeggiator or Step Sequencer and contains a randomisation feature where you can choose which settings are randomised and the upper & lower limits to be included. All settings can be saved as a preset and loaded at a later time.
Finally, you have the Master page which is useful for shaping the overall mixed sound. It includes an easy to use Equalizer per layer, a Compressor, a Limiter and a Stereo tool. You can also select Monophonic mode on this page, with the option for Legato, as well a Unison option with up to 4 voices and detune and spread controls.
- For FULL Kontakt 5.8.1+ (NOT compatible with Free Kontakt Player)
- Installed Size: 3.64GB
- Snapshots: 262 (Version 1.0)
- For Kontakt 5.8.1+ (NOT compatible with Free Kontakt Player)
- Installed Size: 3.64GB
- Snapshots: 345 (Version 1.1)
A nice sequel
After having and using Reflection for a while, and noting that the GUI and engine philosophy was largely retained, Refraction was an immediate purchase. My initial impressions is that that Refraction is darker and more ambient than Reflection but, since Refraction retains all the versatility of Reflection, no genre monotony is likely because the user-friendly interface has features that allow you to quickly tweak and manipulate sounds, even before you get to the well-implemented randomization section. If the past is prelude, I expect that Resomonics will provide good after-purchase support, including content updates. There are already a few instructional videos available. I expect that Refraction, like Reflection, will stand the test of time.
Great Kontakt Instrument!
Taking into account that this synth is "sample based", it offers quite a lot a of control re: sound design.
Pretty cleaver Kontakt script coding.
UI is well thought and efficient (parameter's info appearing within the "info" filed is welcomed).
It comes with enough sample sources to take advantage of the synth 3 layers architecture, and get interesting results.
Sources that were sampled carefully.
There's also randomizing functions to help you select those source/sources and get you started from some unexpected samples blend.
You'll also find randomizing options within the "filter seq" (rhythm & lfo tab), and under the "seq & arp" tab.
There's onboard effects that one can decide to bypass to use his own instead, if preferred.
Note that those effects are "key switching" enable/unable, which again, could be pretty useful.
While talking about effects, there's some really interesting/creative IRs (to be use with the convolution effect) onboard that,
when using with, e.g., the "reversed" sample's category, could get you more into the SFX territory.
Resomonics did great work with Refraction!
As usual, listen/watch demos so see if it fits your expectations.