Heavyocity Symphonic Destruction review | MusicRadar
Heavyocity Symphonic Destruction: what is it?
Fiery, powerful, destructive, aggressive – all overused synonyms for the kind of sonic manipulation that Heavyocity is renowned for. Since 2012’s game-changing Damage blew the lid on cinematic at-home drumming, the company has been at the center of discussions about the best methods for building epic soundtracks and organic-sounding textures.
While Damage and its recently released sequel emphasized dramatic percussion, the team has now applied a similar approach to the full orchestra. Symphonic Destruction’s central concept is explained quite succinctly by its title – it’s not a typical string sample library, but rather a meticulously crafted chaos machine.
Symphonic Destruction is a rich resource of over 11,800 samples, in a download that clocks in at a surprisingly light 17.4GB and relies on Kontakt 6 (or the free Kontakt player) to run. Installation is child’s play and within half an hour we are faced with the software’s idiosyncratic user interface.
Heavyocity Symphonic Destruction: performance and verdict
As with Damage, Heavyocity is keen to reinforce the idea that Symphonic Destruction is a customizable toolbox as opposed to just a bank of well-organized samples (which it is, too, of course). By default, we enter the SD Designer window.
It’s the flagship of the three main “designers” because it allows you to weave together three channels of the software’s myriad processed sounds in various selectable locations on your MIDI keyboard, or let the software intelligently concoct new sonic monstrosities.
The Macro Control and Sequencer also allow you to program animated modulations and rhythmic pulses.
It is wise to have an idea of the sound palette we are working with. Heavyocity has carefully organized this meticulously crafted sample library into easy-to-navigate “snapshots” (presets).
Damaged is a repository of sonically spoiled hybrid orchestral samples, a good example of which is the heart-pounding dystopian scene-maker Crumbling Waves, the eerie, evolving horror of Grimy Divebombs, and a scintillating arp/synth-stab combo of Strangest Things, which could sounds oddly familiar to fans of a certain Netflix show.
• Hans Zimmer Strings
A wide range of unique and sublime samples, incorporating his trademark playing off the wall.
• Zero G Ethera Gold 2.5
Immaculate vocals, explosive percs and stunning violins.
FX & Textures includes long-evolving swells and transitions that appeal to sound designers, while Hybrid enhances symphonic samples with synthesis.
Loop combos provide an assortment of rhythmic sounds and corresponding leads/strings and hits. Even the most arbitrary keypresses sound like something you’d hear pumping from the speakers as we watch the latest trailers on the big screen.
There’s a lot to tap into, but Heavyocity has helpfully provided a set of “All Stars” – specially selected snapshots from across the collection that serve as easy-to-dive “greatest hits.”
These textures range from the majestic Portato Fallout, to the cold desert of Not So Peaceful and the blade runner-reminiscent of Vangelish Analog, each of the three central snapshot categories. All of this, as their assignment implies, is exquisite.
With every snapshot, or any homemade sound, there are three respective layers that work in tandem: the interface gives a central view of a main macro controller, (something familiar to most aficionados of Heavyocity) with in-orbit controls for Envelope, EQ, Filter, Drive, Gate and Space.
This is where we can customize some of those starting points, peeling off the three channels that make up the Heavyocity snapshots and turning off different source sounds, tweaking them with a high level of finesse.
Continuing our tour of the Designer, the next section is the Loop Designer, which lets you create living, changing flows.
Once again we select three sound sources as the heart of our loop, this time split into a more rhythm-oriented selection of folders, including Pattern and Reverse Pattern, which result in repeated melodic earworms.
It’s a fast, smooth route to instant cinematic tension, with loops available in straight or triplet mode.
The third designer in Symphonic Destruction is the Braam Designer, designed to deliver those huge subby tones and impacts that are now the epitome of modern cinema.
Your Braam’s sub, mid, and tail can be switched between 36 sounds per layer and layered at different positions on your MIDI keyboard for performative control. Each of them can be panned, tuned or sequenced.
Even playing with a handful of these combinations results in a tone of room-shaking size.
If you’re someone who earns a living as a regular fisherman for trailer commissions, then this might be the most effective tool in Symphonic Destruction’s arsenal. And that’s especially true if you’re also investing in Heavyocity’s percussive legend, Damage 2, with which this software pairs exquisitely.
Symphony for the Devil
While the three designers are undoubtedly a major focus of Symphonic Destruction, the Performers section offers a much more musical and creative way to start generating your own textures.
There are seven performer patches, each containing a range of articulations. These are divided into now familiar niches, such as Damaged and Hybrid. There’s also a range of pedal-driven and guitar-tinged samples.
Damaged Guitars offers grunge-metal guitar loops reminiscent of Mad Max that can inject a whole lot of heavy menace into a track.
There’s a lot of out-of-the-box goodness here, yet all of these patches can simply be creative launch pads as you change channels, as well as tweak mic positions and modulation effects to engage your own palette. sound.
Performers are a convenient way to navigate the software’s essential building blocks.
If you’re a composer looking to create something that evokes bucolic beauty or brings a subtle undercurrent to a dialogue-heavy project, you know where the door is.
Symphonic Destruction is aiming squarely at the team blockbuster. Its sounds are big, brash and utterly brilliant, manipulated via these two parallel strands, Designer or Performer.
Whether designing an alien megacity, an invasion of hulking robots, or a neon-lit utopia, a tougher creative colleague than we can imagine.
MusicRadar Verdict: Typical and exemplary Heavyocity trick: Symphonic Destruction is the ultimate way to jam the most epic scores.
Heavyocity Symphonic Destruction: The Web Says
“There’s so much jaw-dropping content in this library that it’ll have you churning out epic clues in minutes.”
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Heavyocity Symphonic Destruction: Specifications
- 26.71 GB uncompressed (17.4 GB on disk with lossless NI compression).
- Powered by the Kontakt 6.6.1 engine.
- Contact 6.6.1 (Reader) or later.
- Complete control integrated (NKS compatible).
- Available in direct download only.
- AutonomousVST, AU, AAX.
- Minimum System Requirements: macOS 10.13, 10.14, 10.15 or 11 (latest update), i5. Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 (latest Service Pack), Intel Core i5 processor or equivalent, 2 GB of RAM. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher. 4 GB of RAM (6 GB recommended for large KONTAKT instruments).
- CONTACT: Heavyness