updated 10:50 pm EDT, Tue September 1, 2009
Kontakt and Absynth update
Native Instruments on Tuesday announced updates to several of its products, Absynth and Kontakt. Absynth 5 adds a number of new features and capabilities, along with improvements to overall sound quality. The software synth integrates a new MIDI-controllable "Aetherizer" algorithm that breaks down sound into smaller pieces, then rearranges them in complex ways.
For each preset, users can choose specific attributes from the sound browser and create variations with the new "Mutator" tool. The software analyzes related presets and adjusts the original patch to adapt the sound characteristics. NI also improved the audio quality by integrating new oversampling algorithms that are designed to increase sonic clarity in the upper frequency range.
Absynth's library has been expanded with 250 presets, each utilizing the new shaping features. The complete range now includes more than 1,800 presets that can be accessed through the KORE-compatible sound browser.
NI's Kontakt 4 sampler has been improved with "Authentic Expression Technology" (AET) that allows the dynamic tonal behavior of original instruments to be replicated in expressive ways. Transformation between spectral characteristics of various sounds is achieved through a new phase-corrected convolution technique based on FFT analysis of the original sample, instead of the conventional velocity-layer techniques.
The sample also offers improved sample compression technology, with the new NCW format that reduces sample size by up to 50 percent. Samples are decompressed to the original format during playback, without excessive CPU load or quality degradation. The technology is geared for high-polyphony and complex multi-timbral arrangements.
Kontakt's sound library has been expanded, with new content such as a chamber choir which supports AET-based vowel morphing controls. Other new samples include solo strings, a concert organ, and a Mellotron in the vintage instruments. The content is accessible through a revamped browser with a wider range of search fields.
Absynth 5 will be available in October for $200, while customers can upgrade from previous versions for $80. Kontakt will ship around the same time for $400, or as an upgrade for $150.