Review by Jake Basten
Edited by Sam Hughes
Developer: Krotos Audio
Krotos Audio recently released their Sound Design Bundle 2, featuring all of their best tools in one package. Their most recent release Igniter (Full Tank edition), a tool and library for vehicle sound design, is included in this bundle as well as all the Krotos favourites, Dehumaniser 2, Weaponiser Fully Loaded + Battle Bundle and Reformer Pro, plus the Krotos Bundle 1 Library thrown in!
Take a gander at the above video where I go over what’s new in this collection, including the differences between Reformer and Reformer Pro, what the Battle Bundle brings to Weaponiser, and a deep dive in to Igniter and all of its amazing features.
The Sound Design Bundle 2 comes in at £1842 including VAT, that’s a £600 saving over buying the tools separately. That may still be a fair amoung, there’s no doubt, but it’s also good value for what you are getting. There is a heck of a lot of content – it took me three days to download it all! – most of which is totally reusable. My favourite thing about these tools, Weaponiser and Igniter especially, is that you can make them your own by introducing your own samples or by using the sample packs that come with them in other settings. For me, Igniter and Weaponiser have hit the perfect balance between being a cohesive black box tool and a powerful all purpose sampler, because of their combination of samples, synths, reverbs and effects as well as powerful parameter modulation engines.
Igniter is made up of four sound engines: a granular vehicle player, a synthesizer with up to five oscillators and FM and AM modulation, a one shot engine with a timeline, and a loop engine for blending multiple samples together.
The granular engine features an extremely powerful modulation system, where any parameter in Igniter, across any of the sound engines, can be controlled by the REVs of the car engine. There are up to 8 mod envelopes, which each have their own mod curve shape. There is no limit as to how many parameters can be assigned to each mod, so you can go nuts with this.
The granular engine works on a vehicle package system. Sadly, currently there is no option to extend the selection of sampled vehicles in the granular engine ourselves, as the package system has been nailed down so that the samples work in the granular sampler. Each package usually contains an engine and an exhaust for the particular vehicle that it is modeled on or sampled from, plus some pre-built modulations to make the engine sound believable. A good example of this is the Honda Civic Auto Gearbox which has a mod curve controlling the load on the engine and the gear changes, so all we have to do is automate the revs of the engine and everything works beautifully. If you want to go a bit deeper, you can also combine engines and exhausts from different vehicles and model your own behaviours using the modulation engine.
The mixer keeps the four sound engines separate as they enter the effects section so that can each get a different FX treatment. It also features an FX bus which each engine can be sent to for parallel effects or send effects, before they are all summed down to the master, which also has it’s own FX chain. The effect section is similar to Weaponiser, so is easy to pick up if you own other Krotos products. However, for Igniter, Krotos has developed brand new parametric EQ and convolution reverb modules, and it also features a Doppler, Ring Mod and Transient Shaper which are all extremely useful for this type of sound design.
The Full Tank version of Igniter expands the basic library by adding some fantastic extras including in-car perspectives; foley sounds like car doors opening and air conditioning; slides and skids; sci-fi vehicle presets using only the synth engine; and sounds of cars driving over different materials (like ramps) and in different space (like barns etc). By using the Igniter engines in clever ways, these small extras make the output so much more believable and make it a breeze to tracklay a car scene quickly.
Igniter is the only tool on the market doing this level of advanced vehicle sound design right now. It gives you top notch out of the box believable sound with simple one knob control if you are in a hurry, while also allowing complete control over every aspect of the vehicle that you are modelling, if you want to create something really special.
The Sound Design Bundle 2 gives you access to all of Krotos’ tools with a hefty discount – the savings you make by buying the bundle is more than the cost of Weaponiser Fully Loaded! Well worth shelling out for.
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