Heavyocity takes a fresh approach to orchestral strings with their Novo instrument.
Heavyocity are one of the better-known sample library developers out there, thanks to well-received titles like Gravity (reviewed in April 2016’s SOS), and their tie-in with Native Instruments on the Evolve series. The US-based company’s philosophy is, in their own words, to “provide cutting-edge, inspiring instruments and sounds that supercharge creativity, formatting them in ways that enhance productivity”. Great-sounding and quick to use, then. And whilst I wouldn’t want to pre-judge anything here, many of Heavyocity’s audio demos showcase an unashamedly supercharged, dramatic quality. Take Gravity (the movie’s) relentless surges and hits, add some typical Scandi-noir brooding minimalism and a pinch of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares melodrama and you’re right there.
Most of their sampled offerings so far have been hybrid in nature: orchestral, but also enhanced by synth and non-musical sound-design elements. Novo is the first that goes to town on a single orchestral section. So, in a market that’s not short of sampled strings, what can Novo offer that’s, well, new?
Novo presents itself in Kontakt (or Kontakt Player) with two distinct personalities. The six patches that makeup ‘Traditional’ are, as the name suggests, fairly standard multisampled fare. They could be used to create convincing, naturalistic string arrangements, although, as we’ll see, they are by no means limited to that. The two ‘Evolved’...