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Software Review: Heavyocity DAMAGE From Native Instruments

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Native Instruments Heavyocity Damage is a new virtual instrument that can be used for creating epic, hard-hitting hybrid percussive sounds. It follows on the success of the critically acclaimed Evolve and Evolve Mutations series that was developed by the team at Heavyocity. DAMAGE has taken almost 2 years to create by capturing hundreds of unique drum and percussion sources. In this collection you will find everything from organic drums with eccentric percussion and found sounds (eg. exploding cars and broken pianos) fused into tempo-synced rhythmic loop suites and menu style percussive hits and kits.

Heavyocity DAMAGE

The sound of DAMAGE is quite diverse and can range from very organic to heavily processed. Its user interface is meant to be intuitive to the user and provide unprecedented control over the sounds you create. It has a three mic position mixer and stage for more than 200 deeply multi-sampled drum and percussion sources that are meant for you to go forth and create your own DAMAGE.

DAMAGE is powered by either the free KONTAKT player that comes with the package, or by using the full stand-alone KONTAKT 5 product which also comes with the Native Instruments KOMPLETE 8 packages. DAMAGE has two main percussion categories – Rhythmic Suites and Percussive Kits. The Rhythmic suites category is divided into Loop Menus and Single Loops and the Percussive kits are divided into Epic Organic Drums, Ethnic Drums, Metals, Hybrid Kits, and Damage Kits.

The Rhythmic Suites contains over 700 beat-sliced loops – this category is arranged into 2 sub-folders, providing loops in 4 main genres: Epic Organic, Epic Tech, Industrial, and Mangled Pop. The Loop Menus category is suitable for quickly creating tempo-synced grooves, providing menu style presets of tempo-synced/beat-sliced loops. The Single Loops category contains over 900 presets of single loops. This category is suitable for rearranging and tweaking individual loops, allowing you to truly make them unique.

Heavyocity DAMAGE

The Percussive Kits contain offers 58 multi-sampled drum kits constructed from over 200 deeply sampled percussion sources, and over 500 individual single shot elements, these presets provide playable kits, single shot hits, and tweaked drum-like kits in a wide range of styles. There are four different types of presets – Round Robin Kits with Mixer – deeply sampled percussion sources, and are suitable for intricate performance based beats, Single Shot Kits with Mixer – suitable for emphasizing beats, adding extra impact, and heightening emotion at specific points in a composition, Single Shot Damage Kits – suitable for performance-based drumbeats with glitchy, effected, tweaked, sounds, and Hybrid FX Hits – comprised of single-shot hits, impacts, and tails.

The user interface consists of three main pages – one for Kits, Loop Menus, and Single Loops, and while there is a certain commonality to all of the pages in that they all have master effects, an ADSR amp envelope, global 3-band EQ, etc., they all sport their own specific options which keeps the interface both simplistic yet very functional.

Heavyocity DAMAGE

On the left side of the main page you have the master effects section of the instrument. This area contains 5 different effects that you can turn on or off using the LED button to the right of the effect’s name. You can also view the effect’s controls by clicking on its name. Each effect has four control knobs to help you shape the sound of the instrument. The right side of the page there is an ADSR envelope for modulating the instrument volume. This envelope is triggered with every note and can be used to shape the volume of the played note. The controls are Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. The middle is where most of the specific options are located.

The Percussive Kits that have mixer controls have a unique envelope system. There is the main set of controls, like all of the other instruments, but there are also controls available to scale the envelope values for the different microphone channels. Here you have the option for All which makes this work like the standard ADSR controls, Close, Room, and Hall which add or subtract for the selected microphone channel.

When working with drums there is a stage page that provides unique control over the position of a drum in the stereo field. You can place each drum as if it were located in a specific place on an orchestral stage. Additionally, by option clicking, you can place all the drums in the same location, or click RESET to bring all of the positions back to default (center). This feature gives you a lot of depth to your sound and provides a lot of flexibility.Heavyocity DAMAGE

There are three levels of effects that are bound to the loops and kits – apply effects globally – these include distortion, reverb, delay, drive, and more, trigger performance effects – switchable real-time effects with incredible scope for intuitive, creative sound-mangling, or tweak individual sounds – EQ and Filters provide simple but effective fine-tuning per drum, and presiding over everything is the Punish Knob – a unique combination of saturation, compression, and distortion that adds impact, punch, and explosive energy to the instrument.

I found DAMAGE to be a very impressive product capable of producing a very dynamic, drilling deep into your bones kind of sound. It has a lot of content considering that it gives you 30 GB of sound. It has a Trigger FX area that lets you mangle and tweak loops and single shot drum kits on the fly, a Loop modifier that lets you remix loops, and a MIDI drag to host for altering and remapping loops in a DAW.

Heavyocity DAMAGE

In my opinion, DAMAGE surpasses my initial expectation for the product. It is one of the most powerful groupings of percussion sounds I have ever had a pleasure to work with. The interface is well designed and it certainly lives up to its name. If you want the best in heavy soundtrack expression, then I very highly recommend DAMAGE.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.