Tuesday , April 16 2024
Do you want your music to EVOLVE?

Software Review: Heavyocity EVOLVE From Native Instruments

EVOLVE is a virtual instrument that can be used for creating epic, cinematic sounds as well as adding atmosphere to just about any audio recording. It was the first in the line of successes that led to the EVOLVE Mutations series and DAMAGE that was developed by the team at Heavyocity. It is a cinematic sound resource that contains a wide assortment of sounds, rhythms, and FX, to bring new life to any audio project.

EVOLVE 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. It contains a vast selection of sounds that range from rhythmic loop suites, to percussive kits, tonal instruments, musical FX, and much more.

EVOLVE contains almost 6 GB of samples that make it the go-to resource for premium quality cinematic sounds, textures, and ambience. It comes with a wide variety of styles for just about any genre of music and with the Trigger FX, you can switch effects in real-time for intuitive sound shaping.



Within EVOLVE there are four components: Rhythmic Suites, Percussive Kits, Strings and Transitions, and Tonality and FX. Within the four components, there are three custom interfaces aiming to bring enhanced creativity and productivity to everything you create.

The Rhythmic Suites contain looped percussives, looped tonals, sequenced arpeggiated percussives, and sequenced arpeggiated tonals. This component brings over 600 original tempo-synced beat-sliced loops as well as a one massive tonal loop suite (in addition to breakdowns). The genres include dramatic, electro tech, industrial, quirky, rock/pop, and tonal loop suites.

These are all geared to work well with one another. Creating dense rhythmic layers that sync tightly is incredibly easy with the intuitive key-mapping system Heavyocity has developed. Bass-type loops are found on the lower register of the keyboard, while higher frequency sounds are located in the upper ranges of the keyboard, and so on.

The arpeggiated instruments are easy to use through EVOLVE’s custom step-sequence arpeggiator. You can just grab one of the pre-programmed groove maps on one of the nearly 60 instruments. Experimental groove creation not only comes easily and quickly, but also produces a diverse range of interesting sonic results. The custom-scripted step sequencer is set up to be intuitive and the user-friendly controls (velocity, filter, and pan to name a few) give you the end result of solid percussion and tonality.

The Percussive Kits represent more than 30 modern percussive-type menus and kits in EVOLVE. Raw sounds were obtained in some strange and unique places. From a huge warehouse, to an amusement park midway, to a dark murky stairwell, to the whisper-quiet confines of New York City’s Heavy Melody Studios, there is a wide range of diversity in these unique and eclectic percussion instruments. Whether it’s a massive impacting hit, or a subtly hand-crafted rhythm, there is something for everyone.

The Strings and Transitions component brings to you a range of sonic textures from both tonal and atonal/percussive worlds. The signature stings and transitions are set to deepen the emotion of any track. Whether it be a terrifying sonic punctuation in a film soundtrack, or an otherworldly gesture in the breakdown of a pop song, there are a lot of unique new signatures contained within.



Finally, the Tonality and FX component brings on a mashed-up array of music and sound design instruments and elements. They tend to stray from the more traditional offerings that composers have well-covered in their library collections. Instead, EVOLVE fills these overlooked tonal areas with organic otherworldly soundscapes and blistering synthetics and gnarled-out pads. The eclectic vibe of EVOLVE’s tonality and sound design is sure to inject unique new mood and melody to your next project.

Each of the interfaces will have its own set of controls. While these controls may differ between the instruments, they can be grouped into several categories. The Amplitude Envelope gives the user the ability to mold the volume of an instrument sound over time. User-defined attack, decay, sustain, and release parameters are built into many of the presets of EVOLVE (Percussive, Stings | Transitions, and Tonality | FX instruments).

The Filter Controls allow you to select a range of frequencies in a sound (instrument preset), and either amplify or reduce those frequencies. Decreasing high frequencies or increasing low frequencies within a sound makes it seem “darker” or muffled, while increasing high frequencies or decreasing low frequencies makes the sound seem “brighter.”

Effect Controls take user-programmable effects and make them sweeten existing instrument sounds. The included effects are: Skreamer, a heavy, stomp-box style distortion; Lo-Fi, which adds digital degradation to the sound by reducing the bit-depth and sample rates; Cabinet, which emulates the sound of a speaker cabinet; Delay, which takes the input signal and plays it back after a preset increment of time; and Reverb, which simulates the component of sound that results from reflections from surrounding walls or objects.

The Sequencer and Arpeggiator Instruments work similarly to a classic step sequencer, allowing you to define a progression of 16 values playing back at a constant rate. The tempo can be synced to either your host or the Master Control tempo. The sequencer controls three different parameters: Velocity, Filter, and Pan. You also have the ability to control the sustain of each step of the sequence.

Some instruments have a second page of controls that contain the Trigger FX. If it is available the Trigger FX allow you to turn effects on and off quickly and conveniently by using MIDI keyswitches. This allows extended real-time and performance control of the sound of the instrument.



In my opinion Heavyocity hit a home run with EVOLVE. It is an incredible library of sounds that are so good and so easy to use it should almost be against the law. The installation and integration within the KONTAKT player is seamless.

While it may seem that this type of library would be useful only in cinematic situations, think again. I believe that this library can be used for just about any kind of musical endeavor that is in need of atmospheric elements, whether it be rock, pop, hip-hop, or anything where mix dynamics are involved. If you need to create dramatic feeling in your next musical creation, then I very highly recommend Heavyocity EVOLVE.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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