Archive for June 16th, 2011


MSRP: 50 pounds

I’d heard a lot of good things about sonokinetic, and saw that H.I.P.P. (Highly Intuitive Performance Percussion), their new tom tom library, was getting a favorable response, so I decided to check it out. A download from the company site, this is yet another example of a sample library designed to fit into a specific corner. What is H.I.P.P. and how well does it do its job?

The folks at sonokinetic camped out in a studio for about two weeks with a drummer and had him perform a ton of grooves on a dozen toms in various time signatures. For good measure, they sampled a number of fills.

H.I.P.P. uses the free version of NI’s Kontakt 4. You’ll see two possible instrument choices. The BRG (Basic rhythm groupings) and PRF (Performance) presets are similar; the Performance preset has a number of layers pre-loaded.

Anyone familiar with laying samples across a keyboard will easily understand that when you choose a pattern- 16th note triplets in 4/4, for example, using tom 5- the software spreads out a series of patterns that fit this description across the next available octave range on the included virtual keyboard. The manual says that 12 toms were recorded so I was surprised to see as many as 15 possible tom choices in some rhythms.

The performances are very musical, with lots of ghost notes that are hard to program into a drum module. You can also “quantise” (their spelling) patterns, which in this case means stringing them together to create sequences up to a maximum length of 12 patterns synced to your host’s tempo.

The recordings were conducted with both close and overhead microphones, and you can adjust their volumes to suit your preference. A quite serviceable convolution reverb is also included, and the effects package (eq, compressor, delay, limiter and stereo imager) allows you to tailor your settings and save them as presets. If you want to use the patterns to create sound design effects you can easily load a sample into an open K4 slot and use Kontakt’s own effects and others you may have to mangle the sample.

Film scorers looking to lay down rhythm beds will find H.I.P.P. quite attractive. Song writers looking for authentic fills and rolls will also find this product useful.

Bottom line: Excellent value.

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