Our EP sound is a combination of samples (2.6GB), and complex impulse response algorithms that will give you the grit of hip-hop; the silkiness of R&B; and the soul in neo-soul. Our absolute number one goal was realism and with vintage modeled effects, complex impulse response algorithms, advanced FX, and tweak-able knobs for ultimate control, you will have the best EP experience ever produced in a plugin. With all of this, we can safely say that you can leave your Suitcase at home and replace it with the Neo-Soul Suitcase.
When we first brought the Ne-Soul EP sounds to the Yamaha Motif, we weren't sure of it's success and need, but we soon found out that people have been thirsting for a new and fresh EP plugin for a long time. After the success of the Neo-Soul EP for the Yamaha Motif ES/XS/XF, many users have been bombarding us with E-mails asking us to to please produce some authentic and real EP sounds for their DAW as a plugin. We were not sure if there was a need for yet another EP plugin as there are several good ones already out. But many expressed a need for a high quality EP sound that would appeal to urban type of music with a lot of soul. Many wanted an EP Suitcase sound that was phat, warm, and sounded extremely realistic. Because real musicians trust other real musicians, we felt a sense of responsibility to put out a Suitcase patch that plays and sounds amazing, but with our own musicality and personality in it as well. So what came about was the new Neo-Soul Suitcase Library for Kontakt.
Neo-Soul Suitcase features
1. Analogue/Vintage Modeled Vibrato
Anyone who has played a EP before knows that you cannot survive without a dedicated Vibrato. This was the first feature on our list of most important features as the vibrato can make or break a EP plugin. Many libraries out today just give you the raw EP sound, but leave it up to the user to provide their own vibrato. The problem is that most DAW's don't have a dedicated vibrato. They have a tremolo, WHICH IS NOT VIBRATO. A true EP vibrato is a type of auto-panning effect, with some inherent "mushy" effect that adds even more warmth to the EP. So a true vibrato is a dual threat with "auto-panning" and effects and we achieved this. All knobs can be controlled via MIDI with Kontakt's special MIDI learn function. The vibrato LED even vibrates like a real EP does.
2. Treble and Bass Boost
If you've ever seen the face of a real EP, you will see a dedicated treble and bass boost, the latter being extremely useful. What makes a EP sound so beautiful is those low barking bass notes. The bass boost darkens the EP and that dark soulful sound is what musicians look for when playing urban type of music. The treble boost is important to highlight those nice sweet tine/bell frequencies when playing slow R&B, neo-soul, or ballads.
3. Amp and Pre Amp Simulation - Impulse Response Physical Modeling
This one feature alone is worth the price of the Neo-Soul Suitcase. The Amp simulation is what changes the plugin from a EP sound, to a dedicated EP synth. With high quality impulse responses of real world amp cabinets, you can instantly change the tonal character of the EP. By changing amp sim sounds, you can instantly have a new EP. Running your EP through popular Cabinets, Tube Saturators, and even specific pre-amp colors, you can change the tonality, color, character, and feel of the patch. It's equivalent to playing your drum sounds through a MPC, or an ASR-10. It's something about these units that adds color and warmth and our 12 different models will do just that.
4. Warm Fat Vintage Chorus
With our special contact scripting techniques we were able to model an analogue-vintage chorus. When you run our EP through this chorus, you will instantly get a nice warm phat sound that is not overly obtrusive, but just enough to fatten up the EP. This is especially useful for soft ballads, R&B, spoken word, and neo-soul music. As with the vibrato, you can control all of your knobs through MIDI.
5. Spring Reverb - Twin Amp Modeled Impulse Response
A good reverb can completely make or break a EP. A true reverb will will completely add an overall "sheen" and presence to a EP and we have achieved that through complex convolution methods of creating impulse responses of a real world Spring Reverb. This is what an EP Suitcase was designed to run through and we have created this for you.
6. Tine/Bell Knob
Everybody likes different things. Some like a lot of bell and tine noise and some don't. Thanks to our samples and plugin, we give you the option to decide just how much tine sound you want on your EP. We recommend some slight tine/bell noises for slow R&B ballads, to make your performance or track sound like a silky bell.
7. Pedal Noise and Pedal Resonance
Thanks to Kontakt 4's advanced scripting techniques, we were able to add the sound of the resonance of the sustain pedal as well as the "clunk" noise it makes when released. As with a real EP, the sound goes through the cabinet and DI and you can hear the grit and realness of the sound. We sampled 4-different pedal resonance sounds and made each selection random. So when you press your sustain pedal on your controller or keyboard, the pedal resonance sounds. When you lift your foot from the sustain pedal, then you will hear a random of the 4-different choices, just to add a feeling of playing a real EP. The pedal up noises are random as well to give you even more randomness and variety.
8. Key Up Noise
This is the noise that the EP makes, when you lift off or release the key and the momentum of the release vibrates and makes a key-up sound. Once again, we wanted to give you the true feeling of playing a real EP. Although this sound is not melodic and does not contribute to the tonality of the EP, it does significantly add to the realism of the EP as it instantly gives the hearer a sense of playing a real world instrument
9. Key Down Noise
When the keys are pressed and the key raises up to hit the tine, you will be able to hear this subtle, deep thunk. It's not tonal, but it adds this really deep percussive noise and presence in the cabinet and cover of the EP. Although this sound is not melodic and does not contribute to the tonality of the EP, it does significantly add to the realism of the EP as it instantly gives the hearer a sense of playing a real world instrument. It is actually amazing how this percussive noise makes you feel as if you are playing a real EP.
10. Release Effects
This is probably one of the most important features of the whole EP. We went back into the studio 2-3 times just to capture all of the release sounds. We captured 12-layers of staccato and 12-layers of 1 second release notes to make sure we captured this important feature. The release sounds are what makes the EP. Without good release samples, then you are not playing a real EP. The grit of the release noises is paramount and we added a dedicated control for this very reason.
There is no EP sound without a bark. How many times have you played a EP sound and wished it had more or less bark. The bark of the EP is the whole reason why you love it so much. As a result, we went back into the studio and capture 12 additional layers of bark sounds. So now you never have to worry about having more bark. Just turn the knob and get more bark!
12. Volume Knob for Rhode Sounds for Mixing
We strategically made the dedicated volume control to only control the main EP sounds, not the effects. This will allow you to instantly change the main EP volume for easy mixing. You also can turn this volume all the way to 0 to be able to hear the individual EP sound effects by themselves so you can precisely program your sound to your liking. Or you can turn the EP volume up to mix more of the main EP sound without having to turn down all of the EP effects knobs individually.
13. Original Sound and Cleaned Sound Options
No matter how good the condition or how well serviced your EP may be, there will still be some minor abnormalities in the sound of each key. Remember, every single key has it's own personality and may not sound "exactly" the same as the other keys. As a result, this feature allows you to use the original sound of each key, or you can use the cleaned function which cleans up the imperfections in the notes that are not quite as uniform as the rest of the instrument.
Our main goal with the feature-set of the Neo-Soul Suitcase, was to provide the most important features needed to make the sound as real as possible. We didn't spend our time making a bunch of funky phasers, wha-whas and other funky effects, because that's not what you hear live. We'll leave that up to your DAW for those few effects you may use every once in a blue moon. When a musician goes to a gig or records a EP the right way, they take their suitcase, with the cabinets below; maybe a twin reverb cabinet; their favorite pre amp for more color; and/or a vintage chorus for a more beefy sound. All the main components that make up the true sound of a Neo-Soul Suitcase, is right here in this plugin. The interface is easy to read and broken up into three main sections for easy tweaking. From bottom to top:
Section 1: Bread and Butter EP Controls (Treble/Bass Boost, Vibrato)
Section 2: Must have vintage effects (Amp/Pre-Amp, Chorus, Twin Spring Reverb)
Section 3: Tweak-able EP effects (tine, pedal noises, key noises, release sounds and bark)
* 2.6GB Samples
* 12 Velocity Layers
* 12 Vel Release Notes
* Recorded Through SSL
* 4-Channel Samples
* DI Recording
* Speaker Cab Recording
* IR Reverbs
* Pedal Noise
* Key Up Noises
* MIDI Learn
* Analogue Chorus
* Phaser EFX
* Flanger EFX
* Delay EFX
* Distortion EFX
* Easy Interface
* Beautiful Graphics
* Treble Boost
* Bass Boost
* Amp Sim
* Pedal Resonance
* Pedal Up Sound
* On/Off Switch
* MIDI Controllable
* Kontakt Scripting
* Easy Turn Knobs
* HQ Pre-amp Sims
* Popular Cabinet Sims
* Blinking Vibrato
* Readable LEDs
* Dedicated Bark
* Release Notes
* Advanced Programming
* Fat Filters
* Tube Saturation
* Custom Patch Creation
* Create Templates
14. FX - Phaser, Flanger, Delay, Distortion
The icing on the cake is the FX section. You can't quite have a Neo-Soul Suitcase and not have the funky effects of a phaser and flanger. The distortion effect will add some grit and personality to your sound and the delay is very good for that deep hip-hop sound that you heard from the Roots live album and other hip-hop and neo-soul music.
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