Review: Vir2 Instruments World Impact: Global Percussion
Vir2 Instruments prouds itself in creating some of the most advanced virtual instrument libraries for Kontakt. The recently released electric guitar instrument Electri6ity took over three years to develop, and listening to the audio demos it shows.
Vir2’s previous release is World Impact: Global Percussion, a comprehensive sample library featuring ethnic, world, and cinematic percussion from around the world.
Sampled in meticulous detail and programmed for maximum and instant musical usability, the collection includes hundreds of varied percussion instruments from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and more.
A massive 4.2-gigabyte collection of Japanese Taiko drums recorded from multiple microphone positions forms a central part of the library.
Each instrument has been recorded with numerous alternate takes and velocity layers, assuring realistic and dramatically expressive sonic results. World Impact is an essential tool in the toolbox of every film composer, movie trailer producer, and aficionado of world percussion instruments.
The list of instruments available in World Impact is kind of ridiculously long. Over 300 instrument patches are available, neatly categorized by region and instrument type.
Instruments can be browsed separately or as menu patches to preview instruments. These menu patches include many instruments, each one mapped to a single key on the keyboard. As the instrument’s name shows up for each note played it’s a great way to audition/find the sound you are looking for. And when you do you will want to load that particular instrument patch, as it will include the full set of samples, articulations, and the extensive features of World Impact’s pattern engine.
More than a set of samples
World Impact features a massive 13 gigabyte collection of high quality 24-bit samples. Having tons of quality samples is great, but if you ever tried to create a convincing realistic percussion performance with samples you know this can be quite tricky.
Like many other sample libraries, World Impact features multi-sampled instruments with multiple velocity layers and round robin techniques (some of the instruments actually only use a relatively small amount of samples). To more faithfully reproduce the way a real percussionist would play you need more than a collection of samples. That’s where Kontakt comes in.
Vir2 uses Kontakt’s powerful scripting engine to create various articulations which can be triggered by notes. World Impact comes with choke, flam, 3-stroke roll (16th/32nd/64th notes), and roll (32nd/64th notes), and a number of rhythmic patterns (tempo-synced) is included with each instrument. You can create your own custom patterns as well, and store them in one of the 25 user patterns.
The patterns include separate step sequencers for velocity, smooth, and pitch. To create a more authentic, realistic sounding percussion performance World Impact includes a useful Humanize page, in which you can set randomize parameters for pitch, timing, and volume.
Also included is EZRoom, a convolution reverb library which provides some 50 custom sonic spaces;
everything from chapels and halls to caverns, small rooms, and unique esoteric spaces is included
I will briefly demonstrate these Kontakt script features in the video below.
The audio in the video isn’t so great so make sure to check the official audio demos below to get an idea of the sound quality of World Impact.
As mentioned earlier World Impact includes too many instruments to list here (you can find them on the Vir2 website), but I did want to highlight the Taiko drums. From the manual:
The Taiko drums were recorded on a large stage with three sets of mics capturing the drums: close mics, stage mics (approximately at the conductor’s position), and room mics. Every sample of each Taiko patch has been phase-aligned and is triggered whenever you hit any Taiko note. These controls give you fine control over the sonic balance between the three pairs of mics.
A total of 15 Taiko drums instruments is included; over 4 GB sampled material!
So what do I think?
Format: Virtual instrument for PC/Mac, Kontakt Player included (VST/AU/RTAS/Standalone)
Price: $399 USD
World Impact is probably the most comprehensive percussion library I have ever seen. The amount of instruments is overwhelming at first, so it’s not a bad idea of Vir2 to include those menu patches for easy auditioning of sounds.
The sampled material is of outstanding quality and the use of the Kontakt engine/scripts really adds value to this library. Although the articulations and patterns don’t work equally well for every instrument it is an amazing way to create realistic sounding percussions with little effort.
World Impact should easily take care of most your percussion needs.