Gravity Packs by Heavyocity – A small price for big sound!
While Heavyocity have pretty much all of their libraries on offer during their summer promotion in association with Native Instruments, I thought it would be a good idea to further shine a light on libraries which are not included in Komplete 11 Ultimate, and perhaps guide you in spending your cash more wisely with a leaning toward access.
If you have followed the output of Heavyocity at all in the last 18 months, you couldn’t fail not to have heard about Gravity at some stage. Gravity is the in-house sample engine and GUI that loads into Kontakt to provide the front end manipulation for all of Heavyocity’s sample libraries.
The full Gravity library which is a natural progression for their cinematic offerings, give the user unprecedented control over all the sonic elements that go to make up those huge trailer hits, stings, drones, FX and risers we have all come to recognise and love from this developer.
The full version of Gravity however isn’t something that all users will need, and with it’s price tag is a considered purchase. This is perhaps where Heavyocity’s Gravity Packs can come in, they run as sample libraries in their own right independently of the larger Gravity library, they simply use the same interface and have all new sample content which have distinct categories.
To be clear from the outset, you won’t find huge slams or hits here, they do what they say on the tin with some very nice additional sound design pads and fx presets thrown in.
I will go through and describe the basics and contents of each library, and then follow up with a look at the interface you can expect to find within Komplete Kontrol and how accessible it is in general.
GP1 Natural Forces
This library is a must for anyone creating ambient music, it draws extensivley from a palette of high quality field recordings which in some cases have been processed and mangled for that Heavyocity twist. Amongst the plethora of presets you will find wind and water noices, everything from a light swirling breeze to more stormy gusts, subtle sounds of leaves blowing, birdsong, rumbles which e evolve into whale like…. er wailings!
It’s not all light and fluffy however, some of the risers, reverses and sweeps have a distintly dystopian vibe more suited to a horror or sci-fi soundtrack than a relaxation soundtrack. Suffice to say there is something for everyone, and with the soundshaping you can apply in the edit section you will be able to manipulate presets further to suit your sonic needs.
At the time of release this library had been much anticipated by Heavyocity fans as it was their first venture into a dedicated vocal sound pack. They did a great job in selecting two female singers that complemented one another but were distinct enough to work either individually or in tandem. Certainly you will find a host of phrase menus, sustained vowels and whispers, but it’s the variations that give the library it’s depth, if for example you are working on a track and using a vocal as a central point, you will find a host of variations here with which to add further variety without detracting from your central theme, which with judicious use will hopefully convince your listener that you really did hire in an expensive session singer on your track!
there are also a plentiful supply of pads and chopped tempo synced pulses, which have been processed and are ideal for ambient world music and chillout dance tracks. Overall the library has a definite etherial vibe certainly no disco diva’s to be found here.
GP3 Scoring Guitars
I will say from the start that I really like this pack, the guitar is one instrument that lends itself particularly well to the Heavyocity treatment. From creepy bowed reverses, more aggressive biting pulses, bluesy melodic looped riffs and very destinct sounding USA atmospheric chords, this is possibly the most diverse of all the 4 current GP libraries, and in some ways bears the most resemblance to the edgy tone of the main Gravity library.
It’s important to remember however that this is a phrase based library, don’t expect to get a Gibson simulation, what you do get is some obviously well played looped riffs in various keys, there is in fact a lot of content to play around with and they all work well together. If I had to level one criticism it’s that as you work your way through the sounds as a musician you will find certain riffs and melodic phrases more appealing than others, and naturally of course you will want to use them in your tracks. What do you do once you have used them though, as unless you do some serious mangling of your own, they will be instantly recognisable (at least to you) when you come to use them again. This is not Heavyocity’s fault of course, it’s merely the nature and downside of this type of library, you are compensated by the fact that there is still enough material in here to add colour to a wide variety of music and soundtracks.
GP4 Vocalize 2
I must confess I was a little miffed when I discovered this library was part of the current summer sale, as it had only come out a month before and this sale price is lower than it’s introductory price – nevermind
I think I prefer this Vocalize library to the first version, although I must stress it’s not an upgrade and contains all new content. The two packs do complement eachother and will happily coexist within a project probably because they used the same singers so think of GP4 as a useful expansion but if you had to own just one this is it.
The material provides broadly the same kind of ethereal feel, however I think the sustained vocals have a much wider possibility of use, and can be choir like in places. The library really shines when it comes to the tempo synced rhythmic phrases, I can’t say what language is being used and forgive me for concluding that it’s made up, it certainly has Celtic, African and Eastern flavours going on, which means it can lend itself to allsorts of music, you can’ help but fall in love with the beauty and quality of the recordings and the emotional possibilities they can evoke.
Edit Section Mappings
Page 1 – Punish & Twist, the signature Heavyocity sound FX to add edge, grit and motion to your presets
Page2 – Master FX & Distance, Distance, Delay, Chorus, Reverb, Drive, Tone, Bass and finally Treble
Page 3 – Delay & Chorus, time, Feedback, Width, Mix, Rate, Depth, Phase, Amount
Page 4 – Reverb & Volume Modulation, Pre Delay, Size, Mix, Mod On/Off, Rate, Channel 1 Amount, Channel 2 Amount, Channel 3 Amount
Page 5 – Mixer, Channel 1 Volume, Channel 1 Pan, repeated for channels 2 & 3
Page 6 – Filter page 1, Channel 1 On/Off, Channel 1 Cut-Off, Channel 1 Resonance, repeated for Channel 2
Page 7 – Filter page 2 & EQ page 1, As above for Channel 3, EQ On/Off, LF Frequency, LF Gain,
Page 8 – EQ page 2, LMF Freq, LMF Gain, LMFQ, HMF Freq, HMF Gain, HMFQ, HF Freq, HF Gain
Page 9 – TFX page 1, Distance Drive, Distance Bright, Lo-Fi Bits, LO-FI SR, Filter Cut, Filter Resonance, Pan Width, Pan AMt
Page 10 – TFX page 2, Delay Feedback, Delay Width,
You don’t have to look for too long at the available options above to see that there is tremendous scope for personalising and altering the supplied presets, these mappings apply to all four of the Gravity packs so you can be assured of the same level of editability. There are also the handy keyswitches located in the upper octaves that provide ‘on the fly’ temporary FX if you don’t want to make permanent alterations, and just want to add some variety to a preset sound for a bar or two.
Some people have criticised Heavyocity for the high cost of some of their libraries, and in some cases that may be true, however all of their libraries do offer a huge amount of content and sonic variety coupled with excellent editing and tweaking options. These Gravity Packs are definitely affordable and give great value for money. Add to this the great NKS mapping which gives us pretty much total accessibility then they are certainly hard to pass by if the distintive Heavyocity sound compliments the music you produce.
Heavyocity Gravity Packs normally retail for $99.00 but are currently half price in the summer promotion via the Native Instruments website.
(c) Chris Ankin 2017
The author accepts no responsability for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this article.Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived whilst using the product or gathered from official factual sources on the web.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review writer with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.