Chordscape by Divergent Audio Group (updated) Review
With Chordscape you can create growing accentuated mysterious ambient soundscapes. Chordscape was created to imitate a tape machine to perform the movement by vibrating and automating parameters as it plays. It reminds me of the Tascam Portastudio product series which includes also models of four track recorder and mixer. Chordscape was jointly developed in partnership by Divergent Audio Group, Channel Robot, Erick McNerney, and Lindon Parker.
The latest update has addressed this issue and the rating went up to five stars. Good when a developer is close to their customers and makes changes quickly to adjust their own products to their customer’s needs.
Chordscape Version 1.1 included new features:
- Start/stop playback using a key-switch (either colored Red or Green) at the bottom of the virtual keyboard. MIDI note 31
- The Mute key-switches have been assigned to key switches MIDI notes 24, 26, 28 & 29
- The range of re-pitch keys has been greatly expanded to now cover 4 octaves
- When using the sound browser Chordscape now immediately starts to play the selected sound, no longer waiting for you to close the browser. This way you can audition sounds whilst the sound browser is open
- Improved repitch engine
- Key switch assigned to the sequencer Start/Stop button
- Independent start/stop key switches for each sequencer track
- Sequencer presets now load from disk
- Additional 55 sequencers preset included
- 200 brand new snapshots! Now totals 421 snapshots
Chordscape contains 8GB of sound content acquired from acoustic instruments, natural recordings, sound design, outboard effects, and synthesizers. Overall there are more than 800 sounds included. Each sound has been particularly designed by Erick McNerney. The library does require the FULL version of Kontakt 5, check always for the latest technical requirements before you buy. I received a review copy with no ties attached when it comes to the outcome of the review.
Chordscape uses 4 sounds sources, each with 13 sound categories based on more than 800 sounds. With the included content you could create new sounds, emotions for many projects and still stay unique. All sounds are accessible using a browser system or just use one of the many included presets.
With the provided interface you can manage and change all four channel used on one page. For each channel, there are independent controls which can be grouped up to change more than one channel at the same time. The easy to use and advanced GUI was designed by Glyn Lloyd. Every of the four sound source can be transposed by 36 semi-tones or you can group the channels and transpose them in real time across an octave by using key switches. Lindon who is one of the development team members has explained this in detail here. Chordscapes supports four send FX slots, each slot can be setup with one of five FX. Each channel can then send the signal to each slot.
One missing feature is a start stop function for the complete instrument. If you load a defined preset or snapshot it starts playing immediately which is not desired. This is planned to be addressed by an update from the development team. (This has been addressed in the Version 1.1 of Chordscape)
Chordscape includes over 200 presets in five different categories.
Beyond the included presets and more than 800 sounds/samples you can also include your own samples or even use samples from third party vendors. In the example below I did use samples from the library THE LOWDOWN V2 which was published by MODWHEEL.
Rating: Five out of five stars
With Chordscape you can produce luxuriant, empathetic and individual evolving sound for your projects that require ambient, drones, film-scoring or atmospheric tension. A chordscape key feature is that it is designed to emulate a tape machine where sounds are played and you can then take it further to create movement, modulate and mangle the sounds by different parameters that can be automated. Chordscape includes also great tape saturation and emulation that come with different choices to change the sounds produced.
Areas of improvement:
As soon you load the instrument in Kontakt it starts playing, while you can mute the four channels a general start and stop feature is missing. I would increase the rating as soon the development team adds feature within the library to allow a controlled use of the library. (Update did address the former issues)
Chordscape can be purchased here on Kontak Hub here.