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DR-1 Bad Grounds

Kontakt Version Required:
6.2.2 Full Version (Not for Kontakt Player) - learn more
Product Version: 1

Sonic Boundaries

Kontakt Granular Drone and Ambient Synth

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DR-1 Bad Grounds
Sonic Boundaries
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Product Overview

DR-1 Bad Grounds is a sample based synthesizer for Kontakt 6.2.2, built upon mains hum sounds. Although it was originally designed to create drones and soundscapes, it has also more general sound design capabilities like a real synthesizer.

The main controls of the instrument resemble those of a classic subtractive synthesizer: a multimode filter, volume envelope, filter envelope, 2 LFOs for volume and filter modulation, insert and send effects. Moreover, some additional advanced features are included, which take advantage of the Kontakt built-in granular engine for sample playback, for deeper sound manipulation.
There are 6 main instruments available, 3 for each sample used. In addition, several preset patches are provided with each instrument.



A bit of history

The main inspiration for DR-1 Bad Grounds goes back a few years. For some reason, at some point I thought that building a drone patch from mains hum sounds was a good idea, so I did it: I found this two quite good hum samples, loaded them in my sampling software (I was using Speedsoft VSampler at the time), looped them, added a volume envelope, filter, some effects and nothing else.

Years later, after switching to Kontakt and trying to convert the old instruments in the new format, I found back those drone patches and started experimenting with
KSP language to build a GUI around them. The first choice of controls to add to these old instruments was natural: the standard controls coming from synthesizers (filters, envelopes, LFOs, etc.). I realized that playing with these additional features it was possible to create patches completely different from the original drones like keys, organs, plucked instruments and even brasses or metallic bells: these were classic synthesizer patches, but without the rigid polyphonic limitations of analogue synthesizers.

These two simple ideas led to the creation of DR-1 Bad Grounds, the first of a serie of kontakt instruments focused on concrete, acousmatic and other experimental sounds. In creating instruments, I try to keep a musician-friendly attitude: they should be good to hear and versatile enough to tweak without losing the immediacy and fun of playability. I hope that DR-1 Bad Grounds has these qualities and that you have fun playing and creating sounds with it like I had fun developing it.

Ascanio Borga, August 2021

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