The Panoramic Wave Generator is an experimental sound generating sample library for the Kontakt sampler from Native Instruments.Do you remember the early days of sampling? Or making long, low speed tape loops? That was the inspiration for the Panoramic Wave Generator. I still have an old Akai S-612 and it is one of those things that I just never get tired of. You can take a sound and stretch it across the entire keyboard. Depending on your sound it can sound like a howling demon in the low registers or a shrieking bird of prey on the high notes. Of course the old Akai has something like 2 seconds of sampling time.
The sounds that come come with the PWG have no such time limits. They are long, evolving stereo sounds. They are mapped somewhere in the middle range of the keyboard, looped, and then assigned across 5 octaves. Most of the sounds are well over two minutes. They mutate and modulate over time. When they are played in the lower registers it can take quite awhile for it to to play out. One fingered drones anyone?
The sound design made good use of a collection of field recordings that goes back for years. There are machines in action and machines in the their last moments of dying agony. There are many sounds that use the Command Center’s collection of exotic old test gear. Sine and square wave generators, modular filters, ring modulators and a good dose of some top secret gear that cannot be disclosed. Some of the sounds are very playable as pitched instruments while others are far out in soundscape territory. There are sounds that hiss. Sounds that crackle and moan. You can hear the electricity moving around in there.
The user interface is simple though it gives you far more control than my old Akai. There is an LFO section to modulate the sound, tone control, an envelope section and a velocity and balance adjustment on the top row. The lower section is for effects. We start off with a chorus, flanger or phaser. Follow that with a delay with width control and end up with a reverb section with three types of convolution to choose from. There is a great deal that can be done to these very simple controls.
My suggestion is to run this machine through other machines in your own collection, or abuse it with your favorite plugin. I have had some feedback about running these sounds through Kaoss Pads and stutter plugins. Since most of the samples are over 2 minutes long they take well over 4 minutes to play back at lower pitches try holding out a low note and then pitch shifting it up and adding another layer of effects after the pitch shifter. Good results may also be found by layering these sounds. Short envelope times will turn some of the more soundscape-y presets in to playable pitches. The presets are only a starting point. Experimenting is the key!