Underscore is an instrument library for Native Instruments Kontakt 5.1. It is designed to meet the needs of modern working composers, who are often asked to write and deliver a LOT of music in a short amount of time. It includes a wide array of acoustic-hybrid and electronic sounds, which can be played as instruments from your keyboard, or driven directly from the key-triggered FluidPhrase Engine. In concert with the Phrase Envelopes, 5-layered voice architecture, filter modulation and FX, Underscore is a juggernaut of rhythmic scoring.
INSPIRATION WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
Underscore was built to inspire, and it certainly does. All patches are musically responsive and inviting to play. The FluidPhrase Engine lets you improvise complex rhythms with ease, and invites you to explore endless variation – a simple chord can become a motif; a broken chord can transform into a hypnotically polyrhythmic ostinato pattern. The Phrase Envelopes function as your assistant, adjusting sound elements as you play, and the sense that you’re working not with an instrument but with another musician is perhaps most inspiring of all!
SOUND WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE?
Powerful features are meaningless if they don’t deliver compelling sounds. Fortunately, Underscore delivers! The sounds in this library range from subtle to vast, and work equally well under intimate dialogue scenes as they do supporting a full orchestra at 160bpm. They are organic and playable, and they evolve with numerous randomization and tonal control options which convey the nuance of human expression. Best of all, the engine is built to be flexible, and the user interface is fast and intuitive – dial in “just right” in seconds.
SPEED WILL IT MAKE MY JOB EASIER?
Underscore will save your marriage. Well, maybe not, but it’ll definitely save you time. It can adapt to any key-signature, meter, or tempo, which means it obediently follows when you have to make arrangement changes or massage tempo to hit picture. Expression is an essential part of creating emotionally engaging music, but using host-automation can be time consuming – especially when you have to make last-minute changes. Using a Phrase Envelope to do those fader rides automatically means less time fiddling and more time actually writing music.
VERSATILITY WHAT IF I HATE PRESETS?
Want to use your own custom sounds? The power of Underscore makes it easy. Load up your samples in seconds, and start cooking. Using the extensive modulation routing, you can push the filters from a murmur to a scream, or turn a juicy distorted saw-wave into a warm mellow aura. Add layers of FX, assign envelopes and Flex Modulators, program custom polyphonic phrases and trigger them live! The possibilities are truly astonishing. From delicate to brutal and back again – your sounds for your music.
5-LAYER ARCHITECTURE FRESH INGREDIENTS FOR TASTY SOUNDS
Each layer has its own unique low-pass filters (both 2 and 4 pole), as well as a 4-pole high-pass filter. With independent volume and filter envelopes (which can themselves be modulated), Underscore delivers detailed and dynamic sounds which respond expressively. A dedicated user-programmable velocity response curve is available per layer; a swipe of the mouse can yield completely new and unique tonal possibilities, or load in a specific curve from an exhaustive list. The Layer X-Fader can be optionally enabled per layer, and transforms the velocity response into a direct volume curve. Assign a controller to the Layer X-Fader and perform smooth velocity cross-fades, or draw a non-linear velocity response on each layer to blend through them organically. Better yet, assign a Phrase Envelope (that’s what we built them for), and play tempo-synched evolving pads simply and easily.
FLUIDPHRASE ENGINE A RHYTHMIC MONSTER LURKING WITHIN
Press and hold a note, and a sequence starts playing. Release the note, and the sequence stops. A deceptively simple concept. Combined with 5 unique trigger modes, it yields an astonishing array of rhythmic possibilities. Legato-Return is great for monophonic lines, while Polyphonic mode triggers a chord with all notes in sync. Chord Split is great for splitting an input chord into an arpeggio with programmable note order, and First Step Hold polyphonically plays only the first step of the pattern until released – a very useful chord memory feature! Poly-Retrigger is arguably the most powerful mode of all, as it lets you retrigger the phrase from the start on each new note you play. Turn a monophonic pattern into a complex rhythm, or improvise a melody while you hold a note to provide the groove. Up to 12 patterns per patch can be stored and recalled instantly from key-switches. With additional features like real-time velocity sculpting, variable swing, and editing directly from your keyboard, the FluidPhrase Engine is a potent creative tool.
PHRASE ENVELOPES LIKE A SECOND PAIR OF HANDS
There are four Phrase Envelopes available per patch, and they are independently assignable to 58 simultaneous instrument parameters including filters, volume, pan, pitch, and the Layer X-Fader. The Phrase Envelopes trigger in sync with the sequencer, in either LFO or Envelope mode, and can perform a wide array of sonically interesting manipulations over the length of a phrase. With a count-base that is independent of the sequencer, they can perform long sweeps over several bars while the sequenced pattern is looping underneath, or work to add subtle human pitch fluctuation to a single layer. Draw your own shape freehand, use one of the many included presets, or better yet, use the comprehensive drawing tools to dial in exactly the nuance you want.
FLEX MODULATION SONIC EVOLUTION MADE SIMPLE
Underscore contains a powerful modulation matrix, routed to musically useful parameters. Layer Velocity and Key-Position can be used to affect envelope decay times, filter cut-off frequencies, and the per-layer Shape EQ. The 4 unique Flex Modulators elegantly solve the problem of user input control: assign any MIDI CC, and then scale input using a dedicated transfer curve per Flex Modulator. No more massaging CC curves in your host. Simply adjust the transfer response within Underscore, and turn linear input into whatever shape you need!