Channel Robot has introduced FreeForm Volume 1, a freely downloadable (registration required) ROMpler for Native Instruments Kontakt.
FreeForm is the first freebie released by Channel Robot, a company that is well-known for designing and scripting commercial Kontakt instruments for sample library vendors. For example, they have scripted the Drumdrops Folk Rock Kit Kontakt Player Edition library which was recently reviewed on our website.
The instrument’s UI looks very similar to a standard synthesizer but relies on the sound library for the raw sounds instead of oscillators. It is based on Channel Robot’s FORMULA sound engine for NI Kontakt. The sound library that comes with the download contains 40 instrument patches that can be loaded into the ROMpler. The total amount of the included audio material exceeds 1 GB when uncompressed.
The typical features such as filters, envelopes, and LFOs are all present here, along with a few unique functions that caught my attention. The first unique feature is the ability to control the formants of each voice, which is a pretty advanced option for a free Kontakt instrument. Secondly, there are some pretty decent onboard effects that I can imagine using quite a bit. Another great addition is the gate/step-sequencer which allows you to draw in the number and velocity of the steps and create rhythmic patterns that can either be re-triggered on the next note or not.
Watching the walkthrough video on YouTube, I noticed that Chanel Robot had included a handy modulation visualizer which can be used to draw the modulation path and control its intensity. This is a feature we often find in complex VST plugins, but rarely (if ever) in Kontakt instruments. There is also a vibrato and tremolo effect, controlled by LFO, which would save having to insert these effects later on in the signal path. The majority of FreeForm’s feature center around voice control, though, making it easier to add effects, perform gain staging, and create buses on individual voices rather than on the overall output itself.
Please note that you will need to sign up for a free Channel Robot user account in order to access the download page. The company has announced that more freebies will be introduced soon, so signing up might be a good idea if you’re looking to expand your arsenal of NI Kontakt libraries.
FreeForm Volume 1 is available for free download via Channel Robot (228 MB download size, RAR archive, contains 40 instrument patches in NKI format for NI Kontakt 5.5+).