Gravity is billed as a “modern scoring tool,” which is code for the kind of highly produced and stylized synth sounds and sound design elements that you’re likely to hear in today’s movie trailers and hybrid soundtracks. Indeed, Gravity is a veritable platinum mine of sonic gems tailor-made to deliver epic cinematic results.
Weighing in at 12 GB and jam-packed with more than 1,200 instrument presets, Gravity is built for Kontakt Player version 5.5 and features a base library arranged into four categories—Hits, Pads, Risers, and Stings. At the time of this writing, there are two optional expansion packs (Vocalise and Natural Forces), but for this review I’ll focus on the main library content.
There’s an extremely high degree of polish and programmability to all of Gravity’s sounds. In fact, you could easily create a full-sounding track simply by stringing together one or two presets from each category in your sequencer, and finishing off the mix using the built-in global effects. The instant gratification factor is high.
For example, the Hits “Full Menu” patch includes reverses, impacts, low-frequency subs, and tails, all combined to create a composite sonic event per key. Heavyocity went the extra mile and divided these different audio elements into separate break-out patches for more flexibility. There’s even a clever Designer page where you can mix and match subs, impacts, tails and “whooshes” (reversed effects), so you can build your own custom combos that you can trigger from a single key. You can also easily sync the timing of the whooshes and impacts to match your DAW’s tempo or a specific time duration. Genius.
Many of the hybrid sounds in Gravity’s library combine elements from each of the different categories to good effect. I didn’t find much musical use for the Risers and Stings on their own, however. Admittedly, this library leans more toward sound design than traditional compositional needs. That said, by tweaking the ADSR envelopes and creatively applying some of the rhythmic effects, I was able to fashion these “non musical” sounds into textures that worked well alongside more conventional instrumental parts.
The Pads category is smartly divided into Complex patches, which combine up to three sample layers, and single-layer Element patches, which are further organized into Short and Ambient sub-categories with even more variation. Patch names such as Chordal Swell, Mysterious Expanse and Industrial Apparitions give you an idea of what to expect.
Whether I was looking for aggressive, angelic, sinister, sublime, haunting or hopeful, Gravity delivered in spades. The breadth of evocative, dramatic and inspiring textures is stunning. What’s more, a powerful step sequencer is built in, with independent control for volume, pitch and pan, making it possible to create rhythmic and melodic textures from the pads and other presets.
For sound designers and hybrid score composers who demand nothing less than superb production quality, Gravity scores high marks. If you’re in search of cutting-edge, big-screen sound design—and fast—you’ll find it here.
PROS Top-notch sound design. Clever UI offers loads of programmability and the ability to customize sample content in creative ways.
CONS The stylized nature of the samples may make them challenging to fit into more “mainstream” compositional applications.
Not the cheapest library of its kind, but it’s undeniably best-in-class.