Heavyocity are back with a big bang with their latest virtual instrument – GRAVITY. The team, who are also behind the inspirational AEON collection and Master Sessions series, took eighteen months to develop this new music production tool and it promises to be their biggest venture to date. We got in touch with them to find out more…
So we hear that GRAVITY has been 18 months in development – why has it taken so long?
Well, it’s mostly because GRAVITY is hands-down our biggest endeavour to date. It’s a very deep instrument with four distinct “centres” (Pads, Hits, Risers, and Stings). And working out the details of each of the sections, from both the creative and technical fronts, took a lot of R&D. We also wanted to make sure that we didn’t just rush the product out before we were sure that it was right (i.e. an exciting product for us to use). Our standard is to always produce tools that reflect our vision – tools that are useful, productive, and FUN to use.
Since the release of our first virtual instrument (Evolve), we’ve been known for an aggressive, unique cinematic sound. After producing our last two percussion products (DM-307 and the Master Sessions series), we wanted to circle back to what started it all – vibe, mood, texture, and power! 😉 But we wanted to do it in a way that would push our sound forward. We feel GRAVITY answers the call for the composers and sound designers who love what we’ve done in the past, but wanted more. We did not want to release “more of the same”, so the challenge was to reinvent our sound to be exciting and new, something that echoes the trends of today’s modern scores.
Evocative, textural, unnerving, bold, diverse, and dynamic (to name a few)! GRAVITY produces a contemporary cinematic sound without a traditional orchestra (although we did have a large string section doing riser FX and some cool layers on the complex pad presets). Think of it like having a sound design team at your fingertips. GRAVITY helps you to produce that “secret sauce” of intangible scoring elements that are extremely difficult to create from scratch. The library’s sound and preset structure is organised into four distinct categories – Hits, Pads, Risers, and Stings, providing a deeply customisable yet production-ready collection for scoring.
Run us through some of the controls, how can users sculpt their own sounds?
We developed GRAVITY to accommodate a variety of workflows. Artists under tight deadlines who really just need a workhorse can simply load presets and start composing. They’ll find a wealth of finely crafted instruments to inspire their creativity. For those into tweaking and customising the sound, GRAVITY offers an array of controls, including per channel (and sound) ADSR, advanced filtering with LFO controls, per channel (and sound) EQ, and a Master FX section. The Master FX contain choice Convolution reverbs, synced stereo delay, distortion and chorus to get you started, then there’s the signature Punish and Twist knobs to add more character and aggression to the sound.
But we’re super excited about the all-new MOTION feature, which takes the already unique sounds and makes them even more dynamic. From smooth, tempo-synced swells and rhythmic pulsing motifs, to complex stutters and glitch effects, MOTION delivers fully customisable control of volume, pan, and pitch modulation… and it all can be triggered on the fly. Needless to say, it’s a new feature that we’re really happy with.
What makes GRAVITY different from other textural and evolving virtual instruments?
We feel that it’s the quality of the sounds and samples we capture for the instrument. While we always pay great attention to detail when capturing the sound sources, it’s the manipulation, layering, tweaking, mangling and mastering that distinguishes the Heavyocity “secret sauce” from other virtual instrument developers. We’ve pushed the boundaries of our previous releases and re-defined our approach for GRAVITY.
First and foremost, GRAVITY is beautifully suited for hybrid cinematic scoring for Film, Video Games and Trailers. As working composers ourselves, we make products tailored to foster creativity in the modern scoring realm. But we think GRAVITY is our most dynamic effort to date – and that artists from lots of other mainstream genres will have a hard time not getting pulled in as well.
Kontakt is the platform we’ve been releasing Heavyocity products in for the past seven years. We use its engine and create our Heavyocity VI features under the hood with a very high level of customisation (this instrument has over 90,000 lines of code!). As Kontakt evolves with new features, like “snapshots” for example, we like to integrate them into our products. Komplete Kontrol integration was a nice addition for GRAVITY, as it provides users of that hardware further control from within the keyboard.
The Punish Knob is always a favourite, because it just makes everything sound better! But our big new addition in this release, as we mentioned before, is MOTION… it’s really incredible. The DESIGNER (for the Hits and Risers) is also a favourite – and a truly powerful and intuitive tool. We created 48 complex Hits, each presented in four layers (sub, impact, tail, and whoosh) that you can mix and match to quickly customise your sounds. And the Risers are just as flexible. We presented them in three layers; Organic, Synth, and FX and each can be stacked simultaneously with length/timing and tempo-sync options. They were recorded with dozens of live string players and then treated and stylised with additional synth and FX layers. Similarly to the Hits, the Risers elements are all interchangeable, with full control over each part’s panning, volume, filter and EQ. GRAVITY is definitely the most dynamic instrument we’ve ever released, so we have a lot of favourites.
Composers scoring for Film, TV and Video Games will find great uses for GRAVITY. But no matter what type of musician you are, the instrument has something unique and interesting to PULL YOU IN. Some people love big hits; check! Some people love atmospheric textures, evolving tonal pads, and intricate SFX beds, with multiple formats to play them in; check! Others love dramatic stings, transitional FX and risers, and other creepy $h!t; check, check and check! GRAVITY will be that go-to instrument providing the secret sauce for any production.
We can’t wait to check it out, thanks guys!