Native Instruments SCHEMA: DARK, new Kontakt instrument explores layers of sequenced sounds

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Native Instruments SCHEMA: DARK is a new Kontakt Player instrument that explores layers of dark sequenced sounds.

The Kontakt sampler is one of the most popular software samplers in music production. Not because of its synthesis capabilities, where others are ahead (HALion 7, Falcon 2), but because of the vast selection of sound content from NI and third-party developers.

Especially users of the full Kontakt version get exciting libraries for little money. Users of the free player version must limit themselves to licensed instruments. I recently wrote about this in an article. The new library SCHEMA: DARK from Native Instruments is both Kontakt full and Player user.

Native Instruments Schema Dark

Native Instruments SCHEMA: DARK

SCHEMA: DARK is a new Kontakt 7 Player virtual instrument that takes you on a dark sequenced multi-layer journey. The library was created in collaboration with pro sound and instrument designer Tobias Menguser.

It ships with 343 professionally designed presets to get you up and running immediately.  It is more exciting, however, if you deal with the engine. Yes, Kontakt libraries are more than just classic rompers these days.

The is built around a unique 16-step sequencer. It starts with four tempo-synced loops of two bars each, toggle up to 16 steps for each layer to create unique rhythmic patterns, then vary the density of your creation using the mod wheel. The virtual instrument invites you to dive into polyrhythmic goodness, uneasy ambiance, and more.

Each color-coded layer has a sound, a switchable pattern, playback mode, envelopes, effects… that can be tweaked and swapped easily in the engine. For further tweaking, filters, decay, volume, and pitch are all editable per step, pattern lengths can be set independently for polyrhythmic fun, and six studio-grade effects are assignable across two send slots.

Native Instruments Schema Dark

Then, each loop has four sound-designed flavors. You have the original version plus three alternations that lead the sounds into other areas, mainly due to other processes like Boutique pedals, modular patches, rack gear, and more.

Roll The Dice

If that takes too long for you, NI also has a built-in way to generate sounds with a knob. To do this, you can roll a virtual dice in each of the four loops. Plus, you can randomize the order of each of the 16 slices for each loop. The sequencer patterns themselves also have a dice option.

So you can quickly come up with new ideas. But as always, with such random engines, the results are not always perfect.  As cool as the feature sounds, you should also be realistic here.

As the name suggests, the new native Instruments Kontakt library focuses on sounds from the dark side. According to NI, it includes:

From curated field recordings to modular synth sequences and expertly captured orchestral recordings from the renowned Sofia Session Studio, SCHEMA DARK’s 1700 unique loops are united only by a pitch-dark tonality and your project’s tempo.

Unfortunately no new, innovative Synthesizer or creative multi-effects plugin. It’s a Kontakt Library again. However, SCHEMA: DARK looks inspiring at first glance and offers an interesting engine. It’s definitely more than just a simple virtual instrument.

Native Instruments SCHEMA: DARK is available now for 149€ and runs in Kontakt 7 (full) and in the free Kontakt 7 Player.

More information here: Native Instruments 

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