Rev by Output Sounds Review
For decades people have said that if you listen to certain records backwards you can hear hidden messages. “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin is one that comes to mind for me instantly as well as “Snowblind” by Styx. I can even remember in the early 2000 Missy Elliot’s “Work It” had something funky going on in the chorus (I put my thang down, flip it and reverse it). In todays age it takes a lot more than a hidden demonic message or saying the same thing on your chorus just in reverse to stand out in the crowd. This is where Rev by Output Sounds comes in. Rev is a first ever one of its kind Kontakt library that is completely in reverse. That’s effing right, reverse!
Running in the free Kontakt Player (version 5.3 or higher) this library is packed with thousands of presets out the gate and are broken into 4 primary categories; Instruments, loops, rises, and timed instruments. Let’s dive right in.
The instrument section of Rev is constructed extremely well. In this section instruments are created by combining 2 separate layers of sound. In the main section we find 7 effects that we can either latch on, or trigger using our midi controllers. This gives us extra control when creating, tossing in a filter over your sound to make these sounds even more unique or one of the other effects if you choose too. In each layer we can choose the sample we’d like to use to create our Rev instruments such as vibraphone, organs, bass, flute just to name a few. Also, each section can be further edited by choosing global start time and modifying the filters and envelopes. There are also literally hundreds of presets, so if you’re not a sound designer like me, these help!
The next section to cover is the timed instrument section. It looks and feels just like the instrument section but the difference is the patches will play to predetermined timing based on your host DAW BPM. This makes it easy to play phrases to exact timing. However I did notice that some sounds like pads kept their pad-like quality and continued to play. This is great! Say you have a progression of chords and you use a reverse pad in the timed instrument section at ½ notes. Every ½ note you will hear the pad kick in with a fast attack, and sustain. In the words of Peter Griffin; “Freeegin Sweeeet.”
The loop section is slimmed down to one page, but it is in every way as big as the 2 sections before it. There are 15 sections of loops to choose from (in reverse of course) ranging from piano, pulses, acoustic guitar and percussion just to name a few. In each section you may find as many as 24 loops mapped across the keys about C4. Between keys C1 and C3 you can choose the key and octave for the loops to play in, something I had not noticed initially. This is huge, not only can you use these reverse loops in your track, you can also have them play in correct key and won’t sacrifice timing! Well done Output. Also, these loops lock to your host DAW tempo so no need to worry about lining them up, just play ‘em. The loop section also allows you to really get in there and apply effects similar to the instrument section as well as play the loop at normal speed, ½ speed, or double speed.
The rises section is very similar to the loops section. There are over 20 banks of rises to get the creative juices flowing. Most are extremely cinematic, something I’d expect to hear in a movie preview. While some are drawn out over 4 bars, some are made for 1, 2, ½ bars and ¼ bars as well. Just like in the loop section you can play these at the varying speeds to fit your track, and play them in the correct key.
I must say, the folks at Output really knocked it out the park with this one. They’ve set the bar extremely high for any after them that make an attempt at a complete library in reverse. Oh yeah…. This is their first product! I can’t wait to see what else Output gives us. On a scale of 1-16 pads (1 being Kanye’s Bound 2 video and 16 being The Boondock Saints) Rev checks in at a whopping 15 pads!! Make sure you go and add this to your Kontakt library today.
James Jaxin (@jaxin414)
Forum Moderator MaschineMasters.com
Product Review Specialist MaschineMasters.com