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Cyborg | Computer Music Magazine

Rating: 7/10 Back to Cyborg product details

As the name implies, Cyborg fuses instrumental, found and electronic sound sources in its 8.4GB soundbank, which is fronted by a scripted Kontakt/Player engine.

Produced by Funk/Soul Productions, it boasts 147 individual instrument presets and 144 multis, the former divided into five categories: Drones & Atmospheres, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Basses, Keyboards & Misc and Cinematic FX.

Most of the patches are regular polyphonic instruments, but there are also quite a few 'menu' presets in there, too, mapping sets of loops across the active keyboard range, particularly in the Drums & Percussion folder.

A huge range of sonic flavours are represented throughout, from screaming guitars, beefy basses and high impact drums, to evocative pads, energetic risers and haunting pianos, and the processing and hybridisation of sound sources is brilliantly done.

Sadly, the same two issues we had with previous Funk/Soul instruments don't seem to have been properly addressed.

First, the application of multisampling ranges from non-existent to rudimentary, with most presets having only one velocity layer but at least comprising separate samples for each note (generally over two or three octaves), some just involving a single sample, and hardly any using multiple velocity layers.

The harder, edgier sounds, by their nature, don't suffer too much for this, but some of the more expressive ones certainly do. Velocity modulation of the filter could have helped with this, perhaps, but that brings us onto our second criticism...

We made no secret of our disappointment in the very limited interfaces of Zodiac and Ambient Black/White in the aforementioned reviews, and while the situation has improved a bit, this is still one of the most basic scripts around.

All you get to work with are depth-only Distortion, LoFi and Limiter effects, a convolution reverb with ten IRs, a multimode filter, a simple feedback delay, an ADSR amp envelope, and Bass and Treble controls. Yawn.

Over two years after the release of the original Zodiac, these shortcomings are starting to grate a little, and although the instruments and multis at the heart of Cyborg are quite spectacular, we'd call it expensive for what it is.

OUR VERDICT: An impressive package of sounds badly let down by some frustrating flaws.

PROS: Fantastic instruments.
CONS: Limited interface. Pricey.

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