Branded as The World’s Most Powerful Pulse Engine, SIGNAL, the newest release of Output team, is a virtual synthesizer that combines in an unique way live recorded instruments with fat analog synths.
SIGNAL works with Kontakt 5.3.1+ and is also compatible with the Kontakt Free Player version. An open door to those with less financial possibilities, given the price of the commercial and full version of Kontakt.
SIGNAL comes with a huge library of sounds, weighing about 40GB. To be able to download it, Output provides Continuata Download Utility, so the process will be quite quick and easy.
After the download ends, you will be asked if you want to delete the compressed files- select “Yes”. Continuata deals with extracting all the necessary files in one folder.
Open Kontakt, add the library and then register it via NI Service Center by using the serial number that you received with the purchase.
The list of specifications is impressive:
- 500 Pulse Instruments for instant playability
- A massive array of content – 40GB including analog synths, digital synths and organic instruments
- Up to 4 separate pulses at one time
- All pulses lock to tempo
- Rhythms: Looper, Step Sequencers, Arpeggiators, LFO’s
- 4 central MACRO sliders unique to each of the 500 Pulse Instruments
- Effects control globally and per layer
- Convolution reverb engine
- Advanced mode for access to all parameters
- Copy and paste settings between layers
- Smart tagging preset menu
- Simple design and ease of use
It is obvious that the 500 instruments from the core of SIGNAL requires a well thought out browser. Output managed to solve this problem through the implementation of tags that allow finding the desired sound using a refined search. It allows you to combine several types of features, for example you can choose, let’s say, a simple sound, yet epic and same time arpeggiated and syncopated. The window in the right will display the search results.
The tags can be accessed by clicking on the current preset name at the top. What ‘s cool is that each preset has a very comprehensive description. Thus, you’ll receive informations about the type of sound, as well as tips on what context to use it, or what adjustments to make to get variations.
This part of SIGNAL at first glance is perhaps the most exciting, I’m sure you will spend some time looking through the sounds. But the part that will leave you speechless is the Pulse Engines.
Signal by Output Walkthrough:
The core of SIGNAL are the Pulse Engines. There are two engines and they allow deep customization due to the integrated rhythms. There are two rhythms per pulse- main and second, each of which with same configurations as type and rate, duration, swing, round robins and octaves. Each rhythm has an advanced arpeggio with editable steps as well as pre-made patterns (three main categories from simple to advanced).
Each rhythm can be turned off and going above, we can also cancel the two Pulse Engines, obtaining the root sound. To do this, simply click on the main glowing display with SIGNAL logo.
Speaking of the base sound, SIGNAL relies on three types of sounds: analog synths, digital synths and instruments. There are 25 synths and 25 instruments and a global preset can hold up to two, both in the same category or different.
This is the beauty of SIGNAL, the superb combination of synths and live recorded instruments plus the arpeggio modules. But the ability to edit and design a sound does not stop here, there is also an Effects tab.
You may also like: Review: REV Kontakt library by Output
They include equalizer, compressor, phaser, limiter, filter, reverb and delay as well as lo-fi, tape saturation, drive, stereo spread and flutter. Each type of effect can be configured easily through a modern and simple interface.
Want more control? The advanced tab from Pulse Engines gives access to ADSR, filter cutoff, tube saturation, drive amount, volume pan and pitch. These adjustments can be made separately for each Pulse Engine.
In a live performance, you can use the four macros from the main instrument menu. They can be assigned to your MIDI controller sliders and you can record unique loops with lively rhythmic variations, from bright to deep, full to thin bodied, wet or dry and much more. The four parameters are customized for each presets, just to obtain all the best in a sound.
I covered only a small part of what is capable in SIGNAL. What is surprising is that the deeper you go, the more you discover. It is one of the most complex engines, implemented in an intuitive, easy to use and friendly interface and why not, with a pleasant appearance.
With a library of fresh and modern sounds, Output can be used with ease in any musical genre such as EDM, modern pop, but can also be a real tool for sound designers, soundtrack composers etc.
SIGNAL can be used as a rhythm generator when Pulse Engines is enabled , but also as a regular synthesizer with Pulse Engines turned off. In both instances, is fully configurable and never boring.
A wise evolution of musical softwares of this kind, but at the same time is a signal from the future.
SIGNAL costs $199 and is now available for purchase from the Output website. You can also opt for the bundle of SIGNAL + REV at a discounted price of $348.