Soundiron Rust3 review: The Sound of Rust


Soundiron have just released a new tuned/untuned percussion library for Native instruments' Kontakt sampler software. Rust 3 is roughly 4GB of various metal 'found sound' all with metallic percussive or sustained overtones.

 The Sound of Rust

 There are roughly 50 instruments in this library, split into 4 categories, of Effects, Ensemble, Master and Sustain. The categories are fairly self-explanatory. Effects are a wide variety of mainly inharmonic and sustained sounds - a bunch of squeals, drones, scrapes, squeaks. All excellently recorded, some totally clean, some (Corral gate) with sonic hints of the context they were recorded in, to give a more natural sound to the patches.

Speaking of the Corral gate, that was the standout sound to me in this selection. A gate somewhere out in the boonies recorded opening, closing, being tapped, scraped, hit, strummed? Really lovely sounds that could be used in a myriad of ways in music or sound design. Another standout inclusion was the 'Ernsuzk' instrument, which I guess has been created for this project by Mike and his crew. Made of a variety of random metallic sheets, glass, drums, other cobbled together odds and ends, this machine creates a raucous cacophany of screeches and shrieks as it is subjected to all sorts of bowing, dragging and general abuse by the recordists. There are several patches allocated to the brilliant sounds this thing made. Some of these effects patches have Kontakt 5 versions, which enlist the use of the excellent time shift function in the new Kontakt machine. You have to have the full version of K5 to use these.

 The ensemble patches contain the main recorded instruments. These instruments include Barrel Drums, Garbage can lids as trashy cymbal sounds (pun totally intended) A ranch gate, someone digging and raking earth, pipes, rods, metal wires being hit and bowed, and the now infamous Ernduzk being subjected to all manner of things. A fantastic selection of plucks, scrapes, pings, thumps, creaks and crunches emanate from monitors as notes are played. Each patch is both tuned and untuned, and there are a wide variety of controls within each patch to further shape the sound. It's hard to select standout sounds from amongst these, as they really are all so good! I liked the Cymbalid patch (garbage lids) as they referred sonically to cymbal smashes, but provide so much more harmonically, and frequency-wise. Some of the smashes have been recorded keeping the subsonic frequencies in, giving a massive wallop.

 The master presets are clever scripting that allow you access to all these ensemble instruments in one big preset, by mapping each instrumet over one key. It's an ingenious use of space by packing it all into one patch. Be careful that you have powerful computing available when using the master preset, as it can chew into your RAM pretty quickly, even the Lite patch. There's also the Megamixer that has been used in a few Soundiron libraries before, and offers you more control over what instruments you use. There are also 4 tuned layer builder patches, which each offer 12 pre-determined patches from the tuned library, that you can layer and affect separately, for quick access to some melodic sounds.

 The sustains sort of sit between the tuned ensemble and effect brackets, providing a mixture of harmonic and inharmonic drones, ambiences and atmospheres that would sit nicely in any sound-designer or composers dramatic atmospheres folder. A nice touch on the sustains is the ability to load 2 sustains at once, and blend between them.

 Control

There are a few parameters within the metallic grille GUI of Rust 3 that are in place for all the patches. Alongside the Attack, EQ and Release controls are Swell, Stepping and Offset knobs. These are useful as they allow the control of the start point, pitch and volume swell of the sample, enabling the potential creation of pad-like softer sounds from samples that were originally percussive. There's a Lowpass filter with LFO (with several waveshapes) assigned to the cutoff, and a nice little tremolo, both of which are syncable with the host tempo, or run to Hz frequencies. The reverb unit contains Soundiron's excellent convolution impulses that enable you to place the sound in real world locations, or more experimental places.. There's a custom arpeggiator system that has been refined since its implementation in earlier Soundiron instruments. The Uberpeggiator has some really nice touches that you might not find usually, such as a scale selector, which basically binds the notes of the arpeggio to a specific scale, or mode. Very cool. The arpeggiator is used in the tuned percussion patches.

Here's a track I wrote using only RUST3 sounds, and a bit of limiting on top.
 
And here are some more demos from the SoundIron product page:
 


Conclusion


 Yet again, Soundiron delivers, with an excellently recorded library of sounds that deliver left-field metallic samples that will add an immediate level of interest to music or sound design. The scripting on the patches allows the user to either quickly access usable sounds, or spend some time with the built-in effects to warp the sounds further, if that's even necessary. Poor Ernduzk. Highly recommended!


Price
$89
...A fantastic selection of plucks, scrapes, pings, thumps, creaks and crunches emanate from monitors as notes are played...


Product page

PROS
  • The usual excellent sound quality
  • Great scripting for added FX within the patches
  • Lovely unusual metallic sound quality
LOVE IT OR HATE IT
  •  If you're looking for some excellent sounding but more left-field percussive tuned and non-tuned sounds , this deserves a serious look-in. If you're looking for Drum kits, or full Percussion libraries, you should look elsewhere. Soundiron do have other excellent options for percussion
CONS
  • Minor gripe - I totally understand why Soundiron don't create fixed libraries in Kontakt, but it is just so much more convenient to have it right there at your fingertips
Written by Andy Dollerson

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