8Dio New Hybrid Tools 1 Review – A Quick Way To Sculpt Your Soundtrack

8Dio creates high quality Kontakt instruments across the board of styles, genres and instrumentation, aimed predominantly at media composers, but useful to all musical creatives.

Hybrid Tools 1, the new version, is the latest in a series of musical tools blending sound design and instrumentation to create rhythms, hits and atmospheres useful for film, television, video game, and trailer music.

When writing trailer-style music, or dramatic tense cinematic score, it’s sound design that’s getting the attention nowadays, and the way it blends with the orchestral palette.

Hybrid Tools is a 2GB library Kontakt (latest full version required) library designed to provide the user with tools for quickly adding the sound design trends of the moment to the score.

This is a great foundation instrument for the sound-design element of your music

You select from 10 different instruments: Boomers, Distortions, Downers, Impacts, Mega-horns, Risers, Transmorphing sounds, whooshes, Hybrid Rhythms, and multi-sampled synths.

Once you load up that instrument, there’s a little animation of the camera zooming in on the instrument on a studio desk. Not sure what that’s for other than using CPU. I suppose it’s inspiring, but the utilitarian in me asks why it’s there. Once it’s finished animating, you’re shown a sub-menu with up to 8 different options for that instrument. For example, for the ‘distortion’ section, you get the choice of gritty short, gritty long, and gritty medium.

The sounds are excellent – what you’d expect from 8Dio – very fitting with the ‘now’ cinematic sound, and the testimonials highlight that; composers saying how much Hybrid Tools litters the scores of Grimm, Six Feet Under, CSI, Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, to name but a few.

8Dio have utilised the very limits of NI’s Kontakt instrument, and with some very clever scripting under the hood, have enabled very simple yet potentially dramatic adjustments to the sound.

The major one is the FX page on a separate tab. There are 8 ‘racked’ effects that you can adjust yourself, or there’s an Instant CHAOS button on the initial page, that randomises the parameters of every effect that’s turned on.

There are other buttons; REVERSE (does what it says on the tin), RANDOM, which randomises all patches, STACK, which allows you to stack sounds – very useful when using the Synth section, being able to layer up the synth sounds. STRETCH – allows you to take whatever note you last played, and stretch it across the keyboard, so you can tune it to fit the piece you’re recording.

On some of the patches, there’s an instant gate effect, simple in design (length and rate only) which brings a nice motion to any selected sound. There’s also a simple sequencer that offers the basics to create nice movement within the sounds you pick. Right on the frontage of the instrument is a simple envelope that enables shaping of the sound to fit with the score better.

I particularly liked the rhythms – they’re subdivided into low, high, med and accented. Stacking them created some monster sounds that are just brilliantly sculpted, and would dominate any chase scene.

If you’re struggling to create the sound you’re looking for with these simple powerful tools, the new Hybrid Tools comes with 31 preset instruments that narrow down the sound further, to help with what you’re looking for. These were useful, as there were some presets in there that I hadn’t been able to re-create with my own tinkering; so it was inspiring with its clever use of FX to broaden the palette further.

Conclusion

8Dio have created this instrument very much with efficiency and speed in mind, for the composer who wants to be creative, but has very little time to tweak and fine tune. The sounds are all excellent, and the tweaking is limited but powerful.

You won’t spend hours getting the sound just right – you’ll hit a few buttons until something sounds cool and fresh, and get it down on the score. It’s a tricky balance to get, but 8Dio have definitely had years of fine-tuning their instruments, and the list of composers who are ecstatic about Hybrid Tools 1 testifies to the fact that they’re getting it right.

If you’re a budding soundtracker – I would say this is a great foundation instrument for the sound-design element of your music.

Here’s the founder of 8Dio, Troels, walking you through the entire system:

Price and Availability

Hybrid Tools 1 is $249. If you have the original version, you can upgrade for a mere $29. For more info visit the 8Dio website.

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8Dio New Hybrid Tools 1 Review – A Quick Way To Sculpt Your Soundtrack

by Andy Dollerson time to read: 3 min
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