With Minimal, Sonokinetic BV delivers the fourth instalment in our current range of orchestral instruments. We have listened to our users, and built an entirely new system from the ground up, defining what we think is a revolutionary novel direction in orchestral pattern-based sampling.
Minimal would suggest a particular music style, and many of the patterns available in this instrument are very well suited for that style. However, we’d like to stress that this is indeed a very flexible instrument, capable of enhancing a broad range of musical arrangements and compositions in a wide variety of styles. Where Minimal differs from libraries like Tutti and Vivace is in its section-based approach. All phrases are recorded per orchestral section and can be used separately or together and in any combination, allowing for a great deal of variations at your fingertips.
The first thing that would strike you is the non-apologetic interface style without any gloss. Apart from this being a respectful nod to our Dutch art heritage on the outside, it also very much references the “form follows function” approach that Dutch design is famous for. There are no superfluous elements and we’ve arranged everything in an intuitive way. You have every control in one screen within an uncrowded workspace. You might not suspect it from just looking at it, but there are a lot of complex functionalities at your disposal from this one screen. Discover more about those in the detailed descriptions right here in the user manual and on the tutorial videos available on our website: www.sonokinetic.net.
Recordings for Minimal took place in Zlin, Czech Republic, in the same hall and with the same team responsible for recording Tutti and Vivace. The performances have been edited with the same meticulous attention to detail and quality.
Many innovative functions grace this instrument, mostly under the hood, as we believe that technology is at its best when you don’t notice it. One of the functions that might need a bit more introduction is the harmonic shift function. This element of Minimal can lead to great sounding results and also serve as a very rewarding inspirational tool. So please read and digest the part of this manual dedicated to that function.
More visibly, and in lieu of popular request, we have found a way to greatly improve the score view. Despite the pixel restrictions of the Kontakt window we’ve managed to squeeze in a clear and accurate score view, although you can still order a digital full-scale copy of the score, if you so desire.
We, at Sonokinetic BV, are very proud to introduce Minimal to you, and can’t wait to hear the amazing things you, our valued customer base, will produce with it.
Sonokinetic has established a name as one of the best value & quality sample producers and with this product we’d like to underline that statement. We stick with our unbeatable pricing module and high quality sampling.
16 Bit version 10.8 Gb sample pool, 33800+ samples
24 Bit version 21 Gb sample pool, 33800+ samples
- 4 recorded orchestral sections
- Strings 52 players
- Woodwinds 12 players
- Percussion (two marimbas, xylophone, piano and celesta)
- Brass 11 players
- 4 recorded microphone positions
- Decca tree
…and a proprietary stereo mix for the ‘lite’ instrument
- Individual section controls include
- Rhythmic Shift double/half/triplets
- Harmonic Shift
- Crossfade adjustments
- Custom designed interface with enhanced score display
- Time Machine Pro capability
- Custom chord recognition and Harmonic Shift capabilities
- Advanced Purging system
- Native Instruments Kontakt Player Library license
- Royalty and copyright free content license
- Minimal Reference document (PDF)
- Artwork: “Minimal” DVD cover. Designed by Pavel Fuksa
All files in 44.1 kHz, 24 Bit and 16 Bit NCW format.
Programmed for Kontakt 5.1 and up
The main interface of Minimal has four fields, which all function in exactly the same way;
The main interface window for Minimal contains all the controls in just one place. The interface is split into 4 fields, each of which can be assigned a pattern and variation from an orchestral section. Each of these fields can have distinct panning, volume and other settings. The settings for all four of these fields are saved under 7 different presets which can be changed with keyswitches or by clicking within the interface itself.
Minimal has 7 user presets, each of which can be assigned up to 4 different fields. The presets can be selected either by clicking the keys in the interface (which will glow yellow) or with the keyswitches from C3 to B3.
The small dots on the keys indicate which presets have their samples loaded or purged. Any dot can be clicked to purge samples and conserve RAM. A black dot indicates that a preset is active and samples loaded. A white dot indicates that although the settings of a preset are stored, the samples have been purged.
There are 4 fields within Minimal. In the interface the field areas are different sizes but they all function in the same way. Each field can be assigned an orchestral section, either strings, brass, woodwind, percussion or mixed orchestra.
Click on the instrument graphic to change orchestral sections. Once assigned, the field colour will change depending on the section loaded.
Use the power button in the top left of each field to turn the field on or off. This can also be achieved with keyswitches from C0 to G0 where playing a white key will turn the field on and black key one semitone higher will turn it off.
Select a phrase in the field by clicking
the graphic representing a pattern.
A secondary window will open allowing you to choose a different phrase.
Be aware that different orchestral sections have different numbers of phrases available. Some of the phrases are specifically composed to compliment each other and as such have the same graphic.
To exit this window,
click the back arrow.
Many phrases have variations. These are indicated by several dots in the bottom right of the field. Click any dot to select an alternate variation of the phrase.
Panning & Volume
The panning control for each field sits in the top bar of each field. Drag the slider to change this.
Drag the slider at the left-hand side of each field to change that field’s volume.
By default the MOD wheel of your MIDI keyboard will control the output volume of the whole instance of Minimal. However, this can be disabled within individual fields by clicking the MOD wheel button shown here.
This function allows greater expression as you can keep the volume of one or more fields constant whilst changing others with the MOD wheel. Use this to create interesting, constantly changing phrases and crescendos / decrescendos.
Due to the flexible nature of the phrases within Minimal and the wide variety of tempos it may sometimes be necessary to adjust the crossfade of phrases when a new chord is played.
The slider underneath the field title (STRINGS, WOODWIND etc) enables you to do this. Drag to the left for shorter crossfade times and to the right for longer crossfades. This control will help to smooth out or tighten up transitions when used carefully.
Tempo syncing & rhythms
All phrases in Minimal have been recorded at 110 BPM. Minimal will sync to the host tempo of your DAW and stretch the samples accordingly using Time Machine Pro.
For more flexibility in playback you can switch individual fields into half, double and triplets by clicking the note button. The button image will change to indicate how the timing has changed. Use mixtures of alternate timings in different fields to create complex rhythms.
Be aware that some phrases in Minimal have been composed in a variety of time signatures including 3/4 and 7/8.
There is just one limitation with rhythm adjustments in Minimal: If you choose exactly the same section, phrase and variation in two or more fields and change the rhythm within one of them, then they’ll all change. This can be remedied by using another instance of Minimal on a new track.
A unique feature of Minimal is the Harmonic Shift function. This allows the user to play phrases simultaneously in different, but related, keys. This function can be used to access more complex chords other than the standard major / minor phrases within Minimal.
Harmonic Shift can be turned on or off for each field with the +/- button but it’s only useful if you turn it on in some fields and off in others.
The keyswitches from C5 to B5 control the relative root pitch of the shifted phrase. The base key and shifted key are shown at the bottom right of the interface
Note that the Harmonic Shift only designates an interval, relative to C. So for example, if you play an Em chord, and then use the keyswitch at D#, it would add a minor third up from Em, resulting in a Gmajor phrase being added.
The effectiveness and musicality of the Harmonic Shift varies, depending on the phrases you assign to each field. Experiment with different phrases and Harmonic Shift values to create interesting and surprising textures and note combinations.
The basic method of playing Minimal is to play three-note triads in the keyrange C1 to G2. The chord recognition system will automatically recognize inversions and will choose a major or minor phrase based on the MIDI chord played. A few phrases will be the same for both major and minor playback. For example, those phrases which use only root or 5th notes.
Once you’ve played a chord it’s possible to sustain it by holding just one of the notes. This enables easy switching to new chords without any gap in the playback. Chords can also be held by using a sustain pedal. Alternatively, a chord can be sustained by holding any key down in the playable area, thus allowing changes between chords without shared notes.
Minimal contains release samples for all phrases. These give a realistic and appropriate release note or reverb tail when keys are released. The release samples become especially important if you choose to truncate the playback of phrase, giving a realistic ending to the phrase. The release samples can be turned on and off with keyswitches at respectively
F4 (on) and G4 (off).
When playing different chords, you have the choice whether to retrigger the phrases or to simply continue the phrase but in the new root key. This function is controlled by keyswitches D6 (retrigger) and E6 (continue).
The samples for Minimal have been recorded in the same hall as sister libraries Da Capo, Tutti and Vivace. As such, Minimal has similar options for microphone mixing; Close, Decca Tree, Wide and Balcony. It is possible to use just one microphone position or mix between two different positions.
These different positions can be selected by clicking on the name and mixing is controlled with the red arrow underneath. The crossfade operates in such a way that the central position will play both microphone positions at full volume.
Microphone mixing options are global and apply to all presets and sections.
Note that activating multiple microphone sections puts additional strain on CPU usage. If you plan on using just one microphone position, set the other to NONE to conserve CPU and RAM.
We have included a version of Minimal named Minimal Lite.nki
This version functions in exactly the same way as the full version of Minimal but with just one specially mixed Tutti microphone position.
Use this patch when you want just one pre-mixed version of Minimal which will conserve RAM and CPU.
Notes on the .nki files
As well as the standard version of Minimal (Minimal.nki) we have provided some other .nki files, which you may find useful. Please note that the ‘Lite’ versions of these files are exactly the same but use only the Tutti mic position, as described on the previous page.
These ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ pattern .nki files contain 7 pre-programmed presets which showcase Minimal’s usefulness in a variety of different genres and speeds. Of course, you can edit the presets in the same manner a standard instance of Minimal. These .nki files are merely useful jumping-off points to get you started quickly and inspire your own combinations of phrases.
True to the ‘minimal’ style of this library the phrases are represented by graphics instead of actual notations. However, the original notation can be accessed by clicking on this part of the interface.
This will open a large Score View, where you can view the currently selected phrases in their notated form.
You can click on the small windows representing the four different fields on the right, to choose which field you’d like the score displayed.
Then click on the key on the keys of the keyboard to change the displayed key, and when available choose between MAJOR or MINOR.
We’ve chosen to make the selection of key and modality a manual process rather than an automated one this time, as automating this could introduce anomalies in playback, especially on lower spec’d systems.
You can either click on the back arrow or anywhere in the score area to return
to the main interface window.
Audio Demos: Composed and performed with dedicated care and ear by professional musicians and composers.