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Sonic Forest is an amazing Kontakt virtual instrument by Impact Soundworks. It makes use of granular synthesis in a forest-themed UI, including control names. There’s no need to have granular synthesis knowledge to create amazing and inspiring sounds.

The sample library is made of recordings of a handmade instrument by the same name. It consists of several gauge strings attached to a box. Striking or bowling the strings will produce a range of sounds.

There are ADSR controls for Volume and Pitch, as well as knobs for Tune, Transpose, Velocity and Offset.

The instrument also comes with an arpeggiator, where is possible to set independent parameters for Volume, Length, and Pitch.


The heart of the Sonic Forest, though, is the granular synthesis engine. It starts when the user clicks on the Plant button. This control will capture the last played key and spreads it across the keyboard. So, it’s possible to create infinite sounds just by hitting a key with a different velocity, length, pitch, etc.

As soon as you ‘plant’ a sound, the idea is to play with the forest-themed controls to create sounds and textures. The Grow knob controls the level of the granulation effect. The Volume knob will increase or decrease the main sample; if you turn it all down, you will hear only the granulation effect.

Blossom will alter the pitch of the generated grains (the engine will add 5ths, 12ths or 24ths).  Flourish will control how the granulation engine will play the next grains. It starts in a linear way to a random way when you turn the knob all up.

Age adds a reverb and delay to the ‘Forest,’ without affecting the original sample (the ‘planted’ sound).Flood will add a spacious convolution reverb. The more you increase the knob, the more the dry signal decreases.

Bloom will control the speed of the granulation effect. Shape works as an inverted attack knob. Lowering the knob will increase the attack time and vice versa.

Sun controls the cutoff, working as a high pass filter. Shade works similarly, as a low pass filter.

Tangle affects the granulation’s speed and length. The more you turn this control up, the more short and faster the grains will play. Wither controls the granulation’s decay time. If you set this control to the minimum, the granular effect will last while you’re holding the key.

Sonic Forest also comes with an Effects Rack, with available EQ, Compressor, Delay, Reverb, Chorus, and Bitcrusher. It’s possible to set the rack to affect the original sample or the forest grains.

Sonic Forest is only compatible with the full version of Kontakt 5.3.1 or above.

Visit Impact Soundworks website:

Pianist, keyboardist and music producer.

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