Kore, Komplete, Reaktor @ cdm

Minisite with tutorials, tips, features on making the most of Native Instruments music production tools

So Percussion opening for Matmos at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Photo (CC) sushiesque.

The Kore Browser can be overwhelming at first — what if you’re not looking for a Granular + Reggae/Dub preset? (Hmm, sadly that doesn’t return anything — added to my sound design to-do list.)

The trick is to pick metadata categories that are useful to you. If you right-click the top line (Type / Mode / Genre) of the browser, you get a pop-up menu that allows you to choose additional columns — and turn off the ones you don’t need.



You’ll see you get some reasonably powerful options here. You can choose boolean OR or AND operators for more control over your search. (Boolean operators have confusing names: "and" actually means only terms fitting both terms, whereas "or" means, say, all the reggae and all the techno/electro presets, rather than the presets that are both reggae and electro. It’s the opposite of what we usually say in English.)

You can also choose single select or multi-select — in multi-select mode, clicking on additional terms adds them to your search. And you’ll also see you can create your own sets — more on that later on this blog.

Also, anything you choose in Options affects only that column, so you can set up each category in the way that’s most logical.

My favorite option on this menu, though, is the Author column. Choose it, and you can actually see whose sounds you’re using. Part of what I dislike about using presets is the anonymity of using someone else’s sounds, so this to me is inspiring — maybe more so than "genre." If you’re using Kore to categorize sounds you’ve designed, as I am, this is also a quick way to pull up sounds from you and your friends.


Digging through the Author presets, I see there’s a fantastic orchestral preset from the So Percussion group. If you’re not familiar with this percussion quartet, they’re well worth checking out. (Try their recording of Steve Reich’s classic "Drumming.") The Orchestral Kit is a terrific-sounding set of orchestral percussion sounds.

The real fun of starting with preset samples, though, is using them for something unexpected. Here’s a quick example I whipped up for a sound design on a music project for an evening-length modern dance score I’m working on. In this case, I used the Step Sequencer to get a pulsing effect rather than a rhythmic pattern, and I added some Grain Shifter and Beat Delay to create the finished timbre. I’ll probably adjust it a bit more when I use it, but here you go:

Granular percussion timbre example

If you spot any authors whose work you like, give us a holler.

2 Responses

  1. Rui Guerreiro

    This is an outstanding job that you’re starting here!
    I had to welcome your initiative for doing something NI should be doing a long long time ago. I whish someone could start something alike for Reaktor.

    Again, congratulations, and good luck.

  2. Paul Compton

    These small tutorials are great way of gaining a more complete understanding of Kore — thank you. Much better than the uninspirational NI manuals, lol.

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