Featured Reviews Sample Library Reviews

Keepforest – Risenge (Review)

keepforest risenge review

The sound effects specialists at Keepforest are back with a brand-new series of cinematic sample libraries called Risenge. The Risenge line is designed to be your new one-stop-shop for dramatic wide-screen risers, hits, face-melting build-ups as well as cinematic suckbacks and reverses.

Risenge is a sample library for KONTAKT, powered by a completely redesigned engine based on Keepforest’s tried and tested AizerX engine. The product offers almost 5000 customizable and combinable SFX samples.

We were kindly given a pre-release version of Risenge by Keepforest to check out how the sample library can boost the drama and impact of your next sci-fi, horror or action score.

OVERVIEW

Risenge works with the full version of KONTAKT (version 6.0.2 or newer) and features its own, specially designed GUI and sample layering engine. On the developer’s website it is stated that soon, Risenge will also be available for the free version of KONTAKT, too. The Risenge product line consists of three versions of the library, two that work with the KONTAKT sampler (Risenge PRO & CORE) and one that is a pure audio sound effects pack (Risenge ESSENTIAL). Each version of Risenge contains a different depth of content and will be available at their own, individual price ranges.

For a detailed comparison of the features of Risenge PRO, CORE and ESSENTIAL please have a look at the video below:

Differences between the three Risenge versions PRO, CORE & ESSENTIAL

Our review will mostly refer to the PRO edition, as this is the version we were working with. However, most functions and features of the sample engine apply to Risenge CORE just the same.

These are the key features of Risenge:

  • High-quality samples recorded at 48kHz/24bit
  • 8 sample layering units
  • Randomizing function for all layers
  • Dedicated sequencer
  • XY Pad, LFO, Pan functions
  • Minimalistic design
  • CPU-friendly for fast performance   

RISENGE ENGINE

For quite a good deal of their recent SFX libraries like AizerX Hybrid Cyberpunk Toolkit or the popular AizerX Modern Trailer Toolkit, the developers at Keepforest went with their specifically designed AizerX layering engine. Now for the upcoming Risenge series, Keepforest took it back to the drawing board and created a completely redesigned engine. It’s based on the AizerX engine but was rewritten from the ground up for better user-friendliness, faster loading times and even more customization options.

Since all its many features and functions are well documented in the official product walkthroughs, I’d like to focus on just some of my personal highlights of the new Risenge engine. If you want to know all about the new sample layering engine, please refer to the video embedded at the end of this block.

8 Sample Layering Units

The new Risenge engine allows you to stack up and combine up to 8 of the library’s 5000 samples at the same time. Layering different riser elements, whooshes, reverse sounds and impacts, provides you with the possibility to create complex build-ups and transitions almost instantly. The engine comes with a new, minimalistic yet feature-rich GUI that is focused around layering and randomization.

Preset patches & Randomization

Although Risenge’s interface can look a bit intimidating upon first look, you can get your head around the concept quite quickly, provided you’re putting in a bit of work and exploration. However, if you don’t have the time at hand, you’re not forced at all to dig into the many functions ever, because Keepforest already created lots of astonishing pre-designed patches and presets for you.

To further customize your sound, you can randomize literally everything. The Risenge engine even provides a dedicated “Random Formula” page, that offers you control over the degree of randomization you allow for each of the 8 layers.

Needless to say, you can always save and load both the presets and the randomization formulas you created.

Risenge PRO interface

XY Pad

Located right in the center of the Risenge engine, you’ll find the XY pad. Represented by 8 white cubes, you can change the position of each layer on the pad and thereby changing the volume, pitch and filtering of each layer in context. What makes the XY Pad special, is that you can automate and record your position changes over time in order to create complex morphing effects. These automations can also be synchronized to your DAW’s host tempo if you like to.

Sequencer

Risenge comes with its own, dedicated mini-sequencer which allows you to position each of the 8 layers on a time grid. The sequencer helps you to visually compose a comprehensive sound effect by arranging risers, whooshes and hit elements to time positions on the grid.

The time grid synchronizes to your host tempo, so you can position and quantize your compositions specific to certain beats or bars if you like to. The white vertical bars on the sample blocks show you the climax point of a riser or hit, so you can align them perfectly if desired.

One specific feature I found particularly helpful, is the “Cut Layers to Hit” option that cuts the tail off of all the riser elements. This way you can have a clear space for the final impact sound or generate a riser that climaxes into dead silence.

Risenge GUI overview

THE SOUNDS OF RISENGE

As Keepforest proved with their other SFX libraries before, the quality of their sound design is awesome. After having a couple of sessions playing around with the library, I can safely say that Risenge is no exception. Most of the library’s effects convey a strong sense of drama, size and punch , and you get so much diverse content to choose from: organic, synthesized and even orchestral sounds, mechanical engine sounds, stuttering sounds, sci-fi, horror and hybrid sounds, metallic sounds, the list goes on and on. The bulk of SFX in Risenge feels very modern and inspiring, fitting right into any contemporary trailer track.

Although Risenge is a sample library centered around cinematic risers and transitions, these only take up about half of the product. The other half of the content you get with Risenge is a heap of hard-hitting impact sounds to top off your risers. Risenge comes with 245 dedicated hits as well as 50 drop sounds that you can combine with your riser elements. Most of the preset patches are made up of a combination of risers, drops and hits.

Speaking of presets, Keepforest really hit it out of the ballpark with their pre-designed patches. They are all carefully composed, automated and timed, ranging from simple build-ups to super complex transitions that could be part of a trailer track on their own right.

Check below for a quick walkthrough of some of Risenge PRO’s pre-designed patches:

Risenge PRO presets

Here’s a 14-minute overview of some of the many sounds provided with Risenge (in this case taken from the ESSENTIAL edition):

Risenge SFX samples overview

CONCLUSION

Keepforest is back with a cinematic SFX library that fills a much-requested spot in modern media composition: diverse, fully customizable risers and transitions. The variety of carefully pre-designed features provides you with a giant toolkit of great sounds you can drop into your cues right away. Operating the Random Formula section and the Sample Sequencer feels to be somewhat more pro-orientated as it takes some time to grasp the concept and its multitude of possibilities. If you take the effort to learn the engine though, Risenge opens the doors to literally infinite creative freedom. To make Risenge perfect for me, I would have loved to see an option for synchronizing the length of your riser to a certain amount of bars, much like Native Instrument’s Rise & Hit does. But as I learned from the developers at Keepforest, time-stretching samples over large amounts of space still doesn’t sound very convincing with KONTAKT, which is why they decided to drop this feature.

Anyway, if you’re looking for state-of-the-art risers, transitions, impacts and drops to enhance your cinematic (or electronic!) productions with, Risenge could be just the right thing for you. Given its different editions and price ranges, anyone from beginner to seasoned pro should find a suitable solution.

Risenge will be available on December 15th, 2019, through Keepforest’s online store. The products are offered at an introductory price of $249 for Risenge PRO (regular price: $299), $149 for Risenge CORE (regular price: $199) and $79 for Risenge ESSENTIALS (regular price: $99).

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.