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Keepforest – Evolution: Devastator Warzone (Review)

The sound design team at Keepforest is back with a new sample library: Evolution: Devastator Warzone. The Devastator product series is aimed at providing composers and editors with an entire line-up of impressive modern cinematic sound effects and custom trailer samples. This third chapter in the series, released only a few days ago, is designed in the same way and offers even more aggressive sounds designed for modern and epic hybrid tracks.

We were kindly provided with a review copy to check out how Devastator Warzone can enhance the impact of your tracks and scores.

OVERVIEW

Devastator Warzone is the first Keepforest library compatible with the NKS format. As such, it is also compatible with the free Kontakt Player (v6.5.3 or newer). This makes it appealing to users who don’t own the full version of Kontakt or don’t want to invest in a second software product.

Devastator Warzone Interface

The library’s content is divided in two parts: one Kontakt folder that includes playable instruments, and a WAV folder that features loops and one-shots. These WAV format audio files can easily be dragged and dropped into any project.

The content is comprised of 10 GB of lossless compressed samples recorded at 48 kHz/24 bit and includes the following:

  • Hits and Booms
  • Drums, Modern Snares, Kicks, Claps and Metals
  • Gun sound effects
  • Pulses and a Pulse designer
  • Bass Stabs & 808s
  • Downers and Risers
  • Signals, Screams and Signature Sounds
  • Leads and Plucks
  • Drum Machine

In practice, this is represented by a lot of different playable patches and a very generous selection of usable sounds. It is also important to note that for several patches, composers have the ability to import their own samples. This allows them to manipulate their samples and take advantage of the interface’s comprehensive rhythmic engine.

INTERFACE

Devastator Warzone uses a very similar interface to the previous Devastator chapters. Existing users will therefore immediately feel at home.

Devastator Warzone Interface Tonal

As you can see, the Reverb Setting panel is on the left-hand side of the screen, and it provides users with quite a few controls: Pre Delay, Early / Late Reflections, along with their respective high and low pass filters. The center part is devoted to sample selection and sample start controls. The right part of the interface contains ADSR envelope settings for the sample playback. The bottom tabs give access to two other interface modes: the Effects chain and the Rhythm.

The Effects section has 7 slots that can be populated with a big variety of Kontakt’s internal effects, such as compression, distortion, delay, and many more.

The Rhythm tab is essentially a step sequencer and provides useful tools for creating drum loops, riffs, and cinematic pulses. It includes many presets for different styles including typical trailer drum patterns, blockbuster action sequences, tick-tock rhythms, and so on.

Plenty of options and effects are available, such as panning, pitch shifting, and filters, just to name a few. Two – in our opinion – very useful options are also offered here: firstly, there is the Advanced Playback Mode that allows the assignment of any step to any specific round-robin. This makes it possible to create cool grooves in literally no time. Secondly, the ability to export a MIDI file from within the step sequencer is a huge time saver when it’s used for the layering of trailer percussion.

Devastator Warzone Rhythm Step Sequencer

The Drum Machine is one of Warzone’s new additions to the Devastator series. It is, in essence, the equivalent of an ensemble of MPC-style drum pads that are associated with certain keys of the keyboard. These drum pads are assignable to different samples from the library, making it a great option for people wanting to play their percussion lines manually with the keyboard, all from within a single Kontakt patch.

Devastator Warzone Drum Machine

HOW DOES DEVASTATOR WARZONE SOUND?

As we would have expected from Keepforest, Devastator Warzone has a tremendously hyped and massive sound which is perfectly suited for creating trailer music and action-packed scores

There are many highlights among the numerous patches of the library, so let us now talk about some of them.

There is a very generous selection of trailer hits. Some of them feature are straightforward combinations of low and mid impacts, with a metallic layer on top to fill the highs. Others are much more processed and feature extensive saturation and a hyped-up frequency spectrum. These samples have 8 to 15 round robins each and are all extremely punchy. The library also includes other hits that are more akin to whoosh hits, even though they are not named this way. These really add to Warzone’s variety.

The gun sound effects are very tight and punchy. They can be extremely useful for layering with cinematic percussion or used on their own. Using gun sounds as percussion is a recognizable style element of some recent action-packed trailers, so it’s always good to have access to some good-sounding ones.

The same can be said about the different clap sounds that are included. They represent a different way of adding some crunchy high frequencies to hit points.

The selection of bass pulses offered, along with their round robins, are absolutely spot on in our opinion.

Keepforest also really nailed it with their selections of signature sounds. They have a really modern and hybrid feel to them and could fit right into any contemporary action trailer. All in all, it doesn’t really take long to play around with a patch and suddenly coming up with a cool idea for your next trailer music track.

CONCLUSION

Keepforest once again delivers an excellent cinematic trailer SFX library. Although these sounds are aimed at a particular genre, the modern hybrid hard-hitting type to be exact, the selection offered and the availability of round-robins for several patches are really generous. For those who own the previous installments of the series, we could safely say that Evolution: Devastator Warzone is (no pun intended) an evolution towards more aggressive and also somewhat more specific sounds.

The Drum Machine is a great new addition to the series as well. The amount of flexibility provided through its sound source options is very welcome and will probably suit most composers, if not all.

Priced competitively at $199 and with its compatibility with the free Kontakt player, Devastator Warzone could be just the right choice for composers who are in the market for an aggressive and punchy sound effect library that is designed to be used in modern trailer tracks.

Pros

  • Powerful and punchy sounds
  • Impressive number of patches
  • Midi export ability in the step sequencer
  • Compatible with the free Kontakt player
  • Comprehensive free version to get a tase of the included sounds

Cons

  • A bit more structural clarity in the Devastator product range would facilitate the entry point for new customers

RECOMMENDED: 8/10

Evolution: Devastator Warzone is available as a download for $199 through Keepforest’s online shop. As with most of their recent libraries, Keepforest also offers a free trial pack with sounds from the complete sample library.

DEVASTATOR WARZONE – VIDEO WALKTHROUGH

DEVASTATOR WARZONE – DRUM MACHINE REVIEW

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