I’m a sucker for “plug ‘n’ play”. When I load up a product and it just works immediately I get a special tingle in my spine that says, “it’s ok, you can be creative” because I, as many of you, live a busy life. If I don’t have to spend the extra 15 minutes messing about just to get a usable sound then I’m over the moon. Audiomodern definitely did something right when they created Abuser so without further ado, let’s delve in and find out how and why.
What’s on offer?
When you install Audiomodern’s “Abuser”, you open up Kontakt, navigate to the folder you installed it in through the “files” section and choose the instrument you want to try. There are 35 in total, “basses”, “synths” and “leads”. It weighs in at over 3.5gb and comes in a well organised bundle.
It does exactly what is advertised and sounds the part too. The basses, for the most part, sound full and rich while the synths sound mellow or airy and the leads sound powerful with a real sense of energy. For 35 patches there sure is a lot of diversity in this library. (As I write this I’m enjoying playing “To Zanarkand” from Final Fantasy X using a slightly tweaked “Gamelon – Layered” patch)
Honestly, I couldn’t ask for more from a product in this price range. At 30€ it’s a steal because not only does it sound great, it’s adaptable and easy to tweak to get the sound you want based on the presets you’re given and intuitive the GUI.
Abuser’s interface is dead simple and I love Audiomodern for this. There are only a few buttons/knobs but everything you could need is there (though should you want to delve deeper you can modifiy the .nkis yourself). As a composer who dabbles in many genres I’ve been looking for a tool that would give me some deep, impactful electronic sounds without the complexity of Massive and I think I’ve found it.
No matter which instrument type you’re using, the GUI is the same – 2 rows of knobs and a few switches here and there plus the bigger “overdrive”, “cut” and “resonance” knobs with pretty glowy lights at the top. The whole thing is designed to look like analogue gear (which it is modelled after) and it genuinely looks good despite its simplicity.
These fall into 6 areas/sections. First, the big 3 buttons at the top – drive, cut and res do as you’d expect, helping you carve out a specific sound from the preset. Audiomodern pride themselves on the analogue overdrive they have made for Abuser and I admit it sounds good. I like to cut out the high frequencies, turn up the resonance a little and then play with the drive to see what it can churn out. This lead to some fun experimentation and interesting findings.
Next you find the mod area with a speed knob, pitch knob and filter knob. The speed defines how fast the LFO fluctuates, turning up pitch will make the pitch run up and down with the LFO and filter will open and close the lowpass filter (aka “cut” from the first section). If you want some huge basses with hard edges and huge LFO grinds then Abuser can make it happen within seconds.
Then you have the usual attack/delay/sustain/release knobs which work as you’d expect.
After that you have a lovely stereo chorus effect which makes any synth sound really wide (use with caution!), a not-so flexible reverb (where is the wet/dry knob?) and a delay effect with a knob for panning which is rare enough to mention here. Stereo delay is awesome and needs to be seen more. Once again though, this is missing a wet/dry knob and for this reason I think I would prefer to use my own reverbs and delays in conjunction with Abuser.
Finally you have a pretty important section – Mode. You can flick the switch between legato, monophonic and polyphonic. As can be expected, Abuser’s patches are usually already set to the appropriate one but you may like to experiment with this to see how you can use the patches in alternative ways.
Audiomodern’s Abuser is an excellent sounding, versatile and powerful Kontakt library obviously made with love and attention to detail. None of its patches are redundant or repetitive and so it makes full use of all 3.6gb. Also, I do believe the full retail version of Kontakt 5+ is required although this is hard to tell from the website (to be confirmed). Please keep that in mind if you decide to purchase this product.
At 30€ I have no complaints and only praise for Audiomodern’s Abuser. It is a small but beautiful package and has already found its way into the “favourite” section of my DAW. A “Must Have”.
Massive (Native Instruments)
Reaktor (Native Instruments)
Analogue collection from Arturia