We will start this year with another great product from Sample Logic. This time around I will be reviewing the Waterharp 2 a waterphone type instrument. Since this is a Sample Logic product this instrument will probably sound nothing like the authentic waterphone… And more like a waterphone on crack. Let us have a look.
Waterharp 2 comes in a cca. 2.5 GB download, Kontakt library. It contains more than 500 patches and around 37 multi patches. If you are not familiar with the sound of a waterphone or waterphones in general, here is a brief explanation.
“A waterphone is a type of atonal acoustic musical instrument consisting of a stainless steel resonator bowl or pan with a cylindrical neck and bronze rods of different lengths and diameters around the rim of the bowl”. Source: Wikipedia
I mentioned that Waterharp 2 will probably sound nothing like the authentic waterharp but that is not entirely true. The original tone of the whole instrument is still preserved but multiplied with Sample Logic’s creativity.
Among patches you will find all sorts of loops, ambiences, stingers, drums and other various musical aspects of the waterphone manipulated in such a way that it will work with your creations. Here is a brief list of the group of patches:
– Hit Ensembles
– Tempo-Synced Rhythms
All in all there is plenty of content to go around and with the extension of the graphical interface you will double the amount of fun while creating new patches and new sounds from Waterharp 2.
Waterharp 2 is a fantastically recorded (44KHz 24 bit) Kontakt library and the samples are really well constructed. There are no round robins and I haven’t noticed any multisamples (I am not counting their trademark “Wave” here) within patches, but in all honesty you probably won’t need them with such a library as its distinctive sound is what matters the most. Particularly I was most entertained by ambience sounds mainly because I love these eerie dark sounds. Don’t be fooled though, it is not a one genre type library. The way WH2 was manipulated it will be appropriate for most genres mainly shining in action, horror, tension, thriller and similar type of genres.
The interface of Waterharp 2 is practically the same as Thunder Springs. You will find every effect and all of their parameters in the graphic interface. With all of the effects and possibilities you will be able to construct new loops and new sounds. If I have to be picky I kind of missed the drag midi to sequencer option since there are a lot of loops and other type of rhythmic sounds so that I could rearrange them in the piano roll. Please note that some loops are constructed with the built in arpeggiator.
The left side of the panel is reserved for the master effects while the right side is where loops and all of the options will show. At the top of the panel you will find the effects with master fader, bypass and show parameters which can also be controlled via separate sequencer (each parameter has its own sequencer).
Sample Logic really completed their recent design to bring you the most advanced GUI to tweak. It is really impressive but having said that the GUI does come with a price. On lower end machines it will take some toll on your CPU, at least I think so. I am still using an AMD X2 (dual core) CPU with 8GB RAM and each time I load WH2 I can see the CPU meter bounce like a yoyo. I tested it with all of the processes turned off running only my DAW (Reaper, latest update) and Kontakt loaded with WH2. Recent computers shouldn’t have any issues running Waterharp 2.
Ease of use
By now if you own any of the SL libraries you should be familiar with their interface and you will most likely agree that it is easy to use and most importantly very useful to use as well. If it’s your first time using the SL interface than you will probably need a couple of minutes (or hours if you are taking it slowly) to fully get the hang of the interface. All in all WH2 is easy to use thanks to its well-designed interface.
Waterharp 2 will set you back for 99 dollars and you will need a full version of Kontakt 5.3 to use it. Compared to Thunder Springs which I also like, I would say the price is right because you will get a lot of content to play with and a great interface to tweak the sounds even further.
Sample Logic provides really unique libraries morphing sound design with music and Waterharp 2 surely proves that. There are really few things that I personally dislike but none so major that would be a deal breaker. Great sound and price, a lot of patches and even more possibilities make Waterharp 2 one hell of a library.