We chat to Stefano Maccarelli about his new Kontakt library - Elements

Your new Kontakt library Elements, sounds very exciting indeed. Our customers are already very familiar with your Ethera cinematic and vocal libraries and these incredible products have become a ‘go-to’ production tool for many producers around the world. The Ethera series has won multiple awards and continues expand with the recent addition of Sahara Voices earlier this year.

Elements is something different for you. Can you tell us a little more about what inspired you to make Elements?

Hi guys! It’s really exciting to be back with another big product! During the development of Sahara Voices, I started to think about an idea for a new sound library. I wanted to create something unique that would be useful in the real world of everyday composer life. An Instrument to play and make new sounds rich in organicity, atmosphere, modernity, accompanied with a clean user interface that allows for easy and immediate customisation of the sound.

Being a lover of TV series and movies and also working professionally in the industry, I started to think about and build an instrument that could help not only myself but other composers to create a world of sound that I often hear in many soundtracks today. The challenge was to create an instrument that has a strong focus on organic instruments, alongside other sounds that form the basis of modern soundtracks. I am always looking for quality organic instruments and recently I have been hugely inspired by the DUNE soundtracks by Hans Zimmer. This is the sound I have a great passion for and you will find all of this sonic inspiration embedded into Elements.


How is Elements different from the Ethera series and what styles of music production would you best describe Elements is suited for?

The Ethera series is first of all, an outstanding collection of cinematic vocal libraries. Ethera Gold 2.5 is huge library that contains a wealth of inspiring hybrid sounds and it is a true ‘all-in-one’ professional composer tool. The core of Ethera Gold is centred around the incredible and unique vocal talents of Clara Sorace and Daniele D'Andrassi. For me Elements is definitely something different with a specific focus on organic and hybrid sounds. Elements allows the user to produce an extensive range of styles, from minimal and intimate to mediaeval and folk music, through to hybrid and experimental. Elements is an extremely powerful and inspiring tool.


Elements contains a massive source of organic sounds as well as hardware synths and vocals, over 23GB! What was the process of making Elements?

Exactly and from the start of this project I knew that the process needed to be simple. I wanted to develop a hybrid synth that contained sounds and ambiences captured from the elements of nature and our natural world. Water, air, earth, fire etc. I purchased an underwater mic specifically for the recording of Elements and this enabled me to record a variety of objects including water soundscapes and this in turn helped to create the formula for Elements. I recorded a range of organic instruments and bringing everything together, I realised that ‘elements’ are not only present in nature but also in the world of sound design. From that point I knew Elements would become a huge library based on organic modern sound design.

I am very lucky to know some extremely talented musicians, so I thought I’d ask them if they would like to get involved in the creation of Elements. Angelo Maria Santisi is a fantastic Cellist and plays a beautiful Cello, made in England. It sounds stunning and has a lovely breathy sound, perfect for the organic textural sound that I was looking for. I sampled many different articulations, capturing Angelo’s amazing performance. I have recorded some incredible guitar work by another great musician, David Parola and a some beautiful sounding Native American flutes, played by David Michael Tardy. And finally another cello played by Dario Ferrante from Piza. It doesn’t stop there and I have also recorded a range of instruments that I play myself, including an acoustic guitar, played with a bow, tribal percussion, a range of metal instruments and mallets, a really beautiful warm sounding felt piano and a lot of hardware synths! Elements contains a huge amount of uniquely recorded sounds, all of the elements for organic modern sound design - hence the name!


We love the ease and inspirational content of the Snapshot Presets included with Ethera products. Can you tell us a little more about the presets included with Elements?

Absolutely, the core of Elements is the initial creation of the sounds. This is taken to the next level with the Snapshot Presets, making the selection of sounds extremely easy and convenient for the user. It allows anyone, what ever their skill level to get creative and jump straight into Elements. The Snapshot Presets are a great inspirational starting point and from these you can quickly modify the sound to fit your needs. I have created 500 Snapshot Presets, clearly organised into categories.


Can you tell us about your favourite features of Elements and what are the stand-out features that users should be aware of?

The stand out feature and what makes Elements different is the large wave-rom of organic, acoustic and hybrid sounds. Elements gives the user a platform to create vibrant and textural sounds. Coupled with the extensive selection of recorded sounds and three layers, users can quickly create something awe-inspiring! For me Elements is a truly useful and inspiring tool. I already use Elements daily in my professional sound design work and I know that this will be the case for a lot of users.


So, a customer loads Elements into Kontakt for the first time, what’s the first thing you would suggest they do to really get a feel for the potential of the instrument?

Elements has a wealth of creative potential and users should definitely head straight over to the Snapshot Presets to get an instant idea of how amazing and powerful Element sounds. I recommend starting with the preset - Cello Processed, which is seriously inspiring and I could play it all day! The Soundscape section is also very inspiring as are the synth and acoustic guitar sequences. Elements also has a really cool feature which allows the users to import their own audio files. Essentially, you can drag and drop any sample file or external audio track and this is processed by the powerful Elements audio engine - this really opens up enormous possibilities and takes sound design to another level.


Would Elements be a great addition for people who already own any of the Ethera products?

Simply put - yes! The combination of Elements with for example Ethera Gold 2.5 or any of the Ethera titles is explosive! Users who add Elements to their Ethera collection will have an incredibly powerful vocal and sound design arsenal that will provide constant ideas and inspiration. Powerful “go to’ tools that for me have become the backbone of my creative profession.

Checkout Stefano's in-depth tutorial video below.

Your new Kontakt library Elements, sounds very exciting indeed. Our customers are already very familiar with your Ethera cinematic and vocal libraries and these incredible products have become a ‘go-to’ production tool for many producers around the world. The Ethera series has won multiple awards and continues expand with the recent addition of Sahara Voices earlier this year.

Elements is something different for you. Can you tell us a little more about what inspired you to make Elements?

Hi guys! It’s really exciting to be back with another big product! During the development of Sahara Voices, I started to think about an idea for a new sound library. I wanted to create something unique that would be useful in the real world of everyday composer life. An Instrument to play and make new sounds rich in organicity, atmosphere, modernity, accompanied with a clean user interface that allows for easy and immediate customisation of the sound.

Being a lover of TV series and movies and also working professionally in the industry, I started to think about and build an instrument that could help not only myself but other composers to create a world of sound that I often hear in many soundtracks today. The challenge was to create an instrument that has a strong focus on organic instruments, alongside other sounds that form the basis of modern soundtracks. I am always looking for quality organic instruments and recently I have been hugely inspired by the DUNE soundtracks by Hans Zimmer. This is the sound I have a great passion for and you will find all of this sonic inspiration embedded into Elements.


How is Elements different from the Ethera series and what styles of music production would you best describe Elements is suited for?

The Ethera series is first of all, an outstanding collection of cinematic vocal libraries. Ethera Gold 2.5 is huge library that contains a wealth of inspiring hybrid sounds and it is a true ‘all-in-one’ professional composer tool. The core of Ethera Gold is centred around the incredible and unique vocal talents of Clara Sorace and Daniele D'Andrassi. For me Elements is definitely something different with a specific focus on organic and hybrid sounds. Elements allows the user to produce an extensive range of styles, from minimal and intimate to mediaeval and folk music, through to hybrid and experimental. Elements is an extremely powerful and inspiring tool.


Elements contains a massive source of organic sounds as well as hardware synths and vocals, over 23GB! What was the process of making Elements?

Exactly and from the start of this project I knew that the process needed to be simple. I wanted to develop a hybrid synth that contained sounds and ambiences captured from the elements of nature and our natural world. Water, air, earth, fire etc. I purchased an underwater mic specifically for the recording of Elements and this enabled me to record a variety of objects including water soundscapes and this in turn helped to create the formula for Elements. I recorded a range of organic instruments and bringing everything together, I realised that ‘elements’ are not only present in nature but also in the world of sound design. From that point I knew Elements would become a huge library based on organic modern sound design.

I am very lucky to know some extremely talented musicians, so I thought I’d ask them if they would like to get involved in the creation of Elements. Angelo Maria Santisi is a fantastic Cellist and plays a beautiful Cello, made in England. It sounds stunning and has a lovely breathy sound, perfect for the organic textural sound that I was looking for. I sampled many different articulations, capturing Angelo’s amazing performance. I have recorded some incredible guitar work by another great musician, David Parola and a some beautiful sounding Native American flutes, played by David Michael Tardy. And finally another cello played by Dario Ferrante from Piza. It doesn’t stop there and I have also recorded a range of instruments that I play myself, including an acoustic guitar, played with a bow, tribal percussion, a range of metal instruments and mallets, a really beautiful warm sounding felt piano and a lot of hardware synths! Elements contains a huge amount of uniquely recorded sounds, all of the elements for organic modern sound design - hence the name!


We love the ease and inspirational content of the Snapshot Presets included with Ethera products. Can you tell us a little more about the presets included with Elements?

Absolutely, the core of Elements is the initial creation of the sounds. This is taken to the next level with the Snapshot Presets, making the selection of sounds extremely easy and convenient for the user. It allows anyone, what ever their skill level to get creative and jump straight into Elements. The Snapshot Presets are a great inspirational starting point and from these you can quickly modify the sound to fit your needs. I have created 500 Snapshot Presets, clearly organised into categories.


Can you tell us about your favourite features of Elements and what are the stand-out features that users should be aware of?

The stand out feature and what makes Elements different is the large wave-rom of organic, acoustic and hybrid sounds. Elements gives the user a platform to create vibrant and textural sounds. Coupled with the extensive selection of recorded sounds and three layers, users can quickly create something awe-inspiring! For me Elements is a truly useful and inspiring tool. I already use Elements daily in my professional sound design work and I know that this will be the case for a lot of users.


So, a customer loads Elements into Kontakt for the first time, what’s the first thing you would suggest they do to really get a feel for the potential of the instrument?

Elements has a wealth of creative potential and users should definitely head straight over to the Snapshot Presets to get an instant idea of how amazing and powerful Element sounds. I recommend starting with the preset - Cello Processed, which is seriously inspiring and I could play it all day! The Soundscape section is also very inspiring as are the synth and acoustic guitar sequences. Elements also has a really cool feature which allows the users to import their own audio files. Essentially, you can drag and drop any sample file or external audio track and this is processed by the powerful Elements audio engine - this really opens up enormous possibilities and takes sound design to another level.


Would Elements be a great addition for people who already own any of the Ethera products?

Simply put - yes! The combination of Elements with for example Ethera Gold 2.5 or any of the Ethera titles is explosive! Users who add Elements to their Ethera collection will have an incredibly powerful vocal and sound design arsenal that will provide constant ideas and inspiration. Powerful “go to’ tools that for me have become the backbone of my creative profession.

Checkout Stefano's in-depth tutorial video below.

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