Phaedra is a Kontakt Library virtual instrument featuring over 4 GB of sounds, 20,000 samples and 720 patches.
Produced by Sam Spacey; the man also behind the award-winning Epica virtual synth, the impetus for Epica's creation was he'd found himself unhappy with the lack of raw sonic power in virtual emulations of VSTi analog synths...
...So, Sam set out on a three year journey to make the ultimate synth and ended up creating a monster in Phaedra. Constructed with the same attention to detail as a huge orchestral sample library, each of the 20,000 samples has been edited and looped by hand, with loops being very long so as to extract that lovely random analog magic.
Nearly every single preset has each separate note sampled so as to eliminate aliasing within the instrument's range. With Kontakt 2's engine being fully exploited we have produced a library that is a full synthesizer in its own right.
Phaedra is suitable for all types of music and will enhance any producer's sonic armoury.
- Synth 1
- Synth 2
- Synth Builder
Phaedra is one of the most complete virtual analogue synthesizer ever created. So, sit back, plug in and enjoy!
Producer Sam Spacey writes:
PHAEDRA was primarily born out of two of my frustrations.....
1. The lack of raw sonic power in virtual emulations of analog synths
2. Sloppy MIDI timing of external analog synths under modern computer operating systems (all is forgiven Atari ST1040)
I set about making a personal library for the dance releases I was working on at the time. A few of my producer friends managed to try out some of my presets and ended up using them a lot on their releases.
After finding myself more and more unable to satisfy my producing needs with soft synths I found myself relying more and more on the small number of sampled presets I had made from my old MiniMoog D for bass sounds. One oscillator from a Moog seemed to sit so nicely in a mix without me having to throw loads of EQ or compression at it.
It seemed that to get the same amount of sonic energy for a bassline using one oscillator on certain VSTi analog emulations required a lot more volume and headroom that I wasn't about to give up, not to mention the time taken in compressing and EQ'ing just to get the virtual synths to sit right in the mix. The analog samples just seemed to sit in the mix so much easier.
I was also getting very frustrated with so called "sample accurate" MIDI interfaces that were anything but sample accurate. No matter how I tried to set up the interface it was never tight on timing. In the days the Atari it was tighter but also there was no sample accurate audio then so much as there is now. And MIDI just comes across even looser when put up against a modern sequencer's sample accurate audio and VSTi's.
So.. I spent a few weeks making a load of my favourite patches in Kontakt 1. This worked really well and I was really considering selling my analogs again (been there before though lol). After constant pestering from friends to make more presets I decided to pitch my idea for a library based on analog synths to Zero-G. Nothing new I hear you say.... but I wanted to go about this with the same attention to detail as say an orchestral sample library developer would:
1. Hand looped and hand edited, with loops being very long so as to extract that lovely analog randomness magic.
2. Nearly every single preset has every note sampled so as to eliminate aliasing within the instruments range.
3. Very high quality A to D converters from Lynx 2 sound card used for library.
4. Unique vel/modulation source to sample start so as to use the actual analog synths filter bringing great flexibility and playability.
5. I feel that I came at this library from a composer/producer's point of view so presets are designed to be used and not to just sound good on their own.
6. Convolutions were made of the actual units I use in my productions, other devices were hired in to have convolutions made from them, but FX have NOT been plastered all over this library, they have only been used when they are a part of the sound rather than making a normal preset sound better by just sapping reverb on it!
7. With Kontakt 2's engine being fully exploited I was able to get a library that was not just for playing back recordings, but is a full synthesizer in its own right. This gives the product huge longevity as I feel its strengths are in using the presets as building blocks or starting points for your own presets.
8. I wanted the library to be able to be controlled by external controllers like say the Novation 61SL which I used a lot to make the presets. All parameters use smoothing so as to eliminate stepping.
9. All the presets 'move', that is to say, they can have the sound altered by either velocity, mod wheel or aftertouch.
10. All the samples were taken raw from the analog synths with no enhancing or EQ'ing. I prefer to let the producers who will use this make their own decisions on EQ.
11. 20,271 individual samples were recorded over a 12 month period (yes I now have RSI lol), over 4.1gb of raw samples.
12. No duplicates in any of the raw recording samples, this library is not padded out to make it look bigger.
13. I stopped at 720 presets in the following presets folders: Synth 1, Synth 2, Bass, Leads, Pads, Sequences, Fx, DnB (bonus), Synth Builder (for starting off with raw settings for your own creations) and a Multi folder.
14. Multi is where the magic happens by stacking presets on top of each other.
15. This library is very efficient due to the lack of re-sampling needed by Kontakt 2 as a result of total overkill in multisampling :)
This library is based on no particular Electronic genre and would lend itself well to any style.
- Over 4 GB of sounds,
- 20,000 samples
- and 720 patches
For more detailed info on the contents of Phaedra, please take a look at the PDF of Contents for the full list of included instruments.
Producer Sam Spacey describes the synths used in the making of Phaedra:
- Mini Moog D - Was very hard work to sample due to the fact that if you looked at it, it went out of tune.
- Welsh Moog - A prototype Re-issue Moog made in Wales, but had a unique PWM mod done to it.
- Yamaha CS5 - Very snappy and fast attack and surprisingly bass-y oscillators.
- Yamaha CS-15 - This one was delivered in a terrible and broken state, but sounded great for it.
- Yamaha CS-30 - Sometimes I stacked all 3 Yamahas up over CV voltage for a huge sound.
- Korg Monopoly - Still getting to grips with this 4-osc howling beast.
- Korg MS-20 - Very quirky with a great filter.
- Studio Electronics SE-1 - Modern rack-mounted Moog that could store presets and stay relatively in tune - hurray!!!!
- Studio Electronics SE-1 - as above but with filter input. I stacked these two a lot, as the sound combinations were awesome.
- Roland SH-101 - Wet and squelchy, a really good little workhorse.
- Crumar Multiman - 70's string synth with Arp filters, surprisingly interesting palette of sounds.
- Akai AX-73 - Cheap and nasty but I love it for that fact; evil filter.
- Analog Phaser - Home-made, based on the Small Stone that was modded and used by Jarre on everything he did :)
- Roland analog chorus pedal - Subtle but lovely.
- The only thing digital to ever get used was: Ensoniq Esq-1 - 8-bit grungy samples going through complete Curtis analog circuitry - I love this synth.
All the sounds were recorded and processed at 16-Bit resolution and 44.1 KHz sample rate.
The Instruments list (which can be viewed by clicking on "Instruments List PDF") groups the sounds into categories. Each category has a different coloured GUI, for example the Synth category has a red interface, Leads are blue, Bass are grey and Pads are green.
The categories are as follows:
01 Synth 1
02 Synth 2
09 Synth Builder
All programming has been carried out with the samples loaded into RAM. However, Direct from Disk (DFD) functionality is available thereby enabling the streaming of the samples direct from your hard disk drive.
Modulation Wheel Assignments
Every single instrument has the Modulation Wheel assigned to a function. This gives a lot of dynamic control over the character of the sound. Please try out the modulation wheel when playing each patch. The Mod Wheel may be assigned to one of several different controllers including Tune LFO, Filter Cutoff, Pan and Volume depending on the patch in question.
All instruments have unlimited polyphony except for a selection of patches from synths that were originally monophonic and some bass sounds which have thus been programmed as monophonic. If you wish to increase the polyphony please do so.
Up to 64 instruments can be combined in a Multi giving a vast array of possible combinations of the supplied single instruments. For example try combining a couple of bass instruments for some really fat and thunderous sounds.
The exact CPU load of any given instrument depends on a myriad of factors - the power of your computer, notes played, complexity of the instrument etc.
"A huge sonic palette.. excellent material.. instantly inspiring.. bags of flexibility.. There's little not to like.. an excellent collection of sampled analogue sounds.. would suit almost any style of electronic music. Given both the volume and quality of the content Phaedra is also excellent value for money, and if you want an instant virtual analogue sample collection, this would be a great place to start. Rated: FIVE STARS out of 5"
- Sound On Sound Magazine, UK
"Obsessive attention to detail seems to have paid off, because Phaedra is certainly a fine analogue synthesizer capable of producing some very exciting sounds... the overall sound is rich and powerful. And the presets - conceived from a composer/producer's perspective as opposed to just impressive sounds for their own sake - are both useful and easily edited using the proven and flexible Kontakt Player 2 interface... Verdict: A powerful virtue analogue synth containing plenty of raw, exciting presets suitable for a variety of electronic and pop music genres"
- Music Tech Magazine, UK
"After installation, the 4 GB more or less detonates like a bomb on your computer... The creator, Sam Spacey, definitely knows what he is doing... Almost all of the 700 sounds could be classified as inspiring... If you try to classify the library - synthpop from the 80s a la OMD, Pet Shops Boys, Depeche comes directly to mind... But to call it an 80s library is not fair either - the drum'n'bass sounds shows how brutal it can get... Conclusion: Phaedra is a huge vitamin injection for any pop production. If you have a pulse for analogue sounds - this is among the best you can get for money right now"
- Studio Magazine, Sweden
"Phaedra’s developers have produced a library that is a full synthesiser in its own right, suitable for all types of music and able to enhance any producer’s sonic armoury"
- Knowledge Magazine, UK
Supported Interfaces & Standards:
VST 2.0, DXi, ASIO, Soundmanager, OMS, Audio Units, Core Audio, RTAS.
Windows XP/Vista, Pentium III 1 GHz/ Athlon 1.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM
Mac OS 10.4 or higher, G4 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive.
Download Size (RAR files):
- Parts 1 - 8: 488 MB each
- Part 9: 456 MB
"An excellent collection...Given both the volume and quality of the content Phaedra is also excellent value for money, and if you want an instant virtual analogue sample collection, this would be a great place to start" - Sound on Sound Magazine, UK
"...Phaedra’s developers have produced a library that is a full synthesiser in its own right, suitable for all types of music and able to enhance any producer’s sonic armoury." - Knowledge Magazine, UK
"Obsessive attention to detail seems to have paid off, because Phaedra is certainly a fine analogue synthesizer capable of producing some very exciting sounds... the overall sound is rich and powerful." - Music Tech Magazine, UK