Geosonics is a collaboration between legendary field recordist Chris Watson and Soniccouture; a library of rare sonic artefacts that cannot be found anywhere else.
Sound-design textures are layered with Watson's original recordings to create the most fluid, organic soundscapes ever.
Play sounds from places like the North Pole or the Kalahari desert on a simple MIDI keyboard:
a magical experience, only possible with Geosonics.
Wind - silent in itself, it only reveals itself sonically once it hits something. Chris Watson buried hydrophones deep in sand dunes, repurposing the under-water recording devices to function in deep desert depths. A hollowed out Acacia tree was fitted with contact mics and the musical moaning sounds of the wind in its trunk were captured, and the railings on an abandoned air-base form the basis of a sinister sound-scape.
Recorded during various trips to the North Pole, Iceland and other Arctic regions, this category features incredible recording feats such as hydrophone recordings from the inside of glaciers, micro-recordings of deep water shrimp fighting, and the calming blips of water freezing in realtime - known as 'pancake ice'.
Incredible drone-scapes created by vast runs of wire in natural enviroments - 'Like giant guitar strings in the landscape'. Contact mics attached to wire fences, sculptural installations or even power lines record changes in weather as stunning soundscapes. Chris Watson made many of these recordings at the Wired Lab in NSW, Australia, an artist-led organisation founded by Sarah Last. Further recordings were made on overhead railway cables and simple farm fences in Cumbria, UK.
Wire recordings make fantastic material for sound design work - Their rich harmonic and noise content means that they sound great when filtered or shaped into percussion.
Recordings made in the swamps of Venuezela and Madagascar. Some of the most inhospitable recording environments of all due to the proliferation of tiny biting things. Chris Watson used huge 100 metre runs of microphone cable to allow him to situate himself well away from the swamp life during recording.
Highlights include the Madagascan Tree Frogs & Banjo Frogs.
Geosonics contains 140 tuned samplesets, for layering and sound design. This additional sample material is a combination of useful 'building blocks' such as sine waves, sawtooths and strings; as well as processed versions of the Watson recordings. These sample sets are essentially tuned versions of the original recordings - we used various DSP processes (spectral morphing, convolution, granulation) to 'forcibly extract' pitched, harmonic material that could be played chromatically on a keyboard.
To create a large preset library (400 presets) with real creative depth, we decided to colloborate with some of our favourite sound designers. With such unique material to work with, we were curious to see what a varied sound design team could do with it. The result does not disappoint, with many different takes on building atmospheric yet musical patches.
IAN BODDY | BIOMECHANOID | MARTIN WALKER | ANDY WHEDDON
The main Instrument panel features 2 modes: Natural Mode (FOCUS off) + Sound Design Mode (FOCUS on)
In 'Natural Mode' (shown above) it is possible to audition and scan through the original Watson recording file. Different sections of the file can be played on the MIDI keyboard, and filters and envelopes applied if desired. In this mode no pitched sample layers are available, only one original field recording.
This screenshot shows the instrument in FOCUS mode : In 'Sound Design Mode', a selected part of the original recording is 'Focused' - mapped across the keyabord to be played chromatically - and two extra sound source layers appear. These are labelled 'Pitched 1' and 'Pitched 2'. Here tuned synthesis and sound design material can be selected and layered with the Natural recording.
The comprehensive effects section features Lo-fi, compression, saturation, chorus, phaser, delay, arranged in two seperate buses - allowing either sound design or Natural elements to be routed through different effects.
The Space processor features a huge range of custom convoltuion IRs, divided into Reverb, Effect and Geosonic categories. In the Geosonic category you can use IRs generated from the Watson recordings to further prcess your patch.
Soniccouture's now famous generative arpeggiator features on this panel. Deceptively simple, the Jammer will generate patterns, jump octaves, and vary velocity all according to the settings defined by the user. The Scale menu allows you to define a scale to restrict the sequence to.
One or both the tuned layers can be switched to use the Jammer, allowing layering of sequences with pads.
Chris Watson is one of the world's leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena. Born in 1953, in Sheffield, Watson was a founding member of the influential Sheffield based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire during the 1970’s and early 1980’s. His sound recording career began in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance composer and recordist for Film, TV & Radio, Watson specialises in natural history and documentary location sound together with sound design in post production.
His television work includes many programmes in the David Attenborough ‘Life’ series including ‘The Life of Birds’ which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ in 1996. More recently Watson was the location sound recordist with David Attenborough on the BBC’s series ‘Frozen Planet’ which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ (2012).
Watson has recorded and featured in many BBC Radio productions including; ‘The Ice Mountain, ‘The Reed Bed’, ‘Jules Verne's Volcano’, ‘The Ditch’, ‘The Listeners’ and ‘The Wire’ which won him the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Broadcaster of The Year Award (2012). His music is regularly featured on the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘Late Junction’.
This is a Kontakt Player instrument. This means that you do not need to own the full version of NI Kontakt to use it. It will run as a plug-in instrument in any VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/WASAPI,compatible host program or DAW eg: Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, DP, Reaper, Pro-Tools. No extra purchase necessary.
Windows 7 or higher (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2, 4 GB RAM (6 GB RAM recommended)
Mac: OS X 10.9 or higher, Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM
Requires KONTAKT 5 or KONTAKT 5 PLAYER version 5.5 or later