Veil is a brand new library from Instant Sonics. Their last offering was the Silver Screen Toolkit, which I reviewed a few months back. While the Silver Screen Toolkit was a large and varied library, Veil is significantly smaller and much more focused, this time offering a great collection of pads and cinematic textures. The library costs $25, comes in at just under 1.5 GB, and requires the full version of Kontakt to run.
I really like the clean GUI of Veil. To be honest, I rarely use built in FX with any Kontakt instrument, but the libraries from Instant Sonics seem to always be an exception. I grew up with VST soft synths, so there is a sense of familiarity with the various effects, dials, and knobs represented in the GUI of Veil.
The on board effects are plentiful and powerful, offering an arpeggiator, filters, distortion, gating, ADSR, and echoes, which enables delay and reverb all generated in a powerful convolution engine, with several reverb presets to choose from. Different variations of effects can be applied independently to each sound source, which is a nice touch. There’s also a randomize function for instant inspiration.
The heart of this instrument is a dual layer sample engine, allowing you to load up to two sound sources at once and seamlessly mix between them and blend as you see fit. Each generator has four separate categories to load sounds from: Pads, Plucks, Rhythmic, and Other.
The Pads category easily takes the cake for the most sound sources available. The sounds included are really fantastic overall, and very textural. While the sounds may sound similar to some synths at first, what sets them apart is the unique, evolving textures embedded in each sound. You get a large variety of sounds, and each pad evolves as you hold down the keys. For instance, the “Bubbles” pad has a bit of a mild glitchy effect, and “Desert Winds” invokes the sound of wind blowing across a natural landscape. Each sound is fairly unique, and most are instantly useable, just drop them into a track and they will stand on their own, not to mention the fun that can be had blending them together. While the sounds in the Pads section are unique and differentiate from one another, a few of the sounds on their own can be just a tad generic, but, this library isn’t about loading up just one sound source, and that initial feeling disappears quickly once you dive in and start tinkering. Experimenting and getting creative is what this library is all about. When you also take into consideration the fact you could literally experiment for hours with the onboard effects, it’s pretty impressive the amount of content you get for just $25.
The other sections are much smaller, but they all deliver. The plucks are typical EDM style plucked sounds, but again, experimenting with the echoes and convolution effects prove to be a real joy, no matter what the initial sound happens to be. The rhythmic section sounds a bit more loop based, sometimes sounding like a cross between a synth pulse and a pad with a trance-gate effect. The “other” section seems to be a grab bag of stingers and transitions, with a couple phat synth sounds thrown in and one really quirky sound (Sunrise String) that has a synthetic, human-voice type sound.
From etheral soundscapes, haunting and unnerving drones, and everything in between, this library delivers. I was very impressed with the variety of sounds and the incredible quality of the on-board FX engines. The evolving nature of the sounds and the sound shaping capabilities are top notch. I almost always use third party reverbs and effects, but the included effects are very satisfying, which is a huge plus. Instant Sonics is one company I find myself not wanting to each for the third party effects, I feel satisfied just playing around with the on-board settings.
I really love smaller and more focused libraries, and while I really enjoyed their last offering, Silver Screen Toolkit, I think the lower price tag and increased focus of Veil will go a long way to making Instant Sonics a household name. I would definitely recommend this product for someone looking for cinematic textures and soundscapes, especially for those who love to get creative and have fun tweaking dials and layering FX.