Featured Image for This sweet suite of nostalgic samples is for the muso who wants to channel their childhood

This sweet suite of nostalgic samples is for the muso who wants to channel their childhood

There’s been an explosion of new samples for producers to get their hands on in the last few years – but none of them capture the sounds of your childhood quite like these.

Native Instruments have released a remarkable new tool for the festive season titled Kinetic Treats that takes the sounds of all your favourite toys from the golden days and transformed them into something epic.

As a gift to you, they’re available FREE until January 4, so check out their website over here.

We spoke to Efflam Lebivic, GUI Designer for Kinetic Treats to tell us about their awesome new offering.

Could you explain what Kinetic Treats is?

Kinetic Treats is a sample-based instrument that combines the sound of classic children’s toys with elaborate sound design. They’re put together into a very dynamic and expressive instrument with a range of unique sonic textures.

KT is described as “brainchild of renowned sound designer Jeremiah Savage”. How did the idea come about?

Jeremiah is a hugely talented sound and instrument designer. We worked with him on an instrument called Kinetic Metal in 2013 which has been very popular. Kinetic Treats shares a lot of the same sound design DNA, in that it allows the player to blend multiple sound sources and effects together based on motion – hence ‘Kinetic’.

This time the sampled sounds come from various children’s toys. Mixed with layers of synthesized sounds and effects, these create sonic textures that are quirky and spooky, but at the same time very musical.

As the UI designer, where did you find your sources of inspiration? Which aesthetic were you most inspired by?

These spooky textures evoked thoughts of a Tim Burtonesque universe, right from the start. That was the inspiration for the GUI direction.

The product has two main interactive elements, like Kinetic Metal, and this made me think of Tim Burton’s early movies which often dealt with impossible love between two different creatures, one being a ghost or a corpse.

In-keeping with the childhood nostalgia theme, we chose an old-fashioned ballerina music box, and a more futuristic but retro robot.

What were the biggest complications you faced during the creation of KT?

The interface design is quite ambitious. To have the toys moving in 3D space, and reacting like one would expect involves some complex math! Especially the ballerina which revolves on something like a set of planetary gears.

This gave the coding team quite a few headaches.

KT uses kids’ toys and kids’ tunes. Is it for producers or kids?

It’s for the kid inside every music producer and sound designer. The controls are certainly unconventional, but it’s easy to get the hang of once you begin to explore.

What people really liked about the interface of Kinetic Metal was that element of discovery, so we expanded on it with Kinetic Treats.

When it comes to the sound, it’s a pretty unique set of noises that you have at your disposal. They might seem a little more abstract than what producers are used to, but we think people will find some fascinating ways to work them into their productions.

What technological feature of KT are you most proud of?

This is a difficult one. I guess it’s safe to say we are always happy when the end result for the user is fluid and easy, no matter how hard it was to get it right under the hood.

We’re really happy with the animation of the ballerina and the robot. We’d like to think we managed to bring a little of the flair of video games and the joy of fairy tales to an instrument, while still making it an immersive and fun experience.

About the author

Technically, Riordan writes culture, politics and sport, but 80% of his words are direct quotes stolen from The Simpsons. He promises to tweet more at @riordanl and speaks words for The Zero Thumbs Down Podcast.

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