Loads of us harbour ambitions to write music to picture, whether for Hollywood blockbusters or the smaller screen.
Despite the doom and gloom hanging over much of the music industry right now, this is actually a great time to try to break into this territory, as the legions of cable TV channels around the world look for content for their shows.
We tend to associate writing to picture with 'orchestral' arranging but the truth is that all styles and approaches are welcome these days, with pop tracks, sound design experiments and dedicated 'niche' genres all required by TV, advertising and even internet-based production companies for their various projects.
Heavyocity's Evolve library looks to provide something different to other virtual instruments designed for scoring work – namely, a collection of loops, sounds and textures which can be added to your work to enhance the drama and feel of your compositions.
Evolve uses NI's Kontakt Player as its front end and once you've installed the 6GB library, you can either load one of a number of pre-arranged Multis, or build one of your own from single Instruments.
First time around, choosing a Multi provides a good opportunity to put Evolve through its paces, as this loads eight complementary Instruments onto consecutive MIDI channels, providing an immediate palette of loops and textures.
Each Multi is appropriately named, so if you choose an Action Multi for instance, you'll find reverberant drum loops, percussive slams, weird reversed textures, pitched basslines and plenty more set up in consecutive virtual rack slots.
The looped Instruments favour 'variations on a theme' from keys C1 to C3 (and occasionally beyond), so finding a loop with the desired amount of detail is a breeze. The Kontakt Player automatically syncs to tempo too, so if you've built a loop up and suddenly decide it's all running several bpm too quickly, no problem.
Similarly, the pitched loops are triggerable over an octave, so that you can create the harmonic content you like, while the single-pitched Instruments play across the entire keyboard range.
There's even a reasonable amount of editing possible within each Instrument, with the Kontakt Player offering Amp Envelope control, parameters for the in-built Reverb and Delay modules, as well as some limited filter tweaking options. It's enough to personalise the sounds a touch though, in truth, this is designed primarily to be a 'load and play' library.
Evolve is truly inspirational. It has been built to save composers and sound designers countless hours and it hits the nail squarely on the head.
In fact, this could prove to be Evolve's only Achilles heel: it may become ubiquitous over the next year or so and we desperately hope Heavyocity will continue to update content for Evolve so that the sounds here don't become too familiar.
We fully expect this library to become hugely popular but if you're in any doubt, let us put it another way: if you want to compose music for TV and film, Evolve is an essential purchase.