Zero-G Elements - Modern Scoring Synth: What is it?
Zero-G founder and producer Stefano Maccarelli has a passion for scoring; as a successful composer in his own right, he knows a thing or two about adding suspense and tension to a trailer cue, which most certainly informs his commitment to creating exciting Kontakt instruments with cinematic tendencies.
Elements calls itself a Modern Scoring Synth, built on a Zero-G concept which will be reminiscent to anyone who has used previous Zero-G Kontakt instruments. It’s a three-layer format, with substantial partial control, derived exclusively from sampled content. Even the synth-based sounds are sample-based, which is the Kontakt norm, but the big difference here is the volume of supplied content.
A full 23GB of all-new samples ship with Elements, some of which may feel familiar from previous Zero-G content. There is a return of vocal samples, provided by long-time associate Clara Solace, with diversification looming large through drum loops, ethnic percussion, native American flutes, acoustic and electric guitars, and even cello.
Zero-G Elements - Modern Scoring Synth: Performance and verdict
Alone, these unprocessed samples can sound very intimate; the cello, in its raw state, exudes plenty of bow rosin, but sounds like it’s been recorded in a relatively boxy space.
There are a few rogue resonances in there which might set it apart from larger orchestral libraries, but to be fair, this is not the poster patch for Elements. It’s a scoring synth, and where it comes alive is with its multi-layered processing capabilities, at which point, rogue frequencies are lost at sea.
Working with the main Elements Kontakt instrument, the substantial curated content of 500 presets helps get you off the blocks with pulsing basses to synth textures, soundscapes and textures, and impressive vocal weaves.
The main operational layer provides some interesting parameters, at both global and individual layer level. One of Elements’ party tricks allows envelope control for each partial, by pressing the rather obscure small square button below each layer.
Accessing this also gives rise to three further controls, namely Stretch, Order and Spectral. These parameters can create some insanely complex timbral structures, messing with the harmonic makeup of the sample. Apply this to a vocal sample in real-time, and it’s a real winner.
You’ll want to explore further, with a total of five editable layers to play with, from a programmable LFO page and arpeggiator to the obligatory effects page. There’s a huge capacity for working with the included content to create inspiring music while editing your own patches.
Being a product with a persuasion for cinematic scoring, Elements makes extensive use of the clocking and sync function to the host DAW. Using the onboard arpeggiator, we managed to lose ourselves by truncating vocal samples, with the simple reduction of the attack and decay phases of the triggered envelope.
But one layer which is designed to work in line with your DAW’s clock is the Assignable Table, located on the Sound Control edit page. This page invites the drawing of a wave shape, much like a definable LFO shape, which may then affect a number of different parameters relating to your patch or layer. Results can be relatively simple and effective, or elaborate and overstated.
With so many modern scores littered with pulsing elements and hybrid textures, it’s easy to establish where Elements could fit into your scoring template.
While the first Elements Kontakt instrument may be the one to win attention, three other versions offer capacity for a lesser CPU loading, audio importation and another instrument, geared to sync and time-centric patches.
Elements is a content-laden suite, at a price that is of incredible value. It sounds impressive, especially if you need cinematic fodder for your tracks. While the 3-layer format will feel very familiar to Zero-G followers, the instrument is possibly on the outer limits of the Kontakt form. The menu diving and constricted layout is a tradeoff here, presumably as a consequence of the format restrictions.
MusicRadar verdict: Elements is a sonic cut above many other budget cinematic libraries, laced with tremendous content, at a good price.
Zero-G Elements - Modern Scoring Synth: The web says
"There is a little something for everyone here; from synths and keys to distorted guitars, beautiful pads, and ethereal vocals."
Sample Library Review
Zero-G Elements - Modern Scoring Synth: Hands-on demos
Zero-G Audio Samples
Zero-G Elements - Modern Scoring Synth: Specifications
- Elements requires the full version of Kontakt 6.6.1 or higher – it will not work with the free Kontakt Player. The Kontakt Player will only load and play Elements for 15 minutes in Demo Mode.
- Approximately 23GB of 24 bit, 48KHz samples.
- CONTACT: Zero-G