THE STORY OF EVOLVE MUTATIONS 2
Behind the scenes with its creators HEAVYOCITY
Heavyocity's world-renowned sound came to be through the vision of Dave Fraser, Neil Goldberg, and Ari Winters. Neil and Dave founded Heavy Melody Music in 2003, composing and producing sound design for commercials, television, and video games, and were joined shortly after by Ari. Their list of credits includes Electronic Arts, 2K Games, Obsidian Entertainment, NBC Universal, VH1, General Electric, and Pepsi. Their philosophy is simple: provide cutting edge, inspiring instruments and sounds that supercharge creativity, formatting them in ways that enhance productivity.
Visit the Heavyocity site.
Visit the Heavy Melody Music site.
INTERVIEW WITH HEAVYOCITY
Tell us something about your history, how did Heavyocity come to be?
Dave: We are composers and sound designers at heart, and our experience stretches across a wide range of productions. Over time, we have developed a large stockpile of custom sounds to fill in some of the holes in our virtual instrument libraries we were using. At a certain point, we realized the powerful potential of the collection of sounds we were amassing, and decided to turn it into a full-fledged virtual instrument.
Neil: Having spent more than 15 years writing music for TV and Games on tight deadlines, we felt a collection of “production ready” sounds that fit well in a mix and gave you that “big screen” sound would really do well with our fellow composers.
Ari: Our experience in the Gaming/Media world put us in a mindset where the combination of creativity and technology is a necessity. It only seemed natural to take it to the next level, so we began to develop our own tools.
How did the collaboration with Native Instruments start?
Neil: We had been users of many 3rd party libraries that licensed Native Instruments' technology for their sample playback. We were also users of Native Instruments' industry defining products like REAKTOR and ABSYNTH then later, “KOMPLETE”. Back in 2007 we were using another sample engine to house our custom sounds, but when we came to produce Evolve we took another look at KONTAKT 2 and realized the power it offered.
Ari: We were also excited about the huge resource we would be tapping into with Native Instruments' experienced team behind us.
Dave: In the end, we saw KONTAKT as a platform that would allow us to fully implement our vision, which became our debut instrument Evolve, our flagship. We were absolutely thrilled when it garnered universal acclaim from the industry press and users alike.
Neil: I think Native Instruments saw that we had something special with Evolve and approached us about doing more products together, that’s how EVOLVE MUTATIONS 1 and 2 came to be.
Why are you working on the KONTAKT platform, what are the benefits?
Dave: Without trying to sound clichéd, it’s the only game in town for several important reasons. First off, it’s an actively supported format, and Native Instruments' programmers work tirelessly to improve and update its performance and features with each update of the engine.
Neil: KONTAKT has basically become the industry leader as far as sample engine platforms for 3rd party developers. There has been a huge leap forward with KONTAKT 4’s customization both visually and in the sound engine.
Ari: The scripting possibilities are virtually endless, developers can customize KONTAKT 4 to perform and look like whatever you want. This, combined with the backing of the Native Instruments team, provides an immense tool to mold your instruments according to your ideas and vision as opposed to the limitations of the engine.
What are you currently working on?
We’re working on 2 game projects on the compostion side with Heavy Melody Music, and working with some recording artists. With Heavyocity, we have several “secret” projects in development.
We have just completed a major upgrade for the original Evolve, it’s called Evolve 1.5. We’ve completely redesigned the GUI and added new Main GUI effects. But the most exciting improvement is the addition of the “Trigger FX” system, which debuted in Evolve Mutations 2.
The “Trigger FX” system has really made the original Evolve feel new again, we’re really excited about it and think our users will love it. The update is available at heavyocity.com
with a number of new cross-grade and bundle offers with all of our products.
What plans do you have for the future?
Neil: We’re in our development bunker for a major follow up to the original Evolve as well as several other projects that we can’t discuss just yet.
Dave: We’re keeping a consistent focus on what Heavyocity was originally founded on: Creating inspiring tools that allow the user to work quickly and intuitively to produce world-class sonic results. We’re excited about the next 12 months and what we’ll be releasing. We’re keeping in line with what we know resonates well with our fellow composers, sound designers, and producers.
Ari: We’re not taking the “It’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach; we’re always pushing ourselves to innovate new ideas and ways of improving workflow in our products
Neil: Personally, I feel it’s safe to say people are going to be very happy about what’s coming!
Can you tell us a bit about your working style? How do you get ideas?
Neil: Being Composers and Sound designers for the past 15 years, we’ve been blurring the line between the two, our ‘Music Meets Sound Design’ style is the foundation for the Heavyocity sound.
Dave: Neil has a history as a recording engineer which has been great for capturing sounds in a pristine way, but when we started creating Evolve 5 years ago, we threw out the “sonic rulebook”, or any logic when it came to sampling instruments. We do an extraordinary amount of experimenting with how we record and post-process our sounds.
Ari: Much of it is the result of reworking and processing samples before they ever go into Kontakt, then taking them a step further with the engine’s capabilities, such as the internal effects and of course, the vast custom scripting.
Dave: As for getting ideas or inspiration, they come from a variety of places. We really thrive on turning traditional instruments into something they were never designed to be. Processing, mixing, morphing and evolving them is a labor of love for us, so we experiment with a variety of radical techniques. Merging the organic with the mechanical sounds can really produce some amazing results.
What developments do you see in the film composer's scene? How is the game music scene related or different to it?
Dave: The traditional score seems to be giving way to a more contemporary “Hybrid” style that is becoming very popular. Fusing orchestral and electronic elements is very effective with much of today’s high action and hi-tech films.
Neil: With Games, music has become largely adaptive, reacting to the players’ actions in any given environment. Electronic and hybrid scores work very well in games today because they can be mixed out into separate elements called “stems” more easily. With a full orchestra, the stem mixing approach can be very difficult to achieve for technical reasons.
Ari: As a company, Heavyocity has the ability to create signature sounds that composers can feed off of to fuel their vision. I see composing becoming more of a collaborative process, as we move forward. Additionally, the way in which we create our instruments is closely affected by the ways composers are working today. Building an instrument that can provide a unique and memorable sound or tone is directly related to the needs of the composers in those genres.
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