Elkatwin contains over 2000 samples recorded on an original 1980’s Elkatwin 61 analogue synthesiser.
We captured as much raw material as possible from the original hardware and combined this with the latest Kontakt effects and scripting to produce a 21st century instrument that retains the classic sound of this retro Italian machine.
One of the main features of Elkatwin is the ability to layer sounds. It provides individual control for two layers that operate independently from each other and can be blended together using a variety of effects and controls available on the interface. There is also an extended bass section to increase the range of the instrument’s extensive sound palette.
The instrument’s interface is divided into three sections; the controls in the top section control layer A, the middle section is for the bass sounds and glide feature, and bottom section contains the controls for layer B. The controls for layer A and B are identical.
As is standard with most Kontakt instruments the knobs on the interface can be automated by right-clicking on them and selecting “Learn MIDI CC# Automation” and then moving a hardware controller.
Hold the shift key when adjusting a knob to move it in smaller increments and gain finer control.
Elkatwin Sound Buttons
These buttons are used to select the basic sound for each layer which you can then manipulate using the instrument’s effects, envelopes, and filters. You can enable one of these sounds per layer.
The Elkatwin 61 features a symphonic control which creates a chorus style effect. With the exception of the strings we sampled all of the sounds with this effect enabled at 3 octave positions. For the strings we have recreated this effect within Kontakt. The button in this section turns the effect on or off and the slider is used to select the octave (low, normal, high).
These two knobs provide volume and pan control for the layer.
Each layer has a standard Kontakt ADSR envelope that can be adjusted using these knobs.
Use these controls to set the cut-off frequency of the low pass (LP) and high pass (HP) filters. In their default positions (shown in the image) the filters have no effect.
The coarse tuning knob allows you to adjust the pitch of the layer in semi-tones (±12). The fine tuning knob provides higher resolution pitch adjustment in cents (±100).
Rot 1 enables the rotary effect samples recorded on the original hardware. Rot 2 enables Kontakt’s own rotator effect. The speed of both of these effects is adjusted using the two position switch on the left side.
The phaser button activates Kontakt’s phaser effect. The speed and depth knobs can be used to control the effect’s frequency and intensity.
It is possible to use rot 2, phaser, and the symphonic controls at the same time or rot 1 and the phaser. You cannot use the symphonic controls in combination with rot 1 as these use two different sample sets. Other combinations are also possible and the instrument will limit which buttons you can enable depending on which other controls and effects are already active.
The middle section of the interface provides four buttons to enable the bass samples. More than one of these buttons can be active at the same time to create some interesting layered sounds. When these buttons are active the playable key range of the instrument is extended and you’ll see the bass range show up green on Kontakt’s on-screen keyboard.
These controls only affect the bass sounds. From the left the first knob is used to set the cut-off frequency of a low pass filter. The second knob is used to set the volume level of the samples. The third knob is used to adjust the pitch of the bass sounds (±36 semi-tones). The fourth knob sets the release time for the samples.
The glide function makes use of a modified version of Kontakt’s portamento factory script to provide a smooth glide effect between samples. This same effect is utilised by our CZ-Alpha synth library. Use the button to enable or disable the effect and the time knob to control the speed of the glide.
The keyboard layout for the Elkatwin is very straightforward. The blue keys represent the playable range for the standard layer A and layer B samples. The green keys show the playable range of the bass sounds, these keys will only be coloured when a bass sound button is active.
Produced by: David Healey & Amir Samman
Sample Recording & Editing: Amir Samman
Scripting: David Healey
GUI Design: satYatunes