Hello Composers! =)
Mike here, and today I am reviewing Taiko Creator by In Session Audio. An instrument dedicated to epic cinematic percussion. A full ensemble of different Taikos. In all kinds of “style presets”. Percussion that goes from deep boomy power, to rich roomy stick hits. Watch my Sound Demo Video here, and then Let’s dive in! =)
SOUND & FEATURES
First and most importantly, the sound quality is top notch. Not only because the amount of variations and round-robins. Each drum head hit has 7 variations with 7 round-robins.
But also because of the incredible versatility and range in sounds available. You can use the pre-made ensemble presets, or dive in and create your own. You can also shape the overall tone by EQ presets and Room presets.
Taiko Creator gives you access to 24 taiko drums (featuring head and rim hits) and dozens of other sample sets including stick “clicks”, vocalizations, gongs, cymbals and sound designed elements. The gongs and cymbals especially were a nice surprise.
Now the coolest feature in my opinion is when you go into the detailed page called “groups”. Because here you can customize the instrument groups in tone, response and sound character. And even create your own groups with the settings you want for the overall sound.
So whether you want instant playability, or detailed control, it’s all there for you in Taiko Creator. And even the detailed customizations is quick and easy to get started with.
In the final page called “MIDI” you can access a large library of MIDI performances that you can use either for inspiration, or as the starting point for your own performance. Or even just for learning by analyzing professionally made performances of Taiko drums.
The interface is dominated by the big hero image that changes with each ensemble preset, which I personally found very inspiring, but it might annoy some people who prefer function over form. However, regardless the main page gives you access to the most important functions. EQ settings (with drive and width), control over the mic position mixer, and reverb settings.
Then you can switch over to the group page where you get more detailed control over the complete drum group set and mapping.
MY 3 FAVORITE THINGS
- The Playability
The ensemble presets, that are all pre-mapped and all offer a unique overall tone and character, makes Taiko Creator incredibly intuitive to just load up and play. I honestly sat for a full hour just banging keys to play various grooves on these powerful drums. Having everything mapped across the keyboard makes it so fun and quick to use.
- The Overall Control
The EQ DNA and Room presets on the main page are very unique features that I did not expect to be such a wonderful aspect of Taiko Creator. But I found myself reaching for them all the time, and it gives you instant variation in the overall sound. Also the amazingly deep control you get in the group page, on things like panning and tuning for each drum group.
- The Key Mappings
The mappings of each drum ensemble really makes sense, which is actually not the case in all libraries I tried. I did not have to use the octave buttons on my 49 key MIDI keyboard. The drum hits are on the white keys, the sticks are on the black keys, the groups are per octave. And of course, my personal favorite: Taiko Creator is NKS-ready. Meaning I can use my Komplete Kontrol MIDI Keyboard and see all mappings in colors. This is especially important with percussive libraries like this.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
I can honestly say that this has now become one of my favorite deep percussion libraries, and I own a huge range of these types of products already.
The main reason why Taiko Creator will be used a lot in my future productions is the ease of use, and instant playability. Being able to record a drum performance on one single track will save me so much time. Then being able to customize the overall sound and tone in a super quick and easy way.
From the low, deep and rumbling big Taikos. To more tom like hits, to the stick and click rhythms. All in one patch.
Learn more about Taiko Creator here. Get a full overview and specifications, listen to audio demos etc.