Klanghaus 2 by Best Service
Klanghaus is back, now in version 2, it is even noisier, dirtier and more appealing. Let’s discover how all those noises can be compiled in enjoyable music.
by A. Arsov, May 2015
A new upgraded version of Klanghaus comes to town. What is it, and how can it serve us regular, non-cinematic producers? After all, it is primarily aimed at cinematic, media composers. It’s very high quality and very trendy – these sorts of sounds can be heard in many movies – but as we are a magazine dedicated to more regular music production we should find out if it can be used and abused in our everyday productions. The general question is how far you intend to go with such sounds. In Slovenia we have a pretty famous band called The Stroj, who play very similar sounding instruments to those presented in this library.
So, you can try and step into their shoes, building your career using this library as the only source for your productions. Or you can simply use the loops and soundscapes for making memorable backgrounds for all sorts of alternative electro songs. Or maybe you can use it just for spicing up your songs, throwing in just a few of these elements and sending your breaks and middle eights to heaven. Not so much for classic Pop or EDM, but most electro or ambient genres simply cry out for such material. Of course, if you are a cinematic media composer then this library is pretty essential, covering the full spectrum of specific moods that can serve all those memorable dissonant intense movie moments just before everything goes to hell.
Powered by Engine 2, it is a virtual instrument / sample library offering a huge collection of dark, almost sinister, powerful, attacky instruments made out of percussive cans and barrels and other odd metal and wooden things that can be banged and recorded. Over one hundred presets and over a thousand sounds and loops. Scary atmospheres, creaking instruments, trashy and boomy percussive loops and hits. That’s the Klanghaus 2. It’s very odd, but still very nice.
Occupying four gigs of space you get 19 basic categories, the last one containing most of the material from Klanghaus 1 with all the subdirectories from that first version, while other categories contain a limited number of presets with a good number of variations inside a single preset. In every preset we find percussive loops, separate hits and soundscapes. Those three groups of sounds are ranked over the keyboard. All the loops are very powerful and sound great, not just in terms of sound quality, but they are well-programmed and offer an array of rolling, almost tribal, and slightly sinister, war-like moods that can also be easily used to spice up your pop choruses. I know this sounds a bit contradictory, but the main characteristic is power. And we mentioned the quality… it’s 2015, it’s a Bestservice product, and so the quality of recording and the general sound is absolutely fantastic. It sounds exactly as you’ll hear it in the latest blockbusters. Everything is wide sounding, perfectly soaked in an appropriate space, sharp and preprocessed.
The soundscapes are mostly creepy and sinister, hardly useful for pop choruses, but in every other genre they can serve pretty well. The same goes for the separate hits.
At first I was so occupied with the presets, that I didn’t immediately notice what else could be done with the source sound, but after some time I decided to tweak a parameter or two anyway and was positively surprised by the number of editing options inside Engine’s Quick Edit window. At first glance you notice the controllers for four basic effects: reverb, compressor, filter and delay, along with separate ADSR and Pan and Volume knobs, with a nice number of presets for those two parameters. I found those presets pretty useful, offering some nice sound variations, especially considering that most of the loops have very interesting pan variations, bouncing from one speaker to the other. This library could be described in many ways, but being static is definitely not one of them.
After I cleaned my glasses, I noticed a few extra menus in the editing window. One, hidden at the bottom, brings three more effects: phaser, ring modulator and rotor. And this is only the beginning of a beautiful friendship. To the right of it, a bit hidden, is the Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer, with not so many controllers but with quite an impressive number of presets. Those additional effects along with Arp and Step put this whole library on a totally new level, multiplying content up and up. What’s even more impressive is that there are three further editing windows offering the same amount of control, but separated for every group of sounds – loops, hits and soundscapes. So for each of those groups you can apply a different Arp and use any effect.
The whole library is very niche oriented, offering very specific sorts of sounds, but the general sound quality with all those additional editing options – effects that add countless variations on the source material – put this library in a whole new light. It offers far more than suggested by the price tag. Klanghaus 2 is an essential buy for all cinematic, media composers, an excellent choice for electro or ambient producers, and optional for others into more pop oriented genres. It’s an amusing and inspirational library, with a great collection of odd sounds, loops and hits that can bang through your head for a long time. All this persuades me that this library could be a nice addition to my collection of odd-sounding instruments. You never know when you’ll need it. Maybe for those rainy days when the mother-in-law pays you a visit, or a minute before your kids start fighting. It is definitely not a sunny summer library, but unbeatable for all mystery, suspense and darker moods.