Review: Loopmasters Khords
Khords is an unusual and distinctive instrument and it’s easy to make it more so on both counts. Well worth the asking price, we’d say.
There’s no real hiding what Khords is from the outset. This is a sample-based virtual instrument that plays chords in various categories all based on a 400MB collection of 315 samples. Where it gets interesting is with this source material and what you can then do with it.
It’s much like Loopmasters’ Bass Master in appearance and design – as you’d expect – and you get two layers to mix at the top of the GUI and voice settings and effects at the bottom. Here, you can assign the pitch range (up to an octave) and modulate up to four destinations. The effects are decent, with a solid number of choruses and reverbs and three delays and you can change the order of the routing of all three here.
Both layers are identical in controls – filter with 12 types, filter envelope and LFO – but each offers different Chord and Note options. With both you choose from Major and Minor Feel and Root or Open options, the latter giving you more freedom to play along with either of the former.
Khords is monophonic, but with both of these layers going on – and obviously chords – you can quickly understand why; it’s often a one-note one-tune kind of result – more polyphony isn’t really required.
While there are a stack of presets, Khords very much encourages you to experiment with layering samples together, and there are a great, varied bunch to do just that with. This is arguably the best thing to do with the instrument as you can really get some quite unusual combinations going, choosing each from Guitar, Keyboard, Percussive, String, Synth, Vocal Wind and Brass folders.
It comes into its own when you draft in some LFO and filtering action into each layer and start assigning modulation destinations to create evolving textures and complete works with a single key press.
The presets demonstrate all of this with some aplomb, offering everything from incredible textured atmospheres to the type of thing that would pretty much have single-handedly made a drum ’n’ bass (or jungle) record back in the day. It might be a bit 90s for some, but there’s enough included here to travel through many a music genre and time.
- Sample-based chordal virtual instrument (VST/AU)
- 550 presets
- 315 samples
- Sound types include stabs, plucks, strums, pads and atmospheres
- Major, Minor and Root/Open categories
- Timestretch, Shift formants
- Randomise samples feature
- 12 types of filter
- Six chorus algorithms, three delay types and six reverb environments