Review: Warp and Dawn by Ecliptiq Audio
Ecliptiq Audio are a relatively new company focused on creating Kontakt libraries with absolutely stunning GUI's, and an incredible amount of control. Warp was the first installment of Ecliptiq Audio's new series of Kontakt libraries featuring their Qadra engine - specializing in atmospheric pads and soundscapes. Dawn is the second installment of Qadra and specializes in plucks, keys, and synth one-shots. Each library is available for $79, but you can purchase both in the Qadra Series bundle for $119.
I'm pairing the libraries together they actually do come together in a bundle on Ecliptiq Audio's website - together they make a very complete package. This isn't to say that Warp and Dawn on their own aren't powerful, or feel incomplete; quite the opposite in fact, Warp and Dawn just specialize greatly in their own category of sound creation. For only $119 for both libraries in the bundle you'll get about 10 GB of content across 160 multi-sampled instruments. Another huge perk of buying from Ecliptiq Audio: free updates! Ecliptiq Audio is soon releasing an update for both of these libraries.
Since these libraries fall more in the sound design realm, the sound sources vary drastically. In Warp (which focuses on more atmospheric type sounds) you have a collection of synths, chords, textures and more. Dawn has some overlap with Warp in sounds, but the sources are all pluck based so the emphasis is more on keys, pianos, and short synth sounds.
Through my time playing with these libraries I never found a quality issue with the sounds. There are many versions for each raw sound type (for example in Warp there are many chord type sounds) - this detracts from the raw sound sources counter a bit, but it adds flexibility since you have multiple versions of the same base sound. Warp in particular suffers from many of the sounds being too designed, meaning you can't really write melodies with them as easily, however the library was designed from more atmospheric type sounds where you typically wouldn't be playing melodies anyways.
Since Warp has a focus on these designed sounds, I would highly recommend getting both libraries in the bundle so you have a full sound set (unless you really just want the atmospheric sounds). The libraries do overlap, but they compliment each other very well.
Check out these two videos I made exploring the sounds of these libraries:
Ecliptiq Audio's GUI design is one of the best in the market, paralleling sample library giant Output in quality. Irregardless of the features even, the design is incredibly sleek and sexy. If you start seeing a massive improvement in my own Kontakt library GUI's, you'll know that it was because I was inspired by Ecliptiq Audio (even their website makes me jealous).
I could gush about the gradients, the color scheme, and the font design all day, but i'll try to stay on the topic of features. Both Warp and Dawn are heavy in sound design features, with the main focus on the interface being around a 4 sound XY-Pad. You can load any 4 sounds, and sculpt each individual volume, tuning, panning, velocity response, width, filtering, and envelope controls. The interface has an integrated page system and preset browser with saving capability so you never have to deal with the ugly Kontakt page system (though many Kontakt developers do still use it).
The FX page is very detailed with every effect you'd think of adding to such an instrument, and the MOD page pushes the library overboard in terms of sound design. You have the ability to apply LFO's and ADSR's to pretty much all of the individual sound source controls I mentioned earlier - independently! The sculpting potential really is enormous.
Personally I feel the pricing for these libraries is a little high, but just a little (as a reminder, they are $79 each or $119 as a bundle). On one hand you're getting one of the best GUI designs on the market, with one of the most powerful engines that can be done in Kontakt. On the other hand there are many cheaper options on the market that can do mostly the same things as these libraries (and options barely more expensive that do more). For this i'm only going to take away 1/2 of a star from the final score.
The libraries fall in the sound design category, meaning that for people that need this type of sound design capability and flexibility they will know they need it. These types of libraries are harder to script, harder to sample, and just overall harder to create - therefore they tend to be more expensive on average.