If any audio company could be said to be candy flipping, it’s Germany’s Native Instruments. NI has an amazing knack when it comes to developing its digital processing “instruments” for cross-promotion, cross-pollination, and cross-genre shenanigans. Latest to augment the synergistic effect is MASCHINE Drum Selection—20 full drum kits pulled from the banks of the previously released MASCHINE groove production system. This $59 library features “a practical assortment of gritty urban kits, heavily processed acoustic drums as well as vintage analog samples for various electronic music genres,” and is a hybrid standalone/plug-in instrument powered by the KONTAKT engine. What this means is NI can pimp two potential expansions at once, and hopefully hook you for more! There are included soundshaping controls, a graphical step sequencer, and sounds come in additional formats for direct use within KORE 2, KORE PLAYER, and BATTERY.

Also being introduced is Evolve Mutations, a $119 KONTAKT-powered instrument intended for movie-, TV-, and game-sound designers. This 275-instrument collaboration with designers Heavyocity features a 2 GB “arsenal of highly expressive instruments, rhythms, and ambiences that can add profound depth and impact to any dramatic piece of music,” and is organized into thematic categories to add rhythm, percussion, transitions, tonality, and more. Again, some envelope and filter controls are included, and samples are compatible with the full version of KONTAKT 3 for advanced editing.

Finally, because every good pusher knows the first taste is free, NI has released the complimentary KONTAKT PLAYER. PLAYER provides universal playback functionality, a graphical library browser, and convenient manipulation options for “all regular KONTAKT-format libraries as well as all generations of third-party KONTAKT PLAYER instruments, including KOMPAKT and INTAKT formats as well as Native Instruments’ AKOUSTIK PIANO, ELEKTRIK PIANO, and BANDSTAND instruments.” It has 64-bit/multiprocessor support, performance views, comes with 50 supportive sounds, and much more, just omitting the editing functions. Mmmm, ear candy.