Exhale is the brand new Kontakt instrument by Output, the cutting edge company that created Rev and Signal. Each of Output’s products have been built off of a well defined theme, with Rev focusing on sounds in reverse, Signal focusing on pulses, and now Exhale focusing sounds of the human voice.
All of Output’s releases have been well thought out, and equally useful in music production as well as in post. Exhale is no exception, and the thematic focus of each instrument yields a uniquely valuable production tool.
As I explored the interface of Exhale, I did find commonality with the other Output titles. I’m referring not about the user interface, but about the very sounds that the engine produces. Exhale, Rev, and Signal share a sonic space that sound, well, they sound like today.
Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday.
I think I should explain! A few weeks ago I visited YouTube to search for some music production information. Honestly, I can’t remember what I was seeking, but I landed on a video that was demonstrating Sony Acid. I had totally forgotten about Acid, which was once a very popular DAW. i’d played around with Acid in my first foray into computer based recording in 2000. It was then high tech. Quite impressive.
Now, on the eve of 2016, the material sounded amazingly dated. Not because the production was poor, but because the sounds themselves were out of date. So, as I opened up my copy of Exhale a couple of weeks later to take a little tour, a realization washed over me. I first thought about the stunning array of tools we have at our disposal as producers, writers, music makers today. The ability to virtually ‘open a box’ and pull out a sound that would fit into pretty much any pop hit is, frankly, unprecedented.
Music production veterans will remember the Synclavier. The synclavier II was the sound of the ‘80s, and was totally accessible to anyone who could afford it’s nearly one million dollar price tag. No joke, a Synclavier II could cost close to a million bucks. It is nothing short of a revolution that today anyone with a computer can access the same sort of cutting edge tools for a couple of hundred bucks.
Nope, not really a review about Output Exhale.
I meant for this piece to be a review of Output Exhale. It is not a review as such. If you’re looking for an overview of the instrument’s GUI, a great place to start is right here:
Virtual instruments like Exhale continue to lower the barrier to affordable music production. Beware, though. As a young aspiring producer, you’ve got a virtual All Access Pass. You’ve got the ability to assemble a recording rig that’s capable of turning out hits. Your dedication, creativity, and musicality are the wild cards here. You’ve got the tools, now show us what you can do.