Impact Soundworks Koto Nation review


Hey whatsup!

Today I’m checking out a new instrument by a company that I’m not to familiar with…they seem to cater to the film/media crowd so they off specific, and sometimes quite unique products.

The company is Impact Soundworks and today I’m checking out a world/ethnic instrument they have created.

This is “Koto Nation” and it is a dedicated and very detailed koto, bass koto, and shamisen instrument for Kontakt.

I like world instruments so I was definitely excited to play around with this one.

let’s check it out

What is Koto Nation?

According to the website it is “The deepest koto, bass koto and shamisen library ever released”.

I guess they were tired of the “so so” sampling and representation of these classical Japanese instruments….

so they decided to really go deep in capturing the tone, style, and articulations that represent these instruments.

It’s made up of Koto, Bass Koto, and the Shamisen.

They wanted to give it the true sampling treatment, including two mic positions, round robin, and several velocity layers.

Quick Specs

  • content: 9gb of 24bit samples
  • forma t: kontakt (full version)
  • price: $99

How does it sound?

This is all that really matters at the end of the day for most, and this has a very detailed, authentic sound.

I used to buy Japanese instrumental cds, just to sample the instruments and phrases (shhh lol)

The tone and sound of these instruments remind me of those live musicians and the detail of the sounds is spot on in my opinion.

You may think that there aren’t many dynamics to these instruments but when you compare an extensively sampled one to another that may not be so “carefully sampled” it becomes evident in the playing and realism….the rest begins to sound….well “less real”.

I really liked the harmonics, and some of the glissandos and phrases are amazing.

The plain ole sustained instruments are just fun to play and the mod wheel enhanced instruments give you some nice control over the vibratos and bends.

If you’re like me, you really like to explore world instruments, I’ve always been a fan of them ever since I had my first drum machine which included them.

The realism and playability is what this library is about.

What’s the bottom line?

This is something for a specific user, one that particularly likes these types of sounds.

For me….it’s awesome, it’s not a general use, all around instrument. It’s specific to the instruments it covers, and it covers them well.

I give it a 4.5 out of 5 subs, really good sound, really dynamic to play.

I do wish there was a bit more scripting involved in the interface so as to mess with tunning, ambiance, etc….I really like libraries that bring some of that stuff to the interface level.

But at the end of the day, a great sound is a great sound, and with all the articulations in this library it’s really easy to find what you need.

It’s priced well within the reach of everyone from hobbyists to professional composers, so that’s always a plus.

Definitely checkout the demo songs and videos on their website: Koto Nation

let me know what you think

Rate this post


    • @A.G.C., I have that synth lol, not even the same by far…honestly, my opinion of string studio is “glad I got it for 20 bucks” I definitely wouldn’t have paid 199 for it.

      It’s cool though, 20 bucks is really a no brainer for sure.

    • @DJ Jambone, I have it, Its cool, regularly 199, I honestly wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t 20 bucks lol. I can’t pass on a deal cuz I’m a fanatic lol but I won’t pretend its even in the same league as this library. That’s more general, this is specific to a certain sound.

  1. Thats real dope right there. I love that sound. Reminda me of that scene in Hero when Jet Li an Donni Yen was about to rumble and they asked the old guy to stay and play for them as they prepared for batle…..If you havnt seen it then shame on you : ) Very Dope.

  2. Nice, I have a thing for asian string instruments in general. Hearing this makes me want dust of Taste of Honey’s-Sukiyaki for a listen. But yeah this can have that samurai meditating under the waterfall before a sword fight feel. Now if you come across some good taiko drums let me know.


Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.