Using Kore 2 more efficiently with User Tags
Kore 2 from Native Instruments is probably every sound organizer’s wet dream with sugar on top. Not only can it control a multitude of Softsynths but it’s database makes it easy to organize sounds and find them quickly when needed. I’ve purchased this nice tool last December and what’s better than telling a few details on how I put it’s features to good use?!
User Tags in Kore
Kore’s database browser already has quite a bunch of factory tags under that Kore sounds can be categorized like Type, Mode, Timbre etc. Most of them are useful, some of them are less interesting for me. For example I almost never use the Genre tags, but maybe that’s just me. However I’ve added a few other user tags to categorize sounds even better.
To add user tags to the database select any sound in the Kore browser, press the Edit button and on the left side is a tag named ‘User’. Selecting this tag reveals a (Create new…) entry with that a new Tag Category can be added. After adding a new Tag Category, it can be filled with user-defined tags in the same manner.
I’ve added three new categories to my database: PlugIn, Preset Tags and Synthesis Type. The first and third are pretty much self-explanatory, the second, ‘Preset Tags’, however contains a bunch of collective tags for that it wouldn’t be necessary to open up an extra-category. Here’s a rundown of the ‘Preset Tags’ and what they are used for …
Device Preset – tags all Kore Sounds that are a ‘Default Device’. Now what is a Default Device? I give this tag to Kore Sounds that contain a Synth or Effect in it’s factory state but (optimally) with Kore Hardware controllers assigned to it. You could also call these simply templates because that’s what they ultimately are. When I need a new fresh Synth to work with I select this tag and all the Synths (and Effects) to that I have assigned controllers earlier are listed.
Sound Preset – basically the opposite of Device Preset tag. All true ‘Sound Presets’ get this tag but Kore Sounds that have the Device Preset tag should not have this tag! So when I dig through the database on search for a good sound I highlight this tag so that no Device Presets are listed. This of course means that you shouldn’t highlight both these tags at the same time because then you get none.
Effect Preset – the same as Sound Preset but for effects.
Single Sound – Kore Sounds that only contain one instrument or effect are tagged with this.
Multi Sound – the exact opposite of Single Sound! Only lists Kore Sounds that have more than one instrument and/or effect in it’s channel hirachy.
Kore Device – Only the internal Kore Sounds are tagged with this. I.e. the Kore factory sounds and official Kore Sound packs from NI.
NI Device – Only instruments and effects from Native Instruments are tagged with this. What it’s good for? Well for example there might be times where you want to guarantee 100% compability between Kore and the used instruments. And the NI synths are certainly the most compatible with Kore.
Thirdparty Device – Likewise the tag that only non-NI devices are tagged with.
Tool Preset – Now what is a Tool Preset tag? Well it tags tool presets! Ok ok let me explain! I tag stuff under this like the Kore 2 Reaktor Toolpack. These are not sounds or effects but some sort of tools that for example can be used to control stubborn VSTi’s or even Reason (with some obstacles) with the hardware controller.
Stable – I’m not sure if I will keep this in but for now I use it to tag stable instruments with it. Yes Kore is quite nice but I experienced some Plugins running unstable in Kore. Only Plugins that run absolutely stable receive this tag.
Why add an extra category for PlugIns?? Kore already provides one, automatically generated from the installed PlugIns! … I agree but the auto-generated PlugIn category isn’t very efficient because many thirdparty manufacturers name their Plugins like whatever they want or the default Plugin names aren’t very descriptive. In that case you could add your own custom PlugIn category. The fastest way to do this is to edit the User Tags file (see below).
This category can be useful if you are looking for a sound specific to it’s generation source. I’ve added all the synthesis types found on KVR plus a couple more that were missing (like Vector or PCM. Now don’t get me into a discussion whether PCM is the same as Sample Based or not!). And you are right, not all of these are really ‘synthesis’. Drum Sampler or Rompler obviously aren’t. Also to my knowledge there is no Graintable synth existing to this date except for Reason’s Malstrom (I’d be happy though if you prove me wrong). But these tags give a good conclusion about what kind of sound we are dealing with. You could for example tag a Spectrasonics Atmosphere sound with ‘Rompler’ and ‘Analogue/Subtractive’ if you know what the Rompler sound originally came from. The image on the left shows all of these tags. Sometimes you know right from the start if a set of sounds that are being imported into Kore are of a certain synthesis type. In that case you can tag them all right ahead with the correct attribute.
Editing the user tags file manually
Sometimes you want to change tags that you’ve defined before but doing this in Kore would probably mean that you have to delete the tag or remove other tags that were added after the desired tag, e.g if you want to sort your tags alphabetically.
In such a situation it’s often easier to edit the tag file directly, and yes there is such a file. On Windows Vista you will find this file under the path C:/Users/username/AppData/Local/Native Instruments/Kore 2/User.kad. On Windows XP the path is very similar and for Mac users maybe somebody can help me out with that? Either way the file is a simple XML file that can be opened and edited with a text editor.
For people who don’t want to add all these tags manually, you can download my User Tags file right here. From there on it’s easy to just copy over either only the synthesis types or whatever part you want in your user file.