I just got my hands on EWI master Bernie Kenerson's "Thor ReFill Volume 3".
Bernie Kenerson's new "EWI Refill Thor Volume 3" is an awesome collection of Thor patches for Reason 4 and 5 that every EWI player should have in their arsenal. One thing about patch libraries is that they reflect the taste and sensibility of the author. We now know that Bernie is one creative player. His patches sound like nothing I have heard before (but in a good way!). I kept asking myself - "How did he come up with this one?" Read on for my quick review...
Many of the patches can be tweaked via the Rotary knobs on Thor to create variations. He makes good use of the Mono Legato and Mono Retrig keyboard modes as well. Mono Legato smoothes slurred notes together to great affect.
The patches work in a variety of settings. This is where his extensive experience comes into play. You will find many bright soaring lead sounds, some special effects, a handful of bass sounds, (both traditional and drum and bass 'wobble' bass sounds), and some evolving pad type sounds. There are a lot of what I call 'spacey' sounds as well.
Of course, all the sounds are meticulously programmed for breath control and it's really fun to open up the Thor programmer and see what he did and how he gets the patches to be so responsive. They play really well.
Included in the ReFill is a PDF that has notes and explanations of every single patch in the ReFill. I thought it was a blast to read the 'designer's notes' as it were. He explains how he uses the patch, how to modify it and what you might want to use it for. All in all it's very informative.
With that in mind, here is a short overview of some of the patches:
This first one is called 'EWI Big and Bad Lead'. Well, it's big and bad, (but in a good way!) You can hear how it gets brighter with more breath, nice work.
EWI Breath Swirl - A funky bass kind of sound with a swirl in the back. Kind of makes the bass take on the 'spacey' character I notice in a lot of the patches.
'EWI Jamming Square' - We all have those patches we go to first, don't we? This could be that one.
EWI Squirrel Flute - a reference to Lyle Mays, perhaps? I like the slight pitch bend at the beginning of the notes. This one also makes good use of the 'mono legato' mode on Thor.
EWI Whoah Leader - this is one of those spacey patches. Could be really cool as a special effect on your next gig.
If someone were to ask me to sum it up in a word, I would have to say 'variety.' Bernie makes extensive use of just about every nook and cranny there is on the Thor synthesizer, which is no small feat, believe me. The patches are instantly usable.
If you are tired of the sound of the synth on the EWI4000s and are ready to play some more adventurous, unique sounds, you can't go wrong with this ReFill. One thing's for sure - these sounds will highlight the unique player you are and possibly inspire you to take your EWI to places you never thought it could go.
Another great job from Bernie Kenerson. You can pick it up directly from him at: http://www.berniekenerson.com/
Tell him you found out about it on ewireasonsounds.com!