Igniter is a plug-in from Krotos that aims to simplify complex vehicular sound design. It’s like a virtual instrument full of engine noises ideal for game audio, Foley and film work or for adding complex evolving textures to your music.
Igniter lets you design, perform and automate and complex vehicle behaviour directly in your DAW. You start off by selecting from over 20 “performable” vehicles including sports cars, motorbikes, planes, helicopters, spaceships and other engine sounds. Then you set about processing them using Granular, Synth, One Shot or Loop modules. Apply multiple channels of modulation with LFOs and macros to control any of Igniters 600 odd parameters.
You can generate one-shot impacts, mechanical triggering systems, manual or automatic gearbox noises with steady or evolving RPMs. You can draw on recordings of Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche, Tesla, Harley Davidson, Huey UH-1H, Agusta Westland 119x, CH-47D Chinook, Bombardier Challenger, Cessna 560XL, skids, sweeteners and much more. And then you apply the dedicated FX bus with 10 in-built FX per module including 5 layers of pan, reverb and the all-important doppler. Once you’ve pull all the elements together you can route each module back into your DAW for mixing or export the whole thing to drop into your game engine.
The interface looks very musical and synth-like but I struggled to figure out what you actually do with it. Luckily there’s a 10-day demo version – you’ll need an iLok account.
The software itself is completely fascinating. There are four modes – Granular, Synth, One Shot and Loop. In Granular mode you can create an engine with a couple of vehicle samples. Hit the Engine Start and they sit there idling at you. Move the power slider to accelerate and your vehicle takes off down the road. You can build in gear shifts, control the RPM and it sounds like a working, moving engine. The Synth mode has 5 analogue style oscillators that blend a couple of waveforms. You can create a whole drone army here if you wish, or add FM, vibration and amplitude modulation. This is a powerful place for adding tones to your engine noise. One Shot lets you drag in up to 4 samples that are triggered via MIDI with control over speed and pitch, start/end points and then you lay out when and where they happen. The Loop Mode takes another 4 samples and… loops them. You can use all these modes at once or chop and change for whatever suits your sound design needs. And of course, stick your mouse into the doppler effect and enjoy the sensation of your newly created engine speeding past.
The “Revs” control seems to be the main triggering device and controls which samples happen in each mode or a whole number of assigned parameters. That’s a load of fun to play with. I recommend giving the demo a go simply to entertain yourself. They really should release a more musically focused plugin sometime.
The standard version comes with 614 audio samples for £449 or you can opt for the “Full Tank” version with 1943 samples and an additional 75GB of recordings for £775. These sorts of tools don’t come cheap but I imagine are a life saver for sound designers.