Native Instruments Intros Ashlight, A Synth Focused On ‘The Darker Side Of Granular’

Native Instruments has introduced Ashlight, the third in their trilogy of Kontakt instruments exploring granular synthesis, along with Straylight and Pharlight.

While Straylight focused on ‘sci-fi-esque’ sound design and Pharlight explored vocal-based granular textures, Ashlight focuses on what they call the ‘the darker side of granular’:

“Ashlight concludes the granular trilogy with monochrome soundscapes, pulsing textures, intricate leads, and cold atmospheres. It combines a specially-recorded sample library with grain and sample playback modules in a powerful engine with intuitive modulation controls for scoring shifting intensities, from edge-of-your-seat sweeps, to introspective keys, and world-shaking walls of sound.”


  • Real-time cinematic texture instrument designed for immersive atmospheres, pulsating bass textures and evocative keys
  • Increase intensity and expression with specialized macro controls
  • 320+ master Snapshots
  • 263 grain source sets, 100 sample sets
  • 4 GB uncompressed samples

Note: NI says that Ashlight needs a fast CPU to run and requires an Intel i5 processor or higher.

Pricing and Availability

Ashlight is available with an intro price of $149 USD (normally $199).

13 thoughts on “Native Instruments Intros Ashlight, A Synth Focused On ‘The Darker Side Of Granular’

  1. that’s the most offputting commentary i think I’ve ever heard in something that’s supposed to be enticing – and I’ve been subject to UK advertising all my life

    wondering why though, I think it’s the extreme distance between the marketing hypervoice, it’s mittelbrit intonations and sense of breathless soft-enthused wonderment, with no actual need to understand the content at all

    apologies to the dude, not his fault… it’s the writing

    at least there’s a demo version so we can actually glean something

  2. There is nothing wrong with this, but it appears to be another in a series of “XY” controllable dual sample instruments that they have been putting out lately. This has a few extra bells and whistles but is another in a series of safe, underwhelming instruments in terms of uniqueness and creative development.

  3. I have found this commentary very good and enticing – personal liking I guess ?
    Like what I hear, but will not make another purchase until NI converts all their software to be Apple Silicone native.
    Currently on Komplete Ultimate ver. 10 and waiting……..
    PS; I don’t know what it is, but after recent changes/restructuring, NI lost their plot…

    1. This is precisely the point. They’re more like an over glorified sample library company, than the innovative music software company they used to be, like with the inventions of Reaktor and Absynth.

      This new plugin, as an example, is simply a regurgitated preset library marketed to look like something new, It’s not that it can’t sound good, it’s like a “smokescreen”, the point of granular synthesis is that you can run anything into it (or load it up into it). They just call it “dark” and labeled it “new” because of how they’ve packaged it.

      Their initial attempt at being innovative when they showed up on the scene back in the late 90s is dearly missed. And they also confuse as they were supposed to be “native” (only on the computer) and then they trickle in audio i/o and controllers. But I think they could’ve bred some pretty cool hardware, too.

    1. agreed, i have the first 2, and they………..are the same engine. It feels like obvious content for cash grab. Spitfire is putting out stellar mini content for $29, and i think that is far more enticing and creates brand loyalty. NI trying to milk $200 out of me constantly is getting tiresome

      1. You realize that 95% only bought komplete and their is everything inside? If you buy single products from NI instead of komplete you are wasting your money big time. Every year at sale you can grab komplete for an amazing price which will beat with his included products every other company on the market. It is normal from NI that they sell their single products for much more money. They do this marketing strategy for a very long time!!!

  4. Sounds really good… Im super happy that all these synths make it easy like instagram filters. There really is no need for people to spend time in darkrooms anymore. Welcome to the future!

  5. Sounds like recycled Straylight. Nothing new.
    How about making all NI apps Apple Silicon native..?
    10 months overdue and counting…

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