Mongo’s Machines

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 4 customer ratings
(4 customer reviews)

15.00 12.00 plus VAT

Buying this will earn you 1 MongoMoney worth €1!

Machine belong Mongo. MONGO!!!


“Mongo’s Machines personifies Rhythmic Robot at their experimental, dusty, distorted, beautiful best… the sounds it makes are proper mad, from fizzy ambiences and seasick pads to ticklish glitches and throbbing low-end constructions that defy categorisation. Hilariously scripted.” Computer Music 9 out of 10“If you are like me and the name Mongo invokes visions of some big Neanderthalish type toddling about with a sampler saying ‘Mongo sample good’, you need to put that out of your mind; because their stuff is totally genius.”  – The Razorwire BalletRazorwire Ballet logo

Sometimes even the best-intentioned people have lapses of good judgement. Letting Mongo take control of the lab (even briefly) may have been one of them. But hey, he was so keen…

Mongo’s Machines begins by sampling the patches Mongo has programmed on his Dust Organ (which is to say, his own personal MicroKorg, which he has extensively customised). The Dust Organ patches themselves are skewed towards the oddball end of the spectrum and often involve some degree of bit-reduction, waveshaping or drive effects. These starting-point waves then become part of a Kontakt framework which Mongo has lovingly hand-crafted with his very own thumbs. It’s capable of being strange and mournful or randomly aggressive – just like Mongo himself. It is erratic and unpredictable – just like Mongo himself. But unlike Mongo himself, it is cheap to run, fun to work with and doesn’t actually look that bad, considering.

The user interface (extensively, um, customised, I’m afraid) incorporates twin oscillators plus noise and sub, with quite a lot of modulation options; and then three further circuits – Angry (some kind of distortion, we believe); Samples (which is a further bit-reduction and mangling stage, with LFO and envelope control over bit depth); and a filter circuit that for some reason has “broken” written on it in red Magic Marker, even though it’s not at all broken and works just fine. (It’s possible that Mongo finds the sound of a four-pole resonant filter too subtle to hear. Or maybe “broken” means something different to him.) There are also some effects round the back, plus a panel labeled “Keep Out“, which we advise you to leave alone.

The end result is a truly strange little box of tricks that can turn its several hands to leads, basses and all sorts of angry on-the-edge-of-breaking-up nastiness, as you can hear in the audio demo. It’s particularly good at uneven, wiry, eerie wanderings: if your bag includes scoring for post-apocalyptic wasteland computer games, you’re going to like this one. Try not to think of it as a glimpse into the mind of Mongo – that’s really not a happy thought. Instead, perhaps it’s best to think of it as the musical equivalent of what might have been, had evolution taken a very different turn. Indeed, perhaps somewhere in a parallel universe, all this makes perfect sense. Or something. Who knows? We are, though, releasing it into the wild…

(All our Kontakt instruments require a full copy of Native Instruments Kontakt v4.2.3 or higher (including all versions of Kontakt 5). Kontakt Player is not supported: instruments will load, but will time out after 15 minutes. See the FAQ for further information.)

4 reviews for Mongo’s Machines

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    johnup12 (verified owner)

    I didn’t know what to expect when I bought this, and I don’t know what to expect when I use it – it’s weird in a wonderful way.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Monika Edvardsen (verified owner)

    I was a bit surprised that many of Mongo’s machines sound rather beautiful, but as we all know, you can’t judge a book from its smell, and there is plenty of both weirdness and beauty here. This creation is for the most part easily understood (it weebles, mushes, swooshes and swirls, you see), and it’s AFAIK the first RR-instrument that actually randomizes the controls also on the Effects page when you push the Glitch button (hurrah!), so making new sounds is really easy and fun. You can get some kind of polyrhythmic thing going when using both the Angry and Samples LFOs at the same time with different speeds. I wish the Saw and Sine waveforms had the opposite phase, cause when you bitcrush a lot and the speed is somewhat low, you start with silence when you press the keys. Dialing the Phase knob under the hood to 180 fixes this for the Sine, but Saw is still silent at the start.
    There are unfortunately two knobs that don’t work: Mush phase doesn’t do anything at all, and Mush speed just sets the corresponding chorus … I mean Mush speed knob under the hood to 2.2 Hz (if you’ve tweaked it). Reported the bug to RR late 2017.

    • The Professor (verified owner)

      We’re pleased to say that the bug with the Mush knobs has now been fixed and Mongo’s Machines is behaving properly. (Or improperly. In any case, as intended.) New buyers will get the fixed version automatically; if you’re an existing owner and would like to upgrade to the fixed version, just drop us an email and we’ll send you a new download 🙂

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    mrianrjohnson (verified owner)

    This has really got a mind of its own, but the results are great. Don’t use it as a bread and butter synth – you’ll never recreate the same sound twice, but just stick on a random preset and increase the grit!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Loic Forsyth (verified owner)

    This thing was a bit hard to review because it’s a bit, well… unusual, obviously. It’s hard to describe because of its resulting sound, but the instrument itself is not complicated (even though the somewhat inscrutable GUI sometimes seems to control somewhat inscrutable things…). You get two layers of sound (28 sample sets of all manner of strings, organs, pads, and the like) plus noise and sub, and this blend goes through a modulated distortion, a modulated bit crusher, then a filter (with optional effects, of course). Weird.

    Hats off to Mongo because the modulated distortions are a stroke of genius (or madness, probably) — what comes out is a sort of almost undefinable sonic soup that blurs the line between organic and synthetic, often on the verge of breakup — as if the electricity producing the sound is about to give out at any moment. It sometimes seems to have a life of its own, and it absolutely excels at dirty, dusty, thickly-layered, moving pads that frizzle out along their edges. At no point does it sound like an analog synth in any traditional sense, and you’re not going to break this thing out for any kind of task that requires precision (or control for that matter…), but if you’re looking for something a bit unpredictable and chaotic, then Mongo’s got ya covered. You can get some wonderful sounds out of this thing once you learn to tame it a bit.

    Obviously, I like this instrument quite a bit, so I’m giving it five stars. Mostly because it deserves it, but also a little bit because I think Mongo could probably use the encouragement…

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