Today’s review is to help answer a question we received from one of our members in our Facebook Community:
...I'm not a big fan of loops, however - I'm still on the fence. What do you guys think [of Synthetic Soundtracks Bundle by UEBERSCHALL]?
Let’s find out!
(If you’re also on the fence about a product, let us know so we can review it!)
Today’s Quickie takes a look at the Synthetic Soundtracks Bundle by veteran developer UEBERSCHALL. This bundle weighs in at nearly 20GB in size with 30 construction kits and over 3,500 samples and loops. While it doesn’t contain any playable instruments like a traditional sample library would, you can mangle up the included samples using the free Elastik 3 engine. You can also export the WAV files for each instrument set if you prefer to use your DAW’s built-in sampler or a commercial sampler like Kontakt.
This was my first time using the Elastik 3 engine, which has a mild learning curve if you’re not accustomed to its advanced editing and pitch-shifting/correcting capabilities. While the Elastik 3 engine is quite novel in its design and functionality, I much prefer to work with the samples outside of it. In fact, I tested this bundle outside of Elastik 3 because I prefer to use external FX and samplers. Exporting the samples can be mildly time-consuming considering you have to manually export each product. It’s also worth noting that the file named “03 Industrial Rythms” is completely empty, which I’m not sure if that was intentional or an error with the “Export WAV” feature.
The samples and loops themselves are pretty much the typical run-of-the-mill sounds you’d hear in a cinematic trailer or soundtrack. You can easily find inspiration with both the stems from the construction kits and the various one-hit samples. They're not game-changing sounds by any means, but they’re a great addition to any composer or producer’s arsenal. If you don’t have any cinematic tools in your arsenal, then this bundle is a great entry-level sample pack, especially for its one-shots and atmospheric textures.
Overall, this is a fantastic starter pack for those wanting to explore the cinematic soundscape. While there are no playable instruments, per se, the loops still and one-shots are still very inspirational and usable for most genres of contemporary music. If you’re using the Elastik 3 engine, you’ll have even more fun messing around with its advanced editing and pitch-shifting/correcting capabilities. It’s worth checking out!
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SOUNDIRON is back with another mind-blowing bundle sale that’s currently going on at Audio Plugin Deals. As Audio Plugin Guy’s resident Kontakt aficionado, I had to check this one out for myself, especially since I don’t really have any ethnic instruments in my arsenal. Prepare some hot tea and noodles, because this is going to be one heck of a ride.
The Ethnic Bundle is an epic package of ethic sounds and instruments created by SOUNDIRON for the full version of Kontakt. Inside this beast you’ll find 285 instruments spanning across 9 libraries in a package that totals 44.36GB. More specifically, this bundle includes:
Acoustic Saz - a multi-sampled fretless 5-string acoustic Saz Baglâma.
Electric Saz - a multi-sampled fretless 5-string acoustic-electric Saz Baglâma.
Brad Hoyt's Harp Guitar - a full range 30-string acoustic harp guitar.
Street Erhu - a traditional Chinese Erhu featuring over 4.600 phrases.
Frendo - a custom-built instrument created by SOUNDIRON.
Twine Bass - a modified cello and a traditional Kenyan fretless stringed instrument called a Bolon.
Bizarre Sitar - a sitar with bizarre and unique recordings that creates a totally different sound.
Bowed Bucket - the result of what happens when you hammer together a 5 gallon plastic bucket and a wooden 4X4.
Zitherette - a simple 8-string fretless zither.
Two words can describe how I felt when I first opened up this bundle: Selection Shock. Seriously, there’s so many instruments and different articulations to choose from! SOUNDIRON has always gone the extra mile for their products, but I’m seriously impressed by the amount of total control I’ve been given to play certain instruments like Acoustic Saz and Twine Bass. Admittedly, there’s a little bit of a learning curve if you’ve never used instruments like these, but once you’re able to master the art of keyswitching the possibilities are endless.
Each library features a very intuitive user interface that’s easy to navigate. Everything is presented in such a manner that really makes customization easy for the user. Of course, if you’re like me and like to find inspiration with presets, there are plenty of presets to choose from for certain instruments. The “Custom FX Presets” is a great way to find sounds that are production-ready and instill inspiration for creating your own sounds. I personally feel like these presets are especially handy for Bowed Bucket because of how versatile its tone is.
To be completely honest with you, I seldom use anything “ethnic” sounding, so exploring this bundle was definitely a treat for me. I didn’t even know what a Chinese Erhu was until I played Street Erhu!
Acoustic Saz: There’s no doubt that the attention to detail is a bit overwhelming at first (in a good way), but once you learn how to use the keyswitches this library is a game-changer.
Bizarre Sitar: It’s bizarre! I found that it’s really great for making soundscapes. One thing I want to point out is the Sub-Synth (SINE) has a click at the beginning of the sample, which can be kind of annoying if you’re looking for a pure sub-bass. One could EQ the click out, but in doing so would sacrifice the bright and rich high-end of this instrument.
Bowed Bucket: Probably one of the most unique sample libraries I’ve encountered. Its versatility allows for gritty and raw tones to something more ominous and foreboding. The choice is truly yours. The “Custom FX Presets” folder really gives you an idea of what you can do with this thing. You gotta try them out yourself!
Electric Saz: Just as intimidating (and useful) as Acoustic Sax, but electric!
Frendo: Some of my favorite presets remind me of Spectrasonics’ Distorted Reality series. This is another very unique sample library that I feel like needs to become mainstream. Kudos, Soundiron!
Harp Guitar: The sound of this instrument is so rich and organic; I wish I had more time to play around with it!
Street Erhu: I’ve never even heard of an Erhu until I used this sample library. I’m a little disappointed that the bulk of this library is just recorded phrases, but nevertheless, they’re still quite useful.
Twine Bass: The ambient presets are my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, the main section of this instrument is just as good, but I love me some ambient sounds I can use for my soundtracks.
Zitherette: A simple, bright zither. It’s not something that I normally use, but I’m still a fan of this one!
As someone who’s never really used ethnic instruments before, I was seriously impressed by how SOUNDIRON was able to introduce me to another world of sound. The options are nearly endless with this bundle! I had a lot of fun playing around with the presets and I know you will too. This is one you definitely don’t want to miss!