THIS THING RULES: Galaxynth

Welcome to another edition of This Thing Rules! This is a really interesting one, as it’s a unique rompler from a small, new company called Heart of Noise, that is quite frankly, unlike anything else I’ve ever played with. GalaXynth is the name of it, and it’s a little hard to review, but very cool and worth checking out.

Before we dig into what makes Galaxynth so unique, check out the demo, “Machine Eyes” which was made all in GalaXynth except for the main drum beat.

Picking out presets is kind of pointless with a product like this, since the goal of GalaXynth really is to experiment. There are presets that I used, and it does come with lots of samples to play with… But its the way in which you mess with and most importantly, combine those samples that creates the sounds that you work with.

Heart of Noise says that GalaXynth is a highly advanced “auditory synthesis” modeled after the human ear. That may sound like a lot to take in but what it comes down to is mixing and morphing any of the 100+ instruments included in very natural and smooth ways. In the simplest of terms, there’s a box that you drag instruments into and depending on where they are on the X/Y axis as well as how close they are to one another changes the sound of the overall instrument you’ve created. It’s as simple as dragging instruments on and seeing how they mesh.

Of course like any good synth, there are further tools at your disposal to further tweak the sound including 7 high quality effects and intuitive performance knobs. The whole thing has very low CPU usage and practically zero load times. I did run into a few crashes though with certain combinations of sounds which was a little disappointing. After mentioning it to the company they pushed out a patch which actually seemed to fix it, so hopefully those crashes don’t raise their heads again, because it’s a fun, unique tool to experiment with.

One other thing about GalaXynth that’s perhaps a little disappointing is that you can’t use your own samples. I suppose the complex nature of making all these sounds mesh together would make that quite hard to plan for, so it’s somewhat understandable. And thankfully, GalaXynth is expandable with Soundbanks that Heart of Noise continues to make available including the Pop Stars Vol. 1, Future House, Classic.FM and Neon Dreams packs. Hopefully they’ll continue to add more. Don’t be scared off though, the initial purchase has enough instrument combinations to really provide a seemingly endless array of possibilities.

GalaXynth is available to buy from Heart of Noise for $99 (there is a free demo available). It’s definitely a product in its own category, but I think it’s different enough to be worth a look.

THIS THING RULES: Lethal

The This Thing Rules blogs are going to be coming one after another over the next couple months, and today I’m excited to be checking out Lethal, a brand new rompler from Lethal Audio.

Before we jump into the review, make sure to listen to the demo, “The Monster,” which I made entirely in Lethal.

THIS THING RULES: Chromaphone 2

Welcome to another edition of THIS THING RULES! It’s been a little while as I’ve been going back and forth between being sick and busy, sick and busy, sick and busy… But I’ve got 7 of these reviews lined up right now, with 3 that are close enough to finished that I should be able to push them out over the next three weeks… And first up, is this sequel to one of the first products I ever reviewed on THIS THING RULES, Applied Acoustics Systems’ Chromaphone… This is Chromaphone 2!

THIS THING RULES: SubsonicArtz Gaia

Welcome to another edition of THIS THING RULES! I’ve got a bunch lined up right now that I’m trying to get to, and since I don’t have time for long introductions… Let’s get right into it!

Gaia is a new expansion pack for Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere by SubsonicArtz. You may remember SubsonicArtz as the maker of the Pulsar Project expansion pack for CL-Projects’ Hypernova, which I reviewed in a previous THIS THING RULES entry. As usual, lets listen to a demo I created specifically for this review, “The Secret Reason.”

This Thing Rules: Particular Sound Aphelion

Welcome to another edition of This Thing Rules! I’m trying my best to bring them to you more often now… At least 2 a month, and I actually have 4 lined up at the moment. So that should keep me busy (along with everything else keeping me busy lately)!

This time I’m going to be talking about Particular Sound’s Aphelion Cinematic Tool Kit Version 1.5. For those that don’t know, a Cinematic Tool Kit is technically meant for sound design and to add extra sounds to films and things like that. But keeping with the theme of This Thing Rules, I wanted to try to stick to using just Aphelion as much as possible to make my demo track, “Approaching Horizon.” I did use some instruments from other software to nicely build it out into a full song, but I’d say at least 80% of what you’re hearing came from this package.

So what exactly is included in Aphelion? You’re getting a load of sounds for your Kontakt library (468 Presents, 94 Multis, 334 Loops and everything is also available in WAV format, if that’s how you like doing things). 3.71GB in total. It’s a lot. You’re also getting a great little custom made GUI that helps in applying effects and tweaking the sequences created by the loops (which are of course all host tempo-synced).

What did I use in the demo up above? Well aside from some extra stuff like the pianos and bells which came from other sources, I used around a dozen patches. I started the track off with the gloriously dark (although fairly generically named) Multi called “Atmos 004.” This is a menacing sounding cloud of darkness that undulates underneath the entire composition. I then used “Rhythmic Loop 108A” as a main backing beat. A lot of the rhythmic loops included have a killer industrial vibe to them. Loop 108 A and the secondary loop that bring in towards the end of the piece called “Rhythmic Loop 113A” both fit that industrial style. Then comes the true sound design stuff. Again, we’ve got some really basic naming going on here, which is probably my only negative with Aphelion, but without naming names (since they’re so simple anyway), I used quite a lot of one shot hits that are included in the collection. There’s a collection of short, medium and long hits, and I used sounds from each to add to the background of the track, as well as help augment the overall beat. I also used some whooshes, (the ones included are also divided into short, medium and long) and some drone sounds.

Since I’m created a song here for my demo and not scoring and/or adding sound design to a film or existing piece, I didn’t want to use too many sounds, or else it would get kind of cluttered.  That’s to be expected with this kind of package though, since we’re not talking about pianos and basses and strings and stuff like that. Other categories included in Aphelion that I played around with but didn’t include for the demo, are Brams, downrisers and uprisers, and pulses. All of it sounds excellent, but again, it’s all a matter of really hunting around for what you’re looking for, since the categorization leaves a little to be desired.

Along with everything sounding great, you’ve also got the aforementioned GUI. The standout here is the Sequence controller. It’s an extremely quick and easy way to take the sounds you load and turn them into little sequences. The results are all over the place, but can really lead to some amazing stuff. To me, this is the most fun part of Aphelion.

Particular Sound is offering an intro price on Aphelion 1.5 right now for $89. There are plenty of other great demos on their site that you should check out if your’e interested, but act fast, before the price goes up to $119.

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

 

 

http://www.particular-sound.de/wordpress/sample-librarys/aphelion-sfx-library/

 

THIS THING RULES: Gahrn Audio Expansion Packs

Sometimes when I do these THIS THING RULES blog posts, the new music software gets sent to me (if you make music software and you’re reading this, get in touch!), and sometimes I have to go out looking for it. Today’s installment is a case of the latter and I’m so glad I found Gahrn Audio and their new expansions packs Symbiosis (for Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere) and Illusions (for Native Instruments’ Massive). I’m always on the look out for new Omnisphere expansions because as many of you know, it is my favorite synth, so to see a company like Gahrn come out and nail it with their first pack is very exciting… And it’s nice to have a reminder to go back and look at Massive again after I hadn’t touched it in a while…

Before getting into the bulk of this write-up, make sure you listen to the new track, “Seeing Is Believing,” made entirely with these two new expansion packs (except for the drum beat that comes in about 45 seconds in).

This track was especially exciting because it was the first non-score piece of music I’ve done in quite a while. I’ve been so busy with promoting the new album (see what I did there… haha), life, and well, scoring films, that I hadn’t made much stand-alone music. I think it came out pretty great. So what’s going on in that music?

The answer is some killer synths, beautiful pads and awesome arps. These packs aren’t huge by any means (80 patches in Symbiosis and 64 patches in Illusions), but what is there is all top notch usable sounds. Like I said, the bulk of what’s here falls under the synths, pads and arps categories of each respective program, although there are other sounds as well like great Impacts & Hits in Symbiosis.

In this particular song, I’m using about five Omnisphere Symbiosis patches and four from Massive Illusions.  Starting with the Omnisphere pack, two of the arps I used called Outrun (which provides that sick funky rhythm that comes in towards the end) and Still Visible sounded great right at loading, but I decided to play around with the arp patterns to get what I got out of them. The main keys in the song are a sound called Finger Painting which provides beautiful, echoing keyboards, and White Air is a very pretty backing synth pad. I really wanted to use some of the Texture patches in this track, but at that point I felt the song was already busy enough. They’re great additions to this package though and will definitely get used in the future.

Over in Massive, the Illusions patches were also perfect fits for this kind of ambient / electronica song. The big echoing synth you hear is called Dyerm, while another synth called All Transparent was incredibly playable and provides a secondary lead for the track. The main bass line is provided by two alternating versions of the End of Line patch with slightly different parameters that I tweaked at different points in the song. Like I said earlier in this write-up, it’s been quite a while since I’ve touched Massive, but I think I’m going to have to start digging in again because not only do I have these great new sounds for it, but it’s just a really cool program with lots of great content.

So overall as you can see, I really liked what Gahrn Audio has come up with in their first packs, and their inspiration led the way to this awesome new track. I’d love to see a new pack from them that takes advantage of some of Omnisphere 2’s new features, and I’d love to see some more keyboard sounds and maybe some percussion. But for what they are, these are great packs and definitely highly recommended.

Each of these packs are available now in Gahrn Audio’s website store priced very competitively at $23 for Symbiosis and $20 for Illusions. There are also FREE demos available of each pack, as well as more demo tracks and a full walk through of the Omnisphere pack.

Gahrn Audio is run by fellow composer and sound designer Claus Gahrn, so it’s no surprise that he knows what other composers could use. Hopefully he makes some more packs in the future. I’ll definitely be watching for them.

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

THIS THING RULES: u-He Hive PREVIEW

This is something that hopefully will be a rarity for me, but welcome to a mini-preview edition of THIS THING RULES!

As you know, in THIS THING RULES I review a new piece of software and post a brand new piece of original music that I composed either exclusively with or heavily featuring that software. Well I have a brand new entry written about the excellent new synth Hive from u-He, the makers of the amazing Zebra2.

Unfortunately, my computer died. Dead. I am computerless. And the piece of music I made, while backed up and safe, can’t be exported until I have a computer  to export it with. I should hopefully have the computer back this week, but since I planned on this review and track being posted last week already, I decided to post this special preview, because a song from my recently released album An Unseen Sky also features a whole bunch of Hive on it.

The song is called “Into The Black” and was actually the last song I made for the album. There are 4 instruments in the song that come from Hive, and it will give you a pretty cool idea of what this amazing synth sounds like in a track. Check out the song above, and check out the album, An Unseen Sky at: http://www.bydavidrosen.com/albums/unseen-sky

As soon as I’m back up and running, I’ll post the full THIS THING RULES segment with my review of u-He Hive and a track that is made up almost exclusively of Hive sounds. And if you’re a composer, make sure to check out u-He.com for a public beta of Hive that is available to try now!

– David

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