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.