Review: Prime Loops Ambient Fractals
Prime Loops has recently released Ambient Fractals, a sample library featuring ambient sound effects by resident producer Dmitry Vasilyev aka Cyberworm.
Engineered to capture the true essence of ambience, “Ambient Fractals” will twist you through the mathematics of sound, bringing you a mesmerizing selection of waveform manipulations and spaced out oscillations from the sublime side of synthesis. It’s never been easier to find that extra layer of texture for your tunes and soundtracks, adding depth, tension and mystery to any mixdown.
The library includes nearly 300 samples and loops which Dmitry created with a number of hardware synthesizers, including the Waldorf Q, Access Virus, Roland JP8000, Korg Prophecy and Clavia Nord.
The focus of this library is on single shot sound fx samples. A total of 276 sounds are categorized in 15 folders, including things like Atmos, Glides, LFOs, Reverses, and Weirdos. Other than being serially numbered the actual samples within the folders do not have any additional descriptions. I prefer a more distinctive naming convention but since there is a reasonably small amount of samples in each folder it isn’t too big a deal. Unfortunately there is no info on which key samples are in.
While a number of one shot samples are short sounds (e.g. stabs, perc, blips) most are actually quite long, from several seconds up to nearly half a minute.
Have a listen to the product demo below to get an idea of the type of sounds included in Ambient Fractals.
Note: the audio demo includes some additional sounds not included in this library (e.g. the drum beat).
Let’s take a look at the one shot samples in detail.
- Atmos (24 samples), averaging 10 seconds per samples these sounds set some great ambiance. Mostly darker sounds, brooding and with anticipation of something bad waiting to happen. Puts me in a space thriller type mood.
- Blasters (16 samples), more space sounds in this folder featuring sounds of space aliens blasting their weapons at full force. Mainly shorter zaps and blasts.
- Chords (24 samples), lots of suspenseful chord hits, sounds ranging from organ and piano to filtered house chords.
- Delayed (26 samples), various melodic and percussive sounds treated with full force delay effects.
- Glides (9 samples), kind of like drive by whooshing sounds, but then… you guessed it, from all kinds of space craft type vehicles.
- Hits (20 samples), short sounds -mostly percussive- heavily drenched in massive reverb and other processing.
- LFOs (18 samples), LFO modulated sounds, including some typical rippling sound fx and dub siren/alarm type sounds.
- Noise (13 samples), includes some wind type sounds.
- Other (37 samples), various 8bit sounds, blips, filtered sounds, vocal fx, sweeps, and more.
- Pitched (12 samples), going up… going down! These samples create movement by shifting pitch in various ways.
- Reversed (10 samples), some of these reversed sounds are particularly tense/creepy and intimidating.
- Sirens (10 samples), various real-ish and not so real sounding sirens.
- Stabs (27 samples), includes orchestral, choir, organ, piano, synth, distorted guitar… lots of mostly very shorts hits.
- Synths (19 samples), nice variety of processed synth sounds (no “simple” sounds).
- Weirdos (12 samples), some noisy, glitchy, bubbly sounds. Not sure why they are called weirdos as they sound similar to many of the other samples in this pack.
Besides the one shot sounds you also get a collection of 20 loops, ranging from 90 to 130 bpm. These are in the same vein as the single sounds. These noisy, glitchy, heavily processed tonal and atonal sounds do have some more descriptive names indicating bpm, and key info where relevant.
So what do I think?
Format: 24bit/44kHz samples (various formats)
Price: £16.95 GBP
Like: great sound design, lots of unique material
Don’t like: no key info for one shots
First off, the title might suggest otherwise but I don’t think Ambient Fractals is geared towards ambient music per se. It’s more of a sound fx collection, including tons of well produced sounds that are great for cinematic work, experimental music and to spice up any type of electronic music really.
The whole production has a bit of a dark undertone, which makes it great for science fiction or thriller type music/soundtracks.
If I had to come up with a title for this sample pack I would make sure it would have “space” or “alien” in it.
While having a good variety of sounds, many samples in Ambient Fractals are heavily processed with reverb, delay and other effects. Now much of the processing is what makes the samples unique so I am not saying this is a bad thing, but it obviously comes at the cost of usability. That said, the samples do sound simply great.
In short, Ambient Fractals includes a wealth of high quality sound fx for adding some zing to your productions.
Prime Loops is offering a free demo pack featuring 20 samples and loops so check it out and see what you think.