Dream Audio Tools has recently released Dream Keys Complete, a new piano package created as a toolbox for film composers, electronic and pop musicians, offering a selection of carefully “designed” sounds derived from two different piano sets.
Dream Keys sample library (Native Instruments Kontakt edition).
Our goal has been to provide composers with a plug-n-play solution to get that typical ambienced/cinematic piano sound heard on movies and TV, plus a variety of creatively crafted patches great for styles like soundtrack, electronica, hip hop and a lot more. The piano sets have been processed using a specific effects chain in order to obtain a great ambient/soundtrack sonic flavour.
Dream Keys Complete features
A Kontakt 4 library featuring two piano sets and 31 designed .nki patches.
An IK Multimedia Sampletank Format Library featuring 12 designed patches. Works with Sampletank Free Edition.
The Dream Keys Vsti Instrument for PC.
Dream Keys Complete is available to purchase for 59 EUR.
Maximum Force has been created by the prodigious talent of a world-class soundtrack and FX producer this library was especially created for projects that require high-impact sound effects (radio station ID, TV promos, bumpers, trailers). All sounds are designed using manipulated field recordings and synthesized sources.
Full of awe-inspiring sounds of scope and breadth Maximum Force is the perfect tool for busy post-production facilities, video editors, sound designers, broadcast radio/TV stations and experimental composers. This library is not only for film and games soundtrack creators but is also a goldmine for cutting-edge dance producers who want to add something special to their tracks.
The library includes multi-layered imaging elements, impacts, long and short fx, noise, whooshes, lasers, bleeps, tonal sounds and creative soundscapes as well as various loops so you’ll find the sound you need without slowing down your workflow.
Maximum Force features
550 Acidized WAV files & 550 AIFF Apple Loops.
40 instruments for Kontakt, EXS24 & NN-XT.
All stereo 24-bit 48Khz sounds are Ebu128 loudness normalized and cut in single files to make them easier to use in your audio/video productions.
All of the samples have been pre-cleared and are 100% original & royalty-free for your musical use without any additional licensing fees.
The sample library is available to purchase for £60.95 GBP / $99.95 USD / 75 EUR.
Zero-G has also announced a Christmas Sale, offering a discount on its sample libraries through December 31st, 2012.
BIG festive savings in the Zero-G Download Shop! 30% off everything, and great bundle deals in our Christmas Sale.
Producer Loops has announced the Kings of Bhangra Bundle, a collection of three volumes of the inspirational series from award-winning soundtrack composer and producer Gaurav Dayal.
This pack features a choice of ACID WAV, Apple Loops, REX and ReFill formats. From the producer of the immense ‘Classic Bollywood’ sample library, comes ‘Kings of Bhangra Bundle (Vols 1-3)’, a multi-format collection of FIFTEEN Construction Kits fusing traditional Indian musical elements with contemporary Bhangra and Urban styles.
Suitable for everything from Bollywood soundtracks, right through to contemporary Western Pop with a World music vibe, this bundle pack is essential for the producer seeking to add authentic Indian spice to their productions.
All files are key and tempo-tagged and the ACID/Apple Loops files will conform to the speed and pitch of your DAW project.
The bundle is available to purchase for £54.95 GBP.
Loopmasters has announced the release of Cinematic FX, a sample library dedicated to high impact floor shuddering sound FX as heard in the big budget Hollywood productions.
Produced exclusively for Loopmasters, this jaw dropping sonic palette has everything you need to take your soundtracks to the next level, nuke the drop with jet explosions, cinematic bombs and synthetic impacts, set the scene with mysterious textures and drones, accentuate transitions with whooshes, heavy metal doppler FX and crank sweeps and then add some extra ear candy with flanged hits, drum slams, data flares, short circuit FX and vocal swells.
This sample collection is a goldmine for cutting edge underground producers and will be especially useful in productions of Dubstep, Drum and Bass, Electro as well being an incredible source of sounds for anyone making soundtracks or more experimental music.
Expect to find Over 400Mb of sounds including Complex Hits, Fly-past Engine Noises, Sweeping Whooshes, Heavy Weight Explosions, Metallic Rattles, Grinding Crunches, Orchestral Drones, Dark Ambiences and Sci-Fi FX.
The sample pack is available to purchase for £19.95 GBP.
Users of Zebra have no shortage in sounds for this virtual modular synthesizer. Thousands of patches are available in both free and commercial soundsets. U-he’s latest offering – The Dark Zebra, is a little more than just a collection of patches.
A bank of over 400 presets, a collaboration between Hans Zimmer and Howard Scarr. Practically all Zebra sounds in the The Dark Knight as well as The Dark Knight Rises soundtracks are included, plus several more that didn’t quite fit into the scores.
The pack also includes Hans’ custom built update from a licensed Zebra2.x to the version you can see in this video, ZebraHZ. Many of the more recent patches make use of the extra features available in ZebraHZ.
Demonstration of The Dark Zebra with its custom ZebraHZ synthesizer plugin.
So not only does this soundset for Zebra 2.5 include hundreds of sounds straight from the brilliant minds of Hans Zimmer and Howard Scarr, it also comes with a custom Zebra version that was made specifically for Hans’ scoring of the Dark Knight movies.
Additional features of ZebraHZ include:
analog filter models such as the ones found in Diva,
2 additional modulation mappers,
and a Polymoog-like resonator effect module.
The new filters are available from the DIVA VCF tab in the bottom bar of the GUI.
You get 4 highpass filters and 4 lowpass/multimode filters. The HP filters include two models – Pre and Bite, and the 2 pairs of lowpass filters have Ladder, Cascade, Multimode and Bite models. Controls for cutoff, resonance and key follow are available, and three unlabelled knobs can be used to set modulation depths for assigned sources (two for cutoff, one for resonance) for each filter.
Since these filters can consume quite a bit of CPU, it’s good to have some quality parameters so you can work in draft mode and render with high audio quality. You can also get some random cutoff values on the filters with an additional “CutoffSlop” control.
ZebraHZ comes with an individual polyphonic compressor for each one of the 4 lanes. Polyphonic means that these will apply compression for each single note! You can imagine this takes some processing power so you can deactivate them to save some CPU.
The lane compressor modules are particularly useful for doing percussion/drum type sounds where transients matter.
With two additional modmappers in ZebraHZ (also included in the latest regular Zebra plugin) you now have a total of 4 flexible modulation map modules to add even more modulation to your sound.
The new Resonator module (Res1) is available from the effects grid on the Global/FX tab. This emulates the 3-band peaking filter found on Moog Music’s Polymoog analog synthesizer.
One of the very first polyphonic synthesizers ever included a 3-band peaking filter that could be used to dramatically shape the overall sound.
The resonator module in ZebraHZ.
ZebraHZ takes this concept and extends it with an extra full range band (60Hz-7.5kHz). The Resonator has various filter color modes, and the filter mode includes lowpass, bandpass, a bandpass variation with inverted second pole, and highpass.
Interestingly enough, many of the patches in The Dark Zebra don’t use any of these new features. Regardless, the additions are great to have.
As for the sounds, The Dark Zebra has a total of 400 patches which are categorized as follows:
Basses and Drones (33)
Bells and Metallurgy (26)
Drums and Clocks (64)
Effects and Chaos (38)
HighArps and Chords (72)
Lead and Horns (47)
LowArps and Stomps (50)
Pads and Keys (46)
As you would expect with sounds that were used in the soundtracks for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, many of them have a dark and cinematic feel to them.
Howard programmed most of the sounds to be performed with mod wheel, pitchbend, pressure and breath control, making them very dynamic. The patches come with information on the sound, how to use it and which controls are assigned to which parameters so you get an idea of how they were intended to be played.
Check Jarkko Hietanen’s amazing demo below to hear some of the sounds of The Dark Zebra in action. Only Zebra was used for this track!
So what do I think?
Product: The Dark Zebra by u-he Format: .h2p patches + ZebraHZ VST/AU plug-in Price: $99 USD incl. VAT (EU) Like: Brilliant sounds, excellent for studying Zebra sound design Don’t like: Costly for new Zebra users (since Zebra 2.x is required) Verdict: 9/10
It is a real testimony to u-he’s Zebra, that a famed composer like Hans Zimmer chooses to use this particular synthesizer for his soundtrack scoring. Browsing the sounds of The Dark Zebra it is clear that see why this flexible, high quality instrument was used. But a good synth only gets you so far.
I reckon a decent sound designer can make a bad synth look pretty good. How much more can a brilliant sound designer do with a fantastic synth? Howard Scarr is a true master of synthesizer programming, and in this collaboration with Hans Zimmer his skill, knowledge and dedication bears much fruit.
The sonic range of The Dark Zebra offers small and beautifully intricate to gripping, fast-paced and chaotic. Highly cinematic, but not limited to film scoring, this soundset is both an archive of hundreds of beautifully designed sounds ready for use in your own productions, as well as a peek into top notch sound design with Zebra. It is well worth studying the patches to learn how particular sounds were achieved.
Though the soundset didn’t actually end up using the new features in a whole lot of its patches, it’s still great to have the Diva filters, resonator, and lane compressors in ZebraHZ for your own sound design.
The only downside is perhaps the price tag. Even though ZebraHZ comes as its own plugin, you do need a license of Zebra 2.x to use ZebraHZ and the soundset. I personally think that The Dark Zebra is well worth the price, but new users will have to pay a considerable sum to get the whole package. That said, Zebra *is* a most excellent synthesizer, so it’s not a bad thing to pick it up anyway.
QESounds has announced the release of QES PhoenixB, a sound fx sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.
QES PhoenixB is a series of libraries based on 4th and 5th generation sounds – complex – layered – heavily convolved and granulated. The tone and feel is bigger and more aggressive than the ARFx series. All sounds originate from real world sources.
QESounds is known for slightly weird and subtly weird sounds. The QES Phoenix series steps it up a notch or three – with more notches to come. We’re throwing the kitchen sinks of sound design into this series – convolution synthesis, spectral and amplitude morphing, reversed/mirrored processing, FM and AM, static and dynamic granulation, pitch and time stretching, “motion”, stereo manipulation, layering, delay based Fx and more.
QES PhoenixB steps it up couple more notches – it is more intense than and more heavily layered than QES Phoenix – with a large population of deep effects, motion effects and “plosives”.
QES PhoenixB features
10 non-pitched instruments and 40 pitch varied instruments (Time Machine Pro) with a total of 880 sounds.
V4.4 scripting – which includes global EQ, global convolution, user control of envelopes, EQ and stereo image for each sound and the ability to Save/Load all settings to/from user specified files.
Suitable for Film and Gaming soundtrack design as well as live venue. It is synergistic with Adventure/Fantasy, SciFi, Horror, and Drama genres.
Available in 44.1 KHz and 48 KHz versions, Kontakt 5.03+ compatible (Mac and PC).
The sample library is available as a download for $59.95 USD and on DVD for $69.95 USD.