There aren’t a great deal of commercial soundsets available for Synapse Audio’s Dune 2 synthesizer, and most of them seem to be geared towards EDM, trance, electro house, etc. While Dune 2 is a great synth for these genres, I’m always happy to see someone taking a different approach.

With Starmap Vol. 1, Brandon Clark delivers the first in a three-part series of soundsets, each with a focus on a different sound type.

Starmap Vol.1 is a Sci-Fi themed sound set for Dune 2 that is inspired by the idea of advanced space travel in a time when humanity becomes so overpopulated that finding a new habitable planet becomes essential.

This sound set focuses on complex atmospheres, layered drones, cinematic pads, ambient synths, and celestial keys.

A total of 64 patches are included in the soundset, of which a large part consists of atmospheres, pads, drones & textures. Other sounds include arps, bass, keys, synth, guitar, seq, and more. Brandon has designed some of the sounds with custom waveforms (18 are included in the pack).

I did a quick run through the presets. I mostly just hit single notes and adjusted the modwheel so you can hear how it changes the sound. The host was running at 125 bpm.

For a more musical impression of what you can do with this soundset, check out Recursion Loop’s demo track below.

So what do I think?

If the first volume of the Starmap series is anything to go by, this trilogy is going to be fantastic. The sound design on some of these patches is quite stunning. Quite a few patches are really complex, and as such Starmap also offers a good way learn and improve your Dune 2 sound design.

The whole pack is full of great sounds, with my favorites being the atmospheres/pads/drones. There’s a lot of movement and musicality in these patches, and the clever modwheel assignments add more depth and emotion to the already very dynamic sounds.

At a price of $10.95 USD, Starmap Vol. 1 offers great value for money. A free demo with 4 patches is available for download here.

More information: Brandon Clark / Starmap Vol. 1