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REVIEW: Gothic Instruments' Sculptor Live Impacts Module

REVIEW: Gothic Instruments' Sculptor Live Impacts Module

Gothic Instruments has released the Sculptor Live Impacts Module, its latest sound design tool for use with Kontakt.

Sitting down with this new software, I was hoping to create something worthy of the pretty impressive artwork that goes along with it.

After immersing myself in the samples and playing around with the module for a couple of hours I managed to put together a two-minute soundscape with the intention of trying to replicate a metallic crescendo that slowly builds up to an apocalyptic climax of doom. I played it to my girlfriend and she said it sounded like a bag of nails falling down the stairs.

Close enough.
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After suspecting that I had perhaps missed the point of having a customisable library of various bish, bosh and boom noises I decided to do some research – it turns out that I had, in fact, not only missed the point, but somehow missed the point and ended up in an entirely different country altogether.

This volatile library of ‘monstrous slamming impacts, ear splitting strikes and thundering blows’ is not designed to enhance the likes of Coldplay’s latest audio offering, it is aimed at those who create the background to every film, TV show, advert and trailer that you have ever seen.

In the final scene of Armageddon, when Bruce Willis is poised to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his daughter, his species and his irritating son-in-law, it turns out that the astronomical explosion that we all saw and heard with our own eyes and ears didn’t actually happen. Someone, somewhere had to imagine what an asteroid exploding on the fringes of the planet would be likely to sound like and then go about trying to make it happen utilising objects and equipment found exclusively from their home planet.

This person was probably paid a hefty sum of money to create the sound sculpture that made us actually believe for an instant that there was a huge explosion in the sky, caused by a man named Bruce.

Imagine how much easier this poor soul’s life would have been, if instead of going to whatever extreme lengths they did to recreate this earth shattering noise, they instead could have selected play on ‘Impacts Blasts A4’. Technology is a wonderful thing when you really stop to think about it.

Gothic Instruments claims that ‘creating monumental events that induce panic, fear and excitement amongst your audience has never been easier’. If you ask my neighbour’s cat its opinion on the matter, I’m absolutely certain that it would wholeheartedly agree with you. At around the 45 minute mark of me playing around with ‘Whoosh Impacts’ the neighbour downstairs starting to join in, by making his own impact noises on his ceiling with what I suspect was a broom. We battled it out for a couple of minutes and I think that we both came to the conclusion that my boom noises were better. 1 – 0 to Gothic Instruments.

The interface of the Sculptor Live Impacts Module is immensely pleasant and user friendly. It has an animation of molten cracks of larva spreading across the dashboard, which appears every time you activate a sound. This is very cool the first five times, mildly amusing the following five times, but ultimately entirely unnecessary. I suspect that if you did soundscapes for a living, this would be a feature that you wish had an off button.

There are many different types of fire, wood, metal and explosive effects, ranging from polite to catastrophic. Each one can be customised with ‘Pre Whoosh’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Decay’ variables on the basic interface and some more variables if you are willing to delve deeper.

All of the sounds have been processed by Hollywood trailer sound-design genius Alessandro Camnasio. A quick Google will inform you that he has worked on Mad Max and Transformers, so he is a man familiar with the occasional big bang.

Gothic Instruments claims that this software is perfect for creating sound effects for ‘impacts, collisions, metal strikes, raining missiles, deep booms, earthquakes, thunder and explosions’. There is no need to correct them – they are entirely right.

You will need Kontakt to utilise this library of sounds and I experienced no crashes or problems when loading the various instrument and samples contained within. The options give you plenty of flexibility to control your output, so you can add a capital B to your boom if you so require it.

You can also use the software to create hybrid percussion loops and tracks, however I suspect that the vast majority of utilisation will come from looking through the samples for the appropriate boom, for any current boom shaped hole in your life you may have at any given time.

For what you get the price seems entirely reasonable and I suspect that for the right market this product will go down with a resounding boom (aha).

Gothic Instruments’ Sculptor Live Impacts Module is available now through Time+Space with a special introductory price of £36.63 until August 5th 2016 (excluding VAT). Its original price is £45.79.

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Tags: time+space , time and space , Software , Reviews , Gothic Instruments , Sculptor Live Impacts Module

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