DARKless Review – Emotional Soundscapes For Omnisphere 2 From String Audio
String Audio DARKless
DARKless is a beautiful library with expansive sounds that are sure to fill any composer with inspiration.
– Patch naming system
– Wide palette of sounds to choose from
– Original content and soundsources
– Use of Omnisphere’s ORB
– Couldn’t find any
DARKless is String Audio’s second library for Omnisphere 2. Their previous library LIGHTless (see our LIGHTless review) provided dark brooding soundscapes whereas DARKless is more oriented towards bright tone and positive/emotional mood. The library is huge and consists of the following:
• 2.7+ GB of brand new STRING AUDIO signature samples exclusively recorded and produced for Omnisphere 2
• 305 Soundsources
• 346 Patches
• 128 Multis
The sheer size of the library is to be applauded and at $99.00 is pitched at the same price point as their previous outing. The 346 patches are broken down into the following categories:
• 18 Basses
• 69 Atmospheres
• 45 Impacts
• 52 Keys
• 59 Pads
• 53 Pulses
• 50 Textures
To install DARKless you must have Omnisphere 2 patched to 2.3 or higher. Using the installation process built into Omnisphere the library is easy to install. If this is your first time installing a third party library a helpful video is included in the .zip file along with a brief manual.
You call me names
There is something interesting and refreshing that String Audio have done in with their naming concepts, which I have not seen before. Most libraries put a prefix before the name of the patch, for example BASS – Patch name. However, String Audio have gone for something a little different and added a suffix of white, grey, black. In String Audio’s own words the suffixes describe the patch in more detail as follows:
[white] : usually a bright tone and a positive/emotional mood
[grey] : usually a bright tone but with a mysterious/sinister mood
[black] : usually a dark tone and a gloomy/creepy/aggressive mood
This for me is very useful to help narrow down patches for not just character but also their tone. So although DARKless provides in general a more upbeat tone, there are some patches that still give a dark mood.
How does it sound
I had the idea of stepping through all the patches and noting down those that for me stood out. I soon gave up on that idea after the first 10, with all 10 making the list. The modulation employed in the sounds really adds that extra dimension and gives the composer finer control over the mood. Helpfully where no modulation has been applied the patch description window states ‘No controls associated to the MW’. This stops the user from wasting time to look at what modulation has been assigned, wish other libraries did this.
A number of patches did catch my attention however as they had employed the use of the ORB as a way of modulating the sound sources. This made for some very pleasing tones and usefully these patches have been tagged as such, simply enter ‘orb’ in the search field. Certainly give a listen to level 9 [grey], future unfolding [grey] and little stranger [white].
The pad sounds in this library are simply beautiful and rather than static sounds they have a nice subtle movement in them. This is perfect for creating the atmospheric backdrop on which to lay your tracks.
Moving on to the multis, which have been broken into six categories:-
Listening to the individual patches was a joy but then I played through the multis and this opened a whole new palette of sounds. Thankfully, this did not come at the cost of CPU cycles as can happen with some multis within Omnisphere. I am running an i7 5960X at 3.0GHZ and the cpu in Spectrasonics own standalone app rarely peaked above 10%.
The patches have been carefully chosen to blend well and complement each other. From subtle undertones to dark eerie atmospheres, you will find your bases well covered. With 128 multis, you are not going to run out of inspiration any time soon. I would like to suggest that anyone who invests in this library will find it easy to create a whole pieces without having to look elsewhere for sounds or inspiration.
I had the pleasure and opportunity in reviewing String Audio’s LIGHTless and have to applaud them for listening to feedback and then taking it one step further with the novel addition of suffixes to the patch names.
If you have LIGHTless then getting DARKless should definitely be on your shopping list. For those yet to pick either library up for Omnisphere and who compose Film, TV, Game or Ambient music then what are you waiting for.
Now we have LIGHT and DARK I am very interested in what String Audio will come up for their next Omnisphere library.
$99.00. Available here.
Written by Adrian Earnshaw
Adrian Earnshaw a.k.a Biodiode is a British composer/producer. You can find more about his work here.
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