Today we were all very excited to see the release of the second epic sound library in the SCULPTOR series by Gothic Instruments: Massive Whooshes. After the very popular release of SCULPTOR Live Impacts Module, I was keen to see what more this series had to offer and within five minutes of exploring the features, I couldn’t keep my hands away from the keyboard! It is my pleasure to take you through this fantastic addition to a series that is making the possibilities of sound design reach new heights.
First up, in the words of Gothic Instruments co-founder Dan Graham, SCULPTOR Massive Whooshes is “a sound library that creates huge fast-moving transition sounds that sound like something very big going past your face very quickly. These sounds add huge energy and excitement to music and percussion. The software has a large amount of world-class raw material and then allows a huge amount of control and customisation so that you can make them pan across, bigger, slower, faster, softer and so on – and it stays locked to your tempo so the whoosh sounds hit the peak point exactly on the beat.”
Italian sound designer Alessandro Camnasio is the genius behind the recording and processing of the raw audio for Massive Whooshes and from a glance at the presets, it’s clear to see the lengths he went to in order to create such a diverse collection of sounds. Here he describes the process…
“I have recorded a wide variety of sources, such as water, rocks, fire, animals, machines, electromagnetic noise, human voices and musical instruments, played in unconventional ways. Then I have used many sound design techniques to shape this material.
Creating a library of this size is a long, time consuming task, so I always try to have some fun and keep things “fresh” by challenging myself and exploring new sonic possibilities. I have a background in electro-acoustic music and really like to use many experimental approaches learned during my studies, later developed with my own research.
As you can imagine by listening to the sounds, the Doppler effect was of paramount importance for adding a sense of speed and realism to this library. Apart from that, granular synthesis and re-synthesis are some of my favourite techniques to create interesting sonic textures and take the original recordings to a whole new level, while preserving the “organic” quality. I also experiment a lot with complex effects chains and signal routing, to enhance a sound or completely mangle it. Convolution and morphing are other techniques, that were useful to twist the sounds in exotic and unpredictable ways. Once I am happy with a sound, I finalise it by tuning a mastering chain that includes different compressors, enhancers and limiters that I activate and change on a case by case basis. All the rest are trade secrets I will consider to release when I’m retired ;-)”
I find that with a lot of sound libraries these days, the aim is to pack as much content as possible into one product but, in true Gothic Instruments style, the main user interface of Massive Whooshes is the perfect blend of simplicity and endless power which goes hand in hand with the beautiful design.
A good place to start is the Whoosh designer, which allows you to select sounds for 3 different elements that together, will make up your Whoosh; Attack, Peak and Decay. The Attack creates a suspenseful build up which then quickly crossfades to the pinnacle of the Whoosh (the Peak) which is then followed by the Decay – a long release that tails off the sound. You can adjust the volume of each element, allowing you to focus on one central point of the sound which makes it a useful tool for sound design. Use the two dropdown menus (master category and subcategory) above each element to select the sound of a prehistoric animal, a falling nuke or a raging fire to name a few. What I found incredible was that every combination I tried worked together and produced an entirely new sound each time – I could have spent hours testing out different fusions without even touching another parameter! The Random button is also a great feature that loads a random set of sounds into the 3 slots, an easy way to listen how different presets work with each other and also a lot of fun to use!
On the main interface you can also find the MIDI Keys which consist of 16 blue keys which are the sounds, allowing 16 whooshes per nki. The red keys are a new feature which allow you to control and sequence changes of the pan direction and speed of the Whoosh. Switching the speed to 2 bars long results in a slow and climactic huge whoosh that I think sounds great if the pan direction is changed aswell – sort of like a spaceship flying inches over your head I thought! The bottom of the interface holds 10 sound shaping dials that determine various aspects such as velocity, filter cutoff, resonance and envelope shapes. The tune dial can create some interesting textures if you pitch it high for a quick percussive sound or low for a rumbling eruption. The V/F dial maps velocity to the filter cutoff, meaning the filter will rise depending on how much velocity is applied and the ENV/F dial works in a similar way but controls how much the filter rises at the peak of the whoosh.
The master FX page offers 6 different effects: Drive, Compression, Filter, Delay, Reverb and Gater. The gater is a rhythmical noise gate and is entirely new to SCULPTOR; once I heard what it could do to a sound it inspired me to get much more experimental with some of the other features. Adjusting the depth and width parameters will vary the smoothness of the stutter from gentle to hard.
Overall I rate this product extremely highly, it has surprised me in how much more it can do than I imagined. Naturally, it’s an excellent FX tool for movies, trailers, games, and tv shows that can create anything from the deep roar of an earthquake to a high pitched screaming whirlwind. On top of this it can work within any genre of music as a rise to an intense point or a drop, or use it to glue together different sections for a smooth natural sounding transition. I have been using the gater effect in conjunction with the tune dial to create some chaotic stuttering that sounds great within modern dance music tracks. There is no boundary to how creative you can get with Massive Whooshes so I highly recommend you purchase it and find out for yourself what you can do with it. Click here to find out more
To get a closer look at SCULPTOR Massive Whooshes and hear some of the huge sounding presets, watch the walkthrough video below.