Gothic Instruments SCULPTOR Epic Risers – designing the sounds

Epic Risers GUIFrom alerting a movie audience to impending danger through to creating anticipation before an awesome drop in an EDM track, risers have a place in many musical scenarios and have one thing in common – they are key to initiating that kick of adrenaline among your listeners.

Epic Risers‘ is the latest instalment in Gothic Instruments‘ SCULPTOR series of sound design tools, following on from SCULPTOR Live Impacts and SCULPTOR Massive Whooshes, and it makes creating professional-sounding risers incredibly easy – from the most subtle of sweeps to huge powerful crescendos. Simply press a couple of keys for instant epic results or dive in, experiment and sculpt the sounds in infinite combinations.

Gothic Instruments founder Dan Graham says “With world-class sounds, endless tweakability and perfect beat-sync to your projects, SCULPTOR Epic Risers adds epic power and instant excitement to any build across all genres – rock, pop, dance, hip hop, film music and trailer music.”

Sculptor Epic Risers Master FX pageYou can check out our walkthrough video here to discover the array of controls and sound sculpting possibilities that SCULPTOR Epic Risers presents, but what about those painstakingly crafted raw sounds? Hollywood movie trailer sound designer Alessandro Camnasio, reveals all…

The sounds were created by sampling a variety of raw sources and using a wide range of synthesis and processing techniques: from musical instruments played in unconventional ways to heavy metal screams and electromagnetic fields, from granular synthesis to complex FX chains often featuring dozens of plugins, crazy experiments with objects and toys, and hi-definition recordings with a Sanken CO-100K and Earthworks QTC microphones. Just to give you an idea of how far my sonic explorations went: I’ve even played a violin with a cappuccino maker! After checking the raw recorded material in iZotope RX and polishing it, I like to take those sounds to a whole new level through editing and processing.”

And here’s a riser derived from that violin/cappuccino/milk frother instrument combo…


I find iZotope Insight and RX very useful in my workflow. Apart from checking levels, frequency content and phase correlation, being able to visualise the sonic texture with a realtime Spectrogram, really helps my sound design process, especially when I’m trying to create a bold but balanced sound. I am a great fan of Spectrograms and the 2D and 3D version implemented by iZotope are just glorious. I use RX daily and for me it’s an invaluable tool to quickly get an overview of the raw material I’ve recorded, get rid of the unwanted noise and prepare it for some creative sound design. I also use it on the final sounds to give them a last polish by smoothing or enhancing some characteristics with the RX tools.
For this particular project, I also used Trash 2. For me, the particular mix of distortion and convolution it offers, is an interesting way to add colour and take the raw recordings to a whole of new level of richness and sonic madness. Then I use the processed materials as layers for the creation of complex sounds. You can get a rough idea of my workflow from these brief videos about the “making of” of a riser that features some screams (sound recorded from cellphone).

And here’s a sound designed riser using layers from that ‘vocal’ recording…


Click here to find out more about SCULPTOR Epic Risers


Posted by Melanie Doidge

Having worked in marketing for over fifteen years with experience in various industries, Time+Space and the world of music production continues to be the most exciting of them all. With our brands consistently pushing the boundaries of technology with their products, the terrific DJs, Composers and Producers using them and the feedback from magazines and our customers, there's always plenty to tell the world about. Musical experience? I reached Grade 6 in piano back in my school days and am currently in the throes of trying to resurrect my abilities!


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