3D Sound Effect CD
Most sample CDs currently on the market concentrate on break beats and drum loops which can be used individually or as an underlying rhythm. Not so with this CD. Created at Studio JBF in Paris, 3D Sound Effect is aimed at people who want atmospheric and sound effects with the touch of magic that Roland's RSS psycho-acoustic effect adds. The 98 tracks are divided into seven sections - Natural and Electronic Atmospheres, Horror, Voyages, Synthesised and Natural Sound Effects, and Musical Phrases.
Some sections do not really lend themselves to RSS treatment. For instance, on Natural Atmospheres and Voyages it whirls the various sounds around between the speakers in a way quite unlike anything that would occur naturally. That said, 'Little Rain Drops' is an excellent 3D collage of puddles and ambient street life.
Most of the Electronic Atmospheres and Horror tracks are very useable, especially the three Brain Damage tracks. Similarly, some of the Synthesised Sound Effects could be used in stereo situations such as Nicam digital TV and FM radio - Lunar Insects and Intrigue being particularly good.
As I've said, natural sound effects suffer a little by the continuous movement of the sound (rather than using the RSS system to enhance the spatial positioning beyond the confines of stereo speakers) - though there are saving graces in tracks like Broken Glass and Shots.
Most of the 'musical' phrases are marvellous examples of what RSS can achieve but are, perhaps, too distinctive to be used as specific themes - the exceptions being the modern orchestra hits, the (few) scratches and the 'falls', which are eminently useable.
The overall sound quality suffers a little from the graininess and harsh midrange (which is associated with extensive use of RSS), especially on sounds which have come from sampled sources. The general level of sub-bass is also too high and subjects speaker cones to unnecessary movement even at low volume; frequencies below 50 Hz could have done with a higher degree of roll-off.
Who will this CD interest? Certainly those producing TV and film music/soundtracks - particularly where this will be replayed in stereo environments (RSS loses its spatial quality in mono). Those involved in A-V work should also benefit; the sound effects will, I'm sure, prove invaluable. The 3D Sound Effect CD is unlikely to be a massive seller due to its rather specialist nature, but it's one of an increasing number of collections helping to win over those who refuse to contemplate the use of sample CDs as a source of ideas.
Price : £49
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