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Sonic Images

An exclusive look at a Compact Disc-based sound library for everyone with a sound sampler

It'll be some time before CD-ROM is within the reach of us mere mortals - until it is we can still take advantage of the CD player as an aid to Sampling. Micro Music takes an exclusive look (and listen) to just such a sound library.

Okay so you've got a sampler of some description and you're tired of the preset sound discs that you bought with the sampler. You want some nice clean sounds for sampling but can't afford the time or money to go into a studio just to do that. What's the alternative? Compact Discs.

Now that CD players are comfortably within most people's price range several companies have taken the time and care to record individual sounds for sampling using this medium because of the absence of background hiss and the fact that you can cue CDs exactly at the start of a track.

One such company is Berlin-Based Sound Service, who have just launched Volume One of their Sonic Images CDs. When complete this should become quite a comprehensive pallette of sounds from which to draw.

Volume One

The first (and currently only) volume in this set concentrates soley on the world of percussion - no less than 288 rhythmic sounds on one CD. The sounds are repeated in three different ways on the disc: 1. As Demos of each Drumset - a drumset being a bank of six different sounds 2. As 24 drumsets 3. Grouped together as instrument types (Bass, Snare, Tom, etc).

From the sound chart you may be puzzled as to how you can possibly have 24 different Tom sounds. Well each sound may well have one dry (untreated version) plus other versions with Reverb, Delay, EQ and Chorus added. These are exceptionally useful when you have a sampler with a lack of separate outputs as your Snare sound can have reverb and your Bass can remain dry whilst still in the sampler. External effects need not be used.

It's a bit of a shame that the index to the sounds wasn't a little more descriptive. Having 48 sounds just labelled Percussion I or II isn't good enough I'm afraid!

Just in case you're wondering what some of them are there for, they range from explosions and gongs to little tinkly bells and Latin instruments.

The sounds themselves are of excellent quality. Mind you they should be. They were originally recorded on to a Synclavier Direct to Disk system and then mastered onto a Sony PCM 1501 digital recorder. However having said that I did notice background noise on some of the tracks, particularly the Cymbals and Hi-Hats.

In Use

It's unlikely that even those of you who are new to sampling will have any trouble loading in the sounds. Nearly all are nice and short so they should fit into even the cheapest of samplers. Plus of course there are very few of the sounds that need to be looped at all.

The Future

Volume One should be available in the UK by the time you read this. Sound Service will be able to give you details of the Distributor or take orders direct if you wish. The next few volumes will contain Strings, Woodwind, Human Voices and Brass and should begin to emerge within the next few months. I look forward to hearing Volume Two.

Product: Sonic Images Volume One
Supplier: Sound Service GmbH, (Contact Details)

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Get the Horn

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Casio MIDI Guitar

Micro Music - Copyright: Argus Specialist Publications


Micro Music - Apr/May 1989

Donated by: Colin Potter


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> Get the Horn

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