I have recently been doing work for a game set in a cold icy climate, then I woke up to a new competition to create an instrument from Afroracks eurorack session! Seeing as I have not built an instrument, I figured what better time to try my hand at it and start learning! Here is what came of it! Best experienced with crumpets!
Reviews for Arctic Laboratory
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A moody pad with awesome lows
This is a fantastic ambient pad that has been sampled very well, with a sound that is reflected very well by the title of this instrument. It's cold, electric and deep, with the lows doing a very good job on showing the potential of the instrument. The included delay and reverb settings compliment the sound very well, and I think the addition of an attack and release setting would make this every better.
This is a pretty different sound of pad than I am used to
and it sounds great! I think the lower spectrum of sounds sound a bit better than the top, but that's just preference I'm guessing. Well done and don't get surprised ifyou suddenly hear your pad being used in other games (wink wink) :p
Would be nice if it was looping though....
Moody and involving...
Nice, very nice. Maybe a little too warm for the title, but that's totally subjective! What it is is evocative, moody, and it pulls you in!
There's a lot of editing/processing behind the scenes here - I suspect that pitch shift has been used to create the chromatic samples, although there weren't many artefacts apparent to my tired ears. All of the samples are the same length, and they all have the same fade in and out times, which is fine for the 'sterile' environment of an Arctic Laboratory, but I would love to see something that is a bit further away from the pole!
The sample is chosen well from the supplied material - there's a great temptation to exploit all of that morphing in the Afrorack samples, but this has just enough evolution to feel cinematic and big, without descending into synth cliches or morphing excess.
One of the reviews here lamented the lack of loops, so just alter the groups element so that it says:
groups seqMode="round_robin" loopCrossfade="20000" loopEnabled="true" loopCrossfadeMode="equal_power"
(you will need to add the chevrons back in!)
...and you will have repeated swells and unsells when you hold keys down. (And this is where different length samples or different fade in/out times would pay dividends, because asynchronous swells are much more interesting (to my ears at least!)...) (That's a hint for the next version, btw...)
I also edited the loNote parameter for the first sample to zero, and the hiNote parameter to 127 for the last sample, so that the whole keyboard range plays. I love sounds at the extreme limits! (And this is a huge advantage of Decent Sampler - the .dspreset files are editable!)
Setting the low-pass filter cutoff frequency so that it is 60Hz means that the lowest slider position is a very appealing dark sound, and it means that you don't have the delicate mousing balancing act of trying to move the slider to just above the 20 Hz default...
I like the GUI with its cheeky homage to the LABS logo, and the constrained colour space indicates someone with design experience! (Unlike me!)
For a first virtual instrument, this is a solid, confident piece of work. Recommended, and I look forward to more from Bubson!
Cool, creepy sounds
I really love the sound of the instrument, and think it does a great job at evoking the creepy secret laboratory vibe. The GUI is sleek and cleverly incorporates the LABS logo / control, however I would've loved to have some ADSR controls. With the long attack times and rapid release, I feel a bit like I'm fighting against the instrument trying to get notes to start and end when I want them (and generally required a bit of post-tweaking of the midi note starts to achieve this). Some kind of looping could also be great to allow for longer held sounds, though this is understandably difficult to achieve when working under the specific limits of the sample set.
Overall a great first sample instrument with plenty of character! Thanks!
Amazing first instrument
The sound of the instrument works from the low to the high registers. Which has to do with the fact that not only one sample was used but that the effort was made to create samples for all registers.
The GUI is clean and reduced, nothing distracting or confusing.
The instrument doesn't offer a huge range of possibilities and sounds but what it does, it does well and I can imagine it being very suitable for scoring an oppressive scene.
For a first sample instrument above average good and I am curious what instruments will follow!