Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars
The original Elysion release got a glowing review from Nick Magnus back in the April 2020 issue of SOS. It took The Orchestra’s very impressive performance engine and fine‑tuned it to work with a range of synthetic and ‘organic but processed’ sounds. The result was just as impressive as The Orchestra and the two products undoubtedly complemented each in terms of generating scores with a hybrid flavour. Now, just as happened with the Orchestra 2, Elysion has received an upgrade; Elysion 2 The Encounter.
All the original Elysion content and features (including MIDI export) are included but Sonuscore have increased the number of individual instruments (now over 200) and the number of animated themes (for many, the star of the Elysion show and now over 400 available). The rather quirky (but very effective) theme categories based upon the names of planets (and now including other interstellar objects) continues. However, it’s not just more of the same; the ambient, organic and cinematic moods that dominated the original sound sets are now supplemented by some more aggressive, powerful and driving options. The new additions are excellent, considerably expanding the sonic palette, especially in terms of darker, more sinister tones.
Extra sounds aside, some of that additional aggressive element is delivered thanks to new distortion and saturation effects options and, in many of the presets, these can be dialled in via the mod wheel as part of the overall performance dynamics. It’s very effective indeed and, for composers working in modern drama or sci‑fi genres, some of the new Animated and Pulse (rhythmic) presets are going to provide plenty of inspiration for new cues. Also new is the option to define two envelope or arpeggiator patterns within the performance engine for each of the five sound slots, and the ability to morph between them. This is really cool in use, with the mod wheel (CC1) allowing you to morph between the two states, although you can also specify CC2 or CC11 as alternatives.
Sonuscore absolutely know their stuff when it comes to designing performance engines for multitimbral virtual instruments...
Also new in v2 are single‑instrument NKIs. While the performance engine is undoubtedly one of Elysion’s star attractions, these single instruments are a very useful addition, especially when it comes to adding a playable melodic top or bass line alongside something like one of the Animated presets. These are organised into three categories: Ambience FX (pads and textures), Hits (melodic sounds with short sustains and some drum/impact sounds) and Sustains (melodic sounds with longer sustains).
If you’re a regular user of the original, the upgrade to Elysion 2 is an absolute no‑brainer. For potential new users, Elysion 2 provides both instant gratification and inspiration via the various animated presets. However, that instant gratification also hints at the long‑term potential for those media composers willing to dig a little deeper. Sonuscore absolutely know their stuff when it comes to designing performance engines for multitimbral virtual instruments; Elysion 2 The Encounter is powerful stuff.
€249, upgrade from Elysion 1 €39