Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 4/5 Stars
Powered by the free Mirage player, Deep Conjuring (created in collaboration with Beautiful Void Audio) is inspired by dreams, both peaceful and deeply disturbing. Its content is equally useful whether working on a horror sound score or a relaxation project. FrozenPlain describe the sounds as sitting on the edge of the synthetic and the organic, which I think is a pretty fair description.
For those unfamiliar with Mirage, it is a (VST/AU but not AAX) sample‑based synthesizer allowing up to three different sounds to be layered. Each layer can be adjusted for pitch, volume, pan, filter, volume envelope, LFO, EQ, sample loop settings and MIDI settings. Mirage responds to MIDI velocity and sustain pedal on CC 64, while any parameter can be automated using DAW automation. It is also possible to map parameters onto the knobs and sliders of a physical controller by right‑clicking the target parameter, selecting ‘MIDI Learn’ then moving the selected controller.
Deep Conjuring is made up of 92 ‘instruments’, some multisampled, others loops, that can be loaded into Mirage’s three layers and then adjusted before being further processed via the 10 built‑in master effects. FrozenPlain reveal that the sounds were created using samples of things like harps, flutes, violins, rain, tornado sirens and soft synths, then processed via a convolution engine. We’re also informed that the sample set is similar to Beautiful Void Audio’s original Kontakt instrument, so if you already have that then you may not need the Mirage version. Then again, you may prefer the Mirage style of control.
Deep Conjuring’s instruments are arranged into sections for ease of navigation and are listed as Circuit Bent, Dark And Heavy, Distorted Pads, Keys And Percussion, Motion And Movement, Soft Pads, Strange and Vintage/Lo‑fi. These are arranged into 120 included presets accessed via the Mirage browser, which also includes a random preset loading function. Creating new sounds can be as simple as replacing the instruments in one or more layers with alternatives, or you can use the synth‑style controls to tweak the envelopes, filters, modulation and so on.
...the quality of the core sounds is excellent and good results can be achieved by layering these with other FrozenPlain libraries
Having reviewed a number of FrozenPlain libraries for Mirage, I have to report that the Mirage interface makes editing very straightforward yet still offers enough scope to make the most of the library’s core sounds. Exploring the Deep Conjuring presets reveals a breadth of dreamlike sounds, the more gentle of which would fit well into ambient music compositions while the more disturbing ones would be a good fit for horror and psychological thriller soundtracks.
As always, the quality of the core sounds is excellent and good results can be achieved by layering these with other FrozenPlain libraries such as Frozen Reveries and Dreamstates. At the moment this means opening up two or more instances of Mirage, as you can’t combine samples from different libraries in the current Mirage engine, but by using features such as Track Stacks in Logic Pro X, it is easy enough to layer multiple instruments. Given the very affordable nature of the FrozenPlain libraries and the intuitive Mirage interface, they have a lot to recommend them, and Deep Conjuring is a very worthy addition to the range.