Sonuscore transform the sounds of the orchestra into cinematic soundscapes.
Sonuscore have carved an enviable reputation for their virtual instruments such as The Orchestra, Action Strings 2 (in collaboration with NI), Elysion and Dark Horizon. These products offer media and film composers a range of orchestral, processed orchestral and non‑orchestral sounds within an innovative and very creative performance engine. Their latest release is Time Textures and, while the underlying sound sources are orchestral in nature, this time the engine is something new, aimed at transforming the sound of the orchestra into evolving, complex soundscapes. So, is it time to add some texture to your Sonuscore composing toolkit?
Under the hood, Time Textures is built from a selection of orchestral string, brass, woodwind, piano and harp sound sources. Samples for each of the 12 main instrument types included feature a number of performance articulations, up to six round‑robin samples and up to five dynamic layers. However, while this sampling architecture might sound like a conventional orchestral instrument, Time Textures’ sound engine brings a number of twists to the sonic plot.
As shown in the screenshot, a Time Texture preset can use either one, or a blend of two, of these underlying sound sources. In the first of those aforementioned novel twists, Sonuscore refer to these two sound slots as ‘sound‑emitting devices’, emitting ‘particles’ at different ‘seeds’. While the documentation doesn’t detail the specifics of how the engine works, I suspect there is some sort of granular synthesis and resampling of the sample base being used during playback.
Over 200 preset patches are provided. This includes categories for Natural (the original orchestral flavour of the sound is more obvious) and Cinematic (more processing and modulation applied), as well as Single (a single sound source) and Couple (a blend of two sound sources). A useful set of character tags — dark, ambient, rhythmic, evolving, magical, etc — let you easily identify the sort of mood you are seeking.
The sound creation process is visualised in real time within the UI, with the sound particles for each of the two emitters being shown in their own X/Y displays. In each case, the X (horizontal) axis shows the left/right pan of each particle, while the Y (vertical) axis indicates the different dynamic layers. The shape used to represent each sound particle reflects the articulation from which the particle is taken, and the engine’s modulation system allows you to control how particles are drawn from the different articulations to shape the sound texture in real time.
The modulation system is perhaps where the second twist in the feature...