Ueberschall's Score FX is a further volume in the Liquid Instruments series, where the phrase samples are accessed through a custom version of Celemony's Melodyne. We've looked at other libraries in this series (most recently, Adlibs in SOS November 2008) and those reviews offer a more detailed discussion of the generic Liquid Instrument front‑end. As suggested by the library's name, this collection is aimed at those producing music for film, TV or similar applications, and the 7GB of sample material is therefore organised into five basic sections: accents, vocal phrases, beds, rhythms and construction kits.
As befits the title, the samples in the accents group tend to be fairly short. This section includes both sound textures and more obvious hit‑like sounds, split into further named categories. Titles such as 'confused', 'creepy' and the delightful 'flutyfied' give an indication of what each offers — lots of weird, wonderful and downright scary noises, although they're as much sound design as musical in nature. The vocal‑phrase section is smaller, but contains some excellent ethnic vocal wailings. The Melodyne‑based pitch editing is more useful here, as many of the phrases have some obvious melodic content that can be adjusted to provide additional variations.
The beds category is also subdivided into named sections, such as 'dark', 'drony' and 'tension' that give a clear steer as to the tone — there's no 'light' or 'cuddly', and the bulk of this content is going to suit horror, sci‑fi, drama and action contexts. These samples tend to be much longer, and the vast majority evolve over time to give a sense of movement. The rhythmic category is also quite substantial, and this largely avoids more conventional drum‑ and percussion‑based loops in favour of more off‑the‑wall rhythmic patterns, created with various synths and metallic sounds. Where drum sounds are used, they tend to be processed to give them an unsettling edge. If all this wasn't enough, the collection is rounded off by a series of 28 construction kits. Each of these provides a combination of around 10 to 20 sounds designed to work together. These kits are a breeze to use and there's plenty of scope, given the number of samples provided.
Score FX certainly packs in a lot of content, and perhaps the only issue might be whether you mind having to get to grips with the Liquid Instrument front‑end (although it's easy enough to use). While there's nothing drastically new here, there's plenty of sonic ammunition, and providing you're the sort of composer looking to create a soundscape rather than a more conventional melodic score for your footage — and that the footage needs to unsettle, or just plain scare the audience — then the content of Score FX should be right up your street. John Walden
£112.55 including VAT.
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