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Worsesounds Total Cacophony

Sample Library
By Dave Stewart

Worsesounds Total Cacophony

While the sampling world has warmly embraced the drive towards superb sonics, Dagenham-based Worsesounds have made their mark with cheap-but-cheerless sound libraries aimed at the undiscerning. Their latest virtual instrument is, quite simply, a collection of the worst sounds money can buy, presented in a typically unplayable bespoke VST shell.

The electric piano patch is a good example — inspired by the insipid '80s FM Rhodes sound, this one-octave Minipiano-synthetina uses filtered white noise to simulate that dreadful DX7 synth racket. Using one sample only, this feeble patch has all the grandeur of a plastic Christmas-cracker toy. The Wal-Mart electric oboe fares little better, though it does benefit from an innovative miking technique which places a small contact mic inside the player's body. The mic's precise position remains a trade secret, but the oboe certainly has an unusually pronounced bottom end.

Things get better with the 512K sound-effects section, which includes gems such as Blackwall Tunnel Rush Hour (Drivers Swearing), Squeaky Supermarket Trolley, Nylon Bed Sheet Swish, Bison Stampede, and Horse Treads On Bag Of Crisps (aka Japanese Handclap). In addition, there is a full complement of body noises comprising aspirin swallowing, forehead slapping, funky knee-joint clicks, and some fabulous Flamenco Elbow, where the bony protuberance can be heard chafing vigorously against the inner sleeve of a brown M&S woollen cardigan, generating infectious carnival rhythms.

Other multi-sampled instruments include the flatulent undertones of the rare kakophone (wisely captured using a distant miking), a trio of baritone electronic Gnome-ophones playing back a cappella extracts from The Barber Of Seville in a Taiwanese dialect, and Leominster Philharmonia's brass players' yodelled version of Gary Numan's 'Are Friends Electric?' — surely destined to become an underground dance classic.

If you're looking for something to install at arm's length and then leave well alone, this could be just what you're looking for.

Pros

  • Unique.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Even worse than you think.

Summary

Worsesounds continue to redefine the bottom of the barrel when it comes to virtual instruments, proudly bucking the modern trend towards sound-quality, usability, and good taste.

information

£37.29 including VAT.

www.worsesounds.com

Published April 2006