There are absolutely no prizes for guessing that Zero-G's Perception Cinemascapes provides a palette of samples for the creation of soundscapes to add a certain atmosphere to film, TV or other media, rather than for constructing your next chart hit. Accordingly, the 4GB of 24-bit stereo samples that form the core of the library are dominated by atmospheric textures, impact-style sounds and various sound effects, rather than melodic content. I auditioned the 600 Acidised WAV files, but the DVD includes an excellent range of formats, for maximum accessibility.
The library is split into two main elements: a set of 35 construction kits and a series of additional subfolders containing extra sounds. The construction kits are generally quite straightforward affairs, consisting of a small number of samples — three or four — that can be layered to make a complete cue. Each of the layers contains a single compositional element, so you might get a combination of a rhythmic sample, some sort of low-frequency, evolving drone or texture, and a third sample with somewhat higher-pitched content. These are not, however, traditional musical instruments, or if they are, they have been suitably processed to produce an abstract end-result. In terms of moods, while there are a few lighter moments, this is mostly dark and somewhat forbidding stuff and would obviously work well in a sci-fi, horror or dark thriller context. Given their intended purpose, all the samples are suitably long, with the shortest being around 30 seconds and the longest running to over 100 seconds. So if you need to keep the tension going for an extended scene, you shouldn't run out of creepy soundtrack too quickly.
The remainder of the material is split into distinct subfolders and covers atmospheres, communication sounds, processed drum/rhythmic loops, impact sounds, explosions, whooshes and various 'power-up'-type sounds. Again, as the bulk of these are not melodic in nature, it is fairly easy to mix and match the additional material, to create yet more creepy and unsettling soundtrack moods. There is some good material amongst this lot. For example, if you need to 'hit' various visual points in your soundtrack, the Impacts folder has a good stock of suitably big and scary drum and impact sounds, while the Drum Loops folder has some excellent processed drum and percussion loops when you need a more obvious rhythmical structure for your cue.
Perception Cinemascapes is not the first sample library aimed at media composers working in the horror/sci-fi/thriller genres, and the content doesn't really go into uncharted territory. However, for those working in these sonic fields there is plenty of useful ammunition here that will help you scare your audience silly. Audition and enjoy! John Walden
£79.95 including VAT.