Claude Debussy famously described music as “the space between the notes”, and when composing for film, the great man’s words couldn’t be more true. Silence, or its close approximation, features heavily in movie composition. A particularly tense few moments of dialog or long close-up can require the composer to effectively translate an actor’s increasing stress level into sound, perhaps using little more than a subtle change in room tone.
While there are plenty of convolution reverbs on the market more than up to the task of adding drama to those sweeping, bombastic Hollywood string gestures, when things get weird, tense and eerily quiet, these 10 Ensembles from the REAKTOR User Library are guaranteed to help set the scene.
Added way back in 2003, Tim Schwerdtfeger’s Laserbrew is still one of the most forward-thinking reverb processors in the Library. Whether you’re soundtracking an unplanned slip into a giant oil tanker or a DMT flashback, this classic Ensemble has you covered.
Check out Laserbrew here.
Dark Star 2
This much-loved Ensemble by Bryan Lake redefines the notion of what a reverb processor can be, creating virtual architectures as unique and alien as they come. Much like the greatest hardware reverbs, Dark Star 2 makes everything you throw at it sound better, and never fails to inspire.
Check out Dark Star 2 here.
Perhaps the most appropriately named Ensemble in the entire User Library, Ultimate Reverb, by Guenther Fleishmann, continues to live up to its name 14 years after release. For instant proof of its power, run your source signal of choice through the ‘Up from Hell’ preset – instant demonic gratification.
Check out Ultimate Reverb here.
Ez FFT Christmas Collection
A set of spectral processing Ensembles built by NI founder Stephan Schmitt in 2006. If sound design is your job, spectral morphing should be a major part of your technical arsenal, and Ez FFT offers up timbres and processing possibilities that you simply won’t get any other way.
Check out Ez FFT Christmas Collection here.
Superformula Dispersion 7
When it comes to pushing REAKTOR and the computers running it to their limits, Californian Ensemble designer arachnaut leads the way. Though some users may need to upgrade their systems to run Superformula Dispersion 7, the sounds produced by it and arachnaut’s other recent creations are capable of turning even the most mundane signals into spiraling fractal galaxies of sound.
Check out Superformula Dispersion 7 here.
Gabriel Mulzer’s spectrally transcendental Ensemble, g-Transcoder, provides modulations, vocoding, and otherworldly sonics not normally found outside impossibly expensive processors like the Eventide H9000 and Symbolic Sound Kyma. A perfect choice for soundtracking.
Check out g-Transcoder here.
This recent contribution to the User Library from Jeremy Dwyer is a granular sample morphing instrument with an elegant, deceptively simple interface, that has ‘big budget sound design’ written all over it. While the included soundbank is guaranteed to provide hours of inspiration, it’s also easy to load your own sounds via the sample map editor.
Check out WAVCLOUD here.
Uploaded by Doron Sadja in 2014, NEUVAGE is a granular beast that scrubs through one or a selection of multiple sample files to create clouds of Eno-esque ambient bliss, or doom-laden Badalamenti drones, depending on what you choose to feed it.
Check out NEUVAGE here.
WindGen and RainGen
Just finished recording a crucial scene in the rain and your wind filter didn’t quite cut the mustard? Jonathan Tremblay of Synite Audio has you covered with these two brilliant environmental generators.
Check them out here.