WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE OF SOUND
DARK HORIZON was born when sound designer Tobias Menguser was contemplating if he could go a different direction with ELYSION 2: THE ENCOUNTER. Where there we focused on creating new and aggressive soundscapes, he wanted to turn the knobs to something even darker and more extreme. Where ELYSION 2 touched upon elements of what was beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, DARK HORIZON touches on the unknown reaches of space and time.
We designed DARK HORIZON by taking the ELYSION engine and tweaking it towards Tobias’s vision. With Tobias’s sounds, it creates complex, tension inducing waves of bass and vibration.
“We adjusted all the features for dark and dirty bass sounds of all kinds,” says Tobias. His idea began when he was going through the Dirt Bikes library of the BOOM Library and he asked himself, “Can I design a playable instrument by combining BOOM SFX sounds with resynthesized THE ORCHESTRA sounds and my own synths?”
Tobias Menguser has been working in sound design since the early 1990s and started out programming synths for companies like Waldorf, Ensoniq and Clavia and did pioneer work in producing sample CD-ROMs for Ensoniq EPS16+ and ASR10. Tobias’s latest projects mainly focus on software instrument building and include work for Sonuscore, Softube, Heavyocity, Steinberg, Presonus, and Arturia. “Working in my studio and designing samples and instruments is not work for me,” Tobias tells us, “It’s big fun – knowing those samples and instruments will inspire musicians to create exciting tracks and scores!”
Working on Dark Horizon, Tobias relied on his massive rack of synths, effects, and stomp boxes to do a lot of the processing, and searched through his trove of sounds which he’s recorded over his 25-year-span as a sound designer.
“I think that ‘random accidents’ are key words how interesting sounds arise,” Tobias says. “Sometimes an effect is leftover in a channel that will be triggered by accident and that gives the result of never being planned before.
“In most cases, I used a combination of hard- and software processing. One typical process is inserting channel strips, EQs, ambiences and compressors on individual channels of my Neve mixing desk and layering several effect channels. Designing sounds, I quite often use a combination of 4 to 6 channels with individual processing.”
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
When thinking of how to navigate such a diverse range of tracks, he decided to keep things simple and sort them according to their sources: dirt bikes, synthesized, orchestra, and dirt & noises.
For dirt bikes, “I mainly used SFX samples from the Dirt Bikes BOOM Library, but heavily resampled and resynthesized those sounds.” In the Synthesized section, he used his own modular systems as well as several heavily processed hardware and software synths. With the Orchestra, he leaned back on mangling sounds from THE ORCHESTRA, and finally Dirt & Noises are from his own original field recordings and “audio accidents of many kinds”.
When asked if he had any final tips for the users, Tobias said: “Try out the ‘Lowest Textures’ to add really low sustained textures to your tracks and score!”
WATCH THE TRAILER
DARK HORIZON DEMOS
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