SAMPLE LOGIC – XOSPHERE –
Creating an Atmosphere…
there have been some wonderful atmosphere creation libraries on the market in recent times, SoundIron’s Ambius Prime and SoniCouture Geosonic and Haunted Spaces all spring to mind having all been worthy contenders and have had KK-Access reviews.
Libraries of this genre are nothing new however and today we take a look at Sample Logic’s Xosphere which has been on the market for a while now, but has had NKS support added which means it now makes it onto the KK-Access radar, pricewise there is also currently a fantastic 66% off deal which certainly makes it a stronger consideration if you do not own a product of this type already.
Sample Logic are a well established North Carolina based library developer with such titles as morphestra, Expeditions, Arpology, Trailer Xpressions, CINEMATIC GUITARS INFINITY, CINEMATIC KEYS, CINEMORPHX and WATERHARP 2 to name but a few all firmly under their belt. Their sampling forte lays in taking predominantly organic and real world sounds and morphing them into something quite different, this is reflected in their deservedly winning of the editor’s choice award from Electronic Musician magazine for Morphestra.
The library name Xosphere, actually let me just phonetically confirm the product pronunciation as certainly my screenreader has speech issues and so might yours!, so it’s exo sphere just for the record, and is described as an atmosphere creation tool.
The library will occupy 4.85Gb on your hard drive, and the samples are delivered at 44.1kHz/24- bit quality.
the sample content includes a broad range of natural, organic, synthetic and electronic sounds meaning there is potential use in a broad range of projects, but certanly I would say leans toward the film and game atmosphere market, where you may wish to create a ambient sound backwash that does not necessarily have to be melodic, but can still be deemed as musical as opposed to pure foley or diegetic sounds.
~Downloading is via the distinctly inaccessible Connect application, however a note to tech support should provide you with direct download links.
I particularly dislike starting a review by telling you all the things you will not be able to access within a library, but in fairness to Sample Logic I have done this with many a product review across a wide spectrum of library types and developers from the cheapest to the top dollar bank breakers, the simple fact is that despite the existence of NKS support within a library this is no absolute guarantee of total accessibility for the blind user, although thankfully this tide is beginning to turn.
Xosphere is no different in this respect, however if a library did not have some redeeming features in terms of the number of presets versus value for money, then I would not be writing a review for it.
So to be clear from the outset, there is no way to access samples sources, waveforms, various fx, and indeed up until the NKS update which added snapshots, even the presets could only be got to via mouse interaction with the GUI as there is only one single NKI file to load.
With that bad news out of the way, as I have stated before, a library can still be very usable based soley on it’s presets, and Xosphere delivers 265 of these in a cross section of categories. depending on how you justify it, this means that while the sale is on it’s quite comparible in price to purchasing a couple of preset packs for your favourite synth with the benefit of being able to do some sound tweaking to boot!
Browser & NKS Mapping…
Let’s dive right in with a walk through of the browser and presets…
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor and Product name
Knob 3 – Banks, Bizarre, Dark & Scary, Electronic Effectual, Euphoric Spiritual, Mixed Emotions, Mysterious, World Organic,
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Types (Varies with bank) Flute, Guitar, Soundscapes, Synth misc, Synth pad, Bass, Mallet Instruments, Vocal
Knob 6 – Sub Types (Varies with type selection) Digital Bass, Sub Bass, Vary Flute, Pan Pipe, Acoustic Guitar, Clean Guitar, Celeste, Chime, Glockenspiel, Ambivalent, Destructive, Gloomy, Heavenly, Hypnotising, Insanity, Peaceful, Wind & Noise, FX Synth, Melodic Sequences, Other Sequences, Percussive Synth, Bury pad, Basic pad, Bright pad, Chime pad, Chord pad, Deep pad, Dirty pad, Evolving pad, Layer pad, Solo voice,
Knob 7 – Mode, Glide pitch Mod, Slow Attack, Synthetic, Tempo Synced,
Knob 8 – Presets x 265
Page 1 – Mixer
Knob 1 to 4 – Oscillator Sound Source Volumes
Knob 5 to 8 – Morph Controls 1 to 4
Page 2 – Core 1
Knob 1 – Pitch
Knob 2 – Sample Start
Knob 3 – Attack
Knob 4 – Release
Knob 5 – Low Cut Filter
Knob 6 – Hi Cut Filter
Knob 7 – Resonance
Knob 8 – Convolution
Pages 3 to 5 – As Page 2 for each Oscillator Sound Source
Xosphere in Action…
Despite there being a host of parameters that we will not be able to access, the controls we do have can, with judicious use yield some very usable results. Being able to pitch shift sound sources against one another, alter the sample start point and filter/modulation on a per oscillator sound source basis works really well and can take you a long way from the patches original starting point, save that as a snapshot for future recall and already you have begun to build your own library on top of the supplied preset collection!
Appregiated bell chimes can go from menacing doomsday peels to sparkling magical tinkles with a twist of the pitch control, and you can also dabble with tuning individual oscillator sound sources to form chords.
Some of the presets have long evolutions with animated tempo-synced movement within the stereo field, making it possible to keep things sounding fresh with just one finger and embarrassingly little effort!
It can be fascinating on a basic level to merely toy with the mixer section to see what sound components have been used by the designers to create the patches, the simple act of muting a particular sound source often gives the overall timbre a totally different feel.
The blend of organic and synthetic sounds work really well together within this library, there are no real discernable loop points, despite Xosphere not being the new kid on the block it does not sound at all dated.
Please do checkout some of the links to various video tutorials and walkthroughs I’ve posted at the review footer to hear how the product sounds in general.
I cannot deny that Xosphere certainly has some ommissions in terms of extended accessibility for blind Komplete Kontrol users, which you will have to weigh up.
Conversely if I were sighted I have little doubt I would be shouting it’s name from the rooftops as it’s creative potential stretches far beyond the possibilities that even the abundent presets deliver, so if you are one of my sighted readers you can be assured of it’s potential.
As it stands, and putting aside the thoughts of the out of reach sonic candy store that lurks within it’s GUI, Xosphere is still an enjoyable library to use, and anyone looking to add some background or even upfront atmosphere to a project could do a lot worse, particularly while it’s on special offer with $200.00 off the usual price.
Xosphere is available as a download from Sample Logic, Normally costing $299.99 Sample Logic are currently offering 66% off, making it $99.99 until September 25th (use code: XO66OFF at checkout).
Xosphere Product Page:
Sample Logic Xosphere Overview:
Sounds & Gear Xosphere Walkthrough:
(c) Chris Ankin 2018
The author accepts no responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of reading this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product in combination with information gathered from official factual sources on the web or product manual.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.
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