Review: Eternal Darkness by 8Dio
Classic 8DIo sound quality
Great complement to the rest of their Hybrid series
Large collections of sounds
Massive potential to expand usefulness of sounds with the Chaos and Stretch features
Samples in Wav format so no need for Kontakt to use in your DAW
Familiar interface for those using other Hybrid products
All sounds grouped in "songs' with suitablly ghastly titles
Dynamic sounds like risers, rhythmic and pulses can be tempo synchronized to your project
Stretch feature chromatically 'stretches' your last played sample across the keyboard
Did I mention the Chaos button? Great if you're lacking ideas
25 Presets to get you started
None really if you're in the market for these kind of textures and sounds
Most easily tends towards horror and the macabre so steer away if you're a classical, pastoral purist
Looking for sounds that will make your audience squirm? Need to create unremitting suspense that ends badly? Scoring the next B-movie horror flick? If so, this is an obvious choice for you. The sounds are dark and ghastly. They are nerve-grating veering into the otherworldly. And there’s plenty to choose from. A big plus is that they’re in wav format, so you can just drop them into whatever monstrous thing you’re working on. Must have? Depends on your needs but I will say this. Regardless of the type of music you create, it can be a great addition to your sonic palette. And if you’re a trailer head, then it pretty much needs to be in your arsenal.
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Review: Eternal Darkness by 8Dio
If you’re in the market for ghastly, dark and sinister sounds that will leave your audience on the edge of their seats then this is the product for you. The sounds are fresh and new, always a consideration with sound effect libraries since sounds can so easily be overused that they quickly lose their novelty. (Do I dare say ‘elephant braams’???) The addition of various stretching and morphing capabilities (chaos engine folks!), coupled with a good imagination, should help alleviate some of that inevitability. While the obvious use for this product is horror or sci-fi flicks and trailers (or horror-sci-fi), there is also the ability to create hauntingly beautiful pads and risers that would work anywhere you need somewhat unsettling music. Mark my words, you’ll be hearing these sounds everywhere shortly!
Eternal Darkness sells for $198 USD from 8Dio
Unless you never leave your studio-dungeon for fresh air, you’ve no doubt noticed a strong movement towards hybrid movie and trailer scores. From Interstellar to Arrival to Ad Astra (say what you want about the film, it’s got a brilliant soundtrack from Max Richter), increasingly composers and directors are embracing heavy analog synthesis with orchestral elements. In many cases, the synth elements predominate and the orchestral elements are a sprinkle add on. Now I’m not here to discuss the merits of this approach but the as the soundtrack for Ad Astra demonstrates, in the right hands this combination can be a powerful way to create an emotionally compelling soundscape no one’s heard before.
What becomes clear however, is that having the best, most realistic sounding orchestral libraries and mock-ups is becoming less important than mastering this new (well not really new…2001 Space Odyssey after all) hybrid approach that embraces analog synthetic goodness with traditional orchestral elements. You’d be hard pressed to find a string ostinati in any of the afore mentioned productions. And if you do, (and there are a few after all), they’re usually smothered in analog synth pulses and pads.
Now, this I think, is where ‘Eternal Darkness’ comes in to play. Sure. You can use the screeches and the dissonant pads and all the bumps in the night as-is in any horror or terror flick. ( Of course, in 2020 with everything going on in our world, horror has taken on a much wider connotation. But I digress. )
And if that’s what you want, there’s plenty here to keep you happy. There are hundreds of new sounds, including processed vocals, synth based atonal risers, tempo synchronizable (is that a word??) patterns and pulses, and dark impacts and boomers! It even has a bank devoted solely to Tick-tocks, a highly overused but still effective element in many scores and trailers. Guess nobody can beat the clock!
But there’s actually so much more that you can do with this library. I don’t want to take anything away from Troel and the Gang’s (now there’s a name for a band!) marketing for this product, but it is much more versatile in my opinion than the horror and suspense label indicates. And that’s what intrigued me the most about it!
Used wisely and with some skill, you can create many beautiful, haunting, but still unsettling risers, drones and underscores that would be right at home in any kind of dramatic setting. From court-room dramas, to space epics. And the key to that is using the ‘stretch’ button.
Those of you familiar with 8dio‘s GUIs probably know this button, but as used here, it opens up a whole new door to extending the usability of the existing samples. Say you settle on a drone or a rhythm that you like. You then click on the ‘stretch’ button. It in turn maps that sound chromatically across your keyboard. Obviously that won’t be of much practical use with booms or impacts. But with drones and longer phrases, you can use that feature to play contrapuntal lines and even chords. Each line or chord will develop sonically as they original sample was programmed. So the effects can be quite startling! Especially if you offset the timing of the notes. This is even more interesting when you take say an existing rhythmic pulse, stretch it, and the start to create syncopating poly-rhythms. Wow! Very cool.
Of course, this won’t beat a dedicated rhythm or drum plug in, but it can make mundane tick-tocks take on a whole new life! Just use your musical ears! And 8Dio makes that pretty easy to do.
To get you moving in the right direction, there are 25 presets you can start with. These have suitably ghastly titles in keeping with the theme of darkness. These preset instruments contain more processed versions of many of the sounds, and they can be a great jumping off point to get you started.
The sounds are also mapped into what 8Dio calls ‘Individual Songs’. While these
songs all have titles and such, they aren’t really songs or loops as you might imagine, but rather various categories of sounds that have been grouped together by BPM and key where applicable. These song folders, which you can access as separate Kontakt instruments contain alternate mappings of the core patches. Useful, but not necessarily essential in my experience. But it all depends on your composing workflow.
There are all the usual controls and parameters that 8Dio packs into their Hybrid series GUI. They are all laid out on the main menu page and are pretty self explanatory. There’s the usual sequencer page and of course the extensive effects page. Don’t underestimate what some well-placed delay and overdrive running through a convolution verb can do to completely change the character of a sound. Though you might prefer to mangle the samples within your DAW using your own plugs. Ergo, why it’s so useful to have the samples in wav format.
This truly is a welcome feature in this day and age of proprietary sample libraries. I get the control issue and the bundling to save space issue, but not being able to access the samples themselves in their raw state diminishes some of the usability of many products for me. Again, probably not an issue for most readers, but there it is. Basically you can use 8Dio‘s samples right out of the box within your DAW and mangle or layer them with other sounds. Experimentation encouraged here and a thoughtful gesture on the part of 8Dio.
There’s many other features but they’re pretty much covered in the manual. It’s short, but basically covers all the buttons and controls you need to get up and running. As usual, everything is quite intuitive. Just open a Kontakt instance and start using it! You’ll no doubt be quite entranced by what you can do and the sounds you come up with.
Eternal Darkness is another winner for Troels and Gang (I hear a disco song in the background!)! Lately, they seem to be consistently turning out products that not only are sonically impressive, but easy to use. That doesn’t make them any less powerful. Just more accessible. And that ain’t a bad thing by a long shot!
So! Are you looking for some fresh sounds for your trailer work? What about a new approach to dramatic underscore? Do you need some material to complement your existing horror libraries? Or maybe you just want some deep but unsettling analog sounds that evolve over time to complement your existing and possibly stale palette? Well, if so, then this baby is for you. Of course, you wouldn’t want to rely solely on it for your ‘sound’, but it sure adds a whole new dimension to what you can create.
As a final note, while reviewing this product I ended up using it in 3 of my new creations for my next trailer album!
Requires 1.31 GB of Hard Drive Space
Samples are in 48 Khz / 24 Bit stereo .wav format
Full Retail Version of Kontakt 5.8 (or later) required
NOTE: Not compatible with free Kontakt Player
Kontakt VST / AU / AAX
Eternal Darkness sells for $198 USD from 8Dio
Contributor MCR reviews Eternal Darkness by 8Dio
“Looking for sounds that will make your audience squirm? Need to create unremitting suspense that ends badly? Scoring the next B-movie horror flick? If so, this is an obvious choice for you. The sounds are dark and ghastly. They are nerve-grating veering into the otherworldly. And there’s plenty to choose from. A big plus is that they’re in wav format, so you can just drop them into whatever monstrous thing you’re working on. Must have? Depends on your needs but I will say this. Regardless of the type of music you create, it can be a great addition to your sonic palette. And if you’re a trailer head, then it pretty much needs to be in your arsenal.”