Review: Mysterium – Deconstructed Toy Piano by Origins of Audio


This isn’t your favorite old childhood toy piano! This is a twisted, mashed and mangled masterpiece of sound design to bring a refreshing take on the old favorite to life as a new tonal palette to spice up your scoring.

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Review: Mysterium by Origins of Audio

Ambient and enigmatic riddled with startling surprises! Mysterium is a versatile and eclectic sound palette, sure to send shivers down your spine.

Mysterium sells for $95.00 from Origins of Audio



Mysterium -Deconstructed Toy Piano is the latest release from Origins of Audio. This is not your childhood toy piano, but rather the twisted soul of a two octave upright toy piano that has been mashed and mangled by inventive and expert sound design.

Sixteen unique instruments comprise Mysterium: Bells from Hell, Broken Violin, Cinematic Effects, Delay Reversed, Dirty Robot Tricks, Dragon’s Breath, Dry Hits, Industrial Hits, Mr. Oktavier, Natural, Ominous, Pendulum, Screaming Tree, Singing Bowl, Some Kind of Soundscape, and Sonar Notes. The instruments cover a range of uses from pads to hits to chromatic metallic leads.

Instruments essentially fall into categories of chromatic, percussion, pads or effects. The chromatic instruments have two octaves. Some of the pads have slightly bigger ranges, and the percussion have their own unique mapping. Two of the percussion instruments (Dirty Robot Tricks and Industrial Hits) are laid out to simulate a drum kit, with different colored regions representing Kick, Snare, Hi-Hat, Cymbals, and Splash.

Each instrument comes with a built-in effects console and individualized wallpaper, such as this stylized backdrop for the aptly named Broken Violin.

The available effects include a three band EQ, Envelope, Compressor, Delay, Filter, Rotator/Tape Saturator (depends what instrument is open), and Convolution. All effects are all loaded within the main window. There is a power button to the left of each effect which will engage it. Clicking on the name of the effect changes the console to display the appropriate knobs and sliders, of which there are many.

The raw samples of this library are already very interesting and delightfully creepy, but the effects allow you to go much deeper in customizing and experimenting with the sounds. The Convolution is especially satisfying and I really liked the available spaces in the drop down menu (Hall, Theater, Cathedral, Dry Ice, Zipper Up, Reflect).

Some of my favorite instruments in this library are Screaming Tree, Ominous and Some Kind of Soundscape, as they have an interesting shape and layer very well to give an ambient pad a sense of ebb and flow, which heightens the suspense. I also really like Broken Violin and Pendulum for their very unique sound and find they make good punctuation within the texture. I do wish that there were more options in the lower register, as there isn’t really a dedicated bass range to any of the instruments, including the pads.

Built-in effects are an invaluable part of this library. The possibilities are endless with the number of different effects and combinations of adjustments to their parameters. For instance, the Dry Hits instrument sounds a bit like knocking or tapping fingers on a tabletop, but if you engage Convolution and set the space to Theater, and also use Distortion and EQ, you get something more like an accursed taiko drum ensemble.

One quirk about the library is that the different instruments boast a variety of key organization schemes. Many of them have a range of two octaves, but they are not all situated within the same octave of the keyboard. Some others have groupings spread across a wider range of the keyboard, which can result in you hunting around a bit and not hearing anything unless you have the Kontakt instance open so you can see the keyboard and which keys are mapped to trigger the samples.

In one case (Dry Hits) I was completely baffled by the key arrangement until I realized that the gaps make it easier to perform percussive lines at fast speeds (because your fingers are more spread out and you have better leverage over the keys).

Overall I found this library to be an eclectic array of distressing sound design. Coupled with a number of excellent effects, it proves a robust tool for invoking suspense, horror, and nightmares.



The library downloads at 2.1 GB (compressed) and requires the FULL VERSION of Kontakt (5.2+).

Mysterium sells for $95.00 from Origins of Audio



Demos of Mysterium by Origins of Audio

Videos of Mysterium by Origins of Audio