Review: Score FX 2 by Ueberschall (currently 77% OFF)
Score FX 2 feels especially well-suited for use in drama, mystery or travel-oriented projects. The themes are generally downtempo and lean towards more ambient, moody, world music.
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Review: Score FX 2 by Ueberschall
Ueberschall has been a premier producer of samples, loops and sound effects since 1987. From quirky retro throwbacks to modern era, Jazz, Rock, Dance, World, Urban and single instrument sounds, Uberschall has never strayed far from its roots as a quality content developer for film and broadcast producers. Back in February, of 2018, I briefly reviewed the original release of Score FX as part of Ueberschall’s massive Cinematic Bundle. There, I chose to point out more about Score FX breadth and depth of content rather than describe its general darker over-all tone, but this follow up release answers the call for lighter fare nice with more relaxed melodic and rhythmic themes.
Score FX 2 normally sells for $149.00 from Ueberschall
I can’t watch a movie, or a television show these days without focusing my attention on the soundtrack. Maybe that’s a good thing but often I find myself leaning over to ask my wife, “who’s this guy in the hockey mask with a hatchet?” After an obligatory eye-roll, she usually explains what I’ve missed while I was busy analyzing the synth, drum or bass patches used during a chase scene. It’s the composer’s version of shouting “cut the blue wire!” when nobody really cares to know if you might make it as a self-taught bomb disposal tech.
But if listening intently to scores and soundtracks has taught me anything, it’s that something magical happens in the right mesh of sound to picture. It can elevate moments on screen into something really special. It’s with this kind of subtle impact that Ueberschall first teamed with Canadian composers, Ilya Kaplan and Stan Fomin to create Score FX II. This prolific duo amassed an impressive catalog of musical endeavors, providing scores, themes, loops and samples for nearly any application, including this exclusive collection designed specifically for Score FX II. Generously, Ueberschall’s license agreement allows use of this collection in trailer, film work, music libraries or broadcast and more with no additional licensing fees.
While previewing the kits, the collection feels especially well-suited for use in drama, mystery or travel oriented projects. The themes are generally downtempo and lean towards more ambient, moody, world music. Though generally a lighter approach than its predecessor, Score FX II contains no cheery pop scores or rock themes. The emphasis is clearly ethnic, with unusual instruments and vocal elements featured.
Each of the 30 construction kits included in the title, contain a well-organized file system comprised of clearly labeled folders, but these are only a portion of the total content. There is additional content in folders marked “Accents,” containing 760 loops, “Ambient Beds,” containing 78 tracks, “Instrument Licks” containing an assortment of solo licks and “Grooves” which includes some 328 rhythmic loops.”
You’ll need to download and install, Elastik to activate the product before you can preview the files. More about that later. Once you’ve successfully activated the product, you will find a highly organized file folder system that makes navigation a breeze. This is true even when you export the .wav file version of each of the four main folders. Each of the 30 kit folders is labeled with a kit title, kit tempo and key signature. Opening a kit folder reveals a set of folders including all of the parts and elements of the kit. Previewing the complete kit by playing the contents of the “Mix” folder.
This collection was originally released 10 years ago and several of the mix demos are starting to reveal their age. However, the individual components still hold up well, allowing you to arrange and enhance the kits to meet your specific project needs.
Installing Ueberschall’s proprietary activation and looping utility, Elastik, is unavoidable. Elastik is free, of course, and it does have powerful features for both Mac and Windows users. The Elastik player can be used with Ueberschall loops (exclusively,) allowing you to manipulate them in many ways beyond what your DAW may be capable of. With Elastik, you can play and preview loops, solo instruments, manipulate time, key, tempo and even step sequence. It works like a plug-in with most major DAWs. It can also be mapped to your midi keyboard controller or just operated with your mouse.
You may come to love this little free utility program. Personally, I do not. Despite its powerful features, I find the interface to be obtuse and unfriendly. The product activation process is cumbrous, antiquated and not in the least bit intuitive. I’m all for anti-piracy but there must be a better solution. I own several Ueberschall libraries but because I recently changed my audio interface, Elastik now wants to re-activate all of these libraries – even though that hardware change has no impact on previously activated products – it’s just intrusive and annoying. Personally, I only use Elastik to activate my products and to promptly extract them as .wav files. Alas, Elastik is unavoidable. Your mileage may vary.
So, is Score FX II a good value? Only you can decide if you’ll actually use these loops and construction kits in your productions. If you are familiar with Ueberschall’s proprietary activation and loop manipulation utility, Elastik, there will be no surprises. I encourage you to explore all the demos and videos available at Ueberschall.com prior to buying this product.
I feel Score FX II could be useful to those scoring international drama, mystery and travel-oriented content. It may find good use for those looking for downtempo podcast/broadcast bumper music, as well. At its full retail price of $149.00 (USD), I would caution against it. But, if you can get it on sale, I think there is plenty of quality material to utilize in your productions.
After purchasing, you’ll receive access to four compressed files. Part A is 1.7 GB. Part B is 1.8 GB. Part C is 1.6 GB and part D is 1.6 GB each.
Be sure you also download Elastik. It’s FREE and you need it to activate, access and utilize the loops. For Mac users, the installer is 165 MB. For Windows users, the installer is just 134 MB.
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You may have noticed I used a couple of $5 words in this review. Words like “Obtuse, Cumbrous and Intuitive.” That’s like, what? $15 worth of verbiage, right there! I know some of you folks think these five-dollar words are a dime a dozen but stack ‘em all up side by side and that’s a whole lot of wisdom sitting next to an empty tip jar. If you love a good $5 word now and then, maybe drop a couple of sawbucks in the kitty. Here’s the lynx. See what I did there? https:/Pateron.com/SLR.
Score FX 2 normally sells for $149.00 from Ueberschall
Contributor Steve Blizin reviews Score FX 2 by Ueberschall
“While previewing the kits, the collection feels especially well-suited for use in drama, mystery or travel oriented projects. The themes are generally downtempo and lean towards more ambient, moody, world music.”