Review: Soul Series Christopher Young Collection by 8Dio


Classic horror-based musical recordings combined with brilliant curation and scripting.

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Review: Soul Series Christopher Young Collection by 8Dio

Combining over 35 years of recordings and sonic experimentation by Christopher Young with over 18 months of curation and scripting by 8Dio, the Christopher Young Collection is a landmark achievement of sound design for the composer who works primarily in the horror genre. Here, classic meets current in the best possible way.

The Christopher Young Collection sells for $398.00 from 8Dio


The Christopher Young Collection by 8Dio is a one-of-a kind sample library that combines 35+ years of recordings from one of the scariest names in film composing, Christopher Young, with the ingenuity of one of the best sample library companies around today, 8Dio. The Christopher Young Collection is unique, tightly-focused, and filled with dark and foreboding sound design possibilities.

The Christopher Young Collection is made up of two libraries from the new Soul Series by 8Dio; Christopher Young’s Textural Worlds and Christopher Young’s Orchestral Touch.


Textural Worlds

Christopher Young’s Textural Worlds is a collection of soundscapes and organic effects with a bent toward the horror genre. These sounds are taken from recordings of strings, pianos, vocals, whistles, and more. There is a wide array of textures, but all comfortably situated within a scary setting. These sounds range from disconcerting and tense to spooky and downright frightening. One of my favorite parts about these sounds is the lengthy samples behind so many of them. Many of these samples are long and evolving which adds so much depth, character, and realism to them.

Within the main library, the minimalist approach of NKI files (3) can be very deceptive, as there are TONS of different sounds, textures, and effects to be found within.

The main NKI for Textural Worlds contains 30 different categories of sounds (i.e. 8 Strings, 7 Pianos, 6 Percussion, 3 Voices, and 6 Whistles), but each of these individual categories itself contains around 60 sounds. That’s a lot of content! One of my favorite parts about the sound design engine 8Dio utilizes for this series is the “Stretch” feature. Essentially, 8Dio allows you to audition tons of sounds within a single category by assigning each to separate notes on your keyboard. Clicking the “Stretch” button allows you to stretch a single sound on to the entire keyboard in order to place it within your desired key. Brilliant! The need for hundreds of NKIs is replaced with this single feature. This makes it so much easier and quicker to find the sound you want and then place it into your track with minimal effort.


Before moving on to Christopher Young’s Orchestral Touch, a little more about the clever sound design engine 8Dio has placed these libraries within. There are a number of great features within this engine, but I would like to call out two of these features in particular: the IR-engine and the Effects tabs. 8Dio have done something special here with the IR-engine (impulse response engine).

The IR-engine gives you the power to turn any of the many samples here into a convolution response that can be applied to any of the other sounds.

Simply click the “Make IR” button after playing a sound you want to turn into an IR and every sound you play thereafter will be filtered through that sample as an IR. This feature really takes these sounds to a new level. It should be noted that, while you can turn the IR down completely for a drier sound, many of these samples have a good amount of baked-in reverb. It doesn’t really bother me, but sample purists or those wishing for further control over the dry/wet ratio should be aware of this fact.


The Effects tab uses 8Dio’s new Chaos 4.0 engine which comes equipped with 4 modulation engines, each containing separate X/Y matrix grids. This allows you a lot of control over multiple effects that can be applied to each sound. The X/Y matrix lets you dial in the effect in a unique and controlled way. Much more could be said about the engine behind these libraries and the many ways it allows you to manipulate the sounds (i.e. reverse, randomize, etc.), but suffice it to say that this is a powerful and well thought out engine that is also easy to use. I can’t brag enough about this engine. I’ll say it again – Brilliant! 8Dio have included presets within each library that showcase some of the possibilities that can be achieved when using this powerful engine.

Orchestral Touch

Christopher Young’s Orchestral Touch is the second library in this collection and continues the mood and timbre of its big brother, Textural Worlds. While Textural Worlds focuses on soundscapes, Orchestral Touch focuses on orchestral effects. Arcs, shorts, and effects are the categories on offer here (6 Arcs, 3 Shorts, 2 Effects) and they are eerie, chilling, and unnerving. The same format and presentation is used for Orchestral Touch with one very helpful addition – the Mixer tab. The Mixer tab within Orchestral Touch allows you to home in on any of the 7 mics on offer: Decca, Wide, Spot Violin 1, Spot Violin 2, Spot Viola, Spot Cello, Spot C. Bass. This is a helpful feature both from a mixing standpoint and for the fact that it extends the many sounds that are already on offer here into even more.

The Christopher Young Collection is a landmark achievement of sound design for the composer who works primarily in the horror genre. Here, classic horror sounds meet current sound design in the best way possible. Many will find The Christopher Young Collection to be too narrowly focused within the horror genre, and it’s hard to argue that this collection fits better anywhere else. However, I think the use of the brilliant engine 8Dio presents these libraries within offers the possibility of extending the usefulness of these sounds even further.


The Christopher Young Collection includes 16,681 samples in 39.8 GB (19.9 GB compressed). There are up to 7 microphone positions and thousands of different sounds. These libraries require the full version of Kontakt 5.7 or later.

The Christopher Young Collection sells for $398.00 from 8Dio


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