Review: Sound Dust UNTOPIA for Omnisphere 2 from Time+Space

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Sound Dust’s UNTOPIA, born from the mind of composer and sound designer Pendle Poucher is equal parts Factory Records, Ambient Music, Avant Garde and Eclectic Beauty wrapped up together in a wonderful new library for Omnisphere 2.

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Review: Sound Dust UNTOPIA for Omnisphere 2

 

UNTOPIA, born from the mind of composer and sound designer Pendle Poucher is equal parts Factory Records, Ambient Music, Avant Garde and Eclectic Beauty wrapped up together in a wonderful new library for Omnisphere 2.

SoundDust’s UNTOPIA sells for £35 including VAT from Time+Space

Thoughts

Any time a library gets a resounding endorsement from Paul and Phil Hartnoll of Orbital, for my part it deserves an immediate investigative peek. What I found did not disappoint!

UNTOPIA is a hard library to categorize because it covers so much ground and the design of the patches demonstrate so much imagination. To get a sense of how it is designed take the sound of Tony Wilson’s Factory Records (Joy Division, A Certain Ration), de Veer, Terry Riley, Jon Hassell/Eno and the creative countenance that comes from the Sound Dust brand. I simply love this library! There is a treasure trove of sounds to add to my productions.

UNTOPIA is a hard library to categorize because it covers so much ground

Imagine the sound of industrial beats, soundscapes that sound like a broken mellotron, spacey and driven organ, over-driven patches and voices crying out from a warbling tape. That covers just five of the two hundred patches in the library. Yes, to be fair there are variations, but there are a ton of possibilities using the modwheel with each of these as Pendle has built each patch with some form of modulation option that allows you to morph the sound.

UNTOPIA contains one of the widest palettes of sonic diversity that I have found

Determining where this library really fits into your arsenal is easy – pretty much anywhere. As a composer, I am always looking for “that sound” that I need to finish or compliment my projects. UNTOPIA contains one of the widest palettes of sonic diversity that I have found in a single library. This really allows you to find that missing beat, scratch, screech, hum, pad, voice or other unique timbre.

UNTOPIA features 80 new sound sources from Pendle that have been created from classic instruments like the Roland Juno 60, Moog Voyager, Nord Wave, Oberheim Xpander, Hofner Bass, Fender Strat, Plastic Trumpet and a host of other classic gear and offbeat instruments and vocals.

The sounds of UNTOPIA are divided into 14 different categories including: ARP+BPM, Distortion, Electronic Mayhem, Human Voices, Keyboards, Organs, Pads, Strings, Synth Bass, Textures and Trons. The full description of categories and instruments is available on the product page.

UNTOPIA takes full advantage of the new Omnisphere 2 FX, which really take the sound to new places. You can obviously swap the FX out or change their parameters in order to make your own patches. I really feel like the FX that were added in Omnisphere 2 have enabled developers like Pendle Poucher/Sound Dust to develop something extraordinary and keep pushing the creative boundaries farther and farther out. I usually like my FX to be premium plugin used in the room only. Omnisphere is an exception here, given the quality and diversity of application.

The eclectic mix of influences begs exploration.

As with my past review for Time+Space for an Omnisphere library, I am a huge fan of the developer Pendle Poucher. I own a number of his libraries and this one found its way into my studio and into a new project that needed something to add a bit of life. I love the old (I guess 1980 is old now?) Factory Records sound and quite frankly find the eclectic mix of influences something that begs exploration. I think you can find yourself making indie soundtrack or slightly avante garde music using nothing but UNTOPIA, but for more conventional compositions, this is going to be the place that you find those treasures and ornaments that you need to decorate or augment your score. These patches will also be at home in ambient and electronic music. UNTOPIA is essentially a “Jack-Of-All” and “Master-Of-Most”. I can’t wait for a follow-up library from Sound Dust.

As with all of my reviews, I would encourage you to check out the official demos to make sure that this is the right tool for you.

Facts

UNTOPIA contains 200 patches plus 80 new sound sources and requires Omnisphere version 2.2.0e or higher. The download size is 165 MB.

SoundDust’s UNTOPIA sells for £35 including VAT from Time+Space

Demos of Sound Dust UNTOPIA

Videos of Sound Dust UNTOPIA