Review: The Doors of Time: Past Cinematic Alpha Vocal Edition by Andrew Fly/Cinematic Alpha
Great collection of cinematic and vocal editions
Sleek GUI with easy customisation options
A lot of variation in sound with a lot of utility
The extras on both libraries are excellent and give each library more scope
Vocal phrases are not tempo synced
In the world of fine cinematic instruments, boutique developer Andrew Fly continues to create wonderful rich-sounding and highly playable libraries. Both The Doors of Time: Past and the newly updated Cinematic Alpha Vocal Edition 2.0 libraries are drenched with cinematic flavour containing a range of pads, pulses, textures and sublime vocals. With more libraries being released in this series in the near future, will this promising up-and-coming developer leave us wanting more?
Jump to the Videos of The Doors of Time: Past & Cinematic Alpha Vocals
Jump to the Demos of The Doors of Time: Past & Cinematic Alpha Vocals
Review: The Doors of Time: Past
Cinematic Alpha Vocal Edition by Andrew Fly/Cinematic Alpha
The Doors of Time: Past is the first in a trilogy of cinematic instruments. This edition contains a range of pads, motions, some “bonuses” and a great set of eighteen multi presets. While the library isn’t gigantic, it is full of quality sounds. In fact there are forty pads, forty motions and the extras contain dark strings, textures and a piano. The influence is centred around the 1980’s although the sounds have a modern cinematic feel.
On the other hand, Cinematic Alpha – Vocal Edition expertly puts the angelic voice in one handy vocal instrument. This is a collection of vowels, phrases and a whole host of extras including pads, rhythms, impacts and sfx. Again, it’s not a huge library but the bang for the buck is incredible. There are minor phrases in every key which means no need for synthetic key-switching which preserves the realism. Granted, there are no major phrases but I found these to work well in their corresponding relative major keys. Both libraries have the latest updated Andrew Fly GUI which is simple, clear and in The Doors of Time: Past, a little quirky. The review will focus on each instrument individually, starting with The Doors of Time: Past.
Upon loading The Doors of Time: Past, you are greeted with a neat GUI which is instantly understandable. The design is great with ADSR on the left, reverb/delay and EQ on the right. In the middle is this really quirky TV screen which once playing, begins to animate various short 80’s looking videos. As a child of the 80’s, this really resonates with me and is a classy touch.
There are 3 NKI instruments, “Slow” nki which is the pads instrument, a “Motions” nki and a “Bonus” nki. All of the sounds are contained within and are easy to switch between. Above the TV is a menu where you load the desired sample. That is it! Simple, functional but so full of character.
So how does it sound? In a word, stunning. The pads are crafted superbly and envoke the sound of 80’s cinema. They are warm, evolving and are perfect for creating foundations to a score or ambient atmospheres in their own right. Could you compose an underscore with just the pads? Very much so and they would also work very well with meditation and ambient music.
Every pad, and yes I played all forty, could certainly be used in a score. The utility is certainly high with this library.
The same can be said for the “Motions” nki. The motions are the backbone of any synth cinematic underscore and the forty presented here are interesting but not too whacky so they cannot be used. Again, the controls are the same and the TV is present with the sound quality being consistent too. These would be perfect for sci-fi, cyberpunk, synthwave, pretty much wherever your imagination will take you. While there are no built-in effects, when adding your own third-party plugins, the usage of these sounds can be expanded further. With that in mind, the 18 presets which are Kontakt multis, show how the sources can be stacked together to create some amazing pulses.
The “Bonus” nki are a great sonic collection of synths, soundscapes, 808’s and a lovely cinematic piano. All in all, this rounds up a one-stop package for 80’s cinematic underscore. For any media composer, this is a great toolkit to have at your disposal. And while the instrument is currently available on a steep discount, a great value for money.
The Cinematic Alpha: Vocals 2.0 is again, a cinematic library with not only vocals but a collection of extras featuring pulses, soundscapes, and various cinematic sound effects.
I already owned the first version of this library from last year, but Andrew has updated this with a new GUI and now every patch loads within the one instrument. The re-worked interface now has ADSR controls, reverb and delay effects, and new stack and tone controls. Not only does this give you more control, but it shows Andrew’s clear commitment to improving his instruments and updating them.
The vocals arequite simply beautiful and the collection of phrases and vowels are wonderful. These are all performance-based samples, not loops so that the sounds evolve and then cut off when Laura runs out of breath. This leads to a very realistic vocal performance with an atmospheric ambient reverb enhancing the overall sound. While there is no legato, you can easily build vocal ensembles using the various vowels on offer.
The phrases are wonderful to work with and sound very ethereal. That said, it’s worthy of note to say they are not tempo synced so you will have to use your ears to keep them in time. Towards the left-hand side of the keyboard, the red keys are a series of vocal sequences which are tempo-synced. I found it easy to fit the vocals into a cue although the samples are in WAV form so they can be dropped into your DAW and time-stretched as needed.
Aside from an enchanting vocal instrument, the extras that are contained as a bonus really add to the weight of this library.
From drum loops, impacts, ostinato string lines, and various SFX, you are presented with a range of scoring tools that will help you create an underscore in seconds. By combining The Doors of Time: Past and Cinematic Alpha Vocal Edition 2.0, you will have everything you need to create a great cinematic score.
While the libraries are small in size, the creator, Andrew Fly, has done a wonderful job of creating inspiring tools with a huge amount of uses. Yes, there are limitations, yet these libraries do what they set out to do extremely well. For a great sonic collection of cinematic sounds, both of these libraries would be a brilliant addition to your composing toolkit. I really can’t wait to hear the next two installments of these libraries.
Requires Kontakt 6.2.2 or later
The Doors of Time: Past downloads at 4.16 GB
Vocals Edition downloads at 1.61 GB
Cinematic Alpha Vocals normally sells for $120 from Andrew Fly/Cinematic Alpha
Cinematic Alpha The Doors of Time: Past normally sells for $149.99 from Andrew Fly/Cinematic Alpha
Contributor Pete Checkley reviews The Doors of Time: Past & Cinematic Alpha Vocals by Andrew Fly/Cinematic Alpha
“In the world of fine cinematic instruments, boutique developer Andrew Fly continues to create wonderful rich-sounding and highly playable libraries. Both The Doors of Time: Past and the newly updated Cinematic Alpha Vocal Edition 2.0 libraries are drenched with cinematic flavour containing a range of pads, pulses, textures and sublime vocals. With more libraries being released in this series in the near future, will this promising up-and-coming developer leave us wanting more?”