Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Spookomatic

Spookomatic is one of a kind instrument for generating eerie ambiances, melancholic pads and ghastly atmospheres. It is using multiple layers of melodic sounds, background ambiances and sequenced environment noises, all being dynamically transformed by an array of step sequenced modulators, to create an organic, rich, living soundscapes. As the name suggests, the instrument is focused on chilly, mysterious and creepy tones, while not being deadly serious. Like a generic horror flick, it's a bit scary and a little silly, but unlike such kind of a movie, it can be quite unpredictable.
Spookomatic is self-configuring sound machine, it automatically creates random patches, which can be tweaked afterwards. Just press the shuffle button and hear what you can find, it's a sort of a ghost in the machine.

Here's a how it sounds, in a compilation of different patches:

And here's a brief guide to user interface:

There are eleven step sequencers per layer, modulating parameters, like pan, tune, filters cutoff and send effect levels. What is uncommon about the sequencers, is that the sequence can be interpolated, that is, the parameter values can change gradually in between sequence steps, according to different curves. Each sequencer can run at different speed and different cycle, creating quite non-repetitive, yet tempo synchronized textures.

Here's how modulation sequencers work:


Spookomatic in cold numbers:
  • 21 melodic sound sources, created with acoustic instruments (guitars, reed organ, voice, non-musical objects), vintage analog synthesizer and digital synthesis,
  • 30 types of background noise from field recordings, or digital sound manipulation,
  • 192 noise fragments to create sequenced ambiance,
  • up to 10 sound layers,
  • up to 110 modulation sequencers,
  • 4 instrument configurations,
  • 144 selected presets,
  • 999999999 possible patches.
The instrument requires full version of NI Kontakt sampler, version 5.5.2, or newer to run. Depending on patch, it may be rather CPU intensive (there's a lot going on under the hood).

It's available at Kontakt Hub.

This instrument is new take on the idea, I was exploring with older, free instrument, Scape-o-matic. It has similar character and engine, though Spookomatic takes it to a new level.

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