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Mini Reviews MTM

Twisted Cistern

Manufacturer Dark Side of the Tune Price $39.99 Contact Web

We get sent many samples packs here at MTM and while some may offer up a twist on a certain genre or technique, most fall into the same categories. However, Dark Side of the Tune is a company that does things a little differently and we’re always intrigued to see what it comes up with next. The company’s latest pack, Twisted Cistern, contains samples recorded by lowering instruments into a giant abandoned cistern some 200ft in diameter at a military base in Washington State.

The hard, enclosed space generates a haunting 45-second reverb tail and has support pillars that reflect harmonics and break up the sound. A variety of drum machines, keyboards, acoustic instruments and bent electronics were recorded in the space

KeyFeatures ●928MB of 24-bit

WAVs ●197 sounds ●30 drum hit samples ●3variations

(mono, reverb and stereo) ●Haunting 45

second reverb to create a library of 197 sounds, which is available as a download or on DVD (a total of 928MB of 24-bit WAV files). In order to add flexibility to the pack the sounds are presented in dry mono, wet reverb and blended stereo versions, with further divisions into drum, strings and synth folders. This enables you to balance or fade in the reverb signal or alternatively to use the reverb files by themselves for a cold, detached sound. Make no mistake, the character of the reverb is dark and chilling, conjuring up images of desolate wastelands and abandoned streets à la 28 Days Later.

The plucked guitars, piano hits, drum strikes and synth glitches could be put to excellent use in film or media work, but could also be used as instruments in ambient electronica. The simple whistles and vocal sounds are particularly effective thanks to the long reverb tails. Also included is a collection of 30 chopped drum sounds ready to be turned into an original-sounding kit.

There’s no denying this is an interesting collection of unique, haunting samples, but in practice some of the more bizarre sounds may be of limited use. It’s also a shame that none of the sounds has been mapped out to sampler instruments as this would greatly increase the pack’s usability. MTM

MTM Verdict A unique – if slightly random – collection of cold and haunting hits and sounds. ★★★★★★★★★★

magazine February 2011 | 121