We are back with another recent release from ModeAudio. This time we take a look at some vintage synth sounds for FM8 in the Curved Horizon preset collection.
We have always been very honest here, in regards to our reviews of sounds and software. So let's get something out of the way right up front with this one. We were not in awe of many of these sounds. At least not at first. We get that the whole goal of the Curved Horizon collection for FM8 is to provide a vintage sound for modern music production. But many of the sounds were a bit too affected and not as flexible as we'd hoped for up front. So we had our mission. To see just how relevant these sounds could be for a broader range of music, without too much work. And once we started in this direction, we were actually quite pleased with what we found!
As a sound design company, OhmLab tends to be a bit critical, at times, of how other companies approach their synth programming or processing of samples. And this is really no different than any other knee jerk reaction we've had in the past. But ModeAudio has set an incredibly high bar with their NI Massive presets and various sample packs we've had the chance to play around with in the past and we now feel that their reviews should be fair and equal to each other. So without further ado, let's get into the good stuff!
The programming of the sounds themselves in Curved Horizon is really great! It's more the application of the effects that were a bit much for us personally. So once we wrangled a few of them in a touch, things really started to shine. It can be tough to maintain the perfect balance of affected sound for a specific niche audience and relevancy for the rest of the folks that want to use the same sounds. And one thing we began to notice, as we dug deeper into each patch, was that the Mode Audio signature was all over these sounds. Specifically the attention to detail and pursuit of capturing a specific type of sound quality. So as important as we feel sharing our initial reaction is, for transparency's sake, it is just as important that we convey the ways in which these sounds redeemed themselves for us.
Normally, with a pack of sounds like Curved Horizon, we'd bang out a nice deep and immersive cinematic-style demo of some kind. But we were out to prove to ourselves that these sounds could be just as tasty in other forms of music without having to re-program anything.
So! Here's what we ended up doing. This short demo track is a small sampling of Curved Horizon sounds being used together. To prove the point that these patches are useful and relevant to various types of music other than the heavily affected, we worked a little basic EQ magic and arranged something simple to show how well these sounds can shine. And yeah
they're quite beautiful. Although we do not process our sounds regularly for reviews, nor do we mix and master (again, for the sake of transparency), we did take some of the presets for a wild and crazy ride. Let's just say there were pedals, synths acting as effects processors, sequencers and hacked Reaktor ensembles involved. No sounds, or people, were harmed in the process. And the sounds held up just fine. Here's what we came up with in just a few minutes time.
What you get with the Curved Horizon vintage synths collection from ModeAudio!
- 15 Pad Presets
- 10 Bass Presets
- 10 Classic Synth Presets
- 5 Chord Presets
- 5 Lead Synth Presets
- 5 Pluck Synth Presets
- 50 MIDI Loops (Bass, Synths & Chords)
In the end, we definitely recommend the Curved Horizon vintage FM8 preset collection to anyone looking for character-rich sounds that have loads of textures and crispy little bits of analog goodness sprinkled liberally throughout. We loved the unique detuning, unstable pads, grimy textures and experimental old school sound that runs through this pack and can't wait to use them with less restrictions in place. Two thumbs up!