Review of Wave Alchemy SFX Collection 02: the latest library from Wave Alchemy sets the focus on cinematic effects - but this library is not just about Hollywood-esque booms and soundscapes - there are also a fair number of traditional synth effects aimed for modern dance productions.
Regular readers of this blog knows that I am a consistent complainer when it comes to sound libraries that are too heavy in the single drum section. While I personally believe that most people have enough 909 kicks drums to last a lifetime - but when it comes to effect sounds, there cannot exist too many effect sounds on my hard drive.
In other words: I am a sucker for effects.
As everybody knows, there are a number of different effect libraries. First we have the libraries with real recordings, where sounds like thunder, chopping carrots and purring cats are captured. Then we have the electronic effect libraries that are made synthetically, and there are cinematic effects that sounds like the effects heard in movies.
After been following the development of Wave Alchemy for a number of years, I was entirely expecting a library of synthetic sound effects aimed for electronic music - but I was wrong. With SFX Collection 02 Wave Alchemy takes a big step into the world of cinematic effects. In other words: boom today!
So, let's break down what’s included in the library. All in all there are 826 samples divided into the following categories:
The cinematic slams expands on this further and it's at this point when I realize that the reason why the sounds sound so different from effect libraries specifically aimed for dance music producers is that the sources of sounds are much wider - sure, you can sniff out classic analog bass drums but a large part of the sounds are based on sounds coming from other sources, such as real drums.
Another area where I was curious about was the uplifters - and just as with the impacts, the majority of the sounds have their foundation in other soundsources than pure synthesis. In fact - there are so few sounds that are so obviously synthetic that these sound tend to jump out.
The Soundscape & Ambience category takes Wave Alchemy back to familiar territory. These sounds have a more synthetic core than the other sounds - but in a weird, spooky kind of way. The only negative thing I can say about these sounds is that there are only 26(!) of them. Synth Impacts & Stabs is what I would call the little brother of Soundscape & Ambience - a bit less on the spookiness, a little less fade-ins but equally atmospheric.
The very last category in the library is called Analogue Synth FX, and is oddly marked as a bonus category. In here there are almost 250 sounds stretching from bass drops, impacts and processed synthesizer weirdness. The foundation of this category is entirely syntactical and balances the Hollywood-ness of the other sounds well. This category could easily be sold separately (which in fact it does - 8.95 pounds). The only bad things I can say about this category is that it's a bit of a mixed bag. But the contents is absolutely superb.
SFX Collection 02 is a collection of very big sounding effects with a very modern and professional feeling. The fact that a big part of SFX Collection 02 is based around other sounds than the typical synthesized sounds make the sounds jump out in an entirely different manner than with sounds from analog or digital sources. They will make your music feel way more dramatic and way more cinematic. This is naturally a double edged sword - and although I easily can imagine these sounds making a bombastic trance anthem become even more epid - I can most definitely see how these sounds can be overused and actually steal away the attention from the music. My advice is this - if you want some extraordinary power and drama in your tracks - SFX Collection 02 is a library that will do that for you. But use these sounds with care. Unlike traditional synthesizer effects these sounds grabs the attention so hard you might actually sink a track by using too much of these effects. With power comes responsibility. But with that said - there is not one single bad thing with Wave Alchemy SFX Collection 02.
Wave Alchemy SFX Collection 02
Price: 44.95 pounds.
Good: Extremely well-crafted sounds and effects.
Review copy: thanks to Wave Alchemy for NFR.