The word “hybrid” is being thrown around both the sample library and film scoring worlds quite a lot these days. Its an overused term for an overly-popular style of trailer music that combines electronic and organic elements that we all know so well. When I hear the word “hybrid” used to describe a sample library, I generally cringe a little, but in the case of Fluffy Audio’s AURORA sample library, I think hybrid is actually a good word to describe it!
Described as a “a cinematic and hybrid library” the main feature which immediately stands out, that sets AURORA apart from its competitors, is the ability to layer organic sounds on top of synthesized ones (up to 5 layers in total). The organic instruments available to choose from include “timpanis, bells, self-made instruments and hand made percussions” and the more electronic elements are based on “soundscapes, drones and pads from acoustic and synthesized sources”.
AURORA comes with 162 presets arranged into:
- Featured (Blake Ewing + David Garcia Diaz patches)
- Keys & Bells
- Sequenced & Arpeggiated
You can also just load the initial patch up with nothing in it, and build your own sounds from scratch. Choose from:
- Long – Pads, High Drones, Low Drones, Synths, Soundscapes
- Short – Big Hits, Bells, Tonal Perc, Small, Plucked
Before we dive into the sound of this library, lets have a look at the interface. As you can see from the above screenshot, AURORA features what I feel is a really well designed, minimal and clean GUI. Some of the more popular libraries like to focus on making overly complex and animated interfaces, which sure, they look cool, but don’t really add anything to them. Fluffy Audio have decided to go in the complete opposite direction to most here and their simple interface really works. Along the left you have the 5 slots for your instrument/synth combinations, the arpeggiator is in the “Rhythm tab”, effects are in the “FX” tab, and the rest of the options are all laid out neatly in the middle and right (pitch, pan, filter, ADSR etc.). A great interface, well laid out and does what it needs to do.
How Does Aurora Sound?
In a word…unusual. I found the combination of electronic and organic sounds to be a little weird at first as I was normally used to creating these types of sounds from scratch, rather than combining 2-5 different instruments/synths. However, it works really well. The sounds you can create are really unique and are perfect for creating soundscapes or sound beds to use underneath tracks. After about 5 minutes of using AURORA, I really got into the swing of things and its genuinely fun to play with it. The amount of tweaking and possibilities here are pretty huge – although it only comes with 162 presets (that’s still a lot!), pretty much every single sound you can create is tweakable – the possible combinations are endless.
What it doesn’t sound like is an purely electronic sample library like Juggernaut by Impact Soundworks or Hybrid Tools by 8Dio. It doesn’t sound like IMPAKT by Sample Logic, as AURORA combines sounds rather than morphs the original sounds into something different like Sample Logic. It really sits right in the middle between organic and electronic and fills a gap in the marketplace for composers who are looking for a sound design/soundscape scoring tool that’s highly tweakable and can cover what numerous synths and sample libraries are capable of, with just one library. I would like to see more organic elements to choose from if updates are in the pipeline, but like I said, you get plenty to choose from at the outside, and you’ll be playing with this thing for days!
Grab AURORA at http://fluffyaudio.com/shop/aurora/