Music Software Review: The Music Box by Bad Cat Samples

This month I had a chance to check out a new sample library called “The Music Box“, by Bad Cat Media Group. I’ve actually been looking for a music box VST for the past while and only came across one or two in existence – both of which lack depth and velocity layers.

The Music Box is a sample library for Kontakt and EXS 24 developed by Bad Cat Media Group (BCMG) – new entrants to the sample library market with this being their first product. I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I loaded it into Kontakt first, but I was blown away once I started to play around with it a bit.

First off, the sound is incredibly raw compared to other sample libraries. I think with something as dark and weird as a music box, a raw sound really works well – its creepy, beautiful and lyrical all in one. I recorded a quick clip with the library to give an idea of the sound you get out of the box (NB. I used QL Spaces for reverb):

As you can hear above, this raw sound provides a realism which I find lacking in many libraries today. Granted, raw sounding libraries don’t work for all instruments, but it really comes into its own here. The above cue was made using the main patch in the library but it also includes 10 extra patches ranging from “Eerie” – the main patch with some delay/reverb added to give a proper creepy sound – to “Haunted Ice Palace”, an delightfully dark and subdued “synthy” sound. The patches are great fun to play around with and I can definitely see a couple of them being useful in compositions, but the main patch is where its at – its bright, eerie, disturbing and most importantly incredibly realistic.

Also included in the library are wind up/wind down/crank/scrape sounds, which you can hear at the start of the cue above and at 0:09. They are a great addition to the instrument, giving it another layer of realism.

The library has at least 6 velocity layers on each instrument (some with over 40!) with over 750 samples and you can hear from the demos that a lot of effort has gone into recording this library. It’s really at home in horror scores, but I can see it being useful in a number of other applications too from film scores, to adverts etc. In short, this is an awesome little library and I can see it being an excellent addition to a number of composer’s arsenals (including mine!).

Its available from the 1st May from the Bad Cat Media Group store for a price of $19.99 (ex VAT).

Written by: admin

Emmett Cooke is an Irish composer for film, tv and video games. His music has been used around the world by high profile companies including Sony Playstation, Ralph Lauren, ABC, CBS, NBC, Lockheed Martin and many more.

  • Ridvan Duzey

    Such a great sound, I have to buy this!

Film and Game Composers offers a wide range of interviews, reviews, guides and tutorials for composers and musicians who are interested in writing music for film, TV and video games.

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