Misfit – A new area in sound design?
8dio has recently released 14 libraries under the Misfit Collection banner. Inspired by TV shows like Dexter and Breaking Bad, and video games like Left4Dead, these libraries follow in the tradition of their unique soundtracks and soundscapes. All the instruments were played by non-professionals who had no idea how to play them. So imagine how it would sound if you give a trumpet to a complete newbie, and you begin to understand what 8dio are going for here …
All you need is the 8dio Downloader. Copy/Paste the code that you receive after purchase into the field and hit return. Chose the folder you like to have the library installed and finito! That’s it. Works like a charm.
Dirty, handwritten, chaotic. Not the shiny GUI we are used to from 8dio! Nope! The view controls are written with an old pen on stickers, wood etc. Misfit has control over the controls – know what I mean? Easy to use on the front end, a bit more brain is required on the back end (the FX section). But I trust we can handle it.
Very helpful. Just click on “help” to learn about your loaded instrument.
8dio decided to have every single instrument sold as one library. So you would have to buy 14 (!) libraries to own the whole Misfit Collection. I myself would prefer to have the instruments packed into one affordable bundle.
From the point of view of a marketing pro, it makes sense. Perhaps you would buy one of the cheaper libraries for a few dollars, until you notice that you need some extra noise. Thus, the next one is in the basket – and so on. Bear with me for a moment as we say hello to each member of the Misfit family.
Misfit 1 Stringed Diddley Bow (27$)
The Diddley Bows are on my list of favourites. The programming in the Misfit 1 String Diddley Bow is great. It feels like you can really play it as it was meant to be in real life. Dirty blues slides, twangs and noises. That’s what it’s all about.
Misfit 3 Stringed Diddley Bow (46$)
Even better. You’ll get 3 strings! Yes! The Misfit 3-String Diddley Bow is raw and gritty. Nothing for the faint hearted. The rest; see above!
Misfit Banjo (26 $)
The Misfit Banjo was recorded with two mic positions (close and spaced/room). It also sports true legato (it’s actually called gelato in the Misfit universe) and glissandi transitions.
8dio programmed what they call an intelligent strum detection system, so if you play more than one note, additional strumming effects and x-noises will be added. And indeed – it works.
I really dig it!
Misfit Bicycle (9$)
Misfit Bucket Bass (17$)
The badass low section of the Misfits collection. Bend it, release it, use the bow and detune it. You have a variety of possibilities to make your speakers rumble with the Misfit Bucket Bass.
Misfit Concertina (22$)
The Misfit Concertina comes loaded with articulation options, including regular sustains, staccato, crescendo and sforzando. The instrument was recorded from its left and right sides to capture the instrument’s natural stereo image. There are also digital and natural tremolos on board. Nice!
Misfit Fiddle (24$)
The Misfit Fiddle comes with four different types of gelato (New Bow Gelato, Same Bow Gelato, Glissando Gelato and Auto Gelato). Additionally, you get pizzicato, tremolo, whole and half-tone trills.
Misfit Harmonica (37$)
Different harmonicas from the same brand were recorded to cover a large octave range. Tons of articulations such as bend up, bend down, vibrato or trills were recorded to give you all the sounds you need. Over 8.700 samples of harmonica are found in the Misfit Harmonica. That’s quite a lot, right?
Misfit Jawharp (9$)
Misfit Stompbox (8$)
You like to stomp on boxes. Here we go. The Misfit Stombox is doing what it’s supposed to do. It makes noise. You can chose the position of the foot to alter the sound. You can also change setting of the DI-Box and mic position.
Step on it!
Misfit Trombone (17$)
You have TA and HA and Glissando at your beck and call in the Misfit Trombone. Any questions? OK, TA stands for a hard legato, while HA produces a soft and fluid note change.
Misfit Trumpet (18$)
It’s definitely a trumpet, but – Surprise!! – there’s a very nice tuba patch as well included in the Misfit Trumpet!
Miles Davis be on some strange narcotics …
Misfit Washboard (14$)
Besides the eponymous washboard in the Misfit Washboard, you’ll be getting spoons and thimbles, mini-bells, mini cowbells, and a tiny cymbal to complete your laundry.
Misfit Whistling (15$)
The Misfit Whistling is a nice addition to the whole package. Even though it sounds a bit artificial, you can produce a wicked version of the Scorpions “Wind Of Change”.
Each library is organised into three categories:
- Full Patch (which is the name of the instrument plus “.nki”)
- Light Patch (which is the name of the instrument plus “- Light.nki”)
- Experimental patches (which, depending on the library, can be one, two, or more different experimental .nkis)
Many of the patches are ready to work with your mod wheel.
First of all, a big compliment to the composers who created the demo tracks. Since I’d been working with these libraries for a few days, I am fully aware that a lot of tweaking is required to end up with a decent track. You can compose a great and odd soundtrack with the libraries as a whole; I don’t see the point in having, for example, only the Misifit Bycicle. But if you start to play around with the whole Misfits palette, you begin to really embrace it. The sound is weird in a positive way. With the detuning controls at your disposal, you can go even further, until it hurts your ears. Because of its imperfection, everything sounds real. Like a bunch of hobos gathered to make some noise.
Below are a number of the demo tracks for the Misfits Collection – be aware that these composers are very smart people 😉
The FX departement
All libraries come with 8dio‘s custom Chaos FX 3.0 rack. Each FX works perfectly and spices up the sounds. Or better said, some of the sounds are kinda lost without the rack. These effects are:
One issue is that the slider to scroll up and down the rack (located towards the right side of the panel) is transparent enough to be near invisible – it almost looks like part of the GUI aesthetic. It had tricked me and some of my colleagues for some time into believing that some patches had effects that others did not, when in fact those effects were tucked away from view. It is usability of the strangest kind, and could probably do with an update to help clear the visual (and therefore functional) confusion.
Starting with $8, the entry level seems to be very low. But if you want all of the Misfit libraries you have to pay 289$. Not a piece of cake (well, almost). In the current market, many more heavy-weight sample libraries can be obtained for this price. In my opinion the whole package is not really a bargain.
- Melodic stuff is brilliantly imperfect. Perfect!
- No package sale
- Some of the libraries don’t make so much sense as “stand alone” libraries
Misfit can really spice up your compositions. If you are looking for a twisted/wicked sound, it’s definitely worth to check out the libraries. Just be aware that you will have to invest some time into tweaking to become the (im)perfect Misfit hobo.