As you probably know, I LOVE horror music. I have a great collection of VST’s, sample libraries and sound effects all related to Horror, Thriller, and scary genres. So when the opportunity came along to review Steinberg’s ‘Dark Planet’ I grabbed it with both hands!
“Dark Planet is loaded with hundreds of creepy sounds, shattering loops and eerie instruments, including leads, basses, drums and effects that will inspire and give you the shivers at the same time. Dark Planet’s earth-shattering sounds are equally suitable for impactful cinematic scores, massive industrial tracks and spacious dark ambient productions. The integrated MorphFilter and the onboard effects provide everything needed to add spine-tingling ingredients to your productions and fuel your fantasies with the gloom of the Dark Planet.”
Dark Planet Installation
Installation of Dark Planet was not that easy. With more and more companies trying to protect their software (and you can’t blame them for that), they are coming up with more and more barriers to getting at your software, from USB sticks with codes on, to activating and registering online. Installing the actual demo was fairly straightforward, but registering it was a bit tricky. And then getting the VST to locate the ‘sound set’ with all the presets in was another headache!!!
Dark Planet Patches
The included patches really are brilliant. They have such a wide scope and can be used for so many applications. The obvious starting point is for horror, crime, thriller, and any other dark ambient worlds that you need to create. But as well as that, this VST can be used for big epic dramatic scores, and here comes the magic word again, Hybrid music! The closest synth that I can think of would be Native Instrument’s Absynth. And whilst this does share some similarities, it also has a life of its own, with some interesting rhythmic patches that could form the basis of a composition.
A few of my favourite patches are as follows –
- Behind the Moon – A morse code style ambient sound
- Cold Shadows – A slow evolving synth patch that has metallic elements and sounds
- Crush Drums – Individual hits, but the most useful parts are the loops. Some excellent grunge style loops perfect for Hybrid epic style compositions.
- FX Loop – A tonne of amazing synced loops that are more FX and sound design based rather than drums. Perfect for creating other worldly tones, and if you want a percussive and beat keeping element to your compositions but don’t want drums.
- Moth Wings – An interesting synth that sweeps and morphs over time.
- Tribal Beat – A huge selection of loops for big dramatic compositions but with a more ethnic tribal feel.
Some of these loops are incredible. Don’t think of Dark Planet as just another ‘pad’ synth similar to Absynth – these loops can really form the basis for new compositions and will inject life and a unique feel to your work. Rather than just using strings, brass, and traditional orchestral percussion, I urge you to try some of these loops to see how things sound!
Dark Planet Interface
The interface is nicely laid out and easy to use. All of the controls are easily accessible, and the addition of an XY style pad to control cut off, resonance and ‘morph’ is always a welcome feature – I find it really helps to visualize the filter and how you use it. Obviously all of these controls can be mapped out to a controller or keyboard however you want.
Dark Planet Sound
The sound of Dark Planet is incredible. A lot of time has been shaping these presets and developing the content. This is a synth that will certainly add some energy and variety to your compositions. Some of the sounds have a great feel about them, and will sit perfectly in the mix without any tweaking or additional effects. All the sounds are nicely organized and have been tweaked and compressed for you, meaning they won’t need much, if any additional work.
Dark Planet Price
The value of this product is immense. Dark planet is currently available for the small price of £41!!! Yes you read that right! I couldn’t believe the price when you get so much bang for your buck. And with 800 presets your not going to get bored anytime soon!
So to conclude, this great piece of kit can be yours for just €49.99, adding 800 presets to your workflow and a seriously powerful synth that will add textures, rhythms and much more to your compositions!
You can download a demo version of Dark Planet at http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vst/dark_planet/trial_version.html.