Particular Sound was founded by the sound designers Ingo Nasse and Frank Neumann back in 2002. After years working for companies like Yamaha Europe, Waldorf Music, LinPlug Virtual Instruments, reFX, Ableton AG, MOTU, Sugar Bytes, Sonic Charge, and others, they both decided to release their own sample libraries.
Their latest product is called Aphelion – Cinematic Toolkit, and was designed for cinematic trailers, videos, movies, games, or music productions like drum’n’bass, dubstep, or similar genres. It was originally released in March 2015 as a .wav sample library, and in August, it was Updated to version 1.5 and ported to the Native Instruments Kontakt platform; reason enough to take a closer look at the library. So here we go.
- Crystal clear sounds in 24bit/96Khz.
- 3,71GB sample content (3.07GB zipped).
- 842 samples, 334 Loops in 110BPM synced to host tempo.
- 468 Instrument and 94 Multi Patches.
- 94 Kontakt Multisounds.
- Custom Kontakt GUI with Fx, Sequencer.
- Available in Kontakt and WAV .format.
- Full Retail version of Kontakt 5.4 or later required.
- Price Tag: $89 (regular $119).
After purchase, you will be able to download the installation file. Once unzipped, open your file browser in Kontakt and load your patch of choice from the folders. As this library needs the full retail version of Kontakt, it will not appear in the libraries tab. However, it can be added to the “Quick Load” menu.
Aphelion comes with a custom scripted GUI, which, at first look, may have an old school aesthetic (compared to other competitors’ modern libraries), but it still has lots of possibilities to tweak the sound in any direction you want. In fact, I love a GUI that is not overloaded, where you would also need to open other windows to access all its parameters.
Available parameters in Aphelion:
- Modulation FX: Rotator, Flanger, Phaser, Chorus
- Distortion FX: Saturation, Distortion, Bitcrusher
- Filter FX: Lo Pass
- Time based FX: Reverb, Delay
- Additional Controls: Tune, Volume, Sample Offset
- Sequencer with ADSR Envelope, step amount, step duration, and randomize function
In Aphelion, you have all the parameters in a single screen. However, catchier looking GUIs may sell much better, and so I think the GUI can be reworked in a future update (which the developers also agreed with when we spoke). But this is really nit-picking.
The sound of the samples in Aphelion is superb. They sound clear, fat, and have punch. A look under the hood of the Kontakt GUI showed me that almost all of the samples are well edited. Here and there, some small pops and clicks appear, but this is due to the tightly set volume envelope, and fixed with small adjustments – it’s nothing in the samples themselves. The developers have informed me that they are currently working on this.
Aphelion 1.5 comes with:
- Background FX
- Downriser (short/medium)
- Hits (short/medium/long)
- Low Subs
- Noise Loops
- Processed Samples
- Rhythmic Loops
- Single Synth Sounds
- Synth fall sounds
- Uprisers (short/medium/long)
- Whooshes (short/medium/long)
Hard as it is for words to fully describe sound, check out some of the demo tracks featuring Aphelion in action.
Aphelion is a great sounding library when it comes to hybrid scoring or cinematic FX, and the demo tracks show that it can be used in any other music genre as well. It does not only have a single focus, which I find great. Additionally, one big plus is that the library comes with .wav files so you can import them directly, without the use of Kontakt in your session. This is something I like a lot, because sometimes (especially with risers, whooses, and so on) it’s easier to work with .wav than Kontakt.
There are some small improvements to be made, and the developers have been very open to suggestions and ideas. I am sure that these minimal glitches will be ironed out in one update, and I have to say that they do not detract from the great sound and easy usage of the library.