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Stratos: Drones & Atmospheres | Music Tech Magazine

Rating: 9/10 Back to Stratos: Drones & Atmospheres product details

When we saw "Drones and Atmospheres" as the subtitles for this 4.1GB sample collection from Big Fish Audio, the thought of floor-gazing doom metal bands dressed in monks' robes immediately sprang to mind. In fact, it's far more cinematic than that and features few guitars and certainly no blessed-out Mogwai-esque guitar white noise. It's based heavily on synths, reverbs, percussion and sparse drums, and is curiously reminiscent of some of the legendary soundtrack work found in John Carpenter's film scores.

The library comprises five folders, grouped into moods. The first two, "Mysterious" and "Ominous" are utterly terrifying even in daylight, and would certainly send the fear factor of any thriller or horror film through the roof. The samples themselves are relatively few in number - around five per sub-folder - but they are long, mostly just over a minute each, enabling the sounds to evolve and meaning less need for looping in your scores.

The next two folders, "Etheral" and "Sombre" are softer in tone but still manage to sound dark, dreamy and brooding. Again, you can imagine sticking them over moving images to create ready-made instant moods. For each sub-folder you get a mixed version and the constituent parts as separate files.

Finally, there's an "Experimental" folder which falls somewhere between the previous offerings in tone. Heavy on textures and weird, sustained scratchy pads, it's another winner for strange, dark or tense filmic music. Essentially, this is a toolbox for scary or ambient scoring, mostly drenched in reverb, which will spare you the hassle of digging through synth presets.

Verdict 9/10
Less esoteric than you probably think, this is a great sound set for film composers and fans of experimental or ambient music.

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