chemical beats
8 June 2008
chemical beats review

Distorted Reality Vol. 1
Page 1/3
Produced by Spectrasonics chemical beats
CD-ROM 643Mb
Roland, SampleCell, Akai/ Emu /Ensoniq, Kurzweil  
Audio Version also available  



Distorted Reality Vol. 1 (The review for volume 2 will be along shortly) is the first release that we've looked at from the sample CD producers Spectrasonics. Spectrasonics have been around since 1994 and are headed by Roland's Chief Sound Designer, Eric Persing, and have built up a very high reputation for their sampling products from both a sonic and creative standpoint. Even to the extent when I've had two other rival sample CD companies comment on their quality !

Distorted Reality was one of the first Spectrasonics releases from 1995, and is described as "Distorted Reality is a one-of-a-kind library that explores an experimental world of extraordinary colours. Featuring Cutting Edge Textures, FX, Batterie & Loops; from altered 3-dimensional atmospheres transformed via true harmonic Sound Morphing, to incendiary fuzz mutations exploding with corrosive energy. Trance-inducing ambiences, visceral grunge loops, enormous modular drones and astonishing timbral contortions make this an essential resource for the producer, composer, sound designer & industrialist in search of the magic noise!".

We're reviewing the Kurzweil CD ROM version, the other CD ROM versions are essentially similar, but vary in the number of patches etc., and all versions contain quite a lot more material than the audio version. Spectrasonics specialise in the CD ROM versions of their sampling products and do offer an upgrade from the audio to the CD ROM version if required. I would certainly recommend the CD ROM version if this is an option for you.

The CD has been produced by Eric Persing and Ryeland Allison. Persing as mentioned above is the main sound man at Roland who know a thing or two about synthetic music production and additionally lists credits with such acts as Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion and Chaka Khan. Ryeland Allision's biography reads "Arranges simultaneous particle vibrations to proclaim "Resonance". Resonance is to some extent qualified to contented apportion within disassociative continuance, preceding space. When converged in a synchronous locus, he at once regenerates toward fluidic empathy." Exactly !

The CD comes double shrink wrapped with a separate licence agreement inside the first shrink wrap. Much better than the ones you can't read until you open the CD which includes the line "By opening this CD you agree...". It's pretty standard except that the product requires a specific written credit in any liner notes.

Distorted Reality Inlay Card

The documentation is very nice, a 24 page booklet with information on the producers, background, format specific issues etc. The actual contents of the CD are a little patchy with this version, though with the Roland and Akai versions there is a separate booklet which can also be found on the Spectrasonics website. Here we essentially just get a category listing which isn't terribly useful. There is a note stating that "If you need a comprehensive sound listing, please contact Spectrasonics specifying what format you have".

A quick printout from the Spectrasonics website of the Akai version though makes things a little clearer, but still not ideal. You'll need realistically 16MB of sampler memory to make the most of this collection, if you've 8 Mb you'll still be able to access a big slice of the samples but there are numerous examples that are between 8-16Mb.

The equipment list used to produce the CD takes up two pages of small print, so comprehensive is an understatement !, aside from the Roland products one might expect there are host of others from Moog, Waldorf, Korg and Oberheim....

On to the sounds...

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