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Outer Limits is a Virtual Sound Module featuring a 4 GB core library of more than five hundred unique soundscapes by Ian Boddy.
Outer Limits is Ian Boddy's follow-up to Morphology but this time he has delved deeper and darker than ever before. This instrument is capable of shimmering pads, to mysterious drones, crystalline digital manipulations to dark distorted atmospheres, menacing mechanisms, evocative resonances, surreal sound effects, complex cascades, formant sheens, dark disturbing horror, analogue waves, amazing space textures, strange vocal synthesis and of course, sounds from the Outer Limits of space and time.
Categories include: Ambient Loops, Analogue Waves, Chamber of Horrors, Click & Glitch, Deep Space, Dense Soundscapes, Digital Drones, Digital Manipulations, Distorted Views, Heavy Drones, Machine Dreams, Minimalism, One Shot Synth FX, Outer Limits, Surreal to Real, Transcendental, Twisted Pads, Vintage Synth Atmos, Vocal Transformations and White Noise Atmospheres.
Reviewed By mdg
February 7, 2006
The sounds range from dark and moody, even spooky I suppose- to bright and twinkling ones. I intend to use the sounds as part of an overall mix, not that the sounds are unfit for soloing but due to the before mentioned user agreement.
Outer limits has had a few loading errors when I use it in Cubase and required repairing or reloading. This is a newer program so I expect a few bugs. The program is sold as being eerie and mysterious...evil maybe. I find that the sounds have exellent aplications for many sound styles and not all that 'dark' but rather are intense and sonically odd. If you are looking to flesh out a soundscape these sounds may well fit your needs, if you intend to use a patch for a lenghty solo, contact the seller and pay the fee as it is not a 'stand alone' product. The sound banks are not bread and butter sounds like trumpets and flutes but are odd backgrounds, drones and quirky bleeps and splashes floating across a soundstage. Just insure that the soundstage has a few other sounds on it to avoid legal issues. Outer Limits should be thought of as being a spice in a mix not the meat. The basic included interface is useful but limited. The graphics are not very spectacular but basic. This VSTi uses a lot of HD space but streams and thats good, you will need a large RAM and fast computer to run this program that loads from DVD drives only.
I give the sound designer 5 thumbs up but the limited legal use and graphic interface restrict the programs usefulness. If you need to add to a mix this might save you several hours of programming dozens of softsynths and hardware based synthesizers (as well as storing and maintaining them) then mixing them, just for a touch of strangeness.
The cost is reasonable and the trend of sound developers moving towards making REALLY new sounds is also a plus. This is for making space music, effects or ambient, not dance music or top 40 styles.
(edited after using for several months)
I still use it but it has become less useful as I find it hard to set the sounds into many mixes. I think I grew tired of the dark elements over time but if you keep the sound mixed down a bit it adds spookiness without dominating. I have decided that the limited interface and choices as well as the lack of more complex modulation and filters really keep this program from being better. Run it through some modulating delays and it is much more interesting! I wish it had more patches and that there was some updates but it is what it is, the change in ownership of the company probably didn't help much.
I do own hardware and soft synths and I notice that all softsynths tend to get a bit stale and I usually find what patches I like and work with those. Mixing Outer limits with spacey synth washes and re-sampling is the ticket here. Cut a nice wav section and push that through Absynth if you want to mutate the sound beyond recognition, use extreme EQ and resample....rinse and repeat. I would only buy this if you already have pretty much all the FM, subtractive and additive stuff covered and REALLY need that extra weirdness. When people hear Outer Limits in my small studio I usually get a funny look so I tend to use it when no one is around. Was that a noise in my closet? No, just an echo. Ian Boddy , you are one strange sound designer!
The sound quality still seems really great and the sonic/psychological effects of 'Outer limits' still makes me have goose bumps. Listening to Boddy's songs on emusic.com has made me more aware of the dark side of the force. This program is another example of using a small yet powerful sample of his analog arsenal as a building block for my own work. I have noticed I am beginning to look at overall sound design a bit differently and what price is that worth?
I am happier now with the program than I was when I first purchased it. But then again, I enjoy barbeque potato chips and peanut butter and grape jam sandwiches so don't say I didn't warn you!Read more