Ambience and Rhythm: “Liquid Planet” from Sony Creative Software

Published on in Miscellaneous

By N. Halpern

“Liquid Planet” is an elegantly-designed loop library for producers and composers, emphasizing ambient textures and ethnic percussion loops. The library was developed by Robert Rich, a California-based composer known for his work in ambient and minimalist music. The library is available as a subset of Sony Creative Software’s “Scoring Pack” or as a standalone library.

The library is well organized, with its materials divided into seven general folders: Clean Flutes, Drones & Abstract, Ethnic Percussion, Melodic Metal, Synthetic Pulses, and Twinkles. Where applicable, each file is labeled and meta-tagged with its respective original tempo and/or key. All audio is clean and high fidelity.

One highlight of the library is the ‘Ethnic Percussion folder’. This section of the library emphasizes intimate performances on hand-played drums: Djembe, Dumbek, Frame Drum, Java Drums, Slit Drum, Talking Drum, and Udu. The phrases played - while appropriate to the appropriate “world” rhythms associated with each drum - are short, clean and relatively simple. This approach should allow users a good amount of flexibility in chopping up/mixing and matching phrases and integrating these drums as texture in a wide variety of compositional styles. This section also includes some distinctive shaker sounds, including Seed Pods and Shaker Echo.

The library also shines in its organic textures, excellent for abstract sound design and embellishment of audio productions. The ‘Metal’ folder contains some lovely ones, from a small selection of gongs to a range of lovely Waterphone articulations, including a couple of eerie bowed effects. There are evocative sounds of a Metal Rod, along with various bells and chimes. Generally pitch less and abstract, these are fine raw materials that can be easily manipulated by producers via processing/pitch-shifting/time-stretching etc. to create new and interesting sounds and textures in their productions.

Elsewhere, some of this sort of post-processing has already been provided: The Drones and Abstract folder provides a series of novel, abstract drones. Highlights here include feedback loops, bell drones (bells expanded and stretched into long, drawn-out tones), and some loops actually made of the sound of slowly moving water. The ‘Synthetic Pulses’ folder offers manipulated sounds that have been structured to a rhythm and tempo.

Besides rhythm and texture, the library also features some melodic phrases:  The ‘Clean Flutes’ folder contains a series of short, melodic wind phrases, performed on various Occarinas, Bamboo Whistles, and Pan Pipes. The ‘Melodic’ folder offers short loops/phrases of rhythmic instrumental phrases that contain some simple melodic information. Instrumental phrases represented here range from the “World Music” (Marimba, Mbira) to the conventional (Marimba), to the novel and experimental (Flower Pot, Corning Bowl).

“Liquid Planet” is a carefully curated library, which, despite the highly specific musical pedigree of its creator, could prove to be of utility to composers and producers of varying backgrounds.

For more information on this product or others, visit www.sonycreativesoftware.com

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