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Ian Boddy Radiophonica (Download)

Ian Boddy Radiophonica (Download)

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Ian Boddy Radiophonica (Download) - Press Reviews

Reviewed by: Computer Music
January 2009
Inspired by the old-school sound design antics of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Ian Boddy’s Radiophonica takes us back to a time when Dr Who still had some semblance of geek chic and the ring modulator ruled the sci-fi roost. The now-archaic analogue vibe of the pre-digital era has been captured, and the low rumbles, scorching high-end stings and crunchy effects all reek of nostalgia. As well as being an enjoyable blast from the past, Radiophonica is chock full of eminently usable sounds for film work and electronic music, and it’s not too outrageously priced either. Definitely worth checking out.

Rating: 9/10
Reviewed by: Laymansreviews.com
January 2009
The great thing about the world of audio production is the number of niche areas available for the budding enthusiast to make their own. And we're not just talking about the latest emergent techno genre to have surfaced dazed and blinking from clubland.

Sound design is often the unsung hero of audio production, and differs significantly from other audio fields in that it doesn't really exist for its own benefit. Instead it partners with other media to add the rich and immersive experience we take for granted in films, television, games and otherwise baffling contemporary art installations. Creating those mood-enhancing aural stimulus is a real skill, and one that - if successful - can often go overlooked.

Sample libraries are core to the sound designer's arsenal, and while many may prefer to hit the streets with their field recorder, sometimes it's easier to just accept when someone has already done the job perfectly well, particularly for those hard to find sounds and atmospheres.

One such capable individual is Ian Boddy, who's current company Something Else Music is the latest venture in over a decade of industry-leading output. Boddy's extensive experience and portfolio (including patches and sound design for LinPlug, Zero-G, Camel Audio, library work for DeWolfe, and his own ambient label DiN) commands him significant respect, and the first two Waveforms releases serve to reinforce that.

The Waveforms sets are only available in download format, which means the libraries can be offered at very competitive prices from many of the leading online sample stores. The samples themselves are provided as 24 Bit WAVs, with the average bundle clocking in at a weighty 500-600Mb (anyone else feeling nostalgic for those innocent days of dial-up connections and download managers?). As you'd expect, Native Instruments Kontakt 2 patches are also provided for each sample, along with audition programs for each sound in a single category.

Radiophonica is of the two Waveforms libraries, offering a comprehensive selection of drones, bleeps, pings and sweeps recorded directly from analogue hardware synthesisers. No DSPs here... This is a purely analogue offering using the sort of modular systems once housed deep within the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop. So expect plenty of slightly retro Dr Who-esque fayre, bolstered by a few of the more eerie, industrial sounds you'd expect to find soundtracking exploration of the Nostromo.

The eeriness continues with Airwaves, the second, occasionally unsettling Waveforms title. For this pack, Boddy has cranked up a rather powerful radio transceiver and recorded the odd sounds found between tunings. There are strange garbled voices on the edge of recognition, interference patterns, static drones and hidden morse code signals, recorded in mono before being dragged through some pretty brutal plug-in chains for some serious stereo weirdness. Think Silent Hill meets Event Horizon and you're not far off.

There's no denying this is a niche product, but what it does, it does very well. Boddy has recognised the need for very specific sample libraries, and few are as well-equipped to deliver as he is.

For anyone working on a project (games, films, the aforementioned edgy video installations) requiring an other-worldly, unsettling ambience, the Waveforms downloads are pretty much essential. Especially when you consider the price. If however you're just looking for a new set of FX to tart up your next Garageband masterpiece, this probably isn't the purchase for you...

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