Wide Blue Sound – Eclipse… is there light in the shadows?
I wrote recently on the Komplete Kontrol Access Google list about WBS Eclipse and promised a review if I happened to buy it, well that happening did indeed happen, and I know of one other member that also took the plunge.
Here are my initial impressions together with a bit of a potential gotcha!
Got to admit that the very tempting price is what drew me into buying this library, I have a shopping list of things that look interesting and whilst it’s geared toward a massive black Friday splurge, if it comes up before then it’s a petntial buy.
Eclipse is the darker sounding brother of Orbital from Wide blue Sound, other than these two libraries I hadn’t been aware of them before, but as often occurs the NKS flag was waved which drew my interest.
The Eclipse engine uses four ‘orbits’ which are essentially the equivelent of oscillators, however rather than waveforms to play about with we have a collection of looped samples.
The patch browser is layed out in traditional format, vendor, product, banks,types,mode and finally preset. The banks give some indication of the type of library that Eclipse is offering such delights as chop, flow,fx and pulse.
There is a healthy collection of 250 preset patches available, and thoughtfully Wide blue Sound have also included an ‘initial’ patch with all four orbits being set to a uniform sample to help begin the sound design process – more of this later.
eclipse can wear several different sonic hats, it can produce pulsing tones or pad beds and the ability to tweak the parameters in the presets to suit your project needs is extremely useful, and pretty quick once you become familiar with the layout of the edit pages.
There are a total of 15 edit pages which are structured as follows
Global and Envelope
Orbits and Sequencers
Sequencer 1 and 2
Sequencer 3 and 4
As you can see over half of Eclips’s edit pages are dedicated to effects and this despite it’s small footprint of only 600mb is where the library gets it’s drive and power as a sound design tool.
Also a very intregral part of the library is the sequencer section, as far as I can establish this isn’t driven by notes input by the user, more the ability to trigger tempo synced pulses at varying rates and offsets, which may not sound too inspiring, however when you take each ‘orbit’ sound and offset it against the other 3 you can quickly build up interesting rhythms and patterns.
I should say that Eclipse isn’t all about pulses and rhythms, as the engine is equally at home generating pads and drones from the subtle to screaming distortion in your face… if that’s your thing!
Now for that gotcha I mentioned at the beginning, despite Eclipse offering a good variety of patches that can be used as sound design start points, there is no accessible way with the current Komplete Kontrol mappings to choose the sample loop yourself from those provided by the library. If each ‘orbit’ had one knob assigned to scrolling through samples this would have given it a top star rating from me. Clearly and it’s a point I have mentioned before the library is as with all KK libraries not designed with our access in mind, that’s not a criticism but more a point of awareness that developers are overlooking.
This doesn’t mean by any means this library is a right off, very much far from it, it is actually one of the most well thought out and useful sound design and atmospheric offerings I have discovered so far, and is well worth consideratio especially at the current offer pricesn.
The solution might be in hand, as I have written to Wide blue Sound and requested that they create one ‘initial patch’ with a mapping to the sound selection part of their GUI, as each Orbit section does have a spare unassigned knob. This one patch would be all we need in order to create our own patches from scratch as opposed to altering and saving out and existing preset.
Let’s hope they respond in a positive way as it’s a simple solution which hopefully isn’t too difficult to rectify.
Eclipse is available from Wide Blue Sound https://www.widebluesound.com/
(c) Chris Ankin 2017
The author accepts no responsability for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this article.Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived whilst using the product or gathered from official factual sources on the web.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review writer with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.