Off-World is a one-of-a-kind instrument for film, tv, trailer and games composers. It gives you huge, cinematic sounds, with a unique focus: Organically performed pitch bends into target notes. Sourced from an ancient Vietnamese instrument performed in a “wrong” way, and processed through octave generators, distortion and reverbs, the sound is reminiscent of the sonic world of Bladerunner 2049, but can easily be manipulated to your own needs.
The sound source for Off-World is a Vietnamese Đàn Bầu, an ancient monochord instrument, played in an un-conventional way: bowed with a violin bow, and then processed through an octave generator, distortion and reverb. The most striking feature of the Dan Bau is a bamboo handle controlling the tension of a long metal string, making this instrument particularly good at expressive pitch bends, which is the focus of Volume 1 of Off-World.
Every pitch bend was carefully performed at 4 different lengths, each covering a range of 1 to 4 semitones above and below the target note. Add in 4 different lengths of non-bending bowed samples, and every single note in this library can be played in a staggering 36 different ways. To control this amount of choice you get a new bespoke Kontakt engine, which makes it easy and intuitive to play. Any of the 3 main parameters can be mapped to velocity control, allowing you do things not possible on a normal synth – like simultaneous up and down bends. You also get an easy to use tempo synced gate sequencer and a host sound shaping effects built in.
The processed samples in Off-World are the biggest sounding samples yet made by Bunker Samples – they sound huge and otherworldly, and can add instant drama and awe to any film, tv, trailer or game score. But the fun doesn’t end there; you also get all the dry, un-processed samples mapped in the engine (“creator patches”), making it easy to do your own sound design. Because the modern version of the Dan Bau features a guitar style pick-up, these sounds take extremely well to any kind of FX you would normally use on a guitar.