Layering up textures for a cinematic score often entails much different techniques from those used when combining instruments for a song or track. For example, you may not be worrying about space and punch in the mix, but more about creating a washed-out ambience or reverb-drenched melody. Cinematic Moods, from Prime Loops, is an expansive-sounding collection of cinematic loops and hits for film composers looking to super-size their media productions.
Contact via website
The pack contains 670MB of 24-bit audio in your choice of ACID WAV, Apple Loops, REX2, Reason ReFill and Ableton Live Pack formats, with 150 orchestral loops and 40 one-shot percussion/SFX hits. What you have are essentially several construction kits, although the parts are divided into individual instrument folders to help you be more creative. However, if you decide you want to use the parts side-by-side, you can easily combine them as everything is named by tempo, key and kit.
Stylistically, the loops fall into either synth-heavy Bladerunner-esque epics, heart-racing Hans Zimmer action scenes, and more delicate Thomas Newman-like pieces. Pastiche aside, the writing throughout is exceptionally good, with haunting strings to effectively tug at the heart strings, intense, pounding drum grooves, and strangely catchy robotic synth riffs.
The loops are divided into folders of bass lines, brass, percussion, piano, orchestral, strings and synth leads/pads, and for the most part the sounds are fairly convincing. It’s only in the occasional staccato string part or fast brass passage that the sampled nature of the source becomes apparent, although most parts are drenched in reverb and could be easily buried when layered with other instruments. Although good, we found the percussion section a little bombastic, with large, industrial taiko-style hits and little in the way of subtle rhythmic textures. Also, most of the single percussion hits are cut very short so you may need to add reverb to get smooth tails.
These thing aside, this is a well-programmed and inspiring treasure trove of cinematic ideas that could prove to be a useful tool for media composers with writer’s block.
It’s by no means exhaustive, but Cinematic Moods is a great-value treasure trove of emotional and action-packed cinematic ideas.