Mini Review: Dark Side of the Tune 'Tritone'

Mar 27, 2009 3:08 PM, By Kevin Becka

Three-Disc Sample Bundle Centers On Dissonance

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cover art for Dark Side of the Tune's Tritone

Dark Side of the Tune's Tritone sample collection

Seattle-based composer Shawn Shirey is co-owner and composer at Dark Side of the Tune, an audio content company whose first release, a three-disc sample set titled Tritone, is the subject of this review. Tritone takes its inspiration from the moody side of audio featuring distorted drums, eerie pads, dissonant guitars, ambient effects and more. Tritone’s three discs are titled Pitch Dark, Sledgehammer to Happy and Pretty Empty, and hold 142 sound effects, 178 drum samples, 172 bass samples and 115 synth sounds for a total of 725 license-free samples you can use to create your own nightmare.

All sounds come as 48kHz/24-bit WAV files on CD-ROMs at either 110 or 180 bpm, and are ready to throw into your DAW or playback device of choice for composition. The sounds deliver as advertised, featuring a wide variety of guitars, basses, drums and more in a range of moods. The files are limited to a bar or two and open quickly for auditioning, making the decision process straightforward. Composer Shirey created his sounds by using a combination of analog synths, a Theremin and homemade devices that he’s hunted down on eBay, and running them through a collection of amps and processors.

Tritone gets high marks for originality, delivery and scope. The absence of REX formatting may be a problem for some, while others may find it limiting that the collection only comes in two tempos—but that’s not the case. Listen to a sample stretched and squeezed at 45 bpm, 110 bpm  and 200 bpm using Pro Tools TCE. The results sound great at any speed due to the fact that these sounds are purposely mangled to start with.

If you don’t want to buy the entire set at $69.95 (which amounts to about 10 cents per sample), you can shop a la carte and purchase the sets via download for $14.95 each at one tempo, or buy the CD plus download for $29.95.

Dark Side of the Tune is a company to keep your eye on.

Kevin Becka is Mix’s technical editor.

Click here to listen to Kevin Becka's interview with composer Shawn Shirey, who talks about his gear, the composition process and his feelings about some of the clips that were played during their chat.

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