Interview with Sounddesigner Tobias Menguser
Our friends at Beat Magazine gave Best Service Dark Horizon, by Sonuscore a test spin and rated our bass-library with 5.5 out of 6 points. Even more, they also conducted an interview with Dark Horizon sounddesigner Tobias Menguser, which Beat kindly shared with us. We hope you enjoy reading it!
How did the idea for Dark Horizon come about?
Tobias: I‘ve known the guys from Sonuscore for many years because of our collaboration at Native Instruments (where I was responsible for Komplete for a while) and I also like to use their BOOM sample libraries.
When looking at the BOOM library called Dirt Bikes, I asked myself: Could I build an innovative, playable bass instrument based on these cool motorcycle sounds? Of course, more samples would be necessary, but the basic idea was triggered by Dirt Bikes.
Can you briefly explain the concept of Dark Horizon?
Tobias: We had defined four categories of multi-samples that can be freely combined as four layers and further processed with Kontakt parameters. These four categories are roughly summarized:
Dirt Bikes contains the motorcycle samples from the BOOM library of the same name, but I have processed the samples extremely, resynthesized them, put them through floor pedals and such.
For the Synthesized category, I used my Eurorack and Buchla modular systems, reverted to some rare synths (Synclavier, Schmidt Synth, and so on) and built voluminous deep basses from recordings of acoustic basses, which were also heavily processed.
For Orchestral, I drew from the sample pool of instruments from Best Service The Orchestra, by Sonuscore and ran samples from the lower registers back through my modular systems and floor pedals.
Dirt & Noises – I think the name says it all. Examples are samples based on metal noises, rusty tools, old computer floppy drives, 8-bit vocal fragments or noises from a broken elevator.
The combination of these unusual sound sources is what gives Dark Horizon its charm and sound.
What sound sources did you sample for the library and how did you process them?
Tobias: I can consider myself lucky that I have my rather large studio here in Mallorca with many synths and a „19‘‘-wall“ of effects units. To enumerate every used device would go beyond the scope of this article.
Basically, I can say that I go through several processing steps for each multisample, using old compressors from the 70s up to the most modern granular software tools. So, I used more than enough equipment to build the sounds for Dark Horizon.
Every sample in Dark Horizon is a bounce of multiple tracks and effects paths – in other words, what most music producers would create in terms of tracks for a small song (laughs).
Do you have some tips on how to get the most out of Dark Horizon?
Tobias: The instrument is designed in such a way that the included presets already try to unlock the full potential of the instrument. So, just get inspired by the presets and be sure to use the mod wheel and automate these movements in the song progression.
The selection and combination possibilities of the samples, as well as the dynamic editing possibilities with arpeggiators, filters and effects make Dark Horizon very versatile. My favorite presets can be found in the „Lowest Textures“ category.
Basically, the instrument provides inspiring sounds for both modern Club and Pop music, as well as for scoring images from hobby videos to blockbusters.
You‘ve been working as a sound designer since the 1990s. What appeals to you about
Tobias: When I listen to music, I‘m always thrilled by sounds that create certain moods and
goosebump moments. And being in the fortunate position to provide music producers with
such sounds is the greatest thing for me!
Besides building instruments for Heavyocity, Softube, Steinberg, Arturia, Sonuscore and others, I also design sounds for US movie trailers. And it‘s always great to hear your own sounds in Star Wars or Avengers trailers.