Orchestral Tools Habitat, nature’s soundscape design collection for SINE Player

If you are a documentary maker or create video clips that are designed to recall a specific mood, then Habitat might be something for you. It’s a collection of sounds created with synthesisers as well as with traditional instruments and natural sounds, created by Dominik Eulberg.

Eulberg’s best known work outside German speaking countries must be the soundscape he created for The Messenger, a documentary about birds and the rapid decline of numbers and diversity in their class of creatures. The new SINE Player collection Habitat blends Eulberg’s electronic sensibilities with his passion for nature, resulting in a sonic world of playable landscapes.

In contrast to the other Orchestral Tools collections I have reviewed so far, Habitat isn’t just a collection of instrumental fragments that you bring together to create your own piece of music. Instead, it largely consists of synth sounds combined with analogue instrument sounds. In Habitat, these sounds call up emotions by themselves, which is less the case with a snippet of a violin “sustain” or “tremolo” sound. If you play a snippet of Habitat, though, you will get instant emotional gratification because the snippets themselves are usable as ambient sounds by holding the desired “note” on your keyboard.

That makes Habitat an interesting, even exciting offering, but in some cases a less obvious one because some of the sounds may just not feel right to you when you take notice of their description. If you forget about their description, though, this collection is usable for a lot more than only documentaries and videos featuring nature prominently.

It’s also a large collection with many different snippets to choose from and almost no keyboard zoning going on, which I personally find very neat. And the recordings that were made in nature are immaculate with no audible background or mic noise. Only the ocean soundscapes, in my opinion, don’t sound like the real thing. My recollection of crossing the Atlantic are much more aggressive. Waves and wind are abundantly present and loud when you sail the Atlantic, especially with a common 4 to 6 Beaufort.

Personally, I loved Habitat a lot, especially as Eulberg seems to make generous use of a Moog synth, which has a unique sound signature that is one of my most favoured and that you cannot easily recreate with plug-ins or even other analogue synths.

To blend the synthetic sounds with nature’s own enables you to create a really brilliant musical score as well as — strange as this may seem — out of this world soundscapes that are far more unique to create than with synths alone. And if you don’t believe me, think of the movie Interstellar. World famous composer Hans Zimmer mainly used a pipe organ for the movie’s recurring main theme and it sounds like it’s a synth.

The Habitat collection is available now for an intro offer price of €139 until March 9th. After that, it will cost €229.