* 1.4 GB of evolving textures
* Lowpass and highpass filters
* Mandaloria scope for random patch creation
* Four layers to recreate the sounds of the universe
* Full editing panel for layer control
* Multi-FX with chorus/phaser/flanger and delay
* Convolution reverb with atmospheric impulses

PRICE - £15 + VAT
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If you have even the vaguest interest in anything cosmological, you will no doubt be aware that NASA and other international space agencies have been sending probes out into the deepest recesses of our solar system and, with the aid of telescopes as well, have been recording the radio waves emitted by our universe and converting them to audio. The music of the spheres as was once referred to in the middle ages ... or the Sounds Of The Universe ... or SOTU.

It's intriguing and beguiling stuff - long evolving soundscapes that rumble and warble and bleep and phase and swirl, the kind of thing you might expect from an exquisite album of abstract electronica or 'chill out' music. I did contact NASA to license these recordings but they weren't keen. Well... bollocks to them because...

It's all a con, a cunning ruse - there's a race of impish aliens out there who have a machine that generates these sounds which they broadcast around the cosmos to confuse us earthlings ...

And we have laid our hands on it and recreated it for Kontakt 4...

There are resonant low and highpass filters, an 'interference' control, 'cloud width' to expand the stereo image, an ADSR envelope, velocity and balance controls and a comprehensive chain of effects that include chorus, flanger, phase shifter, echo and convolution reverb with custom sound designed impulses to represent the surreal depths of the cosmos. We've taken the unusual step of following one my synth idols, Isao Tomita (冨田勲さん), the Japanese synthmeister and total master of 'space music' by putting the echo AFTER the reverb thus smudging everything beautifully into a wash of sound which could emanate from a grand cathedral on some distant planet in another galaxy.

And by carefully analysing the NASA and other recordings, we have isolated the elements involved and have been able to recreate the 'sounds of the universe' which can be generated at random by clicking on the 'mandaloria scope' centre screen...

There are four elements - one (shown in white) is always a dense 'composite' created through multitracking abstract sounds from HS Towers' synthesizers.com analogue modular system, created using low frequency and pink noise, noise modulated voltage controlled oscillators and filters through ring modulators, the Q130 Clipper/Rectifier, the band and notch reject filters of the Q107 state variable, the Q150 Moog clone transistor ladder filter, Q127 Fixed FIlter Bank and the delightfully quirky 'Sea Devil' VCS3 clone filter...

The trick (and the tricky bit) was to make and blend these sounds to be as 'organic' as possible and not sound synthesised in any way. Thankfully, the 'organic' and living and breathing nature of a true analogue modular lends itself well to this.

The other three elements are simpler (again, created on the Dotcom modular as above) but which are combined in SOTU to create all the elements that go to create the cosmic wash of 'spacescapes' that the NASA and other recordings are famous for. A simple click on the 'mandaloria scope' will generate these with ease - no complex programming ... just a simple click and tweak to taste. Couldn't be simpler.

However, because these elements are selected randomly, there's a chance that the sound and the elements it contains aren't balanced or tuned quite as you'd like them. Which is why there's an EDIT panel bolted on where the elements can be mixed, panned, tuned and also individually filtered with low and highpass filters as well as applying amplitude modulation so that the elements can fade in and out and undulate and crossfade with each other to create even more evolving textures...

It has to be said that this is a 'texture synthesiser' so don't expect funky basses or prog leadlines or smooth pads, wobble basses, techno stuff or the usual fodder. No! This is an instrument for those looking for rich, dense and evocative soundscapes (or 'spacescapes') and whilst it might not be the first choice of instrument for a trite, poppy little chart topper, it'll certainly be a 'go to' synth for those working in film and TV soundtrack work or those creating abstract electronica, 'chill out' music and so forth or anyone wanting to add texture to their music. This truly is impressionistic and space music sound design at its best combined with serendipity and 'what the hell was that?' factor when added to a track.

Samples : Hollow Sun
Sample Editing : Hollow Sun
Scriptmeister : Mario Krušelj
Programming : Hollow Sun and Mario Krušelj
GUI design : Hollow Sun and Mario Krušelj
Graphics : Hollow Sun
Audio Demo : Hollow Sun - no multitracking, just a simple coilage of some presets played in real-time

Kontakt 4.2.4 full version
Windows® XP (SP2, 32bit) / Vista® (32/64 Bit), Windows 7® (32/64 Bit), Pentium® or Athlon XP 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM
Mac OS® X 10.5 or higher, Intel® Core™ Duo 1.8 GHz, 2 GB RAM
NOTE : It will work with the Kontakt Player but only in 'demo' mode and the session will be time limited.

Wow... This is a great idea, with very VERY nice sonic textures being output. I'm buying this RIGHT NOW!

PYXL8R - SoundCloud

How do you guys come up with this sh*t. This is just unbelievable stuff.

masmo - email

This looks like another solid winner mate. Good job. On the must get list for sure. Been to long since I had new Hollow Sun toys to play with

Ed - email

Had this for 10 or 15 minutes. That scope thing is just brilliant in it's concept and execution. I could sit and play with this [for] hours

Daniel - email

Hollosun make the most intriguing and beautiful GUIs and products for Kontakt. This is stunning stuff. The graphics are stunning and the sounds are so thick and rich. I could lose myself for hours in this thing.

Jedeziah - email

I've cum in my pants. I don't know WTF the panel is all about but clicking on that scope makes the most amazing sounds. What you do at Hollow Sun blows my mind.

stober - email

I have the original CDs NASA put out so I was intrigued by this And bought it immediately especially based on the audio demo which recreated those albums so well but with a difference.

I use these CDs for meditattion and conttemplation.

I am only semi professional or a hobbyiist and run a shop selling alternative therapies and products to pay the bills and make a living but I have the NASA CDs and others on as a backdrop in the shop, a soundtrack for the place.

I wasn't disappointed with my purchase of SOTU and it has inspired me to make my own compositions and collages to play in the shop, maybe even make some CDs to sell there. I never had the confidence to do anything like that in the past but SOTU has charged me up.

So thank you. Great work.

Cathryn - email

Looks stunning + sounds amazing = bought

jaffa - email

This one's amazing Steve! I will now have nightmares about approaching exoskeletons thanks to you! Hope all's well!

Cato - email

Congrats and thanks Stephen to you and the team....another great sounding and looking instrument....well worth 15 of Her Majesty's finest!

Stu - email

Wowza. They just did it again. Steve and other blokes at HS, God Bless You, you little geniuses.

It's like you're in my head and know the sounds I need before my brain tells me.
SOTU is fantastic.

Vicshere - KVR

Have to agree, SOTU is amazing! Been playing with the sounds ALL DAY! Thanks Steve, great work.

w6mpr - KVR

NASA are hoaxers. SOTU is the real thing.

Agemo - KVR

Saw your announcement on the SOS fourm and bought this today based on the audio demo. It's just massive.

I am new to Hollow Sound [sic] but you do amazing stuff. SETI [sic] is just amazing and very addictive. I'll be checking out more your libraries for sure.

Damien - email

I saw your post about Delia Derbyshire on the SOS forum tonight which dragged me over to your site. Amazing stuff you do - very radiophonic. Bought this and the MLM suite and Cathotron and Altearion. I don't know where to start - so many amazing things to play with and they all sound incredible and so authentiically old. Like you, I grew up on Dr Who soundtracks and early 60s sci-fi and their scary soundtracks.

I am using the free Kontakt player but I am going to buy the full version so that I can get more sounds from you. SOTU is a winner, pal. Amazing sounds with just a mouse click. Unfortunately, I have a day job (i'm a music teacher) so will have to wait until tomorrow to play some more with your sonic toys. And I think Delia would have loved these things. Thank you Stephen - a whole new world of possibilities.

Hubert - email

That modular of yours looks fantastic. I saw the pictures on your blog as well. Very envious. Seeing it close up is fascinating. I am loving SOTU (and lots of your other products) and I am trying to work out how you made an analog synth sound so organic for SOTU. How can you make soumds on a synthesizer that don't sound like they were made on a synthesizer? Fantastic work as always. Hollow Sun is up there with the greats in my opinion and your sounds are truly inspirational.

zenon - email

Holy Christ. I hope you have hit every film composer with this sh!t. Unbelieable stuff. And for $23?. It's just stupid stuff. I know this will feature heavily in my work.

simeon - email

Great thanks for this again heavenly instrument. I've got all your instruments and just know that I'll buy anything you will create next. Especially the inspiring and incomparable soundscape machines. Amazing sound, gorgeously evolving, hit just one note and listen --- awesome.

Peter - www.micrart.com

When I heard the NASA's sound files of the planets, the first thing I thought was that I would make an instrument with those, because I have a piece of music that is call "Espace" (Space in french) and that those sounds would be the perfect intro. That was years ago. And I still didn't make this piece of music yet (the demo I've made is from 1996). And now you have made the perfect Kontakt sounds for it and, of course, it's way better than anything I would've come up with.

Frédéric - email









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