Meteor by French audio software developer UVI is a virtual instrument designed to create dramatic risers, immersive cinematic transitions and thundering impact sound effects for film, games and music productions. Powered by the company’s very own UVI Workstation plugin, Meteor offers a 7-layer sample engine packed with a huge collection of field recordings, synthesized sounds and orchestral recordings – specifically captured for the plugin.
Today we’re checking out Meteor by UVI to see how you can use the sample library to boost the cinematic impact of your music productions.
Meteor is a virtual instrument for the free UVI Workstation (version 2.6.15 and above) or the paid UVI Falcon software synth (version 1.4.1 and above). In its basic concept, it’s similar to UVI’s other cinematic FX plugin Whoosh FX but on a closer look, Meteor covers a wider area of transitional effects. The instrument comes with 6,5 GB of content including roughly 3,900 samples and 699 presets. Installation requires a free iLok account (no dongle needed) and internet connection for the download and license activation.
At the core, Meteor’s risers and build-ups are composed of two basic components, a “Rise” portion and an “Impact” portion. The Rise layer can consist of a blend of up to 3 layers, while the Impact is made up of up to 4 individual sounds. Each of the 7 layers can be customized, processed and balanced individually to create complex cinematic transitions.
The plugin has a sleek user interface that provides quick access to the most important features. From the main page, you’re able to turn on or off the Rise and Impact portions, adjust the volume of the individual layers and control the effect’s overall dynamics. Behind the yellow Thrust control lies a hidden compressor and enhancer that hypes up the dynamics and frequency spectrum of a sound for an even more vigorous effect. The Thrust slider controls the amount of processing that is applied to the layers.
A big preset menu lets you choose from a well-organized list of pre-designed patches from various SFX categories including Risers, Stutters, Whooshes, Slams and even Ambiences and Percussion sounds.
An excellent feature of the Meteor engine is its ability to perfectly time-synchronize risers. You can either set the Rise length to a certain amount of seconds or beats while tempo-syncing the plugin to your DAW. This way, you can customize your risers and transitions to climax at a specific point of your arrangement.
While by default, the endpoint of a Rise layer triggers the Impact layer, you can adjust the timing by using the Impact Offset. This control allows you to shift the Impact sound forward or backward in time and define a crossfade point to create interesting results.
By clicking on the “Settings” button, you’re taken under the hood of Meteor and to the plugin’s Edit Tab. From here, you can meticulously customize, balance and process each of the 7 layers individually. Rise layers each include an adjustable velocity curve, volume and pitch modulation, as well as a multi-mode distortion unit and a multi-mode filter. The 4 Impact layers feature time offset controls, transient and tail length parameters, a multi-mode distortion, multi-mode filter, pitch glide and a dedicated granular processor.
Both the Rise and Impact layers can be grouped together to make layer-wide changes such as octave shifting, duration or randomization of controls.
The Mod tab offers comprehensive modulation options for both the Rise and Impact layers individually or globally. Three different Modulators can add subtle to insane motion effects to the layers. These include an LFO for volume modulation, a multi-step filter and a multi-step panner for mild or crazy stereo effects.
The FX section of Meteor provides a selection of onboard effects that are applied to the stereo bus of the plugin. Effects include a parametric 3-band EQ with a low-pass filter, a convolution reverb with custom IRs, a delay unit and a width processer – everything you need to apply the polishing touches to your transition effect.
Meteor is shipped with a giant library full of presets created by the company’s own team of incredibly skilled sound designers. The preset list comprises 699 patches structured into 17 categories or folders. Each of these categories spotlights a different field of application like standard risers and whooshes but also booms, downers and even brass effects. Here’s an overview of the 17 categories:
- 00 Meteor Highlights
- 01 Slams
- 02 Booms
- 03 Cinematic
- 04 Orchestral
- 05 Downers
- 06 Destruction
- 07 Synth
- 08 Percussions
- 09 Rises
- 10 Stutters & Pulses
- 11 Whooshes
- 12 Combat
- 13 Instruments
- 14 Trap Brass
- 15 Ambiences
- 16 Dark
- 17 FX
THE SOUND OF METEOR
For the sample library of Meteor, the sound designers at UVI captured thousands of sounds. The material includes field recordings, foley sounds and synthesized effects as well as textures and acoustic instruments. UVI even recorded a full-on symphonic orchestra including 32 cellos and double-basses, a deep brass and woodwind section and a 4-piece percussion group to create all sorts of different orchestral effects.
Going through the different presets, you can really hear the love and attention to detail UVI put into the creation of the sound library. The source material sounds crisp and powerful and most importantly it doesn’t merge into a muddy mess when layered together. Each sound category can bring new and interesting details to your overall riser. Combine breaking glass sounds with reversed pianos and cymbals, add a low synth pad and top it off with a mix of gunshots and a fat percussion hit – boom – there you have a complex, cinematic transition.
Although Meteor is primarily designed to create cinematic risers, it also works great for generating thunderous impact sounds, tonal stingers and dark ambiences. And while the many great-sounding presets can keep you busy for months, it’s really easy to come up with your own, custom effects by just layering a few random samples, animate them with modulation and apply some final processing using the onboard effects.
With Meteor, UVI created an innovative and inspiring sound effect creation tool that perfectly walks the line between ease of use and complexity. The plugin provides a streamlined and accessible interface that can expand for complex operations just when you need it.
One of the most convincing features of Meteor for me is the large pool of amazing organic and acoustic sound sources. Many cinematic rise & transition, libraries on the market are rather synth-centric, so Meteor presents a refreshing breeze. The massive collection of source sounds and pre-designed patches is mouth-watering and provides users with a long-lasting repertoire of great-sounding, cinematic transitions. Meteor’s time-stretching algorithms sound clean and don’t cause noticeable artifacts even when stretched to the extremes.
If you want to add impressive sounding and dramatic transition effects to your film, game, trailer or music production, Meteor could just be everything you need.
Meteor is available through UVI’s online store for €149.