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Wide Blue Sound – Elysium (Review)

Elysium is an “organic motion synthesizer” featuring modern, high-quality sounds sent through a proprietary engine that makes them move and evolve in exciting, musical, and unexpected ways. Featuring both deep-sampled acoustic and highly sought-after hybrid instruments, every sound source works across the entire keyboard range to give composers endless sound creation possibilities.

Suitable for EDM, tension, sound design, and more, Elysium provides a virtual playground of evolving soundscapes and rhythmic textures. Housed within a studio-quality library of 256 different sounds, all multi-sampled at 48kHz/24 bit, the result is a very deep and flexible synth that goes way beyond presets. With its new approach to creating striking pulses, beautiful arpeggios, evolving pads, and unique instruments, Elysium seeks to inspire composers of all levels to reach new creative heights.

We were kindly provided with a review copy for this article.

Elysium – Intro

WHAT’S INSIDE?

  • Download size: 3.54 GB (Compressed)
  • Hundreds of deep-sampled sound sources
  • Perc layer with up to 3 sound sources at once (Main, Morph and Bass) and advanced evolution controls (Analog, Flux, Spread)
  • Multi-mode high-cut and low-cut, Length control
  • Synth layer with up to 4 sound sources at once
  • 11 filter types, both traditional, character/saturation filters and bespoke creative filter types
  • Synth layer triple engine mode (Pulse, Chop, Flow)
  • Phase Sequencer with up to 16 steps, swing, and per-step Sound Selector, Accents, Pitch, and Action Controls (double/triple hit, and various attack/sustain controls)
  • Innovative Sound Browser with full-range sound preview, mood and source tags. Cancel button to undo changes.
  • Generate panel for algorithmically creating mood-based sound selections + new effect chains.
  • FX section with access to 31 stomp boxes, amps, modulation effects, delays, reverbs, 600+ convolution presets, EQ, algorithmic Generate FX chain, and more.
  • Motion Page with all-new Global Tide, 6 Motion Sequencers with easy access to 130 mod destinations, one-click generate+editing functionality, and more.
  • Lifetime support
  • Easy installation and updates via Native Access.
  • Full NKS support.
  • Option to expand Elysium later with Official Expanders

MAIN PAGE

The Elysium interface features 3 pages: Main, FX, and Motion. Despite the implied simplicity and elegant UI, it’s a pretty complex package with a lot of depth under the hood. In fact, to really understand what’s possible with Elysium the developers have created a handy conceptual flow chart as part of the user manual:

Wide Blue Sound – Elysium – Flow Chart

The Main Page has three main areas: a Perc Layer, Synth Layer, and a Phase Sequencer that controls both.

Wide Blue Sound – Elysium – Main Page

The Perc Layer allows you to combine up to 3 percussive sounds to support the synth layer. Each sound has its own set of controls including morph, bass, high and low-cut filters, length, and level. In addition to pitch control, analog, spread, and flux controls allow you to add motion between each hit by clicking and holding as the sequence plays.

The Synth Layer lets you combine up to 4 different sounds, while the “Pulse”, “Chop” and “Flow” engine determines how the sounds will be played back. It transforms the basic pad sound depending on what is selected. Each imparts a unique rhythmic feel to the selected sound. For example, Pulse gives more punch, Chop imparts a stuttering feel, and Flow creates an undulating rhythm.

Additional controls such as depth and punch enable you to filter each sound source to precise levels of granularity.
The Phase Sequencer determines which sound plays when. Separate accent, pitch, and action controls can be applied within each given step. It’s basically a sophisticated gate sequencer that lets you change the order and/or determine if a channel is muted at a certain time.

Wide Blue Sound – Elysium – Phase Sequencer Options

Each sequencer control has its own operations dropdown menu. For example, you can adjust Pitch – up or down by 24 increments, quantize it to a selection of scales, clear all, transpose, and randomize. Luckily the Elysium algorithms are carefully programmed to generate a musical result.

Actions allow you to add hits within a sequence, glide, tighten, fade-in sounds, or quiet things down. A Split feature lets you separate the perc and synth layers respectively.

FX PAGE

The FX page enables you to assign various effects to the Perc Layer, Synth Layer, and a Master group layer which includes a compressor and tape limiter.

Wide Blue Sound – Elysium – FX Page

You can choose from 31 effects, 300 effect presets, and over 600 practical and creative impulse responses. Create full FX chains for the Perc layer, Synth layer, and Master FX bus. You can solo layers, Mix and match different FX from different layers, or start over from scratch by generating a whole new FX chain.

Once you get an FX chain you like you can lock it in – and then change snapshots and presets as much as you want, but your FX chain will stay the same.

MOTION PAGE

The Global Tide module on the Motion Page enables you to raise or lower volume over a few beats or a few measures. Immediately below, six motion sequencers provide automation to over 130 different parameters across the entire synth, resulting in subtle or rhythmic evolution.

Wide Blue Sound – Elysium – Motion Page

FLEXIBLE SOUND BROWSER

Clicking within any of the sound source areas opens the sound browser, which lets you preview any sound before committing it to a patch. All sounds are tag-based, so it’s easy to filter sounds quickly.

Wide Blue Sound – Elysium – Sound Browser

You can filter by mood, add multiple categories by holding command, or use the minus sign to remove them.

The most powerful feature is the Generate function – Elysium will pick sound combinations based on tags you select, which means you can freely experiment and generate an endless variety of sounds and FX right from this page. If you don’t want to keep anything, just hit the cancel button.


CONCLUSION

You could literally spend days exploring Elysium. It’s got endless possibilities for creating unique pads and evolving rhythmic textures. The UI is clean and easy to navigate, as long as you know there’s much more under the hood than what is initially presented on screen. The “generate” feature, combined with a solid FX stack and a unique phase sequencer truly set it apart.

Elysium is available through Wide Blue Sound’s online shop for $199.

Pros

  • Huge variety of sound-generating options
  • Great sounds
  • Clean, uncluttered UI

Cons

  • The variety of options can be overwhelming
  • UI is almost too clean – can be hard to find some features

RECOMMENDED: 8/10

ELYSIUM SOUND PATCH DEMO

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