Sample logic has recently released Trailer Xpressions, a new and sound design library full of hits, booms, brams, rises and other samples you might need for trailer music creation.
The 4.2 GB big library works in Kontakt and is programmed into 26 instruments and organized within ready-made construction kits. With so many new libraries aimed at trailer music creation already on the market, does Trailer Xpressions have what it takes to become a new staple for trailer music creation? I have been using the library for about a months now so let’s find out what I think of it.
Content and Sound
The over 1000 audio samples, that make up the Kontakt patches, are put into two main categories:
Alarms – Sirens, Booms, Brams, Distorted, Downers, Hits 1, Hits 2, Impacts 1, Impacts 2, Impacts 3, Metals, Processed Percussions 1, Processed Percussions 2, Processed Percussions 3, Pulses, Reverse, Rises, Scrapes, Suckbacks, Wooshbangs 1, Wooshbangs 2, Woosh
Ambience: Atmospheres, Drones, Noises, Stingers
Each patch is layered out throughout the keyboard, so each key triggers a different sound. You would think, that you have multiple options, if you just look at the broad amount of patches and sounds available, but most of the sounds in each patch tend to sound very similar. The overall sound of the library can be described as; distorted, harsh, “robotic/sci-fi” and overly bright. Each sound sounds quite interesting on it’s own, but putting it into a track and making it work with everything else tends to be a problem for the above mentioned reason. I think the sounds are over-processed and I had to cut the high end of of almost every sound, to get it to sit in the mix. This problem also makes for a very hard time layering the sounds together. I will admit, that you will find some gems in each patch, like some very nice hits, booms and brams, that you will probably come to again and again while composing trailer tracks.
I also did not find the library very versatile, I bet it works wonders if you are composing sound design type trailer music, but for more orchestral genres this library probably won’t work any magic.
The nice feature of the library is, that all patches sync to the tempo of your DAW. I also like the fact, that all samples can be also loaded into your DAW as WAV files from the sample library folder on your computer.
The concept of the GUI is much to my liking. It is very straightforward and without unnecessary bling. The best part of the GUI is the ability to easily set the sample’s pitch. You can also assign the pitch meter to a midi CC to make some really cool effects, like downers or risers. In the GUI you also have an “Energizer” fader, which adds even more, in my opinion, unwanted brightness to the samples, since the samples are very bright as is, while the “Polisher” fader seems to make the samples sound a bit wider.
There is also a nice waveform representation of the sample loaded. With the red and blue lines, you can set the wave form’s start and finish.
Price performance and Conclusion
Trailer Xpressions will set you back for 199$, which I think is OK for the amount of sounds you get, but I think the library could be cheaper, since it is competing for attention in the already saturated trailer music sample library market. The concept of the library is really nice and I think it does have potential, but the execution of the concept lacks on many levels. As said many times, the samples are over-processed, meaning, that making them sit in your track is easier said than done. Also, I think a lot of the samples sound to similar, like many hits and impacts. I would rather see less, but well produced samples.
With all that said, I would recommend the library for trailer music composers working on sound design tracks. I do believe you will be able to find samples in this library that could make your track stand out and get placements.
For the test track I used many samples from the Trailer Xpressions library, like the hits, riser, downer and sound design elements. Other VSTs used:
Spitfire – Hans Zimmer percussions
Spitfire – Symphonic String Evolutions (review)
U-he – Zebra
Native Instruments – Battery & Massive
Strezov Sampling – Freya (review)