PRODUCT REVIEW: Mattia Cellotto - Ultrasonic Dry Ice
Company: Mattia Cellotto
Product: Ultrasonic Dry Ice
Our Rating: 4.8/5
Mattia Cellotto is known for delivering some of the finest source material for audio manipulation. Ultrasonic Dry Ice exudes a level of playfulness and sonic detail that encourages results.
Opening The Freezer
Once the freezer door was opened, and we pulled out the icicles of Designed and Raw sounds, it was time to take a look at the content. As usual, Mattia's branding for this library is nothing short of a modern DaVinci, with his signature, hand drawn look; beautiful.
When opening the root folder, you are greeted with a very personable and useful Library Information document, a big plus for us. There is a support email address, as well as some tips for audio manipulation, and a guide to the file naming structure. Mattia generously named the filenames for users that don't have dedicated library management software. He also tagged extensive metadata - covering all bases for SFX searching.
The files are split between Raw and Designed folders which offer the user a chance to use the initial recordings, or the suggested designed ideas offered up by Mattia.
There is lots of content to cover the theme - 71 minutes of data, over a whopping 635 sound effects. The recordings were captured with some stunning equipment, allowing users to work with content above the human hearing range. The sounds were recorded at 192 kHz with a Sanken CO100K, a couple of Sennheiser MKH8040's and a MKH416 through a Zaxcom recorder.
Ultrasonic Pitch Shifting Algorithm Engaged
When auditioning the sounds, you really get the sense of overall quality from the equipment used. Dry ice should make your skin crawl, like nails on a chalkboard. Mattia has recorded this in such a way that it keeps the atonal edge, without the harsh overtones that you would imagine. The overall frequency range is balanced, and the distance perception feels just about right. We have used Mattia's previous products extensively, especially Polarity, which tends to creep into lot's of our more general design work, and often inspires fresh ideas.
The variety of materials recorded in the Raw folder, gives the user so many sonic options. As many of the resonating tools used were metal, you get metallic textures, as well as dry ice. There are atonal elements, but some files have a clearly defined tonality, often melodic in nature.
The Designed folder offers up some great starting points for further manipulation. There are Stingers, Risers, UI sounds and more. The pricing at $65 feels just right, and provides exceptional value - especially if you take advantage of the 20% off currently available at A Sound Effect.
Pitching down theses sounds leaves you with a sense of unimaginable horror. A ghastly, breezy, smoky, icy wasteland, reminiscent of The Thing is instantly conjured, and Mattia created this library with the full intention of you exploring this.
In terms of situational use, our Sound Design instincts are screaming Modern Horror/Sci-Fi. We'd be surprised if Oats Studios' Sound Designers don't purchase this product, as it screams Neill Blomkamp. It also works well for creature design when pitched. Almost whale-like tones can be had. Any on screen cue with metallic friction can benefit from this tool, especially screeching industrial trains or vehicles coming to a halt.
We would definitely use Ultrasonic Dry Ice in atonal music too, paired with Spitfire's Albion IV, some wonderfully hellish textures could be crafted. It is also powerful for sonic branding. Iconic sounds can be found with time-stretching and pitching, which feel right at home as part of a dark, minimal ident.
I Can't Feel My Hands
Even after the clear risk of frostbite endured to create this wonderful sound library, there are a few suggestions which we feel could push it to the next level...
The sounds in the design folder, while reasonably manipulated, still feel like more of a starting point for further mangling - some users may want instant gratification.
We would like to also see Mattia push the library in a further musical direction, creating atmospheric pads and sequences, that would allow composers to implement these wonderful textures. A Kontakt library would be a very welcome addition, and make the library exceptionally valuable for the user.
There may also be further scope to explore the world of dry ice, on more unusual resonating surfaces - something to include in a future library.
The Bottom Line
Any Sound Designer looking for source material, will not be dissapointed with Ultrasonic Dry Ice. The price on offer currently makes it an instant purchase for Designers carrying out Sci-Fi/Horror work. Go grab it now!