Wide Blue Sound launches new two-layer flagship synth, Elysium

(Image credit: Wide Blue Sound)

Elysium is the new flagship synth from Wide Blue Sounds, offering percussion and synth layers in a Kontakt instrument with the promise that it can create sounds that no rival can replicate.

You'll find a cornucopia of virtual percussive sounds in the Perc layer, including, synths, mallets, pianos, guitar and more, with each of these easily warped out of shape. Simply turn the Morph and Bass controls, then adjust Flux, Analog, and Spread controls to taste.

With the Synth layer, the Elysium offers a format that should be familiar to users of Wide Blue Sounds' other Kontakt-powered synths, Orbit and Eclipse. Here you can combine up to four pads to create immersive atmospheres, then process them through any one of three engine bodes – Pulse, Chop and Flow – to add rhythm and enhance those atmospherics.

Each of the engine modes has its own set of controls while the Depth knob allows you to carry over one of your four pads and to make a sustain bed that can be filtered via the settings icon.

(Image credit: Wide Blue Sound)

You can also control either layer via the Phase Sequencer, allowing you to sequence the layers themselves or individual sounds within them. Again, this looks straightforward enough: choose which layer plays, choose when it plays and how fast the engine runs.

There are a host of features tailored for performance, which is handy as Elysium is compatible with a wide range of NKS Keyboard and Maschine controllers. Here you have the essentials: Mono, Glide, a Force Legato tool that forces glide, plus Input Quantize.

The Keyboard Split decouples the layers for split chord voicings between the two – as Wide Blue Sound suggest, why not run Bass in the Perc layer and have a string section on top?

The thinking behind this is to make Elysium configurable, intuitive and ultimately playable.

“Our favorite thing about Elysium is that we’ve created an unprecedented variety of ways to add motion to your patch over time, while keeping things musical," said Nathan Rightnour, Wide Blue Sound's founder and CEO.

Our favorite thing about Elysium is that we’ve created an unprecedented variety of ways to add motion to your patch over time, while keeping things musical

Nathan Rightnour, CEO Wide Blue Sound

"Everyone uses it in a different way, and we were surprised at the huge range of the patches that the sound designers sent back to us. Every single designer had a unique voice that came through the instrument, and they all loved exploring the instrument’s unique features. That’s when you know you have an expressive instrument.”

Elysium comes with over 300 pro-designed presets, which is cool for quick fixes, but what is more interesting is that there are Rhythm, Pitch and FX sound locks that allow you to keep your favourite element of any of the patches while changing presets.

Other features include a Sound Browser for previewing sounds across their entire pitch range. Search by instrument type, or, via a feature that is so very 2020 and playlist-centric, search by mood. 

Here you also have the capacity to algorithmically generate Perc and Synth sounds based on mood, or create all-new FX chains for either or both layers. If you do something abominable, fear not: Cancel takes you back to what you were using before opening the Sound Browser.

Elysium is available now, priced $199 $179 (launch offer). For more information and to order, see Wide Blue Sound.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.