Review: Zero-G Mobeus
Can this loop-based instrument for making rhythmic music beds meet the demands of the modern composer?
+ Over 100 snapshots make it quick to get started
+ Pitch freeze function
+ Randomizer buttons make sound experimentation quick and easy
+ Samples work outside the Mobeus engine
– Limited control over samples
If you need dark, driving or droning soundtracks for games and picture, Mobeus has it in spades, and it can deliver almost immediately.
Zero-G has been developing sample libraries and Kontakt instruments since the 90s and is known for its high-quality releases.
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With Mobeus, it has created a niche library of rhythmic samples and loops designed to get you into a comfortable soundtrack mindset for ambient, soundtrack and video game compositions.
Start your engines
Mobeus is what Zero-G calls a Pulsating Rhythmic Soundscape Generator. It consists of over 600 looped samples over eight instruments and includes lots of patches (snapshots) to get you started. Mobeus is built on three engines, each controlling a different sample, with controls for manipulating each sample’s start time, modulation, effects and more.
The engines start with a sample from the library. Created by composer Si Begg, the samples comprise a blend of audio recordings, electronic sounds and effects processing. A dropdown on each engine allows you to experiment with different samples. The most entertaining feature is the randomise button; clicking each one randomly chooses a new sample. This is fantastic for experimentation and quick inspiration.
Each engine contains various controls for shaping the loop to best fit your needs. Among the controls are a standard ADSR envelope for each engine and controls for each sample’s pitch, speed, and panning.
Another powerful and rarely seen tool is the pitch switch which effectively turns off a sample’s ability to be played at different pitches. This is cool if you want to develop a patch that includes a droning element at the key of your composition or a percussion loop that stays at one pitch.
There’s also a very basic effects section onboard for each engine. This includes a simple Drive effect for adding some grit to your sample – ideal for cutting through a dense patch or mix. There’s also a reverb for giving the samples more depth.
Adding to the ability to tailor the loops, Zero-G has added a filter section with resonant low- and high-pass filters. These filters let you carve out the high and low frequencies, which is incredibly useful for building up patches without spectral clutter and helps each sample sit in the mix exactly the way you want. Additionally, there’s a modulation section for each engine in Mobeus. Each modulation section has five LFO waveshapes, plus depth and speed controls. What’s noteworthy is the ability to route these LFOs to modulate multiple parameters, including pitch, drive, the resonance of the low-pass or high-pass filters, the volume or the panning. This feature allows you to inject significant movement into your sounds, immediately taking them from static to living, breathing entities.
Mobeus is an interesting sounding library. The patches are rhythmic and often dark and droning. The instrument is perfect for composing soundtracks for movies, video and video games, and some ambient music styles. With a little bit of tweaking, you can get some unique pads that are perfect for beds under your compositions. Although it is a niche library, Mobeus sounds fantastic and makes quick work of creating rhythmic textures.
- Full version of Kontakt 6.5+
- 2.7GB free hard disk space
- 3 sound engines
- 600 looped samples
- 8 instruments including All Synths, Abstract and more
- Per-engine ADSR envelope, pan, pitch, drive, reverb and volume
- Per engine assignable LFO and resonant high- and low-pass filters