EastWest Ministry of Rock 2

Style: Hard rock

Ministry of Rock 2 works with EastWest’s Play Engine, which provides mixing, multiple effects, and a browser. As with other instruments, keyboard shadings and colors indicate instrument placement and articulations.

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Style: Hard rock

Product type: Virtual instrument

Stats: 57GB (not a typo) library with 3 rock drum kits, 6 guitars, and 8 basses (all except one bass remastered from their Hardcore Bass and Hardcore Bass XP libraries); all have multiple preset variations

Resolution: 44.1kHz/24-bit

Documentation: Comprehensive PDF

EastWest seems to like challenges, whether it’s capturing the Beatles’ vibe, or transforming haunting vocal samples into a playable instrument. This time, it’s creating a “virtual rock band” where listeners can’t tell whether they’re hearing a “real” recording or samples. EW has succeeded (check the audio demo online), thanks to a lot of well-recorded data—eight doublelayer DVDs with multisampled everything (over 7,000 samples for the 5-string Stingray bass alone), room mics for drums (overhead, room, compressed room), instrument articulations, you name it.

EW’s 32/64-bit, cross-platform Play engine has a limited number of controls, but they’re the important ones: drum mixer, envelope, filter, delay, ADT, and reverb. The drums in particular have a great feel (EW claims some proprietary mojo called “live technology”—whatever it is, it works), but running the guitars and basses through beefy amps helps too, as does using top-flight players.

You’ll need chops to exploit the articulations, but time invested in “learning” the instruments is time well spent—MoR II is the only library I’ve used out of the box that, with sufficient practice, produces a convincing virtual rock band. $395 may seem steep for casual users, but film composers will likely consider the price a bargain, especially as the library is up to EW’s exemplary standards.

Strong, well-recorded sounds. Drums are very realistic. Articulations add serious realism.

Learning the articulations is required to take full advantage of the library’s playability. Requires iLok.

$395 MSRP

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