In my April 2011 review of the first Cinematic Guitars release, I described the product as being breathtaking and evocative, while providing a huge amount of sonic variety. Since then, Sample Logic has issued versions Two and Three of the instrument, and then subsumed them all into Cinematic Guitars Infinity.
More than simply adding a new library, CG Infinity’s engine incorporates Sample Logic’s more recent developments such as Arpology’s brilliant Step Animator, Xosphere’s Morph Animator, and a built-in supplemental wavetable synth.
While we can quibble over the nature of infinity, the fact is that I would be hard-pressed to use (or even completely explore) every patch available in this collection without carving out a huge chunk of my remaining time on Earth. So let’s just agree that Sample Logic Infinity is vast. But is the expanded library worth the extra expenditure and drive space?
CG Infinity contains more than 25 GB of sampled guitars for Native Instruments Kontakt Player or Kontakt 5.5. Top-level folders divide patches into versions One through Three, and patches for Infinity. On the Multi side, you’ll find the first three volumes represented—but not Infinity—and there’s a good reason.
CG Infinity differs from the rest of the instruments with a novel interface that provides four pairs of sample channels and a slew of modulation features that offer animation and color ported over from earlier titles. In addition, you’ll notice that there is no Multi section associated with Infinity; with 8 sample channels per patch, it is unlikely you’ll need one. The usual Kontakt header used for choosing a MIDI channel, port, and so on, is also used to shuffle through Infinity’s four banks of presets: Atmospheres, Instrumentals, Loops, and Percussives.
The main-screen layout for an Infinity patch starts with a header containing an information panel, which reads out parameter values of edits, a patch-selection and filemanagement window, and a randomization button. Left and right arrows load patches in alphanumeric order, or you can click on the patch name, open a pop-up browser, and randomly sift through categories such as arpeggiated, pad, guitar, and synth in the Instrumentals bank.
Below the header, Infinity divides the preset into four SoundCores, each of which harbors two sample channels called SoundSources. This scheme endows Infinity with flexibility and speed, as each Sound-Core and SoundSource component has its own browser full of presets. For instance, you can change one SoundCore from a guitar to a pad, and load a synth waveform for one of the SoundSources.
At the heart of Infinity is the FX Animator, a central window with an animated x/y axis that displays the instrument’s ability to create smooth and continuous crossfades between multi-effects presets. This section, too, has browsers for presets. Or you can record your own moves, as with the Morph Animators that populate each source; these add a small step-sequencer-type window that you can edit on-the-fly with your mouse.
Sample Logic packs four volumes of inspirational sounds and instruments under a single hood. Infinity’s terrific range of sound sculpting tools, alone, provides an instrument of enormous depth and flexibility. Between all four libraries, you are likely to find what you need in quadruplicate: If not, the tools to voice the sound you need precisely are here in spades.
Massive collection encompassing previous and new libraries.
Cinematic Guitars 1 and 2 do not incorporate more recent developments in the Sample Logic Engine, such as Step and FX Animators and the Wave Synth.