One aspect that distinguished NAMM 2012 from other shows of recent years was the relative dearth of sound libraries. Nonetheless, a few soundware developers were on hand, and Electronic Musician was there to check them out. Here's a brief look at five new products available now or a few months down the road.
Big Fish Audio
Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar
Big Fish Audio was at NAMM to announce the Vir2 instrument Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar ($149.95). Using techniques such as striking the strings with mallets and pouring rice over them, Fractured’s designers modified, manipulated, and mangled several guitars to produce 105 instrument presets that deliver 2.3GB of loops, arpeggios, pads, and drum kits, each with a custom set of onscreen controls. Fractured runs standalone or as a plug-in, and you can open its content in Native Instruments Kontakt 5.
Steven Slate Drums
Steven Slate Drums 4
Now you can choose from two editions of Steven Slate Drums 4. The Platinum version ($299) features 100 kits in a variety of styles, including drum sets modeled after kits from Dream Theater, Steely Dan, Nirvana, and Metallica. The EX version ($99) features 25 kits designed for rock and funk, including a Led Zeppelin kit and a single dance kit. At the heart of the library is SSD Player, a plug-in that lets you load, customize, and mix kits and MIDI data within your DAW.
Ivory II—American Concert D
Synthogy was at NAMM demonstrating its forthcoming Ivory II—American Concert D ($199). Master sound developer Joe Ierardi and his team sampled every nuance of a New York Steinway Model D specifically selected for its pure tone and expressive dynamic range, recording it in the Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall at Le Domaine Forget in Quebec’s Charlevoix region. Like Ivory II’s three previous instruments, American Concert D will run standalone or as a plug-in, and its content will install into an existing Ivory II user’s library.
Tucked away in a corner booth, Orchestral Tools demonstrated the Kontakt-compatible Symphonic Sphere ($335.29). This collection fills in gaps left by other orchestral soundware by furnishing embellishments and articulations such as flourishes, trills, and fingered tremolos. Alongside a full string section, you get orchestral percussion, a woodwind ensemble, and symphonic harp. The harp samples supply beds, sweeps, and scale glissandos with full pedal control. Also included is the unique Trills Orchestrator for strings and woodwind. The entire 24-bit, 48kHz library comes as a 23GB download that expands to 43GB.
If you’re looking for that ’80s sound, you can’t go wrong with the 8-bit glory of Emulation II ($199.95). UVI captured samples from a restored Emulator II keyboard, enhanced them with studio processors, and created a user interface that duplicates the original’s look and feel. More than 250 sounds supply everything from drums and basses to orchestral hits and effects. But wait, there’s more: You also get Drumulation, a virtual re-creation of E-mu’s popular 12-bit drum machine, the Drumulator. Both libraries require the free sampler player UVI Workstation and are also compatible with MOTU’s MachFive 3.