Samplers are great tools for capturing the sonic nooks and crannies of acoustic and electric instruments—if only in snapshot form, which always invokes the argument as to why anyone would want to replace the real thing with an imperfect copy. The fact is, once you get a nuanced instrument inside a sampler, the number of ways you can reshape its sound multiplies by a nearly infinite amount. SampleLogic, no strangers to altering the sonic landscape of conventional instruments and natural sounds, have focused their talents on acoustic and electric guitars, resulting in a collection of predominantly processed sounds. All of the source material derives from guitars; nevertheless, Cinematic Guitars strays far afield of its origins while retaining familiar and appealing properties of its source material.
The product is available as a direct download from SampleLogic''s Web site or in a box set. Native Instrument''s Kontakt Player accompanies roughly 6GB of sample data, and the package is authorized neatly through the NI Service Center. Cinematic Guitars harnesses the considerable guitar-stretching abilities of Steve Ouimette. The library dishes out exotic, guitar-derived sounds and effects alongside a handful of more conventional acoustic and electric guitar instruments. Moreover, the sounds are geared toward soundtrack production with (to mix metaphors) a widescreen sonic approach; the majority of sounds are thick, animated, and huge.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
Native Instruments Kontakt Player harbors Instruments (single MIDI channel patches), and Multis, which combine instruments in different ways for an aggregate effect. Cinematic Guitars divides into three main instruments categories: Atmospheres, Instrumentals, and Percussives. These branch out into a number of subdivisions. For instance, Instrumentals branches into folders for arpeggiated instruments; guitars, loops, pads, and synth-type sounds. The loops subfolder under the Instrumentals category adds another layer of subfolders.
Thankfully, Kontakt provides a tree menu with which to navigate through the bounty. Things get a bit confusing; nonetheless, as several Multis lurk in the single-instrument folder, and if you aren''t attentive, you could inadvertently purge instruments you have loaded into other slots. There are few hard and fast rules in the organization of the patches; although there are folders for performance-oriented patches such as tempo-synched, arpeggiated or gated instruments, don''t be surprised if additional tempo-synched instruments show up in other folders. Nonetheless, patches are still appropriately organized by function, and much of what drives a patch''s performance is accessible from the user interface for easy customization. Among other controls are Attack Release knobs, cabinet modeling (with a programmable rotator effect) reverb, delay, flange, a multimode filter, and plenty more.
The Atmospheres folder breaks down into Ambiences and Stingers; the former generally serve to underscore mood, whereas the latter group is used to emphasize an event or transition. Once you open the Ambiences folder, you can choose between folders devoted to a variety of moods: Bizarre, Dark and Scary, Euphoric – Spiritual, and more. For the most part, the ambiences are pads with looping melodic or percussive motifs emerging and developing over time. In a number of cases, patches are augmented with a few variants, consisting of a slightly different sample map, step sequenced modulation, arpeggiator-driven, and modulation- wheel controlled patches. These variation patch titles reflect the additional feature (SEQ for sequence or MW for modulation wheel, for instance) Every MW patch I played, controlled filter cutoff; given Kontakt''s formidable modulation capabilities and SampleLogic''s expressive sound set, this was disappointing; a few mod-wheel crossfades or other modulation choices would have been welcome.
As with SampleLogic Morphestra (Reviewed in the Feb 2010 EM), the company recruited a handful of film-and-game composition artists to program a batch of Multis. Among these, the contributions of composers Atli Orvarsen (Sunrise Drive and Monastery Memory), Jesper Kyd (Space Cowboys) and Steve Tavaglione (Gentle Minor Strummer and Harmo Knees),whose aforementioned patches were especially welcome for their emphasis on atmosphere and mood rather than violence and bombast (see Web Clip 1). Don''t overlook the SampleLogic Multis, though; they offer plenty of evocative patches that go beyond the “Scoring for 24” paradigm. Can This Be Real, with its backward guitars and padding evokes a powerful sense of wonder (see Web Clip 2).
My gripes are trivial alongside the sheer number of imaginative, useful sounds you''ll find in Cinematic guitars. Many of the patches are breathtaking and evocative. There''s a ton of useful, wide-screen sounding material, and the effects and easy access to patch-modification multiplies the collection''s value and utility several times over. Cinematic Guitars may not be the only film-scoring sound library you''ll ever need, but it fills a sonic niche few, if any collections occupy, and does it beautifully.
Overall Rating (1-5): 4
Sample Logic Cinematic Guitars Product Page