Strings, these Classic instruments can give so much extra dynamic to a song if used correctly.
Not many other musical instruments can bring the sound of joy and happiness and also be able to bring sounds of tears and sorrow like a String ensemble.´
Today we are going to have a look at a sample library with the name Cinematic Strings 2.
Cinematic Strings is a 21,1GB Library for Kontakt that also is supported by the FREE version Kontakt player.
The original CS 2.0 came with 5 Patches: 1st Violins, 2nd Violins, Violas, Cellos and Basses.
The patches have been setup so when all patches are loaded you get what is known as a “Standard” String ensemble with 6 Basses, 12 1st Violins, 8 2nd Violins, 7 Violas and 7 Cellos.
With the 2.1 update 2 more patches named Full Ensemble and Lite Ensemble have been included to give even more of that full ensemble sound.
The GUI of CS 2.1 i felt that i was in for a treat, this is a cleverly designed GUI that feels like its been designed to guide the users to the sound they are after.
The two images above Shows the 1st Violins patch loaded and the concept is the same for most part of the CS 2.1 where we have the mic, level and pan controls on the left, In the center we find the Matrix / advanced Tabs and on the right Play position, Reverb / more options.
The mixer gives us the ability to load the complete sound by either using the Mix channel or individual channels for more control, i welcome this feature as i can tweak the sound directly from the GUI.
Articulations a Keyswitch away
There are a huge variety of articulations built into CS 2.1 and by utilizing Keyswitches the user can fast and easy change articulation directly on the keyboard, DAW piano roll or use a MIDI CC.
When using the Arco articulation we are given further options for play position (Low / High).
For example – playing a high position G3 on the violins (G one octave above low G) will be performed on the G string. This has a much smoother and richer tone than a low position G3, which is played on the D string – which sounds much brighter. Each have their distinct uses, and we recommend experimenting with each to gain a better idea of what to expect, Source
when we use the Staccato and Marcato articulations we are given the option to choose Staccatissimo / Staccato.
CS 2.1 also comes with a nice sounding Hall Reverb.
In the advanced Tab we are giving control sliders for the short notes, so that we can tweak the way the short notes act / sound when played.
Staccato Overlay: This is a nice feature that ads a Staccato layer above the start note when using the arco, tremolo or trills articulations.
Vibrato Control: Lets usdecide how the vibrato should be played / used.
Releases: “Releases are triggered automatically via our advanced scripting system – which adjusts the volume of all triggered releases automatically depending on the volume of the current note you are playing and its position in the passage” Source
Realism with Live Mode Intensity
Live Mode Intensity give CS 2.1 that extra realism and natural effect.
The two new patches..
As mentioned earlier, Two ensemble patches With the CS 2.1 update
With the Ensemble patches the Mixer is removed and replaced with a Envelope control.
The Lite Ensemble only features three different articulations and short note control.
So how does it sound?
There is no doubt here my friends, CS 2.1 just sounds amazing!!!!
I love the character of the bass and cello, they are deep yet full of life.
The full ensemble is for what i do my favorite, i can use it on anything and it just fits right in.
I made a small little tune using CS 2.1 in a rock tune so you can get a feeling of its potentials.
I am impressed with the sound quality of Cinematic Strings 2.1, For a basic user like myself all the different control features and different articulations is overwhelming.
Working with CS 2.1 is fun and easy, the layout of the GUI is very easy to understand and thanks to the Keyswitch feature most of the work can be done without actually having to adjust much in the actual GUI.
There are tweaking options “if needed” and these options does the job well to make most of us happy.
No matter what sort of music you are in to Strings" is a must have as it can bring so much life to a song, Cinematic Strings 2.1 is spot on so i happily recommend it to anyone no matter what music you are in to.
I want to thank Cinematic Strings for letting me do this review.
And to my readers….. THANK YOU!!!
Since the days of the Digital revolution when the classic ways of recording music was pushed aside people have been craving for the classic Tape machine sound.
Today we are going to have a look at the Slate Digital Virtual Tape Machine.
The Slate Digital – Virtual Tape Machine
I’m back again, and this time we are going to look at the new Adpack for the XLN Audio Addictive drums that goes by the name Black Velvet ADpak.
Before we start, I would like to thank XLN Audio for letting me do this review.
The Black Velvet ADpak is the sound you always wished you could afford! A modern classic dressed in black captured with a large, epic sound. Created with the grunge/post-grunge era in mind, with roots in alternative rock transcending to an expensive arena rock-band sound, this takes you on a journey from Seattle to LA. This ADpak is made with the highest demands on everything throughout the whole recording chain, capturing the unmistakable raw attitude in a luxurious package.
Compression, After EQ it is the most common used effect in the music production.
Earlier this year Cakewalk released the CA-2A Leveling Amplifier that we are going to have a look at today.
Before we start, I would like to thank Cakewalk for letting me do this review.
CA-2A Leveling Amplifier
Since the 1960s, professional engineers have relied on the unique characteristics of this electro-optical tube-based compressor to work its magic on all kinds of sources, including guitars, bass, pads, and especially vocals. Previously only available to big studios that could afford these all tube units, the CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier lets you wield this legendary sonic weapon in your own studio, on your own tracks. With only a few simple controls, it’s easy to use and provides instant gratification with professional results. It features native x64 operation, zero latency performance, and 64-bit double precision audio fidelity. Get the kind of smooth, warm sound heard on so many classic recordings, at a fraction of the cost and with modern convenience.
- Meticulously modeled
- Zero latency for real-time tracking and mixing
- Up to 40dB of smooth, transparent gain reduction
- Frequency dependent compression
- Program dependent attack/release
- Fully modeled “R37″ HF Pre-emphasis control
- Dual photocell reset modes (Classic & Fast Reset)
- Use side-chain compression for ducking, pumping, and more
- Windows:ProChannel, VST2.4, VST3 / OS X: AU, VST3
After more PC mess and much to do at work, i am back and have a lot of Cool stuff coming up.
Now, as a little extra..
If you are or might become a PreSonus Studio One user and feel you need to know more about this great DAW, Head over to http://www.homestudiotrainer.webs.com or http://www.youtube.com/user/themuzic and check out all the cool stuff Johnny Geib A.K.A themuzic has to offer.
Untill the next time…
I’m back and today we will have a look at the new Cubase 7.
But before I start, I want to thank Steinberg for letting me do this review.
Steinberg has been providing award-winning, technologically advanced music and media production products for musicians and producers of music, video and film since 1984. Today, Steinberg is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of audio software and hardware, with more than 1.5 million users worldwide. Steinberg also provides business customers with license management and copy protection systems. The Steinberg range of products has long since found world renown in all aspects of modern digital audio processing, and form the backbone of facilities specializing in music composition and production, mastering, restoration, broadcast, sound design, audio post for the film industry among many others. Source
Its time for something i like allot, A Drum sound/expansion review!
Steven Slate Drums 4 aka SSD4 is a flexible drum instrument plugin with excellent sound, fast workflow and easy to use GUI. Today we will have a look at the new Chris Lord Alge expansion for Steven Slate drums 4, This expansion is also available for Trigger.
Steven Slate know that to come with something new to the Recording world is tough, And when he wanted to make an Expansion for SSD4 and Trigger it had to be exceptional.
To manage this he brought along a man who know and understand every detail drum recording, and can set that exceptional drum sound, MR Chris Lord Alge!
In the Spring of 2012, Chris Lord Alge revisited his recording engineer roots and recorded multiple world class drumkits at OCEAN studios in Burbank. He then mixed all the drums in his classic style in his LA mixroom using the same processing chains that you’ve heard on all of his records. He even printed a sample layer of his famous SONY reverb unit on the kicks and snares. The result is some of the fattest, punchiest, most mix ready virtual drums in the industry! And now you can use these classic Chris Lord Alge drums in Steven Slate Drums 4 Virtual Drum instrument and Steven Slate TRIGGER Drum Replacer/Enchancer. Source
12 Drumkit Presets (SSD4)
Kick Drums: 22” and 24”
Toms: 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, and 18”
Ludwig Black Beauty
Ludwig Chrome Plated Steel
Pearl Reference Maple
Pearl Reference Brass
Pearl Steel Sensitone
Tama Bell Brass
A closer lookHere is the CLA Rock 01 loaded up in SSD4 kit view, as a VSTI in PreSonus Studio One PRO v2.
The Chris Lord Alge expansion comes with 13 ready to use presets, But when we start digging deeper we find that there is more to this expansion that allows for great tweaking options and a huge variety of sound.
Here is the CLA Rock 09 loaded up in SSD4 Cell view, as a VSTI in PreSonus Studio One PRO v2.
When we go into the Instrument section of SSD4 we find that the kicks comes with additional features, HB=Hard Beater, SB=Soft Beater, wS= With Snare and OT = Over the Top. OT (Over the Top) have a crushed ambient sound (especially on the Overheads), this is meant to be used as blends for more more excitement and low end punch.
Taking a look at the Snares section we find that there is a nice variety of Snares in the Chris Lord Alge expansion I know people have been asking for “The Dong”, One of the snares that I like to have in nearly any setup is the Dry Pearl as it only has a slight OH bleed so I can use it to get more od that nice snap to the Snare sound.
As we head into the SSD4 mixer we find Close mice channels for Kick in / Out and Sub, Snare Top, TopB (second mic taped to 1st ), Snare Bottom, Toms, and Hi-Hat. These are followed by a FX, OH, RoomA , RoomB and and Mono Channel. I love the Room A/B feature as it allows me to tweak specific room sound for specific drums this is simply said even more flexibility.
Working with the Chris Lord Alge expansion
The Chris Lord Alge expansion follows the original SSD4 standard and I just love how fast I can load a kit, change some instruments to my liking and adjust the bleed levels.
Then I decide to either keep all channels on one buss / channel in my DAW or set multi out option for further tweaks, Adjust some EQ and one of my favorites is to use the FabFilter
Pro-C a great compressor that is great for anything such as parallel compression.
I can not mention this enough but the room A and B feature is nearly addictive, I can alter sound in so many ways and I can get the room spread for a perfect mix.
And Remember all SSD4 instruments including the Chris Lord Alge expansion responds well to additional Tweaking for even more personalization.
Here follows a video of some of the Kits and MIDI grooves included in the Chris Lord Alge expansion. In the end of the video is a tweaked kit where i also tweaked the drum sound with additional effects.
In these modern times with a lot of great sounding Drum plugins on the market it is hard to create something new, but If you read my SSD4 Platinum review you will know that i highly recommend it as its very fresh, flexible, easy to use and just sounds AMAZING!
When I got the Chris Lord Alge expansion and loaded it in SSD4 I was shocked over the detail and extremely nice punch it had, how many options I got with just a small twist of a bleed knob or adjustment of a channel level. The more I messed around with the expansion the more I found how exceptional it is, the special tweaked individual kicks and snares adds that extra feel to the sound, Using the DRY variations allows for some very interesting personal tweaks and the RoomA and RoomB channels opens up a huge variety of options.
Since SSD4 has a fast and easy workflow, and it allows you to easily combine the SSD4 instruments with the Chris Lord Alge expansion you will be able to quickly get YOUR sound! In the end it is how you combine and tweak the sound that gives the personal touch, and the options are nearly limitless!!
So If you want one of the best sounding expansions available on the market today, And you own either Trigger or Steven Slate Drums 4 then the Chris Lord Alge expansion is a must have! If you don’t have Steven Slate drums 4 I recommend you to get it… it is that good!
The price for the Chris Lord Alge expansion is at the moment set to $199, A good price for what you get.
If I miss something it would be a optional tweaked version of the Toms , a easy way to get a 5 Tom setup and maybe one or two presets that use 5 Toms and Double kick for the metal maniacs.
The Chris Lord Alge Expansion is just amazing, Good job everyone involved in Steven Slate drums 4 and the Chris Lord Alge Expansion.
I want to thank Steven slate drums for letting me do this review, And to my readers…