One of the more exciting current library releases (September 2010) is Sample Logic’s Cinematic Guitars, a 9 GB collection of three distinct categories of ‘morphed’ guitar instruments; namely, Atmospheres, Instrumentals and Percussives , which are loaded as the titled Cinematic Guitars library of .nki (Instrument) and .nkm (Multi) files into Native Instruments’ Kontakt 4.1.1. or higher.
The Cinematic Guitars Library instrument skin features lighted midi-learnable configuration parameters and presets for Distortion, Lo-Fi, Filter, Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Delay, Reverb, as well as quick-access adjustments for Gain, Attack, Release, Lo-Cut and Hi-Cut filters. There are Volume and Pan parameters, an editable arpeggiator with ten editable lazy-person presets, and an editable Performance Options tab which allows for adjustable Voices, Spread, Detune and Glide plus tickable Velocity to Hi-Cut modulator and Monophonic buttons and emulated amplifier Cabinets (vintage, etc.) with Rotator speaker options. The array of effects listed above have been individually integrated into each library instrument and are hailed by Sample Logic as “the first-ever Core Effects Sequencer.” This simply means you can manipulate and configure any of the effects included with the library instruments without leaving the Sample Logic Kontakt interface and audio engine, permitting at least more production monitor workspace, but I can also say with confidence that the effects are sensitive, powerful and responsive.
The Atmospheres instruments are divided into Ambience and Stingers. Ambience is a collection of dense and often beautiful sequential repetitions catalogued into Bizarre, Dark N Scary, Electronic, Euphoric-Spiritual, Mixed Emotions, Mystery Suspense and World. Each of these is sub-categorized into hundreds of .nki morphed phrases and loops.
Stingers features thirty-eight zoned phrases of similarly deep and surprisingly complex beauty, with titles beginning with Abrasive Feedback, on through the usual clich©d items, such as Deep Space Voyage and Legion of Doom, finishing with Throat Rage and Western Duel. All of these, I’m sure, are meant to inspire your own modifications using the various parameters and effects available on the GUI.
The Instrumentals instruments are catalogued as Arpeggiated, Guitars, Loops, Pads and Synths. The Guitars section, for instance, features some standard processed guitars, Fat Strat, Gibson, Les Paul Power Chords, and other classifications such as Riders On The Storm and Acoustic Harmonics. As of this writing, it seems to me that most of these could be characterized as eerie-sounding and could fit right into the dark, filtered environments you might hear in a supernatural Western bloodbath shoot-’em-up.
The Percussives instruments are catalogued as Arpeggiated, Big Hit Ensembles, Impacts, Kits, Loops and Transitions. If you are familiar with any of the John Cage-influenced Prepared Piano libraries on the market, you will recognize some of the material included here, yet these sounds are more enhanced, steroidal and electrically startling than the expected percussives found in other–traditionally acoustic–prepared string libraries. The percussive concept is intelligent, with equally satisfying rough, gentle, warm and cold sado-masochistic scrapes, slaps, spanking, rocking portamento and grating blackboard rasps. One gets the sense that this is percussion as illustration, not simply punctuation for melodrama. These percussives, I believe, offer a rewarding sense of potential not found in other Industrial libraries. I could find no fault with the choices made by the developers and composers. They have my admiration for their obligation to percussive expression.
There are seven composers listed as creators of the secondary collection in the Cinematic Guitars library, tabbed simply as Multis in Kontakt’s browser. These are heavily layered .nkm (multi-instrument templates, a combination of samples or instruments) sound files, each apparently created by the composers themselves. Their complex .nkm multi sound designs are sweeping and grand and you will be suitably impressed with their approach to drama and the moods they’ve created. They give the customer/composer inspiration and a sense of the possibilities one can express with the Cinematic Guitars library. What more could you possibly ask for?
A Look Inside The Machine
While all of the exquisite samples in Cinematic Guitars are clearly a combination of layers of bowed, plucked, strummed and scraped guitar sounds, in Kontakt’s Mapping Editor, you will find that a few of these samples are not velocity-layered, but are simply single, zoned samples-viewed as yellow transparent blocks and often combined side-by-side along the keyboard. These of course can be edited and, through Kontakt’s Mapping Editor, you can add layers of any other .wav files over them. Other .nkm samples have several velocity layers that you may have fun manipulating in Kontakt’s edit mode, as well. As you know, in Kontakt you can also create your own morph and velocity morph layers which allows you to add your own sounds to those supplied by the Cinematic Guitars library and save them as your own Instruments or as Multis. This is why you will find most developers now are using Kontakt’s player engine. Its versatility and stability make Native Instruments’ Kontakt the most popular sampler available.
What It Says On The Tin
[Note: Regardless of what it says on the tin, you will need more than 1 GB of RAM to adequately experiment with some of the composers’ multis.]
Cinematic Guitars Library:
• Atmosphere/ambient soundscapes and stinger construction kits
• Morphed guitars, synths, and pads
• Melodic and percussive tempo-synced loops
• Melodic and percussive arpeggiated/gated instruments
• Percussive impacts, big hit ensembles, and kits
• Swipes, scrapes, and reverse transitional effects
• Performance-ready multis (playable interactive preset templates made from multiple instruments)
• Over 125 score-ready multis
Additional multis included in Cinematic Guitars were created by award-winning composers:
• Bill Brown (CSI NY, Wolfenstein [VG], Rainbow Six [VG], Ghost Recon [VG])
• Jesper Kyd (Assassins Creed I & II [VG], Unreal Tournament [VG], Splinter Cell [VG])
• Trevor Morris (The Tutors, The Hills Have Eyes II, Pirates Of The Caribbean II, Stealth, The Island)
• Deane Ogden (Hit List, The Way Home, Surrogates, The Sensei)
• Atli -rvarsson (Vantage Point, Babylon AD, The Fourth Kind)
• Chad Seiter (Fringe Season 1, LucasArts’ Fracture, LOST: Via Domus, UP [VG])
• Steve Tavaglione – Performer & Sound Designer (CSI: Las Vegas & New York, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Revolutionary Road)
• Kontakt Player 4.1.1 or higher
• Kontakt (Player) 4 supports: Stand-alone, VST, Audio Units, RTAS, DXi, ASIO, Core Audio, DirectSound®, WASAPI
• Native 64-bit support for stand-alone and plug-in versions on both Mac and PC
Minimum System Requirements:
• PC: Windows® XP (SP2, 32bit) / Vista® (32/64 Bit), Windows 7® (32/64 Bit), Pentium® or Athlon XP 1.4 GHz, 1 GB RAM
• Mac: Mac OS® X 10.5 or higher, Intel® Core Duo 1.66 GHz, 1 GB RAM
Direct download available at site: