I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when it comes to sampling, EMU are like me… they have an unrivalled pedigree. But despite having one of the most envied sample libraries in the business, they’re not resting on their Stan Laurels. Instead, they’ve been busy creating a brand spanking new library, the monumental ‘Modern Symphonic Orchestra’.
Comprising an entire orchestra, sampled instrument by instrument, in the same concert hall, it packs over 10GB of sounds onto 5 DVDs. Disc one provides the string section – first and second violins, violas, cellos, and basses. Disc two, the woodwinds – clarinets, contra bassoons, English horns, flutes, oboes and piccolos. Disc three, the brass section – trumpets, French horns, tubas and trombones (but none of those new fangled saxophones). Disc four, the rhythm section – Celesta, Glockenspiel, Harp, Percussion, Tubular Bells, Xylophone and Timpani. Disc 5, the heavy guns, with over 50 combi patches providing a mixture of individual sections and whole orchestras.
Naturally there are numerous versions of each instrument available, covering every variation from pianississimo to fortississimo, staccato to legato, vibrato to tremolo, with accents, trills and even ascending and descending 4ths. In fact with 100 clarinets and over 300 violins on offer, I’m thinking of starting a Klezma band…as soon as I can get my PC onto the roof…
Unlike generic orchestral sample libraries, MSO has been specially programmed for the EmulatorX/Proteus X sound engine, meaning that each patch is precisely tailored to its real time MIDI controllers, out of the case. Furthermore, many of the presets offer multiple alternative voices for each note, so when you hit a key, the actual sample that is triggered, varies according to factors such as note velocity and mod wheel position, allowing for added naturalism.
If that’s not naturalistic enough for you, MSO introduces Emu’s new ‘Flex’ technology – multi sampled, multi-voice presets, that switch voices to emulate the way a musician would play his/her instrument, based upon the bowing/articulation/tonguing techniques selected…and there’s nothing better than being able to select your favourite tonguing technique…
Also included is Geniesoft’s ‘Overture SE 4’, a VST host for Emulator X/Proteus X that allows you to compose via both notation and MIDI and to import a variety of files including MIDI, Encore, Music XML and MusicTime. Of course, if you are running a VST host, chances are much of its functionality will be redundant. But having said that, I found that orchestrating with its onscreen score was a breeze…and a far better experience than using the scoring software buried in some VST host sequencers.
Modern Symphonic Orchestra sounds excellent and takes sampling to the next level, but in doing so, uses ‘nuff system resources, so you’ll need a powerful PC to make the most of it. You’ll also need the excellent Emulator X/Proteus X hardware, which I can’t recommend highly enough…though I would be able to recommend it more often if Emu would release a Mac version! If you have this hardware to hand and need symphonic sounds, you’ll love MSO.
More info: www.emu.com
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