After many years of development, we are thrilled to announce that Omnisphere 2 is coming in 2015. This is the first v2.0 of any Spectrasonics instrument and it's truly a gigantic one! Check out the new feature list and the video introduction by Spectrasonics Founder and Creative Director, Eric Persing.
Standard Upgrade: $249
For all Omnisphere 1 customers
Grace Period Upgrade: FREE
For all customer which registered Omnisphere
from October 1st, 2014 thru May 2015
Upgrades (download license ~ 13GB) will be availabel April 30th and may be preordered already!
Congrats to Eduardo Tarilonte for the MusicTech Gold Award for Shevannai, the voice of elves!
Now how could we not fall in love with this? Shevannai was a talking point for us here in the MusicTech office, as was Eduardo Tarilontes other remarkably niche (but still awesome!) libraries. Read our interview with Eduardo here and the review of Shevannai here.
We at Best Service strive to deliver the best service possible, so you maybe already noticed, that since a few weeks we send out emails to our customers after each purchase, asking them to kindly rate their shopping experience and the purchased products. The process is easy, fast, and requires no additional registration.
If you don't want to receive this invitations, you can simply disable them in your Best Service user account.
eKomi, Europes largest independent provider of transaction-based customer reviews and ratings manages all reviews and publishes them anonymously on our website. General shop reviews are already online, product reviews will follow the next months.
With your review you won't only help us to improve our service but you can also help other customers to find a trustworthy retailer and great products. We are looking forward to your review!
One year after releasing the point update, Cubase is back with major updates to version 8 boasting a vast range of studio-grade audio and MIDI tools for composing, recording, editing and mixing.
Cubase becomes Cubase Pro. The name change reflects the 25-year evolution of Steinbergs advanced music production system and spearheads the Cubase range of DAWs.
Both Cubase Pro 8 and Cubase Artist 8 witness a massive engine rebuild, which lets you run more instruments and more tracks. ASIO-Guard 2 is the magic word, improving the audio processing performance for instrument tracks and channels. Automation enhancements are key to Cubase Pro 8, giving you VCA faders and virgin territories. Yes, and weve added render in-place to both versions for bouncing MIDI and audio parts in a really easy way. Chord pads, Chord Assistant modes and MIDI tempo detection are introduced to the creative feature set of both Pro and Artist, while the new Rack Zone provides a dedicated area for the MediaBay sound browser and VST Instrument Rack. The redesigned Track List and Inspector, the new plug-in manager, global workspaces plus improved windows handling on PCs make the lives of Cubase users that bit easier. Then theres the rejuvenated Quadrafuzz multiband distortion plug-in, the new Virtual Bass Amp, Multiband Expander, Multiband Envelope Shaper and many other effects. Groove Agent SE 4 now includes an acoustic drum kit, the Acoustic Agent, with 20 drum style patterns. The MixConsole has also witnessed feature additions and theres a new version of VST Connect for remote recording over the Web.
Vienna Instruments give you a wealth of possibilities for upgrades and expansions. You may start with individual Special Edition Sections (Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion & More, Guitars & Keyboards), which when added together create the full Special Edition Volumes. You may also add Single Instruments at favorable upgrade prices, or upgrade to the large Vienna Instruments Collections and Bundles.
Whether you have several Single Instruments of a Collection, or several Collections of a Bundle, its easy and affordable to complete them!
Bundle prices have always been generously discounted from the total price of the included products. Now, if you have registered at least one Collection in a Bundle and wish to complete the Bundle, you can do so at the discounted rate. The price difference between the total price of all included individual products when purchased separately and the reduced bundle price will be now applied to your missing products when you complete your Bundle.
Please note that in order to take advantage of the new complementary discounts, you need to purchase the Bundle at the discounted price, not the individual Collections youre missing (or the Collection, not the individual Single Instruments).
Lets say you have registered the Standard Libraries of Brass I and Brass II and you wish to purchase the entire Brass Bundle Standard Library. Your bundle price is the already discounted price of the Bundle less the bundle-adjusted value of the two libraries you have registered. By purchasing the Brass Bundle Standard Library you get licenses of the Standard Libraries of Special Brass and Vienna Dimension Brass at tremendous complementary discounts!
The same principle also works for Collections that include separately available Single Instruments, the Vienna Special Editions and the Software Bundles, such as the MIRx Bundle, the MIR RoomPack Bundle, and the complete Vienna Software Package.
Effective immediately, you can download an update for your Cantus or Mystica Library in your Native Instruments user account or directly in the Native Instrument Service Center. With this update we introduced compatibility between Cantus and Mystica, allowing you to exchange Phrase Arranger presets between both libraries. This update is greatly recommended for all Cantus and Mystica owners.
The Altus update which can also be found in your Native Instruments user account fixes a few cosmetic bugs and is not essential but still recommended.
Don't miss this wonderful video-demo:
The Wind Casts will give excellent information in a comfortable way for users and those who haven't decided yet.
More to follow ....
Also availble now in the video demo section are 9 "Talking Manuals" for CHW. If you do not like to read printed manuals, this is a great opportunity to make yourself familiar with the library very quickly.
Simply go to Chris Hein Winds and click the "video demos" button.
Apple recently released the long awaited operating system OSX 10.10 "Yosemite". Since then many inquiries regarding compatibility with music and audio software have reached our support team.
In general we advise users of music production systems not to upgrade for a few months to avoid unforeseeable incompatibilities and unnecessary trouble. If your current configuration works fine with 10.9 or earlier there is no urgent need to upgrade to Yosemite.
If you do however feel the urgent need to jump on the latest OS bandwagon, it is a good idea to first check for compatibility informations on the suppliers websites, support forums or any other source you can find.
In this post we will provide the latest information regarding our distribution products available to us (All information refers to the latest available software version and is supplied without liability.)
Best Service ENGINE Libraries
We are happy to announce that our tests did not show any problems with installing, activating or using ENGINE under OSX 10.10
Have you experienced the opposite? Please let us know at email@example.com
Native Instruments KONTAKT (Player) Libraries und KOMPLETE
Native Instruments has conducted compatibility tests with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite which have shown current NI Software Products to work without any specific issues under standard installations of this operating system.
Native Instruments Hardware
Hardware based products like MASCHINE, KOMPLETE KONTROL, TRAKTOR, GUITAR RIG, and Controller Editor will not launch when the AVID CoreAudioManager/Drivers are installed under 10.10 Yosemite. Native Instruments and Avid are working together to resolve this compatibility issue.
Please notice that all Synthogy Ivory products are not yet compatible with OS X 10.10.
Vienna Symphonic Library
All products are fully compatible when using the latest versions available from your VSL user account.
announces that all Waves Native plug-ins V9 as well as the Waves License Center are now fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite using the latest version.
All products are fully compatible. "Original" EZdrummer users should download the latest EZdrummer 1.4.0 update for Yosemite compatibility.
All products except "Stutter Edit" passed the 10.10 compatibility tests successfully. Testing is ongoing and updates will be made available asap. where necessary.
To find out about about your DAWs and hosts compatibility, like Cubase, Nuendo, Live, Studio One, Reason, Bitwig Studio, Tracktion etc., please visit the manufacturers web site for detailed information.
This post will continuously be updated as new information becomes available...
All Real Instruments "RealGuitar 3", "RealStrat 3", and "RealLPC 3" may now be updated to 3.1. The free update contains all new features of the shortly released "RealRick" and the long awaited AAX support.
Real instruments version 3.1 are shipping now packed with new cool features!
Find the free updates in your customer account.
Donwload the the latest 30 day trial version 3.1 here:
In May 2014 VSL announced a one-of-a-kind scoring competition in cooperation with Hollywood Music Workshop. An international jury of renowned Hollywood composers and industry professionals has evaluated the entries and determined the best scores. Now were very pleased to announce the following winners:
Andreas Lucas, Germany
Cash prize of US$10,000
David Solar, Czech Republic
Winner of Vienna Symphonic Library products worth US$4,000
Joakim Unander, Sweden
Winner of a scholarship for the next Hollywood Music Workshop
In addition to the top three entries the panel was particularly impressed by the following 10 submissions:
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!
Finally we see the rise of the machines, and with it develops a certain fear that artificial intelligence (AI) will render humans useless.
This question was posed at Bostons A3E Conference last month by a team member at Landr. Their company had received death threats from people in the mastering industry after having released a DIY instant online music mastering service powered by AI algorithms.
It illustrates the resistance that the world of AI has incited amongst us. Some fear that robots will take over à la Terminator 2. Some fear that the virtual and artificial will replace the visceral. Some cite religious views, and others? Frankly, others just seem ignorant.
That sets the tone for our own journey into artificial intelligence, and the lessons we have learned from it.
Finallythe Windows version of the Console 1 software is out!
Furthermore, Console 1 now offers automatic transfer of track name working in Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Ableton Live (on Mac). For Ableton Live, there is automatic transfer of track number, just like they have had for Cubase, Nuendo and Studio One for a while.
Console 1 users may download the updated software now.
Softube Console 1 is the next generation audio mixer. Used together with any major DAW, Console 1 will not only give you the analog sound that Softube´s plug-ins are world famous for, but also the analog workflow of using physical knobs and buttons when you mix. Console 1 is all about great sound and intuitive, hands-on control.
Mystica is a sample library that incorporates a beautifully sounding womens choir into a user-friendly programmed library our reviewer may be in love.
............After all we have a very realistic sounding womens choir in which all those different voices, vowels and syllables could be very easily applied to any arrangement almost without any further editing. At least, this is my personal opinion. Mystica proves to be one of the most useful voice libraries that I have ever reviewed, incorporating a beautifully sounding womens choir into a very user-friendly programmed library. So, this time the compliments not only goes only to Eduardo, who made all that possible, but to the ladies who did their job as only ladies can do perfectly. They absolutely deserved to be named here: Rosa Plata, Verónica Plata, Ruth Over, Conchita Cortés, Estefa Alcántara, Solomia Antoniak, Maribel Rueda and Susana Casas.
Ten out of ten stars for this one for the ladies and for Eduardo Tarilonte.
CINEMATIC KEYS, an Unprecedented Collection
CINEMATIC KEYS is a complete collection of 850+ traditional and mutilated Instruments & Multis derived entirely from recordings of keyboard instruments. Weighing in at over 8GBs, CINEMATIC KEYS not only includes amazing, ready-to-play, psycho-acoustic sampled melodic and percussive instruments, but uses these instruments to enter into the morphed world of score-ready hybrid sound design. CINEMATIC KEYS is powered by Kontakt Player.
Available from September 8, 2014
We are continuously working on our web site to improve the usability and accessibility for you.
Right now we added two great new features, give them a try right now!
For many virtual instruments you can now choose to display related products. This can help you find similar products and explore alternatives in a similar price range that you maybe haven't been thinking of until now. We assign the articles manually and decided not to have this done automatically to provide you a valuable assistance.
Try it out right now.
List- and Gallery View
You might know it already from our products page, but now you can also change to display brands in list or gallery view. Certainly you can also sort them by alphabet or relevance.
More to come...
review in German language only
Die Chris Hein Chromatic Harmonica schließt in puncto Qualität und Austattung lückenlos an die Vorgängerprodukte an und verdient rundum nur Bestnoten. Die Audioqualität und die Präsenz dieser über vier Oktaven spielbaren, chromatischen Mundharmonica ist allen mir bekannten Mitbewerbern deutlich überlegen. Die Vielfalt an Spielweisen, die ausgefeilten Legato- und Vibrato-Optionen, die Gestaltungsoptionen der charakteristischen Einschwingphase durch Blow- und Attack-Spielweisen setzen neue Maßstäbe.
Trotz umfassenden Editiermöglichkeiten bleibt die Bedienung übersichtlich und leicht erlernbar. Wenn überhaupt nötig, hilft hier das deutschsprachige PDF-Handbuch. Obwohl es eine Reihe von voreingestellten Konfigurationen gibt, die über Key-Switches anwählbar sind, lohnt sich der Einstieg ins Editieren hier geht es bis hin zum Klangdesign und experimentellen Verfremdungen. Diese Mundharmonica kann sowohl lieblich-bluesig gespielt werden als auch zu einem druckvollen, Blechbläsern ähnlichen Ensemble mutieren. Ein Instrument der Sonderklasse zu einem ausgesprochen günstigen Preis.
Reason is the music software made with one thing in mind: you. And whatever music is on your mind, Reason makes it easier to bring it out. Version 8 brings a faster and easier interface with a whole new look and an even smoother creative flow.
Drag and drop everything and everywhere. Find inspiring sounds instantly in the new, always open browser. Explore new amp and speaker models from Softube. Go faster from good ideas to great music than ever before. This is your Reason. This is Reason 8.
Reason users have always praised Reason for its inspiring workflow. More like a musical instrument than a spreadsheet, Reasons immediacy means less thinking about software and more happy experimentation with music and technology.
Version 8 further strengthens this aspect of Reason so you can work even faster than before and with even fewer obstacles to break your flow. The new browser is always there, with access to your full library of songs, sounds, samples and instruments all the time.
Drag and drop is now available throughout the Reason rack. Create instruments by dragging a synth patch to the sequencer, drag samples directly to pads in Kong or create effects by dragging effect patches to the rack.
Reason 8 and Reason Essentials 8 will be available from September 30th 2014. Prices will stay the same as for Reason 7.
There is a grace period for customers that have purchased Reason 7 (full version as well as upgrades, student/teacher- and EDU-versions) or Reason Essentials (Version 1, 1.5 or 2) or will purchase Reason 7 before Reason 8 will be available. These customers will get a FREE Upgrade from Propellerhead as download.
It is a funny thing that you should spend some time finding these libraries on the Best Service site, the same as for Ueberschall, especially as they sound as they were recorded yesterday, and not so many years ago. I used a few of those samples in my newest EDM production and they made those songs even more up-to-date. Libraries from 2007 that can help you to sound like those fellows on Beatport during the upcoming summer of 2014.
Finding really good vocal phrases is not so easy, and it never was, so it is worthwhile to take a shovel in hand and dig deep around to find good ones. So, for €180 EUR or $245 USD (Best Service offers a 10% discount when you buy both libraries), you can get 600 different vocal phrases, 4800 samples, eating just 6 GB of your valuable disk space.
We are constantly bombarded with some up-to-date libraries that try to bring us some retro sounds, and I finally found two retro libraries that sound up-to-date. Very up-to-date. So if you are looking for some vocal lines, just dont sound like everyone else (using new vocal libraries that everyone uses). Instead, dig out of the dust something that everyone already forgot.
Chris Hein Winds Complete by Bestservice.de
Chris Hein did a new library. Even if it should happen that I would be in a prison or isolated on an island without any Internet connection, I could easily write an article about his product without even hearing any demo clips or without getting any additional information. Chris Hein, Eduardo Tarilonte, and UVI, three names in library world that you exactly know what you will get with their product: Authenticity, top recording quality and first-class programming. These are facts about this library that I can tell even before I install it. It is very playable on a basic level, but if your intention is to mimic a real player with all of the small details that come with real live performance, then you should roll up your sleeves and spend some additional time programming, changing various articulations through a big number of keyswitches (a very skilled keyboard player can do that on the fly), offering almost endless numbers of any possible articulation that you can imagine. That is the Chirs Hein standard.
And the reward? Send a finished track to any Wind player and he will reply to you: Dear Alex, Im really glad that you finally decided to record a live player instead of constantly using those fake libraries that really annoyed me. This could be a joke, but it is not. It happens here and there that some skilled instrumentalist will ask me if I can use a real instrument instead of a sampled one in an arrangement that I prepared for them, and after I exchange one library for a better one, they become happy.
WE HAVE THREE LUCKY WINNERS!
It took us a few days but we finally reached milestone one:
Before we step up to the next task to achieve 20000 likes, we take a short break to congratulate the three winners which can pick one of these instruments each: Era Medieval Legends, Klanghaus, Synth-Werk or K-Size Engine Edition
Ueberschall starts the summer with a new free loop library, ready to be used in your production.
The demo package contains 678 MB of free sound material: 303 loops and samples taken from 16 different Ueberschall libraries.
8Bit Stylez, Ambient Noises, Brasil Nova Segundo, Chart Hits 2, Chillout Lounge, Deep House CS1, Disco House, Dubtechno, Electro House 2, Future Garage, Neurofunk, Sounds of Berlin, Trap, Uplifting Trance, Vocal House, Wonky Toys
You can download the free soundbank and Elastik Player here:
Tell us a little bit about you & Heavyocity
Heavyocity Media was born without us really knowing it. We had been working as composers and sound designers on various commercial projects and had amassed a large collection of custom sounds we found ourselves using on a regular basis in our music. In a way, our first instrument Evolve did exactly that - it evolved from our work without us really knowing it. Once we made the decision to throw our hat in the virtual instrument ring the rest was history.
Evolve has been very successful at its time, being one of the most used groove-based (cinematic) instruments, followed by the epic instruments Damage and Aeon, which both feature the basic idea & soul of Evolve. How was the idea behind these products born and who or what inspired and motivated you?
You strike a good point about the nature of Damage and Aeon containing the soul of Evolve. The success of Evolve convinced us to expand upon the hybrid type of sound that we focused on in it. We were also intent on creating more elaborate interfaces that would allow users to radically manipulate the sounds of the instruments. Rather than biting off more than we could chew in a single instrument, we decided to develop 2 separate instruments (Damage and Aeon) with interface controls to compliment the style of each instrument. Aeon and Damage were very much team efforts!
How does one start making sample(/patch)-libraries?
It all depends on how complex you want to make it. In general there are 3 things that need to happen to develop a virtual instrument/sample library: First, you must have a vision of what you want to create. Second, you need to capture the sounds needed to fulfill your vision. Finally, you need a way to present these sounds to users in an intuitive way. Each of these components of development are crucial to making a successful library. From the outside it might look easy, but we can tell you first-hand there is a great deal more that goes into completing a high quality virtual instrument than you can imagine. We always try to stick with our core mantra for each instrument we develop - At the root of a product, it needs to sound good and be intuitive.
How long does it take to produce a library?
This really depends on the type of library were making. The process can take anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. Its a huge spread and many factors determine the final production cycle. For instance, an instrument with multiple round-robin samples requires a longer source capturing and editing phase. Loop content and the complexity of the engine are also important elements that dramatically affect the production schedule.
Can you give us a little insight on the creative process of your company?
Since we are all composers/sound designers the seed of every project starts with us assessing the current marketplace and then injecting our vision of where we see music heading in the next 2-5 years. Much of our time is dedicated to pre-production and prototyping. A lot of the material in our instruments is inspired from work weve done on major film trailers or derivative versions of that material - which ensures that it is industry-relevant.
Lets talk about your latest virtual instrument, DM-307.
When the first trailer was released, I had to look twice to believe that it was a Heavyocity instrument! You are known for your epic and very cinematic sound-design, while DM-307 features an awesome range of sounds, instantly usable for any kind of music whats the story behind this great instrument?
DM-307 is definitely a bit of a departure from the hybrid cinematic side of what were known for delivering. Well never stray too far from the dramatic side of sound, but we wanted to do something different. We liken DM-307 as a relative to Damage in that it has serious attitude, yet its sounds and feature set are geared for more mainstream musical styles. In development, we wanted something that was part modern drum machine (the Grid which allowing people to build beats from the ground up) and part loop based player (with the Loop Mutator for quick inspiration and rhythmic bed building). This combination of workflow styles had never been introduced in a single instrument, and has since been met with overwhelming approval from DM-307 users.
Timestretching is playing a big role in many of todays VIs whats your opinion about it?
As timestretching (and compressing for that matter) generally pertains to looped material in virtual instruments, its impossible not to be a fan, simply from the workflow perspective. Being able to work at different tempos without slowing down the creative process by re-tuning loops to match the beat (the old days of loops!) is more of the norm than an exception these days. In addition, thinking about it from a more creative point of view, time stretching can create really unique timbre with otherwise conventional sound sources. For more percussive loops, we tend to lean more toward Beat slicing, rather than time stretching. The algorithms in time stretching are great, but there is still a bit left to be desired with transients and punch when a percussive sound is stretched.
How much does the evolution of technology affect the music industry?
It has changed just about every single aspect of the music industry, from how its created to how its consumed. Theres a bit of a dual edged sword about the way technology has accelerated; before DAWs and auto tune, musicians had to perform their parts in the way that the music was intended. On the other hand, composers today have the means to have a fairly convincing, full orchestra at their disposal, allowing the writer to perform all of the parts the way he/she intends. Technology has given people the opportunity to create music without bounds.
What was the most weirdest or funniest moment you have experienced on a project?
Funny moments most often occur during the recording sessions for our instruments. At a certain point, the long, tedious hours of capturing leads to unscripted outtakes. We have quite a few that are really hilarious, whether grunts or expletives after a bad take, or natural bodily noises that sometimes happen. Perhaps someday well release a free sample pack of these moments of comic relief that keep the our recording sessions a bit lighter and relaxed.
Music is changing every day - do you "go with the flow", or do you hold on to old values?
Our goal is always to provide our customers with the very best content possible at the time of release plus a few years time. Since our inception we have always had a keen grasp on the Heavyocity sound and try to stay true to it on each product all while pushing ourselves by listening to new music daily. This keeps our product line unique and forward-thinking.
We're working in an very competitive & multi-faceted industry - what would you say makes you stand out from your competitors?
Real-world application is what we believe sets Heavyocity apart. Since our instruments are all born from our need as composers/sound designers for new tools we can confidently say that what we release is of the highest quality and on the bleeding-edge. Of course, as creative people we are our worst critics and are obsessed with delivering only the very best with each release. We try to translate that love for our craft as clearly as possible and believe our customers experience it via inspiration through the instruments. Also, we actually use all of our instruments in our productions on a regularly basis.
Which of your products are you currently most proud of?
Not to sound silly, but we tend to think of our instruments as children, and are equally proud of all of them, but for different reasons. If hard pressed to pick a few standouts from the group, Evolve and Damage would get the nod - Evolve simply because it was the product that started it all for us. It established an aggressive, signature sound that seemed to integrate really well with many styles of music. With Damage we took our vision of high quality, epic percussion and drums to an entirely new level both in how we captured and manipulated the source material, and how we designed the feature-rich interface to new and exciting ways for users to individualize the sound of the instrument to their taste. It goes without saying that were very proud of our latest release, DM-307, for a few reasons. First, it was our most complex use of the Kontakt engine to date. We took full advantage of every feature Kontakt provides and then some. By the end of development Kontakt was bursting at the seams! We even went as far as introducing Multis from the biggest up-and-coming artists in the techno, tech house, and house genres of today. Second, we went to great lengths to prototype several production pipeline approaches for users. We wanted to provide multiple pathways to achieving great results for the various ways users write their music. Playable kits, sequenced patterns, mutatable loops, and fully-customizable artist multis all contributed to the end result. It really was a massive effort on all fronts and we are very proud of what we accomplished.
What are your plans for the future?
We have some really big things planned for the future. Music and technology is changing at such unprecedented rates and we want to be at the forefront of it all. Rest assured were just getting started! ;)
GREAT GROOVES DEMAND REAL DRUMMERS.
A great groove is the heartbeat of your song. From extreme metal, jazz and americana to blues, pop and rock the MIDI Line offers pro-played drum MIDI for any songwriting need. 40 different packs available now!
All MMPs are optimized for Toontrack EZdrummer and Superior Drummer, but can be used also with virtual drumsets of third party suppliers
Find details here
We want you to find out yourself that Eventide is offering high class plug-ins! So now you have the chance to download the EVENTIDE ULTRA CHANNEL for free through midnight July 8, 2014! After this promo period the Ultra Channel will be available for $ 249.-
UltraChannel is Eventide's new 64-bit native channel strip plug-in for AU, VST, and AAX64 for Mac and PC featuring micro pitch functionality from our flagship H8000, stereo delays with variable feedback paths, plus two stages of compression, gating, and five bands of parametric EQ.
Here is your download link: http://bit.ly/UltraChannel and this is your Access Code 0CB1AF6A
We are happy to announce the availability of the free update to Era Medieval Legends Version 1.1 offering many new features today:
Liquid Notes 1.5.3 includes mainly not too obvious changes that give you a more stable
environment to create outstanding music. We've included a number of improvements that make
working with Liquid Notes a much better experience for you:
There are more little bits and pieces that we corrected along the way. More updates are to follow soon.
Would you please introduce yourself and your work for Toontrack? (Tell us a little bit more about you and your work)
My name is Norman Garschke, I'm a member of the Toontrack team since 2009 and I'm working for Toontrack in Germany. As a territory manager for the three German speaking countries Germany, Switzerland and Austria I'm practically dealing with everything that needs to be done over here. All of this is of course mostly connected to the direct distribution of our products in these countries: so I'm responsible for product sales, the close contact and communication to dealers, managing and processing their orders, taking care of invoicing and shipment etc. Further I co-ordinate create the marketing for our products on the German market, handle support issues that reach me through our dealer network and teach/explain how to use our products in workshops/studios, trade shows etc.. Just like every other member of the Toontrack team I have a strong musical background: I studied Drums, Piano and Arranging at the Conservatories Hilversum and Amsterdam where I finished with a master in Jazz performance before I gradually started working more and more in various professional recording studios as an engineer, producer and songwriter. Everybody at Toontrack is a musician and most of us are still playing in various projects and bands. I think this fact is the perfect foundation for inventing and designing products that really meet the needs of musicians out there and it definitely is one main reason for the success of our products.
What is the story behind Toontrack?
The Toontrack success story actually starts back in the year 1999 in Umeå (north Sweden) with a group of friends that obviously shared the same passion for making and writing music a story just like in a good movie. By that time they had been working together on writing soundtracks for various PC games but actually could never find the drum sounds they were looking for their productions. So they simply started to think about the idea of creating them themselves and finally did that with some other good friends from Umeå who happened to be in a new Metal band called "Meshuggah". The original legendary DFH (Drumkit From Hell) was recorded, actually mainly for their own production needs and it didn't take long that this first-of-its-kind drum-library and Drum VI spread over the worldwide music community and from then on set the standard, inspiration and blueprint for all virtual drum samplers to follow. In 2006 that same group of songwriters turned their attention to changing the way people used software to write music when they created a drum software rebellion called EZdrummer. With this product they wanted to provide all of the complexity and detail captured by the recording process in a studio but streamlined down to the most efficient and effective workflow. And most importantly they wanted people to be able to make music and not to learn to use software. The idea behind the "EZ concept" (EZ = easy) is to provide musicians with very easy-to-use and efficient instruments and tools that let them realize great sounding results very quickly and without having to tweak too much so that one can stay close to the music so that one doesn't lose the initial inspiration. This idea is the conceptual foundation for all EZ product-lines such as EZkeys-Line, EZmix2-Line and of course the newly released EZdrummer 2.
The EZ-Lines (EZdrummer, EZ Keys & EZ Mix) have been very successful over the last years and used by musicians from all around the world. How did EZ come to life and do you have an idea what the secret behind the great success might be?
The "EZ idea" was born because we felt it being very important to create instruments and musical tools that could be used very intuitively and without a steep learning curve but at the same time would provide great sounds and professional sounding results. Songwriting and working on music in general is a very creative and inspirational process and we believe that it's very important to be able to realize the musical ideas quickly and without the barriers of having to tweak too many parameters or having to operate a complex computer program. We all know what happens when we have a great musical idea that we want to record and use as a basis for our song idea but simply get lost in all the endless possibilities of tweaking parameters and effect etc. - we usually not only lose our initial musical idea, we also lose our initial motivation to sit down and play some music. Getting great sounding results quickly is crucial to stay inspired and "in the music". This is the basic underlying approach of all our EZ products and at the same time the secret to their success: they are very easy-to-use, provide and/or come with great sounds recorded in some of the best studios in the world by highly awarded engineers and producers, they give the user extensive collections of professionally played MIDI in different genres and styles that can be used to create own song ideas and last but not least the user can always expand his arsenal of sounds and MIDI with many additional expansion packs.
When EZdrummer was announced back in 2006 everybody was very excited about a virtual drum plug-in recorded by GRAMMY-winning engineers in world-class studios all at a truly affordable price! How hard was it to convince engineers and musicians to participate in this project?
This actually wasn't difficult at all since especially Pat Thrall but also Neil Dorfsman (the two Grammy Award winning producers/engineers that recorded the original EZdrummer library together with Toontrack Head of Sounddesign and sound-wizard Mattias Eklund and Toontrack Head of Content department and mastermind Henrik Kjellberg) had already been very dedicated Superior Drummer users before and loved the sound quality and sonic possibilities of the original Superior Drummer. By that time Pat Thrall had been working a lot in the renowned Avatar Studios in New York (formerly known as The Power Station) which he called his creative and professional home. Neil and Pat introduced the highly in-demand studio drummer Nir Z to the team and also Nir immediately had been infected and completely dedicated to the idea behind EZdrummer. Since the overwhelming success of EZdrummer since its release in 2006 it's become very easy to get engineers/producers excited to collaborate for new EZX or SDX recordings since all these great artists of their craft are most of the times EZdrummer users themselves and are more than looking forward to participating in another special Toontrack recording.
EZdrummer 2 is your new baby, bringing exciting new features and big time-savers to the user how much feedback and ideas from artists & users made it into EZdrummer 2?
Well, in the very first process of gathering ideas for EZdrummer 2 there had been an overwhelming wealth of ideas on the table. Since we're all musicians and songwriters ourselves at Toontrack, our own wishlist of features had been extremely long and the features themselves had also been quite complex. But of course we had to remind ourselves very soon in that process that this product should still be "EZdrummer 2" with all the already mentioned benefits and characteristics of an EZ product. So we finally reduced the feature set down to the very core idea of the already explained EZ songwriting concept - easy-to-use, fast and great sounding results, intuitive and self-explaining workflow, no distraction from the original musical idea. Through the last 8 years we had gathered and collected many requests of our EZdrummer users and also this wishlist had been very long with a lot of very far going suggestions. In the end many of the user requests have made it into the final EZdrummer 2 product, actually all that met the EZ criteria. Mixing and matching instruments from different installed EZX libraries, better and quicker search functionality and the ability to easily add a crash on the one of a groove are just a few examples of those user requests. But also the ideas for the Song Creator, Edit Play Style and the use of effects had been inspired by many ideas from our users and artists that used EZdrummer on an everyday basis for their songwriting. We are very open for all feedback we can get from our users and always try to incorporate as much of their suggested functionality in our products if they fit our conceptual design of an instrument or tool.
What was the weirdest or funniest moment you experienced working on a project?
Oh, in the long development process of such an important product you experience a lot of weird or funny moments. It's hard to pick one, but a moment that blew us all away and that we never would have expected like this was when we first heard the sound of EZdrummer 2 in the British Grove Studios in London again in direct comparison with the original drums that were used for the recording some years ago. We did this comparison during an exclusive press-event where we introduced EZdrummer 2 and Chuck Ainlay who had recorded the EZdrummer 2 libraries in that studios had reconstructed the original recording sessions from his recall sheets and photos of microphone placements etc. Everything was set up exactly the way it was when we recorded the libraries, the console, the outboard, the mics in the room, the same drums, same cymbals, and the same drummer. Then the idea was to have a blindfold A/B test for the press people so that they could guess what signal the original drummer was playing live in the recording room and what was EZdrummer 2 playing. The funny thing was that it was so extremely close that actually neither the press nor we could tell for sure by then we definitely knew that we had a winner ;-).
Music is changing every day do you adopt new trends or stick to your trade?
That's a true fact and we watch the most recent developments very closely, again mostly because we're also musicians and songwriters ourselves and are so to speak part of the changes as users and consumers. I would say that we don't just blindly jump on every development that occurs but we definitely pay very close attention to everything that we think will be important to consider and create our own adoptions and solutions. We definitely have a mid-term or long-term strategy and idea of where we would like to see our products and instruments develop and we stick to these ideas as much as we can, the EZ concept of some product-lines is again a very good example for this. But at the same time we try to always be very open for new interesting and exciting influences and let ourselves get influenced when we think it helps us in creating even better solutions and tools for our customers.
How much does the evolution of technology affect the music industry?
I think it's more than plain to see that it does affect the music industry a lot. If we just take a look at how children and young adults consume their music today, if we look at the development of mp3 as a format in general, if we look at the impact of social media such as Facebook, Youtube, Spotify etc. then the effect of the evolution of technology is more than obvious. And the same principle goes true for music production as well of course. The digital revolution with all its great possibilities of music production in a virtual and computer-based environment has shaped and changed every single process in the writing, recording, producing, mixing, mastering and publishing of music. But at the same time, and this may sound like a paradox, the very fundamental basic principles of creating music haven't changed that much at all. Still you need to have a great musical idea to write a song, you still need a certain musical sensitivity and sonic confidence to know "where you want to go" and how your song idea should sound. You still need some very basic musical skills and most importantly a creative inspiration to create something from nothing even more with all those endless possibilities of the virtual production environment at hand. This is where we see the need for the products of our EZ product-lines, giving the musician instruments and tools that support him in this exciting task.
Since 1983, MIDI is still one of the most important ingredients to music production. What is your opinion about MIDI being the never-dying dinosaur in music production?
MIDI was, still is and will be the unrivaled standard for the communication between various digital/virtual instruments and devices in a studio environment, at least as far as we know now. Although we see some interesting and exciting developments when we look at transmitting MIDI data via IP-networks or especially the mLan standard, MIDI as such will definitely still play a prominent role as a standard protocol for quite a few years.
Which of your products are you currently most proud of?
Of course our just released brand-new EZdrummer 2, this definitely is our "baby" and we're very proud of it and what we've achieved here to create a product for our users that makes writing songs and producing professional drumtracks so much easier, even compared to the already very easy-to-use original EZdrummer. But also our multi-effect mixing tool EZmix 2 and its many different expansion packs is a product we're very proud of because we think it's a perfect combination of exceptional great sounds and a more than self explanatory ease-of-use a true EZ product-line!
What are your plans for the future?
Oh, we have so many ideas for the future; it would be not hard at all to present a list that fills many pages ;-). But to be honest we're still a fairly small team of about 22 people working mostly in our office in Sweden but also in the US, UK and Germany, so actually the team's resources pretty much determine which product ideas we will pick up next. Of course, now that EZdrummer 2 is released everybody is expecting a new version of Superior Drummer as well soon and we're definitely working in that direction. But we also will continuously work on, develop and expand our other EZ product-lines with new instruments and innovative ideas. We feel that we're just beginning to explore all the possible ideas we have with the EZ products and there's so much we want to realize to make the process of writing and producing music even much more intuitive and easy for our users. We all feel very grateful, privileged and humbled to have the chance to do that because this is what we love to do!
Thank your for this interview!
Film & Game Composer
Eduardo Tarilonte also won an award this year for Sample developer of the year and Id like to add my voice to the choir (pun intended!). Eduardos dedication to his libraries shows, or rather hears. He also gets the settings and hard work out of the way, the workflow is very smooth. Im very interested in what he will make after this and I wish him the best of luck.
If you ever need to write something remotely connected to Gregorian monks chanting youd be a fool not to try Cantus Gregorian Chants. Its fast to work with, has a very impressive legato engine, a really usable wordbuilder and sounds freakin awesome! Now Im going back to the Mausoleum of Vigeland, chanting, humming, mmmming
Thomas Mavian gave it 89/100 with the roundup: If you ever need to write something remotely connected to gregorian monks chanting youd be a fool not to try Cantus - Gregorian Chants.
A very inspiring library that can put your arrangement onto a whole new level.
Im sure that Eduardo will bring us some more vocal libraries in the future, so be prepared to leave your safe instrumental field, adding some new colors to your composition. In a previous issue I already represented you Shevannai: The Voice of Elves. In combination with Altus and Cantus, you already have almost everything that you need for spicing your cinematic, ambient or even electro songs. Almost, because Tarilonte never sleeps, so beware.
No matter what you can do, or what you cant, all Tarilontes voice libraries sound very authentic. So, if you spend some additional time combining various articulations, tweaking some controllers, you get a real vocal line, a vocal line which is a bit limited by the number of different voices, but still no one should recognize that those limited number of syllables or words come from a sample library.
After all, it sounds as real as a real vocalist can sound (thats the trademark for all Tarilontes libraries).
Cantus und Altus bieten eine Vielzahl an Möglichkeiten für natürliche, mittelalterliche Gesänge. Neben den umfassenden Funktionen des Worldbuilders zur Erstellung eigener Verse können viele fertige Phrasen sofort verwendet werden.
Die Bedienoberfläche ist übersichtlich, die Arbeit geht schnell von der Hand und macht Spaß. Garant dafür ist nicht nur die intelligente Sample Architektur, sondern die stilprägenden, in hervorragender Audioqualität aufgenommenen Akteure, deren Gesang den Hörer sofort in die jeweilige Epoche versetzt. Filmmusik-Komponisten profitieren zusätzlich von den Klanglandschaften mit mischbaren Ebenen. Lediglich der kompromisslos authentische und daher begrenzte Tonumfang der Akteure stellt eine gewisse Einschränkung dar. Die Preise sind angemessen.
Fazit - Auszug
..........dass diese Library in ihrer Gattung einzigartig ist, so dass es (außer mit einem echten Sänger) wohl keine andere Möglichkeit gibt, einen Countertenor in dieser Form mit einem Keyboard spielen zu können. Wer auf genau diesen Klang steht und bereit ist, sich eingehend mit dem Instrument zu beschäftigen, der wird mit einem Gesangssound belohnt, den man so wohl in keiner anderen Library findet.
Vienna Symphonic Library and Hollywood Music Workshop invites all interested film and electronic media composers to participate in their first joint international film music competition!
Participants are invited to compose a suite, inspired by certain scenes from the movies The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or The Wolfman. A jury of renowned Hollywood composers including Christopher Young, as well as industry pros such as Dennis Sands (Film Music Recording/Mixing/Re-Recording Mixer & Producer, four-time Oscar nominee), Paul Broucek (President, Music, Warner Bros. Pictures), Dimitrie Leivici (Hollywood Music Workshop) and Herb Tucmandl (Vienna Symphonic Library) will determine the best scores. Awards include a $10,000 cash prize for the winner, plus additional prizes in the form of Vienna Symphonic Library products worth $4,000, as well as a scholarship for a future Hollywood Music Workshop. The ten best submissions in addition to the top three entries will be presented at the HMW and VSL websites on October 15, 2014 and will be announced by cooperating media partners.
The competition is open to all international composers regardless of age. The suite with a length of approximately five minutes must be composed and orchestrated primarily for symphonic instruments. These instruments are required to be played or programmed using Vienna Symphonic Library products (e.g., Vienna Instruments Collections, Vienna Special Editions, Single Instruments). The term symphonic does not give any indication of the size of the ensemble; compositions for solo instruments, chamber ensembles and large symphonic orchestras including choir and more will all be accepted. Supplemental material from non-VSL sound sources such as synthesizers, guitars, vocals, drums, percussion loops, ethnic instruments, sound effects and any other non-orchestral sounds may be used in their function to support the work as long as they dont dominate the orchestral arrangement of the suite. The works must be submitted as .mp3 files along with the project files of the sequencer or notation program that was used to create the recording (e.g., Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Finale, Sibelius, etc.). No live orchestral recordings may be used. The compositions have to be original works. The entry fee is $30 per submission. A contestant may submit more than one entry.
Dates and Deadlines
All rules and regulations may be found a http://www.hmw-viennascoringcompetition.com
Ueberschall announces a new update for the free sample & loop player Elastik. New features include AAX support for OS X and Windows in 32 & 64 bit native mode, a new vintage pitch mode, multiple outs and the Random-Replacement-Filter.
Elastik 2.5 is available as free download here:
The AAX format allows Elastik 2.5 to be used in the new Pro Tools 11. Elastik supports AAX in OS X and Windows in both 32 and 64 bit mode.
The Pitch-Speed mode allows editing of loops as in the pioneering days of sampling. In this mode the pitch of the material changes parallel to the tempo. This spares the transients and keeps the groove, perfect for percussion and drum loops. Especially interesting when looking for ultra deep sounds.
Multiple Outs (16 x stereo)
It will be possible in version 2.5 to route each loop to its own output. This allows individual loops to be treated with external effects or to be mixed differently.
Elastik 2.5 improves the Random-Replacement feature. The soundbanks from which new random samples are loaded can be determined using a filter. This can be used to only pick samples from libraries of the same genre or series. A feature that is particularly useful for users of the Inspire Series.
When previewing Samples in the browser you can now match the volume to your project.
In addition to the features mentioned above there are also some minor bug fixes:
- new activation logic: the status of your network card does not change the status of your soundbank anymore.
- sample filter bug: the browser now correctly differentiates between construction kit parts and the key of a sample.
- loading activation file: the activation file can now be loaded with the add button.
- less CPU usage: system optimized for all hosts
Elastik 2 features:
+ innovative loopeye functions
+ fast browser features (multiple filter search, tagging)
+ prelisten in sync
+ sequence mode (edititing features per slice
+ random sound replacement
+ parameter automation
+ realtime sync to host
+ multiple outs
+ bounce of original and modified loops
+ resizeable window format
+ multiple soundbank management
+ timestretch and pitchshift in best quality
Excerpt: The Voice
As I was impressed with Cantus, I was more surprised here when I heard Altus for the first time. I couldnt wrap my head around its voice. I dont mean that in a bad way but more of how different it sounds from any other library I heard. Never the less, Altus sounds great and most importantly it sounds authentic. If you ever bought any of the Tarilonte`s libraries you know that this developer will go an extra mile to bring the true authenticity to your doorstep.
Altus is a great sounding and very high quality library and although it may not be everybodys cup of tea (due to the nature of the voice) it is worth giving it a try. It is light on the CPU and it has a simple but great graphic interface. You do not even need a full version of Kontakt to run it as it works with Kontakt player as well.
Last year, the Vienna team released the MIRx Convolution Reverb Extensions, providing an easy and affordable way to experience the power of their innovative Vienna MIR PRO mixing solution directly in Vienna Instruments PRO.
Now, theyve gone one step further and updated the free Vienna Instruments player to run the MIRx Extensions as well!
To mark the occasion, weve created this special offer only in April 2014!
The MIRx Reverb Mixing Extensions integrate the stunning acoustics of splendid concert halls and sound stages directly into the Vienna Instruments and Vienna Instruments PRO players. Based on Viennas revolutionary MIR (Multi Impulse Response) convolution technology, MIRx provides the same sonic quality as their highly acclaimed Vienna MIR PRO and its RoomPacks.
Each MIRx venue comes with hundreds of instrument profiles and placements that guarantee a perfectly balanced orchestral sound every time. You may choose your venue from three MIRx Reverb Mixing Extensions:
You asked for it and we did it! We updated our Audio Player to suit your expectations even better.
We are looking forward to your feedback!
MICHAEL CRETU, One of the worlds famous composers and producers, number one in 24 countries with his ENIGMA project, 17 platinum, 25 gold records and more than 100 million sold records about Cantus:
"For me Cantus is the best Plug-In for Gregorian Choirs ever. The recording quality is superb! I certainly will use Cantus in one of my future productions."
I am speechless...Michael Cretu has been, and still is, an amazing inspiration for a lot of us. I grew up dreaming of his music, and of course, Cantus, in some way is a tribute to Enigma.
Price/Value: Cantus will set you back for around 200 Euros and frankly this isnt that much when you consider the value you are getting. Perhaps I forgot to mention that Cantus will work with the free version of Kontakt (Kontakt player) and that for the same price you can get either boxed or download version of the library.
Conclusion:Cantus offers a lot of enjoyment and for the price it brings true Gregorian monks to your studio. The sound is amazing and there are a couple of flaws but all in all this a magnificent library.
The whole library offers a great number of controllers, for my taste even too many, but if you take some extra time, you could easily get some realistic results. Just dont try to overdo it. Poetic Guitar II has its drawbacks, but at the same time it offers a few such almost unmissable additions to your arrangement that it is worth every penny you pay for it, especially if you are not a guitar player. So far, no matter how much I complained at the beginning, it is one of the best libraries for arpeggiated guitar intros or backgrounds, and the same for strumming chords, that can be heard in many choruses in numerous Top-40 songs.
Mit Poetic Guitars 2 bringt der deutsche Sample Spezialist Best Service eine Neuauflage des ersten poetischen virtuellen Gitarristen auf den Markt. Die Weiterentwicklung hat sich auf alle Fälle gelohnt und ist für registrierte Besitzer von PG 1 sogar kostenlos. Insgesamt drei unterschiedliche Gitarren hat man nach Kauf von PG 2 unter seinen Fingern liegen und dank der sehr detaillierten Programmiermöglichkeit klingt PG 2 erstaunlich gut. Egal ob vorgefertigte Strummings, selbst kreierte Rhythmen oder solistische Einlagen, PG 2 beherrscht das alles nach entsprechender Programmierung mit sehr großer Authentizität. Für alle Nicht-Gitarristen eine sehr gute Möglichkeit, Gitarren in bestehende oder neue Produktionen mit einzubauen. Der Preis von 149,- Euro geht dabei vollkommen in Ordnung.
So, if you are in the music business, making cinematic music in search of some old-fashion memorable melodies, then this is definitely the right thing for you. You cant get better virtual chromatic harmonica than this library. If you want to hear dirty licks, then you should hire a real player, but for everything else, you will get your boxed player for the price of an average virtual synth. You cant miss with Chris Heins libraries; the only question is: Do you need a chromatic harmonica? If you do, then this is the real solution. Ive tried to play a real one, after all a good friend of mine is one of the most cherished harmonica players in Slovenia, but I would rather stick with this one. So dont stare too much in all those controllers, buttons and menus; they are there just to frighten you. It is much easier to get solid results than it looks. Just put your hands on the keyboard and blow.
...Chris has given us an instrument that is simply a joy to play. ...
...I have never found a sample library that even scratched the surface of what a chromatic harmonica is capable of in the hands of a great player, like LAs treasured musician, Tommy Morgan. Until now!...
This is one of those rare examples of a library that really has no competition and that many of us have wanted for a long time. If you do not play chromatic harmonica and you do not live in LA, or you do but cannot afford Tommy Morgan, then this is a library for you.