EastWest have announced a major expansion to their critically acclaimed Hollywood Orchestra virtual instrument series. The new Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition adds more instruments to the string, brass and woodwind sections, and packages both the original and new sounds into EastWest's new Opus user interface.
So, in addition to the 16 violins of the original Hollywood Orchestra, the Opus Edition adds a new 18-violin section, recorded using different players and instruments, and featuring what EastWest say is the best legato they've ever recorded. The brass section has two new tenor trombones and two new trumpets, and the woodwinds add recordings of three new bassoons, clarinets and flutes.
The new Opus playback engine, meanwhile, lets you customise keyswitches for all the instruments, and also boasts a new Moods feature. This lets you choose from one of three tonalities: Classic, Soft and Epic, which adjusts the entire orchestra's sound for either a natural, subdued or strident presentation. Effects have been added to the mixer, instruments now apparently load faster, and it's also now possible to download instruments individually, so you won't have to wait for the entire library to download before you can get stuck in. The UI has also been improved over the original, and is now faster-loading and fully resizeable. What's more, these improvements apply across the Hollywood Orchestra range, so even those still using earlier libraries will benefit.
Finally, EW have also announced a new tool called Hollywood Orchestrator. This apparently works rather like the WordBuilder does in Hollywood Choirs: it creates orchestral arrangements in real time, based on what you're playing with your MIDI controller. You can build your own rhythmic patterns (up to four bars long) using a step editor, and it comes with over 400 presets to get you started, categorised by style and mood.
Both the new Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition, and the Opus playback engine, are due to become available “soon”, either as one-time purchases or as part of EastWest's Composer Cloud subscription. Sign up on the EastWest website here to be notified of its release.