Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars
SOS reviewers have looked at a number of sample libraries produced by Eduardo Tarilonte over recent years and always been impressed. In the main, these libraries are aimed firmly at media composers but Eduardo's latest library, NADA, is something a little different. Perhaps the easiest way to describe NADA is as a sonic toolkit for the creation of New Age and meditation music and this is, apparently, where Eduardo's own musical passion lies.
NADA ships with over 14GB of sample content and uses Best Service's own Engine 2 front-end. The latter can run stand-alone or in all the common plug-in formats. The sounds themselves are divided into three broad groupings — Instruments, Meditation Pads and Voices — with sub-groups for easy navigation below each of these. The NADA user interface offers a streamlined control set with a very straightforward MIDI Learn system, so it is very easy to link the key sound control options to your MIDI hardware.
The extensive collection of Meditation pads are split into 16 mood-based sub-groups. With sub-group names such as Deep Peace, Gentle Darkness or Stillness, you can take a sense of what's provided. They can provide some beautiful atmospheres over which the melodic and percussive sounds can be layered.
The Instruments section provides strings, winds, percussion and pianos. There are some conventional sounds here but, in the majority of cases, these are either more exotic choices or are layered sounds designed to evoke a more abstract mood suitable for soothing and reflective atmospheres. For example, the Wind section has a beautiful Duduk instrument, but this is gently layered with a 'dream pad' sound; it's a beautiful combination and typical of the overall approach used and, for example, many of the very atmospheric piano sounds follow a similar route. The Percussion section includes an excellent collection of both pitched and unpitched options going from massive gongs, through various glasses and to Tibetan finger bells.
This has undoubtedly been a labour of love for Eduardo Tarilonte, and the passion shines throughout.
The Voices section is divided into Real and Synth groups. The Real groups include options for female phrases (major and minor), legato (great for solo vocalisation), 'ohm' (for some atmospheric soft chords) and overtone singing. The latter are very characterful, and you can control the harmonic overtones via the mod wheel. There are various flavours of 'synth' voices and these are brilliant for creating a vocal wash.
While NADA might not be a toolkit that every composer feels compelled to have within their virtual instrument arsenal, as a sonic palette for the creation of New Age or mediation music, it is both a joy to explore and can be completely self-contained. This has undoubtedly been a labour of love for Eduardo Tarilonte, and the passion shines throughout. It might be niche, but it is absolutely top-quality niche.