Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars
Heavyocity now have a series of libraries that make use of their Gravity engine and the subject of this review — Scoring Acoustic Guitars — is numbered Gravity Pack 07. Like Scoring Bass (reviewed in SOS September 2019 issue), this latest release makes a particular instrument type and, via some interesting sound design, transforms it into a range of new sounds created with media composers very much in mind. In this case, and unlike the two existing guitar‑based Scoring Guitars titles, this pack is based upon sounds from a combination of nylon strung and steel strung acoustic guitars (with a dollop of synth available in some of the layered pad presets) and, sonically, is in a beautifully mellow place.
Built from approximately 2.8GB of sample content, the presets for Scoring Acoustic Guitars fall into three broad groups, each employing a somewhat different version of the Gravity front‑end within Kontakt. These share the bulk of the controls, but each has unique elements and a different layout of performance and keymapping notes within the MIDI keyboard. However, despite the relatively modest price, the Gravity interface packs an impressive level of tweakability allowing considerable mileage out of the underlying sounds.
In terms of the presets themselves, there are some excellent playable ‘complex’ pad instruments that layer steel and nylon guitar samples with a synth layer to create some beautiful textures. For occasions where less is more, you also get a whole series of simpler — but still excellent — ‘pad elements’ sounds. It’s not all pads though as there are a number of preset groups with rhythmic elements, from simple strumming patterns with major and minor chords mapped across the keyboard, atmospheric rhythmic pulses built from single notes played in various styles and with pitch controlled by keymapping, and through to beautiful melodic pulses and phrases. There is also a selection of more obviously sound designed, and very cinematic, guitar scapes. Add in various revered sample options, and the fact that Gravity offers a powerful effects engine and ‘motion’ engine with its own preset system, and this is an impressive package.
As with the other titles in the Gravity Pack series, Scoring Acoustic Guitars is most likely to appeal to media composers or more experimental musicians. The quality of the sounds is most certainly big budget, but the price of access is not. As a result, Scoring Acoustic Guitars ought to find a ready audience. Excellent stuff and, providing you are willing to make the most of what Gravity has to offer, very good value for money.