Fritz Lang’s Metropolis inspires a third epic sample collection, while Berlin Orchestra Inspire provides a full symphony orchestra in a single package.
Fritz Lang casts a long shadow. The revolutionary German film maker wowed audiences in the 1920s with his cinematic masterpiece Metropolis, which still captures the imagination 90 years on. In 2015 its imagery and monumental sweep provided the inspiration for Orchestral Tools’ Metropolis Ark 1 collection; a year later, the Berlin-based company unleashed the sequel Metropolis Ark 2: Orchestra Of The Deep, a completely new symphonic sample set augmented by harps, choirs, keyboards and percussion.
Epics tend to spawn trilogies, and sure as night follows day, the series has now sprouted a third instalment in the shape of Metropolis Ark 3: The Beating Orchestra.
What, you ask, is a beating orchestra? The makers explain: “Metropolis Ark 3 combines an enormous, rhythmically driven orchestra with the loudest and beefiest percussion instruments we have ever recorded.” Fair enough. And the ‘Ark’ bit? According to OT’s founder Hendrik Schwarzer, “The ‘Ark’ part symbolises a kind of vessel in which the spirit and atmosphere of the 1927 movie is preserved in a modern interpretation, in the form of a sample collection.” I’m still scratching my head over that one, but if you’re in the ark-building game, it seems prudent to knock up a spare in case the first two sink.
Metropolis Ark 3 (MA3 for short) follows the same broad concept as its predecessors but, as intimated, its large string, brass and woodwind sections are rivalled by a massive percussion contingent which includes taiko drums, timpani, low drums, orchestral bass drums, snares, toms and cymbals. A string quintet and grand piano are thrown in for good measure. The whole shebang was recorded at the Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin using the same mic setups...
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