Whether you are a media composer or simply a music producer who likes to integrate world and ethnic flavours into your musical mix, Sample Logic’s Bohemian might well be of interest. The library is built from a large collection of ‘street’ and ethnic instruments, all recorded in the impressive Skywalker Sound facility and crafted into a diverse, 9GB virtual instrument collection for Kontakt 5.4.3 (either the full version or the free Player).
Source instruments include various bells, Hang drums, harmonic tubes, bowed cymbals, kalimba and didgeridoo amongst others and, while that might well suggest Bohemian is simply another collection of (albeit it very well-recorded/multi-sampled) virtual ethnic instruments, this description by no means does the library justice. Yes, you get a very impressive collection of playable instruments but, given Bohemian’s powerful front-end, and the impressive sample manipulation options that it provides, this library is considerably more than that in a very hi-tech and cutting edge sort of a way.
In a review of this length, it is perhaps not possible to give a full flavour of what’s available, but Bohemian’s features include an additive synth engine (and many of the included patches blend sample-based and synth-based sounds to create some truly unique timbres), a powerful collection of effects including filter, lo-fi, distortion, delay, reverb, EQ and compression and, just to make ‘ethnic’ as rhythmically and EDM-friendly as it can be, a very powerful and sophisticated Step Animator section. This is pretty deep — and there is most certainly a learning curve required to fully appreciate what’s on offer — but it is also pretty wonderful. And, as it allows you to build patterns/arpeggios with the instrument sounds, and also program changes in both sounds and effects as part of those step-based ‘animations’, the creative possibilities are pretty impressive.
Even browsing through the extensive preset instrument collection takes some time. These are organised into a tiered structure with atmospheres, instrumentals and percussives at the top level and categories such as ambience, stingers, arpeggiated, metallic, synths, traditional, winds, impacts, loops and transitions beneath these. There are also some excellent multi patches that get you an instant collection of sounds together — just start composing. If you want ‘straight’ ethnic instruments then you can find them but, equally, if you want to hear those traditional instruments morphed into something altogether more cutting edge, well, Bohemian does that with real style.
The Kontakt front-end is hugely impressive and it is a big part of what Bohemian is about. However, all these hi-tech tricks would only be so much fluff if the underlying sounds were not quite so good in the first place. And they are very good indeed. Yes, Bohemian does come at a bit of a price but, provided you buy into it prepared to get to grips with that powerful front-end, this is a sound library/virtual instrument/sound design tool that lots of professional media composers are going to love. Top-notch stuff; expect to hear Bohemian in film and TV scores near you soon.