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Sonuscore The Orchestra Complete & Strings Of Winter

Sample Libraries
By Nick Magnus

The sound palette available to TOC's Engine is now expanded with the Strings Of Winter content, along with the Timpani and Tubular Bells.The sound palette available to TOC's Engine is now expanded with the Strings Of Winter content, along with the Timpani and Tubular Bells.

Sonuscore bundle an awful lot of orchestra into a very modest amount of disk space to deliver immense scoring power.

The original version of Sonuscore's The Orchestra (henceforth referred to as TO) is a self-contained Kontakt package incorporating all the orchestral sections in a surprisingly compact 6GB footprint; it was reviewed in SOS December 2017. Despite its relatively small size, the instruments of each section come with a selection of the most essential articulations commonly needed in performance. It notably shies away from the typical silky Hollywood sound, having a raw edge that might divide opinion, but which I personally feel adds to its usefulness and charm.

The three arpeggiators boast an impressive spec, with customisable patterns generating either whole chords or any of 12 motion shapes, with swing, octave range, transpose and the ability to restrict the pattern to act on specific groups of notes in a  chord.The three arpeggiators boast an impressive spec, with customisable patterns generating either whole chords or any of 12 motion shapes, with swing, octave range, transpose and the ability to restrict the pattern to act on specific groups of notes in a chord.As I said in my original review, the instruments' individual articulations also serve a greater purpose — the ingeniously scripted 'Engine', which offers an intriguing alternative to phrase-based sample libraries. Rather than using fixed, pre-recorded phrases, the Engine combines three customisable arpeggiators and two dynamic hand-drawn loopable envelopes, assignable to up to five layers, each containing one articulation from any of TO's instrument sections. Evolving textures and complex, inspirational rhythmic accompaniments can be created, all conforming to what you play on the keyboard, with overall dynamics controlled by the mod wheel. For a full, in-depth description, the 2017 review is worth a read as it's fully relevant to The Orchestra Complete.

Baby It's Cold Outside

Strings Of Winter (henceforth SOW) is a 4.4GB separate product released simultaneously with The Orchestra Complete (henceforth TOC). Its concept is identical to TO, employing the same system of individual instrument patches, together with a 'Strings Of Winter' NKI instrument that hosts the same Engine as TO. As the name suggests, SOW is dedicated to string sounds, and in contrast to the full-bodied tone of TO, the sound here ventures into colder, more brittle tonalities, and introduces 60 new articulations.

In the Strings folder are five sub-folders for Violins 1, Violins 2, Violas, Celli and Basses; all five of these have matching sets of articulations. Icy wastelands and suspense are the main themes, with Sustain, Tremolo and Spiccato all played sul ponticello (on the bridge). The Sustains are appropriately played with no vibrato...

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UK/EU/World edition: December 2017

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Published September 2019