Kirk Hunter, a leading U.S. developer of orchestral sample libraries, has announced the release of his new Concert Strings/Brass/Winds, the first ever orchestral library created for the GigaStudio 2.54 format with musicians recorded in their onstage seated positions with both close and far microphone placement.
On completion, Strings/Brass/Winds is projected at 180GB in size, with a list price for the entire library of $995 US, representing a significant value versus comparable sized libraries retailing up to 600% higher. Hunter said that he was able to offer such value pricing because of his decision to sell direct from his web site, bypassing the traditional distributor/retailer route. “If I went through an outside distributor I would easily have to double the cost, but I wanted to give Lexus quality at a Hyundai price,” explained Hunter.
Load ‘n Play
After interviewing dozens of composers, Hunter found that the three chief complaints about large libraries, sectional or full orchestral, were ease of use, naming conventions, and the lack of direction of where to start first.
For ease of use, Strings/Brass/Winds is programmed so that the composer can work by choosing from easy-to-read .gig files arranged by vibrato intensity, non-sustained or combinations and effects. Generally, there are three levels of vibrato; “Heavy”, which has the most dramatic and passionate sound, “Lite”, which has a very useful warm tone, and “No Vib”, for use in passages where a mysterious or austere sound is desired. The composer can easily choose instruments that either have velocity controlling volume with after touch controlling vibrato, or mod wheel controlling volume with after touch controlling vibrato. Also, single-layer Gig instruments are contained in each file, quickly enabling the songwriter/composer to create custom templates, literally in a few minutes. Program names explain themselves at a glance. For even faster starting, sectional templates are included. “It’s truly load and play,” Hunter explained.
All sections are set up for completeness without having to buy separate libraries. Concert Strings comes with a full string section, chamber strings and solo strings. All sections are recorded un-muted and muted with close and far microphone placement. Concert Brass comes with solo brass, sectional brass and muted brass recorded un-muted and muted with close and far microphone placement. Concert Winds comes with solo instruments and woodwind ensembles.
Composer interviews revealed a desire for orchestral samples to carry some ambiance, but not enough to lock the composer into the sound of a specific hall. Thus, Strings/Brass/Winds has a touch of ambiance within the sample, allowing outside reverb to be used for blending and sound shaping.
Concert Strings Ships Late-August 2004
The 60GB-sized Concert Strings ships with full Sections: 24 Violins, First and Second Violins (10 each), 16 Violas, 12 Cellos and 6 Basses; Chamber Strings: First and Second Violins (10 each), 8 Violas, 6 Cellos and 3 Basses; Solo Strings: solo violin, viola, cello and bass. Suggested list price is $499, but can be advanced ordered for a limited time for $399 at http://www.kirkhunter.com/libraries/strings.shtml.