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Introducing: Sonespheres 01 - Distance

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Introducing: Sonespheres 01 - Distance


In 2016, Mike Peaslee (of Soundiron) and I discussed the possibility of working on a nuanced sound design library that would capture the sort of textural layering I record in my music.

From those discussions, the idea grew for this first volume in the Sonespheres series.

I'm proud to announce that, Distance, is available now from Soundiron.com.

Sonespheres 01 - Distance is a handcrafted collection of bespoke sound designed instruments derived from Soundiron's vast catalogue and my own sample recordings for this project. The material covered ranges from solo effected instruments to warm, beautiful pads and more.

All in, there is more than 1GB of content and some 305 long-looping 24/48 wav files, scripted for Kontakt (full version, 5.5.2+), but can also be dropped right into your DAW project since they are open format. 

DEMO MUSIC: "TRUTH"

My hope is that you as musicians will use these sounds as the hazy, ethereal, ambiguous base, on which to bring into sharp focus your own artistic visions - Be it in support or your stories, or those of the others with whom you work.

In Distance, I’ve tried to be thorough without being repetitive - to offer sounds that might work in a range of production styles and musical sensibilities. From longing solo instruments and heartbreaking pads to tense bowed textures and forward-leaning rhythms, I truly hope there’s something here for everyone.

DEMO VIDEOS:

Thank you to the Soundiron team for their technological wizardry, wonderful catalog and their ability to maintain humanity in what could easily become a robotic effort. The massive task they undertake with each release makes me feel incredibly lucky and appreciative to be living as a composer in this era. A special thank you to Mike Peaslee for reaching out to me after hearing my work and asking me to assist in the vision of this project. His guidance on library development and his shepherding me with patience, openness and an appreciation for the art of music is the only way any of this was possible.

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logic x - a modular template approach

For a while now, I've kind of struggled with the idea of DAW templates.

I understand the draw of it; the ability to load everything at once and then pick an instrumental color on the fly as you're working.

But, I hate clutter. And, I don't always want to wait for huge templates to load when inspiration (or a deadline) hits.

So what are the other options?

What I've usually done to date, is start with a blank slate, and I then add my instruments as needed.

Obviously this type of workflow requires at least some semblance of foresight or musical need, as you are sort of making-it-up-as-you-go. The advantage to this approach is that you have your basic set of instrumental colors established and in place for subsequent cues/songs/etc for a given project. This can help keep within a nice set of aural boundaries when working on a linear project that could otherwise sway towards disparate elements, even if accidentally.

So here's an idea using Logic X User Patches.

This is an approach to creating a template in Logic X that can be as complex or simplistic as you need/desire. I'm sure I am not the first to think of this or to implement this type of system, but in the event anyone reading this has struggled with the concepts or process of "templating"...

I hope this helps.

First, select a new instrument. Check the multi-timbral box as to use one instance of Kontakt to load up to  16 patches.

As above, make sure to select Multi-timbral - 1 part and 1 track.

Next, instantiate an instance of the Multi Output Kontakt plugin.

After adding Kontakt, look in the mixer. You should now have a little "+" button on your newly creating multi-timbral instrument track.

As seen with additional plus-iness.

Click the "+" button on the mixer channel strip shown above and create 15 Aux channels. Then, select all of those tracks you've just created and right click, then select Create Track.

You should now have a track available for each of the 16 Kontakt patch slots like below:

Here, you can see the tracks we've created for the 16 Kontakt patches we will now add.

Alright, now add the Kontakt patches you want in this particular instrument. In this example, I'm creating this Kontakt instance as my default Albion 1 Synth Pads.

Here you can see the 16 patches I've loaded for this particular Kontakt instance.

In order to send the audio from each Kontakt patch to the appropriate Logic channel, on each Kontakt patch, select subsequent output pairs as below.

Notice how each patch is routed to sequential stereo pairs.

Next, in the Output menu of Kontakt, select the first option to "Clear output selection and create one individual channel..." (you can go back and select the second option afterward if you want the output names to match the patch names).

Changing Kontakt patch outputs.

Alright, now name your tracks in the Logic arrange window if you'd like. After naming, I like to create a Summing Track Stack and name it accordingly (in this case - Albion 1 Pads).

Tracks in Logic named and Track Stacked.

So that's the hard part.

Now for the more rewarding part of this.

You can now select your Track Stack and open the library drawer in Logic. Click the Save... button in the bottom right corner and name it accordingly (in this case - Albion 1 Pads - again. See a pattern here?).

Saving this Kontakt instance as a user patch in Logic X.

Now, anytime I want to bring in my Albion 1 Pads into a Logic project, I can just select this User Patch within the Logic X library.

To do this, you just create a new software instrument (it doesn't need to be multi-timbral) in Logic X, and then select your user patch in the library pane.

You sexy beast. Step 10 - profit?

As you can see with this approach, it takes a bit to set up up front. But, once you've created all of your user patches for all the most commonly used aspects of what would be your larger overall template, you can pick and choose them as needed. Thus, the modular aspect of this whole thing.

These steps I've illustrated are just the basics, but the sky is limit, as while you are creating your user patches, you can route various sends and instantiate whatever plugins you'd like on each instrument aux channel (or the summing stack as a whole). You can also purge your Kontakt patches if you wish to create an even more speedy recall when loading user patches.

These methods can also be used with Vienna Ensemble, etc. for other instrument families, or I even have one for a blank instance of Kontakt, just because it's faster to load this way than selecting from the plugin list.

The settings will all be remembered when saving and recalling the user patch in Logic X.

I know, right!? Awesome.

Anyone else got any interesting alternative template methods?

-B

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the gremlin - designed

SOUND DESIGN LIBRARY for KONTAKT 5

The Gremlin is a 3/4 sized acoustic guitar (classical style), with nylon and wound metal strings. 

She collected dust for years, thought of as nothing more than a novelty. But one fine day, in the mid '00s a certain young composer pulled The Gremlin from forgotten obscurity (and quite possibly saved her from that great guitar field in the sky), and the rest is history...

This is no toy. She has been lovingly added to every film score I've ever written, in some form or another.

Here, I've sampled some muted finger plucks, and then created 7 custom .nkis that are perfect for atmospheric sound design - from warm and beautiful to icy and fragile.

Introducing:  The GREMLIN - Designed

Patch List:

  • Bowed Cold
  • Echelon
  • I'll Be Your Huckleberry
  • No Man is an Island
  • Sacred
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Rattler

Kontakt 5.1 (FULL version) required. Otherwise, these patches will only work in demo mode.

DOWNLOAD

Please consider donating below if you find these instruments useful.

All sounds and instruments ©2013 Blake Ewing Music. All Rights Reserved.

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bent grass | spitfire audio sable strings

"Bent Grass" is new piece I've just composed to test/demonstrate the new strings sample library from Spitfire Audio - Sable Strings.

The audio below was recording using just vol.1, but I will be replacing the appropriate lines with additional parts from vol.2 and vol.3 as they're released.

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spitfire audio | loegria (polyphonic legato vs sustains)

I thought I play around with the newly introduced poly-legato feature in Loegria 1.1
and see it compares to the regular sustain patches in this post.

To do this, I played in triadic chords with the sustain patches, added cc1 (mod wheel) data,
and then copied this to another track an octave lower for the low strings.

After that, I copied each of those to matching Legato tracks and adjusted each of the triad members' velocity data,
as that is how Loegria determines the polyphonic function.

Rinse and repeat for the half sections, and c'est voila!

poly-legato vs sustain

    • 0:00 - Full Sustain
    • 0:25 - Full Legato
    • 0:49 - 1/2 Section Sustain
    • 1:13 - 1/2 Section Legato

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spitfire audio | albion 1 & 2 demos

To further show how I've personally used these two different libraries,
here are two demos that hopefully show off some strengths of each library.

Albion i

albion ii

Ultimately, I think combining the two libraries will give the most flexibility,
and offer the most variety in ensemble sizes and articulations.

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spitfire audio | albion 1 & 2 (brass longs and legato)

Here is a comparison of the Albion 1 & 2 Brass Longs and Legato patches.

From Albion 1, I'm using the Horns/Bones, and from Albion 2,
I've used the Horns/Euphoniums and Sacbuts.

longs

    • 0:00 - Albion 1 Horns/Bones Longs
    • 0:16 - Albion 2 Horns/Euphoniums Longs
    • 0:32 - Albion 2 Sacbut Longs

legato

    • 0:51 - Albion 1 Horns/Bones Legato
    • 1:05 - Albion 2 Horns/Euphonium Legato
    • 1:19 - Albion 2 Sacbut Legato

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spitfire audio | albion 1 & 2 (string shorts)

Here is a comparison of the Albion 1 & 2 String Shorts Patches.

shorts

    • 0:00 - Albion 1 Shorts
    • 0:20 - Albion 2 Shorts
    • 0:39 - Albion 1 Pizz
    • 0:59 - Albion 2 Pizz
    • 1:18 - Albion 2 Shorts (con sordino)
    • 1:37 - Albion 2 Col Legno
    • 1:57 - Albion 1 Violin1/Violin2 Ostinatum + Celli Ostinatum (Time Machine)

More comparisons to come, including horns.

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spitfire audio | albion 1 & 2 (string legato)

Here is a comparison of the Albion 1 & 2 String Legato Patches.

I've divided this into high and low strings. Lines are played at the octave, depending on the patch used.

High Strings

    • 0:00 - Albion 1 Violin1/Violin2/Viola (con sordino)
    • 0:11 - Albion 1 Violin1/Violin2/Viola
    • 0:20 - Albion 1 Violin1/Violin2 (octaves)
    • 0:29 - Albion 2 High Strings
    • 0:38 - Albion 2 High Strings 1/2 Section

Low Strings

    • 0:47 - Albion 1 Cello/Bass (octaves)
    • 0:56 - Albion 2 Low Strings
    • 1:05 - Albion 2 Low Strings 1/2 Section

More string comparisons to come, including shorts.

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Spitfire Audio | Albion 1 & 2 (String Longs)


Spitfire Audio has released the next iteration of their (mostly orchestral) Albion series, with Albion 2 'Loegria'.
If the focus of vol. 1 was on the epic cinematic style, vol. 2 is all about cinematic beauty and detail.

Here is a comparison of string longs from both libraries playing the same material.

Articulations in both Albion 1 & 2

    • 0:00 - Albion 1 String Longs (con sordino)
    • 0:25 - Albion 2 String Longs (con sordino)
    • 0:47 - Albion 1 String Longs
    • 1:10 - Albion 2 String Longs

Articulations in only Albion 2

    • 1:36 - Albion 2 Strings 1/2 Section
    • 1:58 - Albion 2 Strings Flautando

More string comparisons to come, including legato and shorts.

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