Sunday, April 28, 2019

REVIEW: SPITFIRE AUDIO AMBIENT GUITARS by LEO ABRAHAMS







Ambient Guitars by Spitfire Audio is a collaboration between Spitfire Audio and renowned composer, producer and guitarist Leo Abrahams.
Featuring all new material recorded in 2019 and a combination of two Spitfire classics; Enigma 1 & 2


OVERVIEW


THE eDNA INTERFACE



This interface houses Spitfire Audio's own sample-synthesizer engine. It can be used to combine two sounds and modulate between them with envelopes, filters and wobbles per sound, as well as a gate sequencer and a selection of  FX.


The Overview Panel


 This is the main interface for melodic instruments. Its default view displays all available playing techniques, has a simple microphone mixer and includes the main feature controllers.


The Evo Grid 

 Based on the EMS VCS3 synth, this interface allows for instant gratification and customization. With 1 or 2 clicks, you will be armed with something totally unique and inspiring. Pan and tweak each Evo for perfect blending. Punch in or out 3 useful modulators and effects. Mix your mic positions, all from the front panel.

Ambient Guitars includes 10GB of brand-
new recordings and 160 additional artist presets.


Compatible with Native Instruments free KONTAKT PLAYER with full NKS (Native Kontrol Standard). 


Who is Leo Abrahams?

Leo Abrahams is an incredible musician, composer, and producer who has recorded and toured with successful artists such as Imogen Heap, Roxy Music, Grace Jones, and Pulp. Leo has written and produced for artists including Wild Beasts, Florence & the Machine, Ghostpoet and most recently, Editors. His own records include The Unrest Cure, featuring Brian Eno, KT Tunstall and Ed Harcourt. He has composed scores for movies such as The Lovely Bones (with Eno) and Hunger (with David Holmes), and is credited as the guitarist on film scores such as '71, Ocean’s 12 and Ocean’s 8, Twilight, Green Zone, Molly’s Game & The Man from U.N.C.L.E


 Product Info:

    ~89269 Samples
    50.4 GB download size Too large to download?
  Choose hard drive delivery at checkout.
    51.0 GB disk space required during install
    Mac system requirements Mac OS X 10.10 or later, Intel Core 2 Duo
    PC system requirements Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit) Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2
    Kontakt version requirements Kontakt or Kontakt Player 5.6.8 or higher
    Free Kontakt Player Included
    User manual
    Apply for educational discount





REVIEW



I played with Ambient Guitars a few days before working on my review. The library is large, weighing in at just over 46GB but you will need 51GB for complete installation. Make sure you have enough space on your hard drive and time when downloading. Depending on your internet speed it may take a while. This is unlike any ambient guitar library I have played. Even though it tends to lean on the darker side, it does, however, do a tremendous job at blending in beautiful landscapes. This sample library contains a large amount of content, but the trek is worth your while.

Read on.....

Not only do you get plenty of guitar presets but there are some atmospheric textures within Ambient Guitars that will insight plenty of inspiring tracks right out of the box. There is a total of 10 folders within the library named Inspiration, Distorted, Inspiration Distorted, Enigmatic Pads, Amped Guitar Pads, Feedback Evogrid, Arps & Chords, Odd Loopers, Atonal, and Artist Presets (Christian Henson & Paul Thompson). The sound of the NKI files vary in clarity. I found some instantly cut through the mix and some needed a little sculpting with the EQ that is located within the Master FX page inside the eDNA interface. I encourage everyone to experiment with the FX, filters, gated sequencer, and envelopes to hear how it can change the life of a preset.


Ambient Guitars is also comprised of the Leo Abraham's Enigma and Enigma 2: The Rapture released by Spitfire Audio years ago. It's a fantastic bargain since Enigma 2 retailed for the same price as this new and updated collection. Leo created the sounds using a Trussart, a 1960s Gibson 355, and a Danelectro Hornet guitar that were plugged in through his vast collection of pedals and amps. Spitfire recorded Leo Abraham at the state of the art 'Pool Studios' in Bermondsey, London where Depeche Mode is a recording client. There are so many organically produced samples that range from otherworldly, tension based, soft, evolving, simple and complex. There are many different articulations accompanied with plenty of dynamics. However, if you cannot find an amp sound you are looking for, just run it through your own amp plugin. I experimented with different amp plugins like Guitar Rig and got some extremely heavier to psychedelic tones. One important factor I found in this collection is to use your imagination. Sometimes when a library is this big, and with so many options, you can get lost. Take your time with each category, and you will discover an endless amount of scoring capabilities.


One of my favorite sections in this library is the Feedback Evogrid. Within the grid, you can create some beautiful melodic ambient guitar pads perfect for underscoring. There is also a Dice pictured above the grid that works as a randomization feature that creates unlimited amounts of pattern combinations.

I spent hours on the grid creating some infectious themes that sounded like the 2006 television series 'Friday Night Lights' which used a lot of ambient guitar throughout its soundtrack. The grid has six different mic positions, ADSR, FX, Dynamics, Variation, and Expression. The only thing I would have liked to have seen in the eDNA GUI is a randomize feature like in the Evogrid. However, manually browsing and loading sounds within two different sound bays are quick, and the combinations will transform the preset to a whole new level.

The CPU usage is very efficient, and Spitfire Audio created this library to be Kontakt player compatible. So, if you do not own the full version of Kontakt, you can use the Free Kontakt player and enjoy this library to its full extent.


Not only are there stunning soundscapes, lush pads, and beautifully crafted guitar loops but there are also dark creative elements that are haunting, otherworldly, and bizarre found in the ‘Odd Loopers’ and ‘Atonal’ folders. Another favorite in this library is the Artist Presets. This features two collections of presets created by award winning composers Christian Henson & Paul Thompson. I thought these presets were a mesmerizing and exceptionally produced.


Whether your composing for film, documentaries, video games, trailers, commercials, or ambient music you will find a little bit of everything. This library is a cornucopia of possibilities.


Leo Abrahams has created something special with Spitfire Audio, and it's basically like getting three libraries in one cleverly designed package.  
Ambient Guitars is not a shallow experience but a deep one. If you want a cutting-edge instrument that is both immersive and versatile, then Ambient Guitars by Leo Abrahams will bring your composition to another dimension.


5 out of 5 Stars !














   












Written by Steve Montgomery 
(musician for Infinite Mindscape and Darkmood music)



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