AcousticSampleS B-5 V2 Review
I’m more than a little excited to announce that these failings are nowhere to be heard or seen in version 2. This redux sounds, plays, and operates extremely well (dare I say near perfectly?). The Leslie (rotating) cabinet emulation is very impressive. Microphone positioning and room size virtualization are superb here. Tonal balance and faithful, authentic-sounding tonewheel character are exploited to the fullest.
B-5 V2 normally lists for €99, but AcousticSampleS generously provide it au gratis as a FREE upgrade for those whom had already purchased the original version.
* At the time of this publication, B-5 V2 is available for a short time at only €69!
AcousticSampleS Wurlie Review
Unlike the majority of Wurlitzer-based virtual instruments available, this is *not* still another tiresome interpretation of the now common “A200” model. Nope. This here, y’all, is delightfully unique in that it is a meticulously-crafted sample library of a model 206A ‘student’ Wurlitzer. Of course, being a “Wurlie”, it has that classic, definitive early 70s sound, but with just a teensy bit more attitude and vibe.
Wurlie from AcousticSampleS is a virtual instrument for the discriminating vintage-keyboard connoisseur. This is a superb sample library (again in UVI Workstation format) of a sexy little 64-key model 206A Wurlitzer®. The samples were recorded via studio-grade DI into a high end tube-powered preamp *and with a pair of high-grade microphones right above it – all at a sampling rate of 96 kilohertz and 24-bit, bit depth. This painstaking recording process has resulted in a VI (virtual instrument) that easily reproduces both the feeling and also the sound that we’re looking for; tube ampage with the direct mechanical sound intact.
The tone is rich, well-balanced and precipitates with absolute opulence in the sympathetic response and resonance departments. If you’re looking to own a ‘Logical’ choice for authentic, characterful Wurlitzer realism in-the-box, it can be had for the reasonable price of 79€ / $87 (USD).
Ahh, the warm, harmonically complex tones of a classic Wurly in excellent repair; is there anything sweeter sounding to a collector’s ears? Well, not really, except maybe for a Rhodes of the same vintage. The trouble is, maintaining a Wurlitzer can be a rather daunting task that often requires the skill of an experienced technician. Why, even tuning a Wurly very often requires a soldering iron. EEP!
Fortunately for those of us whom have become well-acquainted and furnished with digital emulations, we need not shop around for a 40 year old instrument, pay big collector’s fees to buy it, and then have a climate-controlled space to keep it safe. We simply pop online, pay a small fee to a hard working developer, and conveniently download a VSTi or sample library to our hard drive. Subsequently, we have at our beck and call, the means to compare and scrutinize the assiduous results of the developers. Quite frankly, we’re rather spoiled. *Grin.
AcousticSampleS Mark79 Review
Fortunately for us, company founder & owner, Arnaud Sicard, and his team at AcousticSampleS, sonically capture some of the best-sounding instruments available in the world. Mark79 is such an example of Parisian craftsmanship, par excellence.
This engaging instrument is experienced within the proprietary “UVI Workstation” sample player format, freely downloadable from UVI.net. Definitely a qualifying contender for audio quality supremacy, the UVI format provides convenience, ease-of-use, and exemplary built-in effects (including a streamlined version of UVI’s fabulous algorithmic reverb, Sparkverb). As with other sample players, such as Kontakt, a user can configure disk streaming, RAM consumption, ADSR, and most nearly any other pertinent option thinkable. Personally, I really like the UVI platform and I find it very comfortable to use.
Mark79 may certainly be categorized as a classic, vintage instrument. Here, we are presented a superb sample library of a classic 73 key ‘suitcase’ Fender Rhodes® Mark II, circa 1979. The samples were recorded dry via studio-grade DI into a high end tube-powered preamp. From the moment you play your first chord or riff, your ears are greeted with authentic Rhodes character a-plenty. The tone is rich, full and very well-balanced. All of this sumptuous tines n’ tone can be had for the reasonable price of 79€ / $87 (USD)
If you read my earlier review of SonicCouture’s remarkable “EP73 Deconstructed”, you’ll know that I hold it in very high esteem. That said, standing proudly beside it is this equally impressive rendering of Rhodes sound. In all fairness, the two sample libraries can’t be directly compared; they are demonstrations of differing keyboard models. What can be compared, however, is the respective sound quality of each one, which is very good indeed. Where the “EP73” is a unique library capable of a divergent degree of sound creativity, AcousticSampleS’ “Mark79” is a more straight forward repository. This one is dedicated to accurately representing a Mark II Fender Rhodes® electric piano in as pure a fashion as possible.
As regards space requirements, there are close to three and a half gigabytes of uncompressed samples packed into this library - these generously feature TEN layers of sustained note *and* TEN layers of release samples. Thankfully, the samples have been compressed in lossless FLAC format and only require 1.46 GB of hard drive real-estate. By today’s large, multi-gig standards, this is a very manageable library size. The samples load quickly and are ready-to-go within just a few seconds, from a cold state.
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