My Name is Benjamin Stelzer, I am the lead developer of Acou6tics and Electri6ity and I’d like to take you on a behind-the-scenes tour and give you some insight on the development of our newest virtual acoustic guitar library.
Maybe you’ve already heard of Electri6ity, which is our award winning electric guitar library. The reason why I’m also talking about Electri6ity in this blog – just in case you were wondering – is that Acou6tics is meant to follow in the footsteps of this critically acclaimed library, using the same advanced technologies only to re-imagining the acoustic guitar instead of an electric guitar this time.
After releasing Electri6ity, the library quickly became very popular and we’ve got so much feedback from customers on it and even more request to create an acoustic version of this library using the same technology. So when we started to plan Acou6tics we first sat down, took all the feedback, the feature request and read through almost all the discussions on the internet about Electri6ity to get a feeling on what would be the perfect acoustic guitar library. Doing this, it quickly became clear on what we had to lay our focus on:
1. Recording & Tone
3. Ease of use
4. Chords & Strumming
1. Recording & Tone
When we did the first recording tests we spent almost a month, only testing different microphones, micing techniques with various guitars. We tested traditional micing techniques like AB-stereo micing, XY-stereo micing, M/S-stereo micing, but we also tried mics inside the body of the guitars and various types of transducers. We tried different mic characteristics, (omni, cardioid, hyper-cardioid), different micing distances, different rooms and different room treatments – all to get the idea of an ideal acoustic guitar tone for a perfect acoustic guitar library.
You need to know, that this is something completely different compared to recording a live acoustic guitar part for a particular song, because in that case you only need to find a tone which fits this one song. An acoustic guitar library will be used in a lot of different songs and music styles later and ideally it needs to fit all of them all equally!
What we came up with in the end, was much simpler than our initial tests, but tone wise it was the most versatile recording setup, which perfectly captured the natural tone of all the guitars:
We recorded the guitars in Blumlein-stereo using two large condenser mics in a room which was treated in a way that is was almost completely dead, except for some carefully placed diffusers. This technique has a lot of benefits: it’s fully mono compatible, the mics used have figure 8 characteristics, which sounds much more natural than cardioid, the stereo image is excellent and the samples are very dry. Additionally we also recorded the piezo output of all instruments.
The realism of a virtual instruments depends on two factors: First of all, the important articulations, noises and nuances need to be captured in the recording process. And the second factor is an engine which plays back the samples in a way that resembles what a real player would do when playing that instrument. Our experience with Electri6ity, which also was samples extensively, already gave us a pretty good idea of what we had to record and how we had to record it.
But we also wanted to push the playback engine to a new level in terms of realism. So we spent weeks analyzing different playing techniques and nuances of a real guitar and figuring out ways, how to implement them into the engine. In the end we had a completely new sympathetic resonance engine, a physical modeling based approach for the pick position simulation, a completely new strum engine, a new chord detection engine – pretty much everything was completely rewritten from scratch.
3. Ease of use
Here the feedback we got on Electri6ity was very helpful. We went through all the critiques and all the improvement requests to figure out how it would be possible, to offer the same flexibility and control the Electri6ity engine offered, but much easier to use. The Acou6tics GUI is very easy to handle and easy to understand, the instruments load pretty fast and the memory usage is very reasonable.
4. Chords & Strumming
We are especially proud of our new chord & strumming engine. The chord library contains up to 25,000 guitar chords per instrument. This means that for almost every chord you are playing on your keyboard, the engine will instantly find the correct guitar voicing for that chord! But not only that, Acou6tics also allows you to learn user chords with only one knob. Whenever you play a certain chord on the keyboard, the guitar voicing you’ve learned for that chord is selected – and you can choose from up to 50 different guitar voicings for each chord.
The new strumming engine has a lot of humanization build and allows you to play realistic strum patterns in no time. We’ve even added transition strums, which are strums that often occur on a real guitar between two chords, since your finger will need time to finger the new chord on the fretboard. That added quite a bit of realism, since those transition strums are so audible and recognizable on a real guitar.
Acou6tics can be adjusted to exactly fit your needs! You don’t like the default keyswitch layout? No problem. You can simply customize it.
You don’t like the default setup of the instrument? No problem. You can customize it.
Almost every aspect of the playback engine can be customized and automated if necessary!
I hope you enjoyed this insight into the development of Acou6tics.
For more information and demos visit the Acou6tics page.
Vir2 Development Team
Following in the footsteps of Vir2 Instruments’ award-winning Electri6ity electric guitar virtual instrument, Acou6tics applies the same advanced technologies to re-imagine the virtual acoustic guitar. Vir2 has meticulously recorded six different acoustic instruments: a steel-string guitar, twelve-string, nylon string, ukulele, mandolin, and guitalele, and presents them in astonishing detail. It features both plectrum and finger picking, and Blumlein stereo recordings alongside the piezo pickup perspective. Thousands of samples across more than a dozen articulations were recorded for each instrument, including sustains, mutes, releases, legatos, hammer-ons and pull-offs, slides, harmonics, and effects. Acou6tics also features virtual room control with adjustable mic distance and sympathetic resonance.
Acou6tics is powered by the industry-leading Kontakt engine. It is compatible with VST, RTAS (Pro Tools 9 & 10), and AAX (Pro Tools 10 & 11) plug-in formats allowing it to work seamlessly within any major sequencer, in addition to standalone use.
The Acou6tics interface is very easy to navigate. There are four main pages: Playback, Keyswitches, Chords, and Mics & FX.
Welcome back, readers! I’ve got some pretty legit products to share with you today.
To start us off, the folks here at Big Fish Audio and Dieguis Productions are proud to announce the release of Gravity, a massive collection of Cinematic Electronica, Electro Rock and Dubstep styles. It’s something you won’t want to miss.
We’re also excited to share Modern Roots Reggae XXL with you – a hot new Reggae library from Big Fish Audio and VIP Loops.
Loopmasters has a handful of great new titles, I’ll highlight a few here:
Eddie Amador & Danny Cohiba Presents A Journey Into House: covering an extensive range of four to the floor dance styles from Classic House to Tech, Tribal Deep and beyond
Mediks Drum & Bass Surgery: an adrenaline rush of a sample pack featuring club smashing breaks, heavyweight bass lines and bold synths
Essential EDM Vol.2: 1.1 GB of awesome samples for producers aiming at the dance floor
The rest can be found HERE.
That’s all for today. Peace!
Now available from Big Fish Audio, Cantus brings you a real Gregorian Monk Ensemble featuring the sounds of the dark Middle Ages.
A perfect tool for composers and sound designers to create ambiences and music for films, documentaries, video games and new age music.
Unparalleled realism…Pure inspiration
Cantus is a unique choir library aimed at easily creating your own ultra-realistic liturgical melodies, without using any phrases. Cantus offers a powerful and innovative word builder which combines 24 words (120 elements including words and their syllables) with 5 true legato vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and a special Mmmh articulation, all at your finger tips in one patch.
• 5 different true Gregorian style legatos (a, e, i, o, u)
• Mmmh articulation
• A powerful word builder with 24 words, 3 different articulations (staccato, fast and slow
• Words can be splitted to offer a total of 120 words/syllables
• Words can be combined with true legato playing while the corresponding vowel is
• A collection of 20 Gregorian chants splitted into 400 phrases
• 60 minutes of music
• 20 soundscapes, created from vocal samples.
Elevate – Evolution of a Sample Library
An interview with Phil Symonds of Dieguis Productions
About a month ago, around Christmas time this past year, I was talking with many owners of the Elevate library to check-in with them to see how they were getting along with the library and to basically find out if we had done a good job. Hoping they were going to be overly satisfied, instead what I found out was that the owners of the library were pleased with the product but wanted more control and ease of use. This realization led to many phone calls and Skype sessions to discuss with the owners what they felt would improve the library.
I wanted to know what types of things they wanted in additional to what was already there, what types of customized control were they wanting, how Dieguis Productions could aid them in creating in a more intuitive manner than ever before. So, I sat down with the Dieguis Productions and Big Fish Audio team to put the plans in place that would fulfill the owners needs as well as deliver a few surprises!
Below is a list of the items you guys said you most needed and wanted and what we’re delivering to you!
Elevate Owners – We want the option of having “Song Kits” (Construction Kits) for quick and easy song creation as well as “Instrument Kits” for overdubs and single instrument song creation.
Dieguis Productions – Done, We’ve gone back to the original recording sessions and created Massive “Song Kits”, with tons of instruments and multiple versions and feels on many instruments.
Elevate Owners – We need to have DAW Sessions of the all “Song Kits” in Multiple DAW formats so we can pull-up a session and get started immediately at creating.
Dieguis Productions – We’re delivering Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase and OMF (for all other DAWs) for ALL Song Kits in the library and we’ve included three DAW session types to choice from, for every song kit.
- Full Multi Drums (All Instruments as well as Multi-Drums)
- Full Multi Drums (Multi-Drums Only)
- Full Stereo (All Instruments and Stereo Drums)
Elevate Owners – It would be nice to have “Song Kits” (Construction style Kits) for the entire library, so we can easily match the various song sections together and create super quick mock-ups.
Dieguis Productions – Yep, no worries, we’ve created two versions of “Song Kits” for you!
- “Song Kits” – All instruments grouped individually for maximum creativity and usability. Create depth, texture and intensity quickly and easily. Instruments are mapped one instrument to the octave and song sections placed on corresponding and matching keyboard keys. No more wondering which song section goes with which song section.
- “Song Kits Masters” – All Instruments grouped as one instrument with matching drums (or multiple drum parts) for ultra-quick mock-ups and song creation. Independent control of Melodic and Rhythmic Instruments means you can mix n match various drum grooves over the melodic instruments super easily.
Elevate Owners – We love the performances included in the library but it would be cool to be able to re-arrange and customize the performances even more.
Dieguis Productions – Hmmm, we like that idea too we say with a sinister laugh.
We went into the Dieguis Productions/Big Fish Audio lab and have created an update to the KLI Series interface that will give you the ability to customize and tweak the included content even more than previously possible. We introduce to you “Phrase Play” (trumpeted fanfare and red carpets pulled out)
There are four controls on “Phrase Play”.
“Mono” – Turned Off (Default) multiple notes within the instrument group are able to be sounded simultaneously. Turned On, only one note is able to be sounded at a time.
“Legato” – Turned Off (Default) the loop performance will be triggered and played from the start of the loop. Turned On, when switching to a new loop, in a legato playing manner, the new loop will pick-up where the previous loops playing position was. This update allows for tremendous creative control in real-time performance of parts. No longer be stuck to the chord changes or melodies of a performed loop. Now you can re-arrange and truly perform, in real-time, a new performance.
“X-Fade” – Controls the amount of cross- fade when switching between two notes. Customize it for your individual playing style and needs.
” Mod-Start” – When turned on, the Mod-Wheel will control where the loop will start from. Down all the way, the loop will start from the beginning. When moved up, the loop will start and be triggered further into the loops performance.
Dieguis Productions – Nope, We got some more for you!
We’ve added a couple extra features that will give you even more control and aid in your ability to create intuitively. Color coding of the KLI Interface and the ability to control and change the key of the song on the keyboard. You can still change the key with the tuning knobs if you prefer and now your able to adjust the key of the song on the keyboard as well.
Color Coded Interface and Key Change
- Green – Represents a “Group” of instruments. Used exclusively on “Song Kit Masters”
- Blue – Represents “Individual Instruments” group
- Red – Represents the range the song can be transposed
- Yellow – Represents the “Root Key” (Original key the song was recorded in)
- Cyan – Represents the “New Key” or transposed key. Note that the yellow (root key) will continue to stay lit in order to show the root key.
Ok, so now for the best news of all ……….
If you’re a current owner of the Elevate library than all of these updates are completely free for you!!!
Simply contact Big Fish Audio customer service (customerservice@bigfishaud
It is Dieguis Productions’ plan and goal moving forward to deliver future libraries with all of these updates and improvements. Over time, we are also planning on updating previously released Dieguis Productions libraries as well so keep your eyes open for the fun! As always, thanks for supporting Dieguis Productions/Big Fish Audio, we strive to create libraries that you will love using and aid you in creating at your highest potential.
Do you like these changes, updates and improvements?
Let us know and tell us what you think, we’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
|NEWS AND NEW RELEASES FROM NAMM SHOW 2014|
ACOU6TICS COMING THIS FEBRUARY!
|Vir2 Instruments demonstrated their latest upcoming release, Acou6tics. This meticulously recorded virtual instrument invites you to re-imagine the acoustic guitar with six different acoustic instruments: a steel-string guitar, twelve-string, nylon string, ukulele, mandolin, and guitalele. This highly-anticipated follow-up to Electri6ity is a must-have for producers, songwriters, and composers.
NEW FROM CHRIS HEIN!
|Chris Hein was on hand to demonstrate his three new products at the Big Fish Audio booth. With almost 7,000 samples, Chromatic Harmonica is the most detailed harmonica VI in the world. Uniq Horn boasts the most comprehensive collection of French Horn samples available. Winds Complete provides a new dimension of unmatched flexibility and dynamic nuance in orchestral woodwinds.
Winds info Harmonica info
Uniq Horn info
BEST SERVICE UNVEILS ALTUS AND CANTUS
|Eduardo Tarilonte showed off two new virtual instruments from his vocal series, Cantus and Altus. Cantus brings you a real Gregorian Monk Ensemble featuring the sounds of the dark Middle Ages, while Altus brings you a real counter tenor for your Renaissance and Baroque music for films, documentaries, video games and new age music.
Cantus info Altus info
VIP LOOPS ANNOUNCES FUSE!
|Kenny Moran from VIP Loops previewed the upcoming virual instrument, Fuse, at the Big Fish Audio booth! Fuse is a dual-engine library for Kontakt with tons of synths, sounds, and FX. More info to come.|
MVP LOOPS DEMOS SOUND SQUAD
|Multi-Platinum Producer, Trevor Lawrence Jr., demos this incredible Kontakt library with 38 Kontakt instrument patches and over 1,400 loops, samples, and one-shots.
Hey Big Fishers! Hope you all had a super productive week! Here’s some new loops to get a kickstart on your next music project.
From Producer Loops we have a big batch of fresh titles!
- Reality Check 3: 5 Hip Hop, Trap and Dirty South Construction Kits
- The Potion: 5 banging, must-have Trap Construction Kits
- FDB: Feel Dat Beat: New Trap Construction Kit that brings the bass rattle sounds of Grand Hustle
- V.I.P Melodies Vol.3: 30 tunes in MIDI format perfect for producing Commercial Dance and House
- 90’s MIDI Key Loops: A superbly authentic collection of 90′s House keyboard loops in MIDI format
Boom just released their new, massive Sound FX product - Thunder and Rain!
From Prime Loops:
- Complextro Anthems: 355MB of epic basslines, drum loops, one-shots, fx loops, and synth leads
That’s it for this week! Peace!
Happy New Year Everybody! this month we are kicking off the new year with some really great orchestral products. Putting together an orchestral section and mixing it well can be very difficult and extremely time consuming, so this month I want to highlight two of my favorite products for arranging quick and easy orchestral and string sections for any genre.
Cinematic Orchestral Themes contains 20 full-length cinematic orchestral tracks, composed, orchestrated and conducted by “Beethoven-Award” winner Kostas Varotsis. Each track is a full stereo mix split up by SECTION rather than INSTRUMENT. The benefit of this is that the whole track comes pre-mixed and ready to be arranged in any order you want. This library is perfect for putting together ultra-fast full orchestral pieces with little to no mixing. No more time spent balancing, EQ-ing and adjusting, just simple arrangement and you are on to the next step. Cinematic Orchestral Themes is formatted in Apple Loops, REX and Acidized WAV. All loops and samples are recorded in the highest quality 24-bit rate and cut for easy arrangement. This product is a must have for producers who need extremely high quality sounds without sacrificing too much time in this fast-paced industry.
Urban String Sessions is a product that fuses Classic and Urban genres in the styles of One Republic, Fort Minor, Rihanna and more. These loops were recorded with just enough players to make a lush sound but not too many to overwhelm your tracks. These strings are inspiring, simple and catchy; everything the Hip-Hop/RnB producer needs to make a track pop. Each loop is also broken out by section giving you greater flexibility over the mix as well as the ability to create more extensive arrangements by bringing in and out different sections throughout your music. This product includes nearly 700 MB of original content, 214 total loops and is formatted in Apple Loops, REX and Acidized WAV formats. Urban String Sessions provides you your own professional studio string players without breaking your studio budget.