General - Interview - Loops

Dieguis talks with Big Fish Audio about the KLI Series

This week Dieguis Productions talks with Big Fish Audio about the KLI Series

Dieguis Productions has been working for months now with Big Fish Audio on the KLI Series and we’re uber excited for this line to finally be released. We talked with so many producers, composers, writers and beat makers on how we could help them to utilize our libraries more effectively and efficiently and the KLI Series is the culmination of all of these requests.

We started by finding out from them how each of them created songs, scores and the like, how they would typically have their various kits and instruments laid out, how they typically used the loops and construction kits and even what they didn’t like about working with loops and construction kits. We thought, there has to be a better way for users to access and manipulate the instruments, loops and sounds in real time. We started seeing that the Kontakt engine was made for this instant gratification and tweakbility and so we teamed up with Big Fish Audio and started putting together this massive wish list of all of the comments from users and additional requests we thought would be useful and cool.

The highlight for us was watching the faces of users when they tested the new KLI Series.

It was such a delight for us to see users faces light up when they could quickly create complex ideas on the fly.

“We work with critical deadlines at our studio. Typically the ideas found in the KLI Series would take an immense amount of time to achieve, however, now they are instantaneous. The ability to tweak the loops at the note level was astounding. The KLI Series is mind numbing and will be a staple in our productions.” Mark T. Williams,Ah2 Music(Biggest Loser, The Apprentice, Shark Tank, Masterchef and many more)

Our goal over the next few weeks is to deliver our entire library series in the KLI format. We’re also working on releasing video tours of each of the libraries so that you’ll better be able to see and hear the various kits, instruments and loops in each of the libraries. If you have a particular Dieguis Productions library that you would like to be released sooner than later please let us know! Contact Us

Kit Demos

The Kit Demos were created for quickly being able to audition the sounds and grooves of the various kits of the entire library; without the need of opening each and every kit.

Its basically a really cool way to hear what kind of grooves and instruments are included within the library.

Kit Combos

The Kit Combos correspond to the various kits within the library and each Kit combo represents a different feel, style and vibe

ALL of the kit combos will lock to your hosts tempo providing greater flexibility within the kontakt enviornment

Each instrument in the kit has its own channel strip which provides you with the ability to not only see the instruments kit number, recorded tempo and song key; but also the flexibility and freedom to control each instruments volume and pan position, allowing you to create quick and easy mixes within the kontakt instrument.

When an instrument is triggered, the appropriate instrument will be highlighted so you can see exactly which instrument or instruments are being played.

Each kit combo also has its own instrument fx section as well ….allowing you to create some really interesting and unique sounds. YOu can use one or multiple effects at the same time to create some pretty dramatic sounds.

The beauty of the kit combos is that they give you the ability to very quickly start creating, building and programming songs by giving immediate access to the various song sections within each of the various kits

Not only do you have immediate access to each of the various instruments and their corresponding song sections; but you can use them individually, or in combination with each other to create quick, easy and authentic music creations!

Single Instruments

We’ve created “single instruments” as a way to quickly find, audition and load the various similar instruments within the library without the need to search through all of the various kits.

We’ve found that having just the like instruments by themselves is very useful. Whether thats to add a particular instruments flavor over a track or simply as a way to start creating a song

The Single Instruments allow you to quickly find the instrument or instruments you need without having to search through each and every kit.

As with the kit combos, the single instruments also shows the kit number, recorded tempo and song key at the top of each of the various channel strips.

The mixer window in the single instruments also gives you control over each instruments volume, pan control and instrument fx panel.

Sliced Loops

I really love the Sliced Loops mode and its absolutely one of the most exiting aspects of the KLI Series.

The Sliced Loops mode allows you the ability to manipulate and tweak each and every Loop to your hearts content. It gives you the ability to control and adjust the instruments volume, pitch, pan, attack, decay, cutoff and resonation.

* For an in depth and detailed look at the various “Sliced loops” functions, please check out the extensive and informative Sliced Loops video.

There are two modes in the Sliced Loops….”one shot” bypassed or one shot on

With “one shot” mode turned on, each of the slice points now becomes its own one shot, THis is perfect for drums, percussion and SFX.

With “one shot” mode in bypass, sliced loops gives you the ability to play the loop from any of the instruments slice points, this allows you to feel as if your playing and truly controlling the instrument giving you total freedom in the ability to manipulate the loops original recorded groove. This freedom allows you to not have to use the instrument as it was recorded and therefore offers an infinite number of ways in which the instrument can now sound.

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Instruments - Interview

Comments from the Producer of Q

QWhat is Q?

The idea behind Q was to create a virtual instrument that composers, producers, sound designers, and music editors could use to quickly generate film, television, trailer, and advertising cues in a wide range of musical styles. Unlike many other virtual instruments, Q doesn’t focus on one musical particular instrument or genre. Instead, Q was created to cover a number of styles; in particular, some of the more exotic and eclectic genres that are increasingly employed in modern cinematic music. A few examples of this are the Hong Kong Cinema, Middle eastern, Spaghetti Western, Ambient, Pulp Surfer, Horror, and Film Noir kits.

Many exotic and unusual instruments were recorded for Q, including Chinese drums and flutes, waterphone, tank drums, bowed electric sitar, and prepared piano. Where other VIs focus on detailed multi-samples, the emphasis for Q was live-played loops and phrases, which capture more of the authentic character of these instruments. Well over 95% of the raw sample content used to create Q was derived from organic instruments, materials, and live performances.

The harp, cello, some of the percussion FX, prepared piano, and the female soprano were recorded in Athens by my friend and collaborator on the Symphonic Maneuvers series of sample CDs released by Big Fish Audio, Kostas Varotsis. For the prepared piano recordings, Kostas inserted various materials between the piano strings, including rulers, wine glasses, elastic bands, and necklaces. Other FX oriented instruments like the Pedal Steel FX were recorded by detuning the instrument and “playing” it with keys, coins, picks, rubber mallets, and a credit card.

Q also features a large collection of sound design elements, from massive hits, fireballs, and swooshes to eerie metallic and instrument effects. Some of Q’s metallic sound design elements were created from raw samples that were made by tapping on or scraping a collection of huge metal sculptures that were on display in a corporate park in New York. These samples had to be recorded very quickly, before a security guard kicked us off the property.  The raw samples used to create some of the other metal effects in Q came from a variety of unusual sources, including wrought-iron railings, a 20-yard dumpster, an aluminum bridge, a steel utility pole cable, approximately 60 pounds of scrap metal bought from a salvage yard, and a metal Salvation Army donation box with a fantastically creaky hinge. Elements like these are really useful when creating trailers, promos, and cinematic cues. I collaborated with Ric Viers to produce the cinematic sound effects for Q, after I discovered a book on sound design that he wrote, called The Sound Effects Bible. Ric came up with some excellent contributions.

So that’s a quick overview of Q, and what it can do. I hope you’ll let us know what you think of Q, good and bad, so that we can continue to improve it in the future.

Thanks –

Steve Sechi

Producer for the Q sessions

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General - Interview - Loops

Interviews with Phil Symonds, creator of Xtended Series

We recently announced our new Xtended Series and received a tremendous amount of interest. Among the response were requests for more information about the series. We had a chance to sit down with Phil Symonds, one of the creators of the Xtended Series, and ask him a few questions about this incredible new series.

What exactly is the Xtended Series?

The Xtended Series is really a concept more than it is a particular loop library. At its essence it’s the idea that you should be free of limitations when creating music and you should have complete freedom over your music creations. As a music creator, you want to have the ability to create as fast as those creative thoughts come to you and you want the ability to be more expressive and more in control of your productions.

So the Xtended Series is simply that, a new no compromise, no holds barred, give the user every little nuance, every little detail that would be captured at the recording session. After all it’s really the subtle nuances that create interest in tracks, creates tracks that breathe, tracks that don’t sound “programmed” or give those programmed tracks a greater sense of realism. The Xtended Series is about giving the user all of the options from the recording session, all the variations in verses, chorus, prechorus….give them all the solos, all the vamps, all the intros and outro sections. Give them the complete live played multi drums for each and every kit in the Library. The Xtended Series gives the user the complete recording sessions as they would get if they hired the best producers, best players, best engineers, best studios in the world and then had the top editors on the planet to come in clean, time, edit and make the tracks 100% usable. Basically, freedom to tweak to your hearts content!

Who will find this series most useful?

I really feel like any music creator will find this series extremely useful; but I would say its definitely geared more for the serious music creator who desires to be unique, different and wants their production to stand out.

I would say that if someone really isn’t discerning in their taste then this product is definitely not for them!

The Xtended Series was specifically designed for the creator who wants to have an extreme amount of truly authentic loops to add into their current productions or simply someone who wants to get the creative juices flowing when starting their new projects….the libraries in the Xtended Series are jam packed full of terrific song starts.

I also feel that this series is going to be a breath of fresh air for those artists out there who like to push their music to the edge by mixing genres in their projects. Think of cutting edge producers like Timbaland and Will.I.Am (Black Eyed Peas), these producers are constantly mixing genres of music together that you would never ever think to put together and come up with some of the most unique, cutting edge and obviously successful commercial music out there. This series is going to be a real treat for those users because every loop in this library series is so legit and the most authentic material out there.

Why did you create the Xtended Series and what was your inspiration for doing so?

The series was really birthed out of a growing frustration with a lot of the composers, producers and writers we work with in not being able to find what they were needing in a lot of the libraries out there. They would mentioned  that they wanted more variations of playing and variations in song sections in the libraries they used. A lot of clients simply wanted sounds and music genres that have never existed in loop libraries or were never really created in an authentic manner. When we first started hearing these difficulties we would simply just create one of a kind custom libraries for them or help them produce these types of styles for their various musical needs. Then, funny enough, after awhile quite a lot of our clients started suggesting we create our own sample libraries and put them out. Honestly we really didn’t take it serious at first because we had really made our business out of crafting high quality custom projects for those who could really afford the expense that such undertakings incurred. Then, one day when we were working with a client that we’ve been longtime friends with, they said the same things that everyone else had, only that he added the fact that he was tired of paying so much money for our services. We just laughed because in that moment we finally realized that this would be a way to give creative power to a much wider audience.

Our goal would be to do the same thing we always do, make the absolute best sounds and productions possible; but bring them to a greater audience and give more than just the top dogs in the industry access to the best production and sounds. We wanted to create a killer library series for those that don’t necessarily have a huge budget, but need those big budget sounds. We knew we’d have to create a library that was on the same high standards that we always work on, we’d have to make no compromises in the writing, playing, engineering and production of the project and we knew that we would have to make a series that we would want to use ourselves and that became the criteria for each library in the series…. No compromise!

We wanted to work with the best sample loop library company out there and we’ve been using Big Fish Audio Loops since we can remember, so they were the obvious first choice. We had a meeting with the Big Fish Audio team and basically talked with them about everything that we really wanted to do, the high standards, the massive libraries, the interesting and unique music styles and they saw our vision and completely shared it! I guess that was a little more than a year ago and in the meantime we’ve all been putting in some of the longest days we’ve ever put in. It’s funny though, that when you really love what you’re doing, time seems to become non-existent… these sessions have been some of the most exciting sessions we’ve ever done. We’re really proud of the work that is going to be available. I think it’s going to shock some people how we’ve approached these libraries. We basically said what kind of stuff do are clients ask for….Ok, check! Then what are all the things we’d want in a library…check, check, check!

Its really a no holds barred approach to making construction kit and loop libraries.

What’s the biggest difference between the Xtended Series and other loop libraries?

Well, there’s so many differences; but I’d say the biggest difference is the complete freedom that the Xtended Series enables the music creator. Freedom of choice and not having to be tied down to one choice of loop, one choice of playing variation, one song section…freedom to create music as its supposed to be created, with dynamics and variations. I’ll also just briefly mention the other differences as well because they’re just as important.

The amount of content in these Libraries is also a huge difference when compared to most other loop libraries.

The Xtended Series gives the user gigs upon gigs of completely usable content with no filler. The Xtended Series libraries offer users gem after gem after gem of hand crafted, high quality loops that they’ll be able to use for years and years to come….there’s just so much great material in these libraries.

We created the Xtended Series libraries to have massive depth in each and every kit. We went really deep with this series so that you’re now able to have tons of variations, nuances and plenty of options for your tracks. I have a feeling that this series is going to spoil people in the sheer number of choices.

You get every single file in  WAV/ACID, Apple Loops and REX formats. So, if for example your working in the REX format, you’ll never have to worry that the perfect loop for your production isn’t going to be included in your format. Each and every file has been formatted and is included for your creating pleasure. Also, another big one is that we wanted to provide the user with the complete multi drums for each and every kit in every library in the series. So not only are these live played, acoustic drums, captured incredibly well; but you get the entire song in this manner to remix if that is your desire or simply to just grab pieces of the kit.

Also, every one of the libraries in the Xtended Series has been hand-crafted and edited with extreme attention to detail and feel. This basically means that you’ll now have the ability to “mix n match” different sections of the songs with one another, various instrument grooves and song sections, kits with different kits and also use different Xtended Series Libraries with one another for an endless amount of variations. Again, freedom to create on your terms!

What types of libraries (genres/instruments) do you plan on releasing in this series?

I’m not able to mention them right now since were still finalizing quite a few of them for upcoming releases….. but I can tell you that we have a huge number of Libraries coming out this year! There are a number of libraries that we’ve created that are going to be first of their kind in their respective musical genre; musical styles you thought you’d never find loops for. These particular libraries were originally conceived because clients would come to us and say, man we can’t find any samples in this genre or that genre, can you create some for us. And so we thought, why shouldn’t everyone have access to these kinds of sounds. Now you will!!!

All I can really say is that be on the look out on the Big Fish Audio website because were finalizing some massive libraries in genres that are going to completely freak people out …should be really cool to see people’s reaction to these bad boys!

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Interview

Interview: Composer/Producer Bill Brown

Please give a quick synopsis of your music career so far. The “elevator pitch” version.
I basically started my career writing music for games, and as I was doing that I met directors and got into scoring films and television.  I’ve been blessed to work with a bunch of cool, talented people. [Editor’s Note: Bill is being modest here. He currently scores the music for CSI:NY, and he contributed to the scores of the movies Ali and Any Given Sunday among others, along with a host of video game soundtracks.]

What are some of the unique demands that scoring for video games, movies and TV places on a composer?
Scoring work takes time, even when you’ve gotten really efficient and focused with your time, this job still demands that the composer sit there and work it out creatively. And sometimes, when I’m working on a project, or an episode of the show, my mind will keep working regardless of what I’m doing.. even when I’m sleeping!  But that’s how this gig works, and I love it.

Budget and time would both be major factors in the decision to select live instruments vs virtual ones. How are those decisions made?
Electronics are pretty amazing these days, but I try and stay away from sounds that are “synthetic” sounding in a cheesy way. Lately I’ve been using only organic sources for my music, even if I do really electronic sounding things with them. Orchestra libraries have really turned a corner in the last 3 years or so, and now it’s easier to create truly organic sounding mock-ups.  But if I need orchestra for a project, I would rather work with a real orchestra…no doubt about it.

When you need to create your score using virtual instruments, what are some unique demands that scoring places on the process? What do you look for in a VI that will help you achieve your scoring goals?
When I’m writing for live orchestra, I can send my orchestrator a rough version of the piece and we will discuss articulations, dynamics, colors, etc.  When I’m limited to samples, it takes a lot longer to try and achieve the sound I’m hearing in my head. Sometimes it’s actually not possible to do with samples, so I have to compromise in some way.  Admittedly, every year, that becomes less the case with all of the libraries coming out.

You’ve mentioned before your use of Miroslav Vitous’ new Composer’s Dream virtual strings library.  How does Composer’s Dream integrate into your composition and production process? Under what circumstances do you choose that VI over others? And why?
The new Miroslav strings (Composer’s Dream) loads up very fast, and I can write scripts to trigger them in different ways in that format and create my own custom versions of patches as well. It’s very flexible that way.  I found in using them for the demo, the lyrical violin patches were very unique – they have more soul than most of the string libraries out there.  I will go back to those for sure.  And I also liked how some of the patches had dynamics and movement within the samples.  Not as static as some of the libraries out there which I think is a good thing.   I’m hoping Miroslav will do an update that includes looped versions of the important sustained patches for this library at some point as well, that would round it out nicely.

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General - Instruments - Interview

An Interview with Mike and Mike of Cinesamples

The “Two Mikes” of Cinesamples Talk About VOXOS and More… Interview by Peter Alexander


Cinesamples‘ Michael Barry (above left) and Michael Patti (above right), two classically trained pianists and film/game composers, joined the growing trend of composers expanding their talents into developing sample libraries. Their company, Cinesamples, has released such brilliant and critically acclaimed libraries as CineHarp, CineToms, Drums of War, CineSnare, Iron Guitars and their most recent release, Hollywoodwinds. The duo is hard at work on their next library, VOXOS, a detailed vocal library scheduled to release late summer. Read the full interview at soniccontrol.tv.

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General - Instruments - Interview

Behind the Scenes of Vir2’s Electri6ity

‘…Just one word : STUNNING!…’
K-Slash on KVR

‘…Incredible. Great library! Next on shopping list…’
synesthesia on KVR

‘…I thought sample-based virtual guitar would suck, but boy was I wrong!!!…’
benjamind on KVR

‘…I can’t play keyboard quite that well but it’s pretty amazing what this VI can do on the fly. Once I have the spare cash I will be all over electri6ity for sure. Nicely done vir2….’
dmichaelsmusic on KVR

‘…This is great, I honestly never thought something of this caliber could be achieved in the range of Guitar Synth’s / VST’s. It sounds real. I can’t wait until it comes out….’
kirbyfighter12 on KVR

If you’re wondering what all that buzz is about, it’s about Electri6ity, the brand new virtual electric guitar instrument from Vir2 instruments. I’m Benjamin, one of the developers of Electri6ity and today I want to give you some insight into the development of this massive guitar library. I also want to tell you what makes it so special.

Let me start with some facts about Electri6ity: more than 200,000 44khz/24bit DI samples, eight famous guitar tones (Strat, Tele, P90, Les Paul, Rickenbacker, Danelectro Lipstick, ES335, L4) and more than 50.000 lines of Kontakt scripting.

Sometimes I’ve read that people don’t like advertising numbers when it comes to virtual instruments. Most of the time I agree. For example: I don’t care if a library contains 10,000 patches, if I only like one of them. I also don’t care if it has a million samples, if I can’t use it because the learning curve is too steep. But sometimes the amount of samples and the size of a library does matter.

Let’s start with size: Do you like a 30-second sustain note with natural decay better than a 5-second looped one? I do. At least when it comes to guitar or bass libraries.

Let’s talk about the amount of samples: Of course I agree with everyone who says that the amount of samples doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of a library. That’s true. If a library however is carefully recorded and each of the samples is manually edited and you want to cover all important articulations, the sample count will rise. And in this case it makes sense. Thanks to the new Kontakt 4’s new compression feature, however, we were able to keep this gigantic library at a reasonable size of 28GB.

The reason for the large amount of samples is the concept behind Electri6ity: every articulation is sampled with the same detail. For example: when we recorded a hammer on, we also recorded a muted hammer on. When we recorded a pull off, we also recorded a muted pull off. Same for the single fret slides. Same for the noises. We recorded every imaginable facet of the electric guitar. If you can imagine it, Electri6ity can play it!

Another key concept of Electri6ity is its artificial intelligence. This is very important if you want to emulate a guitar on a keyboard, since those instruments are so different in the way you play them. For example, on a keyboard every note has it’s own key, but on a guitar you have six strings and many notes are available on different strings. Depending on which string you choose, you’ll get a different timbre. And for a realistic performance it’s important you have access to those little nuances, especially if you are playing chords.

That’s why Electri6ity automatically transfers keyboard chords to guitar chords and – by watching your playing – is selecting the right string for you.

To make it short: we wanted to create an instrument which doesn’t need MIDI programming or editing. For my part, I’m a bit impatient when it comes to that. I don’t want to spent hours in the sequencer, tweaking controller changes, adding hundreds of keyswitches or loading patches for each articulation I’m going to use. I just want to write a song, I don’t want to engineer one!

That’s why the artificial intelligence behind Electri6ity takes care of that part, so the performer can concentrate on their creativity. This doesn’t mean, by the way, that you can’t exactly tell Electri6ity what to play and how to play it. You can – but you don’t have to!

I hope you enjoyed this insight into the concept behind Electri6ity and I hope you’ll see why we are so excited about its release after three long years of development.

For more information and demos visit http://www.vir2.com/instruments/electri6ity and http://www.youtube.com/user/vir2instruments, where you’ll find a lot of demonstration videos.

Cheers,
Benjamin
Vir2 Development Team

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