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8dio Agitato Grandiose Legato Review

By Ariel Juarez

Released in September 2014 8dio releases its line of next generation string libraries with “Grandiose Legato” being the first of 4 specialized string libraries. How does this library fare?

Instead of doing a “jack of all trades” library, 8dio has created a full product for each string requirement in articulation/instrumentation. As it name implies, “Grandiose Legato” specializes in the creation of lush and expressive melody lines, with 7 types of legatos to choose from, each with different characteristics. The 7 legatos are:

Sustain X fade
Gentle Detached
Mancini 1
Mancini 2

All of them sound great and can be changed on the fly via key-switching, Having played with the library for a year, my most used articulations have been “Sustain X Fade” (lush and never ending tone for really long but expressive passages) “Gentle Detached” (detached allows you to do same note legato) and “Mancini 1,2” (expressive, “singing” strings with a defined ending)

The libraries are divided into violins, violas, and cellos, each of them divided into ensemble and divisi sections. All of the instruments contain 3 mic positions to choose from (close, far, mixed)

You get 4 four knobs, dynamics, expression, legato volume and speed, which offer great control on how tight or free you want the sound to be.

Also included are short dynamic bowings, which are short arcs varying from a certain dynamic to another, examples include “Very Short MP-FF” “Sforzando FF” and “medium P-F” . This complements Adagio`s other dynamic arcs. (Adagio being the lyric and slower tempo specialized library).

How has the library fared in practice? In short, great. Even though It is for faster tempos, sometimes I have created a slow melody and loaded both Adagio and Agitato. Sometimes the winner is Agitato when you need that extra vibrato/expressiveness.

In the tech side of things, Agitato is not a resource hog, For example, the cello ensemble patch with all mics loaded takes .78 Gb of ram, only .25 if you use one mic (enough in most cases). Total disk weight of the complete bundle is 13.9 gigs uncompressed.

The library shows a good versatility in its tones, close mics in divisi violins sounds intimate yet lush. Mixed mics in ensemble cellos for that big low string sound. I have blended some real performances with Agitato Instruments and only specialized ears would noticed the virtual strings, it speaks wonders the versatility of an specialized library.

Other extra functions include “Auto-Chord” which lets you play two or more notes so you don’t have to load another instances for chord/melody switching, and “Auto-Speed” which varies the speed of the change in notes depending on how long the notes are being held. Auto-Speed is the only function I haven’t figured out well, it seemed to me I lost control over the performance and things were a little off tempo. The library doesn’t sound good when playing too fast, but that is covered by “8dio Arpeggio Legato and Ostinato”

8dio offers the strings as separate instruments for $99 violins/cellos or $89 for the violas, if you get ensemble and divisi bundle of a certain instrument it becomes $149/139 instead, and if you buy all the “All Agitato” bundle, you get the 6 instruments for $399.

In conclusion, a specialized library that complements another string library. Has good versatility to blend with other libraries or real instruments. 7 great sounding legatos give you a great arsenal for your melodies and can even sound intimate if you tweak it correctly. No resource hog. 9.2/10.

Vienna Special Editions and Vienna Instruments Pro

by Danny Poit

With all the choices for orchestral samples out there, it can be difficult deciding which tools might be appropriate for any given composer and any given usage. Some libraries try to closely match the Hollywood sound, whereas others try to mimic a more classical sound. Some are recorded in famous concert halls and sound stages with multiple mic positions, whereas others are recorded completely “dry” and leave the reverb completely up to the composer. Continue reading

Synthology Ivory II American Concert D Review

By David Christiansen

When it comes to high-class piano libraries Synthology has been on top for several years. I’ve loved the possibilities of Ivory but then changed to other pianos because, in my point of view, they had more realistic samples.

Like most composers I had virtual pianos and was quite happy. Mainly I was using Alicia Keys and the Steinway piano included in Native Instruments KOMPLETE. Continue reading

Focusrite VRM BOX – Review

Focusrite VRM BOX

by Bryan Kreuter

Ever been in that situation, you listen to a track and you’re fascinated by the superb production. You feel inspired, full of fresh energy, you just learned a new mixing technique and you can’t wait to get to your desk to fire up your monitors. Bam this track is gonna skyrocket your street cred! Every producer is going to beg you to mix their tracks. But…it’s 2am. And since you’re a friendly guy that respects his neighbors, you go back to bed and watch an episode of Seinfeld…with your Headphones! Continue reading

Wavosaure – Review

Mastering with Wavosaure: an improvement to the music production workflow (for Propellerheads’ Reason users).

Author: Edouard Reny – August 12th, 2013

The standard music production process can be summarized in 4 steps: composition, arrangement, mixing and finally mastering. An effective workflow adapted to the power of the production set-up is essential to keep the music producer’s creativity sharp and flowing. Nothing gets more irritating when at a certain point, the load on the CPU becomes so heavy that the computer gets the hiccups or worse, crashes. Continue reading