THIS THING RULES: Sonic Zest String Theory

Welcome to another edition of This Thing Rules! This time we’re revisiting Sonic Zest, a company I’ve covered three times before. This time I’m taking a look at String Theory. While the name might not immediately tip you off, this Kontakt instrument is all about a palm-muted Telecaster guitar. It’s made up of 323MB of samples and 4 patches: Tele Pad, Muted Telecaster, Muted Bass and Bass Arp.

The Demo song “Through The Trees” used the first three and a couple sounds from elsewhere (just the percussion and the keyboard). Lets take a listen.

If you remember my previous Sonic Zest reviews, you’ll know that the sounds in String Theory fit right in. Beautiful, natural, but with a touch of sound design. Since there are just four patches, I’ll go through them one by one.

Tele Pad is the real seller here as its a gorgeous pad sound that barely even sounds like the telecaster guitar it was sampled from but does sound gorgeous. The first sound you hear in “Through The Trees” are lush chords produced by Tele Pad. I left them as is with no added effects to really show how great it sounds. As with Sonic Zest’s other packages, I wish there were a few options to mess with, but as is, it’s immediately usable.

The Muted Telecaster sounds great but it appears to have some kind of humanizing on it which is both a good thing and a bad thing.  On the plus side it gives the guitar a more natural sound that helps to alleviate the “perfectness” of using computer software to make music… On the negative side, I quantized that rhythmic plucking to infinity and it still sounds out of time every once in a while (I thought I was going to lose it looking for the off beat notes haha). I think a less rhythmic melody like the one that comes in towards the end would benefit more from the effect, but I just liked having that in there so I figured why not leave it. I also added some cool reverb effects to it which I felt really added to the song.

The Muted Bass is a solid simple muted bass sound that is well sampled and responds great to effects to fill it out. It’s nice and smooth and fits in well. The Bass Arp is a nice addition too, although the lack of options made me wonder why I’d use it on any kind of regular basis since it’s just one arp. I suppose with the quality samples though it’s a nice thing to have, although you could always of course run the bass sample through your own arpeggiator.

String Theory is available from Sonic Zest for $16. It’s a low cost for a really nice set of samples and one really, really beautiful pad.

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

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