THIS THING RULES: Ample Sound Guitar M & Bass Upright

Welcome to another edition of This Thing Rules! It’s been a long time as I’ve been crazy busy releasing my 3rd album Head Like Fire, but I’ve got almost a dozen products to review and I should hopefully be banging out one after another over the next few months. The first one up is actually two in one, and both of which I used quite a bit on my new album. They also both happen to be from a company I’ve reviewed before. Today I’m reviewing Ample Sound’s Guitar M II and Bass Upright. Lets start out by checking out the original demo I made, “By The Moonlight.”

In “By The Moonlight” the only sounds you’re hearing are these two products from Ample Sound, and drums coming from other software. I have one looping bass line that I created in Ample Sound Bass Upright II and then four different layers of Ample Sound Guitar M II.

Starting with the Bass, this software lets you create a pretty much perfectly realistic sounding upright bass sound. The library was meticulously recorded with 4.26GB of samples taken from every fret of the upright bass. There are 6 articulations – sustain, mute, natural harmonic, hammer on & pull off, legato slide, slide in & out. The bass has a great, smooth sound to it, and of course the software has many features for allowing you to dial in that sound exactly how you need it, as well as quickly switching between those articulations.

The Guitar M II is sampled from the Martin D-41 Acoustic Guitar, and it sounds beautiful. As with their TC II guitar that I reviewed previously, this guitar can sound as real as you want it to as long as you put the time in to play with its features. There’s a tab player that can load in tablature to play for you, and tons of adjustable features to get this to sound like a real guitar. In “By The Moonlight” I am playing some layers with individual notes on the keyboard to create melodies, and some I’m using the Strummer feature to automatically strum chords for me. Strumming also has an extremely natural feel and is fully adjustable to get the exact speed and style you want. For another example of just how realistic this thing can sound, check out this short demo video direct from Ample Sound’s website (I didn’t make this one):

Ample Sound’s Guitar M II and Bass Upright II are both available directly from Ample Sound at http://www.amplesound.net/en/purchase.asp. Guitar M II costs $169 and Upright Bass II costs $149. This company makes a whole host of different kinds of guitars, and their engine makes it very easy to get great sounding results, so really, any of their products are highly recommended.

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 theABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

THIS THING RULES: Ample Guitar TC II

Welcome to another edition of This Thing Rules! This is going to be a slightly different one as I’ll sort of be talking about TWO products this time instead of the usual one. The main review is about Ample Sound’s excellent Ample Guitar TC II, but I’ll also be talking about Jamstik+, a really cool guitar instructional tool that doubles as a MIDI guitar. While I’ll eventually be doing a full review of the Jamstik+, I had just gotten it when I received this new Ample Guitar software, and since their products are setup to quickly and easily use with a MIDI guitar, I figured it would be a great match.

Before diving any further into the review, take a listen to the demo I made called “Stand Up.”

THIS THING RULES: Sonic Zest Collection

Welcome to another edition of THIS THING RULES. You may remember from my “The Past & The Future” Blog Post that I placed 8th in a composing contest sponsored by music software news site rekkerd.org. My prize was the entire collection of Sonic Zest Instruments for Native Instruments’ Kontakt. I’ve spent the last couple weeks playing with some of the instruments, and so far, I am extremely happy with my prize.

This collection features 22 instruments that are all beautifully sampled. The kinds of sounds that will easily find their way into my music. First of all, the list of included instruments:

  • Acoustic Autumn
  • Cinematic Soundscape
  • Ambient Cinematic Guitar 2
  • Chinese Dragon Bells
  • Glass Hand Drums
  • Indonesian Thunder Drum
  • Vietnamese Lithophone
  • African Tube Percussion
  • Himalayan Water Bowl
  • Tenor Recorder
  • The Glass Absolute Quintet
  • eBow Mandolin
  • Acoustic eBow
  • Maple Mandolin
  • Percussive Guitar
  • Apricot Duduk
  • Moroccan Drums
  • Typewriter of Prince George
  • Bronze Percussion
  • Paper Percussion
  • Lighter Percussion

My reviews here aren’t meant to always be an entirely comprehensive look at all the features and sounds included in any given product, so I didn’t fully explore all of these sounds, In the piece of music I made above, I used Acoustic E-Bow, Acoustic Autumn, Moroccan Drums, Ambient Cinematic Guitar 1, Ambient Cinematic Guitar 2, The Typewriter of Prince George and Cinematic Soundscape. As you can hear, the music is full and lush and of a top shelf quality. When considering that most of these go for $16 right now (or the complete collection at an amazing $125), the sound quality is actually kind of surprising. Everything is also wonderfully playable and natural.

The Moroccan Drums are the first thing that will probably grab your attention in this track. They’re so easy to play and come up with a rhythmic background. The Acoustic eBow creates a gorgeous bed for the various guitar melodies that I then brought in. I obviously really love the guitars that Sonic Zest has sampled here, and use almost all of them in this one piece.  To bring up the rhythm at the end, I used the Typewriter of Prince George which has some great clacking key type sounds that work great when mixed in with the traditional percussion sounds.

Sonic Zest has created a great collection of instruments here. At $125, it’s a ridiculous steal. Get it. You won’t be sorry.

UPDATE: I’m glad I posted this in time for Black Friday, because this collection is available THIS WEEK ONLY for the insanely low price of $89. Seriously. If you make music and use Kontakt (which if you do make music, you probably have Kontakt), get this. You’ll love it.

 

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