THIS THING RULES: Sonic Zest Cinematic Percussion Engine

Welcome to another edition of This Thing Rules! As soon as I finished my recent review of Sonic Zest’s excellent Ambient Cinematic Guitar 3, I was asked if I’d like to check out their brand new instrument, Cinematic Percussion Engine. Only a half hour into playing with it, I can tell you right away that they’ve got another winner on their hands with this one. Check out my demo “In The Fire.”

THIS THING RULES: Sonic Zest Ambient Cinematic Guitar 3

Welcome to another installment of This Thing Rules. Today I’m going to be checking back with Sonic Zest. You may remember I reviewed their entire collection of instruments (which I won in a contest) in a previous This Thing Rules. I’ve always really liked their sounds, especially Ambient Cinematic Guitar 1 &2, so when I saw that Volume 3 was coming out, I had to get in touch. Before I dive into the review, take a minute to listen to my demo, “Sacrifice” which was made roughly 80% with just Ambient Cinematic Guitar 3.

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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