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Sonikinetic 12 days of Xmas

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It's not a bad tool to have around, some really nice sounds with a fair amount of character, but also some unexpected limitations.

Instrument ranges are surprisingly short, especially towards the top end. The high brass and the high strings both stop a full octave below any other library that I own. Da Capo's sustained high brass tops out at C#5 (when C4 is middle C), and the sustained high strings top out at C6. In comparison, Albion's strings and brass patches both go a full octave above that, as do various string and brass patches from Hollywood Orchestra. I find it a bit odd that Sonokinetic would cut the range short like that.
 
Also, the percussion has a lot less variety than I expected. Some nice timpani, bass drum and toms sounds (but no rolls of any kind), only 2 keys dedicated to cymbals (each key plays a single cymbal crash, one loud and one softer - there is no swells available), and some decent but limited snare drum rolls and hits. The basic sounds are very good, and should blend into a composition really nicely, but a bit more variety here would have been helpful.
 
The woodwinds are a mixed bag. The low end woodwinds sound pretty good, but the middle and upper range (clarinets and the lower flute registers) have a really breathy ambiance to the samples that is a bit distracting. They probably sound fine when mixed with other instruments, but if I had a composition where the woodwinds are really exposed, I probably would not use the Da Capo patches.

The brass sounds good, but it is only tuba, trombones and french horns. There are no trumpets, which I find a bit strange. 
 
The library overall does have a lovely sound to it, and everything blends well together. The legato strings are very low key in their transition -- not very swoopy, and no portamento -- and the staccato string articulations are very straightforward but really nice. There is also a nice hint of rawness to all the samples -- the sort of very mild imperfections that (I think) add a touch of realness to a library.
 
The interface is quite clever and easy to use, and offers some nice control features. I think it was designed for broad brush strokes, so to speak, rather than very granular midi arrangements. I don't use Da Capo nearly as often as my other libraries, but it does see some use. In particular, I like the sound of the strings when played softly -- they have nice, raspy but delicate sound that I sometimes use when I need a vaguely sordino sound (but don't want to use the Albion ONE sordino strings, which I find a bit too nasal). 

So, to me Da Capo is useful but not essential, and has some limitations. But for 49 euros, a fair deal. That's just my 5 cents.

Rob

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Thanks for the detailed review Rob! 

I thought there must be some limitations as it only takes up around 7.8Gb of space (compressed). 

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I read that they have extended the top ranges for instruments in version 2.0 but couldn't find more details.

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42 minutes ago, ZincT said:

Thanks for the detailed review Rob! 

I thought there must be some limitations as it only takes up around 7.8Gb of space (compressed). 

Thanks for the explanation. I think for $49 it seems like a steal but since I already have Albion and Albion One as well as many other String, Brass and percussion libraries from the likes of 8Dio, Audiobro, NI, Soundiron, etc.. I probably don't need it. If my priorities weren't so focused on upgrading studio hardware at the moment I'd probably still buy it though, even though I don't need it. Seems like you can never have too many flavors, especially when it comes to orchestral libraries.

Edited by Patrick Derbidge
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I think the brass high end is more limited because there are no trumpets.

cWirmb.jpg

I have been wanting to get this for a while to use with the phrase libraries but it never was a great enough deal to warrant picking it up.  But this plus the new loyalty points tipped me over.  Though I doubt I'll use it all that much (if at all).

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2 hours ago, Matthew Sorrels said:

I think the brass high end is more limited because there are no trumpets.

cWirmb.jpg

I have been wanting to get this for a while to use with the phrase libraries but it never was a great enough deal to warrant picking it up.  But this plus the new loyalty points tipped me over.  Though I doubt I'll use it all that much (if at all).

Yeah, I think that is the case. I am curious why an instrument as fundamental to orchestration as the trumpet would not be included in this library, especially when their phrase libraries have trumpets (at least, Grosso and Vivace do -- which are the only Sonokinetic phrase libraries I own).  I also don't know why they'd stop the strings where they did. 

It is fun to use. I actually use Da Capo a bit when I am travelling, as it fits on my laptop HD with no problems, the 16 bit samples don't overtax the system, and you can lay out a decent and fairly complete basic orchestral sketch using the Da Capo sections. But is in no way an essential bit of gear.

Edited by Amicus717

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Update 2.0 is available. 
Still, not jumping, primarily ‘cause of that orangey GUI. 

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If Noir was 49 I wouldn't hesitate.  But no way will it be at that price.   Sonokinetic did me a nice favor some time ago.   I need to show my appreciation and buy something affordable.

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Good price, unfortunately I'm on same wagon as Patrick, if I wasn't focused on certain things this year end I would buy it but having only as much money I have to pass on it this time, sadly as I like things that are giving quick results.

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2 hours ago, Fleer said:

Update 2.0 is available. 
Still, not jumping, primarily ‘cause of that orangey GUI. 

The screen shot shot this is v2.0...   am I missing something?

So if this was a Guitar amp thingy would you still mind the hues? 

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The only reason I can see to get Da Capo is to have something that's playable that will match the hall of whatever Sonokinetic Phrase libraries you own.  If you care about such things, which I don't.   🙂

For me, what it does is done much better by Kirk Hunter Virtuoso Ensembles, which often sells for not much more.   

By the way, Sonokinetic gave away a free instrument  on the first Tuesday in 2016, 2017, and 2018.    I wonder if today will be the freebie day?  And I wonder if it will be a new instrument?  

In 2016, they had two freebies.  The EMP Mark II was given away on the 11th day.

Edited by Reid Rosefelt
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was 750 copies available when I posted - down to less than 200 now

I don't even know what it is - but the price is right so who cares :)

 

Edited by simon
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