Let’s take a look at one of my favorite Kontakt libraries for the last years. Cinematic Guitars Infinity by Sample Logic – is an enormous guitar-based sample library that offers an amazing potential for sound design, my favorite part, and widely mistake as a standard “guitar library”, which is NOT in the least.
Cinematic Guitars Infinity is pretty heavy (26 GB) and for a good reason. It comes as 4 products in 1 (Cinematic Guitars 1, Cinematic Guitars 2, Cinematic Guitars 3 and Infinity). The download can take a while depending on your connection, but once it’s done, the fun can begin. After all, you are looking at 4750 instruments and multis, which can be combined into 2400trillion combinations. That’s quite a number! Trying to write a short demo in this library can quickly evolve to a fun preset browsing session of several hours.
There are 4 main sections of preset categories, which contain several subcategories:
- Atmospheres: Bizarre, Dark, and Scary, Electronic – Effectual, Mixed Emotions, Mysterious, Stingers, World Organic.
- Instruments: Arpeggiated, Guitars, Pads, Synths.
- Loops: Action-packed, Electronic –Effectual, Hat – Lite, Melodic, Pop Hop, World Organic.
- Percussive: Arpeggiated, Impacts –Deep, Impacts – Electronic, Impacts – Industrial impacts – World, Transitions
Not only will the content in “Cinematic Guitars” 1, 2, and 3 will keep you occupied for hours, Cinematic Guitars Infinity library can combine up to 8 sound sources from each of the CG libraries and you can also morph seamlessly between 4 layers in the GUI.
This is what Sample Logic says on their website:
“INFINITY provides revolutionary tools to simultaneously morph up to 8 unique “sound sources” running through 4 “sound-cores”. At the heart of this is Sample Logic’s newest invention, the “3D Mixer”, which allows for seamless morphing between the 4 sound cores intuitively.
Incorporating Sample Logic’s most impressive innovations to date, the Step Animator, and the Morph Animator, INFINITY’S new user interface is Sample Logic’s most progressive design yet. Combining animation with psychoacoustic sampling and hybrid synthesis, INFINITY will bring unprecedented power to your production toolbox…”
So it is really more a “library collection” since you get all three Cinematic Guitars libraries, plus the “Infinity” library, which is a somewhat different beast. The first three increase in complexity and capability as you go, since each version is newer than the one before. Versions 1 and 2 are very serviceable collections of sampled and processed guitar cinematic sounds, and version 3 adds a lot more control in the area of effects and tweaking.
It also has a step animator, as previously mentioned, for creating dynamic and sequenced patches, and all three collections are great for sound design and composition. Clever use is made of effects to add depth and width to the sampled guitars, and many of the patches are altered so much that they don’t sound like guitars but more like ethereal synthesizers.
The Infinity instrument is where things get really interesting. With much more advanced design, it really does enable you to morph up to eight sound sources through four sound-cores and blend them using the 3D mixer, which Sample Logic claims are a first for the Kontakt platform. The four cores orbit around 3D mixer in the center and each one has identical controls and can be switched on or off. More detail in the next section.
CG Infinity differs from the rest of the instruments, with a more complex interface, that provides four pairs of sample channels, and a ton of modulation features, that offer animation and color imported over from earlier titles. In addition, you’ll notice that there is no “Multi” section associated with Infinity; with 8 sample channels per patch, it is unlikely you’ll need one. You’ll find the usual Kontakt header used for choosing a MIDI channel, port, and so on, is also used to shuffle through Infinity’s four banks of presets: Atmospheres, Instrumentals, Loops, and Percussives.
The main screen layout for an Infinity patch starts with a header containing an information panel, which reads out parameter values of edits, a patch-selection and file management window, and a randomization button. Left and right arrows load patches in alphanumeric order, or you can click on the patch name, open a pop-up browser, and randomly sift through categories such as arpeggiated, pad, guitar, and synth in the Instrumentals bank.
Below the header, Infinity divides the preset into four Sound-cores, each of which harbors two sample channels called Sound-sources. This scheme endows Infinity with flexibility and speed, as each Sound-Core and Sound-source component has its own browser full of presets. For instance, you can change one Sound-core from a guitar to a pad, and load a synth waveform for one of the Sound-sources.
At the heart of Infinity is the previously mentioned FX Animator/3D mixer. A central window with an animated x/y axis that displays the instrument’s ability to create smooth and continuous cross-fades between multi-effect presets. This section, too, has browsers for presets. Or you can record your own moves, as with the Morph Animators that populate each source; these add a small step-sequencer-type window that you can edit on-the-fly with your mouse.
How it sounds?!
It’s not an easy task to describe the sound of this library. Given its variety, words that come to mind, are: evocative, expressive, flexible, atmospheric, powerful, etc. Since Cinematic Guitars Infinity contains Hits as well as Pads, Loops, and all kinds of other sound categories it has many different ways it can sound. From what I could hear all presets, are sonically of high-quality and well-crafted. But in the end, this library really puts the quality of sound in the hands of the user, through its enormous sound-shaping capabilities.
Many of the 750 presets are eminently usable straight out of the box and would fit perfectly into any TV, movie or game score – or indeed modern music production. They are really nicely designed and very accessible through the advanced, yet clear interface, that shows us how to push the boundaries of what’s possible with Kontakt.
Sample Logic packs four volumes of inspirational sounds and instruments under a single hood. Infinity’s terrific range of sound sculpting tools, alone, provides an instrument of enormous depth and flexibility. Between all four libraries, you are likely to find what you need in multiple versions: If not, the tools to voice the sound you need precisely are here in abundance. If there’s anything to watch out for, it’s that you don’t get overwhelmed by the number of options. It’s sometimes necessary to solo one of the cores while editing it, so you can hear what effects your changes are having. It takes time, but it is time well invested.
That’s not a criticism towards the depth of this library, more a way to ensure that you use the many sections to their full potential. It’s also often easy to make quick changes to get the result you want, such as moving the mixer or turning an animator on or off to calm a patch down or liven it up. This is a powerful, comprehensive film scoring instrument with the depth of editing features that some users will require, yet a ‘plug and play’ immediacy that will suit those looking for cinematic sound without spending too much time digging around.
More than simply adding a new library, CG Infinity’s engine incorporates Sample Logic’s more recent developments such as Arpology’s brilliant Step Animator, Xosphere’s Morph Animator, and a built-in supplemental wave-table synth, and together with everything else, it makes it well worth the Price.
I won’t deny that $ 599 are no small amount of money. Especially for a newcomer. But If you love sound design and shaping your own instruments this is a must-have for you. And as always, thanks for reading my review.
- Price: $ 599
- Runs on Kontakt as well as Kontakt Player.
- Minimum System Requirements: Intel Core 2 Duo, Windows 7, 4GB RAM, 25GB Hard drive space.
- Four collections in one.
- 4 sound-cores, 8 sound sources.
- XY slider and 3D mixer.
Get your copy today and become another proud owner of this awesome sample library (link below)!
Download: Cinematic Guitars Infinity
Also read: Cinematic Guitars Organic Atmospheres REVIEW
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