If you’re into phrase base libraries you are of course already familiar with Sonokinetic, the king of the phases. Probably you have also heard about their recent release “MAXIMO“, but if you haven’t, or you are still not sure what to think about it, let me tell you a little bit.
The name definitely promises “bigger” and that is also what you get. With this new release, Sonokinetic shows again that sometimes you can turn the knob to eleven. With the biggest orchestra they ever recorded, they certainly made the library deserve its name. 101 musicians playing together certainly make some noise. We are talking about a 60 piece strings section with a 22 piece brass section and a 19 piece woodwind section. If that’s not a “full” Orchestra I don’t know what is.
You could say that we are currently in a time where the trend is to search for the bigger, more massive, more epic sound. Like this, where Sonokinetic managed to create a huge sound, in a phrase-based library, without sacrificing playability or sound quality.
In fact, I would recommend strongly you use the 24-bit version of the patches if your system allows it. They really made big steps in terms of sound quality and while it was always good, I feel like they really squeezed the last drop out with this one.
If you are a fan of the previous Sonokinetic products you won’t miss anything you are used to. The foundations of the interface haven’t changed and all functionalities you are used to are still there. The only thing that you will notice right away is that the visual phase representation became let curvy and edgier.
To all those who are new, you might notice that this is surprisingly colorful and not exactly intuitive. Let me help you out, it is actually very straightforward once you understand the basic system. The “weird” shapes, of which there is three-row on top each other, represent the phrases that are currently selected. You can click them to get to the phrase selection window where you can preview and select the phases your want.
If you are just into exploring, you can also just hit the “square” that is the “O” of MAXIMO to randomize 3 phrases.
There is also a bunch of options, you can access by clicking the little plus symbol on the bottom left. This will bring up the options menu where you can adjust the volume, cross-fade, mic options, and more.
If you click the “notes” button in the upper right corner of every phrase window, it will take you to note view. To be confused, if you can’t edit the notes here. This view is for your to see the phrase in writing and offers one of the coolest features of this library. You can drag those notes over into your DAW as midi and let other instruments or synths play along with MAXIMO.
There is a bunch more but, these are the basics. The Guys at Sonokinetic did a great job of making Tutorials for this library and how to get the most out of it. I suggest you head over there if you would like the full scoop on how to use MAXIMO.
Given that I am familiar with Sonokinetic’s other libraries, I wasn’t surprised to find that with MAXIMO they upped their “sound game” and brought us something that provides the dominant sound of the time in their tried and true phase-based engine. They improved in the right places and kept the good things in.
MAXIMO is most the most flexible and functional phrase-based library for a big, epic, orchestral sound I know, and if you are into that I really recommend you get it. It does have a slight learning curve, but once you get it it can really make sketching compositions out a lot faster.