I’m pleased to present you the new Strummed Acoustic 2 from Native Instruments. Note that this isn’t an update or something like that. It is the second Installation, of “Strummed Acoustic”, and it builds on the first one.
It comes with a bunch of new features and some changes, that show that NI listens to their customer’s feedback and takes it seriously. Always a good thing to know about a sample library supplier in my opinion.
For those of you who don’t know “Strummed Acoustic 1”, the library’s goal was basically to give you a tool to enable you to put in guitar lines and backing guitars quickly, in the same way, a studio guitarist would.
It obviously had its main focus on creating as realistic a sound as possible, while still remaining very user and time-friendly. It came with a ton of dynamic patterns to chose from, in a lot of different styles, and with a great sound.
While I was originally very excited when the first “Strummed Acoustic” came out, there were a few things that quickly became quite frustrating about it, and after a few months I ended up only occasionally using the library. Let me tell you what is different about the second installation, and why that won’t happen anymore.
What is new
With “Strummed Acoustic 2” Native Instruments took a different approach in many ways. While they kept the basic principle, that was very well received by users, they went for two very different sounds. The first installation of “Strummed Acoustic” has a very, clean, bright sound.
Great for Pop tunes and ballads. This library features a twelve-string guitar as well as a western, and generally speaking delivers a much more rich, almost dirty sound. Almost like the flip side of the first “Strummed Acoustic”.
“Strummed Acoustic 2” is, therefore, all new samples of course, and comes with over 160 new rhythmic strumming patterns that fit really well with the new sound and character of the two new guitars.
It also comes with a bunch of great new features. For example, a lot of the strumming patterns have not bass notes you can move separately, for a stronger tonal effect.
Another great new feature is the ability to alter any of the preset patterns. This is giving you basically a limitless range of patterns to create.
This goes as far as altering the rhythm, start and endpoint, tonality, and speed. This basically remedies most of what I was missing with “Strummed Acoustic 1”.
They also included a “Tap rhythm finder” which basically allows you to tap a rhythm in and then presents you with any pattern presets that would fit. I use this all the time and find it incredibly helpful and time-saving.
Not new, but still great!
Some things were not changed, and some just expanded, but they still are part of what makes this Instrument great, so I just want to quickly mention my favorites here.
If you are familiar with a lot of the NI libraries you might have expected these, and yes the control this library gives you over the sound is of course part of its charm. I am talking about the built-in play style options and nifty algorithms behind them.
The “Swing “and “Humanize” knobs, together with timing and tempo, are really what will make the sound feel human and not robotic. The way these controls are implemented may be simple, but mastering them is what makes all the difference, and I love easy it is to make the strumming patterns sound real with just a few knobs.
The included EQ settings, convolution reverb, Compression, as well as control over voicing and fret noises, fill out all the sound control wishes you could have for a digital acoustic guitar and if you are not a friend of fiddling with controls, there are some great sound presets included which I regularly fall back on.
Strummed Acoustic 2 is a great instrument, and very affordable for what it is. If you find yourself wishing for a studio guitarist, who lives in your closet, or keep dreaming of learning the guitar but never find the time, this is a great tool for you. Even if you can play the guitar, sometimes this is just quicker and if know what deadlines feel like, you know that “quicker” can be worth a lot.
If you happen to own one of the Native Instruments “Kontrol“ keyboards, this is, even more, fun, since the integration is so tight, and the light guide makes it really easy to know all the key switches. If you don’t though, no reason to be worried. The interface is not just looking really great, it is also very intuitive and user-friendly.
And just to let you know. “Strummed Acoustic 1” has also been updated, to include all the new features of this library. So if you have it, you might want to have a look at it again, and if you don’t, and are looking for a great-sounding clean, pop acoustic guitar sound, it’s really worth its money.
- Price: $99
- Requirements: Free KONTAKT 5 PLAYER, or KONTAKT 5
- Size: 9.6 GB (about 16 GB uncompressed sample pool)
- 163 dynamic patterns organized in 34 songs