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Cinematique Instruments is one of the latest releases by Best Service. It’s a 2GB samples library focused on “weird, odd and rare instruments which adds a subtle and individual character to your music production.”
The library uses ENGINE, a Best Service player, based on Yellow Tools’ Independence
Pro. The software is available as standalone and plug-in for Mac OS X and Windows (AU, VST, RTAS). The good news is that you don’t need to have an up-to-date powerful CPU to run it. It supports also older PPC machines (talking of Macs, of course).
Well, it’s “only” 2Gb but there’s lots of stuff in this package. The developers claim that “they nearly recorded everything they could get their hands on!”, and it’s not far from the truth!
Cinematique Instruments contains:
- string instruments such as an autoharp, a kantele, a wooden celtic nylon harp, a bowed psaltery, a muted ukulele
- a nice collection of basic percussion sounds (bongo, chimes, etc.)
- keyboard instruments such as the low-price, garbage Super-Sound EK-470 e-piano, a Magnus Harmonica Organ, an upright Zeitter & Winkelmann Piano, a Rhodes MKI
- a glockenspiel and a spieluhr
- some special sound packs called Glass, Metallic Objects, Experimental Box and Downbeat Box.
Some of the programs are simply wonderful and truly inspiring. The string instruments, for example, have some really great patches. Of course playing the original ones may give you better expression and dynamics possibilities, but if you don’t own such beautiful instruments, well, this is a quick and cheap way to have them on your keyboard. Even some of the simpler patches, like the muted Ukulele, can provide some interesting new textures to your tracks.
Talking of the keyboard instruments, I would have probably not added the Rhodes and the Upright Piano in this collection. There are much better, dedicated libraries out there, and we all know that these are demanding instruments when it comes to sampling. The pump organ, the xylophone and the toy e-piano fit much better in this context, since they provide a quite unique tone. If you like low-fi productions, these are for you!
The Experimental and Downbeat packs feature some of the most original and interesting patches. You’ll get lots of textures, pads, mallets and percussions instruments, from very different sources: doors, staircases, kitchen tools, lids, train stations, glasses, paper crumpling, acoustic and electronic noise, pneumatic doors, crown cap shaking, glitches, noise, hiss, hum and other weirdness. Some of these sounds are dry while some are heavily processed: I’ve loved, for example, the ambient patches featured in the the Downbeat box.
To be fair, there’s some unexpected and probably unneeded stuff here too, like the MS20 patches. I mean, I love the unique tone of the MS20, but these loops and sounds look more like a filler here. A nice add-on is the Outta Space, a lovely sounding theremin-like patch. Too bad it’s not programmed as a monophonic/legato style patch (it seems not possible to achieve that in the Engine’s interface, I’ll ask the developers).
In many Cinematique Instruments patches the Mod-wheel can be used to tweak the dynamics of the sound, and the printed manual clearly shows where it can be used (checking the manual is also recommended to know more about the patches that use keyswitching, etc.).
On most of the patches you will find also some useful variations/presets (reamped, tremolo, room, reverb sound), and the Engine interface gives you a complete control over each patch’s parameter (including automation, etc.), with its Pro-Edit window.
There’s also a Quick Edit window, that lets you tweak only the few parameters that the developer has choosen for that particular patch.
Engine worked as expected in my test. The install/authorization method could be easier though. Definitely read the instructions before going on. Especially less expert users could easily get confused with this multi-step process. Also, I’d like to see a more readable/bigger font in Engine’s GUI. It’s not a problem on big displays, but maybe on smaller laptops it could help.
Cinematique Instruments definitely lives up to my expectations (and to its name). It provides plenty of unique and inspiring patches. I’ve already started using some of them on a track I was working on in these days. If you’re a sound-designer, or even if you’re a producer who needs to add some new spices to a song, I’d recommend getting it.
Being a sampled library, there’s no trial version available. But you can listen to some audio demos on the official website. The price-tag can look at first a bit expensive (199 euro incl. VAT), but considering the huge amount of carefully crafted sounds you get, and the fact some of these instruments are quite rare, I’d say it’s fair (and if you’re a pro, it will easily pay for itself).
Price: 199 euro (VAT incl.)
It definitely lives up to its name
- Unique and truly inspiring sounds
- The sample player it’s not CPU-hungry
LOVE-IT OR HATE-IT
- Some fillers here and there (but maybe you’ll find them useful, who knows?)
- The install and authorization process could be easier