Product Review | Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

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Sample Library Review 5/5 Don Bodin
 
Apollo: Cinematic Guitars Review - Sample Library Review



The Good

Apollo has launched into orbit leaving other textural guitar libraries staring at it's contrail. I am a guitar player so I don't say this lightly: Apollo is a beautifully recorded easy to use library with loads of midi controller points that may leave my guitar amp collecting dust in the corner.

The Bad

It's a small negative I have with most kontakt instruments, I would have liked the interface to have pre-assigned midi cc's so I would only have to have my controller learn the parameters once.

Editor Rating

The Facts

Apollo: Cinematic Guitars is a guitar-based sound design instrument. Apollo is a Kontakt instrument made up of 22 GB uncompressed for use with both the full version of Kontakt AND the free Kontakt Player. Apollo offers five categories of patches including: Swells, Ambient Designer, Pads, Phrase Builder and Instruments.

Apollo has loads of great sounding effects and MIDI assignable controls to get creative with.

First Thoughts

There is something magical that happens with guitar textures. They breath organically with swells in the overtones and the pulsing harmonics. You can create beautiful expressive sound-scapes capturing the air between the pick up and the amp. Apollo captures all of that beautifully and gives the user MIDI control points

The Swells

There are over 13 GB samples that make up the Swells patches. These patches let you trigger strums of both high and low versions of major & minor chords for each sound.
You are also able to play individual notes which gives you the ability to create custom chords or play single note. A Swell speed control gives you ability to hear the note attack or slowly fade it in which is extremely useful in real scoring situations. The LFO control is AMAZING pushing this virtual instrument into the “hybrid” instrument category.

Ambient Designer

The Ambient Designer patches are a collection of beautifully sampled tonal and non tonal sounds that include the all the great noises and sounds made solely with a guitar. Sounds included are guitar plucks, phrases, violin bow on strings, fingers sliding on strings, white noise, amp buzz, and much more. The patch gives you controls to combined, mix, and pan to create the texture and atmosphere.

Pads

The Pads allows you to load up two unique sounds and mix them together. This gives you thosands of options for creating unique guitar based sounds and the ability to fade organicly from one sound to another. There are 70 unique pads that easy to edit and contain ASR controlls as well as the LFO controls I got so excited about in the begining of the review.

Phrase Builder

In Apollos you have 26 Phrase Builder patches spaced across the keyboard. Now if you’ve read my other review in the past you know I avoid phrases when possible so my scores don’t end up sounding like other composers with the same tools. That said however, the team at Vir2 really thought these out and with the types of simple phrases they have captured for Apollo I think there is a lot of usability even for a phrase/loop snob like myself. On top of that the these phrases sound great.

Instruments

Apollo comes with 8 multi–sampled Instruments including: Acoustic bass, electric bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric guitar harmonics, nylon string guitar, mandolin, banjo, and sitar. At first I thought maybe this was an after thought, but as soon as I started playing them I found them immediately usable! Each Instrument has Up to 3 velocity layers with 5 round robins and works well with simple expression.

Wrap Up

I am a guitar player so I don’t say this lightly: Apollo is a beautifully recorded easy to use library with loads of midi controller points that may leave my guitar amp collecting dust in the corner. Anytime I might want to reach for a synth I will be thinking twice and load up Apollo to add more expressive textures into my score.

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