Big Fish Audio | Keyboard Francis Preve | Guitar Studio Product Review
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Guitar Studio | Keyboard

Reviewer: Francis Preve Back to Guitar Studio product details

Pros: Great recordings. Huge variety of styles. Naturalness of the samples makes it easy to use them in widely varying productions.

Cons: No extended passages/chord progressions for building entire songs.

Bottom Line: Guitar performances played with so much taste and timelessness, they'll remain useful for years to come.

A catchy guitar riff can transform a ho-hum electronica track into an indelible dance-floor opus. But finding a guitarist with the chops and feel to deliver the goods when and where you'd like (4 a.m., your bedroom studio) isn't always easy, which is why Guitar Studio is such a useful tool for the samplist's arsenal.

While many guitar sample collections focus on a specific genre or guitarist, Guitar Studio covers a broad range of styles; from alternative and funk to jazz, Americana, blues, and more. Plus, the performances on this disc are stylistically earnest and wonderfully recorded. "Theses tracks sound great without having too much of a signature to them," says second listener John Krogh. " A versatile collection for those in need of a general-purpose guitar library."

Performances typically last from one to four bars; however, most of the longer loops consist of a one-bar pattern that's repeated. Most of the tracks are played in guitar-friendly keys such as A, E, G, and D, but a handful of phrases in flat keys are also provided. This isn't as limiting as it sounds, provided you have access to a program that reads Acidized WAV files, which will allow you to transpose to other keys easily.

The alternative guitar section, which kicks off the disc, is ready for MTV; nearly all this genre's flavors, from gently overdriven arpeggiated licks to melancholy minor strums with added ninths, are faithfully provided.

The funk section benefits from generous but tasteful application of syncopated wah effects. The only thing missing from this part of the collection are up-tempo Nile Rodgers-ish rhythms. Metal and hard rock are well represented with everything from classic power-chord progressions to Van Halen-like distorted wah-wah licks.

The creamy Les Paul sound featured in the jazzy section is captured beautifully. Performances range from gentle chords to classic Steely Dan octave-doubled licks. Tasteful and restrained, these tracks are perfect for both mid-tempo disco and trip-hop excursions.

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