Big Fish Audio | MusicTech Magazine Time+Space | Acoustic Soundscapes Product Review
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Acoustic Soundscapes | MusicTech Magazine

Reviewer: Time+Space | Rating: 10/10 Back to Acoustic Soundscapes product details

Although the humble acoustic guitar is relatively easy to record ends fairly versatile instrument. you may need to broaden your palette if you want to evoke a wider range of emotions using stringed instruments. Big Fish Audio's Acoustic Soundscapes does just that, being a giant collection of not just guitar loops but mandolin, banjo, ukulele, upright bass, fiddle, female vocals and more for creating the kinds of sounds heard on TV and films such as True Blood, The Walking Dead and Brokebock Mountain.

The library contains around 3.6GB of 24-bit audio in ACID WAV, Apple Loops and REX formats, comprising 945 loops in total. Rather than opt for the construction kit layout, the riffs are split into folders of instruments, with around four files for each riff offering variations in chord progression, intensity and playing style. As each is named with the BPM and key, you can fairly easily match up the different parts if you want to build up the construction kit tracks yourself. We find this to be a more creative method of working as you're more likely to take just the odd riff rather than rely on using pre-written layers.

As we've come to expect from Big Fish Audio, the quality of the performances and the recording is top-notch, with wide stereo mic'ing techniques offering a big sound and just enough hints of captured ambience to make the instruments feel live. You'll find a large range of sounds, too, from earthy upright basses and deep baritone guitars to twanging banjos and delicately fingerpicked 12-strings. There are also some excellent fiddle and string riffs. around 100 female vocal ad-libs. some percussive sounds where held chords are struck rhythmically, and various SFX including slides, scrapes and hits. We would definitely recommend that those of you with Kontakt opt for the Kontakt version, which helps greatly to organise the mass of instruments, folders and extras with custom GUIs, BPM sync and pre-sliced loops across 35 patches.

Acoustic Soundscapes is a superb pack of unassuming, simple and highly usable riffs that could easily be dropped into an arrangement or composed around. It's also an excellent resource for media composers wanting to evoke feelings of middle America and the Wild West.

MT Verdict: A huge collection of evocative loops played on a wide range of string instruments. We found the simple riffs a pleasure to work with and easy to fit into arrangements.

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