Sample Logic turn the orchestra inside out in the name of cinema with Morphestra 2
The market is overflowing with tense, climatic, textured, evolving, orchestral, cinematic sound sources. Everyone is at it. It seems you can’t throw popcorn without hitting another cinematic sample library. But that hasn’t stopped Sample Logic from releasing what looks like the largest library of moody, seat rattling atmospherics so far. This one, though, “transcends ANY morphed/effectual orchestral sample library ever created” which is, er, nice. Their product descriptions are fabulous and this one neatly sums up the virtual instruments apparent awesomeness: “MORPHESTRA 2 morphs together amazing psychoacoustic sampled symphonic winds, strings and percussive instruments using Sample Logic’s flexible multi-core system result in a dynamic world where music and sound design collide”. It must be an exciting place to live.
Cynicism aside, let’s get to the facts. Morphestra 2 is a “Morphed Cinematic Orchestra” of over 25 GB’s and 5000 instrument presets and multis. That includes over 1100 soundsources, 635 soundcores (not sure what that means) and 3300 instruments. Of the 25 GB only 10 GB is new material, the rest is taken from Morphestra 1.0 and Morphestra Generations (crossgrades are available for existing owners). The new library consists of studio and field recordings of orchestral instruments, percussion, voice, guitar, waterphones, animals, warehouses, spanners, machinery, pointy sticks and exotic world instruments. These are then run through the Sample Logic morphing and synthesis engine to create organic and hybrid ensembles of weirdness.
The user interface looks a little crowded but is certainly comprehensive. They talk about this “multi core” system where a four-soundcore engine allows for simultaneous playback of up to eight soundsources. The Morph Animator, Step Animator and 3D Mixer allow you to morph between the four soundcores which offers the obligatory “endless possibilities”. With over 5000 presets to manage, I hope the interface is not as impenetrable as the marketing. The sound examples are impressive; the video included at the bottom of the this article adequately demonstrates some of the breadth of texture, movement and feeling you can get with a single instance of Morphestra 2. It would be interesting to see more about what the parameters and editing pages can do to the sound. It fits the profile of a tool for cinematic drama and sound design, it moves and evolves, beeps and grooves in a thunderous way. It’s certainly been a huge undertaking by Sample Logic and I imagine they hope they’ve done enough to make Morphestra 2 stand out in a crowded cinematic sound-mangling market. I confess that once I’ve navigated around the awesome marketing copy I’m quite enjoying the sound examples.
Morphestra 2 is available now directly from Sample Logic as a huge download for an introductory price of USD $399.99 which will rise to USD $499.99 after an unspecified amount of time (those 99 cents make all the difference). Crossgrades from Morphestra Generations are available for USD $199.99 rising to USD $249.99 some time after. It requires Kontakt version 5.5 or Kontakt Player 5, Mac OSX 10.9 or above, or Windows 7, 8 or 10 and a lot of space on your hard drive.
More information: http://samplelogic.com/products/morphestra2