Checking Out: Creative Soundpacks Series from Orchestral Tools
The Creative Soundpacks series has a lot of excellent choices for adding depth and dimension to your score . . . and more than a bit of inspiration. Quality is consistent across the entire Creative Soundpacks series with clean and rich sampling that captures a range of dynamics and a detailed stereo field. Signature to the series is the addition of “Processed” instruments which are a wonderful testament to the developer’s sound design talent.
Checking Out: The Creative Soundpacks Series from Orchestral Tools
It seems every month Orchestral Tools has a new exciting release in their Creative SoundPacks series. With a growing range of instruments captured with immaculate detail, the developer has thus far captured unique and unusual sounds from a down-tuned string quartet to tree trunks, sticks, and leaves to tuned metals and an emotive 3 person choir library.
Quality is consistent across the entire range with clean and rich sampling that captures a range of dynamics and a detailed stereo field. Signature to the series is the addition of “Processed” instruments which are a wonderful testament to the developer’s sound design talent. These Processed patches take the instruments in unexpected directions offering a wide range of Pads, Pluck, Keys and Percussion that I have found extremely useful for scoring.
In the video above, I share a demo I mocked up using most of the Creative Soundpacks, break down the instruments used for the demo and then go through each of the 8 Creative Soundpacks currently released by Orchestral Tools, sharing my thoughts and favorite patches.
Review: Creative Soundpack Patina
The latest release in the series and one of my very favorites, Patina is sampled from a well-worn living room piano and delivers a warm, rich tone. The piano was recorded with Felt and normal versions with multiple mic positions with 8 articulations and 3 round robins.
Patina downloads as 7 GB using SINEarc compressor (down from 25 GB of raw samples) and comes with additional “Processed” instruments with Pads, Plucks, Key, and Bass instruments.
The library’s felt instruments are wonderful and the “Low Felt” is currently my go-to for a felt piano
The library’s felt instruments are wonderful and the “Low Felt” is currently my go-to for a felt piano and the real treat is the atmosphere and sound design of the processed instruments. They take the instrument in a surprising and even more useful direction all while showing off the sound design talent of the developer.
Other stand-outs include all of Patina’s collection of Pads instruments, the Keys instrument “Lumber” with its mysterious sound, and the Bass patch “Chrimson” is deep and rich with loads of character.
Patina normally sells for €79.00 from Orchestral Tools
Review Umbra Creative Soundpack by Orchestral Tools
Billed as a “Shamanic ritual ensemble” Orchestral Tools continue their Creative Soundpack series this time releasing Umbra.
The library downloads as 3.3 GB (from 9 GB of samples using the SINEarc compression) and includes a collection of Native Flutes, Skin Drum percussion, rainsticks, and a humming Shaman. Each instrument has up to 10 articulations, legato transitions and 2 mic positions as well as a selection of Processed instruments for Pads, Plucks, Keys, Drones, and Percussion.
Umbra’s added sound design and ensemble patches make this a very creative tool for anyone looking to add organic, mystical elements to a track or score.
Umbra normally sells for €79.00 from Orchestral Tools
See my Quick Look Video of Umbra below.
Review Ore Creative Soundpack
If you’re a tuned metal percussion nut like myself then you are going to love Ore. The library downloads as 2.8 GB (down from 8.2 GB thanks to the SINEarc compression) and comes with 10 instruments complete with a Tongue drum, caisa, gongs, kalimba, hapi drum and bells, all recorded with clarity and detail. These instruments have been captured with up to 12 articulations including a number of different strikes including some with dynamic crescendos.
If you’re a tuned metal percussion nut like myself then you are going to love Ore.
Although I will gravitate to using the ensemble patch each of the instruments is delivered separately as its own patch. I found the Processed Pads to be really nice, the Kicks to be an unexpected surprise that I am sure to be reaching for and the Keys instruments to be a stand-out for me.
The sample quality captures the swirling overtones or these tuned metal percussion and uniform playback is what make this instrument great to work with. Although, I personally would have liked to see the instruments delivered with a wider chromatic range, even if that meant stretching the top and bottom samples to give me 2 or 3 octaves to work with when loading them up.
Ore normally sells for €79.00 from Orchestral Tools
Review Creative Soundpack Maenad
Sampled from an extremely rare contemporary verophone instrument, Maenad provides an instrument with clarity and dimension.
Maenad downloads as 2 GB (down from 4.7 GB thanks to the SINEarc compression) and comes with 11 articulations and 3 microphone positions.
The detail and stereo imaging of the organic instrument are what got my attention but the usefulness of the instrument is expanded with inspiring pads, plucks and textures. If your looking for an alien, haunting sound then this might be perfect for your score.
Maenad normally sells for €49.00 from Orchestral Tools
Review Creative Soundpack Dagu
Dagu provides us with an intimately captured set of Chinese theater drums.
Capturing 9 traditional instruments the library downloads as 4.1 GB (down from 13 GB thanks to the SINEarc compression).
Dagu comes with up to 7 articulations per instrument and 5 microphone positions for lots of flexibility and control over the output.
Just loading these up the playback is very focused and delivers ensemble patches as well as solo instruments. The way the hits, flams, rolls, and clicks are uniformly mapped across the keyboard makes it very easy to get familiar with the instrument.
Anyone looking for a new set of ethnic percussion and something a little out of the ordinary should have a listen to these.
Dagu normally sells for €79.00 from Orchestral Tools
Review Creative Soundpack Arbos
What I love about this one is the clarity of playback of this unique sample set. Captured from root hits, rustling branches with rolls, flams, and other natural sources, Arbos will be wonderful for adding dimension to percussion parts.
Arbos downloads as 1.5 GB (down from 4.9 GB thanks to the SINEarc compression) and comes complete with 20 instruments with up to 11 articulations each and 3 microphone positions.
The 6 ensemble patches will be useful for those looking to work quickly and the Processed Pads, Pluck, and Textures add new length, breadth, depth to the instrument with the 3 tuned marimba instruments being a favorite of mine.
Arbos normally sells for €49.00 from Orchestral Tools
Review Creative Soundpack Babel
My favorite of the Creative Soundpacks, Babel is hypnotic with its detail and expressiveness. The library captures a soprano, alto, and bass singer.
Babel downloads as 3.3 GB (down from 7.7 GB thanks to the SINEarc compression) and provides 18 articulations with a spot and room mic.
When I was demoing Babel I stopped my review because I was so inspired to write with it and then I lost track of time.
The sustains morph from delicate to powerfully emotive, but my one critique here is that you have to be real careful with your expression as the transitions that add in the bass singer’s prominence are extremely sensitive and will require some fitness in programming in my experience.
The included Processed patches are a real delight with divine Pads, devilish Drones devilish and the lush ambient Textures patch
Arbos normally sells for €79.00 from Orchestral Tools
Review Creative Soundpack Amber
Sampling a down-tuned string quartet, Amber is truly unique and expressive.
Capturing a 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, and cello (tuned down a fourth) the library downloads as 8.3 GB (down from 17.3 GB thanks to the SINEarc compression). Keeping the library competitive, Amber comes with 19 articulations, true legato, 2 spots mics and 1 room mic.
The dark legato quality is wonderful and the wide range of articulations is a delight with sonic bite, detail and intimacy.
The sound-designed instruments are unique and a real sonic delicacy with the Pads being some of my favorites in the entire Creative Soundpacks series. I will be getting a lot of use out of Amber for adding emotive layers to my work.
Arbos normally sells for €149.00 from Orchestral Tools