Everything I learned about the ComposerCloud Service from EastWest / SoundsOnline
“ComposerCloud is a paradigm shift in the way we pay for virtual instruments. It levels the playing field by making some of the best sounding libraries on the market accessible to composers, students and hobbyists alike! With so many advantages it is hard to pass up this subscription service.”
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Review Composer Cloud Subscription Service
ComposerCloud is available from EastWest at from Best Service
In this review I am going to be looking over the process, ease of use, value and how the overall experience and benifits of the ComposerCloud service worked for me while I have been demoing it. What I will not be doing in this review is reviewing the instruments that come with the service including EastWest’s Hollywood Orchestral Libraries, the line of cinematic tools from Quantum Leap or the Spaces Impulse Response (reverb) plug in .. . . ok I am going to give a HUGE shout out to SPACES – I simply love the quailty of this verb and it’s included IR’s!!!
The main ComposerCloud subscrition runs at about $320 a year (paid annually) or $29.99 a month as a pay-as-you-go service. At the time of creating the video the Student CompserCloud subscription runs about $160 a year (paid annually) or $14.99 a month as a pay-as-you-go service.
What is included?
The first thing you need to know is that you get access to EVERYTHING EastWest and QL has ever released from the SoundsOnline.com store. This includes a whopping 9,000 ($12,500) top tier virtual instruments which you have heard a multitude of times in probably some of your favorite film, TV or video game scores.
There is a 10 day FREE trial version of Composer Cloud that allows you to test out 3 of the instruments.
Both of these subscriptions I mentioned come with access to the Gold Edition libraries. The Gold Edition libraries come with 16bit samples and one microphone position. It is important to note that the Diamond Edition of the EW/QL libraries includes additional microphone positions and samples at 24bit.
The ComposerCloud Plus subscription includs the Diamond Edition instruments. You can upgrade your ComposerCloud membership plan by selecting the “I am upgrading to ComposerCloud Plus” option. This will give you access to the Diamond Edition libraries and runs $699 a year.
With the ComposerCloud set up is very simple. EastWest has an Instillation Center app which you download to your computer and quickly are able to select the libraries you would like to use. Now these are substantial sized virtual instruments some weighing in at just under 1GB but others as large as 56GBs! My main concern in this part of the process was how much hand holding I was going to have to do as I downloaded a selection of about a dozen instruments I wanted to check out and I am happy to say with just a few clicks I was able to get the downloading started and leave the Installation Center to do the rest of the work for me over night.
CC Gold Data Hard Drive
If you have superslow internet access EastWest have planned for this obstacle and offer a CC Gold Data Hard Drive which you can purchase online and have shipped to you. This hard drive contains sound data for all the EW/QL instruments. You can then get a either buy a product licenses or subscribe to Composer Cloud even with a slow internet connection.
PLAY virtual instrument sample player
With all of the EastWest/QL libraries they use EW custom sample player PLAY software. This is not a kontakt instrument. This is a plug-in created by the EW team that allows you to load and playback the EW/QL instrument. At the time of this writing PLAY was at version 4.3.2 and I was using it smoothly on my mac.
License is kept on iLok OR Machine
For the first time, EW/Ql is offering iLok machine (electronic) licenses that are placed on your computer that do not require the separate purchase of an iLok2 security key. However, if you already have an iLok2 security key you can choose to use that instead for portability, and everything will still work as before. You will select between a iLok machine (electronic) license or iLok2 security key in the Installation Center during the activation of any product. Be aware that ComposerCloud is not compatible with iLok1 and I had to order a new iLok as I was using an iLok1 before I could demo the service.
It is important to note that if you stop your subscription service you are not able to play the instruments you have downloaded. You do however retain the rights to the finished recordings of the music that you have previously created.
CC is useful for Owners of EW/QL Libraries
Now if you already own a number of EastWest, QL libraries like I do then using the ComposerCloud still has some great benefits. I don’t own everything EW/QL have released, not by a long shot, so the ability to spend as little as $29 a month to get access to library I need for a specific project is a no brainer.
Another great benefit for composers who already own some EW/QL libraries is the ability to test out libraries – a Try before you Buy! Since the announcement of Composer Cloud EastWest continues to release new libraries including the Hollywood Solo Harp, Hollywood Solo Cello and soon to be releases Hollywood Solo Violin.
At the time of this writing the new instruments have been early access for ComposerCloud Subscribers.
Multi-Machine Systems with Composer Cloud
East West has made the process as simple as possible with one simple License on either your machine or you iLok. So the only obstacle I found was for composers who are wanting to use the Composer Cloud across multiple machines such as a VEPro set up. You will actually need a different license per machine. One way to set that up would be to have a separate iLok with a separate subscription ( or seperate Composer Cloud Machine licence ). Another way would be to purchase the EW/QL libraries you would like to use and have the license for those libraries added to another iLok or another machine.
Composer Cloud is a paradigm shift in the way we pay for virtual instruments. It levels the playing field by making some of the best sounding libraries on the market accessible to composers, students and hobbyists alike! With so many advantages it is hard to pass up this subscription service.