Review Capriccio from Sonokinetic

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Capriccio – Orchestral Phrase-based Cinematic Sample Library

First Thoughts

Capriccio is Sonokinetic‘s largest Orchestral phrased-based sample library to-date in number of sampled phrases captured. There is a great selection of standard usable phrases in the library to choose from. With the ability to many of the phrases key as well as from major to minor, Capriccio pushes the boundaries of phrase sample playback and is like having your own orchestrator add life to your score or help you kick-start a composition.

With innovative tools like “phrase follow” (which will shift chords in the middle of phrases), “harmonic shift” (changes playback by  harmonizing automatically to the scale) and release notes Capriccio gives you a wonderful set of tools to use these orchestral phrases and make them your own.

What Sonokinetic has done with Capriccio (as well as Grosso, Minimal & Tutti Vox) is start a shift in the paradigm where you can no longer dismiss phrase based tools in the same way you can’t dismiss a hollywood composer for working with a talented orchestrator.

 

The Facts

The instruments of the Sonokinetic‘s Capriccio works with both the free Kontakt player and the full version of Kontakt and loads up in the library tab.

Capriccio contains 35,000 samples of phrases divided among sections of the orchestra with instruments in both 16 & 24 bit as well as LITE versions included.

Capriccio comes with 5 phrase based instruments that tempo syncing using Native Instruments Time Machine Pro or Sonokinetic‘s Intelligent Tempo Mapping

At the time of writing Capriccio runs 299.00 (euro), or is available as in a 3 different discounted bundle including the Orchestral Trilogy Bundle ( CAPRICCIO, GROSSO & MINIMAL) for €599.00 (a 25% discount)

 

Patches

Capriccio is centered around 6 main instrument patches. A Strings instrument created from sampling a 52 Symphonic String ensemble.

CapStrings

A Brass instrument created from sampling a 12 Symphonic Brass ensemble.

Cap_Brass

A Woodwinds instrument created from sampling a 12 Woodwinds ensemble.

CapWW

A Runs instrument with string and woodwind ensemble runs.

CapRuns

3 Percussion instrument: a pitched phrase instrument, a non pitched phrase instrument and a multisampled percussion instrument created from sampling taiko drums, symphonic percussion, xylophone, tubular bells, glockenspiel, piano.

CapMultiPerc

 

 

Interface

Each of the phrase instruments in Capriccio contains with 3 modules for you to load phrases into (with the exception of the Runs instrument which has 2 modules). Each module has 4 banks for you to load difference phrases into. You then have the ability to jump from bank to bank (one phrase to another) by using the designated key switches.

i” for information:
With of Capriccio’s innovation comes a few little growing pains. I found the instruments interface a little difficult to navigate at first. I was very happy to that Sonokinetic has an “i” button that pulls up an information guide.

CapInfo

On the top left of the interface you have a “M” button which lets you mute the phrase you currently are viewing. Below that you have an icon button to turn on/off the ability to control volume of the loaded phrase with the mod wheel.

Under that icon you “itM” button which lets you cycle through tempo controls: 1X, 2X or iTM – intelligent time mapping.

On the right you have a staff icon that pulls up a score view so you can see the notes used for the phrase you have loaded up (see SCORE below).

Below that a “P” button allows you to purge the sample and just under that the “+-” icon turns on/off the harmonic shift function for the corresponding phase. This allows you to use the designated harmonic shift interface and key switches to change the relative playback pitch based on the programmed scale you have set.

At any time clicking the “O” of Capriccio will load up a random set of phrases.

From the center of the interface you have the ability to choose your phrase by clicking on the graphic which opens up the phrase picker.

Phrase Picker:

Cap_PhraseSelection

 

SCORE:
Capriccio offers the ability to view the orchestral score for the phrase you are working with the staff icon on the front of the instruments interface. You are then able to “drag” the midi of the score right into your DAW. This feature offers endless possibilities for modifying and creating variations in your work as well as aid in creating parts for live players if you are using Capriccio as a mock-up tool.

CapScore

 

 

 

CONTROLS

At the bottom left is a “gear” icon which opens up a set of controls for the instrument that include Volume, Pan, X-Fade, Sample Offset, Mics, Tuning and Harmonic Shift.

The X fade adjusts the transition from one phrase to the next while the sample offset alows for adjustments of phrase start location.

With Capriccio you have the ability to load up 4 mic positions CLOSE, DECCA, WIDE and FAR. You can select 2 mic positions and balance between them easily.

Mics

Capriccio allows you to quickly change the instruments playback by adjusting the tuning from 440,441,442 and 443.

Tune

Harmonic Shift gives you the ability to change the playback of the phrases pitch with the harmonic shift assigned key switches based on the scale programmed in the settings.HarmShift

Playability

Right out of the gate you will get excited playing a triad and hearing the orchestra play back the phrases you have selected. It will take a little bit of experimentation to get the most out of the instrument and learn how to program your midi parts to get the orchestra to sound smooth and natural. But all that time spent will pay off when you learn how to program your midi to work with the instruments the playback is awe inspiring.

 

Wrap Up

Overall the instruments of Capriccio deliver great sounding phrases with a lot of flexibility to meld and control them to fit into your composition. Now I just touched upon most of the functionality to give you a review of the instrument but be sure to check out all the  official Capriccio videos and tutorials to get fully informed and all the details becuase there is a lot to learn about this library.

As I had mentioned, one critique I have is that Capriccio’s interface (GUI) has a bit of a learning curve. I spent a couple days with the instrument while making the video and still needed to reference the “i” for information from time to time.

Another point I feel I need to make is that although the “graphical” representation of the phrases is a fun and interesting way develop the libraries, I found myself wishing I could flip through ALL the scores for the phrases to know which parts I would want to work with.

Now to be fair you can purchase the 186 page Capriccio Conductor Scores separately (for an additional €49.00 Euro) but I would have thought this would have been included in the manual to help those users who do read music navigate through the phrases more easily.

All said if you are looking to add an orchestral phrase tool with loads of controls to your arsenal or looking for quick and inspiring ways to work up compositions I highly recommend Capriccio . . . it is like working with a great orchestrator who has tracked loads of his techniques (in every key and tempo sync’d) for a one time fee of €290.90 Euro – look at it like that and Capriccio is a steal!

As with all of our reviews be sure to check out the official demos and videos below to make sure the instrument is right for your needs.

If you want to learn more about the developer’s other libraries, you can check out a list of all SLR Reviews and News for Sonokinetic Libraries here.

 

Official Capriccio Demos

Official Videos of Capriccio from Sonokinetic