Review: Contemporary Soloists Cello by Sonixinema

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Filled with unique articulations, a nice raw tone, and sound design patches, Contemporary Soloists Cello adds a new flavor to the string section of the composer toolkit.

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Review: Contemporary Soloists Cello by Sonixinema

Contemporary Soloists Cello is the first installment in a new range of Kontakt instruments from Sonixinema. Designed to fill a gap in the virtual cello market, this library brings a nice tone and a unique set of articulations to the mix, along with an interesting collection of sound design patches. The easy-to-use interface allows you to warp and mangle the cello samples into something quite different sounding from the source samples. This library could be a great complement to your other go-to cello or string libraries.

Contemporary Soloists Cello sells for £99.00 from Sonixinema

Thoughts

Like many of us, I’m a sucker for string libraries; solo, ensemble, aleatoric, and everything in between. I already have my go-to and favorite string libraries, but I’m always happy when new colors and tones become available. That’s what Contemporary Soloists Cello brings to the table – new colors and new tones for a familiar instrument. There’s an awful lot to like about this library. There are over 100 presets across 17 different .nki files. While the mainstays of a solo cello library are represented here (legato, shorts, sustains, etc.), Contemporary Soloists Cello is a library that aims to bring more to the table. I think you can find solo cello libraries with better legato or more shorts articulations, but there are plenty of things here that you just won’t find elsewhere. Chief among these unique articulations and playing styles are the Arpeggio Crossings. In the Arpeggio Crossings, I have finally found a sample cello library that will allow me to reproduce one of the most quintessential of cello playing styles. It’s hard to describe this playing style, but you will know it when you hear it – it’s essentially an arpeggio bowed nimbly across multiple strings. One of my favorite features of this patch is that Sonixinema have presented it in both major and minor versions across three different inversions, all in a single patch, so you can create some very believable arpeggio performances. Brilliant! Another thing I like about Contemporary Soloists Cello is the raw sound of the samples. Contemporary Soloists Cello has that nice, raw tone that feels like the bow is dripping with rosin. Each .nki patch has multiple snapshot presets that take the articulation or playing style and filter it through the onboard sound design engine.

The Kontakt Player engine is nicely setup and easy to use with some great flexible options. There are multiple mic positions that can be mixed to taste, or you can use the single Proximity slider to dial in a particular combination of mic positions. There is also a mixed mic fader with a pre-mixed version for those who just want to set it and forget it. There’s a stereo control to allow you to dial in a mono or stereo version of the articulation you are playing.

The FX section has a nice selection of filters, saturations, and reverbs, and there are controls for delay, chorus, and degradation as well. There are three different types of saturation and 65 custom reverb impulse responses that allow you to put the cello into a plethora of different spaces. In addition to the Arpeggio Crossings, my favorite patches in Contemporary Soloists Cello are the Aggressive Shorts, Gypsy Pizz, Warped Sustains, and Circular Bowings. The Aggressive Shorts and Gypsy Pizz are spiccatos and pizzicatos that are well done. The Warped Sustains and Circular Bowings represent the more aleatoric side of the library, with unique articulations and playing styles that are useful for peppering your tracks with life-like performances. There are some weaknesses to the library: The Expressive Legato feels somewhat disjointed, there is no control over vibrato or portamento, and the Dark Sustains can sound a little synthy. However, all-in-all, Contemporary Soloists Cello is a great addition to the composer’s toolkit. The price is excellent and there are plenty of unique things to keep you coming back for more.

Facts

Weighing in at 8.5 GB, Contemporary Soloists Cello runs in the free Kontakt Player. It includes 17 nki files with over 100 presets. There are also 4 microphone positions that can be mixed to taste along with a single premixed version and Proximity control for those who just want an already homed in mic mix. Contemporary Soloists Cello is available from Sonixinema for £99.00 but is currently available for the introductory price of £69.00 at time of review.

Contemporary Soloists Cello sells for £99.00 from Sonixinema

 

Demos of Contemporary Soloists Cello by Sonixinema

Videos of Contemporary Soloists Cello by Sonixinema




Contributor Raborn Johnson reviews Contemporary Soloists Cello by Sonixinema
“Filled with unique articulations, a nice raw tone, and sound design patches, Contemporary Soloists Cello adds a new flavor to the string section of the composer toolkit.”