Review: Elysium Harp by Soundiron

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With it’s easy to use interface, extended sound design instruments and FX, Soundiron has taken the Harp library to another level. I can see how many music makers will be creating entire songs/scores with nothing more than the Elysium Harp.

Jump to the Demos of Elysium Harp

Jump to the Videos of Elysium Harp

 

Review: Elysium Harp by Soundiron

Elysium Harp Interface

The Elysium Harp sample library was created by recording a 47 string concert harp. The library comes with 6 main NKIs (and 3 lite instruments that range from traditional harp techniques to sculpted sound design instruments.  The library downloads as 15.8 GB and is Kontakt Player instrument compatible with both the free and full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 5.5.2 or higher.

Elysium Harp sells for $149 from Soundiron

 

Thoughts

Leave it to Soundiron to take create a Harp, perfect for both solo as well as traditional orchestral work and take the instrument to another level. Elysium Harp gives music makers the ability to create entire scores with nothing more than the instrument. Right out the gate I started reviewing the library by listening to Gareth Coker’s “The Cedar Forest (Naked)” (below).  My right eyebrow raised up as I played back the track and I went back to my computer screen to double check that this demo was “Naked”.  As you can hear it contains these deep pads and ethereal textures that I was not expecting from the harp library.

After spending some time with the instrument I quickly realized that with it’s easy to use interface, extended sound design instruments, and FX, Soundiron has taken the Harp library to another level with the release of Elysium Harp.

The library was sampled with 6 different velocity layers and you can get very expressive performances in playback. The Elysium Harp comes with playback from C-1 all the way to C8!

The library is housed in a very well thought out engine with just about every parameter and control you could think of (and then some). With controls for swell, attack and release envelope, body control, offset and a vibrate dial which triggers an odd tremolo-like effect.

Elysium Harp Mixer, Gliss and Velocity Controls in “Control” Panel

The instrument has a mixer with two channels allowing selection of 1 of 3 microphone positions (front, back & room) as well as controls to route the signal for each mixer channel to different Kontakt outputs. The channels also have pan & and presence controls.

Then we start to get into some of the power of the Elysium Harp The Gliss Engine is well thought out and has a number parameters to easily sculpt custom glissandos with controls for rate (speed), playback curve, humanization, and direction. The Gliss Engine makes creating custom glissandos very easy and the possibilities are limitless.

Elysium Harp Apreggiator

Those familiar with Soundiron’s ARP engine will have no problem using the included Arpeggio Engine. The Arpeggiator which offers many controls that start to make the instrument come to life by just holding down a chord or series of notes.

 

The instrument also has an ingenious PEDAL mode and functionality. This function mutes the black keys of the instrument and leaves the white keys to be tuned according to the PEDAL settings, The PEDAL controls allow you to select preset tuning with a vast amount of key presets which are linked to keyswitches.

This functionality in a harp library encourages composers to write harp lines the way they would for a real harpist, by limiting the tuning to the 7 notes that replicate a harp library and forcing the string tuning changes to be deliberate and intentional by selecting key presets. I am pretty blown away by how well this functionality was thought out with the ability to easily access different modes and see the pedal tuning right on the interface.

The library contains 6 main patches. The “Elysium Harp 1 – Main patch” which consists of traditional plucked harp articulations. A patch for special Articulations which contain Finger Nail performance samples, Harmonic samples, a collection of Xylophonic samples and a Pedal Buzz sample playback.

 

 

Elysium Harp Glisses nki

The Elysium Harp 1 – Gliss patch comes with a huge array of performed glissando runs separated out by keys which can be accessed via keyswitches or from the drop down menu. While checking out the Gliss patch I thought it would have been nice to see a notational representation of which glisses were being triggered, as the only way I found to navigate through them was to play each one to hear what it would produce during playback.

The last 3 main instrument presets, the Chromodrone, Geloop and Stronch NKIs, are sound designed instruments. Soundiron has taken samples from the instrument and sculpted some beautiful and haunting drones, textures and timbres which really take this instrument to an entirely new level. Users have options to load 2 different samples into the “Layers” with basic controls for Swell, Attack, Release, Offset and Vibrate for each.

Elysium Harp Sound Design Instruments

If you haven’t caught on from the video or written review I am very impressed by this library. It isn’t everyday you come across a traditional instrument that’s engine covers every aspect for solo and ensemble performance as well as including a plethora of sound designed options. For this I can easily see how entire scores and tracks could be created using nothing but the Elysium Harp.

There is a lot more to learn about the instrument so check out the Official Walkthrough videos below for more info.

Elysium Harp sells for $149 from Soundiron

 

Demos of Elysium Harp

Videos of Elysium Harp