Review: Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Shorts & Longs by Cinematique Instruments


Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Shorts and Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Longs offers a wide selection of orchestral sounds and more that can be used to create interesting ensemble sustains, customized tempo-synced loops, and more.

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Review: Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Shorts & Longs by Cinematique Instruments

Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Shorts and Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Longs feature a good collection of individual instruments that can be combined into unique sustained ensemble pads (Longs) and customizable tempo-synced loops and shorts (Shorts). The unique and well-thought out Kontakt interface is excellent and allows you to edit and tweak each instrument and ensemble to create something interesting and unique. The Orchestral Shorts especially stands out as an excellent addition to a composer’s sound pallet.

Ensemblia 2 sells for €150.00 each or both for €250.00 from Cinematique Instruments


There has been a recent influx of Kontakt instruments in which developers seek to combine different organic sound layers into single playable ensemble patches. However, this is not a new phenomenon. It’s been several years now since Ensemblia – a unique ensemble creation and customization library for Kontakt – was released into the world of Kontakt instruments. Now, with Ensemblia 2, Cinematique Instruments has sought to completely evolve this unique Kontakt library rather than merely to update it. Ensemblia 2 has been rebuilt to include a new script, a new interface, and other new features. Ensemblia 2 offers a unique approach that allows you to create both traditional and unconventional ensembles by creating combinations from more than 80 instruments, including strings, brass, keys, guitars, organs, mallets, and more. Ensemblia 2 is presented in two libraries that can be purchased separately or within a bundle: Orchestral Shorts and Orchestral Longs.

Ensemblia 2 Orchestra Shorts Main

Orchestral Shorts
Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Shorts is an excellent library for creating both short note ensembles and tempo-synced short loops. This instrument comes with a wealth of customization options, beginning with the ability to combine as many as seven different instruments. There are many great features here, but the key word among them all is CUSTOMIZATION. The Kontakt interface allows you to customize and shape the sound of each individual instrument and of the entire ensemble itself. Using the very intuitive and well-thought out interface, you can do everything from quickly selecting new instruments for each slot to controlling each instrument’s individual EQ, tuning, reverb, delay, volume, panning, sample length, envelope, and more.

Carried over from the original Ensemblia, one of the most unique and innovative features here is the ability to control the voicing of each instrument within your ensemble. The voicing feature allows you to control when and where each instrument within your ensemble will play using up to 5 slots. Fill in all five of the slots for the voicing of each instrument and that instrument will play every note that corresponds to what you play on the keyboard. Only select the bottom two notes, and only the bottom two notes of your played chord will sound for that instrument, etc. Do you want to combine a flute with a string quartet, but only have the flute play the top note of each chord? Done. Want to make sure the bass only plays the bottom note of your ensemble chords? Done. I found this to be a handy feature when simply playing short-note chords, but I think the voicing features shines most when used in conjunction with the loop sequencer.

Ensemblia 2 Orchestra Shorts Sequencer

Tempo-synced loops – in my opinion this is where Orchestral Shorts shines most. I find orchestral tempo-synced loops to be really helpful in my own music creation process, and Ensemblia 2 is one of the more useful tools I have found for creating orchestral-based tempo-synced loops. The 120 included presets will get you started, but the most fun is found in this instrument by diving into the interface and creating your own unique orchestral loops. This thing is just so fun! Cinematique Instruments have applied a lot of TLC to the entire interface and it really shows, especially within the loop sequencer. The sequencer allows you to quickly randomize loop patterns using the seven instruments you have loaded into your ensemble, or you can meticulously set the velocity, pattern, octave, and voicing for each instrument within the ensemble. The sequencer allows you to create both standard and triplet rhythms, and you can even add a user-customized percentage of swing to each one.

The copy/paste feature allows you to easily copy patterns from one instrument to another, or you can go wild and create completely separate patterns for each of the seven instruments – and that is where things get really fun! There’s also an arpeggio button that will turn the pattern into an arpeggio. This can be a useful feature that will allow you to play an arpeggio with a violin, a straight rhythm with a cello, and a counter-rhythm with a pipe-organ. That might sound nutty, but hey, why not! A couple of warnings: when setting the speed or timebase of your patterns you will want to watch out for the “machine-gun effect”, but overall this does not present an issue for me. The only other thing I would like to have seen in Orchestral Shorts is the ability to hold down my hold pedal to keep a rhythm going. Currently, you must hold down each key for a rhythm to keep going which could adversely affect those using this for live performance. However, if you’re like me and will only be using this within your DAW, this will likely not matter to you.

Ensemblia 2 Orchestra Longs Main

Orchestral Longs
Orchestral Longs brings the same great interface (minus the loop sequencer) but focuses on creating unique pads and sustained sounds. There are individual folders for strings, string alike, brass, wood brass, and ensemble which each include multiple presets. I found the individual sounds to be a bit of a mixed bag here. Some felt authentic, warm, and unique, while others felt somewhat fake or generic sounding. However, the focus here is really on creating sustained ensembles instead of individual sounds, so keep in mind that some of the less pleasing sounds can be redeemed when combined with six other instruments. Another thing to remember is that these sounds are meant to be sustained, so legato playing is not very effective or pleasing here. There are some good presets in here, such as “Tremolo Synth” – a combination of synth strings, a 3-violin set, a 3-cello set, and a bowed guitar tremolo, or “Ensemble C” – a combination of violin harmonics, violins, viola, celli, and basses. Again, the interface is your friend and encourages you to make your own sound combinations, but the presets can offer a good starting point. One of the coolest features within Orchestral Longs is the 3D panning feature. 3D panning allows you to not only control the traditional panning (left, right) of each instrument, but also set it back further or bring it closer to the listener. You can think of this as the ability to set each instrument within a different position on your virtual stage. Again, the focus here is on ensembles, so experimentation can be key. Combining church organs with bass clarinets, tubas, saxophones, and string quartets can yield interesting textures that you can use to give your music a unique sound pallet. I found Orchestral Longs to be the weaker of the two Ensemblia 2 volumes, but it does offer the ability to create some unique pad and orchestral sustained sounds.

Ensemblia 2 is a great tool for creating ensembles that can enhance your sound pallet with unique textures and combinations. Orchestral Shorts is definitely the most useful volume of the two for me, but Orchestral Longs can be used to create interesting and unique pads and sustains for underscore or other work.


Ensemblia 2 comes in two volumes: Orchestral Shorts and Orchestral Longs. These can be purchased at Cinematique Instruments for €150.00 each or within a bundle for €250.00. These volumes contain a combined 6 GB or sample content for the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8+.

Ensemblia 2 sells for €150.00 each or both for €250.00 from Cinematique Instruments


Demos of Ensemblia 2 by Cinematique Instruments

Videos of Ensemblia 2 by Cinematique Instruments

Contributor Raborn Johnson reviews Ensemblia 2 by Cinematique Instruments
“Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Shorts and Ensemblia 2 Orchestral Longs offers a wide selection of orchestral sounds and more that can be used to create interesting ensemble sustains, customized tempo-synced loops, and more.”