Review: Evolution FlatPick 6 from Orange Tree Samples
Wonderful addition to the Evolution series
New "buzz sustain release" articulation
New "random" mapping functionality
Perfect sound for Americana/Folk music but so much more
Presets not as varied as previous Evolution releases
Engine is easy to jump into but takes time to master
Evolution FlatPick 6 has a great sound and will be a wonderful addition if you’re looking to add some Americana feel to music or scores. The engine offers so many options for adjustments you may find yourself using pulling up FlatPick 6 for all your acoustic guitar needs.
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Evolution FlatPick 6
Orange Tree Samples has released Evolution Flatpick 6, an acoustic guitar sample library designed for folk, country, and bluegrass music.
FlatPick 6 is a Kontakt player instrument sampled from a custom-built Coal Creek acoustic guitar and played with a pick. The guitar that was sampled for the library was crafted with special construction with a focus on getting warm bass resonance while retaining the “crisp treble frequencies.”
FlatPick 6 successfully delivers a “full and lively tone” thanks to the recordings of this handmade steel string acoustic guitar by Guy Randle at the Rosewood Recording Company. Analog equipment was used in the recording process to achieve this wonderful sound.
Evolution FlatPick 6 sells for $179 (USD) from Orange Tree Samples
If you want to add realism and depth to your folk, country, or bluegrass music or add it a hint of the style to your scores Orange Tree Samples Evolution Flatpick 6 might be just what you are looking for.
I am no stranger to the extremely powerful Evolution Engine Orange Tree Samples has developed. With FlatPick 6 the team has added even more functionality and control. I’ll get to those later in the review.
If you have seen SLR reviews of the Evolution series guitars ( Strawberry, Modern Nylon, Rick 12 ), you know I am a big fan of the guitar libraries from Orange Tree Samples. Earlier this year SLR awarded Orange Tree’s Steel String Acoustic a TOP PICK in the acoustic guitar Virtual Instrument category. With the release of a new acoustic from the developer I was more excited than ever to hear the sounds and dig into this instrument.
Evolution FlatPick 6 has a great sound. It has a warm, yet clear tone. It delivers as promised and will be a wonderful addition if you’re looking to add a virtual guitar for your folk, country, and bluegrass music or scores.
One of my only criticisms is that the presets are very focused. In previous Evolution libraries, I felt like the presets had a much broader range of timbres. The presets sound great delivering a good selection of focused tones in the Americana styles. The presets are usable right out the gate, but also are great starting points as I was able to quickly find a timbre and make some adjustment to sculpt my own sound and preset.
One of the highlights is a new articulation included with the FlatPick 6. In addition to the palm mutes, mutes, natural harmonics, tapping, string slaps and guitar body hits, the new library has 2 different kinds of sustain articulation. FlatPick 6 comes with standard sustain and a buzz release sustain, to be layered or blended. As with all of Orange Tree Sample’s Evolution guitar libraries, FlatPick 6 contains legato samples for slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs.
Another new function of the engine introduced in the FlatPick 6 library, the new “random” mapping feature, expands the Evolution Engine making it even more powerful. The Evolution Engine has formally allowed you to map articulation to velocity, MIDI CCs, latching/non-latching key switches but the “random” mapping gives a truly unique and arbitrary triggering based on a percentage that really adds to the realism of playback of the instrument.
As with all the Evolution guitar libraries, the SETUP panel allows for tweaks of several parameters and adjustments. This gives the user controls over the parameters such as physical modeling, pick position, track doubling/tripling/quadrupling and many more controls.
With FlatPick 6, Orange Tree has also introduced a new “Guitar Signal” parameter in the SETUP panel. This Guitar Signal allows users to slide a fader from the timbre of the samples as-is (standard) to an Enhanced sound that has been processed to increase the richness and sustain of the guitar.
Also of note is that Orange Tree Samples captured additional samples of all of the strings down-tuned a full step, allowing users to play in a drop D tuning, with actual low D sample playback and not a stretched sample.
In addition to the MIDI articulations for instant upward/downward grace notes, buzz trills, whole-step slides, whole-step hammer-ons, slides (velocity-based and tempo-synced), octaves, and power chords, FlatPick 6 comes with the powerful Evolution’s STRUM engine.
Articulations such as sustains, palm mutes, mutes, natural harmonics, tapping, plus special effects like string slaps, body hits, and others.
The STRUM engine allows for some extremely realistic strumming with both keyswitches and a pattern editor.
As I have mentioned before I am usually not a fan of using effects in Kontakt, but with the same great set of stomp boxes and amp modeling as the other Evolution series instruments, I find them to do just the trick to add a little bit of delay, verb or some special effects to the instrument.
FlatPick 6 is another wonderful contribution to the Evolution series of guitar libraries. It might not be an all-purpose acoustic guitar tone, but it definitely has a place in more Americana Folk-like scores and music.
FlatPick 6 downloads as 4.46 GB (10.4 GB of compressed files using the lossless NCW audio format). Samples are delivered as 24-bit built-in strum pattern editor for authentic guitar strumming.
FlatPick 6 sells for $179.00 from Orange Tree Samples
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