Review: Evolution Infinity by Orange Tree Samples


Because guitar is my principal instrument, I think it’s safe to say that I’m perhaps overly critical of sampled guitars. At their worst, they are unpleasant to hear and mechanical sounding and at their very best, they find themselves smack in the middle of the uncanny valley. I loaded up Evolution Infinity expecting it to land in one of these two camps but instead my mind was blown! This instrument is without any doubt the most realistic sampled guitar I have ever played.

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Review: Evolution Infinity by Orange Tree Samples

Evolution Infinity by sells for $179 from Orange Tree Samples


As I mentioned in my intro, because I’m a guitar player, I’m always skeptical of the quality of sampled guitars. All too frequently, the legato (if there even is any) sounds somehow wrong or non-idiomatic. What you end up with a lot of the time is a strange harp sounding guitar zombie that may be passable for sketching or playing individual long held notes but for anything else is essentially unusable. Additionally, many have tried to create something capable of strumming chords to varying amounts of success. All this is to say, when I was downloading this instrument my hopes were not high. How wrong I was! Only minutes after the installation was complete, my face was contorted into a dumb childish smile that refused to go away because I was having such a good time with the instrument. It absolutely stunned me how realistic it sounded.

The main window in the interface allows you to control how the different articulations are triggered. You can set velocity ranges to control, for example, when palm muting transitions to a regular attack. I really appreciate that instead of telling you how to play their instrument, they allow you to tell the instrument how you’d like to play it. This kind of design philosophy, regardless of the obviously high quality of their instruments, is in and of itself enough to set them apart.

The instrument’s Evolution guitar engine is found across all their guitar libraries which is nice so if you buy a new product, you’ll be up and running immediately without any learning curve.

It also ensures that midi programmed for one of their guitars will play back well when copied to another one of their guitars. Something that struck me immediately was how fluidly and intelligently the instrument was able to determine if I intended to play a legato line (and as a result had overlapping notes) or if I intentionally played overlapping notes because I wanted them all to ring out. This feature and its seamless and almost invisible implementation is perhaps at the heart of why the instrument sounds so good.

There is an entire tab in the interface dedicated to changing the tone of the instrument complete with many effects including distortions and reverbs. The guitar itself is fairly neutral sounding. This seems to be by design as using this tone page you are able to sculpt the sound you want ranging all the way from a clean jazz tone, to a buzzing shredding 80s lead sound. If messing about with the effects isn’t for you, then have no fear because they have included a huge number of preset snapshots to choose from which can serve either as a wonderful starting point for your own tweaks or as a totally usable sound.

The set up window was a wonderful example of them going above and beyond. Not only is the instrument as standard guitar usable, but they offer you the ability to change to alternate tunings such as drop D or adding a capo. Anyone who has played a guitar can tell you that playing an identical passage with and without a capo sound totally different tonally. This is a very nice feature and one that I haven’t seen in other guitar libraries.

The strum and the chord panels can be thought of as essentially one panel. The chord panel gives you control of how or if the engine sees the chords you’re playing.

For example, if it’s set to Held Notes Only, when you’re strumming chords, it will strum literally the notes you’re playing into the keyboard. In contrast, Automatic Chords intelligently detects which chord you’re playing, regardless of the voicing and has the instrument perform an idiomatic guitar voicing of the chord. It even reads the inversions you play!

Guitar can often be a mysterious instrument to someone coming from a piano background for example. The voicings that are easily playable on piano may be either impossible or extremely difficult and unnatural on guitar.

Because of the Automatic Chords function, even someone who has never picked up a guitar in their life can still have the instrument generate natural sounding and playable guitar chords!

The instrument handles strumming in several ways.

The first, is with the two strum keys mapped to two keys directly below the range of the guitar. They repeat the notes that were previously played. One of them triggers an up-stroke and the other triggers a down-stroke. Using these, one is able to perform any strumming pattern quite easily. They can also be used to perform a tremolo or a passage reliant on repeated notes. The second way to achieve strumming with the library is within the strumming window. Here we have a huge collection of presets with strumming patterns programmed in.

These, like with the tone snapshots discussed before, can act either as a starting point for your own custom patterns or as finished and ready to play patterns. You can have up to 6 strumming patterns loaded up at once that can be key switched between.

Simply put, the instrument is a beast. If I were wearing a hat, I’d take it off to Orange Tree Samples for doing such a fantastic job on this instrument.

It’s incredibly versatile and has a very high glass ceiling for realism because of how much time and effort they allow you to put into programming. For example, I thought I was making it sound realistic and then I watched some of Orange Tree’s youtube videos where they were showing off the some of the instrument in conjunction with pitch wheel to not only perform string bends, but also vibrato. For a second time, I was blown away and now want to practice playing the instrument even more. I can’t recommend this enough and I don’t think anyone who buys it could possibly be disappointed.


Weighing in at 3.82 gigabytes, Evolution Infinity is a sampled electric guitar designed with the sound of the 80s in mind. It features a wide array of articulations including sustains, palm mutes, mutes, natural harmonics, squeals, and tapping as well as instrument effects. As well as the standard attack articulations the instrument also features a 4 round robin legato which is capable of both slides as well as hammer-ons. The instrument requires Kontakt 5.6.8 and will work perfectly well with the free Kontakt player.

Evolution Infinity by sells for $179 from Orange Tree Samples


Demos of Evolution Infinity by Orange Tree Samples

Can You Dig It

Terminal Velocity

World Seed

Videos of Evolution Infinity by Orange Tree Samples