Review: Intimate Studio Woodwinds by 8Dio

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Intimate Studio Woodwinds is the fourth release in a promising series from 8Dio which features an expressive tone in a studio setting. A fantastic library for composers looking to add some highly evocative, customizable winds to their orchestral, jazz or pop productions.

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Review: Intimate Studio Woodwinds by 8Dio

8Dio Intimate Studio Woodwinds is the latest installment in their modular series which emphasizes a truly flexible, dry and expressive, orchestral sound. Their more intimate approach, vast collection of articulations and extra content, makes for a highly customizable library which should fit any modern music production.

Intimate Studio Woodwinds sells for $248.00 from 8Dio

Thoughts

As the name suggests, the tone of the library is intimate, soft and dry compared to other woodwind libraries in the market. Like many other 8Dio releases, the focus is on ‘sampled performances’ which makes for a much more musical and passionate mock-up. For those familiar with 8Dio‘s Claire series, this library strikes a similar chord (pardon the pun) with its more reserved approach. While this style may not be suited as your main orchestral woodwind library, it excels in its inherent musicality. The library is quite dry but a bit of reverb should go a long way and one have should no problem using the winds within a larger, orchestral mix. For this reason, it is a fantastic complement to any music producer’s current template and will surely expand your colour palette.

Intimate Studio Woodwinds Library Tab and NKI’s

The entire collection consists of 5 individual woodwind performers including a solo Flute, Oboe, Cor Anglais, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet. All of which were well recorded in a small, studio setting which helps with the consistency across the instruments. Often overlooked in other libraries, the English Horn is the true standout of the collection and exudes a simply beautiful tone. Likewise, the lower range of the Bass Clarinet is quite lush and rich making it a pleasure to play. It is to be noted that this quintet does not contain a Bassoon and it is sorely missed in the lower registers.

Great looking and simple GUI

In terms of content, each instrument includes 26 distinct articulations which consists of; legato, sustain, staccato, two types of staccatissimo, marcato, whole/half-step trills as well as an assortment of runs and effects. Like with many 8Dio releases, the ‘Arc’ patches are perfect for more dramatic, evocative moments.

The ‘Performance’ set is another fantastic part of the library which covers a few rare and uncommon articulations. In particular, the ‘DaDaa’ articulation is quite unique and fills a very specific niche for those who are interested in something with more of a ‘Swing’ feel. The ‘Flutter’ and ‘Scoop’ techniques are also wonderful and should fit any jazz piece or big band chart with ease. Moreover, the ‘Measured Trem’ patches are a ton of fun and are quite reminiscent of repeated, Minimalist figures. Also included are the great and super useful effects which should work seamlessly for any horror cues or tracks needing some eerie or unconventional sounds. That said, the ‘Runs’ patches are not tempo-synced and are probably best used as an effect or gesture rather than actual runs. Similarly, the time stretching on the ‘Triplet’ and ‘Duplet’ patches are suspect at best, ultimately making them unusable for most situations. A very cool set of effects nonetheless!

Large array of great effects and performance patches

In terms of playability, the woodwinds are quite agile and the legato in particular is smooth and very adaptable. While there is only legato type, it is very nimble and should be able to handle most situations with ease. This was predominantly noticeable during faster passages where the engine handled quick runs with ease.

As with all new releases, there were some minor issues that did arise during play-through. One such example was that there is no parameter for transition volume which can be an obstacle for composers in need of some extra control. Nevertheless, these are small bugs which can be easily rectified with upcoming updates to the new library.

The user interface is well laid out with a simple, yet charming design wherein each instrument is represented clearly. The GUI also features an ‘on/off’ switch for all soloists which makes creating ‘new’ combinations quick and easy. This is great for testing out interesting ensembles which you may not have thought have previously. Another unique aspect of the library comes from it’s distinctive Articulation Matrix which gives artists the option of creating their very own keyswitch patches. Additionally, the library has a few different controllable parameters which give composers the ability to configure the volume, stereo panning, mic distance and routing to their liking. That said, it does lack certain standard effects, such as reverb, EQ and compression. Though most modern sequencers have stock plug-ins already, the library would certainly benefit from having a few of these options being loaded up and ready to go.

Quickly create your own, unique ensembles

On the whole, 8Dio’s Intimate Studio Woodwinds is a fantastic library with a beautiful and passionate sound. It is extremely flexible, playable and well-produced making it perfectly suited for any musical style. While it may not be the ‘go-to’ woodwind library in your template, it is absolutely worth its weight when it comes adding some ‘life’ to any track. The winds are a sincere breath of fresh air and fill a definite niche in a saturated market. A fantastic choice for media composers looking to add more expressiveness in their music.

For those interested in supplementing their current set-up, be sure to check out the in-depth developer demos from 8Dio, as well as the additional Intimate Studio series libraries, when creating your modular orchestral ensemble.

Facts

Intimate Studio Woodwinds is a 11.4 GB download with a single NKI instrument and contains just over 25,000 individual samples. The library requires Native Instruments Kontakt 5.6 Full or later; it will NOT work with the free Kontakt Player.

Intimate Studio Woodwinds sells for $248.00 from 8Dio

 

Demos of Intimate Studio Woodwinds by 8Dio

Videos of Intimate Studio Woodwinds by 8Dio

Contributor BenG reviews Intimate Studio Woodwinds by 8Dio
“Features an expressive tone in a studio setting fantastic for adding highly evocative, customizable winds to their orchestral, jazz or pop productions.”