Review: Maximo by Sonokinetic


Sonokinetic go big with Maximo, sampling an expanded orchestra with lots of bite and low end and deliver it in their intelligent phrase engine. Don’t dismiss this library as a tool for only creating epic though, as Maximo plays back with surprising depth in dynamics.

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Review: Maximo by Sonokinetic


Sonokinetic GO BIG with their last phrase based orchestral library Maximo. The results are an aggressive orchestral phrase library that performs in “epic” fashion but also, thanks to some great functionality and sampling foresight, can perform at a wide range of dynamics.

Owners of previous Sonokinetic libraries can receive a discount through the developer’s loyalty program. Check your account for details.

Maximo sells for €249.90 from Sonokinetic


There is a lot to love about Sonokinetic‘s Maximo. The sample set sounds amazing, the selection of orchestrated phrases and patterns are perfect for the grand and luch scoring that so many composers need to create.

All the phrases contained in the instrument are 4/4 time. Some of the phrases have options for adjusting playback for major or minor keys but I found most of the material to be rather neutral, comprised of roots and fifths which make it easy to utilize.

The library comes with 3 main Kontakt presets, one for each section Strings, BrRass and Woodwinds delivered as both 16 and 24 bit as well as ‘lite’ vesions.

For the sample set, the developer beefed-up a traditional orchestra, adding players to expand the brass section, the strings and woodwinds. The results are a library with a focus sonic on delivering weight in the low-end.

The expanded orchestra used for Maximo

Maximo was created by recordings with a focus on huge and epic orchestral sound.

The first thing you notice about Maximo is the interface. Although you might feel like you’re looking at hieroglyphs, Sonokinetic has taken a utilitarian approach to interface, letting function dictate the form. The developer delivers the sample set in a similar engine as Grosso, Capriccio and Sotto, so those with other phrase based Sonokinetic libraries will have no problem jumping right in.

Those unfamiliar with the interface will need to roll up their sleeves and tackle the learning curve to familiarize yourself with the interface. It is hard for me not to be biased at this point because I have reviewed other Sonokinetic libraries and have the concepts down. What I can say is that navigating the interface has become second nature.

The basic concept of playing the library is that you have 3 banks for loading in the phrases: one for Hi, Medium and Low patterns for the sections. Patterns are selected and loaded into the banks. Phrases are played back when you plays a triad and each phrase has a separate control for dynamics, x-fade transition etc. All the phrase have a Harmonic Shift keyswitch at the top of the keyboard. This lets you change chords by setting up predefined intervals and keys. The Harmonic Shift function makes playing back and sketching with the library amazingly easy and rewarding to work with.

Listening back, the String phrases have a tip of the hat to Bourne and Bond and overall the samples have an aggressive quality that is not apparent in the developers Capriccio or Grosso libraries although they also provide some subtle elements as well. It is important to note that functionality in the library allows you to adjust dynamics with the modwheel making this library much more than just for a tool for bombastic playback.

There are a lot of great phrases included in the library but after carefully listening to what most of what the instruments have to offer, I think I would have liked to have seen some very straight ahead patterns like 8ths, 16th and triplets. I feel like those would have been extremely useful to bounce back and forth with the current phrases. I also think they would have sounded amazing with this expanded orchestra ensemble!

One of the things I love about Maximo, is just how inspiring it is to use. The phrases are bold and exciting and can jumpstart a composition or help you to head in a direction that you might not have considered.

A huge highlight for me that is Score view. This lets you see the phrases as notation. This expanded feature gives the library an educational dimension that is just amazing for those looking to improve and expand their orchestration skills.

The icing on the cake, and function I personally use the most, is the ability in the Score View to drag-and-drop midi of the phrase right into your DAW. This has a number of benefits including allowing you to craft additional variations of the phrases with your own multi-sample orchestral libraries.  If I get a couple days of down time I hope to put out a video showing how I have incorporated drag-and-drop from Sonokinetic‘s orchestral phrase libraries in my work.

There are a couple things I mentioned I would have liked to have seen in Maximo, but the only real CON I think I have to list is that this interface does take a bit of time to learn and master. Users who are already familiar with Sonokinetic phrase libraries will have little trouble using Maximo.

If you do get lost along the way, the interface provides access to a help menu overlay that can be seen at any time by clicking the “i” in the lower right corner. It is also possible to randomly load in samples to the current bank by clicking the “O” in the Maximo logo across the top.

Handy info overlay accessible from the “i”

While researching for the review I noticed dozens of posts around the web complementing Sonokinetic on speedy response and customer service. As a reviewer, Sonokinetic has always been quick to get back to me but it is really nice to see they treat all of their customers with such respect and quick communication.

A final note here is that I really appreciate how Sonokinetic continues to improve and advance what I am calling “sample library as orchestrator” phrase toolkits. I interviewed Son Thomsen from Sonokinetic last year and he shared with me his thoughts saying “You can’t create such a powerful orchestral phrase tool without improving upon each release and asking “how can we do X better”. As a composer loving these tools, it is thrilling to see the developer keep pushing reach and functionality for each of the orchestral phrase libraries.

As with all of our reviews be sure to check out the official demos and videos below to make sure the instrument is right for your needs.

If you want to learn more about the developer’s other libraries, you can check out a list of all SLR Reviews and News for Sonokinetic Libraries here.


Maximo downloads as 36.3 GB using lossless compression for the sample set and uses Sonokinetic‘s advanced orchestral phrase engine. Maximo is a Kontakt Player instrument compatible with both the full and free version of Native Instrument’s Kontakt. The main instruments are divided into Strings, Brass and Woodwind sections with 16 & 24-bit options, as well as lite version for each.

Owners of previous Sonokinetic libraries can receive a discount through the developer’s loyalty program. Check your account for details.

Maximo sells for €249.90 from Sonokinetic



Videos & Demos of Maximo