Review: MegaMagic Violin for Omnisphere 2.5 by PluginGuru

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MegaMagic Violin delivers surprisingly useful organic violin multis alongside a variety of great diverse synth patches.

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Review: MegaMagic Violin for Omnisphere 2.5 by PluginGuru

MegaMagic Violin is the 3rd installment of PluginGuru’s MegaMagic string line. These Omnisphere soundsets focus on the organic sound of solo string instruments. With sounds ranging from natural violin multis to unrecognizably synth-like patches, there’s a lot you can get out of this expansion. While Omnisphere isn’t the ideal place to look for great playable sampled instruments, the designed patches alone make MegaMagic Violin well worth its asking price.

MegaMagic Violin for Omnisphere 2.5 sells for $49.00 from PluginGuru

Thoughts

MegaMagic Violin looks like any other Omnisphere expansion when browsing through the patches – you have Arps, Pads, Guitars, Plucks, and the other essentials. The multis are where you’ll find the more natural and realistic (to Omnisphere’s sampling standards) elements that you won’t find in many other soundsets.

I spent a lot of time playing through the various single-patches, and there is a lot of really cool stuff in there! The majority of these patches are so wild and “designed” sounding that I was looking at the sound sources to verify that there was indeed something from a solo violin involved. This is both a positive and a negative, depending on how you look at it. On one hand, it really shows off Omnisphere’s strengths as a synth and sound design tool, and you end up with some really cool electronic sounding patches. However, considering the name of this soundset, I was also hoping for more patches that still sound like a violin in some way, but do cool things with modulation and rhythm. I found myself wanting more organic pulses, primarily. But most of the single patches sound like they could have originated from analog synths rather than a violin.

But that’s a bit of a reach for a negative ding on this product. The overall quality of the patches is very high, and will prove very useful for modern music that doesn’t need any violin qualities. If you’re in need of more violin-esque sounds, the multis are actually surprisingly good for this!

Thanks to some ingenuity in programming, there are a variety of playable Violin Mults made up of up to 8 patches each. Each patch of course allowing a maximum of 8 samples. There are articulations including spiccatos with up or down bowing (velocity controlled), recorded crescendos, plucks, various tremolo/motion speeds, and several sustains. For only using 8 samples, these multis can be quite convincing when not too exposed in a mix, though they’re still limited compared to other commercial violin libraries due to Omnisphere’s priority as a synth first, sampler second. I wouldn’t recommend buying this as a replacement for a fully fledged solo violin sample library, because it offers something much different.

Of course you have to consider that Omnisphere is a synth first and sampler second when judging the quality of the multis. You won’t get a remarkably playable and technical violin library out of Omnisphere, but some of the multis are very inspiring – the pads in particular. This is where you’ll find sounds that are clearly violins or at least violin-adjacent. Naturally the short articulations are a little more convincing than the sustains, thanks to a lack of dynamic crossfading you’d be able to get in Kontakt.

As always, I went through and picked my 5 favorite patches along with a bonus multi this time. Hopefully this will give you a decent idea of what kind of sounds you’ll find within this expansion.

Patches.

BPM Synth – Tell a Story: This pulse is nice and simple. It uses mostly organic violin soundsources but makes them sound like a semi-organic synth arp. It keeps a steady and basic rhythm and is dark enough with the modwheel down low to stay subtle and hidden – but pushing the modwheel up really bring it into focus.

PAD – Find Some Peace: This is a very useful synth pad. It’s mostly dark and broody, but with a very subtle hint of an airy flute sound that can be brought up with the modwheel. This works for the simple aesthetic that I prefer, and it combines timbres in an interesting way to make a drone that can evolve over a long sustain.

KEY – Breaking Glass: A keyboard sound that uses a pizzicato violin as its main source. It’s a great plucky and organic sound that has more of a tail than a normal plucked violin would, thanks to delay and reverb. It cuts through mixes with its strong attack, and reaching the highest velocity layers bring out a very sharp glassy stab, giving this patch a good range of soft and warm to loud and piercing.

LEAD – Rockall Crunch: With the modwheel all the way down, this patch makes a great warm lead with epic reverb/delay and a quick portamento transition. It reminds me of a very agile theremin. With the modwheel cranked up, there’s an added layer of crunch and an overall much higher volume.

BASS – Monster Wheel: Yet again, this patch somehow came from a violin sample. This one is a very distorted and heavy bass with analog vibrato and a flanger slowly moving back and forth. I find this one more useful without the exaggerated flanger and vibrato – it’s just a ridiculous bass that can kind of sound like a heavy metal guitar when playing power chords.

MULTI – Foggy Mountain: This is just a simple and huge pad that’s all based on the solo violin’s sustain. It has an absurdly long and big reverb that overall makes it sound airy and ethereal. Yet there is still plenty of body to this pad. It sounds very much like a violin still, but it makes you look at the violin as more of a wide open pad sound rather than a playable instrument.

Facts

MegaMagic Violin is an expansion for Omnisphere 2.5 that contains 78 multis, 168 patches, and 458 new samples for sound sources. All of the patches and multis stem from violin samples.

This soundset is compatible only with Omnisphere 2.5 or later, and requires 1.1 GB of disk space.

MegaMagic Violin for Omnisphere 2.5 sells for $49.00 from Plugin Guru

 

Demos of MegaMagic Violin for Omnisphere 2.5 by PluginGuru

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