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Acou6tics review at Music Tech magazine

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Acoutic guitars have always been to do to in software, but could Vir2 have cracked it?
 
 
Some instruments have always been tricky to recreate convicingly digitally, usually the ones furthest removed in playing style from the keyboard. So horns and guitars, when attempted in a truly 'playable' format rather than just looped, have often sounded a little artificial. The trick isn't in recorded the samples, it's in getting the playback engine right.

Vir2 has a great track record with sample-based instruments and its latest is Acou6tics, an 11.5GB collection that runs in Kontakt or Kontakt Player and really pushes the envelope of what NI's technology can do. As ever, the files can be loaded off to a secondary hard drive and the library authorized in Kontakt. The standard 2GB RAM is listed as a basic requirement, but you'll want more than that when working with big Kontakt libraries.

Choose your weapons

There are six different acoustic guitar instruments in the collection: steel string, 12-string, nylon string, ukulele, mandolin and guitarele recorded in a mixture of plectrum and finger-picked playing styles. The quality of the sampling is faultless and you get to use both Blumlein stereo and piezo-based sources for each instrument, with no phasing issues when mixed down to mono. All articulations are available on all strings and frets with between 3,000 and 7,000 samples per instrument.

Tailor your sound

It's an incredibly-versatile system and almost magical in its realism, though you will want to spend time learning in order to program advanced parts. It's all configurable and the key switches can be customized, with the Playback section letting you tweak string and fret selection, noises, release and vibrato as well as chord pick speed and many more parameters. The chords section lets you program your own custom chords and in Mics and FX you can add up to six effects each with variable controls and use the Distance and Room options to move the virtual mics around as well as working with the stereo mix and piezo signals.

The instruments are almost infinitely tweakable and, though it will require a little practice, you can achieve amazingly-realistic guitar parts without actually being able to play a guitar. As well as the more obviously impressive rhythmic strumming stuff it's fun to play around with the mandolin and ukulele, where the sound engine is able to add slides, squeaks and articulations for a truly realistic end result.

Acou6tics is an excellent way to bring warm, organic and involving sound of these instruments to your productions. The translation of keyboard input into guitar-style playing is something to behold and with a bit of careful programming, nobody will be able to tell that the tracks weren't played by a real person.

 

Key Features
 
  • Six guitar models
  • Recorded in stereo and piezo
  • All articulations on all strings and frets
  • Kontakt format
  • Adjustable mics
  • Multiple effects
  • Chord and strum engines
  • AI for chord translation
  • Advanced vibrato engine
 
MT Verdict
 
  • Beautifully sampled
  • Excellent range of articulations
  • Amazing chord/strum engines
  • Detailed control over playing style and sound
  • Great on-board effects
  • Good design and workflow
  • Very believable results
  • Best results will require some investment in programming
 
 

9/10

A brilliant way to bring the sound of acoustic guitars to your tracks. Hugely tweakable, and sounds like the real thing.

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