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GearWire Review: Image Line Sakura

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Cherry blossoms, whenever they are in season, exhibit all their glory simultaneously, leaving that hue of pink all over places where their trees are planted. Such a sight has become a Japanese hallmark with its association of the temporal nature of life. As the cherry blossoms or "Sakura" bloom in beauty and fade with grace, it fills people with a sense of wonder, and Image-Line Sakura 1.0.2, a string physical modeling synthesizer plugin, aims to astonish its listeners in very much the same way.

Shaping the sounds of Sakura 1.0.2 lies in process analogous to "Hanami", or the Japanese way of enjoying a cherry blossom. This is a five-stage process which involves the following parameters:

  • Contact - The impulse or mechanical contact with the string which simulates plucking, bowing, hammering, scraping, tapping, etc.
  • Vibration - Controls damping, tension, positioning, and string properties of Sakura's dual strings.
  • String Interaction - Pan, mix, and envelope control of the dual strings for simulation of interaction.
  • Resonance - "Body" simulation to create size, material, and shape of the instrument.
  • Acoustics - Chorus, delay, and reverberation effects simulate acoustic space to finish off the overall sound.

Limited by only the aptitude you have over tweaking as well as imagination, everything from the bowing of violins to the oddness of a prepared piano can be simulated as well as creation of an instrument unseen in today's physical reality such as a 10-meter guitar. Image-Line Sakura will become a welcome addition to the imaginative and creative electronic musician's arsenal. I would bet that once you play the Sakura you'll try to get FL-Chan to dance along with it too on your FL Studio 9.

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