I’m working on a mini-opera at the moment for Other Cinema fall season and I need full orchestration. Strings, brass, the works. IK multimedia Sampletank 3 brings me the samples I need. Miroslav Philharmonik is one of the finest collections of orchestral sounds out there.
The ability to bring forth an entire orchestra for a musical piece or instrumentation whose complexity and richness would only a few years ago been associated exclusively with expensive recording studios is possible now with products SampleTank® 3. The industry term for this type of product is ‘workstation’ and this one has a 33 GB sound library containing over 4,000 instruments.
A good way to think about how programs like sample tank work is the metaphor of wine and bottles. If samples like brass instruments - horns, trombones and saxophones from the philharmonic collection in the sample tank library are the ‘wine’ then the ‘bottle’ is the sample tank program itself. The program organizes the samples into tracks which in turn are organized by the composer into musical pieces.
Such is the quality and variety of the samples, and so simple and direct a tool sample tank to use that the combination, once mastered, enables the novice to become an arranger of music that only 10 years ago would have required very expensive equipment to create.
I can say that I am working on a mini opera as my output is indistinguishable, virtually from that of a composer who uses actual orchestral instruments. The same goes for non-orchestral instruments also though, such as virtual synths, which number in the hundreds, virtual pianos, organs, the list goes on.
SampleTank 3 comes with 55 effects including Chorus1, UniV and TapeEcho which greatly enhance keyboard, guitar and bass samples.
Pricing and availability:
SampleTank 3 is available now from music and electronics retailers worldwide and from the IK Online store until September 30, 2014 at introductory prices as low as $149/€119.99 for SampleTank 2 XL or Miroslav Philharmonik full users; $199/€159.99 for users of any other paid IK software, hardware or app; and $299.99/€239* for new users. Afterwards, the final price will increase to $199.99/€159.99, $249.99/€199.99 and $349.99/€279.99 respectively. The boxed version will be shipping in the second half of August 2014.
I’ve been using the Sampletank 3 samples with the iRIG MIDI 2 device which plugs directly into my legacy keyboard or MIDI controller and lets me play these samples on my mac no problem. These allow for full MIDI functionality and connectivity with any MIDI-enabled device: keyboards, hardware synthesizers, software sound modules, drum machines, drum pads, DJ controllers, pedal boards, DAW interfaces and more. iRig MIDI 2 has two blue LEDs that enable monitoring of the MIDI data passing through the IN and OUT sockets. IK make some great MIDI devices, and this new one has been pared back to 2 basic MIDI standard ports, and a collection of chords to connect to PC/iPad/iPhone or USB. It draws its power directly from its host device, which removes the need for bulky power supplies. Lightweight and durable, it features a rubberized enclosure built to withstand the rigors of travel.
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Thanks to Starr Ackerman for the assistance with Sampletank3 and iRIG MIDI2 review materials.