chemical beats
18 June 2010
chemical beats review

Bizarre Guitar
Page 1/3
Produced by Spectrasonics chemical beats
CD-ROM 645Mb
Roland, SampleCell, Akai/ Emu /Ensoniq, Kurzweil  
Audio Version also available  



Bizarre Guitar is from the renowned sample CD producers Spectrasonics, we looked at their Distorted Reality Vol 1 a while back (Volume 2 will be reviewed shortly). US based Spectrasonics have been around since 1994 and are headed by Roland's Chief Sound Designer, Eric Persing.

Bizarre Guitar was released in 1999 and is described as "If you like Distorted Reality, this is a library you will not want to miss. This unique collaboration between visionary artist Peter Maunu and Sound Designer Eric Persing, was over two years in the making and marks a new milestone in creative sound. Neither a traditional guitar multisample library or a collection of "riffs", Bizarre Guitar blazes a new frontier of Sound Design via guitar. It features the extreme contrasts of breathtakingly beautiful ambience beds to searing harmonic slashes, bowed guitar and unsettling washes."

First up I'd like to clarify that this release in no way is a regular guitar sample CD release !, "Bizarre" being the operative word a lot more than "Guitar". Indeed if it were not for the fact that the producers tell you that everything was guitar sourced originally, you'd have a real hard time believing some of the sounds weren't from a synthesiser judging on aural evidence alone.

We're reviewing the Kurzweil CD ROM version here, the other CD ROM versions are essentially similar. The CD-ROM version includes the Audio version too as a bonus which is good as it makes auditioning sounds a lot easier. Spectrasonics specialise in the CD ROM versions of their sampling products and do offer an upgrade from the audio to the CD ROM version if required. Like other Spectrasonics products there is more material on the CD ROM version of a CD, in particular in this case, a bonus section of Groove control loops and a collection of Multisamples.

The CD has been produced by Eric Persing and Peter Maunu. Persing as mentioned above is the main sound man at Roland who know a thing or two about synthetic music production and has worked with such acts as Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion and Chaka Khan. There are a couple of pages about Maunu in the documentation, which includes some fairly heavyweight name checks of people he's worked with too, Heart, The Pointer Sisters, Wang Chung, Mark Isham etc. as well as a number of albums as part of Group 87.

The CD comes double shrink wrapped with a separate licence agreement inside the first shrink wrap. Much better than the ones you can't read until you open the CD which includes the line "By opening this CD you agree...". It's pretty standard except that the product requires a specific written credit in any liner notes.

Bizarre Guitar Inlay Card

The documentation is excellent, a 48 page booklet, and in this case an 8 page Kurzweil Directory. With lots of information on the producers, background, Groove Control information, format specific issues etc. The samples are all listed out individually, with their location, name, chord and BPM where appropriate. Very comprehensive indeed.

The producers suggest a minimum of 32Mb, you might be able to get by if you've only 24Mb, there are only two programs over this size. But otherwise you'll struggle to get the most out of the CD if you don't have this much.

As this is very much a processed sample collection, the list of processing equipment used is as long as your arm, a whole range of hardware and software gear has been used, from tape loops to vocoders and just about everything in-between.

On to the sounds...

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