The sounds of magic and adventure, right under your fingers
Do you dream of conducting and recording a vast orchestra of all of the obscure and interesting instruments you hear in your favourite fantasy TV shows and video games for your next composition?
Well maybe this is the closest thing to achieving those dreams, at least for now.
EastWest Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra is a brand new orchestral sample instrument to add to the EastWest Orchestra series.
Like the rest of the series – this library has been recorded in EastWest’s legendary Studio 1, the same studio that has recorded the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones (just to name a few). Needless to say this place has some history.
The instrument library for EastWest Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra is really something to behold. You’ll be given access to countless ye old versions of modern and contemporary orchestral instruments.
It includes; strings, horns, winds, percussion and vocals, to craft spectacular medieval sounding compositions. Think lutes, ocarinas and flugelhorns.
After having a play through these libraries it’s pretty clear why the EastWest sample libraries have some of the go to orchestral libraries for composers. Fantasy Orchestra sounds detailed, articulate and incredibly natural.
Of course there will never be a substitute for live instruments but these samples, recorded in an iconic room, by world class musicians with the full arsenal of microphones that EastWest studios has at its disposal are about as damn close as you can get.
I feel like I won’t be made fun of for saying that with this particular library a regular listening audience will be seriously hard pressed to tell that these aren’t ‘real’ instruments (whatever that means with today’s sampling).
Interacting with this plugin is pleasantly simple, unlike other orchestral plugins you don’t need to sit there for hours fussing about with envelopes or automating modulation parameters to get EastWest Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra sounding natural.
The default patches, each with their own articulation, come right out of the box sounding awesome.
That being said, if you are the kind of person that wants to get in there a little more and tweak stuff, there’s plenty of space for that too. It’s not taken away from you, it just isn’t a must for making this sound great.
One of my favourite features of this library is the ability to quickly solo out the different microphone positions. I often find with sample libraries that you can’t get away from the huge, verbed out sound even when playing just one section of the orchestra.
Being able to solo out the close mic means you can quickly and easily get a more intimate sound from the instrument, which I feel is a non-negotiable for dynamic and emotional composing.
It’s not all sunshine and roses, the biggest drawback of this library is just the sheer size of it. The string library alone is pushing 10GB. Add it all up and you’re looking at around about 60GB of storage.
It’s not a lot for a career composer, but for the average hobby orchestral composer it could be worth picking up an external SSD to run this (and the rest of your growing collection of sample libraries).
Of course though, the file size, with their thousands and thousands of individual samples is the reason this sounds so good.
EastWest Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra will run you back 500 USD as a standalone, but it’s also available as a part of the EastWest ComposerCloud + subscription for 19.99 USD per month, a killer option if you also want access to the rest of the EastWest library. If you’re keen to learn more head on over to their website.