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 Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar 
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Post Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
Review Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Player Electric Guitar from Orange Tree Samples

Thanks to the awesome multi-instrumentalist/composer Jeremy Cubert (jacubert), I have discovered the wondrous beauty that is Orange Tree Samples. I'm playing with Orange Tree's Evolution Strawberry for Guitar (a Kontakt plugin) and it is absolutely amazing.

And it is cheating, because I can leverage 30 years of keyboard skills and music theory, and sound like I know what I'm doing on the gee-tar. Particularly harmonic pinches and tremolo-picking and sweeps that I could never do on Stick, Guitar, or Bass, but I can fairly easily do on keys. Or program via MIDI.

And having the ability to treat all guitars--Rhythm and Lead--in a MIDI format, easily editable and manipulatable--is 42 levels up for me for songwriting. I'm not limited to my string-slinging skills. I've been blown away at what many of my keyboard riffs sound like when translated by the Kontakt engine that Orange Tree uses. It maps itself to a virtual guitar and moves the MIDI notes to trigger the right string at the right fret as a "real" guitarist would. And combined with the ability to do full sustain, half and full palm mutes, and full mutes, and squeals--all triggered by note velocity by default or any other parameter--and this thing is extremely expressive for a keyboard-controlled samplebank.

Also, it really makes recording guitars super easy. I just tap out some keys and I'm done. Don't even have to plug anything in but the MIDI controller and I could technically even just draw notes via a mouse. I can move sections and notes around in MIDI and quantitize it and more importantly--I can tweak the note velocity so that all fast runs go exactly between 80 and 118 (max of 126) with a randomizing factor that will put each value between those ranges but not with exactly the same note velocity. If the patch is set up to play legato sustain at any note with a velocity between 80 and 120 or so, then anything played at a lower range will be a palm mute or half palm mute, and any note that is nailed with above 120 note velocity comes out as a squeal. Or a harmonic. Or a dive bomb, or whatever. So note creation and song writing and recording are all easy peasy and quick and easily editable.

Then it has an extremely developed and awesome-sounding effects section for tone shaping and amp modeling. Many of the default patches sound so awesome that I've used some of them right out of the box unchanged (which, the default sounds usually suck, so kudos there!). And if you want to dig deep into the effects (supposedly $8000 worth of effects built in), you can really shape an awesome and realistic rocking sound without even routing it to additional effects. Or you can run it all straight direct and dry and clean into your usual effects chain.

I suspect that the LinnStrument and Orange Tree Samples is an awesome combo, judging by Jeremy's copious musical examples.

Then combine a Stick with Jam Origins MIDI Guitar (and Bass), and I can play and record Sticks in audio, and also get the full MIDI data for triggering other sounds. I can layer in a complete double of any Stick line with a matching guitar line. Or shift it around an octave. Or--really exciting--take any Stick riff, transpose it up a fifth and then an octave, and combine it all together. This makes any melodic monophonic line into a powerchords rocking section, which rocks like a thing that rocks really fucking hard (pardon the French).

So far Orange Tree Samples Evolution Strawberry Guitar is the most rocking thing I've ever played with triggered by MIDI. 5 out of 5 stars and it only cost $179! Highly recommend and now I want to try the Evolution Hollowbody Blues Guitar sample bank, or the 8-string Draco Guitar emulator. The whole set of like 6 of them is under $800, so maybe later for that. But the Strawberry fricking rocks for now!

Obligatory Section of Keepin' it Real:
Listen, I get it. If you can really play guitar, then this ain't for you. This is a tool towards rocking it out and making tunes. That's it! If it threatens your guitar identity--it should! This thing makes non-guitar players rock. It can't possibly compete against a master guitar player, but it CAN compete against my own meager skills on a real 6-string guitar, and it's "GOOD ENOUGH" for making songs and rocking out and probably doing commercials and many soundtracks, and also putting would-be guitar session players (for the simple stuff) out of business.


Separate yet related rant (WE"LL MAKE GREAT PETS!): There's barely like 20 years before we add the entire sum of human endeavors to the pile of things that computers can do better than us, so we all are gonna have to wrestle with that. Hopefully we'll make more than just good pets. But the tools for rocking out have exponentially improved and will continue to improve, until no human input is needed whatsoever. And that music will be more soulful, more expressive, more deep and touching than anything we've ever done in human history. Until the subtle nuances of frequencies we can't hear, and differences we can't detect make even the act of listening to music by humans impossible. But I mightily digress!

I'm still playing with this and haven't finished any one recording enough to post yet. I haven't been able to stop playing with this long enough to get to work on recording a tune. I've done a million (well, maybe 20 or so) little riffs already though! I'll post something really soon showing what it sounds like.

In the meantime, this was a really good review and demo of it:



Tapping and Rocking down in Fractal Rock,

Steve Sink

Adds from a later comment: Here's a rough demo version of a song I've been working on for a couple of days that now uses Kontakt Evolution Strawberry guitars. Still needs a lead solo, but this (so far) is how it sounds for some rhythm guitaring.


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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Last edited by paigan0 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:48 am
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
I can’t even play guitar, the secret is out - I have just been using this plugin. :D

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Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:07 am
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
Jayesskerr wrote:
I can’t even play guitar, the secret is out - I have just been using this plugin. :D


I knew it! :D And you do a mean CGI video of your so-called "guitar shreddings!"

I like that guitar players can sound just like keyboard players and vice versa now. Basically, whatever your controller instrument is, you can play an entirely separate, unrelated instrument.

I saw a long video on a device that the disabled and handicapped people use, that was demonstrated with Kontakt. It looks like a harmonica device that people could blow into and trigger all sorts of simulated instruments. It really lets a person who might be completely paralyzed except for the neck up to expressively play music. I'm sure it's life-changing to someone like that, especially if they were a musician before their paralysis. And the guy I saw playing was working it hard!

And Scott, you'll still be my Go-To Guitar Hero when I want to rock shit out. But I'm working with you as much for your music theory and songwriting abilities as I am enjoying your shredding skills, which are formidable. And I hear you play a mean Chappy Stick thingy, so I'm down with that also!

I'll post my "Whampa Chunk" song that I've been working on, now with added Strawberry guitar! I'll put that out later tonight as an example of what I've done so far. I also want to go back and update the last couple of songs I've done using other guitar samples and make them sound better.

Lots of fun with this thing so far. Definitely the most bang for $179 that I've gotten in a long time. I also like how, when it maps my keyboard riffs to guitar, I can see on the simulated guitar exactly the note and string choices. It's already showed me a couple of awesome chords that came from turning one of my riffs into a guitar riff and showing me the chord fingerings. Weirdly, my own guitar skills and chord knowledge are improving as I pretend to play guitar on keyboards.

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:26 am
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
Also, the strumming feature is something that I've seen the review videos touch on and it looks completely amazing. You can design your own custom picking riffs, where the first note is palm mute, then a squeal, then alternate pickings, or whatever, and apply that strumming riff pattern to completely different chords or notes. I've not even touched the strumming yet, but by what I've seen so far, it sounds really, really good.

Also, I've not played with just holding down chords and letting Strawberry strum them out and arpeggiate them. All I've done so far is just play riffs and notes in real time, record them, and change patch sounds while it plays back. I can't wait to get into custom strumming patterns and thunka chunka swacka swacka me some awesome rhythm sections!

This is editing strumming patterns for Stratosphere, another in the line of Evolution Guitar plugins, but the principle is the same for all of them in editing strumming patterns.

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:40 am
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
I like my Trilian Bass module.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsj26oEoBfo


Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:10 am
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
Here's a rough demo version of a song I've been working on for a couple of days that now uses Kontakt Evolution Strawberry guitars. Still needs a lead solo, but this (so far) is how it sounds for some rhythm guitaring.

Whampa Chunk (Strawberry Kontakt Demo)


Tapatalk users: https://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1/whampa-chunk-demo

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:22 am
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
Post this over in showcase, I say...

Nice work, Steve.

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Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
I want the Jaco bass one from Orange Tree :)

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Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:48 pm
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
Jzzb8ovn wrote:
I want the Jaco bass one from Orange Tree :)
WerkSpace wrote:
I like my Trilian Bass module.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsj26oEoBfo

Spectrasonics with their Trillian does perhaps the best job with their bass line and some others. I've always heard very good things about them. I've actually watched that Demo video for the Trillian Bass before. It's extremely powerful and expressive. And expensive...

I'm not familiar with the Jaco bass but I bet it's off the hook, judging by the usual quality of Orange Tree Samples.

Jayesskerr wrote:
Post this over in showcase, I say...

Nice work, Steve.
Thanks, Scott! It's really just some backing tracks right now for vocals and also a lead line. It's evolved a bit from where I first shared it with you, and I'm not sure where it's gonna go, but it's not quite there yet.

But I recorded a tune last night that is all "solo lead guitar" and uses everything including the Kitchen (Steve) Sink thrown at it. When I get home from work, I'll post that one as well. It's my attempt at doing EVH's Eruption, actually (see how ambitious I've become in 3 days with a good guitar emulator? :) Not the actual song Eruption, but something similar and pyrotechnic and also neo-classical at times with the arpeggios. And I'm playing it at my absolute top speed on the keyboards but it sounds like some impossible Yngview or Scott Kerr thing that I'd never be able to play on guitar in 2 thousand years. It really feels like cheating but I'm really enjoying the songs written with it, and that's always been my mantra: in the end, however you get there, it's all about the tune.

Thanks, guys! I also had a nice talk with Jeremy Cubert on Facebook about the entire line of Evolution Guitars. The 8-string Dracus is his favorite, along with the Hollowbody Blues and the Nylon Strings. I'm strongly looking to pick up the Dracus next. With 8 strings, it has the same range as my NS/Stick, and can do basslines as well. Cheers!

I'll be honest guys: I'm listening to me rocking on the guitar with my keyboard controllers and I'm having a TON of fun. I'm frankly amazed at how "little stuff" to me on keyboards sounds so awesome on guitar.

I'll post some of this to the Showcase when it comes together a little more. But I appreciate your interest in it!

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:34 am
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Post Re: Evolution Strawberry Kontakt Guitar
paigan0 wrote:
in the end, however you get there, it's all about the tune.

Rock On!
I am paraphrasing a quote from a book I borrowed from the library, "Five Star Music Makeover", music PRO guides, Hal-Leonard books,...

The music train keeps running. What will I create before my last stop?

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"The present day composer refuses to die" -Edgard Varese


Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:25 pm
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