( www.vir2.com , $399.95 street)
Fig. 6. The popular Kontakt Player includes sophisticated scripting options and effects.
Percussion samples tend to be short, so do the math: There’s 19GB of content, representing over 250 orchestral instruments including timpani, snares, orchestra bass drum, mallets, triangles, chimes, and gongs, as well as FX and some ethnic/world instruments.
Orchestral percussion is a natural for soundtracks, but there’s enough percussion here to provide fodder for various types of music. The Kontakt 2 player (Figure 6) provides the audio engine, so EOP takes advantage of its scripting features to allow for articulations (flams, chokes, rolls, and the like), randomization, and other realismenhancing elements. Even better, these scripts are exposed; for example, you can edit the velocity, smoothness, and pitch for rolls with a stepsequencer- type interface, and edit triggering characteristics—although the well-chosen defaults generally obviate the need for editing.
The program also includes convolution impulses for rooms and halls, implemented in the appropriately- named EZRoom—basically just a drop-down menu with lots of ambience choices and wet/dry controls. Thirtytwo effects are available for insert effect slots or the four aux buses (inserts and aux buses handle up to four effects each), and there’s overall 3-band parametric EQ per instrument.
EOP is a good example of why large libraries apply even to percussion: Having alternate samples for triggering and articulation makes a huge difference in terms of creating realistic, satisfying sounds. If you need only basic orchestral percussion, the samples included with samplers and general-purpose orchestral libraries will probably do the job; but for the full meal deal, EOP represents a comprehensive, well-thoughtout collection.