Bought Sonokinetic's Da Capo library - quick first impression

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2016/05/29 23:52:19 (permalink)

Bought Sonokinetic's Da Capo library - quick first impression

I've been eyeing Sonokinetic's Da Capo for a while, and figured I'd grab it during their current summer sale, since Sonokinetic doesn't seem to have sales all that often. I just downloaded it this afternoon, and have been playing with it for a few hours, so this is only a very early first impression.
Interesting library....some really nice sounds with a fair amount of character, but also some unexpected limitations. Instrument ranges are surprisingly short, especially towards the top end. The high brass and the high strings both stop a full octave below any other library that I own. Da Capo's sustained high brass tops out at C#5 (when C4 is middle C), and the sustained high strings top out at C6. In comparison, Albion's strings and brass patches both go a full octave above that, as do various string and brass patches from Hollywood Orchestra. I find it a bit odd that Sonokinetic would cut the range short like that.
Also, the percussion has a lot less variety than I expected. Some nice timpani, bass drum and toms sounds (but no rolls of any kind), only 2 keys dedicated to cymbals (each key plays a single cymbal crash, one loud and one softer - there is no swells available), and some decent but limited snare drum rolls and hits. The basic sounds are very good, and should blend into a composition really nicely, but a bit more variety here would have been helpful.
The woodwinds sound pretty good (especially the low woodwinds), although the middle range (clarinets and the lower flute registers) have a really breathy ambience to the samples that is a bit distracting. They probably sound fine when mixed with other instruments, but if I had a composition where the woodwinds spend any time playing apart from other instruments, I probably would not use the Da Capo patches.
The library overall does have a lovely sound to it, and all the instruments blend really well with each other, and also with my other Sonokinetic library (Grosso, which I use a lot). The legato strings sound great, and the staccato string articulations are very straightforward but really nice. There is also a nice hint of rawness to all the samples -- the sort of very mild imperfections that (I think) add a touch of realness to a library.
The interface is quite clever and easy to use, and offers some nice control features. I'm going to keep fiddling with the library, and while it doesn't seem quite as comprehensive as I thought it would be (even though I knew it was designed for broad brush strokes, so to speak, rather than very granular midi arrangements), I do expect it to be a useful addition to my collection. I'd be curious to hear from other folks who have used Da Capo, in regards to your overall impression, and how useful you find it.
post edited by Amicus717 - 2016/05/30 01:08:21

Sonar Platinum, Windows 10 Pro 64, Core i7-5820K Haswell-E CPU, 32GB DDR4 RAM, RME Babyface, Adam F7 monitors, Mackie MCU

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