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Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark 4 - Elite Orchestral Forces

jbuhler

Senior Member
OT basically started a pre-order period with just a teaser.
So at this point we can only make assumptions. And I would be surprised if they increased the pre-order price before releasing an in-depth walkthrough.
And I also prefer a "walkthrough only" rather than a "demo only" pre-order period.
I'm sure they will release some walkthroughs and more demos before the pre-order period is over, but they cut it very close with the Glory Days walkthroughs and I suspect we'll see similar timing here. The big problem for me is that I'm just not yet seeing the concept holding this library together and it makes it hard for me to decide whether it will be a useful addition. I really need a lot more data.
 

ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
OT’s marketing is definitely different compared to most companies. I’d love to have a walkthrough on the day of the trailer release, but I think the reason they don’t do it is because they want the word to spread and discussion to build around what the product could possibly be about. I do think they missed the mark on Glory Days where they uploaded the final part of the walkthrough on the day of release, but that’s quite atypical and I don’t expect that here.
 

Mystic

Senior Member
I'm sure they will release some walkthroughs and more demos before the pre-order period is over, but they cut it very close with the Glory Days walkthroughs and I suspect we'll see similar timing here.
This is one thing that truly pisses me off about how some of these companies are doing things now and I hope OT sees this thread and takes the hint for future releases because it seems to be the same thing every time. Get your walkthrough done before you put it up for sale so we can see exactly what we're paying a substantial amount of money for rather than hoping we rely on the brand. In many cases when I see companies do the whole "walkthrough coming later" spiel, I end up asking myself what the company doesn't want us to see and hopes we spend the money before we see it. This is a practice that absolutely needs to stop. The minute a company asks a person to spend money, they need to show what we are spending money on rather than asking us to trust them. Especially when it comes down to the final day or so of special pricing.
 

Land of Missing Parts

No Time for Honky-Tonk
The big problem for me is that I'm just not yet seeing the concept holding this library together and it makes it hard for me to decide whether it will be a useful addition. I really need a lot more data.
To me, the concept is:

-Instruments with full dynamic range, legato, staccs (previous Arks handicap each instrument, either with dynamics, no legato, or shorts but no longs). So more useful and self-contained, rather than having to go to Ark 1 for loud, Ark 2 for quiet, Ark 3 for shorts/repetitions.

-Chamber-ish strings - VLN1, VLA, VLC + CB, each with an emphasis on accents (martele, overpressure, upbeats, trills). Each with slurred stacc too!

-Blended winds/brass - I think the key to understanding this is that OT wants us to think of each of these as one new instrument, rather than a blend of x + y +z instruments. From their marketing: "All performed and mixed in such a way that the listener perceives them as a single sound." There are only so many wind and brass instruments they can sell us, which is why they might be trying to expand into selling these cocktails. The importance of the small section is so that it actually comes across as if it's from a single new instrument.

The choir sounds like Ark 2, but with shouts. Power staccato.

The minute a company asks a person to spend money, they need to show what we are spending money on rather than asking us to trust them.
Agreed. Also, please give Chris Siu a pre-release copy to do a video walkthrough while pre-release pricing is still available.
 
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jbuhler

Senior Member
To me, the concept is:

-Instruments with full dynamic range, legato, staccs (previous Arks handicap each instrument, either with dynamics, no legato, or shorts but no longs)

-Chamber-ish strings - VLN1, VLA, VLC + CB, each with an emphasis on accents (martele, overpressure, upbeats, trills). Each with slurred stacc too!
So is the idea supposed to be to use the front row players as the glue to hold Arks 1 and 2 together better? I mean the strings from Arks 1 and 2 have so many other issues that I don't see how this will accomplish that. That's not really a knock on the strings from Arks 1 and 2, it's just that they are limited (which is what you'd expect from a library that is not a dedicated string library). And I see something more like a very aggressive chamber sound, yielding the possibility, I suppose, of a kind of POWER DIVISI as a complement to Arks 1 and 2 and the POWER TUTTI you get from some of the Ark 3 multis. We'll see what they do with the softer dynamics.

Blended winds/brass - I think the key to understanding this is that OT wants us to think of these an new instruments, rather than a blend of x + y +z. From their marketing: "All performed and mixed in such a way that the listener perceives them as a single sound." There are only so many wind and brass instruments they can sell us, which is why they might be trying to expand into selling these cocktails. Of course, we'll need to hear them to see if they really do sound different. Currently, it's just a list.
Two big sounds lacking from the Arks so far were upper woodwinds and muted brass. So we kind of get that here in odd but intriguing combination, though I'm surprised they didn't follow the concept of the rest of the series and do large ensemble versions of flutes, clarinets, and oboes. They could have done some really interesting things with muted brass, which I think is generally neglected in sample libraries, but they were probably trying to avoid direct competition with their Berlin Brass muted brass. Still I would have welcomed a very aggressive muted ensemble brass.

The choir sounds like Ark 2, but with shouts.
Hopefully there is more coherence to the choir here than this and that it offers something usefully distinct from the choirs in Ark 1 and 2.
 

Land of Missing Parts

No Time for Honky-Tonk
So we kind of get that here in odd but intriguing combination
I think they want us to consider these new instruments, rather than combos. Obviously, we'll need to hear them first to be sold on that, since the articulation lists PDF can't really convey a new sound.

Ironically, they stopped giving the ensembles goofy names like they did in Arks 1 & 2 (e.g. PFARRACKER STRINGS) but it would make the most sense to use those invented names for blends if they really want them to come across as new instruments. Rather than a cocktail of, say, Contrabassoon + Euphonium + Tuba, call it OZYMANDIAS LOWS or somesuch.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
Honestly, I'm surprised at all the breathless admiration for the trailer's sound. I think it's a B-plus at best.

The writing is very engaging, though -- a nice composition.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Honestly, I'm surprised at all the breathless admiration for the trailer's sound. I think it's a B-plus at best.

The writing is very engaging, though -- a nice composition.
I think the trailer is fine for what it is, just not especially revealing about the potential of the library.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
B-plus at best? Describe what you feel is lacking.
I don't like to disparage anything, but I am quite surprised at the enthusiastic response. Sonically, it reveals itself over and over as fake / sampled. I do think it's pretty good -- I don't regard a B-plus as failing; quite the opposite.

That said, I think Andy Blaney's demos for Spitfire blow the doors off this trailer, nice though the composing is.
 

dodecabilly

New Member
I am on a fence to buy this one, although I already have BHCT. I think it would actually complement BHCT, in a way. I am waiting for the walkthrough as well in order to make a final decision, but only if they show it before the release...
 

lumcas

Active Member
The history keeps repeating itself over and over. If I remember correctly the thread about Ark 3 was very similar to this one. We also had to wait for a proper walkthrough.
Each and every post in this thread be it a negative or a positive one (including mine) says: “This has caught my attention, will they make it again or will they fail? What’s it gonna be like?” I might not like this marketing approach but judging from the number of posts in this thread, just a short teaser works for OT and helps to build that inevitable hype quite well.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I bet someone at OT's headquarters is telling the rest of the team right now "See guys, I told you it was a great idea to call it that!"
Maybe. I think it's silly and a bit precious that has given all the citations of it an edge of satire.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
The history keeps repeating itself over and over. If I remember correctly the thread about Ark 3 was very similar to this one. We also had to wait for a proper walkthrough.
Each and every post in this thread be it a negative or a positive one (including mine) says: “This has caught my attention, will they make it again or will they fail? What’s it gonna be like?” I might not like this marketing approach but judging from the number of posts in this thread, just a short teaser works for OT and helps to build that inevitable hype quite well.
I don't recall the sequence of release of walkthroughs for Ark 3, but I do remember thinking I had a good idea what the library was aiming at. The same was true of Time Macro. This one, not so much. That's not a bad thing in itself, but it means it will likely take some time to sort out whether this is something I will find useful.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
The demo sounds good to me (as OT demos always do). What I'm scratching my head about, though, is that considering this is a pretty big grab bag things, are these articulations markedly different than what we may already have in the Berlin series instruments?

I may be interested in this library, but I wonder if this scattering of resources in so many places for similar instruments really complicates the process of composing. I may already have a template with Berlin series instruments loaded, but if I want to go louder, I need to rummage around in file folders and locate these louder samplers. I kind of thinking of it like having a socket wrench set in the basement, but then when I'm working on a project, I realize that the size I need is out in the garage, and I have to go search for that. ;)
 
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