Nothing feels quite as satisfying (to me, at least) as finishing off a large Soundware project. Last week marked the release of our newest Power Translator for the K2000/K2500: Orchestral Percussion ($199 retail; Roland Orchestral Percussion CD-ROM sold separately). This was created in response to numerous requests from our professional composers, theater musicians and film score clients to provide them with orchestral percussion that offered the same dynamic response and real-time flexibility found in a real orchestra.
For those of you who are new to the Soundware Scene, our Power Translators are specially designed floppies that contain all of the data necessary to gather the professionally recorded samples from a specific Roland CD-ROM and convert them into extremely musical K2000/K2500 performance instruments which take full advantage of Kurzweil's amazing V.A.S.T. processing.
Imagine having a library full of Stereo and Mono Orchestral Bass Drums, Snares, Tympanies, Cymbals, Triangles, Blocks, and Gongs that all feature Rolls (both real-time and sampled). Now add Wind Chimes, Bell Trees, Mark Trees and a cabinet full of additional Percussion Toys. Combine this with the smooth and responsive V.A.S.T. programming that Sweetwater is famous for and you've got our latest Orchestral Percussion Power Translator. Ask your Sweetwater Sales Engineer to tell you more about entire line of Power Translators including Solo Strings, Brass Sections, Orchestral Winds, and String Sections. When combined with the huge (and still-growing) Sweetwater Sound Library, you have access to every single instrument you need to create incredibly expressive music on your Kurzweil.
In other news, our Ultimate Guitars CD-ROM received another excellent review, this time in Electronic Musician (September 1997). We received 19 1/2 points out of a perfect 20 on their EM Meter, along with comments like: "The programming on this disk is absolutely top notch, and for good reason: it was done by Daniel Fisher, the Kurzweil VAST synthesis expert (Editor's note: Don't blame Dan for this particular quote, I included it - Say Dan, weren't you taking me to lunch today?)... I had a blast with this CD-ROM. Having so many high quality, expressive guitar sounds at hand opens up a world of musical possibilities... the samples are clean and crisp, the programming is outstanding, the files are organized in an easy-to-understand fashion, and the documentation is excellent."
Guess they were impressed, eh? Hey, they even liked the Ultimate Guitars Musician's Guide which ships with each CD: "All in all, this is serious documentation that really enhances the product."
Well, as much as the Sweetwater Team enjoys a darn good review, it's our own customers' satisfaction that truly makes all our efforts worthwhile. Here are just some of the comments we've received online:
"I just wanted to congratulate you on the great review in Keyboard Magazine. I purchased the Ultimate Guitar and Grand Piano CD-ROMs last week and could have written those accolades myself. The great touch response of your programs is a major advantage when bringing life to my work. And they cut well in the mix without having to compensate with EQ and/or processing." - Steve
"I just received the Power Translator String Sections for my K2000, loaded some Programs and I am... there is no word for it. The sounds are simply the best I have ever heard. Please say thanks to whoever programmed those sounds!" - Alex
"I love the Young Chang Piano programs! They are the best I've ever played on a keyboard. I own a 6 foot Mason-Hamlin and my ears prefer the warmer tones... these files are very satisfying!... thanks again for the (excellent) support of your products." - Glenda
"I can't really tell you how I liked all the kits on the Total Stereo Drums CD-ROM, because after I loaded "Funk Kit," my friend Rob and I had to make music with it. The hi-hats are awesome, the rides are handy, and the snares cut through without being brash. This is now my default drum kit. At least, until I load and listen to the next kit... Great work!" - Bruce B.
"I have the Stratus Exotic Instrument and Synths CD-ROM. I won't waste bandwidth describing it except to say it is absolutely top notch and most extremely way cool." - Scott
"I've received and listened to your Stratus/RSI Demo CD, and it's terrific! Thanks to Sweetwater's efforts, the K2000 is probably the best supported synthesizer on the market." - TW
For more information and a list of all the currently available Sweetwater Sound Library CD-ROMs, be sure to check out our Web site at www.sweetwater.com/catalogs/k2/cd-rom. See you all next issue.