VirHarmonic Bohemian Violin
Review by Damien Walsh
Bohemian Violin is the first in VirHarmonics new Soul Capture series. Their virtual performer is a new look at how to make virtual instruments. Instead of making "just" another virtual violin VirHarmonic have decided to sample the performer and their play styles. Due to the amount of types of samples recorded, they had to develop a virtual performer to handle the articulation and bow selection for you as you play. This allows you to concentrate on playing and being inspired in a similar fashion you would be inspired by working with a real violinist. Virtual Performer will be continuously expanded to offer more and more varied types of performance as we go through the different expansion stages making this one of the kind libraries not seen or heard before. All you need is velocity sensitive keyboard,machine that fits minimum specs and a melody in mind!
To make sure that the violin doesn’t sound static and doesn’t fall to the common traps of other virtual instruments VirHarmonic had to sample a varied versions of bowings and bow styles, to offer enough variety and option to the users. Even the current version one without the expansions already offers 2 types of Arcs each with 2 dynamic layers and 2 unique round robin repetitions per bow type making it a stunning 16 possible bow movements per note on Arcs and Mid Arcs alone. There are also 3 true dynamics on Sustains with 2 to 3 round robins per each bow on each sustain adding further 14 variations on each note with real dynamics to choose from. Of course this doesn’t account for 3 dynamics of Diminuendos going all the way to p- ppp with 2 round robin repetition and spiccatos which have 4 repetitions per bow and per one of the 3 dynamic layers. The library also features a beautiful pizzicato which can be tested and heard in the violin freebie. Each of these articulations can be forced on the engine using a assignable force key giving you the ultimate control over the performer should you choose to adjust his behaviour.
Having used Bohemian Violin for a number of weeks I believe it to be one of the nicest solo violins I have tested to date. The ease at which it switches articulations for you makes it a dream to play and allows the keyboard violinists among us to very closely articulate how we want our melodies to be played. "Soul Capture Series" is an apt title for this and the rest of the products as it definitely captures the emotion you are trying to convey with very little effort on the midi keys players part. For €149 ex vat, get yourself a copy, it's really great to play!
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Written by Damien Walsh
Damien is the editor, software reviewer and founding member of Audio Dexterous. He also composes music for Film, TV, Advertising and Games.