Symphonic Guitars is a plugin that features orchestral sounds created solely using guitars. Sounds of violin, viola, cello, flute, and horn recreated with different guitar techniques.
The idea behind Symphonic Guitars
We love guitars, and we also love orchestral instruments.
So, a few months ago, we had an idea: what if we made an orchestral sound plugin based on guitars?
The intention wasn’t to replicate an orchestral plugin, of course. The goal was to create an original plugin of inspirational and cinematic sounds created with guitars.
The idea of using the guitar to obtain these types of sounds isn’t new. Many artists have used the violin bow technique on the guitar, such as Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin.
But our goal was to record acoustic and electric guitars with different techniques to make them sound orchestral and inspirational and then turn them into a multi-instrument plugin.
What is Symphonic Guitars?
Symphonic Guitars is a plugin of orchestral sounds created only using guitars. It contains 50 instruments in total, including variations with effects.
The orchestral instruments that we managed to recreate on the guitar were the cello, the viola, the violin, the flute, and the horn. Depending on the instrument, we are able to create long notes, staccato (short notes), and pizzicato sounds.
- Cellos (9 presets)
- Flute (4 presets)
- Horn (4 presets)
- Pizzicato (7 presets)
- Special (5 presets)
- Staccato (8 presets)
- Viola (5 presets)
- Violin (8 presets)
Interface and features
After recording, processing, and editing all the Symphonic Guitars samples, we built the GUI for ease of use.
How did we made it
In a nutshell, we used violin bows and electronic bows to create most of the sounds. Depending on where the bow is positioned, a different instrument can be created.
For this reason, we used different playing techniques for each instrument. For example, to get the violin sound, we used the violin bow on the first two strings of the guitar. On the other hand, to obtain the sound of the cello, we used the sixth string, which sounds thicker.
We also experimented with other techniques, like pulling the strings and muting at the same time, to get a sound similar to the pizzicato of the violin or cello. There are also versions with effects to create usable sounds for different styles.
All of this was recorded with four microphones: two XY small-diaphragm condensers, one large-diaphragm, and one dynamic.
Using the bow on the guitar isn’t easy. The strings of instruments such as the violin or the cello have a certain elevation that allows the bow to be used correctly. In contrast, the strings on the guitars are all at the same level, which complicates things.
This is even more difficult when recording samples because every little noise or rustle is picked up by the microphones. So, we had to record string by string, removing all the other strings, to get a clean sound when sliding the bow.
In the case of the sounds created with the electronic bow (EBow), it was easier to record the samples since it is designed to be used on the guitar.
Full Demo Track
Making the Demo Track
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