If you’re an aspiring composer, you’ll definitely be interested in what IK Multimedia’s new Miroslav Philharmonik 2 ($500) has to offer. Described as “the most emotional orchestral collection ever,” this app easily provides one of the most comprehensive collections of classical instrumentation that we’ve ever seen on the Mac — a 58GB sound library with over 2,700 instruments, including strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion that let you put together everything from a small chamber music ensemble to a full-on symphony orchestra — a sound bank pioneered by legendary jazz bassist Miroslav Ladislav Vitouš. Even more impressive is that all of the sound samples are expertly performed with real musical articulations, including legatos, pizzicatos, spiccatos, and staccatos, played by professional musicians.
Miroslav Vitouš was a pioneer in bringing complete symphonic orchestration into the digital realm for real composers, and his original sound libraries have become the standard by which orchestral samples are measured. Miroslav Philharmonik 2 has taken it to the next level, with sound banks that provide a level of emotion and feeling that was once thought impossible to replicate in the digital realm. Moving far beyond the dry instruments of traditional sample sets, Miroslav Philharmonik 2 gives one the feeling of conducting a full symphony orchestra staffed by real musicians, with every sample also hand-edited and optimized for keyboard-based playback so that they retain as much of the same feeling as possible from the original string performances. In addition, every single instrument is fully compatible with IK Multimedia’s SampleTank 3, so you can integrate them into your existing production workflow in that app, and even play the instrument collection directly in SampleTank without having to install or convert any of them. In addition to Vitouš’ legendary sound samples, you also get IK Multimedia’s musical editing and effects capabilities, with eight useful “macro” controls to quickly edit your sounds and composition, deep editing capability of all your synth parameters for sonic sculpting, and 34 studio-plugins from SampleTank 3 for professional effects, including five equalizers, four dynamic processors, seven filtering and special processors, nine modulation effects, and nine reverb and delay effects. Its price tag and size ensure that it’s for serious users, but if you’ve been trying to compose the next great opus, Miroslav Philharmonik 2 is more than up to the task, at a fraction of the cost of hiring a real orchestra.