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HOLLYWOOD FANTASY ORCHESTRA
Introducing Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra, a brand-new orchestra that includes everything you need to create fantasy film, television, and game soundtracks. Produced by sound titans Doug Rogers and Nick Phoenix, Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra includes unique ensembles of world instruments that have been featured in the biggest movies and games in history, mixed with modern octave-doubled orchestral sections that perfectly compliment Hollywood Orchestra, all with full stereo imaging mic placement and all the features of EastWest’s revolutionary Opus player. If you’re scoring the next big fantasy epic or medieval tale, adding in a few period solo instruments won’t cut it — you need to bridge the gap between orchestral and world instruments. Every instrument needs to earn its place in the mix to create a massive cinematic sound, so we created an entirely new orchestra that puts all the period instruments you need on the same stage. It’s simply unlike anything you’ve heard before.
Hollywood Fantasy Strings is the first iteration of Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra, putting 5 of the most iconic instruments from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras at your fingertips alongside brand-new stylized recordings from modern-day orchestral musicians. It includes true legato, diverse articulations, everything you need to produce the perfect fantasy cue to the highest professional standards. We infused it with the same power and flexibility as Hollywood Strings, with the same microphone placements, in the exact same studio, tailor-made to mix perfectly, so you can rest assured that your string libraries are all up to the task.
Traditional celli are replaced with a viola da gamba ensemble, violins are replaced with a hardanger fiddle ensemble. Lutes and dulcimers are recorded in trios, creating a beautiful sparkling stereo image that cuts through any mix. It also includes hurdy gurdies and massive sounding traditional string ensembles, recorded in octaves for those moments when you need bombast to round out your fantasy sound. Every instrument is mic’d the same way as the Hollywood Orchestra series and recorded in the same room – Studio One – the site of countless film, television, and game soundtrack recordings.
Fire-breathing dragons. Epic battles between kingdoms. Ancient untold magic, casting 1,000 years of darkness upon the land... No matter how grand the scene you need to set, Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra is equipped with everything you need to make it happen right out of the box. If your arsenal is missing the ancient and traditional folk strings needed to give your orchestrations an authentic edge, your collection will finally match the limits of your imagination.
Perhaps Norway’s most prized musical contribution, the hardanger fiddle is similar to a violin but with a more vibrant, brilliant quality owing to its body construction and doubled strings — it often sounds like two violinists playing at once! Some of its most stunning uses in modern music are in Howard Shore’s Rohan theme from Lord of the Rings and Bear McCreary’s traditional string arrangements in God of War. Try it out on brilliant, lyrical melodies and sub it in for violins when you need to add in a Viking flair.
The lute is famous for its role in Renaissance folk music in the hands of troubadours and singers, functioning much like the 12-string guitar with a greater midrange emphasis and gentler character. It’s been used in countless soundtracks, including The Tudors, Whisper of the Heart, Only Lovers Left Alive, the popular roguelike game Hades and much more. This 10-stringed instrument is equally adept at both virtuoso passages and providing a smooth chordal background for the viola da gamba and hardanger fiddle.
If you’ve ever listened to sonorous, non-vibrato Baroque bowed string music, you’ve probably had a taste of the viola da gamba’s vibrant quality. Similar in shape and sound to a cello, this lush full-spectrum instrument is an ancestor of the modern string ensemble. It remained in relative obscurity until the film Tous les Matins du Monde brought it back, featuring a traveling viol virtuoso, and has made appearances in scores like Austin Wintory’s soundtrack for The Pathless. Try it out in place of a cello, especially if you want to add in a Baroque chamber feel!
These modern day strings are present for one reason: Power. Before the string bass, there was very little low-end energy in ensembles — energy that modern soundtracks simply can’t live without. This is the perfect way to support your fantasy strings with a consistent style and timbre, extending the range of your entire ensemble instantly.
Low strings wouldn’t be complete without their high-end partners, so we’ve also included violin and viola in the mix. They blend perfectly with the other stringed instruments in the collection and provide a strong backing so the other pieces can shine through; no layering or complex production techniques required.
The true origins of the mountain dulcimer lie in the Middle East, after which it evolved in Europe and was brought to the Appalachian Mountains by early Scottish and Irish settlers. It's now a staple in tons of folk music and has been used by some of the biggest musicians in modern-day history such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Its character is similar to the mandolin, and it boasts a rich combination of warm body and a bright, twinkling high end. This is perfect for fast virtuoso passages and doubles beautifully with the hardanger fiddle and lute.
Perhaps the most unique instrument in the collection, the hurdy gurdy is played via a crank that drags a wooden wheel along multiple felt-coated strings for a thick, layered drone with melodic accompaniment. It’s been utilized in a number of games, movies, and shows like The Witcher, Fringe, The Conjuring, and tons more, but one of its most distinctive uses was in Black Sails — its jagged, “broken” quality is a perfect way to offset the mellow quality of the other pieces in this collection and incorporate a folksy character into any piece.
Hollywood Fantasy Brass puts the grandeur of some of history’s most iconic brass instruments at your fingertips, complete with a broad articulation set and true legato for maximum realism and authenticity. Everything you’ve come to expect from our Hollywood series is here: multiple mic positions, custom effect chains, lush ambiences... but this time, with a collection of brass instruments used in some of the most famous fantasy scores in history. If you’ve tried to recreate the feel of your favorite scores countless times but something is still missing, the fix could be as simple as using the right instruments for the job. And as you’re about to hear, Hollywood Fantasy Brass will help get the job done every time.
In the stead of trumpets, you’ll find flugelhorns; rather than French horns, Wagner tubas and alpenhorns take their place. The result is a majesty that modern day orchestras can’t quite replicate, but with the power and conviction demanded by current movies and games. Each of these core instruments is recorded in ensembles of 3, giving you a far more cinematic quality than solo instruments can achieve alone. As with Hollywood Fantasy Strings, the entire brass collection was recorded in the same soundstage as our acclaimed Hollywood Orchestra, providing a cohesive sound between all the elements together. Whether you need bold fanfares for distant kingdoms; sonorous melodies for heroes, villains, and magical creatures alike; or a rich, mellow tone to evoke the mystique of castles or scrolling landscapes — Hollywood Fantasy Brass has you covered.
Every instrument in Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra is programmed with 3 moods, on a scale from most authentic to most cinematic: Classic, Soft, and Epic. You can rotate through these different qualities to suit your needs (the choice will typically be a no-brainer) and fill in the exact fantasy orchestra sound you hear in your head. You have individual control over the level and pan of four separate mic positions: Close, Mid, Main, and Surround, giving you full control over the dimension of the sound.
You can hear the Wagner tuba in the scores to Star Wars IV: A New Hope, the Lord of the Rings films, Jurassic Park, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, World of Warcraft and several other expansive scores that have helped define the modern fantasy sound across movies and video games. Imagine a cross between a French horn and a trombone and you’ll get pretty close, but this ensemble has something a little extra that effortlessly evokes fantastic and unexplored worlds.
This flugelhorn ensemble is an easy choice when you need majestic, mellow brass to carry a theme, especially for fanfares and “royal” settings. The soundtracks of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the original Final Fantasy VII, and L.A. Noire all make use of this instrument’s regal and haunting quality, and you’ll find it’s an easy way to accomplish the same in your own scores. Try substituting this for a trumpet ensemble and you’ll plainly see the fantastical character that these flugelhorns add to your scores!
In addition to its role in German and Swiss folk music, this elongated horn was traditionally used primarily as a tool for communication and as an integral part of ceremonies and festivals. Its sound is uniquely mellow and hollow, owing to its wooden construction and straight rather than wound piping — it makes for a great mellow horn melody, especially in conjunction with the flugelhorns in this collection. Think of this as a group of extra-long hunting horns ready to lead the charge.
We’ve included a powerhouse section of select low brass instruments to help fill out the low end and achieve the growling, dark intensity that even Hollywood Brass doesn’t quite match. Rather than making massive EQ and reverb changes to another brass ensemble, simply add in this collection and you’ll have the perfect complement. Make no mistake, though: This brass section packs the punch and warmth you need no matter the task even on its own, making it a powerful asset for all your fantasy needs.
Hollywood Fantasy Strings and Hollywood Fantasy Brass have both been released. The next step in the journey is Hollywood Fantasy Winds (available June 22nd for $99), followed by Hollywood Fantasy Percussion (available July 27th for $99), Hollywood Fantasy Voices (available August 31st for $99), and then finally the Hollywood Fantasy Orchestrator (partnered with Sonuscore, available October 5th for $99.) Soon you’ll have an entire collection of instruments at your fingertips perfect for creating cinematic fantasy masterpieces of any size and scale!
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Below are the minimum and recommended hardware and software specifications for using Opus on Windows and MacOS systems.
The chart below outlines the MacOS and Windows 64-bit operating systems and sequencers that are officially supported and fully tested with the latest version of Opus. Please note that while most Sequencers / DAWs are VST 2, VST 3, AU and AAX plug-in format compatible, only those listed in the chart below are officially supported.
|Product||Version||MacOS (10.13+)||Windows 10|
|EW Play 6 Stand-Alone||6.0+||YES||YES|
|EW Opus Stand-Alone||1.0+||YES||YES|
|Apple Logic Pro||10.0+||YES||-|
|Avid Pro Tools||2018.1+||YES||YES|
|Image-Line FL Studio||20+||YES||YES|
|Motu Digital Performer||9.0+||YES||YES|
|Presonus Studio One||4.0+||YES||YES|
|VSL Vienna Ensemble Pro||6.0+||YES||YES|
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