So here’s what happened …
I set out to do a review of Sample Logic‘s Morphestra 2, the massive follow-up and upgrade to their original Morphestra library and its Morphestra Generations redesign. I promised myself that I would keep it brief, and not try to cover everything, because, like most other Sample Logic libraries, the sheer quantity and scope makes hard work of a comprehensive overview. I thought I’d just dive in and look at it as a fresh library, mostly devoid of any previous context – i.e. if you bought Morphestra for the first time ever, what would the experience be like? I thought I’d look at the basic ways it works, check out a few sounds in relation to the engine, and give you ladies and gentlemen a good general idea of what to expect.
That’s what I thought I was going to do. But …
I got lost. In every nook and cranny was another nook and another cranny. Lurking around every soundsource were about a thousand ways to control and manipulate it. What I imagined would take me a minute to talk about took about ten, and the effect was compounded with each part of the library I would look at. By the time I’d realised what had happened, I had sailed so far into the sea that the shore was no longer visible, and I figured I’d have to either drown the sonic ship and start over, or keep going until the journey had a new destination.
So I kept going. It was long, it was fun, and for me, it was necessary. And that’s how we ended up with my Sample Logic adventure, which I present to you below. I left it as it is, with all my joy, wonder, intrigue, questions, and mistakes.
Below are a few lines of the official description of Morphestra 2 from the Sample Logic website, followed by the video of my wander in the woods (complete with timestamps so you can go straight to the parts that interest you most):
“Weighing in at over 25 GBs is a collection of 5,000+ morphed cinematic instruments & multis derived entirely from true orchestral recordings. A modern day virtual instrument that transcends ANY morphed/effectual orchestral sample library ever created. Geared for film, TV, and game composers, MORPHESTRA 2 morphs together amazing psychoacoustic sampled symphonic winds, strings, and percussive instruments using Sample Logic’s flexible multi core system resulting in a dynamic world where music and sound design collide.
MORPHESTRA 2 delivers 10 GB of all new sample material, but that’s not all! Also included is all of the content from MORPHESTRA GENERATIONS, totaling more than 25GBs of sample content altogether. It is this combination that takes MORPHESTRA 2 to the next level, making it the most comprehensive modern day virtual instrument ever produced. If you already own the original MORPHESTRA or MORPHESTRA GENERATIONS, you can easily crossgrade and save money on your purchase of MORPHESTRA 2. The beauty of this new edition is that it includes all the original instruments and multis from MORPHESTRA GENERATIONS, as well as multis from MORPHESTRA 1.0.
Sample Logic has gone back to the core of MORPHESTRA to create all new diverse instruments for MORPHESTRA 2. Studio and field recording sessions consisted of Strings, Brass, Woodwinds, Symphonic & World percussion, Voices, Guitars, Waterphones, Animals, Warehouses, Tools, Machinery, Drums, and a number of unique World instruments that were then manipulated using Sample Logic’s proprietary morphing and synthesis techniques to create all new “never-before-heard” organic instruments and hybrid ensembles. All recordings were manipulated, morphed, and processed throughout the various stages of production, including the sampling phase, programming phase, and via the MORPHESTRA 2 real-time customizable dynamic core user interface.”
Watch my traversal of Morphestra 2 below, and use the timestamps underneath the video to skip around if you’d like:
00:15 Introduction to Morphestra 2
03:15 Exploring the engine with Multi Core: Loops
22:51 Exploring the engine with Multi Core: Instrumentals
39:07 Extended Midi Automation to control Morphestra 2
41:21 String Soundsources (+ layering with Spitfire Albion)
50:41 More Multi Core: Instrumentals
55:53 Woodwind/Brass Soundsources, & Morphestra 2 as a traditional orchestral library (+ layering with Symphobia & CineSymphony Lite)
1:10:35 More Multi Core: Instrumentals
1:14:02 Multi Core: Percussives
1:21:31 Multi Core: Atmospheres
1:28:13 Multi Core: One Noto Combos
1:32:18 Single Core: Atmospheres
1:39:49 Single Core: Instrumentals
1:57:54 Layering Morphestra’s Spiccato Strings with CineSymphony Lite
1:59:33 More Single Core: Instrumentals
2:09:14 Single Core: Loops
2:15:56 Single Core: Percussives
2:19:58 Conclusions & Wrap-up
Morphestra 2 can be bought directly from the Sample Logic website, coming in at 499.99 USD for a new copy, with discounted crossgrade options for owners of the original Morphestra 1 and Morphestra Generations.