What is Bohemian?
Here’s a description in Sample Logic‘s own words:
BOHEMIAN is a diverse collection of 800+ exotic traditional and morphed instruments & multis. This groundbreaking library is derived entirely from recordings of over a dozen unique bohemian street instruments ranging from the Hang Drum, to a Harmonic Tube, to a Didgeridoo, and beyond, performed by multi-instrumentalist, composer, and teacher Laura Inserra. Recorded on the scoring stage at Skywalker Sound with renowned engineer Dann Thompson, BOHEMIAN’s source sounds allowed Sample Logic to expand on these traditional instruments far beyond their original state, creating a whole new world. Weighing in at over 9 GB, BOHEMIAN not only includes ready-to-play, psycho-acoustically sampled world percussive, melodic, and effectual instruments, but uses these instruments to enter into the morphed world of score-ready hybrid sounds.
What’s in Bohemian?
As can be seen from the description above, Bohemian contains a massive amount of patches (800+). Here’s an overview of all the categories and the kind of thing offered by each:
- Ambience – Atmospheric soundscapes, pads and arpeggios
- Stingers – Short, one-shot transitional sounds
- Arpeggiated – Fully editable arpeggiated patterns
- Metallic – Bell-like, percussive sounds, as well as some pads
- Synths – Synthesizer-like plucks, pads, bass and leads (this category contains a particularly amazing church organ-like pad – the En Mass Organ!)
- Traditional – Very well sampled real instruments, most with round robins (such as Blossom Bells, Didgeridoo, Garapatos, Hang Drum, Harmonic Tube, Kalimba, Khaen, Mixer Bells, and Tongue Drum)
- Winds – Woodwind-like sounds, containing patches that can be used both as pads and leads
- Hit Ensembles – Various experimental sound effects and hits, very useful for hybrid scores as well adding strange sound effects to your music
- Impacts – Various hits, and these patches contain one sound each, stretched over a few octaves
- Loops – Mostly experimental, electronic sounding percussion loops, but also some tonal ones. Very useful to quickly add some motion to your cue.
- Sequenced – Arpeggiated percussive loops
- Traditional kits – Contains Bowed Cymbals, 3 Hangdrums, Moon Dust, Spring Drum, Tongue Drum, Wind Singer
- Transitions – Unambiguously named – mostly sound effects that can be used to transition from one section of your cue to the next
Furthermore, there are several multis that layer instruments in Bohemian, categorised as such: Construction Beds, Instrument Stacks, and One Note Glory. These multis have several “macro knobs” available, where you can control the level of the individual instruments, a lowpass filter, and sometimes other useful parameters, depending on the particular multi you’ve loaded.
The sounds in Bohemian are absolutely wonderful, and it’s really amazing how many different types of sounds Sample Logic has coaxed from samples of these traditionally sampled instruments. There can be several patches that share similar timbral characteristics (as is probably to be expected in an 800+ sound library), and others that are probably more suited to experimental styles of music and sound design. A lot of patches have an “otherworldly” sound to them. The sounds are perfect for New Age/Chill Out and “world music”, but also to add some mysterious/mystical elements to your work.
Personally, my favourite category is Ambience, as it contains several beautiful and sometimes mysterious sounds that immediately set that tone. The multis are also great, as they are often very inspiring and allow you to quickly lay down a basic idea for a track. I especially enjoy the “Healing the Soul” multi, with an arpeggiated Hang drum mapped to the lower octaves of the keyboard, and a pad-like sound mapped to the upper octaves.
Below are a few short demos I created with some the instruments and mutlis offered by Bohemian:
Bohemian‘s GUI is clear and beautifully designed. On the main page, you are presented with several buttons that allow you to toggle, access, and edit audio effects. These include Filter, LoFi, Distortion, Delay, Reverb, Dynamics (a combined compressor and a transient designer), and EQ. There is also an LFO page, allowing you to control various parameters (the filters, volume, pan, pitch and drive) with, you guessed it: an LFO. Additionally, the Wave 1 and Wave 2 pages allow you to add several waveforms into the signal, expanding the hybrid potential of Bohemian‘s library.
There are also controls for the volume envelope’s attack and release, a stereo widener, and master low- and high-pass filters.
Then, of course, there is the Step Animator tab that contains a very flexible arpeggiator/step sequencer, it contains a lot of useful features (see the screenshot below), and you can even drag and drop the patterns in your DAW as MIDI! The Step Animator has become a staple of Sample Logic‘s releases of late, since its introduction in Arpology (check out our Arpology review for an in-depth look at what it can do).
All in all, it is easy to get used to and navigate the instrument, and the effects can be triggered on and off on the fly with configurable trigger keys (continuing in true Sample Logic tradition). The inclusion of all of these customizable features on the front end of the instrument ensures that the user ultimately has control over their sound, and is thus never a slave to the developer’s own aesthetic. Rather, they are provided by Sample Logic with the tools to easily drive Bohemian in a multiplicity of creative ways, all of which can be their own.
Simply put, most of the sounds in Bohemian are very inspiring, and this is a library I can really recommend if you’re on the hunt for new, beautiful, otherworldly, and sometimes mysterious sounds. It’s massive library provides a wide variety of flavours, so there are lots of useful patches that can find their way into any type or genre of music. Sample Logic continue to excel in following their philosophy of blurring the lines between music and sound design, with a great balance of traditionally sampled instruments that already sound very good, and a great sounding morphed/synthesised component based on these instruments.