Music Software Review: Ensemblia Family by Cinematique Instruments

In one of my last reviews, I had a closer look to the superb Cinematique Instruments Ensemblia. Since that time, Ensemblia has been updated to version 1.5, gotten two extensions called Metallique & Stringedand been renamed to the Ensemblia family. In this review, I will have a closer look at the Ensemblia 1.5 update as well as the the new extensions. For a general understanding of how Ensemblia works, please refer to my original review.

What is the Ensemblia Family?

Cinematique Instruments has created a new series called the Ensemblia Family. At the moment, the family contains Ensemblia, Ensemblia Stringed, and Ensemblia Metallique (available as separate products and as a bundle). All three are sample libraries for Native Instruments Kontakt.

The Ensemblia Family was built to easily create beautiful polyphonic arrangements and textures just by playing chords or single notes. It does not contain recorded phrases, and a powerful 16-step arranger is built into the instrument instead to take care of the sequencing.

Features Overview

Ensemblia 1.5

  • 17 Instruments and 83 Presets
  • Two Kontakt Main Patches: Shorts & Longs
  • Classical Instruments: Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Cello, French Horn, Baritone Trombone, Tuba
  • Mallet Instruments: Marimba (C2-C5), Alto Glockenspiel
  • Additionals: Upright Piano, Bowed Psaltery, Bowed Guitars, Magnus Organ, Shruti Box, Shruti Box, EK 470mk II E-Piano, Saw
  • Articulations: spiccato, staccato, pizzicato, and long notes (normal, ponticello, harmonics)
  • Up to 5 velocity layers and 4 round robin variations
  • Scripted special voice engine
  • Scripted 16 step ostinato engine
  • Scripted Mixer, Master and Arranger Page
  • Sound improvements: Overall brighter and more natural
  • The master section now has a freely adjustable humanize knob and a 3 band parametric master EQ. The presets are split into categories and are more clearly arranged
  • Free Assignable Slots: Ensemblia is now equipped with freely assignable slots. Simply select what you want to use from the new instrument view
  • Separate Outs: Assignable separate output for each instrument
  • Tempo: 2 new swing/ shuffle modes
  • Improved Engine:: General improvement of the arranger script, allowing the arranger to be played more fluently in “synced” mode
  • Price Tag: 219€/$245 (plus VAT for EU customers)

Ensemblia Metallique

  • 11 Instruments
  • Based on the Ensemblia 1.5 Engine with same features
  • Tonal Instruments: Vibraphone, Metallophone (warm, raw, dead notes), Alto Bells (natural, leather), Glockenspiel, Kalimba, Spieluhr (natural, raw)
  • Percussive Instruments: Wok, Salad Bowl, Singing Bowls (low, medium, high), Tingsha, Metal Drawer
  • Price Tag: 115€/$129 (plus VAT for EU customers)

Ensemblia Stringed

  • 11 Instruments
  • Based on Ensemblia 1.5 Engine with same features
  • Stringed Instruments: Autoharp, Banjo, Hammered Dulcimer (Sus, muted), Kantele, Lute, Guitar Harmonics (elec, accoustic), Monochord, Nylon Harp, Ukulele (Tenor, Sopran), Zither, Piano
  • Price Tag: 115€/$129 (plus VAT for EU customers)

Ensemblia Family (Bundle)

  • Price Tag: 349€/$360 (plus VAT for EU customers)
  • Customers who have already purchased Ensemblia 1.5, should contact Cinematique Instruments for a special upgrade price
  •  or later required
Ensemblia - Longs Variation - Instruments View

Ensemblia – Longs Variation – Instruments View

Installation

Installation is easy and straightforward. Copy the downloaded content of each product to your preferred hard disk location – that’s it. These libraries do not support the free Kontakt Player, however, and require the full version of Kontakt 4. Therefore, they will not show up in Kontakt’s Libraries tab. You can access them via the Files tab or through the Quick Load menu instead.

The new features

I will only cover the new features below, so head on over to my original review of Ensemblia 1.0 to get a full picture of how it works.

The first new feature is the availability of new free assignable slots in the instrument view. Now you are free to load each instrument in any slot you want – a huge improvement to the very static former layout of version 1.0. Simply select what you want to use from the new instrument view. Please keep in mind that you only can load the instruments of each Ensemblia part to where it belongs, i.e. you can’t load instruments from Ensemblia Metallique into Ensemblia Stringed or Ensemblia 1.5 (and vice versa). Perhaps this could be an improvement for a future update?

Additionally, the availability of separate outputs for each instrument is a huge improvement, as you can now mix each instrument slot separately in your DAW, making the use of external effects very easy. The only requirement is that Kontakt is set up with multiple outputs, as Ensemblia needs to access these outputs.

The general improvements of the arranger script, which is the heart of the Ensemblia engine, are also a big step forward. In Sync playing, a freely adjustable humanize knob, and two new swing/shuffle modes allow a lot of room and possiblity for expression.

The most important element of this update, however, is the improved sound. Although the sound of Ensemblia 1.0 was already superb, Cinematique Instruments have improved it even further. The samples sound brighter overall, and the repetitions sound more natural, more intimate, and more organic. The new sample content of all three parts sounds fantastic, and Cinematique Instruments have kept up the high quality of recording and detail in the samples. This is Cinematique Instruments at its best.

Ensemblia - Metallique - Instruments View

Ensemblia – Metallique – Instruments View

Conclusion

How could an already superb library be improved? Contrary to my belief, Cinematique Instruments have shown me that it is possible.

The updated features for Ensemblia are awesome, and the two wonderful extensions complement each other and the original library very well. Working with these three instruments alone is getting lost in a whole world of its own. I was captivated by the sound and the possibilities. As I wrote in my last review: “I personally feel that Cinematique Instruments have given us composers a great tool, and I am sure that I will have lots of fun with it in the future.” Indeed, it is even more fun with the update and the extensions.

What I also like and want to mention are the wonderful tutorial videos Cinematique Instruments have produced. Have a look on YouTube and get a wonderful overview of the Ensemblia family!

In one of my last reviews, I had a closer look to the superb Cinematique Instruments Ensemblia. Since that time, Ensemblia has been updated to version 1.5, gotten two extensions called Metallique & Stringed, and been renamed to the Ensemblia family. In this review, I will have a closer look at the Ensemblia 1.5 update as well as the the new extensions. For a general understanding of how Ensemblia works, please refer to my original review. What is the Ensemblia Family? Cinematique Instruments has created a new series called the Ensemblia Family. At the moment, the family contains Ensemblia, Ensemblia Stringed, and Ensemblia Metallique (available as separate products and as a bundle). All three are sample libraries for Native Instruments Kontakt. The Ensemblia Family was built to easily create beautiful polyphonic arrangements and textures just by playing chords or single notes. It does not contain recorded phrases, and a powerful 16-step arranger is built into the instrument instead to take care of the sequencing.

Features Overview Ensemblia 1.5 17 Instruments and 83 Presets Two Kontakt Main Patches: Shorts & Longs Classical Instruments: Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Cello, French Horn, Baritone Trombone, Tuba Mallet Instruments: Marimba (C2-C5), Alto Glockenspiel Additionals: Upright Piano, Bowed Psaltery, Bowed Guitars, Magnus Organ, Shruti Box, Shruti Box, EK 470mk II E-Piano, Saw Articulations: spiccato, staccato, pizzicato, and long notes (normal, ponticello, harmonics) Up to 5 velocity layers and 4 round robin variations Scripted special voice engine Scripted 16 step ostinato engine Scripted Mixer, Master and Arranger Page Sound improvements: Overall brighter and more natural The master section now has a freely adjustable humanize knob and a 3 band parametric master EQ. The presets are split into categories and are more clearly arranged Free Assignable Slots: Ensemblia is now equipped with freely assignable slots. Simply select what you want to use from the new instrument view Separate Outs: Assignable separate output for each instrument Tempo: 2 new swing/ shuffle modes Improved Engine:: General improvement of the arranger script, allowing the arranger to be played more fluently in “synced” mode Price Tag: 219€/$245 (plus VAT for EU customers) Ensemblia Metallique 11 Instruments Based on the Ensemblia 1.5 Engine with same features Tonal Instruments: Vibraphone, Metallophone (warm, raw, dead notes), Alto Bells (natural, leather), Glockenspiel, Kalimba, Spieluhr (natural, raw) Percussive Instruments: Wok, Salad Bowl, Singing Bowls (low, medium, high), Tingsha, Metal Drawer Price Tag: 115€/$129 (plus VAT for EU customers) Ensemblia Stringed 11 Instruments Based on Ensemblia 1.5 Engine with same features Stringed Instruments: Autoharp, Banjo, Hammered Dulcimer (Sus, muted), Kantele, Lute, Guitar Harmonics (elec, accoustic), Monochord, Nylon Harp, Ukulele (Tenor, Sopran), Zither, Piano Price Tag: 115€/$129 (plus VAT for EU customers) Ensemblia Family (Bundle) Price Tag: 349€/$360 (plus VAT for EU customers) Customers who have already purchased Ensemblia 1.5, should contact Cinematique Instruments for a special upgrade price  or later required Ensemblia – Longs Variation – Instruments View Installation Installation is easy and straightforward. Copy the downloaded content of each product to your preferred hard disk location – that’s it. These libraries do not support…

The Ensemblia Family


Installation – 100%


Sound – 100%


Interface – 100%


Patches – 100%


Value – 100%



100%

100/100

The Ensemblia Family is a great tool for intimate sounding underscores for film and tv composers. The sound is outstanding and buying the bundle is a must.

100

Written by: Rob Schroeder

I am a film, tv, game, pop and rock music composer and musician contracted with several music libraries like Soundtaxi, CouldB and Scorekeepers. Beside my work as composer I do also Electro House, Dubstep and Drum 'n' Bass remixes as part of the DubLion Project. I live in Crailsheim, Germany.

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