Top 5 EastWest VST Plugins & Libraries
1. EastWest Sounds Quantum Leap RA
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A collection of worldwide iconic instruments that reflects the cultural diversity of humankind.
In ancient Egypt, Ra was regarded as the creator of everything, the god of the sun. He is usually represented with the body of a man and the head of a hawk, holding an ankh and scepter. The chief location of Ra worship was Heliopolis (a Greek word meaning city of the sun).
This is why EastWest’s team thought Ra would be an appropriate name for the largest and most comprehensive rare and ethnic virtual instrument ever made.
Quantum Leap RA was born a few years ago as a sample library called “Rare Instruments.” All of the sounds from Rare Instruments are also included herein RA, but this represents approximately one-tenth of the content.
Ninety percent of RA was recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood, with utmost attention to detail and exquisite sound quality.
The “Performance” section features four controls, including three knobs for activating specific scripts for performance parameters – “Portamento,” “Repetition,” and “Legato.” The developing team defined the settings, but you can also save a .ewi file and load your own version to it.
- Round robin reset button
The fourth control of the “Performance” section is a “Round Robin Reset Button.” In essence, a round robin articulation is one in which several different samples are recorded with all parameters, such as volume, speed of attack, and so on, being essentially constant. This reset button corrects any potential errors regarding the playback of each round robin since it’s based on the previously played sample. It can easily correct an uneven number of repetitions by resetting the command.
- Micro tuning controls
The instruments included in Quantum Leap RA are from every corner of the world, and most of them don’t fit West’s equal temperament. For this reason, EastWest included an option to incorporate various scales into your track while providing an authentic feel to it. There are two micro tuning controls. The one at the left is a drop-down list of all the scales available in RA. At the top of the list is “Western,” which tunes the 12 notes in each octave to the traditional scale heard in all the other libraries; this choice, in effect, turns off micro tuning. The control at the right is another drop-down list of the 12 note names. This choice tells the engine which note is the lowest on the scale, called the “root.” All intervals for the other scale notes are relative to this fixed pitch.
- ADT controls
Artificial Double Tracking is a technique invented at Abbey Road Studios that approximates the effect of double tracking without actually taking the time to record two takes. The original ADT process was based on magnetic tape; in Quantum Leap RA, the effect is created digitally. However, the software programmers added a tape simulator to mimic the slight speed variations of the two analog tape machines that created the ADT effect.
This plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2, VST 3, AU, and AAX plugin formats.
The amount of instruments present is impressive. You can instantly have instruments from Africa, Asia, or the Americas with great sound quality. They offer specific parameters as well as general configurations to make it sound just like you want to.
The screen can be a bit intimidating, but all possible configurations are present and displayed there. The algorithm and features included demonstrates how much time the developer’s team spent crafting this plugin, resulting in a great library for ethnic world instruments.
2. EastWest Sounds Hollywood Choirs Diamond (Plugin)
EastWest Sounds designed and released Hollywood Choirs with the mind put on the film industry. This plugin sounds classy, tender, genuine, and highly professional. The recordings are warm and natural as if they have not been processed later.
Hollywood Choirs is the sequel of the best-selling and most awarded virtual choir of all time, “Symphonic Choirs”. It features a female and male choir with great dynamics. It features 781 phrase presets in English, Italian, German, Spanish, and even Latin.
The phrases are editable if you need customization. It includes an improved WordBuilder engine, completely redesigned.
WordBuilder allows the musician the flexibility to type in a word or phrase and make the plugin sings that phrase. The engine works on the vowel and consonants interaction that builds up an unbelievable realism.
Additionally, the producers sampled non-pitched consonants using high and low-frequency variations. The plugin handles all these (vowels, pitched, and non-pitched consonants) through a set of volume sliders that adjust the relative level between phonemes.
Instrument includes up to 13 microphone emulation types. This way, the composer (or sound designer) can set up surround sounds, virtual reality effects and 3D soundscapes using a few user-controllable knobs.
The plugin counts with all the essential tools for waveform adjustments (attack, decay, sustain, release). In the same way, you will be able to adjust all other vocal articulations, like legato, vibrato, and portamento. Fully customizable using MIDI CC events.
- Pristine and Clear Sound
Hollywood Choirs sound crystal clear and pristine. The reverb control makes the choir as warm or dry as you need it. Evidently that the engineers worked meticulously to get the exact balance between dry and wet reverb; this feature allows the sound mixer to set the choir inside a scene anytime, anywhere.
- WordBuilder 2
WordBuilder, the choir lyrics writer, allows you to type in any lyrics and the WordBuilder sings it in perfect tune. Many plugin designers think twice before start working on word builders for choirs. The results of the WordBuilder are magnificent. It is one of the reasons for the awards received.
- Consonants Management
It outstands because of its management of consonants. It has processing for phrases, phenomes, phoneme balance, consonant-ending words, consonant scaling, alternative takes of non-pitched consonants, word parameter grouping. All these features make real the existence of WordBuilder 2.
- Your Intimacy is Also Respected
With the ultra-powerful mixer, you can handle how close or far your choir will sing. When you adjust the “distance” and the “location” of the microphones (in the internal mixer), you will feel when the choir is near to you or singing from a distance. You can make the choir as intimate as you wish.
- Multiple Editions for the Same Product
It comes in three different editions: Gold, Gold X, and Diamond. Gold contains 8 Gb of 16bit samples, GoldX contains 16Gb and Diamond 59Gb of 24bit samples. All with a mixed combination of microphone emulations (main, close, stage, mid, and surround).
EastWest Sounds’ Hollywood Choirs is available for Windows 10 or higher 64-bit only and macOS 10.13 or higher. It comes in VST2/3, AU and AAX formats. Check EastWest website since not all DAWs are officially supported.
Designed for the film industry, Hollywood Choirs is one of the best plugins for the emulation of choirs. Including top-notched WordBuilder, it transforms the impossible into excellent songs. Its quality and customization are great. Hollywood Choirs will suit your needs, whether composing for backing up singers or scoring for a million-dollar production.
3. EastWest Quantum Leap Pianos Gold
This piano plugin features four of the best grand pianos recorded at EastWest Studios.
The Pianos Gold library took over two years of recording, editing, and programming to develop. It features numerous samples per note in various playing styles at different velocities.
The four included grand pianos are: Bechstein D-280, Steinway D, Bösendorfer 290, and Yamaha C7. The Gold Edition of this library features player’s perspective mics and 16-bit samples.
- The Sound
EastWest Recording Studios used vintage Neumann microphones through the iconic 8079 Neve console to record the samples from the player’s perspective, which gives you the experience of playing these pianos. Furthermore, the Play plugin features convolutions of the EastWest hall to emulate the space.
Eight articulations were recorded per piano: sustain, sustain with pedal, repetitions, repetitions with pedal, soft pedal, soft pedal with a sustain pedal, staccato, and release trails. Also, the plugin features a true repetition detection technology, which switches staccato to actual repetitions based on how you are performing the notes. It recreates the acoustics of playing said pieces accurately.
- Lid Position
Pianos Gold uses filters to simulate the position of the lid. So, you can control the position smoothly from fully closed to open. The smoothness is quite enjoyable, although, for solo performance, you may not find it entirely convincing enough.
Here’s a demonstration of each of the pianos in EastWest Pianos Gold below along with a look at some of the features available:
The plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
The EWQL Pianos Gold is a straightforward piano plugin that features four great-sounding pianos. The interface and general experience feel a little outdated due to the age of this plugin, but overall, the sound is still going strong.
If you wish for tons of control and mixing possibilities, this plugin may not be for you as it focuses on remaining simple.
Furthermore, it requires about 60 GB of disk space, and the plugin eats a large amount of RAM. So, make sure your system is capable of handling it before purchase.
4. EastWest Hollywood Pop Brass (Plugin)
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A tight, bombastic, and dynamic brass section is inside this special plugin and will undoubtedly make your next track soar.
EastWest has been dedicated to continual innovation and excellent quality, setting the industry standard when it comes to sampling technology. Doug Rogers, the company’s founder and producer, has over 30 years of expertise in the audio industry and has won more industry honors than any other sound designer.
For more than 22 years, EastWest has dominated the sound industry thanks to its unwavering commitment to quality and inventive concepts.
Hollywood Pop Brass, just like their past Hollywood Brass libraries, condenses what a hit song should have if a horn section is needed: power, tightness, and brilliance.
There’s something for everyone in it – whether you want to build deep and detailed orchestrations with one of the world’s top horn sections or if you just want to “plug and play” using licks and phrases that will bring that “it” factor to your song, this is the ultimate pop brass sample library that will leave you begging for more.
- Special effects
There’s a dedicated section for instruments with particular articulations with unique techniques. “Falls,” for instance, is a note that begins on a definite pitch, then “falls” (or bends) downward over a duration of time – short, medium, or long. Other articulations like “Rips” feature a quick upward glissando with three different versions: “Rips,” “RipUp Short,” and “RipUp Long.”
Hollywood Pop Brass contains full-length phrases recorded at a variety of tempos that fit perfectly in the world of pop brass. Each phrase was recorded with multiple transpositions and is mapped across the virtual keyboard on their respective root note positions for use in a variety of key signatures. Just change it to whatever key you’re in and start getting inspired instantly.
Any instruments in this category feature short licks and stabs that were performed in multiple keys, centered around up to 6 chord types, and containing two Round Robin variations. To play, adjust the Mod Wheel position to select a chord type according to the Mod Range values, play any key between the Note Range values, and the lick or stab of that respective root note position will be executed. For instance, playing note C3 with the Mod Wheel position all the way down will playback the lick based on the C Dominant 7th. Playing the same note again will playback the round robin variation.
- Output source configuration
Along the right side of the Hollywood Pop Brass user interface is the “Master Instrument Channel” of the selected instrument, with multiple output possibilities to be selected. There are five main output options: “Stereo” outputs the original stereo channels as they were recorded, “Mono” sums the left and right channels into a dual mono channel, “Mono From Left” outputs the left channel to a dual mono output, discarding the right channel, “Mono From Right” outputs the right channel to a dual mono output, discarding the left channel, and lastly “Swap Left and Right” outputs a reverse stereo image of the original audio (swapping the left and right channels).
- Special effects
This plugin is available for macOS 10.7 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in the included EastWest’s Play 6 System.
A brilliant software with equally brilliant configurations and effects that will greatly enhance your horn section’s sound. The team of developers behind this and other EastWest libraries is impressive, and the number of awards granted to each and for the Hollywood Pop Brass software itself is what really states its magnitude and excellence.
Although very complete, it’s somewhat strange that it doesn’t come in regular plugin formats or run in popular sample libraries – instead, it runs in its own player.
5. Eastwest Sounds Spaces 2
The high level of detail in Spaces 2 is astonishing; by selecting an exclusive instrument reflection, you can set the reverb to behave ideally according to the featured instrument. The plugin includes hundreds of environments, opera houses, catacombs, train stations; any producer will have a stunning palette of the reflective fields to choose from with Spaces 2.
- Instrument Specific
By respecting the instrument’s shapes, functionalities, architecture, resonance, and energy, Eastwest Sounds made highly optimal reverbs according to many possible placements of an orchestra. For instance, when producing a French Horn’s reverberant energy, the team behind Spaces 2 created an impulse for the sound going to the center and lateral rear of a stage since this instrument launches its sounds backward.
- Main Control
With four highly intuitive knobs, you can shape and adjust some crucial characteristics of the reverb. With the input, Pre-Delay, Dry and Wet knobs, the presence of the track’s reflections can be accurately regulated. You can also use the navigation bar to save, load, and browse presets.
Spaces 2 has some exciting sections that provide you with more in-depth customization controls. In a Page section, a Center Display will be present; you can activate a Decay and a Filter there. While using the “Display” key, you will switch between the normal display state. A Mode section offers you control over a Mono or Stereo setting. You can also toggle a True Stereo key to load a stereo-in and stereo-out preset.
Featuring an enormous amount of presets, Spaces 2 offers every producer a vast amount of possibilities for implementing reflective textures on their tracks. There are more than thirteen environments for spaces that you can choose from, like caves, courtyards, forests, parking garages, rock rooms, and more. The presets can fall into different and exciting categories, such as Mono-in/Stereo-out, Stereo-in/Stereo-out, FR (Recorded at the front of the stage), RR (Recorded at the rear of the stage), and more.
This plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Spaces 2 is a modern convolution reverb by Eastwest Sounds. The plugin is highly versatile in providing specific reverb for any track by featuring an instrument-specific preset dedicated to some orchestral instruments.
The many preset that the plugin offers are astounding; you can select from an extensive list of environments and ambients to emulate authentic early reflections and tail recordings for any audio. Some intuitive and handy knobs can be adjusted in the primary control with swiftness and precision to maximize further or regulate the mix’s reverberant glow.