Alpine Volksmusic by Bestservice
We thought we’d seen it all, but then we found Alpine Volkmusik, a library that brings an essential set of instruments to help you to recreate authentic Volkmusik Oberkrainer musical backgrounds.
by A. Arsov, March 2016
I’ve got many sound libraries, but so far, this one is absolutely the oddest. I have never been a fan of such music. Do I know this music well? Of course, my home is less than 6 km away from Slavko Avsenik’s home. He is the father of the genre, author and leader of the Oberkrainer Quartet, well-known around the globe for his song “Na Golici”, or as it is called in German, “Trumpeten Echo”. So, you can probably imagine that this song is almost a national anthem in our town, being played at every official occasion.
Let’s Dig Into This Odd World
Actually, instruments that are quite typical for this genre, like staccato Tuba and short aggressive notes of Bass Trombone or even presets filled with short staccato guitar chords and various different sorts of accordions, all those are quite well programmed and sound authentic, at least in the genre’s context (after all, that is main purpose of this library). The truth is that two or three instruments, mostly lead instruments, thankfully those that you can easily find in some other libraries, are not sampled up to the standards of today’s sampling quality. Fiddle (some sort of violin) and Clarinet or even Solo Trumpet and Dulcimer sound like some General MIDI instruments taken from one of those advanced sample libraries from the 90’s, being without any round-robin functions or even additional multi-sample layers. Anyway, I presume most of the producers already own some quality versions of those lead instruments, so for that price they will get quite well-presented instruments that are essential for mimicking an authentic background for this specific genre. So, if you are after such music, this one would still be essential for you no matter that some instruments are not on the same level as productions nowadays. As a pro musician, I presume you own Chris Hein Winds and Horns, so with those instruments in combination with Alpine Volksmusik library, no one will know that you are “virtual Oberkrainer”.
My favorite instruments in this library are various short, aggressive bass winds that are totally authentic and essential for this genre. Also are those short guitar chords, offering all basic variations: minor, major, 7th and a few more variations through key-switches. Guitar chords come in two basic setups, one recorded with electro acoustic guitar and another with nylon acoustic. Also, the accordions are just perfect. I never liked them, but I know them in detail, hearing them all my life on the local buses, or at a local celebration. So they are totally authentic and as far as I banged a few phrases through various accordions (Steirische or “freitoner” accordion – it is the one with knobs instead of keys, largely used in this genre) I found that all are quite playable and if you know how harmonies are built in this genre you will have no problems getting authentic results.
In the library we can also find a few bass guitar presets, one vocal preset with a few spoken phrases and some yodelling (don’t even dare to ask). Cow bell, good sounding drum kit with nice number of snare variations ranked over the lower part of the keyboard. The trumpet ensemble is quite solid, not the best one but pretty useful anyway. There are also the other instruments that we already mentioned – tuba, baritone horn and others.
On a few presets you will need to change the release time – yes, all presets come with an additional set of controllers, so you can change the amount of implemented reverb, attack, release, legato, pan, volume and similar essential things. So back to release time. Waltzer Bass is quite good, after you drastically reduce release time, Dulcimer also needs some reduction in that field.
I know I mentioned a few less than favorable things during the review, but still there is more than enough quality material that can liven up this genre. Actually, count this investment as buying some essential instruments for this specific genre that cannot be found anywhere else. At least those instruments are on such a solid level that with some third party solo instruments, you could easily recreate an Alpine Volksmusik arrangement that will be far away from some general MIDI recreations, sounding as authentic and realistic as sampled music today can sound.
As I’ve made clear, I’m not big fan of such music, but last week while driving my car and listening to local radio, I thought that some songs are not so complicated and could easily be recreated with virtual instruments. All you need is one good clarinet or flute (thanks Chris Hein for those), a good accordion, Bass Trombone, Staccato Tuba, Bass guitar and some acoustic guitar chords along with a good drum kit – all presented in this library. I don’t know … maybe, maybe … actually, never say never.
The library runs on the Best Service Engine and will cost you €199 EUR. More info at: