Big Bang Orchestra: Black Eye
Welcome to the Vienna Symphonic Library’s series of Synchron Instruments! As the name says, Big Bang Orchestra furnishes you with a selection of full-orchestra articulations, at the same time allowing you (if you haven’t done so already) to explore our powerful Synchron Player software. If you're looking for that extra dramatic effect or want to highlight a passage in your composition, this bonus library could be the solution, or at least point you in the right direction.
Big Bang Orchestra: Black Eye, the second library expansion provides you with all-new musical elements, such as hits, rips, runs, clusters, tension sustains, rhythms, arpeggios, grace notes, echo effects and more.
Big Bang Orchestra makes use of our Synchron Player's unique features, and offers several Mixer Presets in five categories: Room Mix, Stereo Decca Tree, Surround to Stereo, Surround, and Processed. The Mixer Presets in each category are Close (Dry in the Room Mix), Classic, Wide, Distant, and Ambient. The Processed section offers "Big" versions of these Presets.
BBO Black Eye also provide you with a "Wet" Mixer Preset in each category, as well as more choice in the Processed section. The additional Mixer Presets are named Vintage Tape, War Fanfare, String Is King, Massive, Lush, and Bouncy.
Patches can be used to build your own custom Presets and shape them according to your specific requirements. Big Bang Orchestra does not contain so many Patches, so the possibilities are somewhat limited. Still, if you want to get into creating Presets of your own, please refer to the Synchron Player manual, which will be helpful in case you encounter any problems.
For designating pitch, the Vienna Symphonic Library uses International Pitch Notation (IPN), which was agreed upon internationally under the auspices of the Acoustical Society of America. In this system the international standard of A=440 Hz is called A4 and middle C is C4. All pitches are written as capital letters, their respective octave being indicated by a number next to it. The lowest C on the piano is C1 (the A below that is A0), etc.
The Synchron Player software allows you to set middle C to C3, C4, or C5 according to your preference.
Selecting another setting than C4 will of course also change the play ranges and keyswitches accordingly.
Reduction and Score
You can download the score here.
Just like its predecessor BBO Andromeda, Black Eye offers a regular Preset, where marcato articulations are controlled with the modwheel (CC1), and another one marked "VelXF", where keystroke velocity controls the marcato intensity.
The main categories Hits, Phrases and FX, and Clusters can be selected with the keyswitches A0/A#0/B0. The subcategories of those are mapped to the keyswitches C1 and C#1 (Clusters: D1), while the Articulations range from D#1 to A1.
Hits - Unison
- Flams are basically grace notes played very close together (the first one soft, the second at normal volume) in order to sound like one slightly longer note.
- Delayed means that the lower or higher registers of the sound set in slightly later than their opposites.
- In the Graced patch, the instruments of the high register rip towards a target note, which is reinforced by the rest of the orchestra with a powerful marcato-staccato.
- With pp sustain provides a fortississimo staccato of brass and low strings, of which a very soft high note played by the muted strings remains.
- Flams: A#1–D5
- others: A#4–D5
Hits - Chords
Major, minor, open, and diminished chord hits.
- Range: A#4–D5.
Phrases – Runs and rips
Octave runs major and minor, up and down, as well as upward and downward rips, i.e., powerful glissandos to the beginning of a note.
- Runs: A#1–D5
- Rips: C2–D6
Phrases – Phrases and FX
This category contains various sustained textures.
- Volume pumping does what it says – the sound’s volume swells and abates.
- Shuffled sustain is a kind of controlled chaos, where different groups of the orchestra play complementary rhythmic patterns. Due to its complex structure, this effect can be used independently of tempo and provides a propelling density that lends itself well to underscores, for instance.
- Microtuning comes in slow and fast variants, with the pitch of instruments hovering around the target note.
- Echoes repeats the initial sound at a lower volume while keeping up the sustained note.
- Octave trills are just that – instrument groups playing trills in octaves.
- Seagull arpeggio is an effect created by flageolet glissandos played on open strings, with the accompanying wind instruments playing arpeggios that follow the overtone series of the strings.
- Volume pumping: A#1–D6
- Microtuning: A#1–D6
- Shuffled sustain: A#2–D5
- Echoes: A#3–D5
- Seagull arpeggio: A#3–D5
- Octave trills: A#1–D5
Clusters A, B
The "regular" clusters come in two variants marked "A" and "B", respectively. Both of them have the same low range sounds, with the variants in the high ranges. The clusters comprise short notes, long notes without and with marcato option, and short and long swells (sounds increasing continuously in volume and ending abruptly at the peak) without and with marcato option.
- low clusters: A#1–D4
- A/B clusters: A#4–D6
The marcato option allows you to add marcato attacks with the help of the modwheel (MIDI CC1) or by keystroke velocity when you use the VelXF Preset.
Using marcato with the swells allows you to create particularly intriguing sounds as the volume drops off after the initial hit but immediately starts to build up again.
Clusters – Special
- Cluster to root offers sounds that start out from a cluster, with the instruments gradually coming together at the target note.
- Root to cluster does the opposite – the tones deviating more and more from the original root note.
- Hits + pp sustain starts with fortississimo staccato clusters of brass and low strings, out of which emerge very soft higher-range clusters played by the muted strings.
- Cluster to root: A#1–D6
- Root to cluster: A#1–D6
- Hits + pp sustain: A#3–D5