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iSymphonic Orchestra review – Crudebyte brings the orchestra to your iPad

Recently I've reviewed two new offerings from Crudebyte - Oriental Strings and iCathedral Organ. Both apps are very specific in what they offer, and do that "thing" well. Now I'm pleased to review another app in the Crudebyte lineup - iSymphonic Orchestra. As you may have guessed from the name, this app focuses strictly on providing full orchestra sounds on your iPad.

Rather than focusing on individual instruments, the presets in iSymphonic Orchestra are a combination of either the full orchestra (with playing variations), or a few specific sections of the orchestra. The app ships with 24 presets, with another 19 available as an in-app purchase (IAP). The base package presets range from orchestra string sections playing in a variety of ways (staccato, pizzicato, slow, legato) as well as a few wind sections, such as trombone section or brass section.

The IAP provides more horns, specfically more French horns, bassoon, and flute, to name a few. There are also several baroque arrangements to choose from. I have not yet purchased the IAP, so I haven't played with those sounds as of yet.

The interface of iSymphonic Orchestra is nearly identical to the other Crudebyte apps. The main interface provides a virtual keyboard along the bottom, resizable to a certain degree. As I've stated in my previous reviews, you're better off using an external MIDI controller or another iOS app as a controller (Fiddlewax Pro works very well with iSymphonic Orchestra). The presets can be changed by either selecting from the drop-down box near the top, or by swiping from left to right (or vice-versa) in the middle section, where the orchestra silhouettes appear. Incidentally, if you haven't purchased the IAP sounds, those presets will still appear here, but the orchestra will be greyed out, and you'll here the previous preset instead of the IAP preset. It would be kind of nice if you could hide the unpurchased presets.

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The standard set of Crudebyte effect are available here as well. Consisting of a variety of reverbs, these all do add a nice flavor to your sound. I actually quite like the reverb in these apps. The Cathedral reverbs sound quite nice. You'll want to add a little reverb to any of the sounds, as they sound a bit dry with the reverb turned off.

As with Oriental Strings, you can adjust the MIDI Velocity Response to better tune in your external keyboard. And as with the iCathedral Organ app, the option to use the Hermione...er, Hermode Tuning (HMT) is present in iSymphonic Orchestra. Rounding out the similarities, iSymphonic Orchestra also provides an internal MIDI player and recorder.

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I thought that the sounds from iSymphonic Orchestra were top quality. Check out this Soundcloud demo from Robert Hanline for a very nice example of what can be achieved with iSymphonic Orchestra.

I sound like a broken record, but I'll repeat what I've said on my previous Crudebyte reviews. These apps are not for everyone. As with the others, iSymphonic Orchestra comes with a hefty price tag, and a large file size (864 mb). But if you're looking for some quality orchestral sounds, exquisitely sampled, then iSymphonic Orchestra is quite possibly the app you've been looking for.

If you're thinking about buying iSymphonic Orchestra, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks!

[app 892220800]

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