Crudebyte caused quite a stir back in August when their iSymphonic Orchestra app was launched. The app’s blurb promised a lot and, while the sounds in the initial release were most certainly very impressive, it perhaps wasn’t until the first update for the app appeared in November, that it perhaps started to deliver on the obvious potential of the sample playback engine.
Crudebyte have obviously put some considerable work into the sample playback engine that iSymphonic Orchestra is built upon and, quite understandably, are keen to make good use of that engine for other sample-based virtual instruments. So, as I mentioned a back in December 2014, Oriental Strings was added to the line up using the same app framework, but featuring a different sample set.
Oriental Strings caught me a bit by surprise. It wasn’t quite as ‘oriental’ as I’d imagined it would be. However, it still sounded very good indeed and made for a very good compliment to iSymphonic Orchestra. Indeed, it is a tempting item on its own as, at the time of writing, it can be picked up for just UK£7.99/US$9.99 (although, as I type, the ‘seasonal’ holiday pricing which is 40% off these figures, is still available on the UK App Store at least).
During 2015, Crudebyte added Audiobus to both iSymphonic Orchestra and Oriental Strings as well has bringing support for 64-bit hardware, while back in October, they added Audio Unit (AU) support for iSymphonic. This took a while to settle down, but a further update in December fine-tuned the performance. Anyway, having obviously got their AU support working smoothly, it has now been integrated into Oriental Strings; v.1.4.4 of that app arrived on the App Store today with AU the headline addition.
Having given the new version a quick audition, the AU support seems to be solid and it’s great to be able to use Oriental Strings in this way, especially if your iOS hardware is up to running multiple instances of the app. As with iSymphonic, the AU UI is somewhat streamlined compared to the stand-alone app but, on the whole, Crudebyte have done a good job in porting the app to the plugin format.
At UK£7.99/US$9.99, Oriental Strings is a pretty good deal. Both apps do sound impressive though and, if the combined cost is less important to you that having access to the best string/orchestral sounds that iOS can currently offer, then both apps are worth checking out.