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.
Back in July, Crudebyte surprised us a bit further by adding Audiobus support to iSymphonic Orchestra (Audiobus is a direct rival to Crudebyte’s own JACK inter-app audio connectivity platform). I think this was a sensible decision given just how dominant Audiobus has become in the world of iOS music making. Oriental Strings has now been updated to include the same Audiobus support – v.1.2.2 hit the App Store over the week-end – as well as now being supportive of 64-bit devices (which ought to improve the efficiency of the app on newer iOS hardware).
Having given the new version a quick audition, the Audiobus support seems to be solid and it’s great to be able to use Oriental Strings in an Audiobus-based project. iSymphonic Orchestra – at UK£22.99 – is perhaps not going to be a casual purchase for most (and there are some excellent IAPs for additional sounds if your budget can stretch to them) but, at UK£7.99, 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.