Evolution Modern Nylon virtual guitar from Orange Tree Samples
I’m a lifelong guitar lover and, not so long ago bought a lovely new Martin nylon string guitar (see I bought a new guitar). So why would I also invest $179 in a virtual nylon string guitar?
There are actually quite a few good reasons:
- It is easier to compose with virtual instruments, as you can just keep on editing to your heart’s content
- you can export MIDI from a Digital Audio Workstation (I use Cubase 11) directly into notation software (I use Dorico 3.5)
- the recording of the samples is just about perfect (and I don’t have the studio setup to do half as well)
- the playing of the guitarist that they sampled is also perfect (and I’m quite good but not a maestro)
Alright, so I wouldn’t use the virtual guitar to perform with but it works just fine for composition and production. And while the nylon string guitar is expressive (you can control velocity, hammer on, pull off, slide between notes, add vibrato, etc.), these are possible to imitate successfully with the right software. And this virtual instrument from Orange Tree Samples does the job nicely with many more features besides.
I use Kontakt as my sampler and the Evolution Modern Nylon instrument loads easily. The video below shows the Play window which allows you to set triggers for 15 different articulations. I mainly used different types of slides. I also like the fact that, in this window, you can see the notes being played on the fretboard. If you like, you can adjust the Setup so that the notes are played higher up on the neck. I used this facility a lot but had to load a different instance of the plug-in for each neck position as it doesn’t appear to be possible to alter this on the fly during a piece.
There are 30 different preset nylon guitar sounds. I used Majestic for the track Almuruna which is playing in the video but I’ve employed a wide variety of presets on different projects. Obviously, you can apply your own EQ, reverb and other effects outside the plug-in if you want.
The plug-in has a strumming engine which I haven’t used as I mainly play fingerstyle. However, if you use nylon guitars for accompaniment or for flamenco you are likely to find this useful.
So, how does Evolution Modern Nylon compare with me playing my Martin 000C? There’s a simple way to find out. Here’s the track Almuruna played both through the virtual instrument and direct-injected from a pick-up on the Martin. See which you prefer.