BRING FANTASY WORLDS TO LIFE
Introducing Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra, a brand-new orchestra that includes everything you need to create fantasy film, television, and game soundtracks. Produced by sound titans Doug Rogers and Nick Phoenix, Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra includes unique ensembles of world instruments that have been featured in the biggest movies and games in history, mixed with modern octave-doubled orchestral sections that perfectly compliment Hollywood Orchestra, all with full stereo imaging mic placement and all the features of EastWest’s revolutionary Opus player. If you’re scoring the next big fantasy epic or medieval tale, adding in a few period solo instruments won’t cut it — you need to bridge the gap between orchestral and world instruments. Every instrument needs to earn its place in the mix to create a massive cinematic sound, so we created an entirely new orchestra that puts all the period instruments you need on the same stage. It’s simply unlike anything you’ve heard before.
HOLLYWOOD FANTASY STRINGS
Hollywood Fantasy Strings is the first iteration of Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra, putting 5 of the most iconic instruments from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras at your fingertips alongside brand-new stylized recordings from modern-day orchestral musicians. It includes true legato, diverse articulations, everything you need to produce the perfect fantasy cue to the highest professional standards. We infused it with the same power and flexibility as Hollywood Strings, with the same microphone placements, in the exact same studio, tailor-made to mix perfectly, so you can rest assured that your string libraries are all up to the task.
EPIC STRING ARRANGEMENTS OF OLDE
Traditional celli are replaced with a viola da gamba ensemble, violins are replaced with a hardanger fiddle ensemble. Lutes and dulcimers are recorded in trios, creating a beautiful sparkling stereo image that cuts through any mix. It also includes hurdy gurdies and massive sounding traditional string ensembles, recorded in octaves for those moments when you need bombast to round out your fantasy sound. Every instrument is mic’d the same way as the Hollywood Orchestra series and recorded in the same room – Studio One – the site of countless film, television, and game soundtrack recordings.
COMMAND THE MOOD
Every instrument is programmed with 3 moods, on a scale from most authentic to most cinematic: Classic, Soft, and Epic. You can rotate through these different qualities to suit your needs (the choice will typically be a no-brainer) and fill in the exact fantasy orchestra sound you hear in your head. You have individual control over the level and pan of four separate mic positions: Close, Mid, Main, and Surround, giving you full control over the dimension of the sound.
SETTING THE SCENE
Fire-breathing dragons. Epic battles between kingdoms. Ancient untold magic, casting 1,000 years of darkness upon the land… No matter how grand the scene you need to set, Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra is equipped with everything you need to make it happen right out of the box. If your arsenal is missing the ancient and traditional folk strings needed to give your orchestrations an authentic edge, your collection will finally match the limits of your imagination.
147 instruments across 6 ensembles and 2 solo instruments with numerous articulations. Build the exact sonic tapestry you’ve been dreaming of with these incredible fantasy-inspired instruments.
3 Hardanger Fiddles
Perhaps Norway’s most prized musical contribution, the hardanger fiddle is similar to a violin but with a more vibrant, brilliant quality owing to its body construction and doubled strings — it often sounds like two violinists playing at once! Some of its most stunning uses in modern music are in Howard Shore’s Rohan theme from Lord of the Rings and Bear McCreary’s traditional string arrangements in God of War. Try it out on brilliant, lyrical melodies and sub it in for violins when you need to add in a Viking flair.
The lute is famous for its role in Renaissance folk music in the hands of troubadours and singers, functioning much like the 12-string guitar with a greater midrange emphasis and gentler character. It’s been used in countless soundtracks, including The Tudors, Whisper of the Heart, Only Lovers Left Alive, the popular roguelike game Hades and much more. This 10-stringed instrument is equally adept at both virtuoso passages and providing a smooth chordal background for the viola da gamba and hardanger fiddle.
3 Viola Da Gambas
If you’ve ever listened to sonorous, non-vibrato Baroque bowed string music, you’ve probably had a taste of the viola da gamba’s vibrant quality. Similar in shape and sound to a cello, this lush full-spectrum instrument is an ancestor of the modern string ensemble. It remained in relative obscurity until the film Tous les Matins du Monde brought it back, featuring a traveling viol virtuoso, and has made appearances in scores like Austin Wintory’s soundtrack for The Pathless. Try it out in place of a cello, especially if you want to add in a Baroque chamber feel!
6 Celli and 4 Basses
These modern day strings are present for one reason: Power. Before the string bass, there was very little low-end energy in ensembles — energy that modern soundtracks simply can’t live without. This is the perfect way to support your fantasy strings with a consistent style and timbre, extending the range of your entire ensemble instantly.
8 Violins and 6 Violas
Low strings wouldn’t be complete without their high-end partners, so we’ve also included violin and viola in the mix. They blend perfectly with the other stringed instruments in the collection and provide a strong backing so the other pieces can shine through; no layering or complex production techniques required.
3 Mountain Dulcimers
The true origins of the mountain dulcimer lie in the Middle East, after which it evolved in Europe and was brought to the Appalachian Mountains by early Scottish and Irish settlers. It’s now a staple in tons of folk music and has been used by some of the biggest musicians in modern-day history such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Its character is similar to the mandolin, and it boasts a rich combination of warm body and a bright, twinkling high end. This is perfect for fast virtuoso passages and doubles beautifully with the hardanger fiddle and lute.
Perhaps the most unique instrument in the collection, the hurdy gurdy is played via a crank that drags a wooden wheel along multiple felt-coated strings for a thick, layered drone with melodic accompaniment. It’s been utilized in a number of games, movies, and shows like The Witcher, Fringe, The Conjuring, and tons more, but one of its most distinctive uses was in Black Sails — its jagged, “broken” quality is a perfect way to offset the mellow quality of the other pieces in this collection and incorporate a folksy character into any piece.
THE FIRST STEP IN A LONG JOURNEY
Hollywood Fantasy Strings is just the beginning of the Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra series, with Brass, Winds, Percussion, Voices, and the Hollywood Fantasy Orchestrator scoring engine (partnered with Sonuscore) all coming up — soon you’ll have an entire collection of instruments at your fingertips perfect for creating cinematic fantasy masterpieces of any size and scale! Pick up Strings today and we’ll let you know the moment each additional library drops.
Below are the minimum and recommended hardware and software specifications for using Opus on Windows and MacOS systems.