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It is really amazing what audio plug ins manufacturers are doing these days to recreate the original sound of acoustic instruments (for a fun article about this, see “The Invasion of the Sound Snatchers” here). Vir2’s Violence is the latest attempt to emulate the sound of a (real) violin through multi-sampling – with some added extras. Even though my personal belief is that no plug in can get even close to the sound a fantastic performer can deliver, this kind of software is extremely useful when what is needed is a quick and great sounding way to add a part to an arrangement – something that sounds realistic enough to be kept in the final mix. Violence also shows promise as a creative tool for original sound design for musicians that are not necessarily interested in a realistic tone.

The inspiration for Violence came from the influential American composer John Cage, whose extensive experiments with prepared piano yielded new timbres and effects. According to Vir2, what Cage did on the piano, Violence brings to the violin: an unorthodox approach to a traditional instrument, yielding new textures and sound design elements. Violence combines physical alterations with digital manipulations for a sound that straddles acoustic and electronic realms.

All the possible sounds this instrument can create were “deconstructed” by recording them from numerous angles: bowed, scraped, hit, plucked, played with mallets, chopsticks, guitar picks, and wet fingers. These sounds were then programmed and layered to create four categories of sounds: Drum Kits, Melodic, Pads and Sound Effects, and Tempo-Synced.

Violence is powered by the Kontakt engine. It is compatible with VST, AudioUnit, and RTAS (Pro Tools 7 & 8) plug-in formats allowing it to work seamlessly within any major sequencer, in addition to standalone use.