Many months ago, in the early days of Covid, EastWest Quantum Leap announced a huge update for their flagship orchestral library, Hollywood Orchestra. 230GB of new content, completely revamped presets, and a ‘new’ player engine called OPUS, and more were said to be coming, and as an EastWest Composer Cloud subscriber, I became very excited since it would be included.
Hollywood Orchestra, despite being one of the oldest flagship orchestral libraries out there, has remained one of the best. Great recordings don’t become less useful or sound worse just because they are older. But there have been many improvements that are long overdue, most of which can be addressed with a simple engine update. And that’s a big part of what OPUS is supposed to bring.
It was set to be released in the Fall. As often happens (and has happened before with EastWest), that release date got pushed back. I’ll grant some grace here due to Covid messing up most of last year. But still, waiting sucks, amiright?
Fast forward a few months, and the new release date of January 21st was announced. Thankfully, it appears this date isn’t too far off. Though today is the 21st (at the time of writing, maybe not at the time of your reading this), EastWest took to the floor of NAMM to reveal more details. So we’ve finally gotten our first look at this new addon/edition/upgrade (whatever it is).
Below is a video released in conjunction with this announcement.
I was a little disappointed in the video above as it was less of a walkthrough and more of a “we put so much work into this project and we’re proud of it” video.
But lacking in details, we did get our first looks at the new Orchestrator engine. The engine was built by Sonuscore, so we already had an idea of what to expect since they have built a similar engine for their own libraries. But it appears that this is a more bespoke system, judging from the glimpses in the video above.
Obviously, we’ll know more in the next few days as we get official feature lists and images, but this does look promising.
The rest of the OPUS engine appears to be less of a “new” engine and more of an upgrade to their PLAY engine. And that’s ok. Many needs seem to have been addressed, like keyswitch mapping and other quality of life improvements, along with “Moods”, which uses mic positions to create different types of sounds (having Diamond or the highest Composer Cloud subscription will be a benefit here, of course). But overall, it’s a familiar interface with a fresh coat of paint and a couple of new panels.
I’m very excited to get my hands on Hollywood Orchestra OPUS Edition soon. It is glaringly obvious that a lot of work has been put into it. Whether the end result matches the hype of the past few months, we’ll see.
I’ll be sure to include some coverage here once it’s here, which should be imminently. Stay tuned.