Instruments of Navigating History: Egypt – Part 2

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm, by Ben



Flash 10 is required to view this file

Flash 10 is required to view this file

I bought East West/Quantum Leap’s RA some time ago, a sample library including a wide range of instruments from around the globe, from Australian Didgeridoo licks to Sitar to Highland Bagpipes. I have been so happy with it over the years that I jumped at the opportunity to buy another East West ethnic library, SILK.

While SILK offers a smaller spread of ethnic instruments than RA, featuring only Chinese, Indian, and Persian sounds, SILK focuses on making the instruments from those regions extra special… the sampling process was much more in-depth and the instruments are more playable in a greater number of articulations and styles–there are also more instruments per each region than in RA. For Navigating History: Egypt, I primarily pulled from SILK’s Persian palette, which offers a range of bowed, plucked, wind, and percussive instruments from the middle east–ideal for this project. Every SILK instrument also comes with great-sounding and mix-friendly phrases and articulations that were recorded by expert musicians at East West Studios and Capitol Studios.

The Indian instruments sounded good too, which I was expecting… but the Chinese winds and strings blew me away. I mean, they’re really great. Buying SILK has led me to half-hope that the next destination of the Navigating History team will be China, if for no other reason than having an excuse to splurge on arrangements saturated with these expressive and evocative sounds.

While we’re speaking about EW/QL, I should mention that there is a Valentine’s Day sale running currently offering 3 instruments for 60% off… there’s good stuff here and it ships on a 1TB HDD. This is a pretty good deal, but don’t cry if you miss it– (the site that carries EW/QL instruments) has similar deals every couple months. Unless forced by a pressing project, never buy any of their instruments (newer libraries excluded) for less than 40-50% off. Waiting is usually worth it.

Back to the review… In sum, Silk is awesome. All the ethnic instruments you hear in the above demos that are bowed, plucked, or blown came from SILK. You can also hear some electronic sounds from KOMPLETE 7, a dash of ProjectSAM’s Symphobia, and a healthy helping of my favorite EW/QL library, Hollywood Strings.

And in keeping with the law of this site (EVERY POST MUST MENTION AUDRI BOTKIN AT LEAST ONCE), I’m including a little medley of cello music Audri recorded for me.

Flash 10 is required to view this file

Here’s how this sort of thing goes:

BEN: “Hey Audri, Can you play this for me?” (*plays little melody on keyboard)

AUDRI: (*plays little melody on cello) “Want me to add some grace notes?”

BEN: “YES… lemme get the recorder. Play around with that idea for a minute until I find it.”

Can you blame me? It’s Valentine’s Day! <3


  • Valentine’s Day nothin’. Rub it in for those of use who aren’t married yet, why doncha? 🙂

    Thanks for the posts, Ben. I especially appreciated your post on how you discern between projects. Look forward to hearing your work for Ace Wonder.

    Posted by Kyle on February 15th, 2011 at 12:58 am
  • WOW. Audri is REALLY good! It’s beautiful!

    And, SILK sounds amazing too. My dad just bought me Cubase, is this an instrument library that would work on that program?

    Posted by Natalya on February 15th, 2011 at 1:23 pm
  • The next destination will probably be China?
    I am really looking forward to that!

    Thanks for the updates!


    Rub it in indeed… I agree. 🙂

    Posted by Daniel Lamb on February 15th, 2011 at 3:20 pm
  • Yeah Ben! These pieces are amazing. Great work on the cello Audri! I own EWQL RA but I don’t have silk yet. Soon though. 🙂

    Posted by Phillip Haumesser on February 15th, 2011 at 3:27 pm
  • Natalya,

    Yes, Silk works well in Cubase, just make sure you are running a 64-bit operating system, the 64-bit version of Cubase, and the 64-bit version of Silk’s PLAY engine. You’ll have problems otherwise.

    Posted by admin on February 15th, 2011 at 3:40 pm
  • Daniel, I said I was kinda HOPING the next destination would be China, not that it probably would be. So… don’t get your hopes up too much. 🙂

    Posted by admin on February 15th, 2011 at 3:41 pm
  • Ah, I see. Wherever else is great too, as long as we get to hear some Chinese cello somewhere along the way… ; )

    Posted by Daniel Lamb on February 16th, 2011 at 2:03 am
  • Can you get a version of SILK to go into Finale Allegro?
    That sounds interesting, I love new sounds. 🙂

    Posted by John on February 16th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
  • John, I don’t SILK will run in Finale Allegro. I don’t know much about Finale, but the versions comparison page ( ) outlines that Allegro does not have “External Sound Library Support (VST/AU Instruments and Effects)” support.

    Posted by admin on February 16th, 2011 at 3:31 pm
  • Thanks, Phillip!

    Posted by admin on February 16th, 2011 at 3:41 pm
  • Thanks, Ben.

    Posted by John on February 16th, 2011 at 10:57 pm