Sonivox Big Bang Cinematic Percussion – Better Bang For Your Buck or a Fizzer?
I recently had the opportunity to grab the Sonivox Big Bang Percussion virtual instrument (version 2.5) in one of the recent sales and took it through it’s paces.
In the test I was running OSX 10.8 on a late 2011 Macbook Pro 2.4 GHZ i7 with 4GB Ram since this was well within the software specifications and I’m still hanging onto Logic 9. I also have Tracktion 5 which allows me to test the version as a VST.
On opening Big Bang Percussion I was greeted with a pleasant well laid out GUI with some nice adjustments for eq, panning etc and options to open as a multi output instrument if I wanted.
Clicking around with the mouse revealed a huge library of percussion samples laid out in various collections as well as individual instruments from thundering earth drums to shakers , bells and effects. Enough to satisfy any composer who wants to create an epic battle soundtrack.
Overall Bang for your buck.
While the instrument sounds superb and samples could be used straight out of the box without any need for extra processing I encountered a few issues that severely detracted from the overall usability.
Stability – The biggest problem I found was with midi keyboard input causing a crash of my DAW when the Big Bang Cinematic Percussion GUI is open. I could easily replicate a crash in Logic pro 9 and Tracktion 5 repeatedly (although not every time).
Also the IRC section could not be selected unless I first clicked sound pads with mouse – I’m not sure if this was just a setting issue but it took several attempts for me to actually do this including restarts, reopening and closing the GUI etc.
Running a looped midi part or a recorded part for that matter could also initiate a Logic crash when the GUI was open.
The only workaround I found to avoid a crash was to actually close the GUI before doing anything related to midi input, recording or playback.
Support from Sonivox has been less than helpful. Sending off a support request via their website form resulted in an automated acknowledgement and then a week later…nothing.
Joining the forums and posting my concerns did eventually get a response but so far has not provided a solution to either myself or the five other users who had posted there who were encountering the same problems I was.
Is Sonivox Big Bang Cinematic Percussion deserving of a place in your DAW VST’s folder?
If you are willing to put up with DAW crashes and do some of the workarounds I mentioned (keep the GUI closed) and wait for a sale price then maybe…
If you really have better things to do perhaps it’s worth looking for another product or waiting for the next update to see if these problems have been solved.