RA was born a few years ago, as a sample library called "Rare Instruments". All of the sounds from Rare Instruments are included in RA, but this only represents approximately one-tenth of the content. The other ninety percent of RA was recorded at Ocean Way studios in Hollywood.
RA is a massive 14 Gigabyte Virtual Instrument that covers many typical, and some unusual instruments, from six areas of the World:
- Americas and Australia
- Far East
- Middle East and Turkish Empire
Every instrument or ensemble was sampled extensively, so the character of the instrument was preserved. Ethnic (or World) music is all about expression, and how the instrument is played. To sample a Turkish wind instrument and not capture the bending, swelling and wavering of the notes is to miss the point completely. They made a big effort to keep things very organized, consistent, and intuitive, which is necessary with a collection of this size. Every instrument has many articulations and fx that range from very controlled, to very expressive. This allows you to actually "play" the instrument with authentic results. They also came up with some innovative ideas for achieving realistic legato, which they call QLegato.
Africa: African Dual Wooden Shakers (Ewe), African Metal Shakers (Ewe), Atsimevu, Axatse, Batas, Berkete, Dejembe Ensemble, Ekpiri, Ewe Drum Ensemble, Ewe Large Bombshell, Ewe Medium Bombshell, 3ft FromTonFrom, 5ft FromTonFrom, Gankokwe Large, Gyil, Kalimbas, Kidi, Kora, Log Drums, Ngoni, Udu.
Americas and Australia: 1890 Washburn Guitar, American Jaw Harp, Banjo, Berimbau, Cuban Percussion, Didjeridoo, Dobro, First Nations Cedar Flute, Mandolin, Pan Flute, Ukelele.
Europe: Alpenhorn, Bag Pipe Ensemble, Bass Recorder, Frame Drum, Gadulka, Hardanger Fiddle, Highland Pipes, Hurdy Gurdy, Irish Low Whistle, Launeddas, Uilleann Pipes.
Far East: Dizi, Erhu, Gamelan Ensemble, Gongs, Koto, Rag Dung, Shakuhachi, Shamisen, Taiko Drums, Vietnamese Jawharp.
India: Bansuri, Baritone Violin (Electric), Esraj, Sarangi, Sitar, Tablas, Tambura.
Middle East and Turkish Empire: Armenian Duduk, Bulgarian Duduk, Mid East Fiddle, Mid East String Section, Ney Flute, Oud, Qandahar Dumbek, Santoor, Turkish, Duduk, Yalli Tambur, Zourna.
A release date has not yet been announced but it will ultimately be available in all major plug-in formats for Windows XP and MacOS X at an MSRP of US$995.