Poetic Guitar-Landscape(PGL)is an emulation of a Rodriguez acoustic, one of the foremost Spanish classical guitars.
Download and installation are simple and straight-forward with a thorough manual explaining the installation process, plus in-depth explanations of features accompanied by helpful graphics.
The manual is well-done and the English is clear enough for understanding PGL well. There are demo videos on the website which feature compositions being played by an actual guitarist on the Rodriguez and a keyboard player duplicating the guitarist’s performance using PGL.
The performances sound strikingly similar, show-casing the realism the developers have achieved with PGL.
The interface of PGL is simply beautiful. The colors are calming, lending subtle inspiration for a meditative musical mood. As a backdrop for the functional controls, there is a landscape painting of a traveling mist through a mountain valley in China at night.
PGL has all the functions of its predecessor, Acoustic Guitar Steel (AGS), plus several more. The manual goes into great detail explaining the sampling techniques, equipment used, automation features, continuous controller assignments, MIDI learn capabilities, sequencing techniques, envelope settings, and other audio-midi-specific functionality for beginning to advanced users.
PGL also comes with several presets which are designed to show the power of several features. Among these are Pads which use the Natural Harmonic samples with the Guitar FX section to achieve mystical-sounding pads. PGL can achieve much more than authentic guitar sounds.
The Load Instruments button will enable you to choose which samples to load into PGL. You can free up CPU resources by not selecting any of the playing technique features that you may not want to use. Also Background Load Mode is lighter on CPU.
Instrument string playing can be set by choosing Pick, Nail, or Finger. Finger has the greatest potential for the most expressive playing of the classical guitar.
Powerful, detailed, in-depth effects are available for fine tuning your overall sound landscape.
In addition, there is an abbreviated FX section to the right of the keyboard for quick tweaking on-the-fly, spontaneous creative spurts of inspiration.
Chord strumming is very deep and can achieve convincing results utilizing time, velocity, direction, pre-defined and user-defined chords. On-board and user-created midi files can be played with the Active Midi Player.
Keyswitching is at the heart of PGL production. All traditional playing techniques such as Harmonic, Hammer-on, Pull-off, Slide-up, Slide-down, Slide-in, Slide-out, Chord, Muting, Bending, and Strumming are possible. Separate areas of the fretboard are assigned by S1, S2, and S3. Three panels of chord selectors are available, categorized by chord type.
All notes played on the keyboard are immediately shown on the guitar, letting you see the interactive play between keyboard and guitar. To reduce CPU consumption, a feature called Rhombic Sampling is employed. This design ensures that sample density is increased or decreased according to the area of the keyboard you play the most or the least. In the pursuit of the purest and most natural sound possible, Green Sampling techniques are used. This ensures that the samples are not pre or post-processed except for some low frequency cutting and noise reduction.
Sampling Circulation Technique (KeyCount and OctCount) ensures that different pitches or octaves will not affect the circulation rules of each other, providing even greater realism.
PGL captures the complete guitar Sample Start Time. Many sampled instruments begin sampling at the point of Attack, while PGL sampling begins before the initial Attack.
PGL utilizes the performance function of random time-length/random pitch for users who want to add even more randomness to their playing style. Midi Learn can be set up for use with continuous controllers by right-clicking a knob or other control.
A Midi Controller Setup edit screen will appear when choosing Edit from the menu.
The Midi signal can be output from both the Guitar and Keyboard Panels. As long as the Midi In of the track is set to PGL it can be used as an outside Midi keyboard.
Hovering the mouse over most controls will display “tooltip” text, providing quick help for a control. All controls can be reset by double-clicking them. PGL is without a doubt one of the best sounding classical guitars available.
It is very easy to use at the basic level. Loading samples for S1 alone provides all a beginner needs to produce an authentic-sounding guitar part. As with any instrument, the more you get to know it, the more you will get out of it. There is not enough room here for me to cover all the features available for tweaking your sounds.
At less than half the price of AGS (only $99), and with even more features, I highly recommend you download the demo and see and hear it for yourself.