Prominiy Sounds LPC Reviewed By
29th March 2007.
What is it?
Sample library of the Les Paul Custom for Gigasampler
What does it do?
sound of a Les Paul Custom guitar in a its various
Who would use
either can't play or can't afford a high quality Les
Paul to get the sound that launched a million records.
How does it
very real sound
LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar
expensive, and sophisticated symphonic libraries are
commonplace now, with several brands to choose from. And
it’s easy to see why, the cost of a full orchestra is
beyond the budget or even the schedule of many
productions. But realistic sounding midi-orchestra
performances are still not easy to come by, they still
require a great amount of skill and knowledge of both a
real orchestra and your orchestra library.
But what about an instrument at the opposite end of the
spectrum, the guitar. The guitar is probably the most
popular and commonplace instrument in America. You can’t
swing a cat in my neighborhood without hitting a guitar
player or a place to buy a guitar. So why would you want
an extensive library of guitar samples, as painstakingly
sampled and sophisticated as an orchestra library. Well
a few reasons.
Firstly, while there are lots of places to buy guitars,
great guitars are hard to find. Because they are made of
natural products and involve at least some handmade
sections there is a variance that doesn’t really exist
in electronic instruments. My Triton sounds just like
So while the library is expensive, it is still less than
any great guitar. And since the LPC comes in both clean
and distorted versions you have the same sort of
variance with Marshall amps which are notorious for
varying in quality, so it also comes with a great amp.
The second reason is that the guitar retains its
popularity for two qualities, the first being it is one
of the easiest instruments to start learning to play and
get some musical satisfaction out of (0 to “Twist n’
Shout” in less than 5 minutes), and secondly it is a
very expressive instrument in the hands of a skilled
player. Bends, trills, scrapes, sliding notes, hammer-ons
and offs, and other playing techniques continue to
And the third reason is that if you listen to
guitar-centered music, you know what a guitar sounds
like. You aren’t easily fooled (just like we grew up
hearing real orchestras at every movie), and guitar
libraries up until now have been lifeless simply because
they can’t match the variety of sounds that even a
mediocre guitar player can get from his instrument. And
that is why I think the LPC is a huge leap forward for
guitar sample libraries.
First of all it just sounds great. For the first few
weeks I just enjoyed the great, realistic, classic
Marshall sound that I could get. And then as I wanted
more variety of tones I used the clean tones through the
various amp simulators where I couldn’t seem to make a
mistake in terms of generating cool, unique tones.
But after using it on a few tunes playing some simple
chords or parts I started to really dig in and build
some tunes around the LPC because I wanted to get a more
aggressive sound without running everything through a
I found that the LPC just went deeper and deeper in
terms of control and realism the more I worked with it.
I realized that if I wanted realistic sounding
performances, I was going to need to dig a lot deeper
and actually learn and practice this library like an
instrument as it makes extensive use of both real time
control (Mod wheel, aftertouch, pedal) and keyswitching.
And honestly I am still not there yet, but listen to
these demos to hear the realism. But first check out the
video demo, the dichotmoy between what you hear and what
you see is surreal. Some of the demos are downloadable
as MIDI files so you can see how they acheived such a
An odd thing about
the library was that while it had both Giga and Kontakt
versions, the Kontakt version seemed severely
underdeveloped. First of all the included manual only
covered the Gigasampler version, and in terms of
instruments, while there were hundreds of different
instruments for the different articulations, there was
only one “Players Set” with key-switching set up in a
way that a lot of things were available to me. Visiting
their site for the manual not only yielded the manual
(which is massive and extensive), but also a “LPC Super
Performance Multi ” with a much more layered and
completely built instrument that I could manipulate in
real time. And I’m still learning.
The overall quality of the instrument leads me to
believe that the Kontakt implementation will continue to
grow, while those of you using Gigasampler will benefit
right out of the box with fully developed instruments
and printed documentation, which covers every
articulation, and the way each articulation can be
manipulated. For example, when playing in single note
configurations, playing legato will cause the LPC to
play the “slide” sample in between the notes (much like
the Vienna Library), while normal playing will cause the
release sample to play, yielding a very intuitive way of
using the fluidity of sliding without having to use any
To me, LPC is to guitar (at least to the Les Paul
Custom) what the Vienna Library was for orchestra or BFD
was for drums; the next step in the evolution of both
realistic and great sounding instruments, available to
people who don’t play that instrument.
The drawback: the price. $599 MSRP is a lot to pay for
one library of one type of one instrument. (I mean, a
couple of records have been made with Telecasters and
Stratocasters too). But when you see the depth and
detail of the library (that's 68 GB) you will realize
that for the cost of a Les Paul copy, you can get the
sound of a one-of-a-kind Les Paul, well recorded and
well played and yielding as much realism as you’re
willing to invest the time in going for.
In conclusion no other instrument, except for perhaps my
Triton, has made me feel such a leap in possibility in
terms of getting the sounds I hear in my head into my
computer. The LPC is little advertised and overlooked,
but if you need a great sounding guitar, or live for a
great sounding guitar, pick up the LPC.