Best Service Forest Kingdom 3: What is it?
The fantastical, outlandish sound libraries of Eduardo Tarilonte are always inspiring, from the very first Forest Kingdom pack back in 2012, which provided ambiences that implied sun-obscuring realms of wonder, to the Lord of the Rings’ soundtrack-evoking vocal suite Shevannai: Voices of the Elves, to Dark Era’s ominous medieval atmosphere in 2019. Plaudits for Tarilonte’s work have seen him rise to something of a celebrity in the sample library industry, with each new finely-tailored release being must-buys for otherworldly soundtrack-crafters.
Forest Kingdom 3 is the third instalment in this series, and builds on its predecessors’ aims to create the ultimate toolkit for crafting the ambience of a magic-sprinkled woodland. Thoughtfully, Tarilonte has seen fit to include all the content found in the first two entries, as well as a wealth of new sounds, moods, some gorgeous Native American flutes and the very sweet ability to use your MIDI controller’s mod wheel to manipulate some of the pre-designed soundscapes. Time to get foraging.
Into the woods
As with all Best Service-delivered packs, installation is a fluid process, with the library loaded through the Best Service Engine as either a standalone instrument, or as a plugin in AU, VST or AAX formats. Weighing in at a modest 19GB is an impressive feat too, once you get your eyes on the scope of the sounds contained within.
The first thing to note is the dazzlingly redesigned GUI, with a multihued pattern, and gem-like rotaries simply labelled Volume, Pitch, Pan and Reverb – as well as the currently selected preset name. It’s an immediately inviting working environment, emphasising the underlying wizardry of the collection.
Best Service Forest Kingdom 3: Performance and verdict
Diving straight into some of the banks of (over 700) presets, these are divided between six categories. The first of which, Instruments, encompasses 90 percussion patches, the sounds of two ‘magical’ harps (acoustic and electric) and wind. This is where the building blocks to the pack’s verdant soundscapes are housed.
Among the plethora of superb flute and pipe types on offer are the aforementioned new ten Native American flutes. With numerous articulations and playing styles, an endearing new feature is called Blow Intensity and allows the user to affect the dynamics via the pitchbend wheel, which yields much more effective drama-creating moments. As is per with Eduardo, every instrument has been faultlessly captured.
Blow it again Sam
Forest Kingdom 3’s breadth of control over the wind and pipe instruments is outstanding, with the ability to control the Blow and Vibrato intensity, the Vibrato speed and the Release and Holes volume allowing for the reproduction of phrases indistinct from hiring and recording a real-life piper for a few hours (and significantly cheaper, of course).
Coupled with the silky-smooth nature of the legato – which is immaculate throughout the collection – these pipe sounds may be of wider interest, even if fairy-riddled forests aren’t something you’re looking to take a stroll into.
The next category is where you're invited to wallow in Tarilonte’s emotively crafted soundscapes. In this section you can select from all manner of tantalisingly-titled sub-folders, including Ancient Secrets, Lost Places and Mother Nature, within which are heaps (210 to be precise) of surprising and colourful sounds.
• Best Service Shevannai: Voices of the Elves (opens in new tab)
If you want to go full-elf, Eduardo’s 2013 classic is still a go-to for pointy-eared, heavenly choruses.
• Boom Tropical Forests (opens in new tab)
An exquisitely recorded real-life collection of natural recordings, by Emmy-winner Gordon Hempton.
Each one could form the bed of an original soundscape, or – with slight modification – can grow in entirely different directions. Lost Labyrinth in the Lost Places section builds an ominous, rising synth string and wind effect that brings chills down your spine.
Fantasy Creatures presents a selection of animalistic noises, adding to the menace of the enchanted forest. From the distant, swirling warning cries of White Mountain Gorilla to the chattering cackle of Deep Forest Beaking Birds, all the calls in this intimidating menagerie are enough to add that extra element of hair-raising uncertainty, if that’s what you’re going for.
In for a big surprise
The aforementioned Shevannai: Voices of the Elves may be brought to mind as you plunder the Voices category and discover the elfish potential of the gorgeous Ethereal Female Solo Voice, which adds a sprinkle of fairy-dust to your developing sound.
Elsewhere in this section are some (unintentionally hilarious) Deep Chants. Building upon chants from previous releases, these create an image of a tribe of cannibals dancing around a bubbling pot. These are supremely well recorded, though you may terrify your neighbours when dabbling here.
Next up are some tuned Swishes; these are scene-settings, tension-raising stings that could be used in a transitional context when scoring. These are also present in dry form, inviting you to build up your own kinetic aural shapes.
Performance Grooves is where you can sit back and duly bask in Eduardo’s sonic creativity. Just one note press can trigger up to 300 fully realised multi-track arrangements. There’s up to three and a half hours to play with here, so it’s a perfect section to trigger off, close your eyes and get in the enchanted woodland mindset. They’re also entirely editable of course, should you hear new ideas bristling in the wind.
Another green world
At this stage, Eduardo Tarilonte’s sonic signature is as distinct as any artist, and with Forest Kingdom 3, the bespectacled conjurer continues to manifest the goods. It’s hard to fault any part of this charming collection. But, if you’re not in the market for the supernatural, this may not be the right palette for you, and that’s fine. If you do like a touch of magic to be sprinkled across your soundtrack or meditative soundscape-design, then Forest Kingdom 3 is the ultimate smörgåsbord.
MusicRadar verdict: Forest Kingdom 3 might just be the finest offering yet in Tarilonte’s mushrooming canon of excellence.
Best Service Forest Kingdom 3: Hands-on demos
Sample Library Review
Best Service Forest Kingdom 3: Specifications
- Key Features: 30 wind instruments (including 10 flutes made by Native Americans), 90 ethnic percussion-instruments, Mythical creatures and voices of shamans, 210 soundscapes, 300 multitrack performance MIDI-Grooves, Over 700 presets, Over 20,000 individual samples.
- Mac: macOS 10.12-11, 64 bit, Apple M1 is not supported right now, Intel Mac, 2GHz, RAM: 2GB.
- Windows: Windows 8-10, 32 bit & 64 bit, Intel Core processor, 2GHz, RAM: 2GB.
- CONTACT: Best Service (opens in new tab)