As years go by, the difficulty of shopping for me during the holidays gets compounded. In other words, I didn’t have many gifts to open this season. To wit:

  • A bottle of pinot grigio
  • A gift card to Azul Tequila

Both gifts encourage the consumption of alcohol. These are things my friends wish for me to prioritize.

The real toy I "got" for Christmas were two pieces of Native Instruments software — the previously mentioned Guitar Rig 4 Pro and Kontakt 4.

Kontakt 4 comes with samples from the Vienna Symphonic Library, perhaps the most thorough orchestral sample library out there. I haven’t used Kontakt much on this remix project, but I did use a string ensemble on one song. Oh, my. It sounded good, but the articulations were limited. I guess it’s time to start saving my pennies for something either slightly or extremely more extensive.

Guitar Rig 4 Pro and Battery 3, which I bought back in September, have been my workhorses on this remix project. As much as I love how Reason allowed me to fake guitar parts, Guitar Rig allows me to have the real deal (or as much as a real deal with my limitations.)

For my patronage, Native Instruments offered me some vouchers to take a few bucks off of other instruments in their catalog. One of them was set to expire at the end of December, so I also got a gamelan sample library. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it yet, but I’ve got visions of the Akira soundtrack dancing in my head.

Wow. All this talk of these new toys makes me want to play with them.

Excuse me.