Review: Best Service Celtic Era

If you need the sound of authentic Celtic acoustic instruments, Best Service's Celtic Era is going to prove a lot easier than tracking down someone who can play the Irish Bouzouki.  

As I said in a review of one of his other libraries, Eduardo Tarilonte is one of my very favorite developers. His libraries are beautifully recorded, emotional, and simply do not sound like anyone else’s. Celtic Era is the most recent release and it is gorgeous. Even the descriptions are colorful, in this case ”When druids of the Highlands ask for a dance” and  “the sound of Nordic myths.”

What Is It?

Celtic Era is an 18 GB Best Service Engine library, which uses the very stable free Engine player. You will want to make sure you have the latest Engine version.

Included in this library are the following instruments:  

  • Winds: Irish Flute, Irish Whistle, Low Whistle, Highland Pipes, Uileann Pipes.
  • Percussion: Bodhrans
  • Keys: 2 Concertinas
  • Strings: 2 Celtic Harps, Irish Fiddle, Acoustic Guitar (fingered and plucked), Irish Bouzouki, Tenor Banjo.
  • Strummed: Acoustic Guitar, Irish Bouzouki.
  • Ancient Instruments: Carnyx, Conu, War Horn.

You don’t know what Carnyx and Comu are? Neither did I, but you are going to like them I think. Quite rightly, “Tari” credits the individual players and touts the recording gear, but I will not take up your reading time doing so here. Suffice to say, they are doubtless among the reasons this is such a great sounding library.

Getting Started

Here are the choices you see when you select the Celtic Era library in the Engine browser.

Let’s load Carnyx Calls 1.

The GUI is lovely and easy to understand. The playable notes are white on the keyboard and there are 12 articulations in yellow. Can’t get enough of an Irish Pennywhistle, a la “Titanic?” This is the loveliest and most realistic I have heard.

I really dig the concertinas, although they default to more button noise than I like. Fortunately that is easy to turn down right on the GUI’s “Quick Edit” page.

The plucked and fingered guitars sound great and there are some strummed patterns, although they are kind of limited. But all the sounds are lovely and very playable. They do default to a fairly lush reverb but of course you can again easily adjust it on the Quick Edit page.


All of his libraries that I have include Soundscapes that for many users are the highlights of the collections.

Again, I love how easy it is to readjust the levels of the various instruments that make up a Soundscape right on the Quick Edit page.

You can also adjust volume, expression, panning, delay, and attack and release on the same page.

The Pro Edit Page

For those who require a greater level of control, there is the Pro Edit page. I think the picture speaks for itself as to the level of control it offers for ADSR and other things.

In this era of built-in help manuals, it is a pleasure to have such a complete and easy to understand downloadable PDF manual. While there are videos available, for those who prefer to learn by reading a manual over and over or simply having it to refer to, it is a major plus.

The only two things I wish were different in the library? The strumming instruments are more limited than I would like and there are not multiple selectable mic positions. But again, Tari’s libraries have “a sound” and perhaps that is why the latter is true.

So What Do I Love?

The sound, the depth of the sampling and the attention to detail are all top notch. Beautiful GUIs, downloadable as wallpaper too. There are also videos on the website that you can simply click on to learn more about each instrument. I have not yet taken the time to do so, but I surely will.

Price: $259 / 259 Euro

Pros: Beautifully recorded and unique set of instruments. The Soundscapes. Engine 2 is free and very stable. Great manual and good videos.

Cons: Strums are limited, no multiple mic positions

Conclusion: Just a lovely library, well worth the money.


Learn more about soundtrack composition in the Ask.Audio Academy:

Jay is a Los Angeles-based composer, songwriter, arranger and orchestrator, conductor, keyboardist, as well as vocalist. As a composer, he is best known for scoring the New World Television series Zorro. Among the films and TV movies he has arranged, orchestrated and/or conducted are Paramount Pictures' Blame It On Rio Read More


Bob Gibson
Is it possible to adjust the guitar chord strumming speed (other than 2x 4x etc)?

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