Steven Wilson’s “Ghostwriter”

Steven Wilson’s “Ghostwriter”

Over the last year or so, I have become a big fan of Steven Wilson. I was initially introduced to him by like-minded multi-channel music nuts because Steven is, to them (and that now includes me), a demi-god. Not content with releasing much of his work in 5.1, he has become widely regarded as THE go-to guy if you want your work remixing into 5.1. Most recently, he has been working on the back catalogues of bands like Yes and XTC, delivering what are, quite possibly, the finest reworkings of classic albums such as Nonsuch and Close to the Edge.

The guy is an archetypal workaholic, either touring, recording, producing or remixing and on many occasions, a lot of these things at the same time.

As I said, I’ve only really gotten into him in the last year or so, but if you’re a fan of Porcupine Tree, you will probably have known about him for some time. Last year, I saw him in concert at the Royal Albert Hall and was blown away by his musicianship and dedication to his craft.

So yeah, I have a little bit of a man crush on him 😉 Whilst I admire his work in multi-channel sound, as a fellow musician, I cannot help but admire his talent and skill as well as his production ability. Genius doesn’t quite cover it, really.

Steven’s work is predominantly based in rock, mainly of the prog kind, but he is not limited by genre. He manages to blend blues, jazz and other elements into his work and on some occasions, electronica, particularly with his work on the No Man albums with Tim Bowness. That said, I never saw this coming…


Here’s the blurb…

One of the most eclectic and prolific artists in rock music, Steven Wilson has been writing, recording, and producing music continuously since the early nineties. Album releases and touring as leader of his band Porcupine Tree, and more recently as a solo artist, saw him gain a reputation for his songwriting, experimentation, and sonic excellence, resulting in many invitations to work with other artists. Among many things he has produced several albums for Grammy Award-winning Swedish metal band Opeth and he sung on UK drum and bass band Pendulum’s UK number one album “Immersion”. He started a solo career in 2009, and his most recent solo album “The Raven that Refused to Sing” was recorded at EASTWEST Studios with legendary recording engineer Alan Parsons at the helm. Wilson has become known for his 5.1 surround sound mixes, starting with his own projects, but more recently for remixing the catalogues of King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Roxy Music, XTC, and Yes, among others. His surround sound mixes have been Grammy nominated on four occasions, and he has twice won “Album of the Year” at the Surround Music Awards. Wilson is seen by many as the predominant progressive rock musician in the world today, and in 2012 he won “Guiding Light” at the “Progressive Music Awards” 2012, following this in 2013 with another win for best album for “The Raven that Refused to Sing”.

For the first time ever, this new instrument presents some of Steven’s most innovative sounds, as well as a selection of especially created instruments and replications of some instantly recognizable classic sounds originally created by other legendary producers and engineers. These organic and inspirational sounds can be used as part of the fabric of complex music productions, or as the basis for cinematic soundtrack-based music, providing a ready-made selection of sonic building blocks with years of expertise and sonic innovation already embedded in them. In addition some more straightforward and raw instruments are included, which can be manipulated via the powerful Ghostwriter instrument interface to create your own unique sounds.


A ghostwriter is a composer who writes music that will be officially credited to another person. The concept of ghostwriting goes back centuries: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a well-known composer paid to ghostwrite music for wealthy patrons. These days the sound design aspect of composing music has become as important as the notes, chords and rhythms, particularly in the creation of film, game, and television soundtracks, so while Ghostwriter won’t write the music for you, it has been designed to be a “ghost” collaborator in the compositional process, an invaluable and inspirational tool for creating your music.

Specifications include the following…

  • Includes over 800 Multi-Sampled Instruments and Presets (60 GB)
  • Includes Basses, Drums, Guitars, Keyboards, Misc, and Vocals
  • Designed for Music, Film, Games, and TV Composers
  • Includes many “live” presets that can be adjusted by the user in the software
  • Performed by Steven Wilson, Marco Minnemann, and Laurence Juber
  • Recorded in the world famous EASTWEST studios
  • Includes PLAY 4 64-bit/32-bit software on both MAC and PC
  • The software includes many new advanced sound shaping tools, a new EastWest AMP Simulator with 80 Amp Presets, classic Echoplex EP-1 Delay, Solid State Logic EQ & Dynamics Channel, consisting of: Filter, EQ, Compressor and Noise Gate/Expander, Solid State Logic Transient Shaper, the legendary Solid State Logic Stereo Compressor, and EastWest Expanded Convolution Reverb with 726 Additional Reverb Presets.

    System requirements are pretty decent, covering Windows XP SP2 and OS X 10.5 as minimum, but as with any sample based library of this magnitude, the bigger the better when it comes to computer specs is always useful.

    Retailing in Europe at €295 for the DVD, it is also available on a USB3 Hard Drive for €369 but for a limited time, you can get it on the Hard Drive for €295. All prices EXCLUDE VAT. U.S. prices are $395 and £479 respectively, with a similar offer on the Hard Drive option.

    Copy protection is iLok based. No iLok key is supplied.

    Here’s a brief video of the recording session…

    And here are some audio demos…

    If you’re not familiar with Steven’s work, try these…

    I’m off to see if I can get a copy for review. Watch this space…

    • Posted on January 20, 2014 - 11:32 pm
    • By Rob Puricelli
    • Posted in
    comments so far
    • SG2112 says:

      I look forward to your review. I was a bit disappointed with the product, but I have not explored in any depth. I expected more ambient/atmospheric stuff like Bass Communion or the ambient parts of Porcupine Tree. For the price, I expected more. While it is not comparing apples to apples, there is a lot more ambient possibilities out of Omnisphere for close to the same price. LOVE Ominisphere.

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