What's new

Audiobro Modern Scoring Strings

dzilizzi

Senior Member
I think you can get a close, "chamber" -like vibe from single divisi MSS sections. Especially with an MSS soloist helping provide detail for the section.

But I'm not sure what "light L&Scs" means. You mean LASS Lite and / or LASS Legato Sordino?
Probably Light & Sound Chamber Strings?
 

molemac

Active Member
I think you can get a close, "chamber" -like vibe from single divisi MSS sections. Especially with an MSS soloist helping provide detail for the section.

But I'm not sure what "light L&Scs" means. You mean LASS Lite and / or LASS Legato Sordino?
Sorry I meant light and sound chamber strings as opposed to Spitfire chamber strings which is too wet for me .
 

Soundbed

Music for TV
Sorry I meant light and sound chamber strings as opposed to Spitfire chamber strings which is too wet for me .
Ok I listened to some demos of Light and Sound (and I own Spitfire Chamber).

Well I danced around this when the same question came up in a Facebook group on Virtual Orchestration, so I'll dance around here a bit too, but with a few more days to articulate my thoughts.

Preface: if anyone wants to "prove me wrong" on any of the below I'd be happy to hear it ... I'm going a bit out on a limb here with lots of words but these are just impressions, and I don't want to get in an argument. There might be an interesting discussion that evolves (or not) but I'm not trying to argue ... simply trying to put impressions and sensations and memories of sounds to words.

Here goes...

===

Personally I think of "chamber strings" as an aesthetic as much (or more than) a section size.

I might be in the minority, or I might be overthinking it.

But "Chamber Strings" to me connote a bit of elegance, there is also a bit of nostalgia implied, and there is a bit of romance attached. Even contemporary and 20th Century works for Chamber Orchestra (and Chamber Strings) that I know have tended to evolve compositionally, whilst keeping the aesthetic of the core artics of the string sounds themselves relatively unchanged (possibly introducing new techniques of course).

MSS can do Chamber sizes. MSS has a soloist to help with some vibrato and clarity. You can probably write for MSS with a Chamber aesthetic in mind.

But it comes back to the vibrato, for me. There is not a "progressive" vibrato. And there is not a molto vibrato. The vibrato controls don't really change what was recorded.

And the vibrato is still relatively minimal. To me, I don't get away from feeling like MSS sounds like a divisi section instructed to play so they would blend well with a larger symphonic group, playing with an understated vibrato.

~~~
When I add Spitfire's Solo Violin using the Progressive patch to MSS Violins 1a divisi, it sounds more like a "chamber" aesthetic to me.
~~~

When I then switch back to the MSS Solo Violin on top, I get thrown into what sounds more like ... I'm going say more of an earlier period ... not medieval technically, but I picture it sounding more like "early music". I recall the times of simpler monophonies and monks and earlier strings and I sort of want to hear a viola da gamba.

OR I envision newer film scores!

Stuff that is meant to blend in and disappear into the picture and immerse you in a comfortable world of cozy chords.

Many film scores these days use pretty simplistic harmonic shifts and tried-and-true progressions, and MSS is going to work really well for those, I think, in large part because it doesn't exactly call attention to itself. MSS doesn't say, "hey you! relax your mind and listen to me, I am hundreds of years of instrument craft and technique oozing character out of every drop of rosin!" No, it's going to be a scoring toolkit.

So yes it can definitely play Chamber sized works. But if you are looking to create the romanticized type of "Chamber Strings" works I am describing -- whether I'm right or wrong or whatever they should be called instead -- then I'd say you should look to a product that advertises itself as a Chamber Strings sample set.

(PS - I'm telling myself it took less time to write all this out versus simply demonstrating it convincingly. Because I would have spent waaaay too much time trying to "prove" what I was saying for all the instrument groups and leveraging all my many strings packages and so on. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Maybe one day I'll make a video.)
 

ism

Senior Member
MSS doesn't say, "hey you! relax your mind and listen to me, I am hundreds of years of instrument craft and technique oozing character out of every drop of rosin!" No, it's going to be a scoring toolkit.
Eloquently put. And I'd add that more conventional scoring string libraries address (interpellate if anyone's in to French philosophy) a listener even more actively, like saying: "hey you, this is how you're supposed to be feeling as the kind of modern romantic individual who experiences constant swells and denouements of emotion".

Soaring strings (and to a lesser extend CSS) are so thoroughly optimized for this individualistic swell of individual emotion that it reminds me nothing so much as a basketball team. All about scoring the next point - always either soaring to the next emotional swell or preparing for it. Even the soft moments are brief denouements on the defensive before the next drive towards the basket.
 

Soundbed

Music for TV
Eloquently put. And I'd add that more conventional scoring string libraries address (interpellate if anyone's in to French philosophy) a listener even more actively, like saying: "hey you, this is how you're supposed to be feeling as the kind of modern romantic individual who experiences constant swells and denouements of emotion".

Soaring strings (and to a lesser extend CSS) are so thoroughly optimized for this individualistic swell of individual emotion that it reminds me nothing so much as a basketball team. All about scoring the next point - always either soaring to the next emotional swell or preparing for it. Even the soft moments are brief denouements on the defensive before the next drive towards the basket.
yes yes yes there's this whole other thing where there's swells of emotion in scoring. to some extent I think MSS does that as well (but in a slightly different and less romantic way?) but not while keeping what I'm calling the "chamber strings" aesthetic ... more of a "post Zimmer" scoring aesthetic? is that a thing? I am really going on a limb here, lol ...
 

ism

Senior Member
yes yes yes there's this whole other thing where there's swells of emotion in scoring. to some extent I think MSS does that as well (but in a slightly different and less romantic way?) but not while keeping what I'm calling the "chamber strings" aesthetic ... more of a "post Zimmer" scoring aesthetic? is that a thing? I am really going on a limb here, lol ...
Yes - it's hard to talk about film music without some kind of romanticism, of course, but it's exactly right that different string libraries don't just have a different tone, they address the listener, ask the listener to be a different kind of listener depending on the style, with all the weight and resources of entire traditions of music, and the modes of human existence they were created to speak to.

I'm not sure I understand just exactly what the "modern" interpelative effect of MSS is (which is partly why it's so interesting). But one corner of it is that Sul tasto demos work well for a kind of "John Luthor Adams" feel - that is subjective response to experience of natural phenomena - but not a particularly intersubjective feeling. wheres the Sul tastos in OT Special Bows have different arcs and textures and dynamics that create a very, very different feeling, and the Sul tastos in Tundra a very different one again. I think there might be a post-romantic Zimmeresque corner also, though I can't say I understand that aesthetic at all (again, which is part of why MSS is so interesting, even though I'm probably not going to buy it anytime soon).

I'd argue that presence of your "chamber aesthetic" in SCS is a mix of a healthy sensibility of conventional filmic romanticism, but with just enough of a (very British one might say) restraint from the brashness of (CSS-like) high romanticism and toward a nuance of that evokes just a touch of classicism of the tradition of British Chamber music. Or perhaps more accurately, given the samples captured in SCS, it's possible to capture this aesthetic if that's what you're going for. You can try to force it to to and un-reconstructed CSS-esque high romanticism also, if that's your shtick.

All of which just goes to show that you really can't have too many string libraries. I really do love all of these aesthetics (if used in appropriate proportion).

And again, that MSS isn't trying to be CSS or LASS is to be celebrated.
 
Last edited:

Soundbed

Music for TV
Yes - it's hard to talk about film music without some kind of romanticism, of course, but it's exactly right that different string libraries don't just have a different tone, they address the listener, ask the listener to be a different kind of listener depending on the style, with all the weight and resources of entire traditions of music, and the modes of human existence they were created to speak to.

I'm not sure I understand just exactly what the "modern" interpelative effect of MSS is (which is partly why it's so interesting). But one corner of it is that Sul tasto demos work will for a kind of "John Luthor Adams" feel - that is subjective response to experience of natural phenomena. But not a particularly intersubjective feeling. wheres the Sul tastes in OT Special Bows have different arcs and textures and dynamics that create a very, very different feeling, and the Sul tastes in Tundra a very different one again. I think there might be a post-romantic Zimmeresque corner also, though I can't say I understand that aesthetic at all (again, which is part of why MSS is so interesting, even though I'm probably not going to buy it anytime soon).

I'd argue that presence of your "chamber aesthetic" in SCS is a mix a healthy sensibility of conventional filmic romanticism, but with just enough of a (very British one might say) restraint from the brashness of CSS' high romanticism and toward a nuance of that evokes just a touch of classicism of the tradition of British Chamber music. Or perhaps more accurately, given the samples captured in SCS, it's possible to capture this aesthetic if that's what you're going for. You can try to force it to to and un-reconstructed CSS-esque high romanticism also, if that's your shtick.

All of which just goes to show that you really can't have too many string libraries. I really do love all of these aesthetics (if used in appropriate proportion).

And again, that MSS isn't trying to be CSS or LASS is to be celebrated.
I love what you're saying here. And yes I'm glad you mentioned the British-ness of SCS because I agree it's an important point. (Tundra doesn't have the same.)

It's difficult to put our finger on it, possibly because we don't have the benefit of history yet, and possibly due to the whole "Why is Marvel music so forgettable?" phenomenon aka the temp score watering down the next score after the next until we get into a Clear Channel-like lowest common denominator aesthetic; one that no one finds offensive. (There's a lot to unpack there, sorry.)

I don't think this is a "bad" thing per se. I am a media composer.

~

What I've been avoiding saying in this thread, but I think I will say now, is that Trailer Strings by Musical Sampling -- with it's lack of strong vibrato and relatively "static" sustained tone, can sound comparable to MSS as well. I think some on this group would see that as a negative. But in my comparisons I can get them sounding remarkably similar at certain dynamic levels. (Out of the boxes, Trailer Strings really dives into more ffff's than MSS, but MSS might get closer with some saturation or harmonic excitation, to get MSS sounding like Trailer Strings at max.)
 

Soundbed

Music for TV
Decided to make a quick video after all. I edited it in Quicktime, lol.

Caveats: Some won't like the balance of soloists with ensemble, some won't like the idea of blending Lyndhurst AIR with the MSS room. Some won't like my mod wheel moves. Oh well. Because...

The purpose of the demo (in my mind) was to put sounds to words about the vibrato differences between Spitfire Soloists and MSS Soloists.

Secondarily, the instrument "definition" and "character" plays a part too. MSS is more understated relative to Spitfire Soloists, I think.

I'll add chapter marks later but basically its:

  1. Violins (Spitfire Progressive Solo first over MSS, then MSS Solo)
  2. Cellos (again Spitfire Solo first over MSS, then MSS Solo)
  3. Violins & Cellos together, mix and match: watch the screen to see what was muted if it's not obvious by listening
 

molemac

Active Member
Decided to make a quick video after all. I edited it in Quicktime, lol.

Caveats: Some won't like the balance of soloists with ensemble, some won't like the idea of blending Lyndhurst AIR with the MSS room. Some won't like my mod wheel moves. Oh well. Because...

The purpose of the demo (in my mind) was to put sounds to words about the vibrato differences between Spitfire Soloists and MSS Soloists.

Secondarily, the instrument "definition" and "character" plays a part too. MSS is more understated relative to Spitfire Soloists, I think.

I'll add chapter marks later but basically its:

  1. Violins (Spitfire Progressive Solo first over MSS, then MSS Solo)
  2. Cellos (again Spitfire Solo first over MSS, then MSS Solo)
  3. Violins & Cellos together, mix and match: watch the screen to see what was muted if it's not obvious by listening
Thanks for the experiment. If layering is the way to go then there are so many options its a bit of a minefield. It’s like creating your own string library. I sometimes layer 8 solo strings from different dry libraries like DSS does to create a more real sound as they all react differently to ccs etc to get a less synthy uniform sound. I think maybe we should just think of MSS as a more underscore paddy string base and add colour to taste from elsewhere ? It’s probably not ideal for smaller arrangements. Was that your conclusion ? Am tempted by Light and sound as its on 1/2 price sale only $150 but do I need it ? not really. So much string temptation around at the moment. You could easily spend over $1000 to add bits and pieces like con Motto, Mss,Tokyo etc or do you wait for Voyage and spend the $1000 in one go. I was always hoping MSS might put an end to endless library buying but I guess that’s wishfulthinking. ps thanks again for the ott and décapitator tip.
 

Minsky

Member
I wouldn’t say MSS has anything to do with LASS, other than being a different strings library from the same developer.

Edit - not trying to come off as confrontational — I don’t see a connection or any ”update” relationship between the two.
I spoke with andrew at audiobro. He was clear that MSS is a separate product to LASS, and that LASS3 is coming. So, you’re right.
 
Last edited:

Soundbed

Music for TV
Thanks for the experiment. If layering is the way to go then there are so many options its a bit of a minefield. It’s like creating your own string library. I sometimes layer 8 solo strings from different dry libraries like DSS does to create a more real sound as they all react differently to ccs etc to get a less synthy uniform sound. I think maybe we should just think of MSS as a more underscore paddy string base and add colour to taste from elsewhere ? It’s probably not ideal for smaller arrangements. Was that your conclusion ? Am tempted by Light and sound as its on 1/2 price sale only $150 but do I need it ? not really. So much string temptation around at the moment. You could easily spend over $1000 to add bits and pieces like con Motto, Mss,Tokyo etc or do you wait for Voyage and spend the $1000 in one go. I was always hoping MSS might put an end to endless library buying but I guess that’s wishfulthinking. ps thanks again for the ott and décapitator tip.
If you really want characterful chamber strings then I say get chamber strings.

There's also Insanity's NEO string quartet right now for 99 GPB. It's a bright (piercing even) collection of many articulations with a lot of "character".

~
np on the tips -- I usually use Sonnox Inflator but Decapitator works too, both add a bit of tape saturation feel.
~

I think MSS is fine as is, for what it is.

I am transcribing a segment of a cue from LUPIN right now, the French Netflix show. It's very chromatic writing. But the strings have minimal vibrato. That is the sound.

For that piece, MSS sounds much closer than CSS (for instance).

CSS sounds shaky and trembly ... MSS sounds more like the score they used in the Netflix show, and the strings in the show sound great. It's near the very end of episode 2, starting around 48:08 when the longer sustained strings come in.

Dear AudoBro,

Please add the option for heavy molto vibrato, and progressive vibrato to MSS at some point, please.

:whistling::whistling::whistling:
I understand why you're asking this, but I don't think it's super "necessary" per se ... as I watch TV and movies these days it's not super typical to have molto vibrato or even progressive vibrato except in pieces that are emphatically ... vintage sounding, maybe? A lot of scored strings in shows and movies being made today are fairly straightforward-sounding, in terms of vibrato. Not all, but enough to make MSS just right, for a lot of real world applications.
 

borisb2

Senior Member
If layering is the way to go then there are so many options its a bit of a minefield. It’s like creating your own string library.
So far, my all time favorite Violin 1 Legato patch is a layered Berlin Strings V1 Sul Tasto on top of SStS Pro Violin 2 Legato .. dont ask, but this sounds reeally nice, soft but agile, with enough detail :P
For more lush I love the combo CSS V1, CS2 V1 and a bit of CSSS .. hard to beat as well
and a third contender would be L&SCS V1 on top of CSS V1

So yeah, layering is definitely the way to go .. at least for me

I was always hoping MSS might put an end to endless library buying but I guess that’s wishfulthinking.
After MSS I decided to put an end to this myself - having enough string libraries now.. (yes, one can say that! :P ) ... Voyage, Opus or whatever will come around the corner have to wait
 
Last edited:

Casiquire

Senior Member
If you really want characterful chamber strings then I say get chamber strings.

There's also Insanity's NEO string quartet right now for 99 GPB. It's a bright (piercing even) collection of many articulations with a lot of "character".

~
np on the tips -- I usually use Sonnox Inflator but Decapitator works too, both add a bit of tape saturation feel.
~

I think MSS is fine as is, for what it is.

I am transcribing a segment of a cue from LUPIN right now, the French Netflix show. It's very chromatic writing. But the strings have minimal vibrato. That is the sound.

For that piece, MSS sounds much closer than CSS (for instance).

CSS sounds shaky and trembly ... MSS sounds more like the score they used in the Netflix show, and the strings in the show sound great. It's near the very end of episode 2, starting around 48:08 when the longer sustained strings come in.


I understand why you're asking this, but I don't think it's super "necessary" per se ... as I watch TV and movies these days it's not super typical to have molto vibrato or even progressive vibrato except in pieces that are emphatically ... vintage sounding, maybe? A lot of scored strings in shows and movies being made today are fairly straightforward-sounding, in terms of vibrato. Not all, but enough to make MSS just right, for a lot of real world applications.
I can see both sides of this. It would be great to have the option of molto vibrato. I think it would add a layer of ability to the library as a whole. But on the other hand i see your point too and i think the whole reception to this library has been a case of everyone missing the point
 

ism

Senior Member
I can see both sides of this. It would be great to have the option of molto vibrato. I think it would add a layer of ability to the library as a whole. But on the other hand i see your point too and i think the whole reception to this library has been a case of everyone missing the point

I mean seriously though, if it’s not CSS. Then why bother?
 
Top Bottom