Best Solo Cello?

stfciu

Active Member
Depending what you're looking for.

When I was looking for one, first thing for me was the tone.

I use Emotional Cello and it is a lovely instrument. Very comprehensive and you receive a lot of things than regular articulations. I hear some small quirks in the legato transition volume/intonation when you engage the RR and there are some few faulty samples on below medium dynamics where what I can describe "strange knocking" is present (somewhere around lower part F and G) but it is nothing that I can get through. Still think this is one of the best.

Still have my eyes on Chris Hein. Also great tone and a lot of articulations as well. What is more, you receive four instruments at once with different timbre and style.

Then, on my radar at least, there are:
Cinematic Solo Strings
Audio Modeling Cello (imagination is your limit here but you have to work on this more than others)
Spitfire Solo Strings
Embertone Blakus Cello
Virharmonic
...in that order

Hope this helps.

BR
Sebastian
 

oxo

Active Member
i do not know what is "the best". for me the best sounding cello is the tina guo acoustic cello legato ...but as you know for sure, it is only very limited useable.
when i look at the market, i usually see solo cellos that are either easy to play, where you can quickly get "into the flow"...but they are not very flexible and are only suitable for a few situations (tempo, style, etc). or i see monster libraries with lots of articulations that require a lot of effort to program, so the cello sounds good in the composition (for example chris hein solo cello, nocturne cello, emotional cello ...).

i own chris hein solo cello. with the current update you get 4 different sounding cellos. the library is extremely flexible with tons of articulations and options for customizations and tweeks. chris did a very good job. theoretically everything i can wish for. but .... the operating concept deviates strongly from libraries i'm used to otherwise. it is very logical and ingenious, but difficult for me to get used to. i lose myself in programming, instead of playing.

so what is "the best"? you can play immediately out of box beautiful lines ... but only suitable for certain kind of music. or is "the best", you can almost do everything ... but you feel like a midi cc event juggler.
in addition, one must like the sound and that it must fit well into the mix. everything depends on the personal taste.
 
OP
Daniel James

Daniel James

Senior Member
i do not know what is "the best". for me the best sounding cello is the tina guo acoustic cello legato ...but as you know for sure, it is only very limited useable.
when i look at the market, i usually see solo cellos that are either easy to play, where you can quickly get "into the flow"...but they are not very flexible and are only suitable for a few situations (tempo, style, etc). or i see monster libraries with lots of articulations that require a lot of effort to program, so the cello sounds good in the composition (for example chris hein solo cello, nocturne cello, emotional cello ...).

i own chris hein solo cello. with the current update you get 4 different sounding cellos. the library is extremely flexible with tons of articulations and options for customizations and tweeks. chris did a very good job. theoretically everything i can wish for. but .... the operating concept deviates strongly from libraries i'm used to otherwise. it is very logical and ingenious, but difficult for me to get used to. i lose myself in programming, instead of playing.

so what is "the best"? you can play immediately out of box beautiful lines ... but only suitable for certain kind of music. or is "the best", you can almost do everything ... but you feel like a midi cc event juggler.
in addition, one must like the sound and that it must fit well into the mix. everything depends on the personal taste.
I want to hear what all of your personal favourites are. I know best is subjective. Thats why I am asking the group and not individuals :)

-DJ
 

mikeh-375

old school
Just finished programming a cello concerto of mine in lieu of a real player and used mainly Hein. None come close to the real thing obviously, but Hein has some reasonable control on portamento which helps, along with a good choice of articulations. I also used some Emotional cello, SFA Wigmore cello and VSL in places. If I could only have one, it'd be Hein, unless Isserlis or Yo Yo Ma are available..;)
 

Dominik Raab

Active Member
I'm waiting (and hoping) for a solo cello from Embertone of the same calibre as the Joshua Bell violin. It's always a special moment when I load that up.
For a few months now, their site has been displaying something along the lines of: "We dropped the price of our solo strings to 99 bucks in anticipation of a large update."

I really hope that's it.
 

Ben

VSL Support
Has someone tried the VSL Solo Cello 2? Would like to know what you think about it.
 

Rv5

Senior Member
Throwing forward my own offering: The Alder Cello, something a little different.

https://www.waverunneraudio.com/shop/alder-cello/


Also think it was the first if not only (correct me if I’m wrong) solo cello library offering the ‘seagull effect’ articulation ala George Crumb, much loved from my uni days.

We will update this library with legato one day. Spicc and Pizz to be added soon... Plus, for every sale, we plant a tree.

The Low Tide violin and cello patches are just glorious - you could score a scene with these alone. I find myself wanting to play these patches not as a traditional stringed instrument at all and layering up loads of intervals, and the tone and expressiveness makes for a spectacular blend of real and unreal when played like that.” - Guy Rowland
 

ism

Senior Member
I recently wrote this about the cello in spitfire solo strings:

I've recently decided that the low G on the Spitfire solo strings cello is absolutely my favourite sampled G, ever. Seriously, you put on the close with a bit of tree and start with a slight downward crescendo to give it a bit of attack that kind of blooms in the tree mic, let the lowest dynamic layer resonant a bit then follow with a slight crescendo, invoke the vibrato, nudge into the next dynamic layer, which gives you this incredibly satisfying crunchiness ... I could go on.

I think this may be as close to the spiritual experience of playing the cello in AIR you can get without actually playing the cello in AIR. Wow do I envy the musician who played this G.

This effect is surprising sensitive to the mix, so its taken me a while to get it. But man this is one of the truly great Gs.

I have lots of good things to say about the other notes as well, but the G is bringing me particular joy this week.
(It's not hyperbole, but its obviously dramatized in a way that probably makes more sense in the context of the origional thread that this one).

And then tried to capture this sense in slightly more technical terms on a different thread, with refecence to this noodle:



There's a series of sweet spots to this library that I would call "uncompromising sonority meets as much expressiveness as possible (without compromising the sonority)".

The above cello noodle is emblematic of this. Once you figure out how to craft the arcs (and wrangle the vibrato), there's a really lovely lyrical sweet spot - and one that absolutely hinges upon fine control over the dynamics layers and the vibrato.

For comparison, while the CSSS demos are beautiful in their own right (and reflect a sweet spot that that library was designed for) they fundamentally rely on baked in vibrato, and the dynamics are generally used at the phrase level, and not to craft arcs of individual notes in detail. So its worth contrasting the musicality of such phrases with the above noodle where the musicality is simply performed on different dimensions of dynamics and vibrato (and it's amazing to me that this can be done with only the mod wheel).

....


More impressionistically - when I play the cello with the close mics only, it almost feels like a different instrument, to the point that I feel I might compose different lines with only the close mic (+ an external reverb). There a "blooming" effect and a sense of presence or dimension ... or something ... that you get from the tree, and I that I really feel when I'm playing, on quite an emotional level when I'm trying to come up with a cello line. Probably this is heard most obviously in the little flourish-crescendos at the end of some notes. Partly this is the value of the multiple dynamic layers, a crunchiness that you need from the close mic for, but there's also something about the sound - a kind of "blooming" I've heard it called - that you would never get without the tree mic, and that isn't simply a reverb tail. To emphasize this effect I've brought the tree down to ~40%, which gives you the blooming without the reverb tail becoming overwhelming, and instead added a lot of Valhalla cathedral reverb with the early reflections turned off (I might have use the ambient mic instead, but I don't really have the system resources).

My point here is that there's something amazing in the sound, that involves whatever it is that's going on with the mics, that plays directly into the expressiveness in the way it interacts with the ability to control the dynamic layers and vibrato in the overall crafting of phrases. I don't really understand all the technical dimensional of what's going on here, except that you have these sweet spots of unparalleled sound interacting with the expressiveness of the phrases. ....

So for Bach - Blakus cello tends to be my favourite. So long as I don't really need to use the dynamics or vibrato (which are simulated and at best okish)

For Tina Guo-esqe lines, well, Tina Guo Cello is easily my favourite cello (similar note about dynamics, and vibrato is baked it).

When I need languorous, long smoothly evolving phrases, (that don't especially need to coordinate with surrounding performances) or very fast legato, the Bohemian cello is usually my favorite (although I'm very interested in the Chris Hein also).


Then the's this sonorous, lyrical sweet spot that the above demo hints at in the Spitfire Solo Strings cello. And while I barely know how to describe what exactly it is, or how exactly the musicianship of the performer is captured so convincingly in the design choices made in the sampling and scripting, or even what exactly it is the tree mic is doing (though what ever it is, it should keep doing it), it makes this my absolute all time favourite cello (for the type of lines I'm writing this week).
 
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ism

Senior Member
Throwing forward my own offering: The Alder Cello, something a little different.

https://www.waverunneraudio.com/shop/alder-cello/


Also think it was the first if not only (correct me if I’m wrong) solo cello library offering the ‘seagull effect’ articulation ala George Crumb, much loved from my uni days.

We will update this library with legato one day. Spicc and Pizz to be added soon... Plus, for every sale, we plant a tree.

The Low Tide violin and cello patches are just glorious - you could score a scene with these alone. I find myself wanting to play these patches not as a traditional stringed instrument at all and layering up loads of intervals, and the tone and expressiveness makes for a spectacular blend of real and unreal when played like that.” - Guy Rowland

Can't wait for the legato. Kicking myself for not pick this up on the intro sale.
 

StillLife

Senior Member
I really like the Spitfire celli (Artisan/alternative) and the one in the Solo Strings. But then I have very little to compare them to.