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Biggest Sized Ensemble Strings Sample Library

nuyo

Active Member
I'm looking for a string sample library with a high amount of players.
I know that HZ Strings has a lot but I would like to have a few more options.
 

Getsumen

Active Member
I'm looking for a string sample library with a high amount of players.
I know that HZ Strings has a lot but I would like to have a few more options.
Imo I don't think that the size of the ensemble should really drive your opinion. HZ has a ton of players but it still doesn't sound overly aggressive or large compared to some libraries with fewer players.

Anyway off the top of my head Majestica has a pretty massive string ensemble although it does have it's own issues with that so keep that in mind and do some research around it
 
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nuyo

nuyo

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Imo I don't think that the size of the ensemble should really drive your opinion. HZ has a ton of players but it still doesn't sound overly aggressive or large compared to some libraries with fewer players.

Anyway off the top of my head Majestica has a pretty massive string ensemble although it does have it's own issues with that so keep that in mind and do some research around it

It might not make things sound "larger" or "agressive" but it does change how the stereo image feels. It's a wider and "thicker" sound. Of course it needs to be produced and recorded in the right way.
 

Geomir

Senior Member
I don't know if there is anything bigger than VSL's Appassionata Strings. It features 76 String Players!
(20 first violins, 20 second violins, 14 violas, 12 cellos and 10 double basses)

You may want to check them out.
 

yiph2

Senior Member
I don't know if there is anything bigger than VSL's Appassionata Strings. It features 76 String Players!
(20 first violins, 20 second violins, 14 violas, 12 cellos and 10 double basses)

You may want to check them out.
FYI HZS has so much more. 60 violins and cellos, 20 violas and 24 basses
 

Crossroads

Active Member
Despite what everyone says Majestica is awesome and it has a unique tone, even when not blasting your ears off at FFF.

The more you play it as a keyboardist the more awesome it becomes.
 

Crossroads

Active Member
Majestica for sure is totally underestimated in this forum...it's a great library for a broad string sound.
(and it blends really nice with the Century strings, when more detail is needed).
Indeed. It blends really great. Expectation however is important. I got the library for the effect of a blown up orchestra, not for realism. Maybe that's why I really like it. Because I wanted that effect, and what I got was, well, that effect.

I also think it is absolutely not comparable to Metropolis Ark, which has a completely different execution than this one. Both are great, but both are also completely different despite the very samey seeming idea behind them.
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
VSL has BBO Zodiac - Supermassive Ensembles. It has that big section feel to it you are after, plus you get some large brass sections and a large mixed section also. All have recorded legato. They include lots of mics, which make it very flexible. The section leader mic is an especially great inclusion, because it allows you to make is sound big and smooth, or smaller and detailed for when you need that. The entire BBO series is great, and this caps it off fantastically.
 

widescreen

Senior Member
Majestica for sure is totally underestimated in this forum...
I underestimated it that much that I didn't buy it. But chose 8W instead 😄 (at a comparable price as there was a special V8P sale). And it has what I searched without paying 1000s.
But I am relatively new in the forum as I am new to making music, my opinion should not count very much.
 

Jorf88

Member
When you say you want a huge ensemble, that tells me you want a huge sound.
I will assume you're wanting ensembles for epic scoring.
8Dio's Majestica is one of the largest ensembles ever recorded.
Spitfire's Hans Zimmer (HZ) Strings are another huge ensemble.
As a contrast, Spitfire's Albion V Tundra has an absolutely massive amount of string players in their recordings, but the entire library is focused on quiet playing and soft articulations. So, if my assumption about epic-type scoring is what you're going for, this is not the right library for you.


Caveats:
Majsetica
I own Majestica... and so far it's one of my more regrettable purchases. Majestica does not sound "full". There are so many players that they were obviously fighting mics that were clipping from the ridiculous amount of signal in that room. The ensembles surely sound "huge" but they are very cold (as in not warm). Please do your research before buying this library.
If you do decide that you want Majestica, do not pay full price for it. It inevitably goes on sale a few times throughout the year (like over 50% off kind of sale).


HZ strings
I do not own HZ strings. I made the decision to avoid this library when I researched more about what it was. Spitfire's HZ strings are a bit of a sore topic among some folks around here. Spitfire essentially slapped HZ's name on a very "Spitfire-esque" library. That is to say that they surely have a huge amount of players, but they don't have that many of the aggressive articulations. There are a ton of super quiet articulations, not the HZ sound you would be expecting. There's also huge inconsistencies between what articulations are available to what sections. Again, do your research before pulling the trigger on this one.


Other recommendations
If you want ensembles that sound like they're absolutely massive... OT Metropolis Ark 1 will probably fit the bill. It's actually intelligently recorded with smaller numbers of players and then engineered to sound gargantuan (this sounds gimmicky on paper, but it actually works really well in reality, people around here love MA for epic scoring).

Another recommendation could possibly be Spitfire's Abbey Road One. ARO doesn't have legatos, but it's recorded in the legendary Abbey Road hall, which is where many real film scores have been recorded. The result is a library that gives you a sound you're familiar with from real scores. SF are promising more installments in the ARO line, eventually including legatos as an addon, as well as other missing articulations and specific instruments. Time will tell. I've held off on ARO, but it's high on my "watch" list. If they fulfill their promise of releasing more sub-libraries for this series, it could be a really impactful library.
 

Jorf88

Member
What about Berlin Symphonic Strings? It doesn’t have as many players as Majestica, but it sounds pretty big.
Berlin Symphonic strings are surely revered as being some of the best. I've also heard that they fall off at the "epic" levels of scoring, thus why OT makes other products to fill that niche. I could be wrong, I've never used them. All of that being said, Berlin's price makes it hard to recommend. Someone with first-hand knowledge of it would be far better than I to talk about that.

I think what we really need is OP to clarify what they're really after, here. "a lot of players" doesn't really help that much.
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
Berlin Symphonic strings are surely revered as being some of the best.
Do you mean Berlin Strings? Berlin Symphonic Strings haven't been out for long, so not much chance to grow a rep.
 
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Jorf88

Member
Do you mean Berlin Strings? Berlin Symponic Strings haven't been out for long, so not much chance to grow a rep.
I was referring to Berlin Strings. I actually didn't even realize that there were two separate ones. Sorry about that. Again, I don't own them so I'm not terribly familiar with them.
 
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nuyo

nuyo

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I think what we really need is OP to clarify what they're really after, here. "a lot of players" doesn't really help that much.
Yes I'm talking about "epic" stuff.
 
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