Century Strings User Examples/Demos

DarkestShadow

Senior Member
There aren't as many demos by 8dio as usual and also not a lot of people seem to be using them...
Thus I'm interested to hear some more music that was written using Century Strings...
I'd also love to hear the Century Sordinos a bit more.

Thx! :)
 

Bollen

Vintage Member
Ok guys, here's a link to a folder with the demos in them. There's a smattering of articulations, and I didn't do one for the Violins 2, since they're just a slight variation on Violins 1. Hope it helps! I'll take other questions if you have them, too :)

I read somewhere here on VI-C that the legatos on violins 2 are a lot better...?
 

jamwerks

Senior Member
They are fairly bright, but nothing an eq can't tame. Live strings typically need at a bit of shaping. It's great to have the real sordinos. There's apparently an update coming next month. Wouldn't that be cool if some Century Woodwinds were available at the same time?!
 

Land of Missing Parts

flibbertigibbet
Hmm could be, I never really noticed. I'll try to record them tomorrow.
Thank you for posting these! I know the sordino violins 1 has six players, while violins 2 has only four. The smaller size does suggest that violins 2 might have more of that rosin and detail, so I can see why that would be a favorite.

What has your experience been? Have you noticed what types of things the library does well and the types of things that trip it up?

I see three levels of vibrato in the sustain patches: non vib, vib, molto vib. Is it possible to use these three vibratos when playing legato, or is that feature only for the sustains? The info on the 8Dio website doesn't make it clear.
 
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Philip Vasta

New Member
Thank you for posting these! I know the sordino violins 1 has six players, while violins 2 has only four. The smaller size does suggest that violins 2 might have more of that rosin and detail, so I can see why that would be a favorite.

What has your experience been? Have you noticed what types of things the library does well and the types of things that trip it up?

I see three levels of vibrato in the sustain patches: non vib, vib, molto vib. Is it possible to use these three vibratos when playing legato, or is that feature only for the sustains? The info on the 8Dio website doesn't make it clear.
Sure thing! Interesting about the difference in number of players, I didn't know that. I'll definitely play around with them and do another demo if time affords. Regarding the vibrato: what you're referring to is available on the sustains, but the legato has a vibrato knob (usually at least, I think sometimes the sordino patches aren't quite symmetrical to the regular ones).

As far as what the library does well, I find the sound in general to be really pretty, the sul tasto especially. Sometimes the legato can feel a little clumsy and not great for fast passages. I also wish I had more control over the inner workings of the instrument, like what you get in Embertone ISS. Then again, maybe that has to do with recording a group of players vs. just one. I can't compare this library to anything else though, since it's the only one I own right now. But I do generally like it, and just try to write to its strengths, much like for any other library I guess.
 

pipedr

Active Member
Does the sul tasto have legato? I think it's only a sustain patch...does that make it hard to work with for playing phrases?
 

Manuel Stumpf

Active Member
Does the sul tasto have legato? I think it's only a sustain patch...does that make it hard to work with for playing phrases?
No the Sul Tasto articulation in Century Ensemble does not have Legato. However Sul Tasto is quite special. I think one does not need Legato on the Sul Tasto.
The regular and sordino strings for sure have Legato.
 

pipedr

Active Member
I'm very tempted by Century Strings, so been doing research. At $178 for the ensembles, or $298 for ensembles+sordino, it seems like a great value. Here's some additional information I've been looking at:

This video has well made demos showing the legatos, sordinos, sul tasto. I learned that sul tasto is only for violins and violas, NOT celli or bassi. 8dio support also confirmed that there is no legato for sul tasto or harmonics. Still sounds great, though. How important is legato to sul tasto? I dunno. How important is celli/bassi for sul tasto?

This one is too long; haven't watched all of it. At around 11:00 there is a legato demonstration that shows the legato speed knob and the vibrato knob, briefly. Anyone know of any other demonstrations of this? Or of the sustains with different vibrato? Around 54:00 there is some noodling on the violin legato to get a sense of how it responds to different speeds

Sample Library Review: Goes through the basic articulations (non-sordino). I think the first video above showed the sul tasto in a much better light--on this one, it just plays it on FFF, which is not too pretty.

This one, also posted in VI-C, runs through 14 string libs, including Century. I thought Century performed very well in terms of legato. The shorts maybe not as crisp as some of the other libraries for this part, but there would be choices to use the different spiccs.

Century Strings was also represented in the VI-C violins shootout:
Going back to this, I was surprised, because it doesn't sound like Century to me--it has a hypervibrato that is more like CSS or Soaring Strings. I think most of the demos I've heard have the vibrato knob turned down more. The composer must have turned the knob all the way up and left it there, I guess.
 

Manuel Stumpf

Active Member
How many legato types are there? I hear portamento, and at least one that isn't portamento, but maybe the non-ports are all the same, or maybe there is something like a legato for fast lines in there too?

Also, I notice that there's a dial that controls the legato speed.
There is only a single legato. But this one can go quite agile.
There are many control options:
  • Speed knob: controls the legato speed
  • Vibrato knob: controls the vibrato (feels very continous!, not only on/off)
  • Legato volume knob: makes legato transitions more or less pronounced
  • Release tail knob...
  • and the well known dynamic/expression knobs
The portamento triggers on low velocity on the legato patch.

Century Strings is great. As well as Century Brass. I have high hopes for Century Woodwinds.
And not to to forget 8Dio has Century Strings/Brass 2.0 cooking for years now, but pretty sure something will be coming.