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Cinematic Studio Strings vs. Berlin Inspire1/2

atlpiano

New Member
Quick background: My only strings are Komplete 10 so I want to get better strings for both my desktop and laptops. FWIW I have played piano forever and used to play horn in orchestras, so I know some orchestration - but want this orchestral library to be pretty simple and quick. I used to score TV and a little film/documentary stuff as a sideline...mostly classically influenced tracks, although I've played in rock bands and play some jazz, so it's a mix. My son is a hip-hop producer, now getting a big dose of classical music in college/conservatory and also needs an upgrade from K10.

Between the current NI deal (ending soon) and educational discounts, I could get either Cinematic Studio Strings or Inspire 1&2 for roughly the same price. I've watched videos and read - they both sound terrific, appear easy to use and light on hardware. However, I'll get more variety and other instruments from Inspire, plus that sale will end. So I should get Inspire 1/2? What am I missing (anything?)?
Thanks in advance for helpful comments and suggestions.
 

JT

Senior Member
It all depends on what kind of music you want to create. You can get a string only library, that's one of the best available. Or a library with more varied sounds, but fewer choices within those sounds.

I have the Inspires, I just used a few instruments in a track I'm working on now. They're great. I don't have CSS, but I do have Spitfire strings. I used the SF strings on the same track as Inspire.

But if you made me choose between the two, and I could only have one, I would choose the SF strings. Having a complete string library is essential to the type of music I write. YMMV.
 

sostenuto

NKS Fan !
CSS was just on sale at $319., now $399., and strong Strings content for that specific need.
BO_Inspire 1 & 2 Bundle is large, Orchestral content, of notable quality.

I purchased both BO_Inspire ! & 2 at Intro pricing and am very pleased for diverse needs. This NI _ Bundle is priced very attractively. I also have NI _ K11U Symphony Essentials, and am trained, lifelong pianist.

Not comfortable to advise you re. String Lib comparisons; just want to point out the large difference in your two choices.
 
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atlpiano

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Thanks for comments. I was leaning CSS until I saw the Inspire 1&2 deal, pretty awesome.
I like the apparent ease of use and light computer load for both.
CSS more directly and powerfully addresses the biggest weakness in K10 for me, strings.

Assume we can agree either would be a huge improvement on K10 for orchestral work?
 

axb312

Senior Member
IMO this is a totally skewed comparison. On one hand you have what is arguably the best string library on the market. On the other hand you have a sketching tool, which to me doesn't sound that great but fits the sketching purpose well enough.

Which one of these do you need?
 
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atlpiano

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My perception of CSS is terrific samples, complete offering of articulations etc., not sketchpad easy but easy enough. So I hope it's kind of a blend.
I've only recently listened to Inspire (attracted by price) and probably underestimate it's limitations as a sketchpad.

Thanks again...I'm a dinosaur...when I last did paid work it was on Vision with a room full of hw samplers. I'm doing my first tracks itb now, unbelievably easy to get a great sound (great music is another matter).
 

Mike Fox

Nomad
I'm not a big fan of CSS. The tone is dark, sometimes even muddy. The legato (while sounds good) is very difficult to play, and is not worth the amount of work that is required. Finally, the ensemble sustains patch sounds kinda synthy, and is nearly unusable to me for that reason. Btw, CSS isn't what I'd call "light on computer load" either. Again, not a fan.

Don't get me wrong, CSS has some strengths, but I would much rather take Inspire over CSS ANY day of the week. Keep in mind that Inspire's strings are pre-orchestrated patches made from Berlin Strings, which are first class strings! Inspire is instant playability meets top notch sound quality (and no, CSS is not "better" in sound, just different"), plus you get a lot more content than just strings. Trust me, the current Inspire deal is a no brainer.

With that said, If you want some strings that sound good, are easy to play, and are really light on cpu, then take a look at LASS Lite, or Symphobia. ProjectSAM's Christmas special (along with their free orchestra) is probably right around the corner too.

I've also been hearing good things about Amadeus, and Light & Sound's Chamber strings. Both can be had for around $100 right now.
 
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tomosane

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I was in this exact same position and ended up getting the Inspires a couple of days ago. Haven't had much time to play around with them yet but initial impressions are very good, there's a lot of great sounding patches and they seem largerly easy to use (unlike, IMO, the Kontakt factory VSL stuff). Also it's indeed quite light on resources, so if your system is on the older side that could be a consideration

Might get CSS or Spitfire Studio Strings later on if I find myself needing a ""proper"" string library, the latter in particular is quite cheap with the educational discount.
 

zimm83

Senior Member
I was in this exact same position and ended up getting the Inspires a couple of days ago. Haven't had much time to play around with them yet but initial impressions are very good, there's a lot of great sounding patches and they seem largerly easy to use (unlike, IMO, the Kontakt factory VSL stuff). Also it's indeed quite light on resources, so if your system is on the older side that could be a consideration

Might get CSS or Spitfire Studio Strings later on if I find myself needing a ""proper"" string library, the latter in particular is quite cheap with the educational discount.
Inspire is really good. Light on ressources ans sounds very good. Many legatos. Great
 
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atlpiano

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Thanks, wow varied opinions so that's great.
The mission is to get a couple notches better orchestral library (with a focus on strings) than Komplete10, quick/easy, without killing an average good laptop (quad i7H, 8G memory). Maybe that's Inspire more than CSS, especially at current price.
CS2 is very affordable, could be a good 2nd library soon assuming it adds something.
My sense it's easy to buy many libraries, all deemed good in different ways, but then mostly use a couple favorites.
I suppose Inspire+CS2+ some specialty library focused on a closer solo/chamber sounds would cover a lot of bases for <$1k. I wouldn't look twice at Inspire for $950, but jumped out at $349.
 
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