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Considering SF Chamber Strings or SF Studio Strings... which would you choose?

nas

Active Member
So I've been considering one of these libraries for a chamber ensemble. By several accounts, SF Chamber is still a classic favorite and considered by many to be one of SF's all time best libraries. It is very comprehensive with tons of articulations, is very playable, and sounds great. However from my experience with other SF Symphonic libraries, it's not quite as easy to dial out the larger space of Air Studios for a closer less ambient sound... even with only the close mics up I can still hear some of the hall's slapback.

Studio Strings on the other hand, also seems like a great choice as it was recorded in a smaller space and this would give it added flexibility with the kind of space and vibe you can create... intimate and tight or larger and more expansive.

However, from some of the accounts I've read regarding Studio Strings, a few folks are finding this library a little less consistent from instrument to instrument (especially with the shorts) and perhaps not as playable as Chamber strings? Some have commented that the sound is also a little difficult to work with. In general... that Studio Strings still needs some tweaking and is not up to par or on the same level as Chamber Strings.

So I'm seeking the advice of those who have used both. How do they compare to you and which of these two libraries would you recommend if you could only choose one? (please don't say both! :) )

Thanks
 

JT

Senior Member
I have both, they are both wonderful libraries. If I was only able to keep one, I would choose SCS. It is a bit more expensive, but it has remained one of my best purchases ever. Works great right out of the box. The only negative is also it's positive feature, the room it's recorded in. Air studio has a magical sound, but when you're looking for a very intimate sound, you can still hear the hall when using only the close mics.

That's what I picked up SStS for. The drier library can get that intimate sound for me.
 

manuhz

Member
If you can afford it get the SCS Professional version. With the additional mics you can sculpt the sound to your taste without losing flexibility. The combo SCS + SStS is also highly recommended, but you will have to handle with inconsistencies regarding articulations management.
 
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nas

nas

Active Member
If you can afford it get the SCS Professional version. With the additional mics you can sculpt the sound to your taste without losing flexibility. The combo SCS + SStS is also highly recommended, but you will have to handle with inconsistencies regarding articulations management.
Do the extra mics on SCS Professional sound drier than the Standard version (when only the close mics up on the standard version)? As I mentioned earlier, I've found that even with just the close mics up on other Symphonic series libraries (Symphonic Strings, WW, etc..) I still hear some slapback form the large Air hall and it's little more challenging to create a drier more intimate sound. Does the Professional version of SCS eliminate this "problem" ?

I have to admit that 1K USD for the SCS Pro is pretty steep for a string library.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Do the extra mics on SCS Professional sound drier than the Standard version (when only the close mics up on the standard version)? As I mentioned earlier, I've found that even with just the close mics up on other Symphonic series libraries (Symphonic Strings, WW, etc..) I still hear some slapback form the large Air hall and it's little more challenging to create a drier more intimate sound. Does the Professional version of SCS eliminate this "problem" ?

I have to admit that 1K USD for the SCS Pro is pretty steep for a string library.
I don’t recall that any of the other mics give a more intimate sound than the close mics included in the regular set. (There are two additional close mics in the professional set, however, a ribbon and a close stereo pair. Hopefully someone who has worked with them more than I have can chime in.) From the pro set of mics I use primarily the outriggers (so more hall!), included in the CTAO set that originally came with Sable, and the stereo mixes by Jake Jackson. But truthfully, mostly I just use the CTA set that comes with the regular version. And if you don't like the hall, you're unlikely to be satisfied with SCS.
 

JT

Senior Member
Like jbuhler, most of the time I'll use just the CTA mics that come with SCS standard. They sound great. I'll add in the outriggers if I need a wider, cinematic sound. You do not need SCS Professional to be happy with these strings. Upgrade to it later if you need it. And no, the mics in the Pro version do not give you a drier sound than the standard version.
 
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Matt Riley

Active Member
SCS is my bread and butter string library. I have others but use them only to layer when needed. It's one of the very best purchases that I've ever made and it was WAY more expensive than it is now.
 

babylonwaves

Senior Member
you'll find the extra mics especially useful when blending with other libs. unless it's a dry lib and you don't the sound of a hall ;)
 

Scamper

Active Member
Do the extra mics on SCS Professional sound drier than the Standard version (when only the close mics up on the standard version)?
I wouldn't say so, they're possibly even wetter. Mainly, it's just a different character though, so I agree with the others, that I wouldn't necessarily recommend them from the get go.
I still have this mic comparison, if you're interested.

 

chapbot

omnivore
It simply depends on what style of music you compose. I have both libraries and never use chamber strings because I arrange pop music and find the studio strings are infinitely better.
 
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nas

nas

Active Member
I wouldn't say so, they're possibly even wetter. Mainly, it's just a different character though, so I agree with the others, that I wouldn't necessarily recommend them from the get go.
I still have this mic comparison, if you're interested.

Thanks for that - it's quite helpful. I too tend to only use the CTA mics on my other Symphonic Series libs. The thing is that with a chamber ensemble I can see myself using both larger spaces for certain pieces and wanting a smaller tighter space for other pieces. I know the temptation is to say just get both, but for the time being I just need one that is going to offer flexibility and not be too frustrating to work with.

It simply depends on what style of music you compose. I have both libraries and never use chamber strings because I arrange pop music and find the studio strings are infinitely better.
Well my main field of work is composing for media (Film, T.V. and Video games) and live theater. So stylistically it really can vary.

I guess my main question would be how the two libraries compare in terms of usability and consistency? As I mentioned previously, I've read a few posts were some people were finding some inconsistencies in SStS and were frustrated working with the library. Maybe it's the programing or how the samples have been cut? I don't know... and it could be not that big a deal and not bother others in actual use.

So really for those who do have both... aside from their sound and variety of articulations offered, do you find SStS more difficult to play and program than SCS?
 
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