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CSS for more intense music? (and a question about the dynamics)

Arise

Member
Hey guys,

I recently got CSS and it's a quite nice library, but I was wondering, what dynamics is CSS recorded at? Is it somewhere from p to ff? I like the sound of the library, though I find that they can't go that loud, or is that just me? (with CC1/Modwheel all the way up) I obviously don't expect them to be like Metropolis Ark 1 loud but I feel like they are meant for more or less only softer stuff?

Do you ever use them in stuff like trailer music? Like for intense fast staccato/spiccato passages for example.

Also, I'm talking about the pure out of the box sound, with changing things in the library at most, mic positions, etc. So before EQ, Compression and all that. I dont find them to go as loud as something like Hollywood Strings for example, on the sustains (both with CC1/Modwheel all the way up)

Not hating on the library or anything like that, just want to know so I can learn how to use them outside of soft type of music.

Thanks!
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
Hey guys,

I recently got CSS and it's a quite nice library, but I was wondering, what dynamics is CSS recorded at? Is it somewhere from p to ff? I like the sound of the library, though I find that they can't go that loud, or is that just me? (with CC1/Modwheel all the way up) I obviously don't expect them to be like Metropolis Ark 1 loud but I feel like they are meant for more or less only softer stuff?

Do you ever use them in stuff like trailer music? Like for intense fast staccato/spiccato passages for example.

Also, I'm talking about the pure out of the box sound, with changing things in the library at most, mic positions, etc. So before EQ, Compression and all that. I dont find them to go as loud as something like Hollywood Strings for example, on the sustains (both with CC1/Modwheel all the way up)

Not hating on the library or anything like that, just want to know so I can learn how to use them outside of soft type of music.

Thanks!
No, and no to answer your question, that library is imo not intended for trailer or epic music, sure I believe the short articulations could work for that too. But again that library is meant to write other music..classic soundtrack, even some lush 40s soaring lines etc.

The timbre dynamics which are recorded are probably from p-F (some of the shorts are probably going to FF). My tip: Use a different library then if you want to write loud trailer esque music! there are other libraries who cover that imo! You have MA1? Why using CSS then? Don´t makes much sense to me.
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
No, and no to answer your question, that library is imo not intended for trailer or epic music, sure I believe the short articulations could work for that too. But again that library is meant to write other music..classic soundtrack, even some lush 40s soaring lines etc.

The timbre dynamics which are recorded are probably from p-F (some of the shorts are probably going to FF). My tip: Use a different library then if you want to write loud trailer esque music! there are other libraries who cover that imo! You have MA1? Why using CSS then? Don´t makes much sense to me.
I see, thanks! I just wanted to see how versatile it is and how others use it, if there are people who use it as a primary strings library for even more intense stuff (who might not have stuff like MA1, etc.).
Cheers
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
I see, thanks! I just wanted to see how versatile it is and how others use it, if there are people who use it as a primary strings library for even more intense stuff (who might not have stuff like MA1, etc.).
Cheers
Yes, fair question. I mean..more intense..I guess you mean loud. So for loud stuff, go and use MA1! Hope that helps. Cheers
 

Hanu_H

Senior Member
I think it's also a matter of sound. If you give CSS a small boost in the high frequencies you can get it to sound more "loud". I don't have the library but I have heard it is a bit dark compared to some, so maybe that's what you are hearing? I am sure CSS can be used in trailer and epic music just fine. But what I would do? I would EQ it and layer it with another more drier library to give it some bite. Have fun!

-Hannes
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
Yes, fair question. I mean..more intense..I guess you mean loud. So for loud stuff, go and use MA1! Hope that helps. Cheers
Yep, loud. Also do you have any good examples for the classical/soaring kind of music/themes that are perfect for CSS?
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
I think it's also a matter of sound. If you give CSS a small boost in the high frequencies you can get it to sound more "loud". I don't have the library but I have heard it is a bit dark compared to some, so maybe that's what you are hearing? I am sure CSS can be used in trailer and epic music just fine. But what I would do? I would EQ it and layer it with another more drier library to give it some bite. Have fun!

-Hannes
That could be it yeah, or maybe it's because of the more wet/roomy sound straight out of the box, compared to something more dry like Hollywood Strings. But yeah that would be a good thing to do (EQ and layer). Thanks!
 

NoamL

Winter <3
Strings are all CSS here:



trying to push your strings alone to sound "epic" is the wrong idea I think.

It is sort of like the idea of adding reverb to everything, because you want the entire track to sound epic and spacious, when in reality for that style of music reverb is probably best applied in highest proportion to the sustaining musical elements while keeping the shorter musical elements tight and punchy.

Same idea for dynamics. The strings can't lend epic dynamics to any piece of music. That is what brass and percussion are for. Best to focus the strings on what they are best at, for trailer music as a specific style, that would be ostinatos. So counter intuitively, you may want your strings to be a smaller orchestra so that they can have more detail and punch. On the other hand, for sustains and melodies, you probably want a much larger than usual string orchestra, to give the impression of epic mass... it depends on what you're writing...
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
As others have said, boost those high frequencies! You can definitely get CSS to work for trailer music, even though i don't think that's its main forte.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
trying to push your strings alone to sound "epic" is the wrong idea I think.

It is sort of like the idea of adding reverb to everything, because you want the entire track to sound epic and spacious, when in reality for that style of music reverb is probably best applied in highest proportion to the sustaining musical elements while keeping the shorter musical elements tight and punchy.

Same idea for dynamics. The strings can't lend epic dynamics to any piece of music. That is what brass and percussion are for. Best to focus the strings on what they are best at, for trailer music as a specific style, that would be ostinatos. So counter intuitively, you may want your strings to be a smaller orchestra so that they can have more detail and punch. On the other hand, for sustains and melodies, you probably want a much larger than usual string orchestra, to give the impression of epic mass... it depends on what you're writing...
Lots of great observations/advice here. I'm struck by the link between the individualizing detail and the violence of the punch on the one hand and the loss of individualizing detail that comes with the absorption into the mass on the other. That mass has power or at least potential. But its relation to violence is of a different modality than the punch.
 

Brian Nowak

Active Member
Hahahaha. Ummm.... head on over to some of the forums on facebook that deal exclusively with trailer music. I can't think of a library that is more unanimously favored and recommended for trailer music (by pros working and making a living in the trailer music world exclusively) than Cinematic Studio Strings. Yeah, they might layer stuff like MA1, or LA Scoring Strings for shorts and grit or at big points. But Jesus - like EVERY TIME somebody asks what strings to get almost EVERY pro comes out of the woodwork to tell them to get CSS.

You can EQ them, hit them with saturation/distortion/compression, use transient designers on your strings to punch them up, double them with synths, etc. CSS is an incredible library for writing epic music. You just have to tweak them to get them a little nastier than they are out of the box.

MA1 strings actually fail in a lot of regards for ostinati, part writing, etc. It's more likely to be used as a layer during big parts than as the main strings for almost every production.

So sorry, OP. But anybody telling you they "aren't for trailer music" is full of it.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
Lots of great observations/advice here. I'm struck by the link between the individualizing detail and the violence of the punch on the one hand and the loss of individualizing detail that comes with the absorption into the mass on the other. That mass has power or at least potential. But its relation to violence is of a different modality than the punch.
Right - punchiness vs weightiness. Snare vs kick!
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Right - punchiness vs weightiness. Snare vs kick!
Yes! I think snare and kick are still different kinds of hits though, one carrying the mark of proximity, the other the mark of force. It seems to me that the absorption into the mass is a different modality of power, and also relates to violence—loss of individuation (almost ritualistic) but also otherwise—in a different manner.
 
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