What's new

Faking 2nd violin section with Chris Hein Ensemble Strings

brendanbeck

New Member
I've been working with Chris Hein Ensemble Strings and its become one of my favorite libraries due to the articulation flexibility. However, I will say the emulated "sordino" is a massive disappointment, it just sounds like a low-pass filter. They should take a look at how con sordino in East West Hollywood Strings was implemented. But I digress... My main complaint is that there is not a second violin section. It's almost making this library unusable in my opinion.

Has anyone ever tried emulating a second section in Chris Hein Ensemble Strings, or any library that has only one string section? Is it really just as simple as duplicating the section and adjusting the EQ, reverb, and panning? How does one avoid phasing issues? Should I be looking at mixing tools such as virtualsoundstage from parallax-audio? Please share your process if you have done this. Thank you in advance.
 

Akoustecx

Electro Acoustic Excursions.
This might help.
 
OP
B

brendanbeck

New Member
Thread starter
This might help.
Why didn't I think of this?? Very creative solution and Kontakt + Ableton makes this super easy. Thank you!!
 

Beat Kaufmann

Senior Member
Dear brendanbeck
As an "old hand" I can only tell you: in the time from about 2000 to 2010 it was common that there was no 2nd violin in string libraries. But we would never have thought of saying that the libraries were "unusable".
If the 2nd violin didn't have to play the same notes as the first violin, we simply played the second violin with the "first" (with a different panning). If the 2nd violin had unison notes along with the first, we used the "transpose thing" mentioned above.

Here you can hear an example (2006) which was recorded with "useless" libraries (Solo-Strings/Chamberstrings of VSL). There was simply no 2nd violin(s). Does the examples sound bad? Important is, to make music with samples not to have perfect technical conditions. Making music with libraries generally means constantly making compromises. That is unfortunately the case. So let's make the best of it!
Finally: Here I produced the famous Holberg-Suite-demo "Praelude" for VSL with only "1 Violin". This piece can still compete with many current libraries that feature a 2nd violin.

I hope I could convince you that your library is totally usable - even with only one violin. :dancedance:

Beat
 

robgb

Inspiration is for amateurs
Finally: Here I produced the famous Holberg-Suite-demo "Praelude" for VSL with only "1 Violin". This piece can still compete with many current libraries that feature a 2nd violin.
Proof that talent and knowhow are far, far more important than the libraries used.
 
OP
B

brendanbeck

New Member
Thread starter
Dear brendanbeck
As an "old hand" I can only tell you: in the time from about 2000 to 2010 it was common that there was no 2nd violin in string libraries. But we would never have thought of saying that the libraries were "unusable".
If the 2nd violin didn't have to play the same notes as the first violin, we simply played the second violin with the "first" (with a different panning). If the 2nd violin had unison notes along with the first, we used the "transpose thing" mentioned above.

Here you can hear an example (2006) which was recorded with "useless" libraries (Solo-Strings/Chamberstrings of VSL). There was simply no 2nd violin(s). Does the examples sound bad? Important is, to make music with samples not to have perfect technical conditions. Making music with libraries generally means constantly making compromises. That is unfortunately the case. So let's make the best of it!
Finally: Here I produced the famous Holberg-Suite-demo "Praelude" for VSL with only "1 Violin". This piece can still compete with many current libraries that feature a 2nd violin.

I hope I could convince you that your library is totally usable - even with only one violin. :dancedance:

Beat
I was just spitballing when I claimed that the library was useless. Obviously there is plenty of use to it. The transposition trick is an easy cure to my problem which helped me achieve the end goal at the time of writing this post.

While you are definitely right in your reply, I get a little reluctant when people beat the dead horse that is "the library doesn't matter, it's about the composer". Obviously this statement is true (I still use EW Symphonic Strings frequently which is a severely old and feature-lacking library), but at the same time, there becomes a point where you are bottlenecking yourself for no reason. Why would you not seek the best technology to complete your goals if you know that it will improve the end product? Both of the examples you linked me showcase extremely good composing/mixing/orchestration work, but there are times where you hear a lack of round robin samples and "hard starts" to notes caused by both the samples and MIDI programming. Could you fix this manually? Sure. Would it take a considerable amount of effort that probably is not worth it? Yes. Is this something that libraries now suffer with? Usually, no.

In the big picture, Chris Hein's string products are not even that old. At the time that was developed it was quite normal to have a second violin section. Even EW Hollywood Strings had all of the sections AND divisi opportunities for each of them and that was developed quite earlier. EWHS has patches that had 6-12x round robin samples if I remember correctly.

To update anyone reading this for some reason... I've actually begun working on Ableton scripts and midi racks to create an orchestra using individual SWAM violins. I know this has been done before, but I'm building off of what has been done to not only yield a better sound but to ease the writing process such that you do not have to go into each individual channel and manually humanize them to prevent phasing. I think this option--when done correctly--offers a very convincing sound truly while having more agile control of legatos and vibratos which is something that many commonly used modern string libraries lack today. I've also heard through the grapevine that SWAM is working on an ensemble component to their libraries for this.
 
Last edited:

chopin4525

Active Member
Chris Hein Strings Ensemble is a very peculiar library whose ensemble sound is obtained by stacking single recordings of each solo player. It required a massive work to create just the single sections, I cannot even imagine what it would entail, in terms of recording-editing, to offer divisi sections as well.
 
Top Bottom