Faster String Runs Library to complement CSS

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by jimjazzuk, May 12, 2019.

  1. jimjazzuk

    jimjazzuk Member

    Jan 9, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    My first sample library was Cinematic Studio Strings, and I adore it! However, I've always struggled to get any faster string runs out of it and make it sound realistic. Do you have any recommendations for libraries that would work well with CSS and allow more agile, faster, realistic string passages to be played?

    (an example might be the opening to the Harry Potter theme, with all of those really fast string runs)


  2. jneebz

    jneebz Senior Member

    Sep 28, 2013
    Portland OR, USA
  3. The Darris

    The Darris Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    CineStrings Runs is great if you want recorded phrases of runs. If you want to construct your runs then there are a few options, though costly.

    Personally, I feel the single best playable runs patches out there are the Runs Legato patches in Spitfire's Chamber Strings. They have those patches in Symphonic Strings but I don't think they sound quite a realistic. The large section size sort of gives them away. Chamber Strings is a great library to own and compliment CSS if you have the money for it.

    The other options, which is rather dated now, is Orchestral String Runs by Orchestral Tools. They have both playable runs patches and a Runs builder where you can construct little fast phrases into Runs/patterns. This was THE library when it came out for this type of stuff and still holds up in some ways. However, I believe OT has abandoned support for it.

    I've tried the fast legato options in other libraries and haven't found anything that comes close to the realism and clarity in Chamber Strings. I know my opinion is subjective but that's just my experience.


  4. OP

    jimjazzuk Member

    Jan 9, 2018
    Thanks guys,

    I should have been more specific - I want to be able to have full control over the 'runs', and by that I really mean 'faster lines', i.e. NOT just scale runs.
  5. hawpri

    hawpri Active Member

    I don't know how great some customized patches turned out according to the opinions of others (especially those with discerning ears at VI-C), but I tweaked and tweaked LASS to get something that was relatively good to me. I read another forum user mention doing this and I tried my hand at it since he couldn't share the patches.

    Depending how comfortable you are messing around with sips/wips in Kontakt (just the existing scripts, I didn't make anything new), this approach could be viable with other libraries. All of the string runs here are LASS. Listen from about 0:11-to about 0:22.

  6. Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

    Jan 27, 2013
    Have you tried CSS marcato without overlay for your runs?
  7. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

    Sep 14, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Magazine editor by trade, banana by personality.

    Couldn't help myself, I had to edit the misspelling in the thread title. :)
  8. oxo

    oxo Active Member

    Feb 27, 2011
  9. dogdad

    dogdad Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    Consona, RightOnTime and constaneum like this.
  10. constaneum

    constaneum Senior Member

    yea. Cinematic Strings has nice runs. Have you tried the classic legato patch for CSS? Does that work for you ?
    RightOnTime and dogdad like this.
  11. RightOnTime

    RightOnTime New Member

    Dec 29, 2018
    It's such a bloody shame they ditched 'live mode' etc for CSS! Runs in CS2 were fantastic. Adding decent runs and more vibrato layers would've made it the ultimate bread-and-butter string library. I'm on a tight budget so as much as I love the sound of CSS, I couldn't justify it with those things omitted.

    The best I've used are the playable runs patches in Hollywood Strings, to be honest. Not heard much love for them, weirdly, but it can pull off some really convincing runs. Plus it's dirt cheap (I paid £80 for Hollywood Strings Gold during the last sale). It's a fairly dry mic position with Gold, would blend ok with CSS I think.

    Here's a very rough version of the string runs torture test, I just did this as a quick play after getting HS:

    One of my own pieces, a bit generic but my first attempt at writing runs! All Hollywood Orchestra:

    Lots of little 'flourish' runs in the Star Trek theme! Could get this sounding more realistic with a bit more work, I think:
    dzilizzi, teclark7, dogdad and 2 others like this.
  12. goalie composer

    goalie composer Active Member

    Oct 21, 2013
    Love that Jerry!
    RightOnTime likes this.
  13. bengoss

    bengoss Member

    Nov 15, 2018
    New York
    Berlin strings.
  14. Consona

    Consona Senior Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    This. And you can actually make CSS and CS2 sound very similar, so that's another bonus.
    dogdad likes this.
  15. Akarin


    Jan 14, 2018
    To construct my runs, I use Red Room Audio Arps & Runs because you can export the MIDI and use it with any other strings library.
  16. Saxer

    Saxer Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    The runs in CS2 are realized by layering half note trills on top of short notes. The shorts are for the grip and the trills for the blur. That's easy to rebuild in CSS too. You can also layer fast legatos and dequantize and detune them. More or less handmade humanization. Works with any string library with fast legatos.
  17. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

    May 1, 2014
    Depends on the runs and all in between depending on tempo and notation..I use to approximate a few of them with 3 different types of settings:

    1. Articulated runs
    2. Blurred / Smeared runs
    3. Almost gliss like

    1. In that case bowing each note means you have to hear those articulations quite good. (Good examples are the da coda section in Tschaikowskys Romeo and Juliet). Berlin Strings timemaschine shorts with scripted legato + layering blurred shorts can pull of quite convincingly those things.
    2. These are less articulated and have more like a feel of smearing and blurred sound, they are also less perfect in tuning, so detuning scripts can help. Libraries like Berlin Strings have blurred staccato and spiccato which comes handy, but also Hollywood Strings with their runs patch are quite useful.
    3. These ones are similiar to 2, but even less in articulation or the least, so there you have a sense of fast flowing connecting lines which I do by layering a fast legato patch with loose blurred staccatos quitly layered under those. Sometimes I use a glissando patch for creating more of that smearing effect.

    In general it can help to customize attack and release times of the samples as this helps to avoid an undefinted sauce of samples clouding all the definition, also detuning is essential to all of them.

    Other than that..there are also pre-reorded run libraries like mentioned before which can sound good in very specific situations but they are limited in customization so for the most time I don´t use any of them. Sometimes when I have lets a V7 - I cadence where I just want a major / minor run into the next bar those runs can sound good.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  18. Meetyhtan

    Meetyhtan Noise Maker

    Yes, Alex himself said in one of the walkthough videos that fast runs are meant to be played using the marcato patch.
    I have tried it myself and it works if you blend it in a bigger orchestra, but doesn't sound realistic enough for solo parts imo.
  19. oxo

    oxo Active Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    i found exactly what you are looking for ....harry potter theme with CSS marcato for the string runs:

    LowweeK and BlackDorito like this.
  20. I like music

    I like music Senior Member

    Oct 26, 2015
    A great mockup! My favourite part being "sleigh bells ... WTF"
    Going to listen again!

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