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Help me narrow down solo string library choices

musicalweather

Senior Member
I'm looking to buy a solo cello and solo violin library. I've spent several hours reading published and discussion board reviews and watching walkthrough videos, and am still sorting it all out. I'm looking to spend around $250. I've been using EWQLSO Platinum solo instruments (arg) and a few from Xsamples (no controllable vibrato -- makes them almost unusable.) Here's what I'm looking at:

1. Spitfire Artisan Cello and Violin. With Spitfire's Black Cyber sale on this week, it should come to around $225 for both. The walkthrough videos have looked impressive.

2. Best Service Emotional Cello at $259 (not on sale). It's gotten stellar reviews and sounds fantastic. I wonder if I would really take advantage of all those articulations, though. And I'm wondering if my workflow would slow down considerably. And of course, this doesn't give me solo violin.

3. Embertone Blakus Cello and Friedlander Violin. $250 for both; not on currently on sale. These are the two that I had originally in mind to buy, before I started looking around a bit more. They sound great to me.

4. Spitfire Solo Strings. About $200 on sale for Black Cyber. This library offers the addition of solo viola, but doesn't seem to offer nearly the number of articulations as the other libraries. So I'm a little less inclined to go for this one.

5. LASS First Chair. Currently on sale for about $200. The demos sounded pretty good to me, but I've also read some mixed reviews.

Most likely I would use these instruments in combination with an orchestra. I'm using Cinematic Strings 2 and HW Brass Gold; the rest is EWQLSO Platinum.

I'd say what is important to me is
- realistic sound. Most of these are going to sound better than what I have.
-ease of use. I do like having many articulations but don't want to get too bogged down with them.
- controllable legato. I realize not all of these libraries offer that.

I'd be interested in hearing from any of you who own one or more of these libraries.

Thanks a lot!
 

mickeyl

Dr. Mickey Lauer
Would a SpitfireAudio library, say Sable, using the leader mic an alternative? Or is there too much bleeding of the rest of the section?
 

X-Bassist

Senior Member
You forgot OT Noturne Violin, combined with emotional Cello those are prob your two best choices, but CineStrings Solo may change all that. ;)
 

dormusic

Active Member
Let me help you narrow your choices: ONLY Embertone strings. The best investment. You're welcome.
Your only Choice is whether to buy only the violin and cello, or buy the viola as well.
 

dormusic

Active Member
If I were you I would personally inquore about the possibility of a bundle price. Plus if you're a student you have a discount as well.
 

Zhao Shen

StormSound
Embertone tends to sound a bit more...modern? The tone reminds me of a featured musician, like if Lindsey Stirling was featured in a symphony - something meant to stand out from the rest. Depending on your needs, that could be good or bad.

If I were you I'd wait for CineStrings SOLO to come out, because the first sneak peek sounded absolutely stunning, and they are sampling it the same way they did the Tina Guo Cello, which was another fine piece of work.

5. LASS First Chair. Currently on sale for about $200. The demos sounded pretty good to me, but I've also read some mixed reviews.
LASS is divisive in general for having a more unrefined tone - something that is solvable though with the ARC engine and EQ. If you like the demos and have explored some videos featuring it, don't let someone else's opinion stop you. Of course, they may have some valid points, but do take their words with a grain of salt.
 
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musicalweather

musicalweather

Senior Member
Thread starter
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Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. I'm still looking hard at Embertone, and almost as hard at Spitfire Artisan solo cello and violin (hard to find reviews of these two). Not in the market for a solo viola at the moment. Sample Modeling's viola seems very agile and offers many articulations but sounds synthy to my ears.

I don't mind if the Embertone sound is like a featured musician; that's most likely what I'd be going for anyway.

Zhao Shen, where can I get a look at the sneak peek of the CineStrings solo? I haven't been able to find anything. Anyone know when this library is expected to be released?

Thanks!
 

Zhao Shen

StormSound
Zhao Shen, where can I get a look at the sneak peek of the CineStrings solo? I haven't been able to find anything. Anyone know when this library is expected to be released?

Will Bedford put out a little sample of an early test run a while ago:

As for the release date, it's hard to say. Cinesamples do seem to update their Facebook page quite often with news though.
 

LamaRose

Gato Mighty!
The Embertones sound fantastic. The demos on their site are representative of what you get virtually out of the box. Take some time, go back and listen to all of the demos, which are largely naked and for good reason: they have nothing to hide.
 

kunst91

Senior Member
Would a SpitfireAudio library, say Sable, using the leader mic an alternative? Or is there too much bleeding of the rest of the section?

I find this approach works in an ensemble setting. less effective completely exposed, although the cello and bass can still work here.
 

Casiquire

Senior Member
I have to agree that Embertone is great. There are almost too many options, you can do almost anything with them. Their tone is very modern and clear, I agree with that, but they aren't too difficult to tame. They feel almost like Sample Modeling in that sense.

Also I love the tone of VSL's solo strings and how easy they are to use. The only drawback is you'd need the extended version to get non-vibrato, and then it's a crossfade situation rather than the seamless scripted dynamics and vibrato in the Embertone offering.
 
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