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HZ Strings First Look VIDEO - Full Live Stream (w/chatroom)

blougui

Senior Member
Sound decision, in your position.
As SA seldom provides playthroughs, I often hold my wallet and wait for more demos and opinions before taking a leap of faith -as non of these pricey tools are licence-transferable.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
About "obscure" extended articulations - I see from a quick search that there are 200+ mentions of Bartok pizzicatos on VIC and only 30 mentions of col legno tratto. But there is really no reason why Bartok pizzicatos have become such a "standard" extra articulation. They are not that much more common in printed music than a bunch of other extended techniques for strings. I assume Bartoks have become "standard" because they're easy to sample, no legato transitions etc.
 
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Critz

Active Member
How could you deny it is an unfinished product? Did you hear those bumps and inconsistencies?
The legato is quite terrible. I mean, I would not expect a realistic legato from a library like that, but at the same time this is totally overpriced for a "layering/sound design" string library.
This is a bigger fail than Synchron Strings, I tell you.
 

procreative

Senior Member
Does anyone here remember Spectrasonics Hans Zimmer Guitars? I do.

Maybe it's partly my age; I've been around nearly as long as Hans. I was in college when "Video Killed The Radio Star" was released. As a result, my association with his "brand" includes a wide variety of styles and sounds. I can't think of a product that's been released with his name on it that's alien to the music he's created.

Of course, I realize why some people associate him with what's now called "Epic" music—and it's great if he's inspired them to make their own epic sounds—but I think it's a disservice to his legacy to expect that any product bearing his name should have that one particular sound.

That said, I can't think of a recent product more deserving of the "YMMV" tag than this one. Many love it; many don't. C'est la vie.

Best,

Geoff
Dont forget the Going For Gold theme (with its cheesy vocal) or The Damned's Black Album...
 
Yeah using the brand that has expectations and making something that isnt anything like what people expect with the brand. I now know that anything labelled with Hans Zimmer from Spitfire will probably not sound like Hans Zimmer, which to me just makes it another Spitfire library, and I will decide to buy it based on that.

-DJ
Hi Daniel,
I am not a Pro - and first of all I really appreciate this kind of review because it's authentic and it's your opinion. More free minded Folks please! We do need more such personal statements. And I totally agree that we are all Beta Testers - the Legato Patch bug f.e. is a shame! That reminds me to a "new" strategy of 8 DIO - they called it: "Beta Order". And I do now that 8 DIO Libs are sometimes over priced BUT: They declared the known bugs and envited the customers to report all bugs they'll find. Maybe the've learned from their Adagio "Desaster". And it was a fair deal if you want to accept the price ... So YOU have the choice!

But I don't understand really all the discussions about "Hans Zimmer" Sound", because the Demo Videos of Spitfire speaks for themselves (oh yeah, there were NO Legato Demos:shocked:..). Today here in Germany I could coincidentally watch "Gladiator" in TV and I tried to give all possible attention to the typical "Hans Zimmer Sound" and I could notice very much of the lush Sound which you can find in the Demos of HZ Strings: Big but not loud, overwhelming strings with an enormous dynamic range, well defined Soundscapes. Let me call it "Big silence". The Lib (without Bugs for sure) would definitely fit this kind of epic music style (think about the parts with Choir and Female Voice at the end) in my opinion.

That said it won't fit the style of Pirates of the Caribbean, because I do agree that the weakness of the short articulations (Furthermore side by side with inconsistency of articualtions) is hard to believe. Century Strings - a smaller string section - will do that better (very nice Staccatos / different Spiccatos) and in case of Boombastic Epic Stlye Metropolis ARK 1 / 2 / 3 are doing a better job. Nevertheless I do like (as you've also said!) the lush sound of HZ Strings very much. But do I want to pay 599 EUROs for a Beta Stadium? Hmmmm - that is a hard decision, isn't it?

So thank you very much for your Statement and please go on James!:2thumbs:

Markus
 

MaxOctane

Active Member
There's just a basic ambiguity when a product is branded. Many will obviously feel like DJ, that a branded product means "this sounds like the composer's classic works."

But Spitfire's product is, instead, "A string library that Hans Zimmer made." His crew, his techniques, and presumably he "executive-produced" it by signing off at various stages of development.

They're both valid, and certainly our pal @Rctec is not interested in a cartoon of himself.

I think this argument could have been avoided if it had been named "Hans Zimmer SomethingSomething Strings." The Tidal Orchestra (aka Orchestral Swarm) was a HZ collaboration and didn't have any of this debate, because it was clear that this was an idea that HZ had, which Spitfire executed. Just like here, HZ had an idea of 344 players in various configurations with silky tones.

I do believe that a product should be measured on its own merits and not the a priori expectations, but DJ expresses a real concern from the customer POV, that many people may be disappointed to receive a product that wasn't what they expected (regardless of how good it sounds).
 

novaburst

Senior Member
When you buy something branded Hans Zimmer you expect them to give you things that make it SOUND like Hans Zimmer. Again thats why you put a brand on the box. This is not that. This is just another string library that sounds no more Zimmer than any other basic string library....even less so with the examples I gave.
The title of the library is called Hans Zimmer Strings, the title is not called sound like HZ Strings if you or anyone wants the Hanz sounds then learn his chord progression, or compose a Hanz Zimmer piece then you are more likely to sound like him, but you want get a Hanz sound just because you have a product he was involved in the from the get go does not and will never make sense, how do you expect a Hans sound just because you have a product of his.

If you sat down with a piano and played same Hanz chops you will get a better result.

The product was made so you and I say again you or any one who has it can get creative with a type of product that Hans uses not so you can sound like him.

-tell how is this library such a revolution in your eyes? Not all sections even have the most basic string articulations
we are not talking articulations we are talking about a huge string section with strings all over the place including the balcony, I do not agree that the same approach can be used for this product as your basic library, the product is different it is the first it will take a learning curve to get the correct sound its that simple, and I would suggest until that skill is learn don't use it or at least don't comment on it, because people will listen to you especially the haters of this type of music,

Also I am not sure where you are getting this in your head that I think volume is the only way to a large sound, its more what they recorded. For example listen to how Albion 1's low octaves are recorded, listen to Metropolis Ark 1 and 3 by Orchestral tools.
If your reviewing or first looking at a product the easiest thing to do is fault find and compare just to say its not worth it,

Your review should have been about you and your sound or tone and strictly about what you can do, not about comparison.

344 players will never sound like 16 players it just want happen, does not matter how you double and layer, hence learning how the product works is very important to give the correct review.

A lot of what I am saying is my personal thoughts not only on you but a load disrespect coming from a lot of post on this product simply because of the review you made, and I feel you could have done better.
 
As always Daniel, thank you for taking an insane amount of time to share your live run through of HZS. As I've said before, it's like going round to a mate's studio for a bit of banter without having to leave my own house. And I now have a mental postcard of Jack Sparrow I am unlikely to be able to erase from my mind anytime soon!

Curiously, I have to start off by speaking in Spitfire's defence! I saw the teasers and then the demos and the walkthroughs I even before HZ commented about Dunkirk, I did think I heard sounds in there that reminded me of Dunkirk. At the time when I saw the movie I can remember thinking that the strings sounded thick and fuzzy, like somehow the sound was too fat to be able to fit into my ears - or a bit like when you've been to a gig and everything afterwards sounds a bit fuzzy (analogous to when a bomb has just blown up on a beach next to you - which I assumed was the effect he was going for - reflected in much of the 'sounds' of the film). At the time I assumed there was analogue processing and a chain of distortion fx creating the sound rather than 344 players in a big room - but listening to the walkthroughs and demos it all kind of made sense. And where the rest of us would reach for the plug-ins, Hans has earned the right to the resources to hire £250k worth of musicians and stick 26 mics in front (and behind and underneath) them and see what it sounds like. To some it might seem self indulgent - but like I say, he's earned that right on the back of a career of consistently getting it right within the deadline.

Which brings me onto defending 'Marketing'. Before my current life, I was a marketer by trade.

I am willing to bet that 99.9% of the pros on this forum have been asked by a client to rip off a cue by HZ (for me, the word 'Zimmer' has appeared in a brief 5 times in the last 6 months - though to be fair, one of those was an ad for products for the elderly). While I have no feel for the hobbyists musical tastes, I can bet a large proportion have tried to write a HZ rip-off. The market for a library which would give you the big legato low end of Batman, the detailed intricate strings , early strings or intense 'flagellation scene' strings of DaVinci Code, the earthy bombastic strings of Pirates and so on and so forth, would be huge. Such a library would have been a godsend to pros and hobbyists alike. It's all very well to say 'learn your tools', but if you have to crank out 10 minutes finished music a day for two weeks to hit a deadline - 'out of the box' works very nicely for me every time. THAT HZS library would have been the marketer's choice. You could keep releasing upgrades too, it would take 10 years to cover his existing work and so long as he keeps on working you would need new material every year to cover his latest creative direction. A legend who keeps re-inventing himself is a match made in marketing heaven.

As I have said before, one of the issues with composer / developers is that they tend to get enthusiastic about products which suit their own compositional style. If they only ever use legato in unison they can easily create a library that can't cut it for composers who routinely use legato for 5 part contrapuntal, and so forth. Using those incredible resources to create sounds that suit a specific compositional style was an exercise in self indulgence, not in marketing. The owner of a library can record and release what they like - and I would like to think their new CEO would have pointed out to them at some point that they would make much more money recording the library Daniel wanted to buy than the one they recorded instead - and I assume Christian and Paul have decided to put their own creative beliefs before profit in this case. As for HZ, I equally assume his participation was motivated by something other than money - as I can't imagine his royalties for HZS will cause much of a blip in his earnings graph.

On my listening to the library demos, walkthrough and your first look - I did find the quiet stuff the most interesting, and actually my favourite sound was the Long Col Legno Tratto! I would tend to agree that the louder stuff didn't really grab me the same way the 8ve legato low strings did in the original Albion the first time I heard them (The first thing I thought was HZ/JNH Batman!). I didn't feel they offered anything significantly different to what I already had in SSS - and in 'epic' terms, not as useful as Metropolis Ark, or Albions 1 & 3. Music is however a business, and my next question was 'when would I use the quiet stuff?'. Dunkirk was an experimental movie in the way it presented well known material in a radically different way - and although I thought in places that worked and for me in places it didn't - it suited an experimental sound world. When would I have needed HZS in the last 5 years - and I couldn't think, at least for me, of a single brief it might have helped with. With the best will in the world, I might think Long Col Legno Tratto is cool, but most clients or audiences wouldn't be able to tell the difference between that and Symphobia CS - especially under dialogue. So I decided to pass; if I get offered a tense noir Scandi drama some day I can always go back and buy it later ;)

As to the sectional inconsistencies - that is a bugbear of mine for most of the high end string libraries. They are called 'sections' for a reason, and 90% of the time all the strings will be playing the same articulation - so they all need to have the same articulations available. If you're short of budget, record less articulations - I don't think I've ever used Bartok Pizz in my life! I would also have thought their existing Kontakt GUI could have been retained but perhaps made a bit bigger (i.e. easier to read) in the new player - they have spent a long time tweaking it based on customer feedback and we've spent a long time learning to use it. The fewer clicks the better is always a good choice and seeing all your mic faders at once seems obvious. In terms off the new player, you'll only really know how it plays with the other kiddies when you use it in anger - but I too would find it a wrench to move away from a multi-timbral plug-in' and unless it has a purge / learn type function like Kontakt, having a full library loaded along with everything else would seriously test RAM availability judging by the sizes of the patches you were loading.

Hopefully you won't receive too many death threats. Another thing I learned as a marketer was that people can get very passionate about defending a brand in which they have invested heavily - and the world of sample libraries has always struck me as particularly 'religious' in that respect - they can get quite prickly when it comes to blasphemy!

Thanks again though - everyone needs a virtual reality mate they can have a studio based laugh with. Now however I must create a new Jack Sparrow / Daniel James meme - I'd post it back here but I suspect it falls foul of the forum rules regarding pornographic images :-(
 

whitewasteland

Senior Member
Some people here have a quite vulgar way to talk about HZ's work. It's not about "chord progressions", it's not about being ballsy and bombastic. There is no "HZ sound" : there are plenty. It's not a magic recipe one can get, with a signature library or not.

This way of thinking really feels reductive, and dare I say : almost insulting !
 
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bpford

New Member
I think DJ you're mostly disappointed because they didn't put out a Daniel James strings library.

Fair play on your other criticisms re: the articulation inconsistencies,gui, etc. but its pretty presumptuous of you to claim what the "Zimmer" sound is, considering, Hans himself has put his name on this project and defended it and the Spitfire team in these forums. Perhaps he has a better idea of what his sound is?

Here's another thing to chew on...maybe the Hans Zimmer sound is more closely related to a conceptual work process (as CH hinted at in his latest walkthrough and you summarily dismissed), than a specific staccato articulation and ostinato style that he popularized and abandoned over 20 years ago? Maybe what makes his music stand out from his imitators and the seemingly endless stream of exciting but boring trailer music that parodies his scores from the 90's, is his inquisitive approach to bending and melding the tools at his disposal?

And this library, does give the end user the opportunity to go way deeper into sculpting and manipulating the sound than in other libraries. Finding their own voice and sound. Making something new-ish.

But yes, the shorts are a little flabby compared to Albion 1.
 

reids

Member
I think DJ you're mostly disappointed because they didn't put out a Daniel James strings library.

Fair play on your other criticisms re: the articulation inconsistencies,gui, etc. but its pretty presumptuous of you to claim what the "Zimmer" sound is, considering, Hans himself has put his name on this project and defended it and the Spitfire team in these forums. Perhaps he has a better idea of what his sound is?

Here's another thing to chew on...maybe the Hans Zimmer sound is more closely related to a conceptual work process (as CH hinted at in his latest walkthrough and you summarily dismissed), than a specific staccato articulation and ostinato style that he popularized and abandoned over 20 years ago? Maybe what makes his music stand out from his imitators and the seemingly endless stream of exciting but boring trailer music that parodies his scores from the 90's, is his inquisitive approach to bending and melding the tools at his disposal?

And this library, does give the end user the opportunity to go way deeper into sculpting and manipulating the sound than in other libraries. Finding their own voice and sound. Making something new-ish.

But yes, the shorts are a little flabby compared to Albion 1.
In terms of the "Zimmer" sound, many customers will want to be able to play and mock-up his scores in the strings section with very convincing results. A product marketed and hyped to this caliber, they are rightly so. Yes, he has a deep conceptual work process, but he also has access to the kind of "string sounds" the average composer, musician/hobbyist would like to 'emulate' for any particular reason...pick your choice. That overall string sound people have come to know and expect isn't well covered here in this library as we are led to believe...not even close.
 

emasters

Active Member
but its pretty presumptuous of you to claim what the "Zimmer" sound is, considering, Hans himself has put his name on this project and defended it and the Spitfire team in these forums. Perhaps he has a better idea of what his sound is?
I have followed Daniel for a long time with his videos - and look forward to, and enjoy what he has to share about different libraries/products. Player/legato defects aside (which Spitfire will correct), if Hans Zimmer put his name on this and had an active role in the libraries' production, then from his perspective it represents at least one dimension of the "Hans Zimmer Sound." Whether that aligns with a customer's perspective for the library, is up to each of us. In Daniel's case, clearly there is a gap. I like the sound of the library. But then the "Hans Zimmer Sound" from what I've seen and read about his process, is constantly evolving, very creative with its use of acoustic and analog instruments, focused on real players (perhaps getting sampled) with an incredible attention to detail. Certainly Han's music can sound epic and bigger than life, but it's certainly a lot more. I can appreciate Daniel's disappointment, and as a customer, he certainly has every right to share his perspective. But in Spitfire and Han's defense, they never misrepresented what this library was delivering, the walkthrough videos demonstrated the content and every step of the way, Hans was chiming-in here, showing his support for Spitfire. They were clearly in synch with what was being delivered and the product's brand identity.

Spitfire has consistently shown a strong commitment to its customers. The inconsistencies of volume, issues with legato, etc. will get sorted out (hopefully, quickly). But the core library is what it is at this point. Like it or not, from Hans Zimmer's perspective, this has his approval. So we move on. In my case, I'm looking forward to experimenting with it, learning better how to utilize the massive number of mic positions, and experiment. I have so many traditional string libraries already (as most of us probably do), with the same handful of core articulations, I'm anxious to see what one can do with these new tools in the box.

Peace...
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
The title of the library is called Hans Zimmer Strings, the title is not called sound like HZ Strings if you or anyone wants the Hanz sounds then learn his chord progression, or compose a Hanz Zimmer piece then you are more likely to sound like him, but you want get a Hanz sound just because you have a product he was involved in the from the get go does not and will never make sense, how do you expect a Hans sound just because you have a product of his.

If you sat down with a piano and played same Hanz chops you will get a better result.

The product was made so you and I say again you or any one who has it can get creative with a type of product that Hans uses not so you can sound like him.
With all due respect @novaburst, I call BS on this.

I understand what you are saying to a degree... that it is how you use it that matters. But I think this just reinforces Daniel's comments, because it is basically saying a string library sold with Zimmer's name all over it (even with his clear attention and vetting of all the sounds), isn't going to sound much like Zimmer.

Er, what?

That's how I read what you wrote above.

I think it is a reasonable expectation that a library with his name on it is going to get you a fair way towards his sound without putting too much effort in.
 

bpford

New Member
In terms of the "Zimmer" sound, many customers will want to be able to play and mock-up his scores in the strings section with very convincing results. A product marketed and hyped to this caliber, they are rightly so. Yes, he has a deep conceptual work process, but he also has access to the kind of "string sounds" the average composer, musician/hobbyist would like to 'emulate' for any particular reason...pick your choice. That overall string sound people have come to know and expect isn't well covered here in this library as we are led to believe...not even close.
You've led yourself to believe that. As many others have pointed out, based on the walkthroughs and demos, there was no marketing that hinted at or promised the sound of Zimmer from 20 years ago. That's been well covered by plenty of other libraries, SF included, for going on 10 years now. What you are getting access to, is, literally the samples he used less than a year ago on an Oscar nominated score. How much more bleeding edge can you expect...for $600 bucks? The price of a mexican strat.
 

Drundfunk

Member
I agree with you that the name Hans Zimmer has a certain connotation towards epic and huge. I can understand your frustration to a certain degree. When the libary was announced I was really excited but when I was looking at the articulations and walkthrough I quickly came to the conclusion it is not for me. I appreciate your honesty. I'm pretty sure you saved some people from spending a lot of money. In my opinion the price tag is ridiculously high for what you get. In a way it is understandable that they have to pay the players and all the other people involved (and want to make a profit), but it just doesn't seem right to me. Well pretty sure they make their money back since the name Hans Zimmer is attached to it. Ironically my favourite Hans Zimmer score is The Last Samurai but still.....If this was all about huge and epic and marvelously done I'd probably be on board. Anyway looking forward to your next video. Always interesting, entertaining and helpful
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
You've led yourself to believe that. As many others have pointed out, based on the walkthroughs and demos, there was no marketing that hinted at or promised the sound of Zimmer from 20 years ago. That's been well covered by plenty of other libraries, SF included, for going on 10 years now. What you are getting access to, is, literally the samples he used less than a year ago on an Oscar nominated score. How much more bleeding edge can you expect...for $600 bucks? The price of a mexican strat.
But I think that is the point, isn't it? Most people will expect the well known Zimmer sound, at least to some degree. And Spitfire in their marketing did make comments about it sounding big and lush. We may all have a different understanding of what that actually means in practice, but from a lot of the noise here on the forum prior to the library's release, it was clear a whole load of people were going to be dissapointed. If you listened to what Spitfire weren't saying or demonstrating with the library, it said a lot more than what they did say.
 

husselblum

New Member
Obviously HZ in becoming a "brand" instead of being a living and working composer has lost all rights to collaborate with a sample library manufacturer to produce a product that he himself envisioned and actually uses. He should probably just change his name and/or stop doing stuff that other people don't want him to do.
 
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markleake

Recovering sale addict
Out of curiosity, where is this claim made (I can't find this claim on the product page)?
HZ in the commercial thread I think commented that he used the library for a few tracks in a movie. Someone then posted a Dunkirk track and I think he agreed it was used for that one, or didn't deny it at least. That thread is so big though... good luck in searching through it.
 
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