Need string library advice

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by RandomComposer, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. RandomComposer

    RandomComposer Active Member

    Mar 29, 2018
    United Kingdom
    I’m a film/game composer and I currently own EW Hollywood Strings, I’m looking for two new string libraries to complement this library. I thinking of a string library with a very big and lush sound and a library with an intimate chamber sound.

    Currently I’m thinking about getting the new HZ strings as my “big strings” library and spitfire chamber strings for the chamber library.

    Edit: Ok seems like the new HZ strings aren't really for the big sound. So I'm thinking of SCS for the small strings and then for my big strings: either Cinematic Studio Strings, Berlin Strings, or maybe one of the other Spitfire libraries? (SSS, Albion One)

    What are your thoughts? Would these three string libraries (including the EW that I currently have) give me a good foundation for string writing in films/games? Or would you suggest something else?

    Also I’m looking for a solo cello library, I have EW hollywood solo cello but I don’t really like it. It sometimes sounds unrealistic and it has limited techniques (e.g. no harmonics).
    Maybe Cinematic Studio Solo Strings?
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  2. ThomasNL

    ThomasNL Thomas van der Burg

    Spitfire Chamber Strings are really good for what they promise you. HZ strings turns out to NOT BE BIG STRINGS. Most articulation are very soft flautando or sul tasto artics. I will always recommend Cinematic Studio Strings. It has a very lush and realistic sound, is very user friendly and the legato's are just amazing. If you have the budget then Berlin Strings are good too. Cinestrings seems to still please a lot of people, so that is also an option. Hope this helps!
    stprodigy and RandomComposer like this.
  3. SyMTiK

    SyMTiK Christopher B.

    I own Hollywood Strings and recently picked up HZ Strings. I definitely think if you are in the market to get two string libraries, those are both solid options for what you are considering. I will inform you though that HZ Strings is actually focused a bit more around the soft articulations than the loud, however it does do big and loud very well as well. But I was pleasantly surprised that the soft articulations were what really made the library great.

    I dont own spitfire chamber strings, but I have heard great things about them and whats great about them is that they are recorded in the same space as HZ Strings so they would complement each other in terms of continuity.

    Solo Cello - Embertone Blakus Cello all the way. Embertone is MAGICAL when it comes to the way they make their solo libraries. They are brilliantly programmed and give extremely convincing performances without an ungodly amount of programming. Their best library is without a doubt the new Joshua Bell Violin. It is almost scary how incredibly real it sounds, it interprets your playing to play back the right articulations and its mind blowing. So good. Blakus Cello is a bit older so doesnt have exactly the same programming behind it, but still beyond excellent.
    stprodigy and RandomComposer like this.
  4. Fleer

    Fleer Senior Member

    Dec 12, 2014
    +1 on Embertone, and particularly that Joshua Bell Violin. Wonderful sound, amazing playability.
  5. OP

    RandomComposer Active Member

    Mar 29, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Now I'm not sure what to think about HZ strings :shocked:
    I guess for the bigger sound, I'm better off with either Cinematic Studio Strings, Berlin Strings, or maybe one of the other Spitfire libraries? (SSS, Albion One)

    The Embertone Blakus Cello sounds really good, but it seems to have much less articulation choice compared to the Joshua Bell Violin. I'd really like to be able to have harmonics, col legno, ricochet, etc. on a solo cello

    The Cinematic Studio Solo Strings looks kinda promising, anyone used this?
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  6. Johnny

    Johnny Active Member

    CSSS Solo Strings. This library layered with HW Strings will give your HW Strings another 10 years worth of a face lift- without doubt. CSSS is worth every penny, although Hollywood still sounds amazing? CSSS Solo Strings will only add the expression and modern detail that you might have been craving.
    Batrawi and stprodigy like this.
  7. ism

    ism Senior Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I can recommend Bohemian Cello over Blakus if you can afford it. It's quality is on par with the quality of the Joshua Bell, and maybe two generations more advanced that the Blakus.

    Blakus sounds great, but has extremely limited dynamic range. Very flexible vibrato, but cello is an instrument, even more that violin I think, where you really want to capture the performance of vibrato. If you ever want to play anything softly, for instance, you'll need something with more dynamic range that Blakus.
  8. sekkosiki

    sekkosiki Senior Member

    Jan 14, 2014
    You wouldn't go wrong with CSS, it's lush, warm, ready to be used in film scores and games. You're hearing mostly overwhelming praises about that library here. After watching Daniel's HZ Strings first impression video, I'm again wanting to buy, not HZ Strings but CSS.

    I'm using Berlin Strings a lot, and I love it, but I listen to lot of classical music, and Berlin Strings work in a more traditional string writing really well. But it's expensive, especially when you add all the expansions, but includes tons of different articulations, and a good amount of mics. Also it's not only for traditional string writing, because you can layer e.g. sul tasto patches with longs, and you'll get a very nice, lush sound.
    stprodigy and ThomasNL like this.
  9. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

    May 1, 2014
    As a film / game composer you should (hopefully) know that big sounds are created by what you make out of it. Its connected to the ability of your writing, orchestration and production skills. You have the Hollywood Strings which you can create big lush sounds with. Why not stick with it and safe some money? If you are in the believe that a sampler will give you epicness then you probably have a missconception about that. If your skills are fine, then Hollywood Strings are more than enough, if not: New samplers won´t bring you any further that much.
  10. blougui

    blougui Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2013
    Lush is SSS
    Intimate is SCS
    But wait for sales.
  11. rottoy

    rottoy Plebeian

    May 12, 2013
    String library advice 101: Buy more of them.
  12. Sean

    Sean I don't know what I'm talking about

    Apr 5, 2019
    CSS is really versatile (they are my go-to) but I would place it in like a "medium size" category, if you need a really huge sound these are not the strings for you. I'd say they are quite similar to HW Strings in that regard. Spitfire Symphonic Strings might give you the big sound you are looking for, or Berlin. But they are both quite expensive.
    dsblais likes this.
  13. brenneisen

    brenneisen Active Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    I don't get people suggesting Berlin as a big sound, it's almost as small as SCS
    RightOnTime, chocobitz825 and dsblais like this.
  14. MartinH.

    MartinH. Senior Member

    Jun 16, 2018
    Why did you choose a 1 year old thread to offer your help? What makes you so confident the user (who hasn't even posted anything this month) still is interested?

    Given the percentage of "purchase decision talk" vs "composing talk" on this forum, I think it is quite funny.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    RightOnTime, Last-Echo and Sean like this.
  15. Sean

    Sean I don't know what I'm talking about

    Apr 5, 2019
    Wow didn't even realize how necro'd this post was when I replied
    dsblais and MartinH. like this.
  16. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

    Feb 4, 2019
    Concord CA
    I'm finding that I'm able to use Spitfire Studio Strings to emulate different section sizes convincingly, due to how they broke things down and also because of the mic choices. It's a very warm sound overall, and articulate. But I don't own Hollywood Strings so don't know if it complements it well; just that it makes a nice alternative to VSL's various string packages and is easier for me to get musical results from, than other stuff such as NI Session Strings Pro.
  17. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

    Sep 7, 2015
    E. YeeHaw, Indiana
    It's funny to people who have been here awhile. Rottoy is a knowledgeable member here at vicontrol BTW, and I'm sure he will prove helpful to you.
  18. robgb

    robgb I was young once

    Apr 6, 2016
    This is a hell of a way to have to shop. It's great that we can get opinions, but as usual they're all over the map, and people will generally recommend libraries they've bought and like. And while it's helpful, it doesn't really answer the question: is this library right for me?

    So what do we do? We take leaps of faith. Spending sometimes hundreds of dollars in hopes we get it right. No demo. No refunds.

    We don't buy a car without a test drive. We don't buy a house without a walk through and inspection. We don't usually buy a guitar without sitting down with it in a guitar shop. If we buy a meal in a restaurant that tastes bad, we send it back and demand a refund.

    In the sample library business it's take your chance and good luck. Not happy? Fuck you.

    Sorry for the rant, but every time I see a post like the OP, I get annoyed that we can't simply demo a bunch of libraries and decide which ones fit.

    Opinions are great. But they don't help if we get burned.
  19. kessel

    kessel Member

    Nov 25, 2018
    For the small chamber library I'd definitely recommend LA Scoring Strings First Chairs.

    Henu likes this.
  20. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Member

    Jan 24, 2019
    I am on a similar journey. I have been using Symphobia 1&2 strings, but they lack a bit of detail. I picked up spitfire studio strings in their recent sale, just to keep me going, I like them and need to work with them more. I am looking to buy Berlin Strings ulitmately, but they are very expensive. I have some reservations though, so am waiting for orchestral tools to open up their new store, so I can try a couple of patches before buying the whole library.

    I then saw that @paoling (Fluffy audio) are releasing Venice Modern Strings (Search on this forum "Venice" which based on their demos and info thus far, sound really beautiful> It's a medium sized chamber orchestra, so sounds more detailed. I'm excited to find out more.

Share This Page