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New from Strezov Sampling: Afflatus Chapter - Part one: Strings

Mike Fox

Senior Member
As someone who is heavily invested in spitfire, this kind of answers my former question. That's what i thought i heard while listening to the demos. It's something inherent in the timbre itself and not just the space each library was recorded in.
Any string library you buy is going to have a different timbre, even the different string offerings from Spitfire have a different sound from one to the next.

I do see what you're saying though. Some strings can sound radically different than others, which can make the task of blending a challenging one.

With that said, i think it's good to have different types of strings for different types of writing, and I think that's where people will get the most value from Afflatus.
 
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HelixK

Active Member
Here's a raw mix of the pop track I was talking about - no effects whatsoever. I added the acoustic guitar on the Blend mix for context (it's a Christmas carol.) You'll hear how nice Afflatus sounds by itself but it isn't solidly on the grid like VSL, which is on the grid but not as warm and fuzzy.

Full Blend: Afflatus + VSL legatos, Roofchase patch + VSL chamber spiccato, 8dio Intimate runs

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/fullblend-mp3.16294/][/AUDIOPLUS]

Afflatus: v, va and cello chamber patches (no hall mic, no reverb)

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/afflatus-mp3.16295/][/AUDIOPLUS]

VSL: vienna symphony violins, vienna chamber va, vienna chamber c

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/vsl-mp3.16296/][/AUDIOPLUS]
Thanks for the audios. I hear a little of that dreadful sucking effect in Afflatus and a heck lot in VSL. Is this VSL out of the box or could you make the legatos better? They blend so well though, I wasn't expecting that. VSL still sounds great on its own and it's a particular sound I don't have in my palette. Synchron strings?
 

HelixK

Active Member
Yeah, it was me. No, this library seems not to cover those aspects, I asked already twice in that regards, but my question was either not seen or simply ignored? So that´s also a form of answering my question and so I guess the library probably doesn´t any of that stuff which is fine.. However I will pass on that library because I allready have a great arsenal and don´t see any point for me personally to spent another 800 Dollars on a library which imo misses essentiell stuff, just imo. While I like some patches there too, I am with a big questionmark about the general design aspect of this library (the more of the walkthrough I see)The majority of the patches feel to me like "play and fun"- time patches but not to be useable to do classic serious specific filmscoring (with having freedom in choice, color and orchestration). Though still: they sound great and if someone is just for the sake of sound..man they sound beautiful, definitey. But like for me I like libraries where you dont´write music to the design concept and strenghtes of the library but the music you would like to write with. Not sure if that is possible with Afflatus (just for me) concerning my own style and choice of how I write music. I guess you have a bit to adapt the concept of the library in order to get the most out of it, just simply for me, I am afraid that would not work because the patches dictates their form of usage..
You make excellent points. Yes, it's a lot of money but in the past, I have paid two or three times that amount in libraries that are now sold for 300 bucks. Yikes. That was 10 years ago and the sample industry changed a lot. Afflatus is gorgeous out of the box and seems to be a no effort kind of library. That has some value attached but $900 value? In 2019? I don't think so. The more I hear opinions and audios the more I'm convinced it's a niche library that can't cover much ground, no matter how hard they try to push this thematic approach.

From the walkthrough and demos, I heard minimalistic, soaring and lush that I would effectively use. There's a lot more I'd expect at this high price range, other than random ethnic combos and a bunch of pads. Lumina did that, and there I say better, years ago for a fraction of the price. It didn't offer poly legato or divisi but the thematic content was spot on and very useful to this day. You can score virtually any gig with that library alone. Can you do that with Afflatus?

Another downer I'm observing is the technical aspect. Seems unpractical to have unconventional patch names. Also lots of requests for basic MIDI implementation I'd expect from an expensive library aimed at professionals. I can't use a wind controller or sustain pedal, really? In all fairness, they are going to fix in updates but how simple stuff like that was overlooked during development is beyond me.

Sounds like I'm beating the library too hard. I could write an essay on how beautiful Afflatus sounds and I'm still undecided despite all the shortcomings.

I also heard that Soundiron and Audiobro are going to hit the market with their nextgen strings. That's something to consider before committing to ANY library.
 

modiel

New Member
Since I see a lot of people curious to know if the library is easy to use and can be used for other stuff than just a niche sound.. Here is a little test I made for fun. Just spent one hour and a half on it, so you can hear how it sounds in such a short amount of time.
No external library here, just afflatus (choirs, and other stuff are made with the experimental section.. Angelic strings, Indian Strings etc)

 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
You make excellent points. Yes, it's a lot of money but in the past, I have paid two or three times that amount in libraries that are now sold for 300 bucks. Yikes. That was 10 years ago and the sample industry changed a lot. Afflatus is gorgeous out of the box and seems to be a no effort kind of library. That has some value attached but $900 value? In 2019? I don't think so. The more I hear opinions and audios the more I'm convinced it's a niche library that can't cover much ground, no matter how hard they try to push this thematic approach.

From the walkthrough and demos, I heard minimalistic, soaring and lush that I would effectively use. There's a lot more I'd expect at this high price range, other than random ethnic combos and a bunch of pads. Lumina did that, and there I say better, years ago for a fraction of the price. It didn't offer poly legato or divisi but the thematic content was spot on and very useful to this day. You can score virtually any gig with that library alone. Can you do that with Afflatus?

Another downer I'm observing is the technical aspect. Seems unpractical to have unconventional patch names. Also lots of requests for basic MIDI implementation I'd expect from an expensive library aimed at professionals. I can't use a wind controller or sustain pedal, really? In all fairness, they are going to fix in updates but how simple stuff like that was overlooked during development is beyond me.

Sounds like I'm beating the library too hard. I could write an essay on how beautiful Afflatus sounds and I'm still undecided despite all the shortcomings.

I also heard that Soundiron and Audiobro are going to hit the market with their nextgen strings. That's something to consider before committing to ANY library.
Well said. ProjectSAM pioneered these kinds of ensemble libraries, and are undisputed in that department, though Afflatus' strings sound a bit better!

After watching the walkthrough videos several times, reading people's comments, and carefully looking over the patches, I'm starting to wonder if Afflatus really is overpriced. I'm just not sure there is enough content for it to merit its price tag.

If Afflatus had other sections like the Symphobia and Ark series do, or was released 10 years ago, it would be a different story. I don't think the cost of Afflatus takes into consideration today's competition. Hell, when you compare Hollywood Strings and Afflatus in terms of content, quality, and price, something seems very off.

As a side note, I don't think I've seen so many people make similar comments about the price of a library before. That kinda says something. And I can't help but wonder if they would make more money on Afflatus by lowering the price a bit. Seems like more people would bite. If it were $200 cheaper, I'd be all over it, and I don't think I'm the only one.
 
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HelixK

Active Member
Since I see a lot of people curious to know if the library is easy to use and can be used for other stuff than just a niche sound.. Here is a little test I made for fun. Just spent one hour and a half on it, so you can hear how it sounds in such a short amount of time.
No external library here, just afflatus (choirs, and other stuff are made with the experimental section.. Angelic strings, Indian Strings etc)

That sounds great, very appreciated! Lovely theme but nothing out of the ordinary. Anyone with Composer Cloud and a bit of skill could do the same. Not trying to diminish your work please don't take it like that but you gotta admit that this is simple stuff to pull out. Soundwise that's Metropolis Ark 2 camp and MA2 does it better in my opinion.

Could you please show us something in the style of Prokofiev or Herrmann? When I read the announcement and those two names were mentioned I was expecting to hear something big and extravagant but all demos are the exact opposite. Not that my briefs require me to write like Prokofiev but I was led to believe that I would have the set of tools necessary to do so with Affaltus.
Thanks
 

modiel

New Member
Anyone with Composer Cloud and a bit of skill could do the same.
Haha I made this example just to show it's not just a niche library and can do normal stuff so it makes sense to say another library could do that. I just showed it also compete at this level :D Still I wanted to show how easy it can sound in a short amount of time. The time I spend doing mockups is something essential for me since I have to work fast and that's something I value a lot.

Could you please show us something in the style of Prokofiev or Herrmann? When I read the announcement and those two names were mentioned I was expecting to hear something big and extravagant but all demos are the exact opposite. Not that my briefs require me to write like Prokofiev but I was led to believe that I would have the set of tools necessary to do so with Affaltus.
Thanks
Ha sorry, I'm not affiliated to Strezov Sampling, I was just part of the demo writers team so I can't really spend more time to show the content of the library, since I have to focus on other works..

The Scene d'Amour demo has been made with the Scene d'Amour patches.. Just imagine how this scene from Herrmann's Vertigo score would sound with a proper recording today.. By the way, if you pay attention to the name of the cue I guess you'll understand where Strezov Sampling found their inspiration for these patches, and why they mentioned a Herrmann sound in the library ;)

 

HelixK

Active Member
Haha I made this example just to show it's not just a niche library and can do normal stuff so it makes sense to say another library could do that. I just showed it also compete at this level :D Still I wanted to show how easy it can sound in a short amount of time. The time I spend doing mockups is something essential for me since I have to work fast and that's something I value a lot.
I really appreciate your little test and I'm well aware Afflatus can do this in a heartbeat, the Eflman team must be in heaven... don't tell Vienna!!! My reaction was to the fact that it's something already covered in the walkthrough and demos, I'm in the impression that Afflatus is like a three or four trick pony. For $900 I'd expect a lot more varied content.

Ha sorry, I'm not affiliated to Strezov Sampling, I was just part of the demo writers team so I can't really spend more time to show the content of the library, since I have to focus on other works..
Fair enough, I thought you worked for Strezov as you mentioned in another post that you were using the library since pre-alpha or something. I won't make more absurd requests, sorry!
 

Sibelius19

Music is just color and rhythm --Debussy
Could you please show us something in the style of Prokofiev or Herrmann? When I read the announcement and those two names were mentioned I was expecting to hear something big and extravagant but all demos are the exact opposite. Not that my briefs require me to write like Prokofiev but I was led to believe that I would have the set of tools necessary to do so with Affaltus.
Thanks
I don't think all of their music is big and extravagant. The Citizen Kane soundtrack for instance, is fairly subtle and understated. Any even extravagant scores like Psycho or Vertigo have their quiet and minimalistic moments.

Haha I made this example just to show it's not just a niche library and can do normal stuff so it makes sense to say another library could do that. I just showed it also compete at this level :D Still I wanted to show how easy it can sound in a short amount of time. The time I spend doing mockups is something essential for me since I have to work fast and that's something I value a lot.



Ha sorry, I'm not affiliated to Strezov Sampling, I was just part of the demo writers team so I can't really spend more time to show the content of the library, since I have to focus on other works..

The Scene d'Amour demo has been made with the Scene d'Amour patches.. Just imagine how this scene from Herrmann's Vertigo score would sound with a proper recording today.. By the way, if you pay attention to the name of the cue I guess you'll understand where Strezov Sampling found their inspiration for these patches, and why they mentioned a Herrmann sound in the library ;)

And I hear a lot of Wagner's Triston and Isolde in this soundtrack. I recognized the similarities even before I read about it somewhere. This is a great example of emulation without plagiarism. And just as Strezov Sampling was inspired by Herrmann, maybe they weren't seeking to straight copy him. I could be wrong.
 

LamaRose

Gato Mighty!
I nicked Strezov earlier about the price... but that was for me, personally, as a non-working composer. If I was working full time, I'd snap this up. Not sure where the "niche" tag came in, but that's kinda laughable if you take the time to listen to the library... this is definitely a workhorse that covers a lot of ground, imho.
 

HelixK

Active Member
I don't think all of their music is big and extravagant. The Citizen Kane soundtrack for instance, is fairly subtle and understated. Any even extravagant scores like Psycho or Vertigo have their quiet and minimalistic moments.



And I hear a lot of Wagner's Triston and Isolde in this soundtrack. I recognized the similarities even before I read about it somewhere. This is a great example of emulation without plagiarism. And just as Strezov Sampling was inspired by Herrmann, maybe they weren't seeking to straight copy him. I could be wrong.
Great points, maybe I've read it all wrong. It's a personal thing but when you think Prokofiev or Herrmann do you instantly think minimalistic? It didn't even cross my mind. Same as Mancini and no portamento. Afflatus does small and intimate like no library but other than the shorts it mostly seems to be different shades of intimate.
 

Ganvai

Active Member
Honestly guys, considering the amount of patches you have in this, the amount of great and uncommon ensembles and just the plain number of samples this library has, it's kinda hard to call it overpriced. The Strezov Samplign guys have put in a lot of hard work into this library and as I love natural, authentic sounding strings, I have to say that there is not one string lib out there that can deliver this quality in sound at the moment.

Maybe people feel a bit confused about a lib that doesn't hit all the standard beats every other string lib does, but guys, you already have this. This is a product that is dedicated to deliver a very authentic string sound and man does it deliver on that point.
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member

Thought I'd chuck this in here.
Great review! Overall, beautiful sounding library. I'm a little concerned about those Psychatto Strings. At 4:15 it sounded like they were struggling to play on beat. Were they recorded on time to the grid, or did you free hand it? I've seen this problem arise when round robins don't start at exactly the same time. Just hoping it doesn't suffer from that since that's a huge deciding factor for me.
 

Cory Pelizzari

(Solonoid Studio)
Great review! Overall, beautiful sounding library. I'm a little concerned about those Psychatto Strings. At 4:15 it sounded like they were struggling to play on beat. Were they recorded on time to the grid, or did you free hand it? I've seen this problem arise when round robins don't start at exactly the same time. Just hoping it doesn't suffer from that since that's a huge deciding factor for me.
I played everything live, so there's a bit of ham fist in there as I'm not even playing to a click, and I always have my latency up to save CPU power. Those staccatos are in fact tight to play.
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
I played everything live, so there's a bit of ham fist in there as I'm not even playing to a click, and I always have my latency up to save CPU power. Those staccatos are in fact tight to play.
Nice! Happy to hear that! I do a lot of modern horror music, so It seems like I'm always doing those fast bass/celli ostinato lines for tense cues, but some string libraries I have just can't keep up, while others can. LASS is really good at this, but I'm always looking for something different, and I REALLY like the sound of Afflatus.

Thanks again for the review! It seems like the people who have purchased and played this library are overall quite happy with it, which makes me want to pull the trigger.

Btw, just subscribed. ;)
 

Cory Pelizzari

(Solonoid Studio)
Nice! Happy to hear that! I do a lot of modern horror music, so It seems like I'm always doing those fast bass/celli ostinato lines for tense cues, but some string libraries I have just can't keep up, while others can. LASS is really good at this, but I'm always looking for something different, and I REALLY like the sound of Afflatus.

Thanks again for the review! It seems like the people who have purchased and played this library are overall quite happy with it, which makes me want to pull the trigger.

Btw, just subscribed. ;)
If you write horror music those cluster shorts and sustains will jump right into your tracks. Thanks for the sub!
 

Sibelius19

Music is just color and rhythm --Debussy
Great points, maybe I've read it all wrong. It's a personal thing but when you think Prokofiev or Herrmann do you instantly think minimalistic? It didn't even cross my mind. Same as Mancini and no portamento. Afflatus does small and intimate like no library but other than the shorts it mostly seems to be different shades of intimate.]
I don't necessarily mean minimalism as a genre, but just "minimal"

This part (link below) is like something out of Debussy's "Nuage," with its rather static chord movements --no resolution, tension etc. Just floating between different intervals creating a strange atmosphere. It also kind of reminds of Philip Glass --who was considered a minimalist composer.


I'm not as familiar with Prokofiev. But many of the patches do seem somewhat extravagent. Maybe when combined with one another something "bigger" can be acheived.
 
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