Options for "dry" composers


So right now the strings options for someone who uses only dry samples are

VSL Dimension Strings / Chamber Strings

Christ Hein Strings

Sample Modeling (by layering many many instances and automating a lot)


NI Symphonic Strings Ensemble

Bernard Herrmann Composer Toolkit

Am I missing something? Are dry-sample composers a dying breed? Paying 600 Euros for Dimension Strings, which is now 4 years old, doesn't feel right. I really like the Sample Modeling concept, but that's just too much work, and makes more sense when you're mocking up something already-composed; not to use during the composing process. Would be awesome if someone made an AI Script for Sample Modeling (or even something that could do similar with Embertone; they already have an enemble patch, but maybe it if had some 'humanize', the way Dimension Strings does, it'd take things up a notch).
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Senior Member
Light & Sound Chamber Strings are relatively dry. They have a nice amount of earls reflections baked in, but very little tail. It gives a great sense of space while still being quite dry.

Sample Modeling released a teaser of an upcoming library with solo- and ensemble strings.


Senior Member
I don't think the berlin stuff close is bad. Infact it's not too hard to get close if you compare close + tree mic and close + a mirpro send.

my gut says BHTC, but it's not for typical orchestration - and I don't own it, so I'm giving you 2nd hand information.

I think the ORTF for berlin brass is great - although you could use either close 1 or close 2 for that as well(BWW revive is similar in this regard - but berlin strings are stuck with just 1 set of close mics)

Adventure brass/adventure strings are relatively tight. I'm honestly not sure if you actually want "dry" or just don't want long tails. Also - SM(not audiomodelling) does offer ensemble patches that aren't completely worthless. it's not sampled that way, but it does allow you to get closer to an ensemble playing 1 line.

Mike Fox

Senior Member
Check out Musical Sampling. Their libs are about as dry as you can get.

Afflatus can also get quite dry.


Senior Member
I don't want to be nitpicky - but half of these libraries really aren't dry.

there's nothing dry about HWB XD. these have artificially had their tails amputated - but the actual recordings are still in larger rooms, and mic'd at a distance.

as far as berlin drying up - I'm guessing you don't own these libraries? Berlin's one of the few libraries I'd dare to actually use the close mics on


Mmm interesting to see a different opinion. OT is the only company for which I cannot use close mics by themselves. I have Berlin strings brass and perc BTW.


Senior Member
here is a short example of the staccatissimo's without the tail removed(even though it has a knob to shorten tail)

the first one is close I(I didn't feel th e need to show close II as well) and then the ortf's which are quite useable and pleasant - but just as dry as anyone would need.





Senior Member
I've got plenty of other developers if you want to shoot out close mics :)

but considering I think SSB is the weakest of the SSO, the only contender would maybe be cinebrass? but MGM sony has wayyyyy more tail than teldex. CSB might be able to get tight(waiting til spring to pick that up)

but I feel like finding a good blend of close I + II(heavy panning these), then just adding a little ortf(slightly panned) into the mix instead of reverb would give you a ton of punch, clarity - and still room for a reverb send if you absolutely needed it


Senior Member
The Hollywood series does have fairly dry close mics though.

I second that Dimension Strings is one of the most deeply sampled libraries out there. You can play on any string on the individual instrument level! Newer doesn't mean better.


Senior Member
still wish phryq clarified what he actually means by "dry"

does dry mean "actually dry, very little ambience captured"
or does dry mean "drenched in ambience but turnicated tail"

libraries like adventure brass and adventure brass are not actually dry libraries - just wet libraries that had their natural tails edited or removed. Infact you could take something massive and distant like ark 1 and call it a dry library by just removing the tail completely in capsule - then it's no "wetter" than something like adventure brass.

That might be exactly what he wants, but there is a significant difference between the two - and would probably net him suggestions he actually wants.


Senior Member
You also have the Chris Hein libraries option.
But I am spending why someone would prefer dry libraries only.