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SF Studio Strings V CSS??? - Opinions

markrosoft

New Member
yeah, listening to the walkthroughs and the demos I agree with not loving the sound. To me, it seems to lack any softness what-so-ever... like it's always kinda cranked to 10. Will be interested what people think when they actually get their hands on it...
 

axb312

Senior Member
Nice detailed comments, but my current ignorance makes me puzzled by CSS ~34GB and SStS Pro ~210GB.
Mics typically raise this number notably, but you mention the Mic info ….
Perhaps this explains it a bit:
SF Studio Strings
210 GB
12 Mics (6 mics x 2 mixes)
10 instruments (different sizes)

GB/ Mic/ Instrument = 1.76

Cinematic Studio Strings
34 GB
3 Mics
5 instruments

GB/ Mic/ Instrument = 2.26


Or maybe this is just junk math...
 

Karma

Spitfire Audio
I’m surprised this comparison is being made versus the much more obvious 8dio Century Strings (6,4,5,4,4). Not only are they both recorded straight away versus in situ, but there is another missing piece of the Spitfire marketing... and I can only assume this happens because of what I am about to say. The midi transpose-pitch shift trick can give you a potential 18,12,15,8,8 section with two “artificial” sections with 8dio Centurty Strings. You can tailor ADSR to better fake the product. And it is quite convincing! You can get the same results with any smaller sized library recorded straight away. So unless specified, I’d bet this is is how this was recorded. However the marketing would allude otherwise. It is probably just packaged so the user doesn’t have to do this trick manually. I absolutely love Spitfire, so this is not a negative hit on them. This is just something I wanted to point that is possibly getting overlooked. I might be entirely off base on it though! If so, I apologize to Christian & Co. I’m a big Spitfire fan. This library included.

But mostly, I don’t see why CSS would be the point of comparison. Good days to be a composer though! That’s for sure!
To clarify,

- Main String Section of (8,6,6,6,4)
- Two Divisi Sections (4.3.3.3) We have also included divisi or half sections for the first time to give a new level of modular control
- Large band (16.12.12.12.4) Consisting of the Main Section and the two Divisi Sections

No transpose trickery involved.
 

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
This is a direct CSS competitor. There's 30 musicians here, compared to 35 in CSS (and 28 in Berlin). The intro price is also exactly the same as CSS's price so... y'know... doesn't seem like coincidence... ;)

Except, on the other hand, you get so much more than CSS at the same price. Six mic positions instead of three, extended techniques, true sordinos, sul tasto and sul pont, trills beyond half/whole.

The size flexibility is killer. You have a 30-piece string orchestra with divisi in every section (except basses). You have two choices for 17-piece ensembles, which competes with SCS and Light&Sound (and the upcoming Hyperion I suppose). And you can combine the half and full size sections to get a 60 piece orchestra that weighs in with Hollywood Strings, Spitfire Symphonic Strings, and LASS. So while sticking with the studio sound, it competes in the chamber sized, studio sized and Hollywood sized arenas. What really made my day is seeing that Spitfire have prepared NKIs at each section size that already "bake together" the sample content. You don't have to load 3 sets of patches to get the divisi+divisi+full sound. That is a huge usability feature & RAM saver.

Except except, on the other other hand... the longs seem to have 3 dynamic layers (4 in CSS), there are only 2 lengths of short notes (4 in CSS), and there's only one set of legato transitions (quite fast) plus portamento (3+port in CSS). And overall, the sound seems more reserved while CSS feels "musical" in every note. I skimmed through the videos and demos and nothing about this string sound really blew me away the way I remember first hearing the CSS demos (and when I use them every day! ;) ). It's more like Spitfire's other libraries: very neutral, and therefore very usable and flexible.

I think this is gonna be an interesting addition to all the options for strings. Looking forward to user reviews!

Looking beyond that - if it's not totally silly to do so on the day a library drops - this is Spitfire announcing that they're throwing their hat into the ring for another full orchestra.

That means in addition to upcoming dry woodwind and brass ensembles from Cinematic Studio and Soundiron Hyperion (and probably Adventure Woodwinds to complete Musical Sampling's range), there will be a Spitfire Studio option as well. Spitfire Studio Woodwinds will be particularly interesting because in their BML range they showed an interest in sampling the rarer auxiliary winds. I got the opportunity to play with the Bass Flute instrument on a friend's composing rig, and it's a stellar instrument. So Spitfire Studio Winds will be one to watch out for, I think. Heckelphone, Christian? Please? ;)
Great post man. Thanks.
 

storyteller

Senior Member
To clarify,

- Main String Section of (8,6,6,6,4)
- Two Divisi Sections (4.3.3.3) We have also included divisi or half sections for the first time to give a new level of modular control
- Large band (16.12.12.12.4) Consisting of the Main Section and the two Divisi Sections

No transpose trickery involved.
Ah. Thanks for clarifying. The pics do show a recording of the full section, so I missed that too. Pretty cool.
 
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sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
Perhaps this explains it a bit:
SF Studio Strings
210 GB;12 Mics (6 mics x 2 mixes); 10 instruments (different sizes)
GB/ Mic/ Instrument = 1.76

Cinematic Studio Strings
34 GB; 3 Mics; 5 instruments
GB/ Mic/ Instrument = 2.26
Math is solid. Went back and re-read @ NaomL Post #8 (more carefully) and all is well.

THX
 

Batrawi

Senior Member
none....you should at least wait for 8dio's intimate strings that should be coming out soon.

Apparently this is the dawn of studio strings libraries so I wouldn't rush for spitfire's now until I see what the other developers are up to.
 

RandomComposer

Active Member
Rather than comparing, I'm more interested in the possibility of layering it with CSS, would it be worth getting this just to be able to layer the 2 if I already have CSS/CSSS?
 

mikefrommontreal

Active Member
I know everyone around here loves CSS. In fact, I bought it mostly based on reputation, and remains my core string library. Having said that I don't think it's as wonderful as everyone makes it out to be. It's still a little too "roomy" for my tastes, a little too 'big', and a little too dark. But I can't argue value for money, and I like supporting the little guy.
Having said that, I bought Spitfire's BHCT, and love the sound of it. Perfect combination of not being too dry or too wet. So I'm happy that Spitfire has released this product, it'll be the first one (other than BHCT) that I've ever even considered getting from them.
As a side note, Alex better put a move on Cinematic Studio Brass or Spitfire may steal their thunder with their studio brass library very soon!
 
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NoamL

Winter <3
Imo most of them dont think about how to make libraries so that the user has an efficient workflow. What do you have from millions of articulations when you can´t connect them to a cohesive musical line. Sometimes I think this whole puzzle box of quadrillions of articulations are nice to play around but once you mock up something with musical intention most of that falls apart sorry to say but I speak of ..my daily experience working with all this libraries.. I wish in general developers would concentrate on fewer articulation but useable content and more in depth scripting so that you are able to make some music with it and not just a collection of samples in a row. But thats not a spitfire specific thing. But watching at the walkthough this one makes no exception in that regards too.
Agreed 100% Alexander

A lot of these libraries severely restrain the writer. You can write endless spiccato ostinatos and they work, or you can write endless beautiful legato passages and they work, but when you try to combine shorts and longs it feels fake. In that regard CSS and Adventure Strings are two of the least problematic libraries I've heard. The developers clearly beta tested alternating between shorts and longs and recorded samples that would match up reasonably well - still very early days compared to the real thing of course. The 4 short types in CSS helps immensely.

Hollywood Strings and the Chris Hein libraries also have a large variety of short lengths and long attack types. I remember the CH violins did very well in a recent blind test here on VIC. I tried HWS as part of Composer Cloud and thought the mix-and-matching worked less well than in CSS; but HWS has lots of other features.

Leaving out specialty techniques like pizzicato, sul tasto, con sord, tremolo, etc. string players don't consider their playing in terms of "articulations" - we think about phrasing and bowing. Staccato is not a type of articulation, it's a type of bowing. Between that and flowing legato are nearly infinite variations - detache, martele, "big bows," etc. The possibilities are as wide as the human voice. So the more articulations the better.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
Rather than comparing, I'm more interested in the possibility of layering it with CSS, would it be worth getting this just to be able to layer the 2 if I already have CSS/CSSS?
Doesn't seem to achieve anything since they're the same size. I guess maybe it helps brighten CSS since, as everyone has said, SStS is REALLY bright especially on that Close1 mic.

I really like layering Spitfire Symphonic Strings with CSS though. This mix:

CSS Close
SSS Leader
CSS Main
SSS Tree
CSS Room
SSS Ambient
SSS Gallery

has really been working for me recently. You get the detailed legato of CSS plus the ambience of AIR. You could also switch CSS Room with SSS Outrigger if you want.
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Agreed 100% Alexander

Hollywood Strings and the Chris Hein libraries also have a large variety of short lengths and long attack types. I remember the CH violins did very well in a recent blind test here on VIC.
As most people here know and are sick of hearing about, I love those libraries. The Hein violin is the only one I use anymore (I almost always add QL Spaces to it, they make a terrific couple imo).

I am curious if there's a poll here somewhere asking members how many string libraries they already own. I already lost count.

Also does anyone here buy ALL the new Spitfire projects? I'd find that pretty amazing, personally.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
It sounds great on paper. And from a pricing perspective, they're finally doing it right. Not quite sold on the sound yet. Also, not yet sure how much I could do with it that isn't already covered by SCS (minus divisi, which I never cared about).
 

mikefrommontreal

Active Member
yeah, listening to the walkthroughs and the demos I agree with not loving the sound. To me, it seems to lack any softness what-so-ever... like it's always kinda cranked to 10. Will be interested what people think when they actually get their hands on it...
I guess it depends on what demo you're listening too. I agree that the audio demos aren't really to my liking on the website, but I watched the Spitfire girl's video (sorry can't remember her name) and I thought that it sounded really good. And very intimate.
 

Hanu_H

Senior Member
I really don't like the Spitfire's interface and I am not a fan of all of those special articulations. I think it would have been better to focus on the core articulations and make them great and usable first and maybe add an extension for the special articulations. Price is definitely better than with the previous Spitfire libs, but I am not really convinced about the sound and the quality. I think LASS still sounds better than this, especially violins sound weird and nasal to me.

-Hannes
 

Mr. Ha

Active Member
I am a big fan of Spitfire's libraries (in fact my whole orchestra is Spitfire samples) but I would prefer if they did a few more classical sounding symphonic demos on their websites. Now they usually do minimalist, layering, very modern sounding demos. When releasing an orchestral library they should always have some classical demo piece so that we can hear the legatos in action and the phrasing etc.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
I am a big fan of Spitfire's libraries (in fact my whole orchestra is Spitfire samples) but I would prefer if they did a few more classical sounding symphonic demos on their websites. Now they usually do minimalist, layering, very modern sounding demos. When releasing an orchestral library they should always have some classical demo piece so that we can hear the legatos in action and the phrasing etc.
Between the demos for this, HZS and "British Drama Toolkit" I get a sense that they are consciously targeting a particular style of music and if you write that kind of music, these VIs are designed to be your ultimate tools. And that kind of music isn't classical reproductions or "traditional" writing. It's not the Remote Control style of writing either (tho let's not open that can of worms again). It's what you could call "contemporary" maybe. "British Drama" is pretty close to the mark! All the scores for prestige TV shows that get imported here to the States have that kind of writing.

Fair play to them, I mean, it's where the industry is... people are writing a lot of footballs for big strings, and little "activity" pieces for studio strings.

The whole point of all the "evolving" libraries was "Yes, keep writing footballs, but now look, the notes evolve!" :)

And now they are moving beyond that to libraries like HZS and SStS.

Incidentally one great thing about them as a company is: look how many GB of samples they're churning out every year. This library alone is a fifth of a terabyte and it wasn't even their biggest or last library of 2018. We've still possibly got the choir coming before New Years (cross fingers!).
 
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Pixelpoet1985

Active Member
I simply can't understand why the divisi sections only have the basic articulations. Makes no sense offering them, isn't it?

I don't have any Spitfire products, but the drier recordings and the price are very tempting. I prefer and stay with LASS. For me, a better sound and the same articulations for all of the divisi groups. :)
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
I simply can't understand why the divisi sections only have the basic articulations. Makes no sense offering them, isn't it?
I don't have any Spitfire products, but the drier recordings and the price are very tempting. I prefer and stay with LASS. For me, a better sound and the same articulations for all of the divisi groups. :)
LASS almost always come back around in these discussions …… It seems SF is now splitting the sheet in terms of AIR Lyndhurst and Studio One. No criticism or critique, but have now spent waaaay more than enough time and effort before committing to a main orchestral Strings library.
LASS Lite Bundle will cost almost as much as new SStS, and then another ~$400. to LASS 2.5 Full. :sick:

Even after many months of this, I know, for sure, whichever I choose will be the shites ….. o_O
 
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