Thanks, nice video. Very lovely sound, those Artisans. I have both the Cello and the Violin. Great gritty stuff. My only problem with the new package is that when I do not want the Double Bass and the Viola, I still have to pay 100 euro for an NKS update (which I DO want) for the cello and the violin....
Hi all, thanks for being patient while we fixed a few issues with this library. We wanted to get an update out before the promotional period ended and we pushed it a few minutes ago. If you buy the library now, you'll get the most recent version, if you already have it, you'll see an email with instructions over the next hour or so. Here's the change list for this version (1.0.1b15):
Mic Positions fixed for the Cello.
All Instruments now sit central.
Missing file for Violin fixed.
Reverb does not click when enabling and disabling.
I was somewhere in between whether to buy this or not, as Im allergic to everything that sounds too cinematic, but then came the thought, that if Spitfire throws out a product where even the panning is not right, then thats a pass.
I've been thinking quite a lot, in particular about whether to upgrade to the full alt-SS, and about solo string libraries in general. And I have a couple of tracks to share, but some context ...
So there's definitely a thing here and solo strings are a part of it. And for me, emblematic of this "neo-classical" moment or "indy-classical" vibe or "scandi-icelandic" zeitgeist or whatever you prefer to call it, are certainly composers like Olafur Arnalds and Nils Fram, as well as also more avant guarde composers like the brilliant (though completely beyond sample sample libraries) Anna Thorvaldsdotir. And then there's American "indy-classical" composers such as Nico Mulhy. And also a set of brilliant younger British Composers like Jane Antonia Cornish, Peter Gregson and perhaps even some of Thomas Ades' (to choose just a few examples from what happens to be on my ipod at the moment). And these English composers, so far as I can see, seem all to sit very comfortably within the tradition of English chamber music without the need to call themselves neo-anything. Which is cool - and yet, throw in a felt piano on a passage from Ades' "O Albion", or a nordic choir on Cornish's "In silence" and they wouldn't necessarily sound completely out of place on a Olafur Arnalds record. I also also just picked up Andrew Skeet's new album (which I'd recommend) which somehow also fits in this space, and actually features the same Chris Worsly and Mary Scully of the alt-SS library...
...so I'm not saying I completely understand what exactly it is or how to define its boundaries or the origins of its genealogy vis-a-vis late twentieth century eastern European minimalism. But still, definitely a thing. Lets call it 'neo-classical' .
And I do have some excitement that there's something new here, both artistically in what these new composers are doing, and also technically in that new sample libraries are opening entirely new possibilities (It used to be, for example, that if you wanted to write something Arvo-Part-like with, say, the VSL SE, you just couldn't - it is an exercise in disappointment and dejection, trust me. It's hard to express how happy Tundra made me).
But then there are solo string sample libraries. Which are very much their own thing. Some of them are wonderful. Some make be a bit crazy. And of course, some are both wonderful and and make me a bit crazy, but after a couple of years of trying to piece together a 'neo-classical'  palette, well, the first lesson to learn is that there is no silver in filling the solo-string-shaped hole in one’s palette.
Now, I really do love the original Artisan/Alternative strings instruments, and they offer a set of colours to this palette that I don't know you could get anywhere else. They've always held this great sense of possibility, and I've been slowly learning how to work with them, and, more to the point, blend them. But I also struggle with making them work with certain other libraries. Its a question of what all do you need to have a coherent 'neo-classical'  palette. There are some really recent solo string libraries that while amazing, are just too virtuosic to properly blend. Or else they're intended as soloists played over an orchestra, or first chairs or ... well the glass-half-full way to phrase it is that I've really been discovering the sheer scope of string instruments.
So this is the general solo-string-shaped angst that coloured my excitement when I went to check out the new demos for the Alt-SS. Whereas the original Artisan demos had a classical quality (lets call it "artisan-classical" as opposed to a more conventional 'high-classical' quality) I'm feeling a kind of 'neo-classical'  vibe to these new demos.
But how would the complete alternative quartet fit in the overall pallet if I were to buy it? (Is the sort of think I agonize about when I agonize about string libraries).
But then, while writing that earlier post, I starting thinking about the Sacconi strings. Which are marketed as high-end and' high-classical' - the demos are so nuanced that they could almost make the VSL sound low brow. And indeed they sent me running to itunes to buy some of the (actual) Sacconi quartet's recording of Beetoven recordings (which are wonderful). If I were writing high classical, this is likely what I'd be writing with...
... and yet it just never occurred to be that it might be suitable for the supposedly low-brow ‘neo-classical' work 
Then, pondering the upgrade, I started wondering if the very nuance of the Sacconi - augmented by 'alt-classical or 'artisan-classical' or 'neo-classical'  qualities of the Alt-SS - might, might server in combination to fill out the solo-strings hole in the palette.
So going back to re-listen to the Sacconi demos through this lens, well, most of the demos are indeed 'high-classical' and don't really offer much sense of how they might or mightn't work on an 'neo-classical'  palette.
However there are two demos - perhaps not surprisingly, in retrospect, by Homay and Oliver - that while they do work as 'high-classical' pieces, also contain, if you're listening for it, a hint of 'neo-classical'  possibility.
And to make a long story short, I recorded these two demos into Logic, and layered them with sounds from the Artisan violin and cello, as well as the Olafur Evo (using the individual solo violin patches), with some Tundra and the Olafur piano just to fill out the 'neo-classical' vibe.
I'll post them below, but the bottom line is that - although it's a very, very limited experiment - yes, there is a coherence here, suggesting at least the possibility of filling the solo-sting shaped hole in the palette. And that the alternate solo strings are an important part of it.
Of course, I'm pretty sure there are much easier ways I could have convinced myself to but the alternate stings upgrade.
But whatever works.
 With all the preceding caveats that caveats that this is a very ill defined term.
 with all the above caveats on what that even means
 And here I'll repeat the caveat of what-does-that-even-mean
 Again with the caveats
 and by now you should just assume that every time I use the word, it's acompanied by a whole host of what-does-that-even-mean caveats
 seriously, what does this word even mean?)
 see above
 I'm sure you've get the idea by now, but I do think its worth stressing
And I feel I should especially apologize to Oliver, particular for the final passage of his delicate and subtle composition to which I've added the most (brilliantly) obnoxious sounds I could find (the violins sul pont trem and Vc staccato digs from the Artisans) - not quite the original spirit of the composition, but it is kind of fun.