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Spitfire Studio Strings - is it holding up?

Now that Spitfire Studio Strings have been out for a while, I assume that its owners have a more informed opinion of them than when the initial euphoria was swirling around this library. I don't hear it mentioned very often at all lately, so I am wondering - for owners, how has it been working out for you? Does it measure up to the Symphonic or Chamber libraries in audio quality, once you've given it some of your own space treatments?

(I am contemplating whether or not to include it on my wish list.)
 

miket

Senior Member
I don't have either SSS or SCS yet, so I can't compare it to that.

However, measured against the other (few, and all rather entry-level) string libraries I've gone through in my quest for one that actually satisfies me, this one is still the easy winner. I get the impression that it's similar to LASS, in the sense that you really have to carefully handle dynamics and vibrato to avoid a constantly harsh sound, but it's not a massive learning curve.

The articulation selection is excellent, and while a few more legato and short options would be welcome, it's nothing that a bit more carefully shaped performances with other articulations can't remedy, at least partly.

When my disk space and budget are in a better place, I'll definitely be grabbing the Pro version. I can see myself using the Studio line quite a bit, even after I eventually get the Symphonic line.

Beyond that, I think Spitfire is to be commended for putting out something that widens horizons for people just starting out with smaller budgets. Most of the choices in that realm are by now quite dated and unwieldy.
 

The Darris

Senior Member
Now that Spitfire Studio Strings have been out for a while, I assume that its owners have a more informed opinion of them than when the initial euphoria was swirling around this library. I don't hear it mentioned very often at all lately, so I am wondering - for owners, how has it been working out for you? Does it measure up to the Symphonic or Chamber libraries in audio quality, once you've given it some of your own space treatments?

(I am contemplating whether or not to include it on my wish list.)
I was pretty critical of it when it released. For me, it was the least tested and polished library Spitfire had ever released. Compared to Symphonic and Chamber Strings, it doesn't hold up. I sent a support ticket with quite a few issues that I had with the release version. They haven't updated it yet but in my support emails and live chat with SA, they were grateful for my findings and said they would be working on an update to fix those issues.

Some of the big problems I had were extremely sloppy sample edits and start points which made it very difficult to write strong, in time, rhythmic patterns with the short articulations. Lack of important articulations between each section also made it a little bland compared to Chamber Strings. There's also a few articulations that are completely pointless that just add to the large hard drive real estate. The concept of "divisi" in this library feels more like a gimmick versus being an idiomatic approach to divisi string writing. This is by design. Spitfire's definition of divisi really means "modular." As in, they wanted to create a tightly recorded set of instrument in the same space but in different positions and sizes in order to let you, in the words of Christian, "track and stack" your cues in a way that gives you total control over the sound. This was also an aspect to the Hans Zimmer Strings library that seemed to carry over a bit in the design of this library. Not that it's a bad thing but it just doesn't work well in this library, at least for me.

The Professional Edition of this library weighs in at >200gb of drive space due to a multitude of mic positions, some which really aren't needed like an additional tree mic, or even outriggers because it's a dry space. They did cut this down to a more reasonably sized library with the standard edition BUT you don't get any of the divisi sections which, again, make the whole concept of this library pointless in my opinion. After messing around with it since release, I actually deleted it from my hard drive last night while doing some seasonal hard drive "cleaning." On paper, I really was excited by the concept and what it appeared to offer. But, after downloading and trying to write with it, it was far inferior to their other flagship string libraries. At the end of the day, in its current state, it's just another string library that doesn't offer anything new or exciting to the current list of string libraries on the market.

Cheers,

Chris
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
I was pretty critical of it when it released. For me, it was the least tested and polished library Spitfire had ever released. Compared to Symphonic and Chamber Strings, it doesn't hold up. ***************** On paper, I really was excited by the concept and what it appeared to offer. But, after downloading and trying to write with it, it was far inferior to their other flagship string libraries. At the end of the day, in its current state, it's just another string library that doesn't offer anything new or exciting to the current list of string libraries on the market.
Cheers,
Chris
Timely to follow this discussion ….. just having received e-mail announcing new Studio Brass.
I depend so heavily on talented, capable Orchestral members, here, for guidance on these large, pricey, libraries.
SFA Holiday promos are surely imminent. Very helpful to have current info as basis for purchases.

THX
 

The Darris

Senior Member
Timely to follow this discussion ….. just having received e-mail announcing new Studio Brass.
I depend so heavily on talented, capable Orchestral members, here, for guidance on these large, pricey, libraries.
SFA Holiday promos are surely imminent. Very helpful to have current info as basis for purchases.

THX
No problem. With the price tag of the standard Studio Brass, I'm considering it. I don't see the need for the the additional soloists but of course, they had to put the Trombone soloist in the pro version. I'M STILL WAITING ON THAT SOLO TROMBONE LEGATO IN SYMPHONIC BRASS!!!. Hahaha. Oh well. I do hope that those who take the plunge for Spitfire's Studio Brass aren't let down the way I was with their Studio Strings. (albeit, I did get Studio Strings as an NFR for review so it's not like I took a major financial hit on that one. But, I still sympathize with those who did.) I will continue to be critical of it until it's fixed.

Cheers,

C
 

ism

Senior Member
Well I suppose I'm not enough of a professional to really notice (or in some cases even grasp) the flaws that some are noting, but I continue to love it.

In fact as I go deeper into it the more I love the sonority especially, and the way you can really craft the sound.

Case in point - found a new articulation I hadn't even noticed known was there the other day, (some variant of con sort), and it was perfectly for what I happened to be looking for at the time.
 
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kurtvanzo

Capt. Zorro
I was pretty critical of it when it released. For me, it was the least tested and polished library Spitfire had ever released. Compared to Symphonic and Chamber Strings, it doesn't hold up. I sent a support ticket with quite a few issues that I had with the release version. They haven't updated it yet but in my support emails and live chat with SA, they were grateful for my findings and said they would be working on an update to fix those issues.

Some of the big problems I had were extremely sloppy sample edits and start points which made it very difficult to write strong, in time, rhythmic patterns with the short articulations. Lack of important articulations between each section also made it a little bland compared to Chamber Strings. There's also a few articulations that are completely pointless that just add to the large hard drive real estate. The concept of "divisi" in this library feels more like a gimmick versus being an idiomatic approach to divisi string writing. This is by design. Spitfire's definition of divisi really means "modular." As in, they wanted to create a tightly recorded set of instrument in the same space but in different positions and sizes in order to let you, in the words of Christian, "track and stack" your cues in a way that gives you total control over the sound. This was also an aspect to the Hans Zimmer Strings library that seemed to carry over a bit in the design of this library. Not that it's a bad thing but it just doesn't work well in this library, at least for me.

The Professional Edition of this library weighs in at >200gb of drive space due to a multitude of mic positions, some which really aren't needed like an additional tree mic, or even outriggers because it's a dry space. They did cut this down to a more reasonably sized library with the standard edition BUT you don't get any of the divisi sections which, again, make the whole concept of this library pointless in my opinion. After messing around with it since release, I actually deleted it from my hard drive last night while doing some seasonal hard drive "cleaning." On paper, I really was excited by the concept and what it appeared to offer. But, after downloading and trying to write with it, it was far inferior to their other flagship string libraries. At the end of the day, in its current state, it's just another string library that doesn't offer anything new or exciting to the current list of string libraries on the market.

Cheers,

Chris
Have they fixed these issues yet (5 months later...) ? I'm really digging SCS, all the patches are so solid and play so well. I've been thinking of SSS, yet many say it's not up to par with SCS. Any thoughts?
 

The Darris

Senior Member
Have they fixed these issues yet (5 months later...) ? I'm really digging SCS, all the patches are so solid and play so well. I've been thinking of SSS, yet many say it's not up to par with SCS. Any thoughts?
It's been updated twice according to a text file that came with the library. I love pretty much everything about this library.



I don't have SCS, but SSS is superb.
After reaching out to Spitfire support, they told me that the requests I made shortly after release of Studio Strings have not been fixed. They didn't give an estimate on when they would be fixed but rather said they like to comprise major fixes into one big update so I'm assuming the issues I had with it will be addressed whenever that happens. Will I re-download the 200gb library to find out? That remains to be seen. I wish they had the ability to install the mic options of your choice. I liked the sound of the stereo mixes but it's such a waste of time to download the entire library and then try to delete the unwanted samples since they didn't organize them into mic folders like the BML series used to be. I do believe this in a Native Instruments decision but I could be wrong.

If I had one major critique to make about Spitfire's Studio Series is that the Standard versions should have be the Stereo Mixes only with all of the articulations and instruments while the Pro Version contained the rest of the mic options. To me, that makes way more sense. Oh well, they can package it how they want.
 

SoNowWhat?

realised I can type here
The question is, what is the alternative in this price range?
Well, some that come to mind off the top of my head (are we talking core or pro here?):
SoundIron Hyperion - this will be expanded further over time
Light&Sound Chamber Strings 60% off
United Strings of Europe (auddict) 50% off
8dio intimate strings
NI Symphony Series (price a bit higher than base Studio Strings but many will have it already in the Komplete or KU bundle)
Strezov Cornucopia

These aren't going to be absolute like for like but, what is. Some are cheaper, some are more expensive but I believe they are in a similar "zone". Some are on sale now and many will be on sale again at some point in the near future. They are products that I think sit in a similar spot in the market (feel free to disagree or correct me if I'm mistaken). Whether you think they are better or worse; do or don't meet your needs that's up to the individual. FWIW I have none of these so make no assessments about their quality or value (I do have SCS Pro).

And to add a cherry on top Fluffy's Venice Modern Strings should maybe be looked at depending on your budget. They sound gorgeous to me but again I don't have them (yet), sorry @paoling
 

mkruse

New Member
Well, some that come to mind off the top of my head (are we talking core or pro here?):
SoundIron Hyperion - this will be expanded further over time
Light&Sound Chamber Strings 60% off
United Strings of Europe (auddict) 50% off
8dio intimate strings
NI Symphony Series (price a bit higher than base Studio Strings but many will have it already in the Komplete or KU bundle)
Strezov Cornucopia

These aren't going to be absolute like for like but, what is. Some are cheaper, some are more expensive but I believe they are in a similar "zone". Some are on sale now and many will be on sale again at some point in the near future. They are products that I think sit in a similar spot in the market (feel free to disagree or correct me if I'm mistaken). Whether you think they are better or worse; do or don't meet your needs that's up to the individual. FWIW I have none of these so make no assessments about their quality or value (I do have SCS Pro).

And to add a cherry on top Fluffy's Venice Modern Strings should maybe be looked at depending on your budget. They sound gorgeous to me but again I don't have them (yet), sorry @paoling
I currently have Hyperion Elements, mainly due to the intro price of Micro when it was released. I'm finding it a bit artificial sounding though. I'd love to here others thoughts, it's most likely user error. I was considering SSS as it's priced really competitivly but I am now leaning to BO Inspire as it includes much more (for more $ of course), but less than buying multiple SF Studio libraries.
 

SoNowWhat?

realised I can type here
I currently have Hyperion Elements, mainly due to the intro price of Micro when it was released. I'm finding it a bit artificial sounding though. I'd love to here others thoughts, it's most likely user error. I was considering SSS as it's priced really competitivly but I am now leaning to BO Inspire as it includes much more (for more $ of course), but less than buying multiple SF Studio libraries.
Yeah. Maybe Hyperion belongs in a different segment. At least til the final expansion is released and we see what is achieved. Again, I don’t have it to compare. On Inspire, I don’t have it either (sorry, it’s sounding like I don’t have a freaking thing) but the OT libraries I have are very good but then so are my SF ones. I opted out of the studio series as I really didn’t need it and I wasn’t that rapt with the sound. I like the idea of it and I guess it provides a nice lower entry point for people who don’t have strings covered or are new entrants.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I currently have Hyperion Elements, mainly due to the intro price of Micro when it was released. I'm finding it a bit artificial sounding though. I'd love to here others thoughts, it's most likely user error. I was considering SSS as it's priced really competitivly but I am now leaning to BO Inspire as it includes much more (for more $ of course), but less than buying multiple SF Studio libraries.
I have the Micro Hyperion...never used it once. It's super synth-like. The Elements seems to follow in this footstep and chose not to upgrade, not even for the $30 it would have cost me. In fact, I was looking to gift them to someone...LOL I can only imagine that the full version will not sound any better. If this is supposed to get people excited about the strings, it's done the complete opposite for many. It might actually be good for sound design though...you can change the sound of the instruments and mangle them a bit, so that it now becomes something totally different, and non-realistic. Might work...that's the only reason I kept them to this day...but still have never resorted to them.
 

vitocorleone123

Active Member
Hyperion: I don't know enough to say anything about the sound being "realistic" or not, but Elements has more articulations and more round-robins, both of which help bring it closer to reality. Close enough? Up to the listener, of course! From what I've heard, I'm not a fan of Micro editions, despite the attractive pricing. I think Elements is where they start coming into their own.... like 'em or not.

Hyperion also seems designed to have reverb added, internally or not. They sound good to me, run through a Kush plugin compressor (I'm going back and forth between AR-1 and Novatron) for some simulated tube action to soften them, and then into Exponential Nimbus (and some of the internal convolution settings are decent - I like being able to place the instrument types even if not using the internal reverb).

I haven't purchased Hollywood Studio Strings Silver to compare against them - from what I've been able to tell, those are probably the closest competition at the price range. (?) You guys are definitely talking about another level, or three, up the chain if talking about $400+ orchestras.
 
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