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Spitfire Studio Strings Pro + British drama toolkit vs BHCT, LCO

StillLife

Senior Member
Hi All,

Something went wrong with my cart in the last Spitfire Wishlist Sale and now Sandy has extended my discount for the 2018 Core bundle until the weekend. Now I am back at pondering a purchase. As I already own the Solo Strings, the price for the rest of the bundle (SStS and BDT) comes to 240 euro's. Very good value I think. I've been eyeing SStS for a couple of months now, because I can see myself wanting all three studio sections, eventually, to be able to use a full (and dry!) orchestra. But... I also own Bernard Hermann Composer Toolkit and Londen Contemporary Orchestra Strings, and that might already be enough, full orchestra-wise... Or does it?
Any opinions?
Thanks in advance,
Martijn
 

KMA

member
I love the sound of BHCT, but I often want the individual instruments separately. LCO is fantastic, but not as a core library.

It seems as if Studio Strings might be exactly the right fit for you. I kind of regret not pulling the trigger on that myself this past sale season.
 

MaxOctane

Active Member
LCO is fantastic, but not as a core library.
For the longest time, I didn't connect with LCO. Then (like a genius) I finally realized it sounds 10x better with reverb. I'm not used to dry libraries, but just picked up Spaces II and it's great.

Any tips on getting the most out of LCO? (Or BHCT for that matter)
 

KMA

member
Any tips on getting the most out of LCO? (Or BHCT for that matter)
The only advice I would give is to let them do what they do best. For LCO, use the granular stuff, the woozy stuff, any all the lovely weirdness. For BH, write specifically for the combinations, and definitely use the percussion, ondes martenot, chords and FX.

Don't be afraid to layer either of these with other libraries, even the weirdest of the LCO stuff. I've had a lot of fun burying LCO just under the rest of the mix so that it just peaks out now and then from behind a more conventional library. It's a great way to add some randomness and realism.

For the record, I think both libraries sound just as good when totally dry.
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
The only advice I would give is to let them do what they do best. ***** For BH, write specifically for the combinations, and definitely use the percussion, ondes martenot, chords and FX. *********
For the record, I think both libraries sound just as good when totally dry.
Thanks for BH CT tips ! :thumbsup:
 
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nas

Active Member
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jbuhler

Senior Member
It really depends on what you want to do. You can do a lot with BHCT orchestrally, but the combinations lock you into a certain set of sounds and it's optimized for a certain approach and sound to the orchestra. If you want an alternative to that, you will need other ensemble libraries or orchestral sections. So one question to consider is whether you are feeling limited by BHCT. If you are not, then it's probably not time to look into other libraries—there will be other sales.
 
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StillLife

Senior Member
It really depends on what you want to do. You can do a lot with BHCT orchestrally, but the combinations lock you into a certain set of sounds and it's optimized for a certain approach and sound to the orchestra. If you want an alternative to that, you will need other ensemble libraries or orchestral sections. So one question to consider is whether you are feeling limited by BHCT. If you are not, then it's probably not time to look into other libraries—there will be other sales.
Good advice, thanks. I do find BHCT a bit too specialized, I fear. I do like the combinations and the chords, and the percussion - certainly very useful and inspiring, but I just don't 'get' it as a core string library. Leaning towards SStS, but now I am asking myself: maybe I should save up for SCS instead. It does seem to be heralded as the (far) better library of the two, and it might blend better with my favorite library SSoS. It just is nowhere the steal SStS is. I do have an educational discount, so SCS will be 489 for me, but that still is more than double the price I would have to pay for SStS and BDT (just don't know if I would find any use for BDT though). @jbuhler, if I remember correctly you have all three libraries. Is SCS worth the price difference, to you? What would you do if the versions you had were just demo's and you had to choose between SStS+BDT on the one and SCS on the other hand?
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Good advice, thanks. I do find BHCT a bit too specialized, I fear. I do like the combinations and the chords, and the percussion - certainly very useful and inspiring, but I just don't 'get' it as a core string library. Leaning towards SStS, but now I am asking myself: maybe I should save up for SCS instead. It does seem to be heralded as the (far) better library of the two, and it might blend better with my favorite library SSoS. It just is nowhere the steal SStS is. I do have an educational discount, so SCS will be 489 for me, but that still is more than double the price I would have to pay for SStS and BDT (just don't know if I would find any use for BDT though). @jbuhler, if I remember correctly you have all three libraries. Is SCS worth the price difference, to you? What would you do if the versions you had were just demo's and you had to choose between SStS+BDT on the one and SCS on the other hand?
I don’t have Studio Strings but they seem like a perfectly reasonable library, and the core is very attractively priced. I’m not planning to get them at this time because I have so many string libraries and don’t feel the need for the drier sound, but I did look carefully at the library and it seems to me to be a very good value. I would have no difficulty recommending them at the price, with the caveat that I haven’t worked with them personally.

Is SCS worth the additional money? Well that depends on how much you like the sound and the workflow. For me, absolutely. SCS is my core string library and for most projects my other strings supplement it to some degree or another. In general I think the basic library of SCS is sufficient. I do have the professional but only because I picked up the extra mics in one of the $99 specials. I do use the extra mics but I could easily do without them and they take A LOT of extra space on the SSD.

The solo strings work really well with SCS. I find I can often use the same midi for section and solo instrument and then just balance the outputs so the instrument sounds like a first chair mic. The response to modwheel, expression and vibrato map very closely. @ism reports that the blend of the solo strings with the studio strings is also very good, but the midi needs more tweaking.

BDT, I do have but I don’t believe I’ve put it together with SCS. I have used BDT with solo strings, Tundra, OACE, and SF Woodwinds, and I’ve worked with all those libraries with SCS. And they go together fine. I can’t imagine that wouldn’t be the case for BDT and SCS. But I think BDT would work just as well with Studio Strings too.

But really with SCS I would spend a lot of time with the demos and walkthroughs and decide if you like the sound and if you like the hall and are ok working with the hall.
 
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