Tweaking Hollywood Strings

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Akarin, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Akarin


    Jan 14, 2018
    Each time I see EWHS mentioned, it is followed by the obligatory "it requires a lot of tweaking to make it sound good."

    What are your tweaks?
  2. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    I've has HS since it's first release, I've never tweaked anything. For me, it was just reading the manual and understanding how each patch operates.
  3. Guffy

    Guffy Fugdup

    Sep 13, 2013
    Depends if you use gold or diamond.
    I don't do much other than a bit of EQ and reverb in terms of mixing.
    You should also have your CC1 and 11 riding skills on point.
    Akarin likes this.
  4. OP


    Jan 14, 2018
    Yep. My experience too (with the occasional EQ cuts in case of buildups). Yet, I keep seeing these "you need to tweak them a lot" comments without any mention of what these tweaks are.
  5. shawnsingh

    shawnsingh Active Member

    Jun 2, 2018
    Yeah I don't tweak it either, using Gold version.

    My mix is just to add EWQL Spaces on a send, using the San Francisco Hall FR preset except setting the predelay to zero. As a bonus, I found that this setting matches metropolis ark and Berlin series tree mic position fairly well.
    bdev and Akarin like this.
  6. dariusofwest

    dariusofwest Active Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I don't tweak anything, usually just focus on programming on CC1 and CC11 and then add some nice reverb at the end.
    Akarin likes this.
  7. MrLinssi

    MrLinssi A glorified bedroom musician.

    Oct 1, 2016
    I just use a little EQ if needed and then send the stuff to QL Spaces, no tweaking needed. Then again, my ears are nowhere near the level of some of the people here...
    Akarin likes this.
  8. sIR dORT

    sIR dORT Member

    Oct 26, 2018
    Like others here, I have EWHO and rarely tweak it, except for a tiny bit of EQ and a good deal of reverb to get a roomier sound. IMO, most of the tweaking is just midi really.
    Akarin likes this.
  9. pmcrockett

    pmcrockett Senior Member

    Nov 3, 2014
    Saint Louis
    Yeah, I think the comments about tweaking are probably referring less to effects and more to the fact that HS is kind of old-school and doesn't have much in the way of keyswitches or performance-adaptive scripting. If you want something, you have to program it in the MIDI. The number of available articulations is daunting, and the articulation naming scheme is hard to understand unless you've actually read the manual.
    MrLinssi and sIR dORT like this.
  10. Richard Bowling

    Richard Bowling Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    I would add that "tweaking" for me is simply the ability to get as realistic on a phrase as you care to spend the time editing CCs (vibrato - mod wheel and expression-for dynamic). - I never mess the EQs
    Akarin likes this.
  11. MrLinssi

    MrLinssi A glorified bedroom musician.

    Oct 1, 2016
    I feel that if you want to even utilize half of HWOs potential reading the manual is a must.
    jononotbono and Akarin like this.
  12. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    This! Learning how to use those "ni" patches is the key to breathing life into HS. Also, I don't think HS is a good library for those who input opposed to playing the parts when sequencing.
  13. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

    Sep 7, 2015
    E. YeeHaw, Indiana
    Mentioned above. But I should reinforce that knowing how and when to ride the ccs is vitally important to getting as expressive a sound as possible. It also never hurts to understand what all those verdammt initials mean!
  14. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

    Sep 7, 2015
    E. YeeHaw, Indiana
    I should also mention something mostly OT. Due to my complete obsession with Arks 1 and 2, I neglected to use my Hollywood Strings for several months. Coming back to HS was a revelation in itself, I couldn't believe how great they sounded!

    I mean, the strings in Ark 1 and 2 aren't exactly bad (the ones in 2 I've found to be pretty darn sweet as a matter of fact). But I can't put those up against HS.
    shawnsingh likes this.
  15. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    Actually, I did something similar. I used CS2 for awhile, then back to HS. As much as I love the simplicity of CS2, they are noisy as hell.
  16. AllanH

    AllanH Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    Central Coast California
    Read the manual a few times and make sure to use CC1/CC1/Volume as described. There are many subtle, but significant, features.
  17. Casiquire

    Casiquire Senior Member

    May 7, 2013
    I think they more refer to stringing performances together than having to wrestle with the sound. It's one of the best recorded libraries of all time
    Akarin likes this.
  18. NoamL

    NoamL Winter <3

    Jul 6, 2015
    Los Angeles
    One of the tweaks I put on every instance of HWS is rewiring CC1 to CC2 and CC11 to CC1. They really gotta re-release new patches that have dynamics on modwheel, it's annoying that they're the only library I have that doesn't work like all the rest. Dynamics on CC1, vibrato on CC2 is how tons of string libraries work.
    Ihnoc, JeeTee, Akarin and 2 others like this.
  19. Dominik Raab

    Dominik Raab Active Member

    Apr 29, 2011
    It all depends on your definition of 'tweaking.' In terms of EQ and effects, I don't do a lot of tweaking at all. In terms of getting legato patches to be on the beat ('programming' or 'cleanup' rather than 'tweaking'?), there's a lot going on. Performances that use bow-change, slur legato and portamento require a lot of moving notes around due to the different delay times in legato transitions. I feel like that's what most people refer to when speaking of 'tweaking' the library. Can be annoying, but I love the sound, so oh well. :)
    Akarin likes this.
  20. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    So does HS, you just have to use the patches with the "ni" prefix, there are a TON.

    From the manual...

    “Niente” Instruments

    These instruments have the abbreviation “Ni” near the end of the file name. They exist in all folders except 03 Short Tight and 04 Short Loose. For the Full Strings folders, look for “Niente” instruments in the Long folder, but not the Short folder.

    All these instruments allow you to take the loudness down to zero, or, to use the Italian musical term, “al niente.” The exact behavior of the dynamics in these instruments de- pends on the size of the instruments.

    1. A Note on Dynamics in Hollywood Strings Instruments

      As discussed in multiple places within EastWest manuals, there are several ways you can affect how loudly an instrument is playing:
      • MIDI Velocity
      • Volume, CC 7

      • Expression, CC 11

      • the Mod Wheel, CC 1

      Hollywood Strings includes a lot of instruments that rely on cross fading between samples instead of selecting which sample to play based on the MIDI Velocity parameter of each note. And these cross-fades can be controlled by the Mod Wheel, or CC 11, or both at once.

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