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Intimate string libraries?
Old 23rd May 2016
  #1
Intimate string libraries?

I am looking into getting a string library for some folk music I am working on. The thing is, I am not really trying to go for that film score sound (lots of verb). I want something more intimate, detailed and warm. The piano, drums and guitar are all very up front, like you are in the room with the instruments, so I would like a string library to follow that direction. The amount of players (though no less than 4-6) isn't as big of an issue as is the room and mic positions. So far I am looking into session string pro but would like to get some more opinions. Thanks!!!

Last edited by Matthewrayrgv; 23rd May 2016 at 11:00 AM..
Old 23rd May 2016
  #2
Tui
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There is, and it's free:

Embertone - Intimate Strings LITE
Old 23rd May 2016
  #3
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If you have full Kontakt 5, Kirk Hunter is having a 50% sale until June 1st. You could check out Spotlight Strings and see if they work for you. I thought it was a fantastic deal for $63 and am very happy with them. They seem extremely adjustable and versatile, to me anyway:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scd7BZiEyUQ
Old 23rd May 2016
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
There is, and it's free:

Embertone - Intimate Strings LITE
Sounds pretty nice, i'll keep it in mind. Thanks!
Old 23rd May 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
If you have full Kontakt 5, Kirk Hunter is having a 50% sale until June 1st. You could check out Spotlight Strings and see if they work for you. I thought it was a fantastic deal for $63 and am very happy with them. They seem extremely adjustable and versatile, to me anyway:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scd7BZiEyUQ

Not quite what I am looking for. Very nice for other applications, just not mine.

I appreciate the suggestion!
Old 23rd May 2016
  #6
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There are many options... first of all, there are a few solo strings libraries out there. And while the number of players may not matter to you, you'll get a more intimate sounds if you work with libraries based on fewer players. Check out eg. Sable strings (see link below). And then there's the larger libraries - if you look at the best options, you'll often find that they come with multiple/parallel sample sets base don different mic positions. If you go for the close or "first chair" samples, you'll achieve a lot more intimate sound than if you for for the other mic positions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQDpuK4nobI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYbzzKyEG5k

If you want a more intimate sound than Sable Strings/Close mics, you should probably check out solo strings libraries, and how you can combine them in order to get the result you want. Here's one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJCuuNPH5mY
Old 23rd May 2016
  #7
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Here's a solo viola:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ekwOrDyFaM
Old 23rd May 2016
  #8
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Spitfire Sacconi Cello:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tibRDxG_Ouc
Spitfire Artisan Cello:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYGEdswYxVk
Spitfire Artisan Violin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4m4vl57jhA
Spitfire Sacconi Violin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voA8mcDYtug
Orchestral Tools Nocturne Cello:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb5-onkS0pY
Orchestral Tools Nocturne Violin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1UKlk-fOHc

(Orchestral Tools, btw, is the same company which makes Berlin Strings:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2P3Mij7_U8 )

CineSamples Tina Guo solo cello:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u65HpX5UM9A
CineSamples is working on a new solo string library as well, due this spring: https://www.facebook.com/cinesamples...4037854039365/


By using a combination of solo instruments with close mic positions, maybe along with a library like Spitfire Sable (which have small sections of only 4 strings, not 8 or 16...) I'm sure you'll be able to be able to fake the real thing better than with most other sampled solutions. You may save some time/money though, if you use actual players instead. :-)

Last edited by nativeaudio; 23rd May 2016 at 09:10 AM..
Old 23rd May 2016
  #9
Gear Nut
I've used VSL dimension strings pretty successfully, you can hear them in a track I did a couple of years back, they come in a bit in the first verse then pick up in the second:
https://soundcloud.com/owenduff/the-magic-mountain
Old 23rd May 2016
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeaudio View Post
There are many options... first of all, there are a few solo strings libraries out there. And while the number of players may not matter to you, you'll get a more intimate sounds if you work with libraries based on fewer players. Check out eg. Sable strings
I should have clarified (i'll edit my OP) that I am looking for an ensemble, not really solo stuff. So like 6+ players is fine.

Wow! Emotional cello is perhaps the best sounding cello samples I have ever heard. If only there were more players. Thanks for the recommendation!
Old 23rd May 2016
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewrayrgv View Post
I should have clarified (i'll edit my OP) that I am looking for an ensemble, not really solo stuff. So like 6+ players is fine.

Wow! Emotional cello is perhaps the best sounding cello samples I have ever heard. If only there were more players. Thanks for the recommendation!
Do you mean 6+ of each of the instruments, or an ensemble consisting of 6 or more people?

I suggested considering solo strings both because you can combine them with themselves (record eg two ir three takes using the same library), but also because you can use 2 or 3 different solo cellos to fake a cello group. But I believe the main thing people do to create that intimate sound you may be looking for is to use a small ensemble like eg Spitfire Sable, and add some solo instruments on top of that. This way you'll have more control than if you just use sample of an ensemble with 4 or 6 players of each instrument, which easily can sound too perfect.

Btw, I believe the Sable ensembles are 4 violin 1s, 3 violin 2s, 3 violas, 3 celli and 3 basses. So Sable + the solo Emotional Cello could be a good solution. But in order to get the complete Sable package, you need to buy multiple volumes.
Old 23rd May 2016
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeaudio View Post
Do you mean 6+ of each of the instruments, or an ensemble consisting of 6 or more people?

I suggested considering solo strings both because you can combine them with themselves (record eg two ir three takes using the same library), but also because you can use 2 or 3 different solo cellos to fake a cello group. But I believe the main thing people do to create that intimate sound you may be looking for is to use a small ensemble like eg Spitfire Sable, and add some solo instruments on top of that. This way you'll have more control than if you just use sample of an ensemble with 4 or 6 players of each instrument, which easily can sound too perfect.

Btw, I believe the Sable ensembles are 4 violin 1s, 3 violin 2s, 3 violas, 3 celli and 3 basses. So Sable + the solo Emotional Cello could be a good solution. But in order to get the complete Sable package, you need to buy multiple volumes.
I mean 6 or more people. I thought about just doing several takes of a solo instrument but I though since it's sampled, wouldn't that not work since every recording will be the same samples as the last recording?
Old 23rd May 2016
  #13
Gear Nut
Really would recommend dimension strings for this, effectively an ensemble you can scale up or down as needed. In the song I posted above I used only cellos and violins, really very versatile and the only library I found that sits between solo, chamber and big lush sections... Sound is pretty organic too, certainly enough to sound convincing in a mix if used carefully, again you can hear it above in a folk/pop/alt context.
Old 23rd May 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewrayrgv View Post
I mean 6 or more people. I thought about just doing several takes of a solo instrument but I though since it's sampled, wouldn't that not work since every recording will be the same samples as the last recording?
Hi again, if you think of a string ensemble of 6 or more people.... don't forget that if you hear 6(+) people every time you write or play a note, you'll end up with 24 or 30 people once you create a four or 5 voice harmony. And due to how crossfades between dynamic layers often function in string libraries, you can double that amount if you eg use your mod-wheel to crossfade between two dynamic layers - something which happens a lot of you want to fake real strings, because it's often the dynamic changes throughout a melodic line or harmonic voice which makes it sounds like strings and not a synth.

"I thought about just doing several takes of a solo instrument but I though since it's sampled, wouldn't that not work since every recording will be the same samples as the last recording?"
A good string library comes with at three our four dynamic layers. Not only that, but good, modern libraries also offer so called round robin samples: meaning that you have multiple samples of the same note, not avoid the machine gun (static) effect which often is heard on old libraries if one repeats a note multiple times. And one can lock a melody into using only one of the round robin samples (for each note), so that if you dub yourself, the dub will use a different set of round robin notes meaning that they won't sound like the first take you recorded. In addition, there's a transpose trick which let's you fool your sampler to use the round robin samples of one of the close by notes (you have to transpose what you play up by, sa a major second, and transpose the sampler down by the same amount).

The above technique is used to create the sound of a larger ensemble even if the samples you use are of small groups (eg 3 or 4) of players. This way, a chamber library could easily become more useful than a full symphonic set if samples, because if each sample contain, say, 16 players, the main thing you can do to make it sound smaller is to stick to close mic positions.

Check this out:


ETA... and just to contradict myself a little, here's an example of how one to some degree can get an intimate sounds even when using samples of large ensembles - due to the existence of multiple sets of recordings of each sample) using different mic positions.


Last edited by nativeaudio; 23rd May 2016 at 08:50 PM..
Old 23rd May 2016
  #15
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You mention that you're not looking for that big room reverb sound? I'd also highly recommend Sable Strings for an intimate sound.. you can select just the close mics and put it trough whatever smaller room reverb you may have.
Old 25th May 2016
  #16
So far I think sable strings fits the bill the best out of the suggestions. I wish there was a demo. It's now between session strings and sable strings. Sable strings has more mix options and better sounding articulations however the sound of session strings gives me that intimate feel i'm looking for. However I need to hear it in the context of my mixes. Please keep anymore suggestion coming! Thanks!!!
Old 25th May 2016
  #17
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I suggest

Spitfire Sable or

Light and Sound Samples
Old 25th May 2016
  #18
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Maybe you should check out the Sable Ensemble, which is different from the main Sable libraries. The full Sable package consists of several (4?) volumes, but the Sable Ensemble represents a different workflow, which does not involce a separate patch for each of the 5 string instruments.

If you check out this clip around 8:40, you'll hear how the close mics sound with spiccato samples:



It's very different sounding that what you get with the other mic positions, and probably a lot closer to what you are looking for than what you have heard in the other clips (?).
Old 25th May 2016
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeaudio View Post
Maybe you should check out the Sable Ensemble, which is different from the main Sable libraries. The full Sable package consists of several (4?) volumes, but the Sable Ensemble represents a different workflow, which does not involce a separate patch for each of the 5 string instruments.
Man I am really digging that!!! The tree mic channel sounds damn good too!
Old 25th May 2016
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewrayrgv View Post
Man I am really digging that!!!
That's what i thought that you'd do!

If I'm not mistaken, Sable Ensemble doesn't come with any legato presets, meaning that you won't be able to fake legato playing without buying the main Sable volumes. And while legato may not seem important for you right now, you may come across situations later where you want legato presets (and samples), even if you just want to make mockups - because in a way, it's the legato playing of bowed sounds which make them sound the way they do (for melodic or other lines).

Here's an example of another product, which at least in the mic positions demoed in this clip don't sound as intimate as what you're looking for, but where the legato scripting and samples are among the best you can get.


And here's a demo of yet another product (8dio Century Strings, not yet released... the demo shows only how one of their presets can be used to emulate string "runs":

8Dio Century Strings | Page 4 | VI-CONTROL

So be careful, you may be hooked on string libraries, simply because they sound so much better than they did a few years ago, and therefor can be quite inspiring to work with. And again, remember that Sable Ensemble isn't a full blow set of string library sounds - I don't think the Ensemble version contain any individual string instruments at all. This means that if you want to add a cello line to a musical piece, you'll have to us, you won't find any cello presets in Sable Ensemble - only full ensemble presets.
Old 26th May 2016
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeaudio View Post
That's what i thought that you'd do!

If I'm not mistaken, Sable Ensemble doesn't come with any legato presets, meaning that you won't be able to fake legato playing without buying the main Sable volumes. And while legato may not seem important for you right now, you may come across situations later where you want legato presets (and samples), even if you just want to make mockups - because in a way, it's the legato playing of bowed sounds which make them sound the way they do (for melodic or other lines).

So if I understand this right ensemble is just a more premixed sounding smaller version of Sable chamber strings vol1?
Old 26th May 2016
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewrayrgv View Post
So if I understand this right ensemble is just a more premixed sounding smaller version of Sable chamber strings vol1?
Yes. Or - that's what I think it is, a low budget, smaller version of the full Sable series, which even could be useful for Sable owners, because it allows you to start working on ideas without having to think about instrument ranges and so on.

If you buy the four volumes of the Sable range, one at a time (bundles are less expensive), they'll cost you circa around 1000 GBP more than Sable Ensemble, and require a lot of drive capacity (300+ gb as opposed to thirtysomething gb for the Ensemble): Browse Products A-Z - Spitfire Audio
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Hi folks!

I know its an old thread. But exactly what Im looking for.
Searching a small intimate library of strings, but in high quality for my "folk" singer-songwriter songs.

Are there new products now or still the libraries in this thread?

Here is a part from my song Im working on with the strings (from Cubase Halion). But now Im looking for better sounding strings.
https://my.pcloud.com/publink/show?c...Isqm1FbJPJOevX

I looked at Embertone Intimate Strings solo and I really liked it.

What do you think about it or any suggestions?

And what about system ressourcing use:
My system: Intel Core i7-4770, 32GB Ram, 250 GB free ssd space

Thx a lot for your help

Last edited by UtopiaBlues; 4 weeks ago at 06:39 PM.. Reason: forgot something
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
Quasar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtopiaBlues View Post
Hi folks!

I know its an old thread. But exactly what Im looking for.
Searching a small intimate library of strings, but in high quality for my "folk" singer-songwriter songs.

Are there new products now or still the libraries in this thread?

Here is a part from my song Im working on with the strings (from Cubase Halion). But now Im looking for better sounding strings.
https://my.pcloud.com/publink/show?c...Isqm1FbJPJOevX

I looked at Embertone Intimate Strings solo and I really liked it.

What do you think about it or any suggestions?

And what about system ressourcing use:
My system: Intel Core i7-4770, 32GB Ram, 250 GB free ssd space

Thx a lot for your help
Embertone's ISS is good, I have them and like them. But IMHO the Fischer Viola and the Leonid Bass (newer libraries) are the strongest of the set. The Embertone Joshua Bell violin is a HUGE improvement over the Friedlander, and I like Chris Hein's cello better than the Blakus, which has an unpleasantly harsh nasal sound to me. So my go-to virtual quartet is a hodgepodge of these.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
Embertone's ISS is good, I have them and like them. But IMHO the Fischer Viola and the Leonid Bass (newer libraries) are the strongest of the set. The Embertone Joshua Bell violin is a HUGE improvement over the Friedlander, and I like Chris Hein's cello better than the Blakus, which has an unpleasantly harsh nasal sound to me. So my go-to virtual quartet is a hodgepodge of these.
THX!
So I had do make an individual bundle:
I can take the Fischer Viola (99 Dollars)
the Leonid Bass (99 Dollars)
Joshua Bell violin (199 Dollars)
But I cant find the Chris Hein's cello in the shop

The bundle is Friedlander Violin + Fischer Viola + Blakus Cello + Leonid Bass (297 Dollars)

Spitfire SACCONI STRINGS QUARTET is 30% off until the end of June 2019. (349 Dollar)

I will listen to the demo music on their websites.

Another question:
How important is a midi keyboard with touch response to play the samples?
What computer do you use? And I have no problem with my older Core i7-4770 CPU to play the samples?
Is it possible to use it on two computers (license)?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
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Quasar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtopiaBlues View Post
THX!
So I had do make an individual bundle:
I can take the Fischer Viola (99 Dollars)
the Leonid Bass (99 Dollars)
Joshua Bell violin (199 Dollars)
But I cant find the Chris Hein's cello in the shop

The bundle is Friedlander Violin + Fischer Viola + Blakus Cello + Leonid Bass (297 Dollars)

Spitfire SACCONI STRINGS QUARTET is 30% off until the end of June 2019. (349 Dollar)

I will listen to the demo music on their websites.

Another question:
How important is a midi keyboard with touch response to play the samples?
What computer do you use? And I have no problem with my older Core i7-4770 CPU to play the samples?
Is it possible to use it on two computers (license)?
I do not have the Sacconi strings, but many serious orchestral composers RAVE about them. I do have some other Spitfire libraries and they are all of superb quality. So maybe it would be better to enjoy the advantage of having the entire quartet all recorded together... But I wouldn't know.

I do believe that Josh Bell is one of the best sampled libraries of any instrument ever created. It's an unmitigated masterpiece, and a major reason I decided to have my "best" solo string set built around that.

I don't know what shop you mean, but Chris Hein is available in many places. He has his own website and Best Service features him as well. Opinions on his libraries seem to differ. You won't find a more complete gamut of articulations, room positions etc., and the interface has so many options it can be a challenge. The Cello package has both a "Modern" and "Romantic" cello. I think they sound great, and you can make them extremely dry and use your own verb/placement effects if you like. Not inexpensive, so definitely check out the demo videos first. He does run significant sales from time to time.

Keyboard with touch response? You don't need aftertouch, but yeah, a basic velocity-sensitive capability would be critical for me (though I am a piano player so I think this way). You can of course go along way using CC1 modwheel, CC11 or whatever...

I'm still running an older i7 2600 on W7 without issues, so your 4770 should be much more than adequate, assuming you have enough memory. Since these more sophisticated libraries load into memory, you want as much as possible. With my 32 GB I can load as many VIs as I can practically deal with at once, but if I get into dozens or hundreds of tracks, then I bounce/freeze disable to free up resources.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

EDIT: Last I checked, any NI Kontakt stuff can be easily activated on more than one computer. You just aren't supposed to use multiple registrations simultaneously. The key is that they're yours: A desktop and a laptop, or a home studio plus a work studio, that sort of thing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
I do not have the Sacconi strings, but many serious orchestral composers RAVE about them. I do have some other Spitfire libraries and they are all of superb quality. So maybe it would be better to enjoy the advantage of having the entire quartet all recorded together... But I wouldn't know.

I do believe that Josh Bell is one of the best sampled libraries of any instrument ever created. It's an unmitigated masterpiece, and a major reason I decided to have my "best" solo string set built around that.

I don't know what shop you mean, but Chris Hein is available in many places. He has his own website and Best Service features him as well. Opinions on his libraries seem to differ. You won't find a more complete gamut of articulations, room positions etc., and the interface has so many options it can be a challenge. The Cello package has both a "Modern" and "Romantic" cello. I think they sound great, and you can make them extremely dry and use your own verb/placement effects if you like. Not inexpensive, so definitely check out the demo videos first. He does run significant sales from time to time.

Keyboard with touch response? You don't need aftertouch, but yeah, a basic velocity-sensitive capability would be critical for me (though I am a piano player so I think this way). You can of course go along way using CC1 modwheel, CC11 or whatever...

I'm still running an older i7 2600 on W7 without issues, so your 4770 should be much more than adequate, assuming you have enough memory. Since these more sophisticated libraries load into memory, you want as much as possible. With my 32 GB I can load as many VIs as I can practically deal with at once, but if I get into dozens or hundreds of tracks, then I bounce/freeze disable to free up resources.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

EDIT: Last I checked, any NI Kontakt stuff can be easily activated on more than one computer. You just aren't supposed to use multiple registrations simultaneously. The key is that they're yours: A desktop and a laptop, or a home studio plus a work studio, that sort of thing.
Thx so much! Really heard to decide between all the possibilities.
Josh bell sounds and looks amazing. How difficult is it to use?
Can I hear some string stuff from you?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Quasar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtopiaBlues View Post
Thx so much! Really heard to decide between all the possibilities.
Josh bell sounds and looks amazing. How difficult is it to use?
Can I hear some string stuff from you?
I couldn't post anything containing my amateur efforts that would be more informative than the reviews already out there. This one is really good:

https://youtu.be/Ew1nexTcgOw

Yes, there are lots of possibilities and it can be hard to decide. But ultimately the subjective component is great enough that no one can tell you what the best options are. We all just have to do our due diligence and make the best decisions we can...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
I couldn't post anything containing my amateur efforts that would be more informative than the reviews already out there. This one is really good:

https://youtu.be/Ew1nexTcgOw

Yes, there are lots of possibilities and it can be hard to decide. But ultimately the subjective component is great enough that no one can tell you what the best options are. We all just have to do our due diligence and make the best decisions we can...
Thank you, will watching this video.

VSL Solo Strings 1 would be another option.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
Here for the gear
 

The Spitfire LABS stuff is great. And free!

‘Frozen Strings’ will probably be too ambient/cinematic sounding for your liking, but their other string libraries are really solid.

Other than that I like to use the Kontakt Session Strings. Simple and easy to use. Sound great when played well and controlled with the right dynamics etc.
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