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Spitfire's New HZ-Strings Library .. Opinions ? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 2nd April 2018
  #1
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Spitfire's New HZ-Strings Library .. Opinions ?

Hi,

It would be very interesting to hear your opinions on the new Spitfire Audio Hans Zimmer Strings Library.

Hans Zimmer Strings - Spitfire Audio

Thanks,
Muziksculp

Last edited by muziksculp; 2nd April 2018 at 07:04 PM..
Old 2nd April 2018
  #2
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VitaEtMusica's Avatar
 

This should be fun! I have an opinion, but I didn't buy the library... so you know where that opinion is going. It also means I probably don't qualify to have an opinion of the library in action.

You've seen the mega threads going on over at VI-Control? There's a pretty good one about the Cinesamples guy ripping on Spitfire that I found quite entertaining. Plenty of opinions there.
Old 2nd April 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
This should be fun! I have an opinion, but I didn't buy the library... so you know where that opinion is going. It also means I probably don't qualify to have an opinion of the library in action.

You've seen the mega threads going on over at VI-Control? There's a pretty good one about the Cinesamples guy ripping on Spitfire that I found quite entertaining. Plenty of opinions there.
Yes, it's quite a circus on that topic at VI-Control

I'm not sure I will buy HZ-Strings, I watched Daniel James Video Review, and kind of agree with many of his points, but technically I'm still undecided about this library.
Old 2nd April 2018
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
Yes, it's quite a circus on that topic at VI-Control

I'm not sure I will buy HZ-Strings, I watched Daniel James Video Review, and kind of agree with many of his points, but technically I'm still undecided about this library.
It's quite a bit to pay for what I perceive as being mainly a string pad library. I'm sure there's more to it, but that's about all they demo'd before the release. I just don't get the Spitfire string love. The note transitions are almost universally terrible. It's like people have forgotten what real strings sound like. I am always reminded of my JV-1080 Orch expansion card when I hear tracks done with Spitfire strings- HZS legatos being no exception. Incredible recorded sounds.... super mediocre programming and eye for detail/QC.

And don't get me started on their lack of fixing crap that's broken. And their horrible, confusing interfaces. And their strange choices in what to sample (Kick on every crash of one of the Grange Kits... because that's how the artist would do it??).

There. Now you have my opinion. The only library I continue to use from Spitfire is the Olafur Arnalds Evolution stuff. Which, ironically, is a fantastic string pad library... but it didn't cost $800.
Old 2nd April 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
II am always reminded of my JV-1080 Orch expansion card when I hear tracks done with Spitfire strings- HZS legatos being no exception. Incredible recorded sounds.... super mediocre programming and eye for detail/QC.
Hey Vita -I know how much your miss your 1080. So I have some SWEET news for you. It is now a VSTi:
JV-1080

And the SRX expansion boards too! Drag the orchestral one (orange on bottom left of screen) onto the keyboard and listen to the 01 Warm Strings demo. They don't sound too bad! Not as good as HZ though.
Roland SRX Expansion Board Demo

HZ Strings: I found the sound quality of the demos quite sumptuous. I too thought of my JV880's slow strings and some other pads. I am sure the sound quality far surpasses what I *remember* of my JV though. I like the sound of the huge sections. But then I got the notion: Hey... why don't I use Logic X's track stack feature to make huge string sections out of multiple string libraries and/or VSL articulations. Some similar results but with more elbow grease.

I don't own any Spitfire. But several libraries of theirs are on my want list. They have a great sound out of the box. But I hadn't heard of programming issues. That can really kill the flexibility and realism in a hurry.

The whole Scandi series if of interest to me. Orchestral Swarm seems like great textural stuff. And HZ Strings immediately caught my ear when the SoundCloud demo played while I walking the dogs and listening to random news tracks on ear buds. THAT says something to me. It made me pull my phone out of my pocket and see what the track was.

Not even worth two cents,
Sam
Old 2nd April 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Watson View Post
Hey Vita -I know how much your miss your 1080. So I have some SWEET news for you. It is now a VSTi:
JV-1080

And the SRX expansion boards too! Drag the orchestral one (orange on bottom left of screen) onto the keyboard and listen to the 01 Warm Strings demo. They don't sound too bad! Not as good as HZ though.
Roland SRX Expansion Board Demo

HZ Strings: I found the sound quality of the demos quite sumptuous. I too thought of my JV880's slow strings and some other pads. I am sure the sound quality far surpasses what I *remember* of my JV though. I like the sound of the huge sections. But then I got the notion: Hey... why don't I use Logic X's track stack feature to make huge string sections out of multiple string libraries and/or VSL articulations. Some similar results but with more elbow grease.

I don't own any Spitfire. But several libraries of theirs are on my want list. They have a great sound out of the box. But I hadn't heard of programming issues. That can really kill the flexibility and realism in a hurry.

The whole Scandi series if of interest to me. Orchestral Swarm seems like great textural stuff. And HZ Strings immediately caught my ear when the SoundCloud demo played while I walking the dogs and listening to random news tracks on ear buds. THAT says something to me. It made me pull my phone out of my pocket and see what the track was.

Not even worth two cents,
Sam
Gotta give credit where credit is due- the 1080 and its expansion boards made me a lot of money. You could probably trace a direct lineage of all I own today back to the jv1080. Wasn't sad when I sold it, but maybe I've forgotten its glory! ...nahhhhh!
Old 3rd April 2018
  #7
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Dale Turner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
Hi,

It would be very interesting to hear your opinions on the new Spitfire Audio Hans Zimmer Strings Library.

Hans Zimmer Strings - Spitfire Audio

Thanks,
Muziksculp
I have it... and love it for things that (IMHO) don't exist in any other library:
• 60 celli (its patches are the mean reason I bought it)
• All the super quiet sustained patches, w/certain articulations
• Flautandos, in general
• The "Waves" type patches
• The sound of the room (TONS of mics in AIR; very easy to mess with)

It clearly isn't designed for fast/shreddy legato string rips, or super precise "individualized, full string section, wickedly interweaving lines." Other libraries (VSL Dimension Strings, for me, at least) are far better suited for that.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Turner View Post
I have it... and love it for things that (IMHO) don't exist in any other library:
• 60 celli (its patches are the mean reason I bought it)
• All the super quiet sustained patches, w/certain articulations
• Flautandos, in general
• The "Waves" type patches
• The sound of the room (TONS of mics in AIR; very easy to mess with)

It clearly isn't designed for fast/shreddy legato string rips, or super precise "individualized, full string section, wickedly interweaving lines." Other libraries (VSL Dimension Strings, for me, at least) are far better suited for that.
@Dale Turner,

Thanks for the helpful feedback regarding HZ-Strings.

I'm still undecided if I need this library, the Intro price will expire on April 11th, so I have to make a decision by the 11th, if I don't I will most likely pass on this library.

I have Spitfire Tundra, and OT-Metropolis ARK 2 for the soft, quiet articulations, and Spitfire's Olafur Arnald's Chamber EVOs. which might be good enough for these unique quiet string articulations.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
There's a pretty good one about the Cinesamples guy ripping on Spitfire that I found quite entertaining.
FWIW, he:

1. Did not rip on SF directly,

2. Later said it was not directed at anyone specifically.

Easy to say, "yeah, but we all know what he meant...", I get that, but he did not name names.

Cheers.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
FWIW, he:

1. Did not rip on SF directly,

2. Later said it was not directed at anyone specifically.

Easy to say, "yeah, but we all know what he meant...", I get that, but he did not name names.

Cheers.
This isn't politics. No wordsmithing and semantics allowed. I calls it like I sees it, and let's be honest here- it's pretty hard to see it any other way.

That would be like saying, "Anyone who uses an avatar with black backgrounds and blue and red animated text is an arse." Keep in mind now, I did not name names! It was just a general statement... speaking about the community as a whole.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #11
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Hi,

Actually the things that are making me not rush into buying HZ-Strings are :

1. The very limited short articulation they included.
2. The new Player needs some improvements as far as the GUI design, to offer
speedier workflow.
3. Fix the legato articulations issues.

Also, If Spitfire Audio was to offer a HZ-Strings Short Articulations expansion that adds a good amount of short articulations to all the strings sections, in various styles of short bowing techniques, in the near future, I would buy this library without any hesitation. Regardless if they offer this expansion for free to HZ-Strings Owners, or charge an additional but reasonable fee.

Cheers,
Muziksculp
Old 3rd April 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
Hi,

Actually the things that are making me not rush into buying HZ-Strings are :

1. The very limited short articulation they included.
2. The new Player needs some improvements as far as the GUI design, to offer
speedier workflow.
3. Fix the legato articulations issues.

Also, If Spitfire Audio was to offer a HZ-Strings Short Articulations expansion that adds a good amount of short articulations to all the strings sections, in various styles of short bowing techniques, in the near future, I would buy this library without any hesitation. Regardless if they offer this expansion for free to HZ-Strings Owners, or charge an additional but reasonable fee.

Cheers,
Muziksculp
A word of advice, never buy anything from Spitfire based on what they may or may not do in the future... whether they said they would or not.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
A word of advice, never buy anything from Spitfire based on what they may or may not do in the future... whether they said they would or not.
Sounds like you don't trust Spitfire Audio a lot.

Thanks for the advice, although, I think they are a very important player in the Orchestral Sample Library world, and have contributed quite a good chunk of great libraries for composers, I have invested a good amount of $$ into their products because I trust them, and really like their libraries. So, if they would announce a HZ-Strings Short Articulation Expansion library, I would trust that they will release it, and make me happy.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #14
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Dale Turner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
@Dale Turner,
I have Spitfire Tundra, and OT-Metropolis ARK 2 for the soft, quiet articulations, and Spitfire's Olafur Arnald's Chamber EVOs. which might be good enough for these unique quiet string articulations.
My pleasure!! And with what you currently have, you're obviously in good shape :-) But these celli are pretty amazing, along with the basses... which, I guess, would offer even more "new" stuff for you.

Also, I find nothing annoying about the "player" at all; the GUI complaints I read all over Vi-control, I just do not understand.... and I am pretty deep into Kontakt, as well as Vienna Instruments Player Pro... No "workflow" weirdness, on this end. Things are actually all waaay easier to see (my prescription needs an update, lol! Well, my "eyewear," that is!)

As for complaints, in general, most I've read are from people who don't have HZ strings... or (for some odd reason) never bothered to watch the 3 demo vids (Paul's, Oliver's, ad CH's first one, talking through the trailer), which total about 45 mins of fun. Pretty clear what's in the library (at least sonically, plus articulation availability), from those. Me like!
Old 3rd April 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Turner View Post
My pleasure!! And with what you currently have, you're obviously in good shape :-) But these celli are pretty amazing, along with the basses... which, I guess, would offer even more "new" stuff for you.

Also, I find nothing annoying about the "player" at all; the GUI complaints I read all over Vi-control, I just do not understand.... and I am pretty deep into Kontakt, as well as Vienna Instruments Player Pro... No "workflow" weirdness, on this end. Things are actually all waaay easier to see (my prescription needs an update, lol! Well, my "eyewear," that is!)

As for complaints, in general, most I've read are from people who don't have HZ strings... or (for some odd reason) never bothered to watch the 3 demo vids (Paul's, Oliver's, ad CH's first one, talking through the trailer), which total about 45 mins of fun. Pretty clear what's in the library (at least sonically, plus articulation availability), from those. Me like!
Thanks for the additional feedback.

Q. How are you getting along with the Legato articulations of the various sections ? Can you play legato phrases without any issues ?

According to what I read so far, they are kind of buggy, and Christian Henson of Spitfire promised they will be fixed in the near future.

Cheers,
Muziksculp
Old 3rd April 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
Sounds like you don't trust Spitfire Audio a lot.
Yup and

Quote:
As for complaints, in general, most I've read are from people who don't have HZ strings...
Yup. Which is why I will very ungracefully bow out of the conversation. Fun to have so many great choices these days!
Old 3rd April 2018
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Dale Turner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
Q. How are you getting along with the Legato articulations of the various sections ? Can you play legato phrases without any issues ?

According to what I read so far, they are kind of buggy, and Christian Henson of Spitfire promised they will be fixed in the near future.
Hah! Yeah, that's kind of why I limited my "purchasing" reasoning to these these bits (pardon the rehash!):
• 60 celli (its patches are the mean reason I bought it)
• All the super quiet sustained patches, w/certain articulations
• Flautandos, in general
• The "Waves" type patches
• The sound of the room (TONS of mics in AIR; very easy to mess with)

But, based on all the complaints I've read, if the legato can be improved, all the better :-) For me, the above outweighs any weakness this library may have. And to be honest, I put it to work, immediately, milking only patches like the above (tons of sustaining things)... so I'm maybe in an "ignorance is bliss" mode, concerning legatos, lol I'm so used to VSL's Dimension Strings, I didn't even try. (Actually, now that I think of it, I did--immediately after buying it--blend the libraries, with the VSL more prominent, mix-wise, in a thing that was more active, linearly. It was pretty massive and had a lot of depth... Maybe that was obscuring the "lesser" legatos...) I wish I had more time to test that type of thing... But I'd trust what you've heard--good and bad demos. And weigh the pros/cons. Meanwhile... congrats on (among other things) having Olafur Arnalds Chamber Evolutions!!!!! Those seem to be mindblowing!!
Old 3rd April 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Turner View Post
Hah! Yeah, that's kind of why I limited my "purchasing" reasoning to these these bits (pardon the rehash!):
• 60 celli (its patches are the mean reason I bought it)
• All the super quiet sustained patches, w/certain articulations
• Flautandos, in general
• The "Waves" type patches
• The sound of the room (TONS of mics in AIR; very easy to mess with)

But, based on all the complaints I've read, if the legato can be improved, all the better :-) For me, the above outweighs any weakness this library may have. And to be honest, I put it to work, immediately, milking only patches like the above (tons of sustaining things)... so I'm maybe in an "ignorance is bliss" mode, concerning legatos, lol I'm so used to VSL's Dimension Strings, I didn't even try. (Actually, now that I think of it, I did--immediately after buying it--blend the libraries, with the VSL more prominent, mix-wise, in a thing that was more active, linearly. It was pretty massive and had a lot of depth... Maybe that was obscuring the "lesser" legatos...) I wish I had more time to test that type of thing... But I'd trust what you've heard--good and bad demos. And weigh the pros/cons. Meanwhile... congrats on (among other things) having Olafur Arnalds Chamber Evolutions!!!!! Those seem to be mindblowing!!
Thanks for the feedback.

I think the library will be great once they fix the Legato issues, and possibly do some updates to the player to optimize, and improve some of it's GUI, and parameter/control organization.

I watched Christian Henson's video which focuses on using HZ-Strings in a up-tempo track, with more of the short articulations, using the various mics, and section sizes, and I really like what I'm hearing, the shorts are clearer, and less mushy than what I heard in the video Daniel James was doing, which was a first look at the library, I guess it takes some time to discover the best way to squeeze the right sound out of HZ-Strings, including the shorts, even though there is only one short articulation included. I'm getting the impressions that it is quite flexible, and versatile once you know what you are doing.

I'm also thinking that using a transient-designer type plug-in might be an interesting way to experiment, and get more short variations out of this library.

Cheers,

Muziksculp

Here is C.H.'s video :

YouTube
Old 3rd April 2018
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
A word of advice, never buy anything from Spitfire based on what they may or may not do in the future... whether they said they would or not.
What do you mean?
Old 3rd April 2018
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Dale Turner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
I watched Christian Henson's video which focuses on using HZ-Strings in a up-tempo track, with more of the short articulations, using the various mics, and section sizes, and I really like what I'm hearing, the shorts are clearer, and less mushy than what I heard in the video Daniel James was doing, which was a first look at the library, I guess it takes some time to discover the best way to squeeze the right sound out of HZ-Strings, including the shorts, even though there is only one short articulation included. I'm getting the impressions that it is quite flexible, and versatile once you know what you are doing.
Yeah, that Henson vid is cool! I saw that pop up, the day after Daniel's marathon live stream..... which loads of people on VI-Control assumed was something CH put together, as a response to Daniel's "first look vid"... but it was clear it was shot well before (the day shown on CH's Mac screen, for starters). Funny "Internets" stuff!

There are quite man recent vids done my people unaffiliated with Spitfire, that may reveal some info, too. This one (Ashton Gleckman) sounds pretty fantastic:
YouTube

There are also traditional pizzicatos for some (not all) of the string sections, as well as Bartok pizz (which I think all sections have). But yeah, not many shorts at all. Sounds like you still have a week to decide!!! Try to stay sane!!!
Dale
Old 5th April 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lornemalvo View Post
What do you mean?
I mean Spitfire is notorious for buggy or flawed products that go unfixed.
Old 5th April 2018
  #22
Gear Addict
 

In case you missed it ... there's this review of HZ Strings which is pretty hilarious.

YouTube
Old 5th April 2018
  #23
Kirk Hunter strings still work fine.
Old 5th April 2018
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter5992 View Post
In case you missed it ... there's this review of HZ Strings which is pretty hilarious.

YouTube


Whew! I had a gooood chuckle while watching that! Funny!

Whatevs. I like the sound of the demos but I haven't shelled out. I'm currently more interesting in things like the Roli Seaboard for getting more control out of everything that I already own.

Cheers,
Sam
Old 5th April 2018
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
I mean Spitfire is notorious for buggy or flawed products that go unfixed.
Well, you have kind of intimated that they aren't to be trusted. Can you support that with any evidence?

I have virtually every Spitfire product and have been using them since day 1 and find them to be rather wonderful.

Interested to know where your lack of trust comes from. Have you had a bad experience or something?
Old 5th April 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Watson View Post
I'm currently more interesting in things like the Roli Seaboard for getting more control out of everything that I already own.
Yeeees!!! Crazily, I've been looking into the same thing, and will be (probably) getting the Roli Seaboard BLOCK, once I can... Under $300! Yummers!!!! 5D...
Old 6th April 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
I mean Spitfire is notorious for buggy or flawed products that go unfixed.
What products of theirs have you owned that gave you troubles? Are you basing this on forum posts you are seeing?

I own: Albion ONE; Olafur Arnalds Chamber Evolutions, Evolutions, and Toolkit, ALL The EVO Grids, and Symphonic Strings. In 2 years I haven't had an issue with these libraries. Hosted in KONTAKT 5 in Pro Tools.
Old 6th April 2018
  #28
kdm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
I mean Spitfire is notorious for buggy or flawed products that go unfixed.
I haven't seen a consensus of reports from other composers on that as I've been researching Symphonic Strings, but perhaps you are referring only to other specific products.

Most if not all sample libraries, and developers have their flaws - I could create a list here for pretty much every developer's libraries I have used - EW, VSL, LASS, Orchestral Tools, 8DIO, etc.

Honestly, I don't find one to be more perfect than the other, and most have flaws that have gone unfixed for years. The biggest differences for me are in whether the actual samples and sound work for what want and need, or not. Sound narrows down the usefulness for certain scenarios much faster than bugs.

On that "note", I can't comment on HZ Strings. Not a sound and style I typically like to write. For those that want massive string sections, I'm sure it will find its uses.
Old 6th April 2018
  #29
ps1
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I was thrown off by the fact that it had HZ's name on it. Big fan of the guy, but his style is already seen as "overdone". Seems odd for the upcoming composers to want to sound like something that's on it's way out but not quite vintage yet.
Old 6th April 2018
  #30
007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
I mean Spitfire is notorious for buggy or flawed products that go unfixed.
While I don't have this new HZ Strings library, I do own quite a few of their products.

To this day, I have never experienced any issues whatsoever, all their products have been running smooth, and have paid for themselves a few times over by now. Sure, there are a lot of options out there with orchestral stuff, but Spitfire is a class act, imo - from their products to their genuine desire to help composers and producers with all their YT tutorials and existential videos, to their customer service when I had a few installation questions a while back. Just sharing my personal experience with them, it has been pretty stellar all across the board since day one.

Not saying they are perfect and impossible that some may have had issues, but to pin them down as "they are notorious for buggy or flawed software", well, I find that a bit harsh, mostly as I have never read anything remotely similar to such a bold statement about Spitfire.
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