Recommendations for a great string library?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by Hippie162 »

Hi All,

I had a very poor string library in Cubase Pro 11 so invested in Vertigo Strings library.. but am somewhat disappointed that it sounds quiet "synthy" now I am having a go with it :-(

I am looking for a string library with natural lovely orchestral string sounds for a cinematic feel.. Many of the "proper" ones I see online are prohibitively expensive for the likes of me!

Any recommendations for someone at the bottom of the pile like me? :-)
Hippie162
Regular
Posts: 135 Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am Location: Somerset, UK
Cubase Pro 11 user: Newbie again (after 15 years away from DAW's).

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by The Elf »

Truly convincing strings need not only a great sample library, they also demand a huge amount of painstaking input from the user. Multiple articulations, careful arrangement and ever-changing dynamics are critical. Left-hand octaves and right-hand triads aren't going to do the job.

That said I would take a look at Spitfire Labs - the free offerings from one of the best sample library businesses out there.

https://labs.spitfireaudio.com/#type=strings&new=false
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18156 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by jaminem »

Hi there.

I quite like Native Instruments Session Strings - they sound good and its pretty easy to use.

The website has a lot of audio examples so you can hear what's possible before you commit. I say what's possible because a lot of getting sampled strings to sound 'real' is in the articulations you use. At the very least you should be on that mod wheel a lot, so it may be worth revisiting your existing product and see what's possible to make them sound less artificial, assuming you've not already done so? If you have, here's the link...

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... strings-2/

EDIT: There you go....what Elf said...
jaminem
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1232 Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:00 am

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by Luke W »

Another one to look at from Spitfire is the BBCSO range of products. It's a whole orchestra rather than just strings, and isn't available in individual sections like some of their other offerings, but the strings are very nice (at least in my opinion!) and they do offers throughout the year that make it a very tempting choice.

As has already been mentioned, there's some serious programming involved to get any library sounding convincing though. Even hugely expensive packages from the likes of VSL won't sound like real players straight out of the box, it all takes a lot of work.
User avatar
Luke W
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1279 Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:00 am Location: Northamptonshire, UK

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by Airfix »

The Elf wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 3:56 pm
That said I would take a look at Spitfire Labs - the free offerings from one of the best sample library businesses out there.

https://labs.spitfireaudio.com/#type=strings&new=false

and beautiful and fantastic and so lovely. The Spitfire string collection has a space - that hall- easy to live/play with - there is a sense of expanse - its not like the others
Airfix
Frequent Poster
Posts: 974 Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 12:00 am

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by rockydennis »

I would add that the Spitfire BBC Orchestra Discover is free (normally £49) if you fill out a questionnaire and wait two weeks.

https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/ ... -discover/
rockydennis
Regular
Posts: 104 Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:36 am

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by Urthlupe »

^^^^^^^
The FREE Spitfire ‘Discover’ is an absolute no-brainer imo…… or you can pay your £49 and have it reimbursed when you upgrade….

Loopy
User avatar
Urthlupe
Frequent Poster
Posts: 573 Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2002 12:00 am Location: West Midlands/Pembrokeshire UK

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by IAA »

Yep I agree, try Spitfire Labs or their BBC Symphony Orchestra Discovery.
Spitfire also pay royalties to the musicians who were involved in the recordings which was good to know.
They also do a great Black Friday set of deals and discounts on major products every month.
As others have said the library is just the start, the realism comes from knowing some basics about orchestrating and programming/playing the various articulations convincingly.
Spitfire have a useful academy of walkthroughs to help and this magazine ran some great articles from Dave Stewart on the basics of orchestration.

I’m not in any way affiliated with Spitfire by the way!
IAA
Frequent Poster
Posts: 970 Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:00 am

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by Ariosto »

I only listened to the first one or two examples (links) but I thought they sounded absolutely awful. If I had been playing in a string orchestra that sounded like that i would have walked out. Sounds nothing like a professional string section. Total garbage!
Ariosto
Frequent Poster
Posts: 920 Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 12:00 am Location: LONDON, UK

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by RichardT »

Ariosto wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:28 am I only listened to the first one or two examples (links) but I thought they sounded absolutely awful. If I had been playing in a string orchestra that sounded like that i would have walked out. Sounds nothing like a professional string section. Total garbage!

Even the best efforts of people to create realistic strings don't work perfectly at the moment, except for simple sustained lines which can sound pretty good. I'm hopeful that will change over the next 10 years as sample libraries use machine learning to generate proper bowing, phrasing, vibrato and dynamics.
RichardT
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2014 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: London UK

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by Hippie162 »

Thank you all so much!

Yes the Vertigo strings had a lovely string sound BUT with a kind of synthetic sounding tone in the background.

I am going to check out Spitfires free offering first off! Thank you guys :-)
Hippie162
Regular
Posts: 135 Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am Location: Somerset, UK
Cubase Pro 11 user: Newbie again (after 15 years away from DAW's).

Re: Recommendations for a great string library?

Post by Urthlupe »

Ariosto wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:28 am I only listened to the first one or two examples (links) but I thought they sounded absolutely awful. If I had been playing in a string orchestra that sounded like that i would have walked out. Sounds nothing like a professional string section. Total garbage!

Wow!! Are you talking about this product…..?

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/sp ... -orchestra

You’re obviously operating on a different level m8.

Loopy
User avatar
Urthlupe
Frequent Poster
Posts: 573 Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2002 12:00 am Location: West Midlands/Pembrokeshire UK
Post Reply