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Hollywood strings, Symphobia, LA scoring strings... We can go on forever. EWQL Hollywood strings have made it up the food chain being the "top dog" in the industry of VST's. Why is this? Is it primarily sample recording? Or can it be the control of velocity at your fingertips? What are some opinions of the best! 

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Pretty much what Raymond said actually. I know several composers who will mix and match several of the top string libs you've mentioned in a single composition in order to achieve the sound they desire and also use real players where necessary. I'm stuck with EWQLSO Gold myself, but have my eye on Cinematic Strings 2 as a future purchase:

http://www.cinematicstrings.com/

It sounds terrific and the ease of use appeals to me greatly.

I'm not looking for debate. I'm looking for discussion. The reason I posted this is to find new orchestral libraries. When your confined to just one certain VST creators if you will.  I do understand composers switch around libraries. I do the same however, I'm a film trailer composer, so realism is extremely important in my business. What Terry Jones posted was what I was looking for when i posted this. Opinions and different types of VST's, new libraries, expanding ext.

Raymond Kemp said:

BTW Stephen,
I enjoyed listening to your cues but you're not likely to strike up great debate in this forum on the subject of great vsti.
Most here work and record with notation apps.

youtube is a good resource for auditioning (by proxy) various libs. Watching and listening to people put them through their paces can be helpful. I bought Cinematic Strings on the back of some vids and find it pretty good. It's not perfect and I often layer it with Vienna SE orchestral strings for added ooomph. I can see myself getting 3 or 4 libraries to cover string sounds as strings are really the bedrock of orchestral music. I'm looking at LASS First Chair or 8dio for solo strings but there are so many competing products.

I really like the vibrato control in CS 2 but would like the choice of dry sounds and portamento.

Ray is right about writing for the samples but the ideal would be for the samples to be able to do everything a real section could do. 

I think all of those libraries can sound excellent if you know how to use them.

Anyone have any experience with Spitfire Albion? I've heard some good things about it.

As for me I'm using EWQL Gold wich I still think sounds really great, and LA Scoring strings. I havent really spent enough time with articulations, mixing and stuff to get the most out of it yet.

On a slightly different note - is the current 32GB iMac powerful enough to handle a basic sampled orchestra with some other unique sampled instruments thrown in?

Thanks for any reply.

Spitfire Audio have some amazing strings librairies and they have gotten better as time went by. Their new "Mural" collection looks really amazing. Unlike Albion it's not "all-in-one", each section is sampled with plenty of mic positions to go around.

My 2 cents: The best I have right now is EWQL SO Gold. I like the violins and violas, they have a more classical orchestra sound, and I'm just a hobbyist, don't need the Hollywood sound. But I don't like the cellos, and the basses don't like my computer as they cause it to crash if I'm not careful. I too am contemplating CS 2. I have to admit that Hollywood Strings sound the best to me. they just aren't worth the hassle and the expense. Although they sound wonderful, I can't see spending hundreds of dollars/pounds on memory and drives, and then spending hundreds of hours figuring out how to use them. Of all the others mentioned here, CS sound the best, and they appear to be very user-friendly. I'm leaning heavily toward buying them when I upgrade to a new rig soon.

Thank You Raymond, that was very nice. Good balanced sound. Strong bass, and the highs, not too screechy. This makes me want to buy CS all the more.

I'm seriously thinking of purchasing the just released Spitfire Mural library [mentioned above]. I particularly like the manufacturer's description:

Mural offers a grand 60 piece string band (16,14,12,10,8) but is recorded and performed in such a way as to provide you with ultimate detail. It is not an epic dirgy sludge of trailer-making strings. It is pure in its detail and beauty and is designed to encourage and inspire you to write better orchestral music for your canon.

My comment: most of those other string libraries sound too instantly Hans Zimmer to me. I want to be able to come close to an honest well recorded Symphonic sound, appropriate for Brahms, etc. as well as anything else.

Anything else out there do this as well or better?

Nice to meet you too, Raymond. As you can guess I mostly use these libraries for mockups, to be replaced by real instrumentalists. But sometimes I need them for their own sake. I just went ahead and bought the Mural library - and also Spitfire's new French Horn library. I'm downloading them now. I'll let you know what I think.

Well, to me it's about combining the best you can get, I've tested most libraries but at the end the ones I've kept are Lass, SF Mural and Berlin Strings. The best ones and the ones I've liked the most are Berlin strings (bow sounds on) and Spitfire Mural (only tried Mural Volume one though, must be even better with Vol2), they're the most detailed I've ever heard, great even with little CC morphing, I've also noticed that, if film/realism is what you seek, most of the Spitfire audio stuff have the best results, their brass are incredible but I'm not sure if they have all the woods though, still their flute consort is great. Still as I was saying mixing and layering are probably the best at the end...

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