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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.

A new library on the market is the Adagio Bundle from 8Dio. 

You can either buy Violins, Violas, Cellos, Basses on their own, or the whole bundle for 1098 $.

Each of the four instruments comes in ensembles, divisi and solo.

http://8dio.com/instrument/bundle-9-all-adagio-strings/

For quick mockups and sketches, i use Cinematic Strings 2, as it's really quick to load and switch between articulations.

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.

I have Spitfire Albion. 

It's not bad, but it's not the best of the string libraries.

It's more like an all-in-one package like EWQL. It's quick and easy to use though.

Johannes Bergcrantz said:

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.

Spitfire Mural does indeed look pretty solid!

I also like Orchestral Tools's Berlin Strings, but it's a smaller section, and considering the price..

God there's so many great libraries these days!

I'd go for spitfire. They almost have every part of the orchestra now, all sampled in the same nice hall, which makes things abit easier.

I don't know which iMac you're talking about, but all current models should be more than powerful enough to handle that, yes. Just make sure you get enough ram if you're planning to use ram-heavy samples etc :)

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