Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings
May 24, by Andy Jones Top 10 string libraries Weep tears of joy with our round up of the best string instrument libraries out there. Nothing moves the heart, tugs the soul, or sets the eyes watering more than a moving string soundtrack. For great movie choices LASS, to give it its shorter name, is now at version 2.
Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings
Titled Berlin Strings, the new library features string sections recorded like the woodwinds collection in the historic Teldex Scoring Stage. Formatted for the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 5. Sample library manufacturers can be coy about their vital statistics.
The samples were recorded from four main microphone positions: If you feel like bringing out the samples’ bow noise, that too can be activated and mixed in with the main signal via front panel controls.
In keeping with the contemporary trend for abbreviated short notes, the first violins’ ‘spiccatissimos’ are the very model of terse brevity. Play slowly, and the Kontakt script automatically selects the expressive ‘slurred’ legato interval transitions. Faster playing triggers more defined ‘agile legato’ transitions, and when you play very quick lines, the ‘fast runs’ legato kicks in.
In BST’s legato patches, an intelligent script tracks playing speed and velocity to determine the appropriate type of legato transition and bow attack. Also shown are the four legato velocity layers, which can be individually unloaded to save system resources. In addition to tracking your playing speed, the legato script uses note velocity to control the bowing style: To give you some feedback on what’s going on behind the scenes, the name of the current bowing style is displayed in the centre of the GUI.
If you’d rather stick to one style throughout, clicking on its ‘solo’ button on the GUI deactivates the other two options and purges their samples from memory. Since the library’s initial release, new ‘ostinato legato’ patches for first violins and cellos have been added. These transitions work very well for fast playing better than the ‘agile legato’ option, in my opinion and can even render played trills convincingly.
To help you get over that, BST thoughtfully supplies an articulation I’ve not encountered before: Having selected the key you want by pressing the appropriate keyswitch, you can play octave scales starting on every step of its scale.
The runs stick faithfully to the major scale of the key in question: Change key to Eb, and the runs use only the notes of the Eb major scale — play an E natural while in the key of Eb, and you’ll hear nothing! A set of green keyswitches is used to select the key of BST’s octave runs.
The currently selected key is shown in pink, with its name displayed in small text to the right of the circular ‘BST knob’. Supplied for violins and cellos only, these runs sound great: BST’s octave runs play strictly in your chosen key; this means that you can play instant, musically correct harmonised runs, as notated here. Note how regardless of their starting note, each of the three runs incorporates an F , the correct major seventh interval for the key of G major.
This can be subtle as in the first violins’ ‘blurred sustain’ patches or more obvious, as in the blurred staccatos, which can perform an approximation of the Psycho soundtrack’s screechy string stabs.
However, they should be handled with care, as in the wrong context they can come across as merely out of tune! Dynamic Dynamite BST’s dynamics are an outstanding feature. Both approaches produce enormously dynamic results: Dynamics patches load with crescendos enabled; to access diminuendos, you simply play harder a novel alternative to the usual switching methods.
That said, neither of those points distract from the musical effectiveness and power of these articulations. While on the subject of dynamics, it’s worth noting that Orchestral Tools chose not to ‘normalise’ the amplitude of their samples, preferring instead to leave them at their played volume. The first violins two players not depicted wait for their cue.
The main strings library reviewed here is supplemented by the 48GB ‘Special Bows 1’ expansion, which offers col legno, harmonics ‘flageolet’ in the European parlance and delicate sul tasto played over the fingerboard ‘flautando’ bowings performed by first and second violins and violas. Currently at the editing stage, Special Bows II offers the same articulations played by the lower strings.
Also in the pipeline are expansion sets containing solo strings, ‘first chair’ ie. All Berlin expansions can be bought individually: However, prospective buyers should note that although the main Berlin Strings library will run on the free Kontakt Player 5. However, none of the VSL titles includes separate second violins or multiple mic positions. All of the libraries mentioned above feature true legato intervals. Glissandi can thus be timed exactly to follow your music. Hats off to programmer Stan Berzon for devising the script which powers this mad, thoroughly enjoyable musical racket.
However, in practice this shouldn’t be problem: Compatible with Berlin Woodwinds.
The Berlin Series
Orchestral Tools records the majority of its titles at Berlin’s famous Teldex Sound Stage and with meticulous attention to detail so has quickly. Berlin Strings is Orchestral Tools’ professional string library series using the Kontakt 5 platform that has one of the most diverse sample sets of any library I’ve . Not to worry: Orchestral Tools’ “Berlin Strings Expansion D: First Chairs” has got you covered. A freshly-loaded 1st Violin multi patch.
Titled Berlin Strings, the new library features string sections recorded like the woodwinds collection in the historic Teldex Scoring Stage. Formatted for the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 5. Sample library manufacturers can be coy about their vital statistics. The samples were recorded from four main microphone positions: If you feel like bringing out the samples’ bow noise, that too can be activated and mixed in with the main signal via front panel controls.
Symphonic Sampling Project:
Celli 5 players Basses 4 players This size, according to their website, enables them to keep a more detailed and defined sound instead of a large, homogenous string sound. In my opinion they hit a sweet spot as the strings still work great for that lush string sound so very popular today.
VIDEO REVIEW: ORCHESTRAL TOOLS
Formatted for the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt and also compatible with the free Kontakt Player , Berlin Strings is Orchestral Tools’ largest. Berlin Strings is Orchestral Tools’ professional string library series using the Kontakt 5 platform that has one of the most diverse sample sets of any library I’ve . This is the first of several Insights columns of the new Berlin Strings from Orchestral Tools which was released just before. Christmas