A Comparison of String Sample Libraries (Kram, Richard)
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Solo String Comparisons
Cubase & VSL libraries with EWSO Harpsichord
Notion Midi output imported into Cubase6 playing VSL Solo Strings Violin matrix patch. Ensemble strings are VSL Appassionata Strings playing legato sustain patch for Violin 1 and detache in Violin II, Viola and Cello. East West Symphonic Orchestra harpsichord (I'll change to a VSL harpsichord if I can get access to it). Everything was then run through East West Spaces convolution reverb (NY String Hall 3.4s) and finally processed through PSP VintageWarmer2. If I can get access to VSL MIR convolution reverb, I'll swap that our for Spaces to get a 100% VSL version. Normalized to -4dB, but might be a bit too much with the little compression used.
Bach Cello Suite #1 in G, Courante (A section)
VSL Solo Cello - Basic Preset Matrix
*#306983 - 0.63MB - 0:41 - (0) - - !N/!N/!N - 49x⇩
R. Kram & Cubase playing VSL Solo Cello
Played cello part on keyboard recorded to a MIDI track in Cubase 7.5 playing the Vienna Symphonic Library Solo Strings Cello (Basic Matrix Presets) - with key-switched legato, detache and sfz articulations through Cubase expression map. Audio Processing: Track Insert 2CAudio Breeze "Small Hall 1", Stereo Output 2CAudio B2 "Small Hall A" with a bit of PSP Audio VintageWarmer2 light compression. .
Ensemble String Comparisons
Pizzicato (Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4, III. Scherzo)
East West Symphonic Orchestra: Close + Stage Mic Pos.
*#299925 - 1.43MB - 1:34 - (0) - - !N/!N/!N - 56x⇩
East West Hollywood Strings: Close + Main Mic. Pos
*#299929 - 1.43MB - 1:34 - (0) - - !N/!N/!N - 32x⇩
LA Scoring Strings - Pizz. A+B+C Chairs in Vln1, Vln2, Vla, Vlc & Cb.
*#299931 - 1.43MB - 1:34 - (0) - - !N/!N/!N - 40x⇩
Various Sample Libraries
Pizz. is normally one of the string articulations many libraries do well. I'll start with the notation packages and then move on to a variety of libraries. Note that pizzicato samples are often a lot more explosive sounding than when a real orchestra plays. One of the reasons many movie composers augment or even substitute pizz. sections with digital samples. Because of the short attack and release there's just not as much expression you have to worry about when playing pizz. as with a legato strings. All normalized to -4dB, but did not try and match internal volumes of each instrument (not worth the effort for this comparison on the lower end libraries - might spend more time on the higher end ones here).
Full Legato (Kram: Violintine)
Garritan IO (Combination of Expressive Vibrato and Sustain patches)
*#315546 - 2.57MB - 2:49 - (0) - - !N/!N/!N - 35x⇩
Cubase playing Garritan IO
Unless otherwise noted, all versions use C2 Breeze added as insert to each voice + QL Spaces NY String Hall convolution reverb on output with PSP Vintagewarmer2 Final Mix processing. Originally written in Notion, exported MID, and imported into Cubase 7.5 which plays all versions but the Notion version.
Solo Violin Comparisons
Test #1 - Graupner: La Calma (arr. Kram)
Solo Violin, Strings and Continuo
*#299210 - 0.15MB, 8 pp. - (0) - !N/!N/!N - 172x⇩
If you want a Pizzicato test, you have to include this piece. Added a few extra markings for better dynamics and articulations for notation packages (Notion, Sibelius, etc). Just the first section up to the Meno mosso.
Legato (Lush Cinematic) Strings
|Work Title||A Comparison of String Sample Libraries|
|Instrumentation||Electronic music samples (solo and ensemble strings)|
A comparison of Solo and Ensemble string libraries. Every orchestral virtual performance must start with a good string library. I'll compare various strings and articulations on this page (which will take a while to get running). I'll use tabs for the different types (solo vs. ensemble) etc. Note: Style listed as Baroque but will include various styles as IMSLP does not appear to have a "various" or "na" option. See "About the Piece" for more information until a full monograph is added.