Composing : Thursday Plugins: Happy Thanksgiving! by Samuel Estes

Samuel Estes

Thursday Plugins: Happy Thanksgiving!

Before I head into the food coma, wanted to start a thread on the holiday deals happening with some of the companies out there. I highly recommend getting any of these products (all around 25-50% off: Native Instruments: http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/special-offer/ izotope: https://www.izotope.com/ Cinesamples: http://cinesamples.com/ Various Audio Processing Plugins: http://plugin-alliance.com/en/plugins.html?cat=Black+Friday+Sale Spit Fire Audio: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/spitfire-black-friday-2014.html Soundtoys: https://www.soundtoys.com/store/blackestfriday 8dio: http://8dio.com/ Soundiron: http://soundiron.com/ Embertone: http://embertone.com/ Waves: http://www.waves.com/ Universal Audio: http://www.uaudio.com/store.html (if you have the UAD hardware) EastWest: http://www.soundsonline.com/ Rob Papen (synths): http://www.robpapen.com/ (use coupon code: FRI-MON) Xils-Lab (synths) http://www.xils-lab.com/ String Sample Library: http://www.cinematicstrings.com Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

iZotope
iZotope
iZotope develops award-winning audio software and plug-ins for mixing, mastering, restoration, and more.
Stage 32 Staff - Julie

Sam - this is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! Compsoers in my network please take notice. Thank you so much for posting!

Sam Levin

Sam, thanks for posting such a comprehensive list. I've been ogling over this stuff since Black Friday imposed itself on us a few days ago. I don't suppose you have a favourite string library that you'd recommend? I've been really going back and forth between 8dio and spitfire. Any thoughts? cheers, Sam

Samuel Estes

Hi Sam, I have to upront first - I was largely in charge of the Cinesamples Cinestrings, but I will try to be as objective as possible. This is a long reply, sorry. Summery is at the bottom. I believe I have played all the string libraries out there, and each have their own strengths based upon how and what you are composing for. Cinematic Strings 2 ( not to be confused with Cinestrings) This was recorded in a beautiful hall in Syndey. I think this library is the most glassy and cinematic of the libraries. This library must be in everyone's library. It is my "Support" library. Meaning, I layer it under most of my strings to add a nice gloss when I need it. 8Dio - This library was recorded with different playing styles in mind (E.T. like, Titantic like, etc). It was recorded with a fairly small ensemble up in San Fransisco. Because it tries to hit several different styles the library is a little unwieldy to program quickly, but if you have the time, you can get some beautifully programmed material. Also good for a smaller sound library, blends very nicely. Orchestral Tools: Berlin Strings- recorded in Germany, also with a small ensemble. This is one of the best scripted library, many types of legatos, many short options, etc. I don't think it's cut well, has timing issues, and several tunning issues. But it is a fun instrument and will take the least amount of programming (its pretty intuative) to get sounding realistic. Los Angeles Scoring Strings (LASS) this is another library that should be standard in every composers library. It was the first of the Modern string libraries. Has divisi sections, 3 types of legatos, only one mic position though. It's programmed quite well, cut well, it's a little pitchy at times, but really good. Also has first chairs (doubles as solo strings). The MAJOR downside to this library is that it needs ALOT of signal processing to get to sound nice and blended in a score. The BIG three: All of these libraries have completed all of the orchestral components, so you can get brass, strings, woodwinds, and percussion recorded in the same room (8dio and Orchestral tools are close). This really helps blending your scores, mixing, and you can go to each of these halls and record live musicians in there to overlay or replace the samples so you don't scare your directors/producers when your score sounds drastically different! Eastwest Hollywood Strings. Recorded in a smaller space here in LA. Mixed by Shawn Murphy (look him up). Performence is well done, solid library. A little unwieldy, but is really good at adding "umph". Has a lot of options and another library, programmed well, can sound pretty realistic. The major downside is it uses the Play Engine, not Kontakt compatible. Play has gotten INFINATELY better over the past 3 years, but is still a pain and I usually dont even load this library anymore because it throws such a wrench in my systems. I would have to have a separare PC using just the PLAY software to make sute it can work. Spitfire. These samples are great! Amazing sound, very good recordings, done in London at Air studios. If you need the big trailer sound or big wash Hans Zimmer sound, this is the library you should get. Not for use on a smaller intimate score. My only gripe with this library is the timing of the short spicatto samples, its a little loose, and there are some pitch problems. Cinestrings. So here's what I tried to do. I wanted a library that could get in between Cinematic Strings and LASS. I wanted it to be pretty intuitive to program and have a lot of tweaks under the hood. This library was mixed by Dennis Sands (look him up) and recorded at Sony/MGM scoring stage (same stage Wizard of OZ was recorded and about 1000's of other famous films). This is a library that needs a good reverb to get it sounding "Hollywood" There is both a close and a first stand microhpone along with tree and surround. We chose to do one legato, but the legato changes slightly between interval size and dynamic (we have the most dynamics of any library). I timed all the short samples, so 99% is fully in time. I think this library has the best sounding harmonic patches. If you want to sound like Danny Elfman, Thomas or Randy Newman, Alan Silvestri, then you should get this library. Downside: this library is huge and a little processor intensive, it's a little harsh and doesn't have different legato styles, and some of the transitions are a bit pitchy, but i think every library (except for VSL) has pitch issues. There is a lite version of this library in the Cinesymphony Lite library (which everyone should have). So to sum up (choose any of these): Cinematic Strings 2, best starter library LASS great for small, hard to get to blend 8dio most options to program Berlin Strings most intuative Spitfire for big trailer/hans zimmer sound. Cinestrings best for Classic Hollywood sound (Alan Sylvestri, Newmans, etc) Honerable mention: Vienna Ensemble - well performed, edited really nicely, a pain to mix/blend and sonically sound good, very, very stuffy. Eastwest Quantum Leap: oldie but man, sounds big and great! ProjectSam Symphobia: really great string patches in there, but these are "Cue Writers" and containes more than just strings. Symphonic Implants: another old library, "blending library" Cinematic Strings 2 replaced this one for me. Dan Dean/Mirslov/DIVSI etc... IMHO these libraries are not of quality to produce the mockups that the other libraries can do. I know several of you have these, they have their use and some are cheaper, but if you need cheap and especially if you are a student get CineSymphony Lite, the quality is so mich better (and no, I dont get any residuals from Cinestrings or Cinesymphony lite) Best, Sam

Sam Levin

Holy Crap! I don't think thank you quite cuts it, but thank you anyways for such an incredible amount of detailed, insightful info. I will spend the next 5 years running down your list of suggestions. I have relied on the East West quantum leap collection for a while now. I think they're great but am just checking out my other options. They don't seem to have enough bite in spiccato type passages. Of course that's probably partly, or largely, haha, my engineering skills. I feel like there's timing issues sometimes as well with really fast intricate lines. Anyways, just checking my options like I said. Thanks again so very much. Regards, Sam

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