Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. Clicking these and making a purchase will directly support Rekkerd. The Traditional Ensemble Strings contains five unique string ensembles, including 1st Violins 6 players2nd Violins 4 playersViolas 5 playersCellos 4 players and Basses 4 players. All the five sections contain many matching articulations, so you can freely orchestrate all the sections.
The Sordino Strings also contain a similar symmetry, so everything can be used as one.Orchestral Sample Libraries Compared
Century Orchestral Strings were recorded in a new and advanced environment that allowed us to both have wet hall and close studio sounding strings at the same time. This means you have total room control. From large, lush orchestral strings to close and intimate studio strings. The new user-interface binds it all together. Access the entire articulation menu with a few clicks of a mouse. As well as instant access to all microphone and articulation controls. Century is complex underneath, yet so simple and beautiful on the outside.
Century Orchestral Strings contains every single articulation you would expect — and a wealth of new and intelligently programmed patches. All legato articulations are dynamically layered and many contain full vibrato control. All arcs are also velocity based. Play soft and get a soft arc. Play harder and get a more pronounced arc.
Century Strings Try-Pack for Kontakt VST-AU-AAX Instruments & Samples
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Review: Century Brass Bundle by 8Dio
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Industrial Strength mangled it up and turned into one Hard Dance audio explosion.When it comes to composing with string libraries, it is all about emotions. When you compose to picture you want to suggest or enforce the story that the director had in mind and Strings are one the best instruments to communicate emotions and moods in contemporary writing. The success of many virtual instrument libraries is built around how good they are to trigger an emotion. Some audio companies can encourage the composer buying decision based on emotions — which could result in GAS buyer behavior.
The majority of purchasing decisions is about how good a string library is helping you to deliver an exceptional score to your customer. Customers need a score that drives the emotion required in a score or any writing to picture. This is based on how a library sounds and performs in a sample player of choice for example Kontakt. The strings sound lovely.
After purchase, you get codes to download the library through the 8Dio installer tool. After a batch re-save in Kontakt, you are ready to use this library. I do assume that you already spend the time to listen to the demos both on SoundCloud and on Youtube. What I can report that the character and tone of the library are of exceptionally excellent sounding quality.
This is one of the many highlights of the library, driven by the brilliance of the samples 8Dio recorded. Century Strings has prominently carefully marked string samples that are typically available in the top string libraries where this library lives. Or in other words, 8Dio understands how a vast sounding string library needs to be sampled and has done an excellent job here. The instruments are easy to play.
You get a delicious, with lush character articulations and the silky sound of Sordino Strings. If needed you can double up and expand the scope to go bigger. With the Arcs, you can sketch up ideas, later you want to add melodic lines with the other included short, long and legato patches.
The shorts can be used successfully in a composition. When it comes the short articulations there are just so many choices in the market.
The Arcs, longs, sordino, and legato is the main reason why this library sounds so unique. You can get a value-add when you add this library to your toolbox. The library was recorded in the centered instead of using the traditional orchestra placement. With this approach, you can preserve clarity, and you can pan the instrument within the mixer or tools like a stereo imager.
However, it comes with the need to move the strings outside their center position. It is a new approach, and new methods can make yourself uncomfortable. Overall the close mics on the strings have a fantastic clarity, maybe some of the best tight mics recording available today. This central position makes it also easy to push the instrument location back into the room on either side by using the include mics and internal, stereo imagine tools 3rd party or external reverb.
I entirely like the Interface user on this library; it is clean, presents the most necessary features and makes them accessible. The selected design is comfortable on the eyes and if needed fast to customize to my needs. The patches and included instruments are incredibly easy to play, which is one of the unique points about many 8Dio libraries.
Century Strings enables the player and composer to create new high sounding scores and offers a wide range of articulations and especially so great sounding sordino and exceptional version of arcs, longs with surpassing legatos. Overall this bundled library performs and sounds stellar. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website.
These cookies do not store any personal information. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.Sounds are great in both soft and epic dynamic ranges.
Very thorough range of articulations covered. Solid interface that keeps it simple and easy to understand. Marcato patches only have one note length. Review: Century Brass Bundle by 8Dio.
It contains all of the ensemble and solo brass from the Century series. There is an insane amount of content in this bundle, and despite a few sampling issues in select patches and notes, the overall sound and playability of this package makes it well worth its weight. The whole top area in devoted to articulation management. There are 10 slots that you can load up an articulation into — each has a key assigned to it for keyswitching purposes. It seems that whichever patch is lightest on RAM is the default one loaded into channel 1.
Double clicking each slot opens up a browser where you can pick your preferred articulation for that slot. The knobs in the middle are your basic controls including dynamics modwheel by defaultexpression, legato speed, release tail volume, vibrato, and legato transition volume. Some of these controls are disabled in certain patches — mostly only the solo instruments have vibrato controls though most ensemble patches have vibrato specific articulationsand obviously only legato patches use the legato speed and volume knobs.
Size and mix are adjustable on each of these. Close, Decca, and Wide are turned off, but can be easily unmuted, tweaked, and panned to create your own mix. There is also a very simplistic EQ with faders for high, mid, and low in the bottom right. In a big picture sense, all of the instruments in the Century Brass Bundle sound great.
Without a doubt this is one of the most well-produced brass libraries in the market, and it easily competes with the current industry standards. In general, the FFF range of all of the ensemble instruments here are bright and brassy enough to make themselves heard through any busy mix. The legato transitions are all around very realistic and convincing, which is a tricky thing to get right.
My biggest disappointment comes from the marcato patches. A few oddities exist within the recordings and sample editing as well. I noticed some weirdly abrupt attacks on the lower dynamics of the solo french horn of a few notes. The legato trombone ensemble patch has an issue where the FFF dynamic layer is appropriately bright, but actually quieter than MF. It created some mixing issues in a track I used those trombones in. Overall, the good certainly outweighs the bad when it comes to the sound of the Century Brass Bundle.My name is Mike, founder of professionalcomposers.
If you need an all in one string library if you need a classic hollywood style string ensemble, recorded with a fairly dry sound in a scoring stage, with all the essential articulations in one package…well then Cinematic Studio Strings is a great choice.
A strings library with a modern sound, and with the added ability to design and shape the strings to pads, pulses, or anything you desire. NOVO includes both traditional instrument presets, as well as a sound designer section, as well as a loop designer.
If you want strings with a modern and cutting edge sound, and the ability to create hybrid sounds from creative sound design tools…then NOVO might be just the library for you. Spitfire Audio has made many orchestral libraries, but this has to be one of their top achievements. All recorded in the legendary Air Studios in London. Lots of user control over things like dynamics, expression, speed, release tails, vibrato and even legato volume.
If you like lots of user control in shaping the sound, room and expression, and you are a sucker for great short string articulations and control for ostinatos etc…then this library will be a good choice for you.
Cinesamples have a reputation of making instruments that are instantly playable, with a great sound out of the box. And Cinestrings Core will give you just that…and more. I especially like their mapping page where you can customize how the instrument responds to your performances.
If you want instant playability with a lush lyrical sound, plus the ability to map the performance controls to respond to the way you record and perform your string parts…then Cinestrings Core will not let you down. This is a mountain of a string ensemble library, not only in size, but also in the amount of details, dynamics, round robins etc.
For example, spiccatos have up to 24x round robins! Their legatos are amazing, including 4 different legatos in their adaptive legato engine, and 3 different vibrato types. If you are looking for ultimate control over the details in your performance, an amazing legato engine, a smaller string section sound, and you have the computer resources to run this massive library…then Berlin Strings is a wonderful choice.
Great legato and vibrato was their intention when creating this library. If you want a string library that focuses on lyrical legato, expressive vibrato and a very soaring sound that is playable out of the box…then Soaring Strings might be what you are looking for.
Recorded in Budapest in a large orchestral studio with high ceilings and a big beautiful room sound.The focus is on getting good sounds fast, not on endless parameter choices. Pros: — Huge sound perfect for film — Simple and consistent layout internally and between both Century Ensemble and Sordino Strings — Useful articulations.
Cons: — User manual lacks in-depth explanations — Spot mics sound overly similar — Lacks some of the extended features found in other sample instruments.
In 8Dio, a new software instrument company came out swinging with 40 different sample-based instruments. Many of these instruments were a new take on previous releases by other companies but when I first heard their examples I remember that all of them sounded fantastic. I was blown away by the level of realism I heard in their solo violin and vocal instruments. Century Ensemble includes the standard articulation types such as spiccato, pizzicato, legato, trills, tremolo, and harmonics but where this instrument really shines are the several short and long arc articulations.
To me, this is instant Downton Abbey! A string sound that is lush, massively expressive, and in your face. When I first opened up Century Ensemble I lost an hour of my life by just improvising with the violin and cello instruments.
Total fun! Using sus non vib, col legno, and harmonic trem I was able to quickly create a more angular, Elliott Carter kind of jam. Sordino Strings is made up of muted recordings of many of the same articulations found in Century Ensemble.
If you are new to strings this might seem like a lot of extra work and hard drive space for a muted version of the same instrument but as someone who has played in an orchestra I can say without a doubt that muted strings have a certain pent-up urgency about them that can really add dimension to an orchestral sound palette. I especially loved layering Sordino Strings with the Century Ensemble to create more depth in my string parts.
I would have preferred that Sordino Strings included all of the same articulations as Century Ensemble such as pizzicato and col legno but with a bit of low pass filtering and shortening the decay I can create approximations that are close enough with Century Ensemble articulations. I understand the diminishing returns in creating sordino versions of these short articulations and I think 8Dio found a nice middle ground.
When I first loaded an instrument I found the user interface to be incredibly clear. Historically this has not been the case with such nuanced instruments by other companies. At the top of the user interface you will find the instrument browser. This is comprised of ten user assignable slots to instantly recall articulations. A quick double click on any of the slots will open a context menu with a variety of articulations to choose from.
Once an articulation is chosen the user can define the midi note or control change number to switch to the articulation by simply clicking on the keyboard icon and dragging over the control note. Directly below the browser is row of knobs that control dynamics, expression, speed, release tails, vibrato, and legato volume. Not all of these knobs will be useable depending on the articulation that is engaged. I prefer this approach to the counter which would remove knobs entirely from the interface when not in use.
The microphone mixer and three-band equalizer is at the bottom of the interface. Here the user can blend close and room mics to taste, pan them to different positions, and route through different outputs. Choosing Mixed microphone fader results in a full polished sound and was my go to when just having fun playing the instrument. Decca exhibits a sound similar to traditional orchestral recordings with a very focused sound while still capturing some room tone.
Wide adds a pair of mics that split the distance between the Decca tree in the center of the room and the edge of the stage. These microphones add a very large stereo spread that gives the impression that the orchestra is wrapped around the listener.
Next are the Spot faders. I found these faders to sound overly similar with only subtle differences. This explains the similarity between the faders. I asked 8Dio about how the Mixed fader achieved this by balancing the different microphones. They responded explaining that spots were mixed a db above the Decca and outriggers which explains that very upfront and contemporary film sound.
Usually they are overly generic and a bit underwhelming. However, I found the choices made by 8DIO in this selection useful in some contexts. One such example was to distort and blend the string sound into something that sounded more like an angry synth patch.Several sample sets of Arcs set at different speeds that can be controlled via the speed control knob Plenty of mic positions for achieving complete room control from dry to wet User-friendly interface with user-assignable key-switches and controls for speed, vibrato, release tails, dynamics, expression, and legato volume Articulations pre-loaded in the user interface for quick and easy access.
No full string section ensemble patches for quick mock-up Long load times for each instrument though, once loaded, all articulations load within the interface together Some composers will not like the center-panned approach as opposed to the traditional orchestral stereo image.
Review: Century Strings Bundle by 8Dio. The Century Strings Bundle is lush and rich and infused with realism. The sound is natural and woody and dripping with authenticity. The shorts are crisp and clean, the longs are elegant, and the arcs…oh, the arcs!
Beginning with the release of Adagio Violins and culminating with Adagio Basses, Adagio set a new standard for realistically sampled strings. Two years later in8Dio followed up with Agitato, a series of specialty products targeting some of the most sought-after articulations in the industry ex.
In8Dio released Anthology, a reimagination of both the Adagio and Agitato collections contained within a new, more user-friendly interface. The first thing I noticed about the Century Strings Bundle was the shiny new interface, first introduced via Anthology Strings. One of the difficulties of both Adagio and Agitato was the overwhelming number of patches that each contained.
The immense number of presets and articulations contained in Adagio and Agitato are impressive and wonderful, but they both suffer from being presented in a format that can feel overwhelming to a composer on the go. Adagio and Agitato demand that you spend time working through presets and articulations to find the sound you are looking for. With Century Strings this is no longer a problem. Best of all, every articulation is already present within the engine from the moment you load it up, so no more loading multiple.
You can choose to either load a single articulation, or you can assign up to 10 articulations that you can control via user-assigned key-switches. This is so much easier to navigate than the Adagio and Agitato interface and means you can get to work on your track much more quickly; that is, once the instrument itself loads.
I found the load time for each instrument to be much longer than expected, but once loaded every articulation is ready to go and can easily be deactivated to save on RAM if needed. The typical dynamics and expression controls are presented along with controls for speed, release tails, vibrato, and legato volume.
These controls are only presented as available for particular articulations and are conveniently grayed out when not in use. This allows you to dial in your sound and tailor the room from large, lush orchestral strings to close, intimate studio strings.
The samples were recorded in an environment that provides you with a lot of room control. This feels big enough to compose sweeping, epic tracks, while remaining small enough to cover intimate, emotional scores. This feels big enough to compose sweeping, epic tracks, while remaining small enough to cover intimate, emotional scores with plenty of detail.
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