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Topic: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

  1. #1

    Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    I recently ordered the VSL Solo Strings but just now I found out about the XSample Solo Strings collection and I found the demos to sound REAL good! I\'m wondering if I shouldn\'t get the Xsample collection instead!

    Xsample Solo Strings = $99
    VSL Solo Strings = $445

    Anyone know the Xsample library? Clearly the Xsample collection offers fewer velocity layers etc. etc. but the sound seems excellent. I\'d say the instruments sound warmer, more \"woody\" and natural compared to the VSL strings that I thought sounded a bit grating on the most recent VSL demo... Also the VSL library is MASSIVE @ 35 Gig or something. A smaller collection may be less taxing on my system and run better(?) Are the Xsample samples looped? It is an older collection so I\'m looking for it\'s shortcomings...

    Any opinions/advice?

  2. #2

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    I would check out Kirk Hunter Solo Strings - www.kirkhunterstudios.com - before making a decision. They are low priced and have a ton of content. More importantly, they sound pretty good too.

  3. #3

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    After hearing all the demos, I think VSL is the only library that can pull off the MOST realistic legato lines out of them all (so far). But even to my ears, none of the libraries out there can really produce beautiful lyrical solo lines. Hopefully Gary\'s new solo strings library can help fill in the gap...

  4. #4

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    FWIW...I have Xsample/Solo II/#10. I wasn\'t terribly impressed.

  5. #5

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    Hi TC5

    I have the Xsample solo strings but not VSL yet. I recently bought the Xsamples during a New Year sale in the UK for 90% off... yup 90%. At that price, they were something of a bargain [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] .

    However, to be brutally honest, I\'ve had to work very hard indeed to get them to sound anywhere near as good as some of the demos. They work well in the background of a larger orchestral mix, where they add a realistically grainy, earthy texture. Very nice.

    The spic, pizz, jete, sordino, harmonics and tremolo patches are all great. But I haven\'t and wouldn\'t use the straight sustain patches in leading solos. I dunno, maybe my programming skills aren\'t good enough.

    The sustains also have NO NATURAL VIBRATO. In my opinion, this is a pretty serious mistake. Artificial vibrato is supplied only via the mod wheel. I\'ve grown to dislike it.

    After using Opus 1\'s Performance Tool, it\'s now VERY difficult for me to adjust back to non-legato samples. Everything else now lacks realism. I know that\'s unfair to other libraries - the entire Xsample range is actually very good - but it is the truth today.

    Real solo strings are the most expressive instrument group, so any sampling artificiality shows up immediately. Thus if I had to choose between a full price Xsample Solo set and a VSL version costing more or less the same... Well, you get my point.

    Having said all that, I\'m very happy with my 30 GBP Xsample strings. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Luck to you

  6. #6

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    Thanks all for your input.

    Dudley, your experience is very informative. I really like the sound of the Xsample demos but obviously you only really know what you get when you get it. Certainly at 90% off it would be worth a try! I read some reviews about the Xsample strings saying that there are no long sustained samples on the Disc 5. The strings samples with long sustains are on the 10 and 11 CD... To me these strings are the only ones I\'ve heard that have a warm organic sound to them.

    Peter, what about the disc 10 left you less than impressed? Do the samples sound dull or something?..

  7. #7

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!


    I have all 3 vols. 5 contains short note articulations - pizz, stacc etc - for vln, vla, cello, bass. 10 and 11 are sustained notes for the same instruments split over 2 CDs. The sustains are looped.

    If you go to the Xsample site, you\'ll find a thorough list of articulations for all three CDs.


    P.S. I\'m shaking with anger right now because I\'ve just discovered on another thread that the CD of production music cues I\'ve been working on might be useless becuase I didn\'t realise the sample license might prohibit their use in a music library. Jesus, I\'m an idiot! Sorry for the rant.

  8. #8

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    jKerr, The Kirk Hunter strings do sound good as well. What to do, what to do... I CAN\'T afford all of them!

    What I don\'t want though is harsh, sterile sounding strings. The last VSL demo (Death and the Maiden) was a bit offputting.

  9. #9

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    Dudley where did you buy you Xsample CDs? Perhaps they have a few more discounted units left over? (Who ever heard of a *bargain* in the UK?!) [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: Solo Strings Solo Strings Solo Strings!

    Another Kirk Hunter fan here.

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