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  1. #1
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Out of my Mind


    Ok, so Gary is my friend. I am a Garritan moderator. I may be a bit biased, BUT:

    I have to tell you honestly that the Stradivari Violin is simply the best sampled instrument I have yet played.
    “Revolutionary” is a term that is so often used that it is almost revolting to hear it anymore. In fact, it gives me gas. But this is because it is so often used when a more appropriate term might be “slightly innovative” or “an old idea slightly improved”. This is not the case with the Garritan Strad. It is truly – well - revolutionary!
    It is revolutionary in both form and function. The sonic morphing is not some gimmick – it really works! Going from non-vibrato to vibrato or ppp to fff sounds completely natural – and in fact, for all intensive purposes, it is completely natural. The scripting allows the most convincing legato phrasing I have ever heard. Lifting your fingers off the notes in staccato fashion produces tight passages, while letting your fingers flow across the keyboard produces the sound of a 300+ year old classic instrument flowing with you. The convolution helps to capture the true character of the instrument – something that samples rarely accomplish.
    At this point we have already surpassed the innovative category.
    Now, I am a drummer. I have never seen a real Strad, much less, played one. But I have been using samples in my music since the late 80’s when sampling was in its infancy. I have had and used so many samples over the years that I can’t even imagine how many I have triggered. My 12 bit Roland S-50 got a lot of mileage before it was retired. Back in the 80’s, people were so amazed that the sound of real instruments could be triggered with a keyboard that it seemed the pinnacle of music technology had been reached. Some of us knew better. I think we all knew, to some degree, that memory, speed, and storage would allow more extensive samples of instruments. Gigasampler was the ultimate realization of that train of thought - followed, of course, by Gigastudio.
    Today, I went to the post office here on my small remote island off the coast of Texas to check to see if my Strad had arrived (as I have done for the past few days). I smiled when I saw a little yellow slip inside my box. I handed it to the clerk who, over many years, has developed some idea of what I do, and the tools I use.
    “What ya got this time?” he asked.
    “A Stradivarius!”, I replied with a big smile.
    Everyone in line heard this and looked somewhat puzzled. They were either puzzled because they don’t know what one is, or because they couldn’t understand how one could fit in such a small package.
    “I’m serious!” I added.
    The clerk said “Oh yea, one of those library things?”.
    “Yup”, I confirmed.
    I get it home, pop the disk in…hmmm…looks too small in size. Maybe I got a bad disc? Nope. I installed it, played it, freaked out, freaked out my wife, played it some more, glanced at the manual, played it again, got tired, went inside, read the manual, came back out to the studio, played it more, and decided that I should post something. This is a must have boys and girls.
    For me, what really takes this from innovative to revolutionary is that the files provided on the disk are not a sample library. It, combined with Kontakt 2, turn your controller into an old, classic, unique, and unmatched instrument. The Strad is regarded as the most expressive instrument ever made - and that is also captured in this remarkable package. I tried to take a similar approach when I designed some guitar patches for Bela D’s Lyrical Distortion – though the Strad is light years ahead of me in this regard.
    This is what sampled instruments should be in my opinion. Capturing the sound is not enough. This instrument should finally put to rest the bogus idea that "bigger is better" in the sample world.
    For a few hours today, I played a Stradivarius. An unforgettable, once in a lifetime event – except that I get to do it again tomorrow.

    Congratulations to Dr. Giorgio Tommasini, Stefano Lucato, and of course, our dear friend Gary.

    Back to playing…

    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    UK- teeming with life....


    Yes, OK Brian.....but what do you think of it?!

    Joking apart, it is very exciting.

    People who liked this also liked RealGuitar!


  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: STRADIVARI!

    I quote some intelligent notes of Brian:

    - bigger is better isn't always true. This is the evidence.

    - this is what sampled instrument should be. (and will be, I'm certain)

    - just to play it, it's a nice experience. Exploring sound expressions and nuances in real time open your mind about every possible use in the mix. And as Giorgio like to prioritize, don't forget it's a realtime playable instrument!


    (yes I'm a bit partisan too, as a last-minute-beta-tester, but what I say is just the reality, everybody may try...and will believe and understand).

  4. #4


    Just out of interest, how big IS the install?

  5. #5

    Cool Re: STRADIVARI!

    Quote Originally Posted by navidson
    Just out of interest, how big IS the install?
    1Gb of free space suggested, BUT...

    It's more or less 550Mb of real disk space!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Thumbs up Re: STRADIVARI!

    I have a good friend living in Beeffalo that has a real Stradivari handed down from generation to generation. The first owner lived in Poland and purchased the strad in the late 1800's. I really can't elaborate on the time line but it's been in his family since his great great great grandfather. We tried to install in into the hard drive yesterday ... Oops! I think Garritan's Strad is a wiser choice!
    Nice review Brian!

  7. #7


    Half a gig! Wow. I'm looking at the Solo Strings from VSL which total 82 gb, so that'd make approximetly 20.5 gb for the only other product that might be possibly comparable.

    Oh well, it's great to know that ram and disk space specifications are going down... although processing power needed is going up!

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by navidson
    although processing power needed is going up!

    That is fine though - that increased need for processing power is the difference between the Strad and every other sampled solo instrument.

    I love this library to death. It is totally amazing. It takes some time and patience learning the real-time technique of playing it, but the reward is so immediate. WOW.

    Brian, I totally agree with you - "revolutionary" is way too often used. But in this case, it totally fits. This is a completely PLAYABLE instrument. Sure, you have other solo sampled instruments out there - with a gazillion articulations and nuances, but you have to be a jig-saw puzzle EXPERT to glue all those pieces together before you get anything resembling music. Because of the Morphing technology, it is truly PLAYABLE. THAT, to me is what makes this so revolutionary.
    Congrats to everyone again on this library.

    MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4GB Ram OSX 10.5.8
    Korg TritonLe & MAudio Oxygen 8
    T3, Logic 9, DP7, K2, GPO4, Strad, Gofriller, C&MB, Finale 2010

    My Website!
    New Film Scores!
    Also, Ever think about having your very own personal documentary? See my new Website!

  9. #9


    The real-time playing sounds great, but how would it play if sequenced in something like Finale?

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
    The real-time playing sounds great, but how would it play if sequenced in something like Finale?
    Hi Xenakis,
    In Finale, until Human Playback gets updated for the Strad library's definitions, you will have to manually go in and open the MIDI tool, and edit the modwheel data for vibrato, the Expression data for volume, and if you have sustained notes that would go longer than your bow stroke would allow at the dynamic you were using, you would have to add a sustain pedal marking (or add the CC data for it) so that you have the bow change.
    Also needed for a more aggresive and faster vibrato is CC data for Aftertouch.
    I do not have Finale 2006, so I cannot verify what playing it in "realtime" would capture as far as MIDI CC data. But I do know from past experience, using everything from Finale 3.2.1 (1995) to 2004c, if you want to sequence this in Finale, you will have to use the MIDI tool and do it all by hand. This is a total PAIN - since Finale's MIDI tool is so outdated (a pencil tool to "draw" in the curves for the CC data would be a welcome thing and has been requested item for years and years - but as it is, you have to enter in "values" in a dialog box).

    For notation software, Overture would PROBABLY be the best at sequencing the Strad, since its MIDI editing is so much more like a standard sequencer. AND I know that the Overture team is constantly updating the VST hosting definitions to reflect new libraries and supplying updates. There is no Mac version of Overture 4 yet. But they are working on it.

    Jerry Wickham
    MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4GB Ram OSX 10.5.8
    Korg TritonLe & MAudio Oxygen 8
    T3, Logic 9, DP7, K2, GPO4, Strad, Gofriller, C&MB, Finale 2010

    My Website!
    New Film Scores!
    Also, Ever think about having your very own personal documentary? See my new Website!

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