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Topic: Lass versus hollywood strings?

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  1. #1

    Lass versus hollywood strings?

    I was wondering if anyone has both libraries and has comments about the strengths and weaknesses of either. I just finished a piece using LASS and before I start my next piece, would like input on how easy Hollywood strings are to use out of the box.

    I'm basically interested in writing the piece and the score and then moving on to the next piece. I like having it sound good but I'm not really into rendering to perfection, which is by all means important, it's just not what I focus on. Too time consuming for me.

    I find LASS to be fairly easy to use out-of-the-box and still get a great sound. Here's the link to the piece I just finished using LASS basically out of the box if interested.
    A Musical Incongruity
    (Score)

    Anyway, I haven't read enough about Hollywood Strings and its ease of use. Anyone's insight would be appreciated.

    Cass

  2. #2

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cass Hansen View Post
    I was wondering if anyone has both libraries and has comments about the strengths and weaknesses of either. I just finished a piece using LASS and before I start my next piece, would like input on how easy Hollywood strings are to use out of the box.

    I'm basically interested in writing the piece and the score and then moving on to the next piece. I like having it sound good but I'm not really into rendering to perfection, which is by all means important, it's just not what I focus on. Too time consuming for me.

    I find LASS to be fairly easy to use out-of-the-box and still get a great sound. Here's the link to the piece I just finished using LASS basically out of the box if interested.
    A Musical Incongruity
    (Score)

    Anyway, I haven't read enough about Hollywood Strings and its ease of use. Anyone's insight would be appreciated.

    Cass
    First of all, they sound totally different while both sound great. Hollywood Strings really has nailed that lush gorgeous orchestral strings sound that we associate with composers like John Williams to a degree that no one previously has, while LASS is a more intimate and in your face sound.

    Both require some learning curve and set up. HS has multiple mic choices and every articulation known to man, and all kinds of patches from stunning legato patches to keyswitch patches, patches heavier on resources and some lighter, etc. So yes, once you have sorted through it all, and I am just beginning to, you can find your "go to" stuff and put it in a template. And LASS is all about combining the A, B, C, and First Chairs to with all its articulations get what you are looking for, auto-divisi and ART script, etc. so there is work to do and choices to be made also.

    The good news is that the two libraries blend together well.

    That said, my "go to" for composing is likely to remain Kirk Hunter's Concert Strings II. When you just want to load in a keyswitch patch and start playing and hear a sound that is instantly inspiring, it still is the one for me that combines multiple articulations in a patch, playability, good sound, and the advantage of using a 64 bit engine, best. It also has auto-divisi. And combining it with HS sounds amazing! (For that matter, combining it with LASS ain't bad either

    The choices I have are so amazing that sometimes my head starts to spin around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist

    It should also be said that when you want a really more delicate sound, there is still something special about the Sonivox Symphonic Strings. They are quite lovely. And although I do not own them, Cinematic Strings sound like they have a really nice tone in their demos and of course a lot of folks still love VSL, although personally I do not.

    Since I know and talk to most of them, I can tell you that guys like Doug Rogers and his HS team, Andrew Kersztes, and Kirk Hunter are all working really hard and are passionate in their commitment to give people great stuff. Nothing matches a room full of great string players, but we now have some really wonderful choices IMHO.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  3. #3

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    Yeah Jay! I know that Linda Blair feeling all too well!

    Thanks so so much for your feedback on the string libraries out there and taking the time to give an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of each library That was just what I was looking for!

    I'll definitely check out the Kirk Hunter strings that you mentioned because it sounds like it fits my needs for quick (or at least quicker) rendering. I have so much to get written down I don't want to be bogged down by the rendering process, but at the same time I still want a good facsimile of the overall sound. Occasionally I write something I really like and then I'll spend the extra time to render it the best I can. So, all the libraries you mentioned will fill my niche at certain times.

    Thanks again,

    Cass

  4. #4

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashermusic View Post
    That said, my "go to" for composing is likely to remain Kirk Hunter's Concert Strings II. When you just want to load in a keyswitch patch and start playing and hear a sound that is instantly inspiring, it still is the one for me that combines multiple articulations in a patch, playability, good sound, and the advantage of using a 64 bit engine, best. It also has auto-divisi. And combining it with HS sounds amazing! (For that matter, combining it with LASS ain't bad either
    Hi Jay -

    i wonder what the difference is between the EXS and Kontakt Versions. I didn't see a comparison on the website. Does it come down to more articulations with the Kontakt version? i wonder why the huge price difference between the two.

    I know if your book you say you prefer EXS over Kontakt - do you use the EXS version of Concert Strings or the Kontakt Version?

    Thanks
    kc

  5. #5

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    Oh dear, a year or so ago this would have been so easy to answer. I would have said by all means the EXS24 version because it is so well integrated into Logic, so CPU efficient, addressing memory in a pool outside of Logic so you can use much more, and keeps common samples in memory so switching i.e. between film cue projects with similar palettes is lickety split. Now with Kontakt 4.1 it is a more complicated decision.

    Kontakt 4 pros:
    1. Kontakt has advanced scripting capabilities that allowed Kirk to load more things into a single patch than the EXS24 and have a little more control.

    2. A lot of what you want to do you can see right in the GUI and do it with knobs and text.

    3. Kontkat 4 has its instrument banks feature, which is a workflow that I simply love.

    4. You can load it outside of Logic in Vienna Ensemble Pro or as a standalone.

    5. It is not exclusive to Logic so if, god forbid, you ever change hosts there is not a problem.

    Kontakt 4 cons:

    1. If you have a lot of K4 stuff loaded it takes a LONG time to switch to a new project that does not have K4 and its patches in it. For instance, going from a project with KH Vln 1, Vln 2, Vla 1. Vlc 1, and Bass all articulations with Kontakt 4, going to a new empty project took 67 seconds. With the EXS24 version, 4 seconds. Composer John Frizzell had a project with a HUGE amount of Kontakt stuff and it took 17 minutes! This is something N.I. still needs to deal with and has said that they will, but for now.....

    2. While it is more CPU efficient than it was, it still takes more than the EXS24.

    3. You have to buy Kontakt 4 if you do not already own it, where the EXS24 is part of Logic Pro.

    Sonically they are pretty close to identical, not much to choose IMHO. And they are both 64 bit so you can access a lot of RAM and Virtual Memory with eother of them.

    So it is a tough decision. I have both and when I am doing something that requires big and complex orchestration, I usually use the Kontakt version outside of Logic Pro as a kind of virtual rack. On smaller orchestrations, I usually use the EXS24 version inside Logic.

    I hope this helps but I realize I may have just made the decision harder
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  6. #6

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    Isn't it also true that you lose all of the custom Kontakt scripting with EXS-24, as EXS has no scripting engine whatosever? One of the big benefits to the KH libraries are their extensive and clever programming, most of which exists only in Kontakt's advanced engine.
    Zircon Studios - Original music for media, electronica, sound design, and synthesis.

  7. #7

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa View Post
    Isn't it also true that you lose all of the custom Kontakt scripting with EXS-24, as EXS has no scripting engine whatosever? One of the big benefits to the KH libraries are their extensive and clever programming, most of which exists only in Kontakt's advanced engine.
    Absolutely true although Kirk has done about as much with the EXS24 as you can do.
    http://www.kirkhunterstudios.com/tvec_strings_exs.html
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  8. #8

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cass Hansen View Post
    I was wondering if anyone has both libraries and has comments about the strengths and weaknesses of either. I just finished a piece using LASS and before I start my next piece, would like input on how easy Hollywood strings are to use out of the box.

    I'm basically interested in writing the piece and the score and then moving on to the next piece. I like having it sound good but I'm not really into rendering to perfection, which is by all means important, it's just not what I focus on. Too time consuming for me.

    I find LASS to be fairly easy to use out-of-the-box and still get a great sound. Here's the link to the piece I just finished using LASS basically out of the box if interested.
    A Musical Incongruity
    (Score)

    Anyway, I haven't read enough about Hollywood Strings and its ease of use. Anyone's insight would be appreciated.

    Cass
    Nice job and informative. Thanks. What are the other orchestral sounds on your piece?
    Sam

  9. #9

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    I have both libraries and my reviews of both have been published in Film Music Magazine. You can read them under the REVIEWS tab at http://www.professionalorchestration.com/.

    I also just posted my first review of Hollywood Brass.
    Peter L. Alexander
    www.professionalorchestration.com
    www.alexanderpublishing.com
    Learn it right the first time.

  10. #10

    Re: Lass versus hollywood strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashermusic View Post
    First of all, they sound totally different while both sound great. Hollywood Strings really has nailed that lush gorgeous orchestral strings sound that we associate with composers like John Williams to a degree that no one previously has, while LASS is a more intimate and in your face sound.

    Both require some learning curve and set up. HS has multiple mic choices and every articulation known to man, and all kinds of patches from stunning legato patches to keyswitch patches, patches heavier on resources and some lighter, etc. So yes, once you have sorted through it all, and I am just beginning to, you can find your "go to" stuff and put it in a template. And LASS is all about combining the A, B, C, and First Chairs to with all its articulations get what you are looking for, auto-divisi and ART script, etc. so there is work to do and choices to be made also.

    The good news is that the two libraries blend together well.

    That said, my "go to" for composing is likely to remain Kirk Hunter's Concert Strings II. When you just want to load in a keyswitch patch and start playing and hear a sound that is instantly inspiring, it still is the one for me that combines multiple articulations in a patch, playability, good sound, and the advantage of using a 64 bit engine, best. It also has auto-divisi. And combining it with HS sounds amazing! (For that matter, combining it with LASS ain't bad either

    The choices I have are so amazing that sometimes my head starts to spin around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist

    It should also be said that when you want a really more delicate sound, there is still something special about the Sonivox Symphonic Strings. They are quite lovely. And although I do not own them, Cinematic Strings sound like they have a really nice tone in their demos and of course a lot of folks still love VSL, although personally I do not.

    Since I know and talk to most of them, I can tell you that guys like Doug Rogers and his HS team, Andrew Kersztes, and Kirk Hunter are all working really hard and are passionate in their commitment to give people great stuff. Nothing matches a room full of great string players, but we now have some really wonderful choices IMHO.
    Thanks for the comparisons. I don't know much about the Kirk Hunter Concert Strings II so I have some questions.

    Do you like this library just for it's ease of use when scetching parts, or do you use the library in your final mixes? It looks like sections can be bought seperatly. Would the Half Division section be a good option for trying the string library? With a little reverb, do you think the KH strings would sit well with Symphobia strings?

    Thanks!

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