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Topic: Anyone tried session strings pro?

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  1. #1

    Anyone tried session strings pro?

    I was kind of excited when I first heard about this product coming out and was planning on buying it, but I've read a lot of negative things recently.

    A lot of the original demos for this library sounded mediocre at best, but they added several new demos a few days ago that sound pretty good. It's an 11 piece ensemble and I've never been all that impressed with the chamber orchestra/small ensemble libraries I've heard, so comparatively, I think it seems pretty good.

    I've been reading some old threads on gearslutz and it sounds like most people weren't that impressed by the original session strings, but I didn't see anything from anyone who had actually tried the new product (which I realize was only recently released). Technically, it looks a lot better to me from the specifications. Trying to convince myself that it actually is a significant improvement over the library that no one seemed to like, I noted:

    The addition of release samples
    4x round robin instead of 2x
    3-4 velocity layers instead of 1-2
    Adjustable bow noise
    A ton more articulations
    Separate violin, viola, cello, bass patches (instead of just "strings" like in the original)

    Both this and the old version have actual sampled legato transitions, too, which is something I would definitely look for.

    Another suggestion I've seen is getting LASS lite for $399, but you can get session strings pro for $299 from Sweetwater and it comes on actual DVDs, rather than as a download. I haven't decided what to do yet, so I was wondering if anyone had tried the actual product or had any info to contribute.

  2. #2

    Re: Anyone tried session strings pro?

    I'd like to hear some feedback, too. Not only about the quality of the samples and the usability of the UI, but how the unusual number of instruments works out for you. It seems to violate all the orchestration "rules" for small string sections:

    4 violins (or two sections of 2).
    3 violas and 2 basses -- which seems unbalanced.
    2 celli -- which is done all the time in the musical theater, but which some orchestrators tell me is unncessary.


    It seems a quite a bit off from the traditional distribution of parts:

    3 or 4 first violins.
    3 second violins.
    2 violi.
    1 cello.

    or similar variations, following the general rule of 3 violins = 2 violi = 1 cello. And 2 celli = 1 bass.

    On the other hand, George Martin famously used 2 string quartets (2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello) on several Beatles hits (basically recording both quartets twice, just to give the strings a little more depth). So there you go.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  3. #3

    Re: Anyone tried session strings pro?

    Well, I decided to buy it. I got 10% off the $299 (which was already lower than the $339 listed on the NI site). I figured it's worth a try for $269. I'll post some comments after it arrives and I try it out.

  4. #4

    Re: Anyone tried session strings pro?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpalenik View Post
    Well, I decided to buy it. I got 10% off the $299 (which was already lower than the $339 listed on the NI site). I figured it's worth a try for $269. I'll post some comments after it arrives and I try it out.
    Congrats, and please give us your opinion when you've tested it properly.

    Thanks.

  5. #5

    Re: Anyone tried session strings pro?

    I've played around with this just a little bit so far today and here are my impressions:

    Good:
    -There are actually 4 different ensembles, each with 4 violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, and 2 basses. Each patch contains two of the ensembles and you can adjust the volume of the two ensembles independently. This allows you to adjust the balance between instruments pretty easily and build different sized ensembles. It could also be used to create up to 4 part divisi.
    -Despite the fact that people have said the old version sounded kind of synthy, I like the sound of the patches, especially the MTown presets.
    -The bow noise control is nice.

    Bad:
    -You can set up to 6 key switches to change articulations, but there are so many articulations, sometimes it would be nice to have access to more at a time.
    - Basses are missing the staccato, spiccato, and pizzicato articulations; possibly a few others as well.
    -Because it loads two ensembles at a time and all articulations, it takes up a fair amount of memory. I do need to upgrade Windows on my Kontakt 4 computer to 64 bit Windows, but it would be nice if there were a way to load "lite" patches, or not load all articulations, or only 1 ensemble at a time to save memory.
    -There aren't any vibrato articulations.
    -The legato feels a bit slow. There's no lag or anything, like people had complained about with the old version, but the attack is just a little too slow for very fast runs, IMO.

    I'll post more after I play around with it a little more. I'm having some computer issues right now, though.

    edit: It looks like it DOES use less memory if you don't fill the key switches with articulations, however, it must load a portion of each articulation when you load the patch, since two key switches don't use twice as much memory as one, etc.

  6. #6

    Re: Anyone tried session strings pro?

    Thanks a lot for your comments. Here is just a bit of additional information: We will release an update for Session Strings Pro soon. This will also add Spiccato, Staccato and Pizzicato to the Bass Production presets. These articulations are already part of the Performance presets.

    All the best
    Thomas
    e-instruments

  7. #7

    Re: Anyone tried session strings pro?

    I am having real problems with the articulations in this library, am I right that only 6 articulations can be used
    At once, and then the CPU is very high ?

    Is it at least possible to get under the hood via the edit button to build individual articulations as there is in fact no separate articulations,

    Also any animator patters are always out of sync on the first bar.

    Ay help would be great,

    Cheers
    Matt


    Quote Originally Posted by mpalenik View Post
    I've played around with this just a little bit so far today and here are my impressions:

    Good:
    -There are actually 4 different ensembles, each with 4 violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, and 2 basses. Each patch contains two of the ensembles and you can adjust the volume of the two ensembles independently. This allows you to adjust the balance between instruments pretty easily and build different sized ensembles. It could also be used to create up to 4 part divisi.
    -Despite the fact that people have said the old version sounded kind of synthy, I like the sound of the patches, especially the MTown presets.
    -The bow noise control is nice.

    Bad:
    -You can set up to 6 key switches to change articulations, but there are so many articulations, sometimes it would be nice to have access to more at a time.
    - Basses are missing the staccato, spiccato, and pizzicato articulations; possibly a few others as well.
    -Because it loads two ensembles at a time and all articulations, it takes up a fair amount of memory. I do need to upgrade Windows on my Kontakt 4 computer to 64 bit Windows, but it would be nice if there were a way to load "lite" patches, or not load all articulations, or only 1 ensemble at a time to save memory.
    -There aren't any vibrato articulations.
    -The legato feels a bit slow. There's no lag or anything, like people had complained about with the old version, but the attack is just a little too slow for very fast runs, IMO.

    I'll post more after I play around with it a little more. I'm having some computer issues right now, though.

    edit: It looks like it DOES use less memory if you don't fill the key switches with articulations, however, it must load a portion of each articulation when you load the patch, since two key switches don't use twice as much memory as one, etc.
    Last edited by Matt Hooper; 07-28-2012 at 06:12 AM. Reason: Typo

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