Zubaru

Cinematic Studio Strings

14 posts in this topic

So I've been looking for a good string ensemble library for a while now, something that is versatile but sounds cinematic. My price range is not very high, so that disqualifies most of the libraries, I looked at Cinematic Strings 2.0 and they were priced well and sounded great to me. Then I discovered that the same guys that made Cinematic Strings 2.0 made something even higher end in this new "Cinematic Studio" series that they are creating.

So basically I was just wondering what you guys think about this library, it's only 400$, so 100$ more than cinematic strings 2.0, they sound great to me honestly. Would you recommend these for a someone new to composing with orchestral sample libraries? They're supposed to be easy to use and such.

Link to library: http://www.cinematicstudioseries.com/strings.html

Good demonstration video:

 

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CSS is better for a beginner because it covers more and has better playability. CS2 kind of touches on all the main articulations, but doesn't really cover them that adequately.

 

For example, CS2 has legato but it's very subtle, and there's no control over it. CSS has 3 distinct speeds of legato (which all sound very, VERY good) and it depends on note velocity.

CS2 has staccatos and staccatissimos, but no spiccatos. Spiccatos is a really common short for strings in modern popular music, so not the best omission. CSS, on the other hand, has it.

CSS also has marcato, which is LEGATO enabled which is FANTASTIC because it means you can do legato phrases with sharp, bite-y playing instead of just the normal lyrical stuff you hear in most libs.

It also has a Con Sordino simulation.

 

If you're spending in the ballpark of this range of money you should invest in something really good so you're not left wanting more and spending more later. CS2 was my favorite string lib for a while, and CSS just improves on its spirit by magnitudes.

 

Here's a tone comparison published on SLR:

http://www.samplelibraryreview.com/developer-videos/nabeel-ansari-shares-comparison-cinematic-strings-2-vs-cinematic-studio-strings/

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I'm just waiting for the entire series and get them all at once.

It's gonna be righteous 

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CSS is probably the best string library you can get for it's price, also it has a different tone than the other string libraries. It's more hollywoody I guess you could say. Studioy? It's really thick and dark sounding. Berlin Strings might be the best one since it's the most deeply sampled and I think it has the most articulations. CSS is amazing but god that legato delay is so obnoxious sometimes, luckily there's a patch which has 50-100ms legato delay but it doesn't sound as good. CSS isn't too deeply sampled but it's made well enough that you won't notice in most cases. In terms of scripting, it blows CS2 out of the water, but CS2 and CSS are two completely different libraries. CS2 is big and roomy and the legato is generic, and doesn't offer as many articulations. CSS has pretty much no reverb tail and the tone is vastly different. I'm not gonna note on Hollywood Strings since ewql play engine sucks balls

 

tl;dr get css over cs2 it has more stuff and isn't old.

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On 3/7/2017 at 10:08 PM, Tekkera said:

 I'm not gonna note on Hollywood Strings since ewql play engine sucks balls

Not trying to "start anything", but I've seen this complaint for years and I still don't get it. The PLAY engine works great; I've never had a problem with it in the years that I've been using it. So I would not use PLAY (aside from the ilok) as a reason NOT to get Hollywood.

In fact, the only reason I wouldn't recommend Hollywood Strings is because of the price and it's the Diamond Edition that gives you all of the Mics and it's a pretty demanding setup. Most guys I know who use it are using slave machines. That being said, East West does do a fantastic job with their samples and those libraries usually contain unique samples not found too often elsewhere. Even with Symphonic Orchestra, the "lyrical" and "expressive" patches are really great.

On a related note,

Zubaru wants strings with a "cinematic" sound. I'd argue that no library inherently sounds "cinematic" as that sound is more just a style of orchestration and including ethnic percussion and sound design in the music. The only thing that makes a real difference with the samples is if they were recorded on a scoring stage instead of a hall. There's also 2 kinds of "cinematic", in my opinion.

1) The "Old Hollywood" sound, characterized by soaring strings and brass with lots of woodwind flourishes, fx and ornaments and fast string runs within the lydian mode. 

2) The "Hans Zimmer" sound which is largely ostinato based and as such, those close mics are important.

Most libraries these days seem to cater to option 2.

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6 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Not trying to "start anything", but I've seen this complaint for years and I still don't get it. The PLAY engine works great; I've never had a problem with it in the years that I've been using it. So I would not use PLAY (aside from the ilok) as a reason NOT to get Hollywood.

So because you've never had a problem with it that means it's good software?

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2 hours ago, Nabeel Ansari said:

The reality is that most people who use the software do so without issue across Mac and PC with all industry-standard hosts; especially with version 5.

So because you've had a problem with it, that means it's bad software?

It's like Windows 10. It's installation, for whatever reason, refused to work with music software on my machine despite no reported compatibility issues. It doesn't change the fact that most users here, seem to use it without issue. Lots of people, outside of music-related tasks, have grievances with Windows 10 — doesn't mean it's inherently bad software. 

Yes, some people have had technical problems with PLAY. Like they do with every piece of software ever made.

Hollywood Strings is still a great library, well worth the money if you can swing it.

 

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On 9/3/2017 at 11:30 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Not trying to "start anything", but I've seen this complaint for years and I still don't get it. The PLAY engine works great; I've never had a problem with it in the years that I've been using it. So I would not use PLAY (aside from the ilok) as a reason NOT to get Hollywood.

In fact, the only reason I wouldn't recommend Hollywood Strings is because of the price and it's the Diamond Edition that gives you all of the Mics and it's a pretty demanding setup. Most guys I know who use it are using slave machines. That being said, East West does do a fantastic job with their samples and those libraries usually contain unique samples not found too often elsewhere. Even with Symphonic Orchestra, the "lyrical" and "expressive" patches are really great.

On a related note,

Zubaru wants strings with a "cinematic" sound. I'd argue that no library inherently sounds "cinematic" as that sound is more just a style of orchestration and including ethnic percussion and sound design in the music. The only thing that makes a real difference with the samples is if they were recorded on a scoring stage instead of a hall. There's also 2 kinds of "cinematic", in my opinion.

1) The "Old Hollywood" sound, characterized by soaring strings and brass with lots of woodwind flourishes, fx and ornaments and fast string runs within the lydian mode. 

2) The "Hans Zimmer" sound which is largely ostinato based and as such, those close mics are important.

Most libraries these days seem to cater to option 2.

I do agree that a specific string library is not cinematic, you make it sound cinematic with the composition and mixing. I expressed myself badly, I meant I wanted a library with a lot dynamic range, that can do both subtle and grand sounding things. I think I'll go with CSS because the price is right and I love Kontakt, works very well I think.

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On 3/9/2017 at 11:35 PM, Nabeel Ansari said:

Don't you love when people pull this website out just to be asinine and smug in the laziest way possible? It's kinda hard to relate and agree that PLAY engine is horrible if you've never had the experience of it being horrible to you personally in a topic that asks for your opinions and experience with cinematic samples.

This has also been my experience - I've had Play (well, an archaic version of it by now) for quite a long time and I've had pretty minimal fuss with it. Even now as I have newer and better things with everyone's favorite child Kontakt 5, I still end up using EWQLSO for a lot of my orchestral needs. PLAY could be a lot better, but in my experience, so could Kontakt. I stagger to think East West would've become such an industry player in the virtual sample world if their flagship engine really is as bad as all the elite hivemind composers say it is, but I'm sure that's a different logical fallacy on it's own since everything that disagree with the hivemind is...

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19 hours ago, Meteo Xavier said:

Don't you love when people pull this website out just to be asinine and smug in the laziest way possible? It's kinda hard to relate and agree that PLAY engine is horrible if you've never had the experience of it being horrible to you personally in a topic that asks for your opinions and experience with cinematic samples.

This has also been my experience - I've had Play (well, an archaic version of it by now) for quite a long time and I've had pretty minimal fuss with it. Even now as I have newer and better things with everyone's favorite child Kontakt 5, I still end up using EWQLSO for a lot of my orchestral needs. PLAY could be a lot better, but in my experience, so could Kontakt. I stagger to think East West would've become such an industry player in the virtual sample world if their flagship engine really is as bad as all the elite hivemind composers say it is, but I'm sure that's a different logical fallacy on it's own since everything that disagree with the hivemind is...

Let's not throw accusations or anything, I do agree with it not necessarily being true that PLAY is. Both sides of the table are anecdotal (And saying the conclusion is wrong because it's anecdotal would be fallacy fallacy xD) and besides the problems with PLAY could be fixed now, the other side of the discussion wouldn't know because they've dropped this.

I think the obvious benefit of CSS is the practicality for smaller producers like me. It's smaller in size, it's easy to learn and it has a much more affordable price

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On 3/10/2017 at 2:13 AM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

The reality is that most people who use the software do so without issue across Mac and PC with all industry-standard hosts; especially with version 5.

So because you've had a problem with it, that means it's bad software?

It's like Windows 10. It's installation, for whatever reason, refused to work with music software on my machine despite no reported compatibility issues. It doesn't change the fact that most users here, seem to use it without issue. Lots of people, outside of music-related tasks, have grievances with Windows 10 — doesn't mean it's inherently bad software. 

Yes, some people have had technical problems with PLAY. Like they do with every piece of software ever made.

Hollywood Strings is still a great library, well worth the money if you can swing it

This is just an issue of your lack of exposure to the industry at large; many people have had issues with the PLAY engine. I appreciate the snarky mirror remark, but there's a difference between arguing something because of your personal experience and arguing based on consensus. What's even more puzzling is that you recognize that you've seen this complaint "for years" but still somehow discount that and consider your personal experience an indicator that it's good software instead of the obvious outlier that it is.

 

That being said, PLAY's latest version is actually good, so this is kind of a moot point anyway. They fixed a lot of their issues.

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3 hours ago, Nabeel Ansari said:

This is just an issue of your lack of exposure to the industry at large; many people have had issues with the PLAY engine. I appreciate the snarky mirror remark, but there's a difference between arguing something because of your personal experience and arguing based on consensus. What's even more puzzling is that you recognize that you've seen this complaint "for years" but still somehow discount that and consider your personal experience an indicator that it's good software instead of the obvious outlier that it is.

 

That being said, PLAY's latest version is actually good, so this is kind of a moot point anyway. They fixed a lot of their issues.

I must question your motivations in posting that snarky link, then, if even you agree that the software is good (now). I specifically mentioned that the latest version is good and has received a lot of positive feedback.

For years I have seen complaints from average Joes on forums, but I'm struggling to think of any composer I've personally met who uses the software or a lot of the more esteemed members of VI Control echoing these sentiments; so I've not seen evidence that "PLAY sucks balls" (Tekkera's words) is the consensus as you suggest.

It really doesn't matter though, since Zubaru is going with CSS — I've no doubt he/she will not regret his/her purchase.

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On 3/15/2017 at 1:47 AM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I must question your motivations in posting that snarky link, then, if even you agree that the software is good (now). I specifically mentioned that the latest version is good and has received a lot of positive feedback.

For years I have seen complaints from average Joes on forums, but I'm struggling to think of any composer I've personally met who uses the software or a lot of the more esteemed members of VI Control echoing these sentiments; so I've not seen evidence that "PLAY sucks balls" (Tekkera's words) is the consensus as you suggest.

It really doesn't matter though, since Zubaru is going with CSS — I've no doubt he/she will not regret his/her purchase.

It's more a matter of questioning why you say you "don't get" the complaint. Do you not understand the complaint, or do you simply not agree it's a common issue? Saying "I don't understand" can imply the issues are not important, or more extensively that it's other people's fault that the software had issues, or that the issues they have are not valid issues, etc.

You can think it's good software, and recommend it, but still recognize that many people have had a lot of problems with it. It seemed you were implying that since the software worked for you, the fact that other people had issues is confounding and suspect; I wanted to point out I thought that was pretty illogical way to navigate the topic.

As for the "now" situation, you were remarking on the complaints you'd seen for years, and the PLAY update was only recent, so I was responding to that specific observation (which has everything to do with old PLAY and nothing to do with the new one).

To clarify, I don't mean a consensus that everyone thinks it's bad software, I mean a consensus insofar as everyone is aware that PLAY has pretty rocky, inconsistent experiences with people. If you ask a lot of those esteemed composers you're talking about if they like PLAY and it's good, they might say yes, but if you ask them if they knew that other people have issues with it, concerning RAM, voice playback, etc.. unless they don't involve themselves in the VI community much, I'd venture they would tell you they're aware of that.

Furthermore, a lot of customers in VI industry aren't the loud and proud people you see on VI-C, and a lot of them aren't professionals. They might not afford finely tuned workstation rigs where PLAY's performance issues didn't matter, and that's definitely a factor here. I can tell you for example, the largest % of ISW customers (that we've been able to poll, anyway...) consider themselves hobbyists.

On 3/12/2017 at 7:19 PM, Meteo Xavier said:

Don't you love when people pull this website out just to be asinine and smug in the laziest way possible?

I love it more when people come out of hiding just to scream about how people behave on the forums, making themselves out to be the exact douchebags they're trying to call out.

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