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By Dave Stewart Orchestral Tools expand their series with a quartet of solo strings and a pair of intimately-recorded soloists. Since releasing Berlin Strings in November , Orchestral Tools have steadily augmented the library with expansion volumes. Though such specialised articulations are great for adding colour and excitement to scores, the expansion set liable to have the widest popular appeal is BST Expansion D: First Chairs, which adds solo strings to the library.
Orchestral Tools Solo Strings
By Dave Stewart Orchestral Tools expand their series with a quartet of solo strings and a pair of intimately-recorded soloists. Since releasing Berlin Strings in November , Orchestral Tools have steadily augmented the library with expansion volumes. Though such specialised articulations are great for adding colour and excitement to scores, the expansion set liable to have the widest popular appeal is BST Expansion D: First Chairs, which adds solo strings to the library. Featuring a line-up of two violins, viola and cello, the library works both for stand-alone string quartets, and for layering and blending with larger string ensembles.
To that end, the players were recorded in their natural orchestral seating positions and multi-miked in the same way as the Berlin Strings string ensembles. The library uses three dynamic layers throughout, with up to six round robins on its short notes. Sustains and legatos are highly responsive to touch: Playing hard triggers long portamento slides, which adds an extra layer of realism.
Violin I and II sound less homogenous than I expected: The extended range of the cello also comes in handy for composing full quartet parts.
I found its soft-attack sustains particularly inspirational for writing. The four instruments sound perfectly blended when played together as an ensemble: Nocturne Violin For their Soloists series the producers returned to their favourite Berlin studio, but this time headed for one of its smaller rooms. Very cool. I was taken aback by the wealth of true legato articulations in this library: Legato patches respond to playing speed and automatically select the appropriate kind of transitions in real time: All this adds up to a massively flexible, beautiful-sounding instrument which pushes the boundaries of expression and playability.
Nocturne Cello Nocturne Cello boasts the same super-abundance of note lengths and vibrato styles as its violin companion. The performer injects great feel and expression into his vibrato deliveries, and the legatos soar effortlessly up into violin territory, maintaining an admirably even tone across the range. Play it fast, play it slow — it all sounds great straight out of the box. The Nocturne Cello and Violin instruments feature customisable multi-patches which allow you to switch between 12 playing styles in real time.
Features shared with the violin include the Trills Orchestrator originally developed for Berlin Woodwinds, which automatically plays trills of up to a fifth interval when you play two simultaneous notes. A con sordino muted tone is created by a scripted filter: Surprisingly, the Nocturne instruments use only one velocity layer, the idea being to avoid phasing artifacts that occur when you crossfade between different dynamic layers. The producers left it to the musicians to choose the best dynamic for each of the various articulations, then concentrated on capturing many different types of expression; a specially designed filter system built into the player software emulates the timbral variation that occurs with dynamic changes.
Conclusion I recommend these fine solo strings libraries to all serious orchestral sample users. Like all the Berlin Series expansion volumes, First Chairs works as a stand-alone collection independent of the Berlin Strings main library. You can add orchestral hall reverb courtesy of a convolution impulse response captured in the Teldex hall, thus sonically tying these solo instruments in with other Orchestral Tools libraries. Pros Recorded in the Teldex Scoring Stage from five mic positions, First Chairs is the ideal complement to Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings and its four instruments work equally well solo or in an ensemble.
Nocturne Violin is absolutely superb. Cons None. Summary While it works as a stand-alone library, the First Chairs string quartet is the ideal complement to Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings sections, and its four instruments sound great whether played individually or as an ensemble. The close-up recording style and superb tone of Nocturne Violin and Nocturne Cello make them supremely adaptable to different musical styles.
None of these libraries is suitable for absolute beginners, and to get the best results from the Nocturne instruments requires some technical understanding; that said, experienced orchestral sample users will appreciate these supremely playable and flexible instruments.
Jonathan Moray said: I think the concept, as with the solo woodwinds, is great. In my opinion you don’t need a bunch of dynamic layers for solo instruments. With some smart EQing and some convolution magic you can definitely get good results. One thing I really miss in most string libraries is same note legato repetition re-bowing?
VIDEO: Orchestral tools soloists ii nocturne cello kontakt
The Nocturne Violin is part of Orchestral Tools’ new Soloists Series. A series of beautiful sounds from selected artists from Berlin which they. A Nocturne Soloists Series, which so far consists of Nocturne Violin and Nocturne Cello. Orchestral Tools collections are regularly updated with improvements. Nocturne Cello is Orchestral Tools’ second release in their Soloist Series. Building off of the concept behind Nocturne Violin, Orchestral Tools.