EastWest Hollywood Strings
These include soundstages and halls from Southern California. Instrumentation All sections except the Basses were sampled with wide extended ranges including almost 4 octaves for violins. Their latest release was originally announced over a year ago, raising expectations sky high and setting Internet forums ablaze with gossip. While these devices have much faster access speeds than regular hard drives, they are considerably more expensive. Happily for those hit by the current economic doom-fest, the library runs without problems on conventional fast drives, though some of its bigger patches do demand a pretty hefty system.
EastWest Hollywood Strings Gold
These include soundstages and halls from Southern California. Instrumentation All sections except the Basses were sampled with wide extended ranges including almost 4 octaves for violins.
Their latest release was originally announced over a year ago, raising expectations sky high and setting Internet forums ablaze with gossip. While these devices have much faster access speeds than regular hard drives, they are considerably more expensive. Happily for those hit by the current economic doom-fest, the library runs without problems on conventional fast drives, though some of its bigger patches do demand a pretty hefty system.
Contrary to rumour, installing gigantic orchestral libraries from 35 DVDs is not the thing I enjoy most in life, so it was a relief to discover that HS ships pre-installed on a hard drive.
However, I was surprised to find that the drive in question is a bare internal type, which means that you either have to put it in a spare drive slot inside your computer or buy a suitable external case for it. Team Play The library was created by a quartet of Hollywood heavy hitters. It IS gonna be sick. Play 6 comes in bit use PLAY 4 for bit compatibility , both of which are included with the library.
The chief advantage of the bit version is its ability to access much larger amounts of RAM, but in order to run it, your operating system, computer motherboard and if you intend to use Play as a plug-in host sequencer also have to be bit. Read the article at www. Play version 2. The makers claim the update also improves loading times, and while I was unable to compare Play v1 and v2 on the same machine, I can say that on a 3.
Sonic Boon Enough of the prologue: In marked contrast to EWQL Symphonic Orchestra recorded in a reverberant concert hall , HS has a large-room studio acoustic which, while by no means dry, lends itself to users adding their own reverb if desired. To that end, the library includes a large menu of convolution reverb impulse responses, including some derived from the hall in which EWQLSO was recorded.
From the violins down to the basses, these string sections have a lovely sound, texture and feel, with a rich, full symphonic sound and an opulent quality that comes from combining great players with a great sound engineer.
The looped sustains are manna from heaven for pad merchants like myself, incorporating three degrees of vibrato as well as alternating up- and down-bows. As one who likes to compose by playing, the provision of pre-programmed, full, six-octave strings sections is very helpful. Some of these deliveries incorporate as many as 16 round robins; a reset button allows you to force the round-robin cycle back to the top, and if necessary you can also add silent zero velocity notes before a part starts, to line up the requisite RR sample.
Following orchestral sample library best practice, the producers recorded completely different first and second violin sections. This greatly increases the timbral variety — and arguably, value for money — as each violinist brings in his or her own unique, often priceless instrument!
The piece second violin section replicate many of the articulations played by the 16 first violins, and also perform some lovely breathy flautandos a delicate, whispering delivery full of quiet tension and a nice set of chromatically-mapped harmonics. The rhythmic effect is somewhat blurred, but a 16th-note pulse can be discerned. The same idea is applied to the note repetitions played by the violas and basses. With these, the pulse is sharp and clear, though its real life speed is consistently a little slower than the tempo figure displayed by Play.
It creates very lifelike, user-controllable swells and fades and obviates the need for played crescendo and diminuendo samples: Starting notes with no vibrato, then gradually introducing it with the wheel is also very expressive.
The technique works by crossfading between different layers of samples, with a choice of six, nine or 13 layers available for the vibrato sustains. Keyswitches are used throughout to switch between semitone and tone trills, up and down runs, and so on.
In addition, each section has a single main keyswitch instrument incorporating various types of sustained note articulations. Smooth Running A realistic legato sound — a smooth, unbroken, joined-up line of notes, the hallmark of orchestral strings — is not easy to achieve with samples. This generates enormous amounts of sample data and helps explain why libraries of this ilk are so big, and why they take so long to create!
I found the results to be excellent: HS offers three types of legato: The legatos incorporate different dynamics and vibrato strengths controlled by CC11 and CC1 respectively , so you have the great advantage of adding real-sounding, expressive surges and diminuendos to legato melody lines.
Velocity is used to control the speed of the intervals, including that of the portamento slides: If you need one of those, use the played trills samples. Though these legato instruments are basically monophonic, a MIDI CC22 command will render them polyphonic and non-legato, thus avoiding the hassle of having to switch to a different articulation to play chords within a legato passage.
The makers also created monophonic legato and portamento simulations that can be turned on and off on the front panel. The legato effect works well across the board, and the portamento sounds pretty good if used judiciously.
Unfortunately, neither the scripted nor the real legatos accommodate the old monophonic analogue synth technique of holding down one note while rapidly reiterating another, a nice easy way of playing a trill! Speaking of ease of playing, even one-fingered keyboardists will be able to impress their relatives with the fast up and down octave runs performed in various scales by the first violins, violas and cellos.
Though the samples do their job well, I noticed that the time-stretching used on these instruments introduced some extraneous audio artifacts. These have now all been remedied and the fixes will be available in a free Play update. Real-life string sections often divide to play different parts or the individual notes of a chord.
For example, in a violin section, eight violins might play the top part while the remaining six take the lower part, or the instruments might divide 6: These mono patches have a smaller sound than the other mikings and can thus be used to simulate an orchestral divisi.
One advantage is that as they are the same performances albeit miked differently , there are no tuning, timing or phase discrepancies with the main stereo samples! Connoisseurs of the violin family will know that pitches played high up near the bridge have a warm sound, while notes played low down on the neck sound more bright and open. No-one in their right mind would criticise the effort that went into creating it, but at times I felt a little less effort might have been beneficial — for example, I occasionally found myself hankering after some simpler, less multi-dimensional patches for example, straight velocity-controlled vibrato sustains.
For maximum flexibility of programming, having access to the individual layers used in the instruments would be very handy. Which I guess is where Play Pro comes in Determining exactly how many instruments you can run at any one time depends on how much RAM your system can access itself something of a vexed issue , which instruments you need they range in size from 3MB to well over 1GB , and how much polyphony they consume.
In a nutshell, unless you have the kind of optimal system outlined above, expect to do more bouncing than you would with your average library. These feature the strings playing on their own, enabling you to properly experience their sound. As the hardware and software get more robust, the producers of these libraries take full advantage of it all, creating sounds that are sonically richer; and ones that use more microphones in more positions, have more dynamic range and articulations, and are generally better than ever before.
This thing is a monster, and it has quickly set a new bar in what you can get out of a library of orchestral string samples. You really need to have a robust computer to take advantage of this library.
But I needed to upgrade my 6-year-old box anyway, so I took this opportunity to do it. I bought a Mac Pro 2. I like to pick and choose from a bunch of different libraries and get the best bang for my buck.
Remember when they used to ship to you on CDs? Then multiple CDs? Then the libraries began to get bigger, and the samples themselves began taking up more space. So they started shipping them on DVDs. Then multiple DVDs. The Hollywood Strings library ships on a GB hard drive. You read that right. It comes in a pretty red box, and inside the box is that hard drive and a quick-guide of FAQs.
Next up is the installation, which is very easy. I think it took over an hour on my system, so be patient. Just open up your host digital audio application mine is Digital Performer 7.
But I highly recommend you do yourself a favor and watch the Hollywood Strings video tutorials first. And Away We Go So this is where the fun begins. As the size of this whole sample library suggests, producers Doug Rogers, Nick Phoenix and Thomas Bergersen have gone to amazing lengths to provide both quality of sound and quantity of samples via various articulations, bowings, finger positions, dynamics, section sizes and more.
The first thing I noticed was the sonic quality of the samples. These guys set out to create a string section that sounds like film-music strings, not concert-hall strings.
They recorded in Hollywood, with A-list session players, and one of the top scoring mixers of all time. And the samples show it. But here are some of my favorite things: Choice of short-note bowings: Consistency of sound and style: This is one of the most frustrating things to deal with: Bowings in the violas are slightly different from violins, for example.
To get this kind of thing right takes an incredible attention to detail and a lot of work. Kudos to the producers here because these samples have been incredibly consistent across the sections.
String runs: For commercial orchestral music, this is a must-have because when you build these manually, it rarely sounds right. And to get it to sound in the ballpark takes a lot of time.
There are a ton of choices variations of minor, major and whole-tone scales and they all sound great. Choices of key switch, keyboard splits or mod wheel: One of the options is a sample that contains both a run up and a run down. Depending on which you prefer, you can load in the key-switch version, which allows you to trigger the change from up to down with a single key. Or you can load the keyboard-split version, which means that the runs are divided by octave and direction on the keyboard itself.
Or, you can load the mod-wheel version, which lets you switch the sample via your mod wheel. I like that they took a user preference into account here. Measured tremolos:
0% Financing and ✅ FREE Shipping for your EastWest Hollywood Strings Diamond Edition (Windows EastWest Hollywood Strings – Gold Edition ( download). Hollywood Strings Gold Edition is bit, with one mic positon (mid-tree, no divisi) Gold – 48GB free hard disc space, iLok Account (required for machine-based. Hollywood Strings Silver Edition is available for download only. Silver – 13GB free hard disc space, iLok Account (required for machine-based license), iLok.
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HOWTO VIDEO: EastWest Hollywood Strings
Hollywood Strings was recorded in EastWest’s Studio 1 with 57 of LA’s top EastWest created ‘light’ programs, available in the free HS instrument update 1. . collection, you’d be daft not to read its excellent manual (downloadable from . Buy East West Hollywood Strings Gold (Download) for the best price online at Music Matter UK. Shop for from East West Sounds with Free Next Day Delivery. Virtual String Instrument (Download)Contains the Following Instruments: 16 First violins, 14 Second violins, 10 Violas, 10 Cellos, 7 Basses Features: 1.