All five default patches sound great straight out of the box, as it were, with a smooth and luscious sound. This is also great for creating a particularly intimate, transparent-sounding string section with a lower player count. Nevertheless, certain features are worthy of mention. Keyswitches appear in the score as seemingly nonsensical random notes, usually with dozens of ledger lines, and have to be deleted — which means making a separate, score—friendly version of the project. Each preset type loads with a pre—configured selection of articulations, with a maximum of eight available at once. This is not a problem with the wide, lush Ensemble instruments, but it would be a conspicuous and unrealistic distraction heard on a single sound. Choose from over 100 fully-playable chromatic articulations, including true legato and a variety of staccato types featuring up to eight round robins.
This is because the Auto Divisi feature is turned on by default. Aleatoric effects clusters, drones and so on that are not tempo—specific offer only the natural and varispeed options. Since there are subtle differences in tuning between the three p, mf and f dynamic levels, there would be audible phasing as one layer crossfaded to the next. Tempo sync is the best option for crescendos, sforzandos and similar phrase—based performances that need to fit precisely to musical time. Those excellent triple—tongued staccatos make a welcome appearance too, in both regular and muted flavours. Play four notes and they split once more, into 8+8+7+7.
The instrument ranges of the Brass Ensemble and Brass Quartet presets can be adjusted, along with their relative levels. There are four folders, one for each brass instrument section: Trumpets, Horns, Trombones and Tubas. The articulation Sustain Decrescendo has just been assigned to keyswitch F 0. This allows round-robin sets that recreate the real-world sound of played drums, adjusting for style and performance. When activated, the transition behaviour is controlled by velocity, with portamento kicking in on the lower velocities. It also provides an outstanding percussion set for pop and electronic genres.
Each section provides six types of preset: Effects, Expression, Legato, Staccato, Sustain and a general—purpose preset named after the relevant instrument. Sordino Sus Vib brings the sweeter sound of muted strings. They include Legato, Playback speed controls, a graphic displaying playback progress, a Round Robin indicator, and Repetition. Each instrument can be played individually or as one of seven smartly combined kits. Horn 2 also enjoys some extended expression articulations: blasts, trills, stopped downward bend, and the eccentric Trill Spin, a mildly demented major triad arpeggio. Outside that window they are treated as new, non-transitioned notes.
Add a third note and they divide again, into 16+7+7. It has a full, strident quality well suited to dramatic orchestral writing, yet it can equally be delicate and emotive. Its major selling points are without doubt the inclusion of a well-implemented divisi system and the option of fewer players, both usually reserved for more costly libraries. The position and type of key switches and the selected articulations are easily visible directly on the hardware. Dynamic crossfading would have been a plus on the solo instruments, but even so, they offer plenty of ammunition to create exciting and detailed brass arrangements, and paired with the Ensemble, they make a fine set. An Articulation indicator occupies the lower area, together with two further performance controls that vary depending on the selected preset or articulation within a preset.
Create single, double, and triple tongue staccatos with round robins and automatic repetition features. This is deliberate, and future releases in the series are likely to follow suit. There are some standout examples of relatively affordable string libraries with features and sound quality that belie their price tags. If required, you can even assign each section to a specific key range to create custom key splits for a particular composition. These present the four sections laid out consecutively across the keyboard, and are primarily but not solely intended for quickly roughing out of parts prior to reassigning individual lines to dedicated instrument patches.
Keyswitchable articulations work well enough, but they also present problems for anyone who needs to produce a score of their work. Turning off Auto Divisi makes sure they stay that way. A handy Transfer Settings feature allows easy copying of the Mixer settings across all sections — as long as they reside in the same Kontakt instance. Note repetitions can be tricky to simulate realistically, and often well—nigh impossible to play quickly as chords. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional.
The Auto Divisi is especially well thought out and extremely welcome, as is the inclusion of both legato and portamento transitions. Having both first and second sections as well as divisi sections for each of these, the violins have the most sizing options. The Auto Divisi engine which is turned on by default keeps player size consistent when performing polyphonic legato lines, chords, and phrases. Short notes have two, three, four or eight round robins, depending on type. Like String Ensemble, Cinematic Strings 2 contains individual sections plus full and light ensembles with a similar lush sound quality. Close, Mid and Far microphones were recorded for both libraries. The Trombones boast an impressive span, covering the full range from contrabass to alto those extremes being artificially extended to A0 and G5 in some presets.
Would Soundiron produce the upcoming string library, too, we wondered? I do miss not having a marcato articulation for the violins, violas and cellos. Like Brass Collection, Cinesamples have taken a two—volume approach; CineBrass Core covers the essentials for solo and ensemble sections, whilst the CineBrass Pro extension adds further articulations. On the Articulation Edit page, all the available ones are shown in a grid with accompanying graphic icons. Three types of stepped octave swoop provide some operatic drama; unfortunately, no other intervals are provided — fourth and fifth interval swoops, also known as rips, would have been most welcome. A third selection method is to use velocity—based switching. The list of articulations for both Ensemble and Solo Libraries is nothing if not comprehensive; the devil is, as always, in the detail. It also causes Expression articulations to always play to the bitter end, which is problematic if you need to cut them short.