Well, it looks like this is going to be a good couple of weeks for symphonic/orchestral composers… especially if you need deals on strings!
Today let’s go over some of the sounds and features in Aria Sounds’ London Symphonic Strings (LSS for short), which is currently very inexpensive at only $39.00! Please keep in mind – it does require the FULL version of Kontakt.
LSS is a fully sampled symphonic strings library that includes 1st and 2nd violins, violas, celli, and basses, each sampled in their correct seating positions in an orchestral hall. While they are recorded in a symphonic hall, the samples can be quite dry when needed- they aren’t drowning in reverb/room ambience like some other libraries, and are very flexible if you need to blend them with other libraries. The inclusion of four separate mic positions – close, main (decca tree), rigs (outriggers), and room (hall)- really helps with this aspect and allows you to easily place the strings forward or backward to sit exactly where you need them in a mix. Having multiple mic positions is also what makes them super easy to blend with libraries from other developers which are likely recorded in different rooms.
As far as content and articulations, the total size is about 42gb, and you get the standard legato, sustains, spiccato, pizzicato, and tremolo that you’d expect. What’s really nice here is the addition of some articulations that are rarely included with other libraries, like flautando and legato for con sord and sul tasto playing styles, and some I’ve honestly never heard in any other sample library, such as the true glissando engine and some of the aleatoric effects.
There are up to four separate types of legato transitions as well, including fingered (more detached transition for agile playing), bowed (for a more fluid/slurred transition), portamento (a longer, much more pronounced and slurred transition) and finally glissando (a VERY long, slow, exaggerated slur between two notes).
If you need a symphonic strings library and only have something basic like an ensemble library or the Kontakt factory library, this is a great place to look for $39. It’s not as deep and realistic as some of the much more expensive libraries from the more premium, high-end developers, but it also costs a fraction of the price, and it’s a good introduction if you want to learn how to program and write more detailed string arrangements!