I guess only people in L.A. use this sample library. I auditioned it. Sounds great. You can also start with the scaled down version which is basically the full combined section, all strings. If you want all the detail and control of having each section separate, then you can upgrade to the full package. But for most folks, the ~$400 lite version would work just fine.
I added it to my arsenal recently, and it's a great tool to have. It's about as realistic as they come, and has some incredible features. I'd say it's one of the top 2 right now (the other being East West's Hollywood Strings) - but there are certainly some other great ones as well (Cinematic Strings, VSL).
Bret's right too - the 'lite' version is a great starting point, and if you don't do any divisi writing, it may be all you need for this particular flavor. They also offer a full-credit upgrade path to the complete version.
The biggest downside to this library, IMO, is that there are some major tuning issues, especially with the first-chair (solo) violin & viola, even after an update that was supposed to fix most of it. It's certainly very "human" and I generally like the less-than-perfect approach they take with this library, but a bad legato transition done consistently becomes old VERY fast. It's easy to deal with in Melodyne, etc., but I hope they tighten this up a bit.
The upsides are many. Their scripting is second to none (legato, portamento, glisses, etc.), and it is capable of truly stunning expression. Any arranger/programmer who knows what they're doing can totally bring it to life. Sonically, it's a bit on the raw side (not distant-mic'd) so it can stand some warming up, but overall it's second to none in many ways.
thanks for your insights- i have heard much the same things from several of my TV/Film pals- i was thinking of pulling the trigger on the Hollywood Strings- was curious about your comment on the Divisi writing- and the scripting- as i am not a string arranger- i lay my parts in much like a background singer would- does the scripting allow a user to play the harmonies and the program assigns voicing- oh my how lazy can one get right ??
listened to some of your sample- top shelf stuff!! you are very talented-
Thanks so much for your kind words! As for Hollywood Strings, it is certainly the holy grail right now if you want that huge, epic sound reminiscent of John Williams conducting the LSO at Abbey Road (with Shawn Murphy engineering, no less!) - but beware, it is a MASSIVE resource hog. Even the most well-equipped machines struggle with it right now, and load times are measured in minutes for the bigger patches (even with SSD drives). The sound is to die for though!
The scripting I mentioned covers several things. First and foremost, it essentially "listens" to what you play in real time and automatically triggers things like legato transitions between notes, dynamics, etc. Then it gets into advanced stuff like automatically splitting chords into separate parts - yes, sort of a poor man's "auto divisi." It also does some wickedly cool stuff like their ART script, which triggers really fast articulations in repetition, without sounding like the dreaded machine gun effect. There's no other library right now with such clean, precise attacks on those kinds of passages - it sounds phenomenal when used right.
It sounds like you'd be a good candidate for the LASS "lite" bundle. For $650 you can get the entire thing (violins 1 & 2, violas, celli & basses) plus the separate first chair (solo) instruments - it's likely all you would need and is very resource friendly. I run 3 Macs networked together via Vienna Ensemble Pro, and I have the entire LASS library loaded on a MacBook Pro with just 8 GB RAM, and it works perfectly!
You're welcome to come by sometime and hear these libraries for yourself - I have all the big ones other than Hollywood Strings. There's not much I can't do with what I have right now, so I'm waiting for hardware to catch up before I take the plunge on that one - it would frustrate me right now!
i would love to come by and hear some of your libraries- and your work- i have several things on this album i am producing that i would love a vintage Buckmaster type arrangement - ala Madman Across the Water-
your comments have been really helpful- and i think i have a handle on the scripting now- hard not to get a full version ;) i run an 8 core tower- so i am hopeful that the resources won't be too much of an issues- but kinda new to these VSL type libraries- so i have a lot learn
hows your week look- i am off of Concord by the Gov Club and i see you are in Franklin- so you're a pretty quick drive for me -
Sounds good. I'm actually in Europe right now (in Vienna, home of VSL of all places!) but I will be back in & working for the next few weeks.
An 8-core Mac is plenty to run LASS, especially the lite version. If you don't do advanced arranging or divisi writing, I can almost guarantee the full version won't give you any advantages, and would cost you CPU/disk resources for power you wouldn't be using. And again, you can always upgrade later if you want to start working with divisi writing ;-)
You can reach me when I get back next week; my number is 615-400-0537.
loaded in the Hollywood Stings and its 300GB library this eve (came on a Hard Disk)- still learning my way around the browser- but the sound is simply stunning!! Looking forward to hearing some of the other libraries- but man- Hollywood Strings sure sounds amazing!
fyi: the loads seem really quick on my dual quad core Mac Pro tower with 16GB of ram- i will keep my fingers crossed!