Native Instruments Symphony Series String Ensemble Review
Native Instruments Symphony Series String Ensemble is a 60-piece string orchestra with a simple, intuitive interface allowing you to compose quicker. Native Instruments partnered with Audiobro to create Symphony Series String Ensemble. Audiobro is known for their leading virtual instrument libraries LA Scoring Strings and LA Drama Drums.
Symphony Series String Ensemble has been recorded in a large orchestral studio in Budapest, Hungary to capture the full 60-piece string section with a beautifully ambient quality. Symphony Series String Ensemble is really easy to set up and use. One of the included key characteristics is the auto divisi feature which assists composer to create believable scores.
Native Instruments offers different orchestra groups part of the Symphony Series. Orchestra groups available are Brass, Woodwinds, and Strings. For all products, you have a choice to buy an essential version at a lower price. Essential versions feature a reduced set of samples, microphone position, no legato, fewer articulations, and depending on the instrument section features like Auto Divisi in the Strings is not available. Native Instrument has not released yet percussion which is the fourth group in an orchestra.
So how can LA Scoring Strings (LASS) and Symphony Series String Ensemble be positioned against each other? When it comes to setup and use I personally found LASS is a bit complicated to setup, for a beginner composer LASS would be overwhelming. There are many tutorials available, however, LASS is complicated to use. On the other hand Symphony Series String Ensemble is really easy to set up and use. The included auto divisi assist you to create believable scores.
Audiobro has delivered one of the key elements why this library highly appreciated and successful. Auto Divisi monitors your playing and distributes divisi parts appropriately between the number of players in a section. This key feature prevents you from increasing the number of players where the listener would know even without any musical training that the sound is somehow wrong. With Auto Divisi, you have an accurate and believable player count in your orchestra. With other libraries, if you play for example 2 notes at the same time you doubled the number of players. Auto Divisi allows you to manage that and have a more realistic sound.
Microphones and Mixes
String Ensemble gives four stereo mixes – close, mid, far, and stereo. Particular consideration was provided to the close mic mixes to deliver unique and meaningful sound.
Symphony Series String Ensemble 60 PIECE STRING SECTION
Symphony Series String Ensemble incorporates the four string instruments of an ensemble – violins, violas, cellos, and basses. The additional ensemble instrument combines all String Sections in one. Ensemble patches are great to sketch out a new theme. Later you would replace the Ensemble patch with the individual sections. Each of the covered section is provided with a comprehensive collection of articulations.
Violin Sections (30 players)
Violins I A & Violins I B – 8 players each
Violins II A & Violins II B – 7 players each
Viola Sections (12 players)
Violas A & Violas B – 6 players each
Cello Sections (10 players)
Cellos A & Cellos B – 5 players each
Bass Sections (8 players)
Basses A & Basses B 4 players each
Symphony Series String Ensemble articulations
The included range of articulations is more than sufficient to generate powerful, emotive scores. Violins, violas, and cellos do lack Bartok, Marcato articulation.
Symphony Series String Ensemble was released in November 2015 and is available here direct from Native Instruments
Rating: Four dot five (4.5) out of five stars
Symphony Series String Ensemble produces authentic re-creation of a full string ensemble at a moderate price for the extraordinary sound quality. All sections include True Divisi (key feature), true polyphonic legato, and portamento as one of the key features for realism. You can also play smaller section sizes. If you do follow the reviews usability is key and this library is easy to use.
Areas of improvement: Other libraries provide more articulations, which you need to add through additional libraries from a different vendor.