United Strings of Europe by Auddict Review
Today we’ll be checking out a comprehensive string library from Auddict – United Strings of Europe. String libraries are something close to many composers’ hearts, and as an avid collector of such libraries this one is no exception. There are however, a lot of expectations for a string library to live up to, so we’ll discuss just how this one holds up.
Auddict is a relatively newer sample provider, focusing on orchestral and cinematic libraries such as the Master Brass collection and Drums of the Deep. They produce ambitious libraries – albeit with ambitious prices also – and many of their libraries feature an array of microphone positions recorded to provide flexibility of mixing. Auddict did send a review copy with no strings attached.
United Strings of Europe contains 1st Violins, 2nd Violins, Violas, Celli and Basses in the standard ensemble size, recorded in a concert hall with slightly different positioning depending on what microphone you’re using. We get legato and portamento, staccato and sautille (or what some refer to as “tapped spiccato” or “spiccatissimo”), tremolo and major/minor trills, pizzicato, and harmonics for all sections (except basses, which don’t have portamento). We also get 7 microphone positions for all sections (6 for basses) which includes a few mono mics for precise panning.
Installation merely requires the downloaded .zip files to be extracted to your folder of choice, and no registration is necessary as the library requires the full version of Kontakt to run. The download however, is provided in-browser – which can be an annoyance as each .zip file must be downloaded manually, and the library ships as uncompressed WAV samples rather than Native Lossless, so you’ll be staring at a whopping 50G+ download broken into separate parts.
Once you’ve gotten over the download hump, you’ll have to wait a while for each patch to load initially – as stated before the samples are uncompressed. I can’t criticize Auddict too harshly for this move, but I’ve been seeing a lot of these uncompressed libraries pop up of late and I can’t help but think it’s a decision made just to make libraries appear “heftier”. While I think this kind of approach is rather backwards and overburdening to customers’ hard drives, I can’t speak for Auddict’s reasons myself so I’ll just get straight to how this library sounds.
The sound is, to put it simply, great. The strings sound articulate and controlled, and have a subtle lushness to them that’s comparable to “Chamber Strings” by Spitfire Audio, only not as wet or imperfect sounding. There’s a satisfying balance between starkness and molto vibrato in the longs that make these strings fit into a wider variety of applications – whether it be emotional and cinematic or stoic and classical.