Fluid Shorts by Performance Samples Review
Strings libraries are becoming one of the most commonly sampled attractions, and there are more available than most people can keep track of at any given time. Performance Samples has an interesting offering for composing with staccatos, aptly named Fluid Shorts, which we’ll be looking at today.
Performance Samples is well known in small circles as providers who offer orchestral libraries with high functionality and no bells or whistles. Many (if not all) of their samples are taken from recorded performances and repetitions, which gives their libraries a noticeable movement or lifelike quality. Fluid Shorts is solely derived from short note performances, covering violins, violas, celli, and basses. For more on Performance Samples see also your review of Oceania and Caspian.
The library is easily downloaded via Connect and auto-installed to your folder of choice, and being a full Kontakt library, there’s no registration needed.
Fluid Shorts, like other Performance Samples libraries, is offered with the close, decca and wide mic positions, which allows control over the dryness or wetness of the samples. While the close and decca mics sound decidedly more masculine and bold, the wide perspective sounds much lusher and typical of a classical concert hall arrangement.
The staccatos themselves are very straightforward and focused, without any added expression, and the note lengths can handle strong staccato passages as well as shorter, more frantic passages. It all sounds just how you’d expect, so you get exactly what you pay for in this case.
User interface & Usability
The GUI only cares about functionality, so there are no ribbons or lace to be found here. The interface essentially functions as a container for the samples and scripts, so rest assured knowing that the library doesn’t care about looks – just sounds.
The patches themselves are provided in three different ways for each section – normal length, which contains the audible tail-end of the note performed prior to the staccato you’re playing (it sounds like a pre-echo) which can be useful for playing repetitive on-the-note phrases because you’re hearing actual repetitions being performed.
What most composers will feel comfortable playing with is the “tight” patches, where the staccatos sound and feel like any other library you’ve played, which is good for general composing. The “ultra-tight” patches are made even shorter, so fast and detailed playing can be performed with these.
Overall, Fluid Shorts isn’t exactly the kind of library you’d drool over – it’s a tool at its core, rather than a toy (and us sample collectors love our toys) – but functionality is present in abundance here. The library does exactly what you want it to and nothing more.
Rating: Three out of five stars
Don’t get me wrong here – Fluid Shorts is in no way an inferior library. If you like short notes, in my opinion, Fluid Shorts is one of the very few libraries I consider to have highly useful and well-balanced staccatos, which is nothing to be sniffed at.
Fluid Shorts earns every one of its three stars, but at the end of the day what you’re essentially getting is one articulation, thus the library is aptly priced with this in mind. I say if you have the spare cash on hand and you like nifty tools for composing, by all means, add it to your collection and it’ll do the rest for you.