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Angel Strings Vol.1 Review – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict

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Angel Strings Vol.1 – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict Review SFX

Angel Strings Vol.1 – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict Review

In amongst the comprehensive string libraries sporting legato, spiccatos, pizzicatos and other traditional techniques, you can come across a string library that focuses on more specialty techniques for niche composing needs.  Today we’ll be looking at one of these examples – Angel Strings from Auddict.

Angel Strings Vol.1 – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict Review Run and Tremolos
Angel Strings Vol.1 – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict Review Run and Tremolos

Auddict is a relatively newer sample developer who provides cinematic orchestral and percussion libraries for modern scoring needs.  We also had a look at their United Strings Of Europe in an earlier article.  To support the review Auddict did send a copy with no strings attached.  Angel Strings comes with a selection of expressive longs, fx articulations and shorts in a wide variety of microphone positions.

Installation

After downloading the library, it can be unzipped to your folder of choice.  No registration is needed as it requires the full version of Kontakt to run.

Sound

Angel Strings sounds nice – it has a clear and colorful texture with a wide sound.  The close mics are intimate while the various room mics provide different kinds of bloom and wetness, as well as a reverb channel that has the sound of the samples run through a hardware reverb unit.

Angel Strings Vol.1 – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict Review SFX
Angel Strings Vol.1 – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict Review SFX

The sound is a little thicker due to all sections being recorded in their note range together – so getting a split section sound can only really be achieved by using the close mics, but regardless, the library provides a great sound for pad work and underscore.  There are sustains that bend from a cluster into a unison note, which aren’t too useful but they do sound great nonetheless.

Then we get molto vibrato sustains which are full of character, as well as some very nice sounding sul tasto sustains which are perfect for laying down a blanket of soft strings.  The star of the show here though is the wavering sustains, which are notes played with quickly varying intensity, resulting in a pulsing dynamic tremolo effect which truly is wonderful to hear and is a great pad sound for cinematic music.  To round out the sustains we also get sul ponte sustains and tremolos, which are good for harsher scoring passages, and sustains that begin by bending the note down or up – these can be played in a separated fashion to get a kind of chordal wave up and down the keyboard.  Two short note articulations are provided – sul tasto staccato and fast spiccato, which are rather tame but still sound neat overall.

In a second patch, we get a variety of divebomb clusters, clusters that slide down to unison notes, rising clusters, cluster tremolos and harsh behind-the-bridge tremolos, as well as a small selection of percussive knocks and bow hits.  It sounds great for what it is, although it does feel like there’s a bunch more content that could have and should have been added here.

Finally, in a third patch, we’re given tremolo samples that have been spliced into short notes in order to create custom timed tremolo phrases and fast short note passages – but this is where the library stops dead.

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User interface & Usability

The GUI is simple and provides just the controls needed for mixing the microphone positions and setting custom key switches along with the usual ADSR controls, which is fine.  But there’s a shortfall in the execution of Angel Strings that makes it feel rather unfinished – or to put it bluntly, was cut in half to facilitate selling multiple volumes rather than one comprehensive volume.

Angel Strings Vol.1 – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict Review Tonal Longs and Shorts
Angel Strings Vol.1 – Experimental Orchestral Strings Sample by Auddict Review Tonal Longs and Shorts

The reason I say this is that while Angel Strings does sport some really neat sustains and a handful of cool fx articulations, it feels like something is sorely missing here.  There are no pizzicato effects, col legno effects, short note effects and rips, wild sustains and other unique things one would expect from a library that focuses on unique string articulations.  It appears as though Auddict have picked out the absolute bare-essentials from a larger collection and released them as a full priced library – after all, this library is in fact titled “Angel Strings Volume 1”.  It’s hard not to play through what Angel Strings has to offer and not feel a little taken advantage of, to be honest.

Angel Strings Vol.1 mixer screenshot

This is made worse by the poorly presented timed tremolo patch – the aliasing and audio artifacts are very noticeable even when attempting to play these spliced notes with small changes to length and tempo, and the provided note-on sequencer is, to be frank, embarrassing.  Whether you’re playing live or rendering quantized MIDI, the sequencer will scramble the played notes every time without fail.

The CPU usage for the sustains is also very volatile – for example, the sul ponte sustains seem to work fine with all the mics loaded, but if you switch to the sul tasto sustains, the CPU and disk usage will explode exponentially.  These very glaring negatives really drag down the overall experience of using the library, which is unfortunate.

Rating:  Three out of five stars

Angel Strings gets stars for sounding great and having some truly wonderful articulations to play with.  They can provide some solid and unique underscore and can be inspiring at times – but the stark selection of articulations that have been cynically watered down to spread over multiple high priced volumes, the chaotic CPU, and disk peaks, and the wince-inducing timed tremolo patch just bulldoze over what could have been a great collection.

If only the entire collection of the Angel Strings sessions were provided in a single package with optimized performance and a better approach to timed tremolo, this collection would be deserving of much more praise.

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60% OFF Virtuosic Violin by Auddict

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Virtuosic Violin by Auddict Sale

Weighing in at a massive 60 GB, The virtuosic violin by Auddict is a content-rich instrument, with many different articulations, legato modes, and other features, and much like a real violin, takes special care to ensure you get the most out of the instrument.

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Everything in VIRTUOSIC VIOLIN (Affiliate Link) has been skilfully programmed to ensure everything is easily and readily accessible, to minimize any “learning time”, and let you get on to writing music with virtuosic violin as soon as possible.

Slurred and bowed legato were specially sampled so you can correctly and realistically phrase passages. You also get a specially sampled “fast legato” set of intervals, which will allow you to play virtuosic runs and scale passages.

Auddict wanted to make VIRTUOSIC VIOLIN (Affiliate Link) even more musical, so they have once again used their idea of the “phrase builder”, which allows you to select the attack, or beginning sound of a phrase, and then switch around the type of legato throughout a musical phrase.

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One huge give-away that an instrument is a sampled one and not a real instrument is how the beginning of every musical phrase sounds the same. A great performer will not sound like this. They will vary the phrase beginnings, and perhaps start some quietly, some with an FP, some with a stutter, and so we have included five options for this, to ensure that your compositions sound evolving, musical, and extremely convincing.

The width of the stereo mic perspective can be changed by dragging the bottom pair of microphones in the interface, and dynamics can be brought up and down by either the mod wheel or expression Midi CC – depending on whether you have MOD or EXP selected in the bottom right hand corner of the instrument GUI, and the shorts’ dynamics are controlled by velocity.

Pricing and Availability

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This is a limited-time offer you should not miss, hurry and save! For only $47.99 (normally $120), get VIRTUOSIC VIOLIN (Affiliate Link), The most living, breathing solo violin virtual instrument by Auddict!

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Auddict

63% OFF Angel Strings Vol. 2 – FLURRIES by Auddict

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Angel Strings Vol. 2 (FLURRIES) by Auddict

For only $54.99 (normally $150), get ANGEL STRINGS VOL. 2 (Affiliate Link) by AUDDICT!

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Weighing in at a massive 10GB, ANGEL STRINGS VOL. 2 (Affiliate Link) explores even more specialized string articulations and various orchestral textures. which includes completely unique, never before sampled articulations and an entire string orchestra range playable via keyboard-wide sample maps.

This library was recorded at Angel Studios in London, where countless pop/rock stars have recorded (notably Adele’s “21”), and many major film and video game scores have been recorded, including The Lion King, Jackie, Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Horizon: Zero Dawn and many more.

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ANGEL STRINGS: VOL.2 BEGINS

With this Vol.2 of ANGEL STRINGS (Affiliate Link) exploring even more specialized string articulations and various orchestral textures, the Auddict team decided that it will be released as a series of slightly smaller, expansion-pack style libraries. The advantage of this is that you can now choose exactly which articulations and techniques you’d like to purchase and add to your composing palette. These libraries will run separately and do not require Angel Strings Vol.1 to run.

Angel Strings Vol. 2 FLURRIES by Auddict GUI2
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FLURRIES

The “flurries” refer to specially orchestrated sequences of notes played in quick succession by each player, creating a beautiful and lush string sound, which – due to the subtle spontaneity of the individual players – can really create the feeling of a real orchestra playing. We recommend watching the videos and listening to the demos as this is best demonstrated with music rather than words!

The flurries were orchestrated, recorded and programmed/mapped very carefully so that they can be performed, layered in different combinations and blend with other instruments smoothly. The techniques heard in this library are regularly written into orchestral music, whether it be modern film scores or romantic symphonies; however they are not sounds you can simulate even remotely with per-note sample libraries; they require specific orchestration and recording dedicated specially to these techniques, and we have done just that.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
This instrument is organised into five main articulations, each one having an almost keyboard-wide palette of sounds to choose from. The five articulations are named:

  • Ionian Flurries 3/5’s
  • Aeolian Flurries 3/5’s
  • Ionian Flurries + Bar
  • Aeolian Flurries + Bar
  • Fifths and Unis
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The different articulation names refer simply to major and minor tonalities, as well as the notes used/techniques included. “Bar” stands for bariolage, which is a string technique where players quickly sweep the bow up and down the different strings to create quick arpeggios. Ionian can simply be thought of as “major” and Aeolian as “minor”, so depending on whether your music/chord is major or minor, you’d know which articulations to use. Fifths and unis are just that, and can be used in any tonality!.

There is a lot to be explored in this library. Different articulations and flurries can even be used to add interesting harmonic content to your music, beyond the standard root-position chords, but we will leave this up to you; the composer!

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Kontakt VST / AU / AAX (full version only – Player/Free version will run for 10 minutes at a time before plugin needs to be re-loaded)

Pricing and Availability

This is a limited time offer you should not miss! ANGEL STRINGS VOL. 2 (Affiliate Link) is available now for just $54.99 from January 11th until January 24th, 2021.

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Virtual Instrument Library

Checking Out Celestial Voices – Calypso by Auddict

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Checking Out Celestial Voices – Calypso

Celestial Voices – Calypso by Auddict is a beautiful and versatile female vocal sample library for Kontakt (FULL version required). The library includes true legato and multiple vowels (Mm, Ah, Eh, Ee, Oh) and even multiple consonants sounds for a unique, true-to-life performance every time.

The voice we have is perfect for nuanced. ethereal cinematic music, as well as bold, epic lines and even, can cover more operatic and ethnic territory as well. There’s a really nice resonance in the upper range that can be very powerful depending on the articulation selected (for instance, Mm is almost always intimate and subdued, where Oh and Ah can be quite powerful and bold!)

There are 5 true legato modes, and in a nice touch, you are also able to select from multiple consonant sounds (sah, lah, rah, reh, leh, meh, fee, ree, tee, soh, roh, doh).

This selection will apply to the first word of the legato sequence only, and you can use the included keyswitches to create/morph your own phrases on the fly, all while retaining the super smooth and fluid legato transitions in between each note.

In addition to these features, they’ve recorded multiple mic positions, so you can totally sculpt the sound to be as dry, wet, up close, or as distant as possible. The stage mics allow you to dial in a magical, ethereal sound, while the spot mics offer more detail and power for something bold and epic.

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Pricing and Availability

For only $39.99 (normally $106.18), get Celestial Voices – Calypso by AUDDICT!

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