Using VSL original strings, Hollywood Strings, Cinestrings and Henrik S String Runs.
All have their strengths I find. Briefly speaking;
VSL for the sheer range of articulations possible - I use With Mir PRO and sounds truly tremendous.
HOLLYWOOD for the great slur and string runs. Not a huge PLAY fan though.
CINESTRINGS sounds great out of the box. I love the harmonics and same note bow change legato even! Great value.
BERLIN STRING RUNS adds great trills runs and flourishes to give a really authentic touch.
Play seems a little shoddy compared to Kontakt or even native programming.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
Personally, I adore some of the stuff Troels and the guys have put together over at 8dio. I use Adagietto quite extensively these days on my corporate productions, as their whole tonality fits incredibly well.
Not being a purist orchestral composer, alongside being an avid supporter of smaller, less mainstream companies however, I’m mildly ignorant of the differences between these other major string libraries. To me, it feels always akin to comparing mineral waters.
I think it mostly comes down to what sounds good. Articulations are a good factor. The arranger in me would like LASS simply for the ability to do party righting and have it sound “correct.”
Hey ! Didnt know about Berlin strings ! Just godness sound, will definately acquire that library.
My list of libraries:
My main library, easy options and easy to work with
Using sometimes, depending on a track. Strong, powerful sound
Mostly my working library, love its articulations and feeling of “live” strings
PocketBlakus - Emotional Cello
Unreal realistic sound, but very characteric. Using rarely.
Always using like a low freq subtle parts, very warm, smooth and good addition to your live sounds strings
Using this library sometimes, not often. Depending on a mood of composition hard, because this library has its own character.
Using quite often, also very good library
8DIO Solo Studio Violin
Still didnt get to this one
Embertone Friedlander Violin
Very nice realistic sound with very low octave, sounding more like viola. Again, due to its character, using rarely, when composition must be build around the vioin.
Symphonic String Collection: Basses, Cellos
Sometimes, when i need to achieve some feelings of smooth and lite composition and when other libraries couldnt give me such.
Sonart Audio Venice Instruments OrchestraStrings
Very rarely. I used to.
That’s quite a collection my friend.
One thing I forgot to mention is the DRM. I’m not sure which library requires you to have an ILok (East West Probably) but I’ve had horrible experiences with ILok. Mine broke after about a year (just started flashing) and Ilok wanted me to send it in and pay $120 for replacement/transfer my authorization - what a JIP! My Steinberg USB dongle has been working fine for years.
Sounds like everyone digs the Cinestrings. Could probably afford some Hollywood strings at this point too if it wasn’t for the aforementioned issues.