Berlin Strings Kontakt 5: A Review of Orchestral Tools' String Library
If you are looking for a realistic, expressive and versatile string library for your music production, you might want to check out Berlin Strings Kontakt 5 by Orchestral Tools. This library features string sections recorded in the historic Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin, with a generous selection of performance styles and articulations. In this article, we will take a closer look at what Berlin Strings Kontakt 5 has to offer and how it can enhance your orchestral sound.
Berlin Strings Kontakt 5 (BST for short) is divided into first violins, second violins (featuring a different set of players), violas, cellos and double basses. Each of the five sections has between 20 and 38 patches covering a wide range of playing techniques, such as legato, staccato, spiccato, pizzicato, tremolo, trills, harmonics and more. Many of these patches have keyswitchable variations, allowing you to switch between different types of legato transitions, bowings or dynamics on the fly. You can also customize the sound of each patch using the built-in mixer, which lets you adjust the volume, pan, reverb and mic positions of each section.
One of the main strengths of BST is that it has been sampled over the instruments' full range, giving you more flexibility and realism in your arrangements. The cellos span four complete octaves from C2 to C6, matching the top note of the violas. The basses also cover four octaves from C1 to C5, enabling them to play expressive melodies in the upper register as well as providing solid support in the lower end. The violins go up to G7, allowing you to create soaring high lines or delicate harmonics.
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Another feature that sets BST apart from other string libraries is the inclusion of a sixth section: the Whole Ensemble patch. This patch maps and blends all five sections across their collective range of six octaves, creating a rich and full string sound with minimal loading time and RAM usage. You can use this patch as a quick sketching tool or as a layering element to add depth and warmth to your string arrangements.
BST delivers a stunning sound quality that captures the character and nuance of each instrument and section. The samples were recorded with multiple mic positions (close, tree, AB and surround) using high-end equipment and preamps at the Teldex Scoring Stage, which has a natural and balanced acoustic that suits orchestral music. The result is a clear, detailed and dynamic sound that can fit any genre or mood.
The performance styles and articulations are also very realistic and expressive, thanks to the careful programming and scripting of Orchestral Tools. The legato patches have smooth and natural transitions that respond to your playing speed and velocity. The short notes have round-robin variations and multiple dynamic layers that add realism and variation to your rhythms. The special techniques such as harmonics, sul ponticello or col legno create interesting textures and colors for your string sound.
Berlin Strings Kontakt 5 is an impressive string library that offers a comprehensive collection of performance styles and articulations for each section. It has a superb sound quality that reflects the skill and experience of Orchestral Tools in sampling orchestral instruments. It also has a user-friendly interface that allows you to tweak the sound and performance of each patch to suit your needs. Whether you are composing for film, TV, games or music, BST can provide you with a realistic, expressive and versatile string sound that will elevate your orchestral productions. 29c81ba772