Hello Composers! Mike here, with my review of Afflatus Chapter I Strings by Strezov Sampling.
Do you want an Orchestral String sample library that is all about tone, color, mood, style and that will give you instant inspiration to compose music? Then keep on reading! =)
WHAT IS AFFLATUS CHAPTER I STRINGS?
This is a sample library with orchestral string ensembles + individual section, focusing in my opinion on instantly usable sounds and playability.
And also on finding the mood & style you need for your composition, rather than thinking about performance techniques first.
Here is Strezov Music Productions own description of their library:
“Inspired by film and classical music icons this collection pushes the boundaries of traditional sampling methods by introducing revolutionary features like Auto Divisi combined with Polyphonic True Legato and a Thematic Approach towards playing techniques. Gone are the days of soulless samples.”
SOUND & PLAYABILITY
I have to say I was immediately impressed with the tone of the presets in this library.
It doesn’t have the bells & whistles regarding custom mappings of CC’s, key switches etc. However, this library offers something else which has been a “void” in the market so far.
That something is: Style, Tone & Mood based presets. This approach is very original, and the only library I can compare it too in this sense would probably be the multis in Symphobia.
How does it feel to Play this Instrument?
One of the things I put heavy weight on personally as a composer, is that my instruments should be instantly playable, and sound good out of the box.
And when I played through the presets of Afflatus on my MIDI keyboard I really did get inspired! The range of tone, mood and style is very wide. Even if I sometimes lacked more detailed control like legato speed, and vibrato…the tone is amazing.
Afflatus Strings comes with a range of preset folders that covers all the essentials, meaning full ensembles as well as sections per instrument. Even experimental and pads folders.
Finally, I was sincerely impressed with the low CPU usage of this instrument, at least on the tests I did on my computer (iMac 2013 quad core, as of writing this).
INTERFACE & FEATURES
The user interface is as easy as they come. Only one page, with a mixer for the 3 mic positions.
Then there a few buttons for legato, note overlap, release samples, divisi and reverb. But please take note that not all patches includes all these features.
Every patch also gives you a quick note on what instruments/techniques are included, in the lower bottom of the interface.
However, the divisi and true polyphonic legato is the big selling point when it comes to features in this library. It is simply stunning, and a game-changer for me!
The patches that have divisi is instantly switchable on/off with the sustain pedal. Which means you can for example play everything in divisi mode, then accent the main theme in full unison mode. Super powerful!
MY FAVORITE THINGS
- The Divisi & Polyphonic Legato
- The Focus on Mood & Style
- The Instant Playability & Inspiration
MY MAIN FEEDBACK
- I would have liked more CC-control options.
- Some presets have low range (in notes).
- It would be great if the MOD-wheel always controlled the overall dynamics.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
I’ll be completely honest with you. I have many string libraries, and some I use all the time, while others have ended up in the scrap yard of VSTs and sample libraries on my computer.
Afflatus Strings is not perfect by any means. But it does have something I have been lacking, that I did not even know I missed! Which is the focus on mood, style and theme. The great sound & playability from every preset, that really kickstarts my inspiration and instantly give me ideas that could evolve into a new composition! =)
Learn more about AFFLATUS CHAPTER I Strings by Strezov Sampling here. Get a full overview and specifications, listen to audio demos etc.