Cinesamples CineStrings CORE Review

Discussion in 'Software Reviews and Tutorials' started by Revenant, May 19, 2014.

  1. Revenant

    Revenant Member

    Mar 20, 2013
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    Hi everyone,

    before the actual "mini-review" of CineStrings, let me just briefly explain the [My 2¢] in the post title. The idea behind it is to offer pretty much just a concise evaluation of a product, rather than a reasonably comprehensive review like those Andrew keeps coming up with to the pleasure of us all. You might think "Why do this when we already have those reviews?", but the more, the merrier, eh?

    Now, let's get to business.

    [My 2¢] – Cinesamples CineStrings CORE


    Being one of the latest high-end libraries, CineStrings made my expectations quite high. As a composer once said in a video I saw (I think it was Blakus), the most important aspect of a library is its sound. The rest, even if buggy or inconsistent, can be sorted out (unless we're talking something extremely messed up).

    Unfortunately, I was not particularly impressed with the sound of CineStrings. In fact, not at all. Having tried the legato Cellos, Violas and Violins I and II out of the box, I thought that they sounded quite nice. However, when I tried them in a mix where I had used Cinematic Strings 2 before, the fake nature of the library's sound became audible immediately. I tried various microphone setups and mixes, and I am sure that there are people who have achieved satisfactory sound (like Daniel James, that guy is a genius), but the fact still stands - why bother setting up or fixing the sound of a library when there are other alternatives that do not require that?

    Also, I have heard people compliment on the library being useful for expressing a softer sound, but I was puzzled when I tried various articulations and compared them with some other libraries (CS2, Albion, Mural) because I still found it less expressive and emotional. Again, this might be improved by tweaking, but, yet again - why bother. Worse still, I was not just puzzled, but sometimes also ear-raped by the incredibly unnatural sudden dynamic spikes when playing the lower registers of many instruments. Next, the RAM requirements of the library are not exactly "your average composer-friendly" - in an orchestral template, it would really make you get either 24 or 32 gigs, depending on how economical/megalomaniac you are.

    Nevertheless, even though this mini-review seems like a bottle of bile so far, I do not try to make CineStrings look like a useless library. You definitely can make good music with it, as many people have already proved, but I guess it would require layering with other (=better) libraries, tweaking it more than just a little bit, and generally do what some people won't ever even consider - try to improve the very sound of the library. The Hairpin creator is a nice touch, but what use is a nice feature for smooth dynamics in combination with an underwhelming sound?

    All things considered (just check the "Main Flaws" below), I cannot recommend CineStrings, especially with regard to what the competition offers.

    Main Assets
    - A huge library (~ 45GB) covering the vast majority of necessary articulations
    - A revised GUI offering a certain amount of customizability and articulation mapping options (samples starts, round robins, legato speed and volume)
    - A variety of microphone positions for achieving different sound colors
    - The Hairpin Creator feature

    Main Flaws
    - A noticeably tinny or synthetic quality to many articulations (I found legato patches the worst, with the exception of basses)
    - Shoddy recording/scripting - with lower dynamics, there occur some very unpleasant abrupt attack sounds, creating nasty fluctuations in dynamics
    - Bland dynamics - compared with other libraries (for example Cinematic Strings 2), the dynamic range seems shorter, and even the subtler dynamic levels did not convince me
    - Very poor RAM optimization (don't even think about using this library in a template without at least 24 gigs of RAM)
    - At 1000$, it is absurdly overpriced (IIRC, you can get Cinematic Strings 2, which, in my opinion, beats CineStrings in every conceivable aspect, for half that price; also for a similar price there is Berlin Strings and, of course, the good old LASS, which is not even really old considering the update :-D)

    Thanks for reading, hope this was at least marginally useful. Also, feel free to comment, agree, or disagree.
  3. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

    Oct 24, 2011
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    Between worlds
    That's why I like SF libraries. Even though they might have a mistype or typo in the script, the sound coming out of it is breathtaking :wink:
    Still haven't got my hands on Mural 2 or Sable 4. Sul Pont on single string sounds like exactly what I need :wink:
    Sul Tasto is great as well.

    Being rich would be great sometimes :rofl:
  4. Revenant

    Revenant Member

    Mar 20, 2013
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    Tell me about it, If I were rich, I would be able to buy a slave machine or a NASA-grade computer to be able to run Berlin Strings smoothly :-D
  5. nikon

    nikon Platinum Record

    Oct 6, 2012
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    :rofl: those libraries are porn!

    Personaly, when I play with Cinestrings, I'm not impressed too. Complete sound of violins is very brassy, like some brass is layered. Ok, it's cinematic but still...
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