The first months of 2017 are certainly the spring of Strings. With at least 3 major string libraries releases it’s certainly easy to get overwhelmed or even confused, but I am here to help.
Today we are going to have a look at one those string libraries, “Analog Strings” for Kontakt by Output.
Like the others too, „Analog Strings“ is not what you would necessarily expect from a string library. It is something new, something completely different, something that sparked my interest from the moment I got the announcement email.
You can trust the good folks at Output to come up with weirdest, coolest ideas, and this time it looks like they managed to breed a hybrid between a full string section and a super computer.
So, what should we cover first? The Interface? The Sound? How about everything. Let’s dive right in.
At its core, „Analog Strings“ is, of course, a sample based Instrument for Kontakt. But instead of delivering the lush, classical sound of an orchestral string section, it seems to deliver everything BUT that sound. As they have shown many times with their previous libraries, Output loves exploring the possibilities of sampling, pushing the boundaries to see what else you can create with string samples.
„Analog Strings“ is packed with 500 presets, and those include everything from textures to leads, from stabs to pads, and from arpeggios to Fx.
One thing that really sticks out in every patch, is also how incredibly modern it sounds. Whatever you play, you certainly don’t get the “dusty old cello” vibe, instead, you get a super modern string sound, mixed up tastefully with modern effects, synth elements, and well-placed loop sections.
The sleek interface design, that is already part of Outputs fingerprint, continues of course. Whether you look for extremely usable macro controls or like to dig in deep and tweak your sound, until only you know what you started with, „Analog Strings“ has you covered.
If you are happy with the presets you will probably only ever see the main page with its four macro controls mesmerizingly sliding back and forth. But if you want to dig deeper there is plenty to do.
The dedicated preset browser (image below) lets you preselect sound qualities and shows you fitting results to pick from. The real fun begins on the edit page though, where you get control over the envelope shapes and samples of the selected preset. If you click on the samples you can also choose a completely different audio source, building your own presets.
The FX section provides a variety of tweakables. Filter, EQ, Distortion, Compressor, Motion control, Delay, Reverb unit. What else could you wish for? Oh, by the way, this FX exist once in a global, and in a layer specific setup.
The “Rhythm” section (image below) can be run in either step or wave motion, and can also be doubled up so that you end up with two different rhythms for each layer. And the arpeggiator also leaves nothing out, with extensive step controls, pedal function, random, and reverse switches to just name a few features.
The one thing I can promise you. If you like sound and sound design, you will fall in love with „Analog Strings“.
If you mainly write orchestral music, you might have never wished for something like this before, but let me tell you, for those of us who write hip-hop, pop, electronic music or any other modern genre, dealing with standard string libraries can be a nightmare. Switching articulations all the time, having tons of insert effects to keep track of. It’s nothing I’ll miss from now on.
And the sound is just…WOW! With most of the presets, you can just feel the instant vibe, and the sound just sits right in modern productions. It might not be magic, but it certainly sometimes feels like it. Inspiration is a huge part of writing music, and in that department „Analog Strings“ just delivers.
Once more it’s clear that the guys and gals at Output have heard what we need. „Analog Strings“ is a one-stop solution, with great presets that need only a little tweaking here and there and every effect or mangling tool built in. The possibility to map everything to the macros is certainly a live saver too, especially for those of us who perform live. Better one knob than ten, right?
I am hard pressed to find anything I don’t like about this library. The sound is amazing, the workflow is good, the interface is intuitive and the presets are inspiring. Output even has a 14-day money back guarantee. Definitely, try this out. The one thing I want to clarify, if you are looking for the main string library to write classical or orchestral music, this is not it.
But if you are looking for a new sound and deep sound design capabilities to write Hybrid, Dance, Hip Hop or any other modern type of music, at least try this for 2 weeks. I’d be surprised if it disappoints you.
- Price: $ 199, – USD
- 500 Presets
- „ANALOG STRINGS“ runs in Kontakt or Free Kontakt player version 5.6.5 or higher.
- At least 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended), and 22 GB of free drive space
- Access to a stable internet connection for digital delivery and activation is required
- All new Native Instruments software requires a minimum of OS X 10.10 or Windows 7.