One might say to die for, but perhaps it would be more advisable to stick around and enjoy these first-rate sounds, created by the ex-bassist of Weather Report and an unnamed European orchestra. Digitally recorded in stereo throughout, the ensembles retain just the right amount of ‘hall’ in the sound. Expensive, but very good. The first version of this library had no loops, to the bemusement of keyboard players everywhere, but version 2.0 (reviewed here) contains looped sounds. However, Miroslav Vitous himself considers the unlooped samples superior in quality and strongly urge-using them for mastering, which is fine as long as your composition doesn’t employ any very long notes!
The samples are recorded ‘in place’, with the different instrument families positioned as they would be on stage for a concert performance. This makes some sounds appear left- or right-heavy in isolation, but when combined, a realistic orchestral stereo picture appears.
The term ‘portamento’ is used (idiosyncratically) to describe medium-length notes, rather than its usual connotation of a slide from pitch to pitch. Switching between the sustained, ‘portamento’ and staccato/detaché samples can produce a very realistic performance, but is memory-intensive.
String Ensembles (v2.0)
– 23 Vns: sus f , sus nv, det , stc, piz, trem.
– 11 Vns: sus f , sus p , sus nv, sus sul , sus mut, det , stc , piz , trem, sul trem.