44.1kHz - 24 Bit
97GB Compressed NCW Format
Royalty and copyright free content license
Programmed for Kontakt 6.6.1 and up & Komplete Kontrol, also compatible with the Free Kontakt Player
Native Instruments Kontakt
- First Violins
- Second Violins
- First and Second Violins Mix
- Violas Mix
- Celli Mix
- Basses Mix
1 orchestral string section recorded in Divisi:
- 16 Violins I (9+7)
- 12 Violins II (7+5)
- 10 Violas (6+4)
- 10 Celli (6+4)
- 8 Basses (5+3)
4 recorded microphone positions
- Decca tree
- Balcony (Far)
…and a pre-mixed Tutti version
Learn from our videos & DEMOS
About Orchestral Strings
The Strings that work for you
We are very proud to present our take on Orchestral Strings to you.
This product is the culmination of all of our efforts to this point. It melds together our experience in orchestral phrases with what we've learned about multisampling over the years, and it furthers our quest for complete phrase flexibility.
At its core, Orchestral Strings is a hugely capable full-divisi full-size Strings Section, recorded with the fantastic Capellen Orchestra in Zlin, Czech Republic, and edited with the utmost care to preserve all the details of the performances.
We covered all the most-used articulations in up to four velocities, and we devised a 'shared tail' system for the shorts that provides you with more round robins without increasing the memory load by too much.
There is Poly-Legato and Auto Divisi to ensure the most realistic sound imaginable. No corners were cut in making this product, and it will evolve for many years to come - we still have some surprises up our sleeves that will enhance your user experience and provide you with tools that are useful and fun in equal measures.
Included in the instrument are some powerful midi engines, with midi import, real-time midi manipulation, a piano roll editor, and midi export. The possibilities are near endless, yet very easily accessible if you just want to scratch the surface.
The Runs engine allows you to play chords and trigger runs that adhere to these chords just by playing a start and an end key.
The Phrases engine at its core works as a sketchpad for Patterns, with 12 patterns autosaved with your instrument or DAW session and a potential 12 x 12 x 12 phrases saved away to be shared between your instruments and projects.
These patterns are then playable in a fashion very similar to the way our Phrase-Based instruments work, and you can even drag in phrases from the Phrase-Based products you already own and benefit from the huge flexibility boost this Strings instrument offers. You can then even drag out the midi for entire played passages including any chord changes, added Harmony etc. for use in third-party instruments or for instance to add a synth layer for a Hybrid sound!
Quick Start Guide
The instrument has three main modes: Play, Runs and Phrases.
Switch between them by clicking them in the GUI or with the orange keyswitches on the lowest three keys of your 88 Key keyboard.
- Play - play as a multisampled instrument
the blue keys are your playable area, and the bottom keyswitches switch articulations
- Runs - play runs between two notes in various scales and tempi
the blue keys are your playable area, the yellow chord area sets the tonality, and the bottom keyswitches switch articulations
- Phrases - record your own Sonokinetic phrases or drag in midi
- When recording phrases, the keyboard switches to Play mode; see above
- For playback of phrases, the three playable octaves trigger your 12 phrases in various registers*, and the yellow chord area detects tonality.
*this is useful when you want to play the same phrase in a different octave or switch up and down in real time.
You can open the various options menus by:
- Play Mode: clicking the Sonokinetic Logo in the bottom centre of the user interface
- Runs Mode: clicking anywhere in the run display - when you switch to runs, it will auto-display the options
- Phrases Mode: clicking on the little cog in the bottom right-hand side
In Play Mode, you can select articulations/playstyles by clicking on their name, or with a combination of keyswitches found on the bottom of your keyboard:
The main structure in the user interface is visualised by six blocks that correlate with the six keyswitches on the white keys C-1 to A-1. There are two different types of Blocks in this instrument.
load and select phrases
- Click to select an articulation (purged phrases or blocks will be unpurged when clicked)
- If you click a block title (e.g. SUSTAINS), it will select the last selected articulation for that block
- cmd-click a block title to purge the whole block and save some RAM
- cmd-click an articulation to purge its samples from RAM
- shift-click an articulation to add/stack it to your currently selected one
Green 'Dynamics' Block
Modifies playback of currently selected articulations
Access the five primary modes by clicking or using the keyswitches as you would do to change a loaded articulation.
Some modes have different options at the bottom - access those either by clicking or with the yellow keyswitches at the top of your keyboard.
If 'Mod Wheel' is selected, you can manually control the instrument’s dynamics with the mod wheel. In sustained articulations, this will also X-fade between the various recorded dynamic layers. In Short articulations, you control most of the dynamics by played velocity.
Other Dynamic Options
The Crescendo through Fortepiano options all work in a similar way.
They move through the velocity scale (and crossfade between velocity layers) over time.
The length of that time is determined by the bottom option (which can also be selected with the yellow keyswitches on the top end of the keyboard).
These dynamics work across articulations so you can have a 'tremolo decrescendo' or an 'expressive sustains sfz crescendo' etc.
This block will stay active when selected, so check its setting if you hear any unexpected behaviour with velocities.
Stack And Morph
You can stack two articulations together and morph between them.
To do this, you SHIFT-click the articulation you want to add; for instance, you have Sustain Straight loaded and SHIFT-click Sustain Expressive, they will then be stacked.
You can also stack articulations by holding a keyswitch, then selecting the other one. For example, you hold down the C-1 key and then press D#-1 and C#-1.
You can adjust the volume mix between the two articulations by dragging the percentage up or down or in real-time by using the Morph controller that you can assign in the Options Menu.
By default, it is set to CC 11 - Expression.
Tip: This is useful for crossfading between articulations, for instance, if you want variable vibrato or a smooth transition from Sustain to Tremolo. It can also be used to add some punch to a sustain by adding a staccato or staccatissimo.
Play Mode Options
Click the Sonokinetic Logo in the centre bottom of the interface to access the options.
An options screen will appear with the following options; the 'configure' button will open a subpage.
We recorded all sections in Divisi, to mitigate multiplying the number of musicians/instruments when playing chords.
By default the instrument will use auto-divisi, meaning it will always play the full section (both Divisi) for single-note lines, and start dividing notes between divisi when you play chords.
The way the engine divides the Divisi is linked to the poly legato engine, so any line that starts in a specific divisi should stay in that divisi.
You can also fix the instrument to a specific divisi by
- clicking the AB graphic at the top of the User Interface:
- Using the controls found in the main options menu:
- Using the Keyswitches on
- C#6 - Div A
- D6 - Auto Divisi
- D#6 - Div B
- Using the dedicated NKS control if you own a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol Keyboard
Main Legato State
This determines whether legato is off, polyphonic (default) or monophonic.
In polyphonic mode, the script locates the closest note for each note in your harmony and determines which note to move from to your newly played note.
Anything Faster Than...
You can set the threshold for notes to be recognised as harmony with the control below it. Set this as low as your chord-playing accuracy allows, to also allow for speedy single lines.
If set to ‘auto', you can switch legato types with your playing style - set the velocity threshold for portamento by sliding up and down on the number.
You can also switch type with the green keyswitches on whole tone E6 to A#6
|E6||auto legato will switch slurred to short when playing faster than 600ms between notes and switch to portamento based on your velocity settings|
|F#6||short is a subtle bowed legato|
|G#6||slurred is a slightly more lyrical legato based on the portamento|
|A#6||portamento has the longest slur - the target note will be slightly delayed in this mode|
the purple keyswitch indicates the selected legato setting.
Adjusting 'smear' will change the moment the outgoing note will stop; it can be used to make the legato
- more lush, by increasing the value (best for slower passages) or
- more detached, by decreasing the value
The Default setting is 33% You can CMD click to set it to that instantly
Modify the volume of the actual transition sample. Lower it when you feel the transitions are too prominent and increase when you feel you are not hearing them well enough. CMD click for Default level.
When playing fast notes with short articulations you can hold the sustain pedal to activate legato transitions. This adds a playing style for these fast passages.
You can also have some notes detached and others legato by judicial sustain pedal usage, adding more life and realism to these passages.
This function is not available for the plucked shorts.
When opening Runs Mode, you will be greeted with an explanatory screen that is also the options screen for this mode.
Runs Midi Export
After playback of any run, a MIDI logo will appear that you can drag to your DAW or desktop. If the DAW playback is not running, this will be only the last recorded 'chained' sequence; if it is running, it will record the entire sequence from the first run note to DAW stop.
Phrases Quick Record
You can see the phrases mode as a notepad where you can jot down ideas for patterns and textures and quickly try them out in a chord structure. You can store up to 12 different phrases in the local memory of the instrument without leaving the keyboard or looking at the GUI. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- hold the Phrases keyswitch on B-2 and play any of the phrase preset keys in the middle of the keyboard. The instrument will be armed for recording, and recording will start at the first note received after that. Play any key outside the playable range to stop the recording.
- For empty Phrase Presets you can also double-tap any Phrase Preset Key (C3-B4) to start recording.
- Once you stop recording, you can use the phrase by playing either a chord or a phrase keyswitch.
Store And Load Phrases
When you have phrases you want to use in other projects or other instruments (say, you recorded in Violins I and want to use the same phrase in Violas, for instance), you can save your phrase in the menu. The phrase menu is shared between all instruments, and the range will be automatically adjusted if a phrase is outside the range of the instrument you load it into.
You can also drag a midi file (don't go mad - up to 16 bars) onto the menu to load it into a slot. It will be analysed by the engine and will be instantly usable in the instrument.
Phrases you play or import are analysed automatically for various aspects like tonality, length and advised quantise setting (based on the most common note value). This analysis will determine how to modify the phrase when you change chords or add harmony to it later.
In the case of tonality, the most probable three base chords will be displayed, with the currently used one on top. This is analysed from the notes available in the midi, so if you played a pattern containing C# and F it will come up with C# as the most probable option.
You can click on one of the other two options if they better represent the key you meant to play in or click the '...' to get a complete list to choose from.
An example where you might want to change this:
You have played a pattern using the notes g and b that is meant as the upper structure of a C chord, so with the b as a major seventh. The engine will probably recognise your phrase as a G chord, meaning that it will not recognise that this phrase contains a seventh. When later using the phrase with chords, it will be treated differently if you change the tonality to C.
Type goes hand in hand with tonality in determining how to adapt a phrase.
Chord - a phrase will be detected as 'chord' when it consists of only chord notes. Phrases detected as 'chord' will favour chord notes when adapting your phrase to played chords,
Scale - when a phrase consists mainly of scale material, it should be detected as so, in scale mode, phrases will adapt to the nearest scale note.
Chromatic - the phrase will be shifted up and down chromatically to the new tonality.
Tip: in Chord mode, the phrase will have more movement when changing harmony; in scale mode, it will only make sure the notes played are ‘correct’ in the scale so that you could get less movement and more ‘colour’ notes.
Based on how many bars there are in the analysed midi.
If the final note lands on the first beat of the next bar after a logical amount of beats, it will generally be omitted.
If greyed out, this just sets the grid; if you click on the main selected item (the larger highlighted value), it will quantise your phrase to the selected setting. Note that if you save the phrase after any modifications, these modifications will be saved with the phrase.
Clicking the orange dot will quantise the ends of notes to the following note
The settings should be pretty self-explanatory, but here’s a short description nonetheless:
How To Use Phrases
Play Chords in the yellow area, trigger Phrases in three different octaves using the orange Keyswitches (with C being Phrase 1 in all octaves) and add harmony notes to your phrases on the fly using the green/purple Keyswitches on the white keys from C2 to F2.
Adjust Phrase Volume Over Time
Clicking on the ‘wavy’ icon above the options cog will overlay a volume table where you can draw relative volume over time for your phrase.
Record Passages And Export Midi
Whenever you play back a passage in Phrases or Runs mode, a midi file is generated based on the real-time output of the phrase engine.
The resulting midi file can be dragged from the Midi logo that appears on top of the interface to your DAW or desktop. It will include the output of everything you played, including any harmonised added notes, chord changes; it will not include the chord or preset key input.
You can then use this midi data with any instrument of your choosing, making the Sonokinetic Orchestral Strings a powerful composing tool to use alongside your other sample libraries or if you want to double things with other instruments.
A setting in the options screen determines whether Sonokinetic articulations will be sent along as velocity data on midi key 0 - turn this off if you intend to use it with third-party instruments (since some instruments will not ignore that note input like the Sonokinetic Strings instruments do :).
You can also set it to the UACC KS format to ensure it autoselects articulations in any instruments that recognise that.
Both Runs mode and Phrases mode have a (yellow) chord detection area.
Completing a three-note chord in that area will set the tonality for phrases and runs playback.
The chord detection recognises the following chord and scale types (examples in C - they work in all keys):
|C major||C E G|
|C minor||C Eb G|
|C diminished||C Eb Gb|
|C half diminished||C Gb Bb|
|C augmented||C E Ab|
|C dominant seventh||C E Bb|
|C major seventh||C E B|
|C minor seventh||C Eb Bb|
|C suspended second||C D G|
|C suspended fourth||C F G|
|C suspended seventh||C F Bb|
|C minor - major seventh||C Eb B|
|C scale min mel||C D Eb|
|C scale chromatic||C C# D|
|C scale wholetone||C D E|
|C scale octatonic||C C# D#|
|C scale persian||C C# F#|
|C scale blues major||C D# E|
|C scale blues minor||C F# G|
- Click the mic names on the bottom to load/purge mic positions
- Drag the elements (color corresponds to the names below):
- up/down to adjust Volume
- the centre one left/right to adjust Pan
- Either side left/right to adjust Width
There are five Mic Presets that are saved with the instrument.
With the Mic Preset the state of the x/y area is saved, as well as which mics are active.
Just click any of the numbers to load a mic preset.
If you want to store a mic preset to share between instruments/instances, click on the little arrow that appears when you mouse over the area next to the Preset numbers.
If you SHIFT-click a mic Preset number it will load the externally saved setting*.
*In this case, Pan will be adjusted for the respective instrument, so your double basses won’t suddenly add up on the left if you load the mic setup you saved in first Violins.
The slider on the left-hand side of the Mic Screen controls ‘Temperament’ - it is linked to a custom EQ setting in the back end and can remove some of the harshness to your liking.
Switch Articulation By Velocity
There is a way to switch articulations with a single key, mostly useful for sequencing purposes and to use the different ways you can visualise articulation switching in DAWs.
The key for this is midi key 0 or C-2.
The articulations are laid out on the velocity in the following way:
|Sustains Sul Tasto||3|
|Dynamics Mod Wheel||16|
|Special Trem Sul Pont||22|
|Special Minor Trill||23|
|Special Major Trill||24|
|Special Bartok Pizz||26|
|Special Col Legno||27|
Support and Manual Download
A representative will follow-up with you as soon as possible,
typically within 48 hours of your request.
We often try to respond quicker than this,
but please note we are in a European time zone and Sonokinetic offices
and studios are opened on European business hours.
please follow: support.sonokinetic.net to submit your support ticket
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