So I went and had a listen to the demos for the Appassionata strings. This is not a positive post, but I feel like there are far too many of those - glorified ads. I’d welcome any input from anyone who bought this, in any direction - I don’t want this to be a bad library, but rather another great tool for all of us. So let me know if my impressions are off.
Of course there are good writers on the demos. But it seems like they are using good and competent writing to mask middling or poor library content. The thing they tout is the legato, and so it’s odd to me that in particular that was something I noted as being flawed. It was extremely cross-fade-y, and attacks and note transitions seemed listless and vague. This is their new “Impulse Engine”, which is meant to make playing strings in without keyswitches more feasible - I’m not hearing that it is doing so.
These are perhaps some of the more synth-y of strings I’ve heard in a while. Are they different-sounding from the other stuff? Sure. But I feel like the money the spent on this library would have been better spent on a good set of molto-vibrato add-ons for BBC or something like that. (Maybe a brass upgrade.) And they are doing the many-mics thing again, which is less than impressive to me, if the library is going to sound like that. I contend that legato libraries with lots of mic positions almost have to sound mushy because the note transitions have to work for many mics at once - and as trendy a thing as that is to do, I just don’t find it practical. What this emphasizes to me is the need for IRs from multiple positions, rather than so many mics. What’s going to be more agile - a close mic with much less room reverb in it that allows for quicker transitions - through an IR that emulates other mic positions as desired, or the leakage from a bassoon mic on the violas?
The challenge there is this - before the business declined, studios were more willing to allow IR’s of their rooms to be made. So in Altiverb you can find scoring stage impulses from rooms you’d actually want to record in. There are some in Spaces as well. But now the only really specific things you can find are in the powerful but cumbersome MIR, and there are other very nice convolution reverbs available, with lots of concert halls but not so many actual scoring stage rooms. And fewer people, I think, actually know to go for that sound. Things change, sure, but if a composer wants to emulate the sound of an orchestra for a score, there’s more happening than big reverbs, or the name of the room the players were recorded in.
I say all that to say that this library could have been better, from what I hear, if they had gone with a different approach.