Sampling experts Orchestral Tools have announced the upcoming release of Pēteris Vasks Strings, new sample library that the company say offers a completely new take on the sound of a chamber strings ensemble. Developed in a partnership with award-winning Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, the collaboration aims to provide users with an inspiring set of sounds and articulations that the company say have never before been captured in a sample library.
The library captures an ensemble comprising six first violins, five second violins, four violas, four celli and three basses, and there are also solo players on offer, with two first chair violins provided, along with one first chair player from each of the remaining sections. The recording sessions took place at St. John’s Church in Riga, Latvia, one of Pēteris’ favourite venues, and also feature his preferred first call performers, the acclaimed Sinfonietta Riga.
Captured with the care and attention that Orchestral Tools have become known for, the library offers a variety of techniques that range from the ‘bread and butter’ articulations that will be familiar to any composer, along with a set of playing styles referred to as Gestures, which include expressive glissando techniques, runs, dramatic trills and unusual interval flourishes that all aim to capture some of the nuances of the composer’s distinctive style.
The company say that they have taken a new approach to dynamics by recording the lower dynamic layers with mutes, and then removing the mutes gradually for the louder layers, resulting in a beautifully coloured sound which boasts a unique sonic character. Three different legato styles are present for each of the first chair instruments: Lyrical, Expressive and Sul Tasto, with users able to utilise the solo instruments to add detail to the ensemble sections, or use them on their own to create string quartet or quintet pieces.
Six microphone positions are provided, and users are able to take advantage of the Mic Merging feature in the company’s SINE Player software, which allows a mix that uses multiple positions to be summed to a single channel in order to preserve system resources. If required, it is also possible to download instruments and microphone positions individually rather than having to download the entire collection at once.
“I won’t hesitate to say that these are the most beautiful strings we’ve ever created — they have an immediately arresting character that speaks to Vasks’ mastery of blending beauty and dissonance in a modern orchestral context. We’ve been absolutely honoured to work with him directly on creating this library, and I believe that any composer who wants to fall in love with the sound of strings all over again should experience Pēteris Vasks Strings for themselves.” - Hendrik Schwarzer, CEO of Orchestral Tools
Pēteris Vasks Strings runs in Orchestral Tools’ SINE Player, and will require the most recent update. PCs running Windows 10 are supported, as well as Macs running macOS 10.13 and higher. VST, VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions are available, and there is also a standalone application. 96.7GB of disk space is required.
Pricing & Availability
Pēteris Vasks Strings will be released on 12 April 2023, and is currently available to pre-order for a discounted price of €399. Once the library has launched, the price will increase to €549.