Sonokinetic have just released their most ambitious sampled instrument to date. Orchestral Strings is a complete solution for all your stringed-instrument needs, and comprises five complete sections (first and second violins, basses, celli and violas), all programmed for the ubiquitous Native Instruments Kontakt and Kontakt Player sampling engines, and compatible with NI's NKS Komplete Kontrol system. The company have put their extensive experience of Kontakt scripting to use, by way of a custom-designed interface, an intelligent 'purging' system to maximise system resources, and an all-new chord-recognition system.
All told, Orchestral Strings comprises nearly 100GB of samples, with each instrument group offering four miking options — Close, Decca Tree, Wide and Balcony — plus a pre-mixed Tutti version for climactic passages. For this new library, Sonokinetic enlisted the help of the Zlin, Czech Republic-based Capellan Orchestra, and we're told that the company took the “utmost care” in editing the samples to preserve all the details of the performances.
Realism is assured by the use of multiple velocity layers (up to four for the most-used articulations), while clever recycling of the 'tail' portion of samples allows for multiple round-robins without overburdening your RAM. There are also built-in engines for automating runs and phrases, as programmed in the interface's own piano-roll editor. For real-time performance, dynamics can be controlled either via keyboard velocity or assigned to your MIDI controller's mod wheel, with the wheel smoothly crossfading between velocity layers. It's even possible to pre-set dynamic behaviour, so your playing will automatically be performed crescendo, sforzando, fortepiano, and so on.
“No corners were cut in making this product,” Sonokinetic say, “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.”
Sonokinetic's Orchestral Strings is available now, and carries a full price of €402.33 including VAT. However, if you purchase it by 19th December 2021, you can bag it for the massively reduced price of just €241.99. We'll be bringing you an in-depth review in SOS very soon, but in the mean time, check out the introductory video below to hear Orchestral Strings in action.