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Cubase: String Theory Part 1

Steinberg Cubase Pro Tips & Techniques By John Walden
Published November 2020

To pull off this ‘string fakery’ trick, you’ll need a set of multi‑articulation strings sounds. Cubase Pro’s Large Strings VX is a usable ensemble patch, but plenty of good‑quality alternatives offer more flexibility, including Spitfire Audio’s free BBC Discover library.To pull off this ‘string fakery’ trick, you’ll need a set of multi‑articulation strings sounds. Cubase Pro’s Large Strings VX is a usable ensemble patch, but plenty of good‑quality alternatives offer more flexibility, including Spitfire Audio’s free BBC Discover library.

Cubase can help you write and arrange realistic string parts.

Credible string arrangements can add a real touch of class to your productions. Dave Stewart’s four‑part Arranging For Strings (part 1: https://sosm.ag/string-arranging-pt1) and nine‑part The Sampled Orchestra (part 1: https://sosm.ag/the-sampled-orchestra-pt1) are great places to start learning, but in the meantime Cubase offers some tools that can help you get ideas down quickly. There’s lots of ground to cover, so I’ll cover this subject in two tutorials, Part 1 this month and Part 2 next.

Cubase includes some impressive virtual instruments, but multi‑articulation (performance‑style) orchestral sounds are thin on the ground. Still, the Large Strings VX preset in the Halion Sonic SE Pro soundbank that comes with Cubase Pro is very usable. It includes eight articulations, and while it’s an ensemble patch (all strings at once, rather than in separate instruments) it’s good enough for the examples that follow.

If you want a more capable library with separate string instruments, a third‑party option I can recommend is Spitfire Audio’s BBC Discover. It’s inexpensive anyway but free if you’re prepared to sign up and wait two weeks. It’s...

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Published November 2020

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