In the middle of April 2021, I had booked a 3 hour slot part of a shared recording session offered by Manchester based Northern Film Orchestra, in order to record a few ambient, textural chamber strings cues for a short film I had been scoring.
As the players were so incredibly brilliant, the recordings were wrapped up halfway through the session, and I had previously asked Jack Hughes, director of the NFO, whether I could capture a few samples of the chamber strings ensemble, with the objective of making a sample library. Jack had happily agreed to that , so we went ahead and started sampling both long and short notes, starting from the lowest C0 and going up in 5ths to F6.The long samples were recorded twice, whereas the short ones were recorded four times. I had time to record only a single dynamic layer, which I decided to be mezzoforte.
In the end, I was sent about 3 gigabytes of samples, and I decided to use the Close, Stereo Pair, Outriggers, and Room ones, therefore, for this reason, the library features four mic positions.
Also, I obtained a few IR samples from my fellow peer Dora Kmezic, who recorded them at “The Friary” in Liverpool, formerly a church known as St. Mary of the Angels and now home of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, and decided to include them as a reverb for the library.
This is the companion bundle to the Longs one, and includes a Shorts patch, as well as a Keys and Pulses patches (not available for Decent Sampler). The Pulses patch is tempo-sync’ed, and has 3 keyswitches: 8th, 16th and 8th triplets, visualised as red coloured keys in the higher register of the keyboard. The 8th keyswitch is selected by default.
These samples are intended to be used more as a sound design tool, rather than a regular strings library, so feel free to mangle and destroy them to your heart’s content!
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING: a few of the short samples are not perfect in terms of tuning or cleanliness, I am not able to replace them with better ones. Time was not enough to do another recording pass, so I could only try and polish them up as much as I could without sacrificing the sound quality during the processing phase. Thank you for your understanding.
Reviews for NFO Alternative Chamber Strings Shorts
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A nice short-strings library!
This will be extremely useful to those who are looking for a nice free library with chamber string staccatos. They are excellently sampled and they play really well. The room sound is quite good and in the GUI you will find 4 different microphones for you to blend in as you want. There is a small noise hidden at the tail of the samples, but you can avoid getting it by not sustaining the notes.
Additionally you will find a "Keys" patch which is exactly what you imagine it to be. I personally found it to be too clicky, but with the included ADSR, I managed to fix it by setting the attack to 0.72.
Finally there is also another patch called "Low Pulses", which features a set of gate-sequenced "ostinatos", which are tempo synced and you can change the frequency by the three red keyswitches sitting above them. The only problem with this patch is that you have to be very precise when performing it, since the rhythm doesn't "lock" to a virtual metronome, so if you are not precise it can be chaotic. If you quantize it in programming it will be no problem at all.