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Spitfire Symphonic vs Eastwest Hollywood Strings

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A comparison of Spitfire Symphonic strings and Eastwest Hollywood Strings Diamond.
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Text Comments (45)
MustacheVerra (13 days ago)
I'm pretty sure Spitfire was recorded at air studio(Lyndhurst Hall) which used to be a church while EWHS was recorded in studio. A bid studio mind you but nothing like Spitfire. So of course, out of the box, Spitfire might sound better because of the hall they've captured in the recording. EW was going for something different and they nailed it. That Hollywood studio sound we heard so much over the years. I'm a little surprise to see the lack of appreciation for what EW have done. I don't own it so this is based of listening to demos and videos like yours but the sound they captured is like a dream come true for some. Maybe taste have changed over the years? But i still have a weak spot for that. Thanks for the video btw. You can see picture of the Lyndhurst Hall here. http://www.airstudios.com/the-studios/lyndhurst-hall/images-lyndhurst-hall/
Yas M (2 months ago)
Being stuck with East West for a while now (almost a decade) and not happy with the libraries. Some libraries like the solo violin are utterly unusable due to horrible levels. I found the orchestra also not well balanced compared to how you normally balance an orchestra on paper and how it's supposed to come out. Violas are always too loud and you will you have to lower down at least one dynamic level at all times (usually more, for example, "mp" to "pp"). The woodwinds aren't that great too and you have a lot of unnecessary hiss, woodiness that is hard to get rid of. I'll be moving soon to VSL.
William McFadden (2 months ago)
Definitely a major upgrade. Good choice. BTW they're have 40% discounts for students and teachers right now.
Hot Ice (7 months ago)
I am new enough to this stuff that I don't know how I could use either of these string packages in a sequencing situation. Would you offer guidance?
William McFadden (7 months ago)
Yes, you need a computer, mac or pc. You need daw(digital audio workstation) software such as Cubase, Logic Pro, Garageband (included with a mac) , Pro Tools, Digital Performer, etc. the run any of the vst libraries referred to in these videos. Logic Pro X is a great choice for a mac if you just starting out.
Hot Ice (7 months ago)
William McFadden--Let me be clearer: I have been working with a keyboard that has a built-in sequencer in it. I am thinking about grabbing the Spitfire sounds or the East-West sounds, but have no idea how I would incorporate those into the keyboard that has its own built-in sounds. Do you have a way for me to use the sounds with that keyboard sequencer, or would I have to go through a computer program that would record everything to a hard drive?
Hot Ice (7 months ago)
William McFadden --Thank you!
William McFadden (7 months ago)
Possibly this video will shed some light: https://youtu.be/ogCAR2SBgYQ
stan woods (7 months ago)
does east west contains dynamic/expression modwheel?
William McFadden (7 months ago)
Yes, see below: For those in the Powerful System folders (02, 09 and 10): As is described elsewhere, these patches use CC 11 (Expression) to cross-fade dynamics and CC 1 (the Mod Wheel) to cross-fade the depth of the vibrato. What is different about the “Niente” instruments is that CC 11 not only cross-fades the dynamic layers, but it can also bring the volume all the way to zero when the value of CC 11 approaches zero Chapter 4: Instruments, Articulations, and Keyswitches 35 EASTWEST/QUANTUM LEAP HOLLYWOOD STRINGS For instruments in other folders (01 and 05–08): Because these instruments are smaller, CC 1 (the Mod Wheel) controls the cross-fade of both vibrato and dynamics at the same time. CC 11 (Expression) performs global volume control. What is different about the “Niente” versions is that CC 1 can bring the volume all the way to zero in addition to cross-fading dynamics and vibrato.
stan woods (7 months ago)
I think that darkness in east west is because you only activated the main microphone, I think it would probably sound the same if it was close microphone
William McFadden (7 months ago)
Could be, just activated the default mics in each library.
Derek Cilibrasi (8 months ago)
Spitfire wins on the Violas. Hands down.
M3DD (1 month ago)
William McFadden (8 months ago)
Spitfire has a wonderful sound for sure.
Sven Gerrlich (9 months ago)
Is the classical EWQL Orchestra (2006) , now running on XP, still running on Windows 10 or higher?
Yes, I'm using it on XP for ten years in Kontakt 3.5 . Works well.
William McFadden (9 months ago)
Hi Sven, not sure about the EWQL Orchestra running on XP or Windows 10 or higher. I used to use the PC platform, but have been on Mac platform for the past 5 or so years. You can find out at their website and submit a case: http://www.soundsonline.com/Support?section=updates&article=
Michail Luuko (10 months ago)
There is a suspect that Spitfire strings are not sampled chromatically.
William McFadden (9 months ago)
I would simply ask them. Better to know than conjecture :)
Michail Luuko (9 months ago)
William McFadden No, I didn't. But when we listen to any libraries our ear perceive those "fake" (pitch-shifted) tones. Even shifted by a semitone. I don't know how it works. )
William McFadden (9 months ago)
Did you check with Spitfire Audio to verify that?
Fangornmmc (9 months ago)
Spitfire Symphonic Strings is whole-tone sampled, meaning there is a sample for every two notes. One note is the "real" sample, the other is pitch-shifted on the fly. Hollywood Strings is fully sampled chromatically. It's actually one of the few, if not the only, string library that is fully sampled.
William McFadden (10 months ago)
I would be very surprised if that were the case. Why not chromatically sample if you have all the players present in the studio and you've gone to the great expense of hiring them. Plus the players would probably leak the fact that they didn't play all the notes of the scale when they were being sampled and their reputation would be tarnished.
Walter The Musician (10 months ago)
These are comparisons I want to see. I have the Hollywood Strings. I don't have the Spitfire. The Spitfire sounded better. Hollywood strings is an older library. I've been disappointed with the Hollywood Strings and Woodwinds. I don't read music, so I play live. Compared to the Vienna Libraries, the East West Ones to me aren't expressive when played solo. And sometimes I can hear artifacts. Occasionally in this demo, the Hollywood strings sounded synth like. I know that they sound great in a mix, and you can do stunning mock ups, that sound utterly real, but I've found they aren't expressive played alone. I don't use them yet. Their orchestral cloud would be wonderful for most composers. My Vienna Libraries sound expressive played by themselves, just like a great sounding instrument would sound playing it by itself. East West has just released the State of the Art Hollywood Choirs (superb), and I bet that they are working on their next generation Orchestra library as we speak. Spitfire is a newer library, with improved fidelity. You could hear more detail in the Spitfire library. I think Vienna is making a big mistake with their new sampling technique. I wish they all would sample close miked like the VIR Harmonic Bohemian Violin. It's the state of the art, and doesn't need key switches. Wouldn't it be great to have a Woodwind library sampled in that detail!
William McFadden (9 months ago)
Could be. We'll see if they keep their current strategy with Synchron. I agree the silent state gives pristine samples.
Walter The Musician (9 months ago)
I use all the Vienna Special editions and have 10 or the solo individual instruments... mostly the Woodwinds and Saxophones. I'm poor so I have concentrated on getting great lead instruments, like the Vienna Oboes, Oboe D'amore, Bassoon 1, and English Horns. They are very rich sounding played by themselves. I would have all the full Vienna libraries if I could afford it. I think that the new Vienna Synchron instruments are a big mistake, not that I could afford them either. It's true that in their demos, they sound great, but sample size is the most important thing in sample libraries (Though Ivory II American Steinway at 49 gigabytes is the exception), and the size of Vienna Close miked Synchron samples isn't much larger than their older libraries... the rest of the memory is wasted on distant mikes. The direction I wish they had gone is like VirHarmonic's Bohemian Violin. It's by far the most expressive violin, and one reason is that their expansion 1 is about 18 gigabytes for one violin... all one close miked set. The original set (before expansion 1) at 4 gigabytes is amazingly expressive and realistic. Expansion 2 will add more gigabytes as will expansion 3. The Vienna Synchron is a fraction of that in size for it's close samples for one violin. Being able to play live with no key switches is wonderful. Size matters. The Vienna silent stage was better. They should have made new silent stage recordings but imitating the state of the are VirHarmonic Bohemian standard.
William McFadden (10 months ago)
Yes, the Synchron stage is excellent, but it would be nice to have the VSL silent stage on those samples as well. I guess time will tell if their change in recording studio is successful with the competition.
Cjsterifix (11 months ago)
I personally loved the brightness of the Spitfire, the tones seemed to dance from side to side in a very pleasing way to the ears. East west was also very nice but was a bit more controlled. I personally rather have the option to control the instruments my self if needed. Other than that I was blown away from both libraries.
Zahari Shtonov (10 months ago)
With the proper EQ settings and compression on your Group Bus you can get both libraries to sound even closer. The Spitfire library seemed to be dialed in with Vibrato out of the box. I couldn't see where is the corresponding feature on the EastWest Play engine. That would make them sound identical.
Cjsterifix (11 months ago)
What really impressed me about the Hollywood Strings is the fact that it comes with Premium quality effects like the actual SSL emulation etc..It even has Ohmicide. But spitfire though...Wow just wow
William McFadden (11 months ago)
Yes, both libraries can give excellent results.
Sandford (11 months ago)
Have a listen to my Cinematic demo score made only with East West Composer Cloud sounds, let me know if you like it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhcQdMl7jRA&t
William McFadden (10 months ago)
You as well!
Sandford (10 months ago)
Thank you, sir! Yes, I'm trying to get the best from my East West libraries. Spitfire is definitely better, I think. Thank you and have a great 2018!
William McFadden (10 months ago)
Nice clean mix and great ideas. I'd like to hear it with spitfire or berlin strings for the violas, violins in the mix. That was the only weakness.. You could increase the release time on the high strings to help the realism as well. Great job!
John Mears (11 months ago)
Thanks for the video Bill! Great work, very helpful. Could you please do the two libraries comparison with only short note articulations?
John Mears (11 months ago)
I see, do you know off hand if the shorts (spiccato for example) are similar in each library? I have had many folks telling me that the sound of these two libraries is WAY more contrasting than you video appears but they also say that the short bows are extremely different too. Thanks Bill!
William McFadden (11 months ago)
My bad. I did the patches they had in common. Guess it didn't include shorts.
John Mears (11 months ago)
Hmmmm. I watched twice but didn't see Spiccato/Staccato stuff with these two libraries? Did I really miss it twice? Hahahaha!
William McFadden (11 months ago)
Thanksi John, short note articulations were included in the video. They may not have been exhaustive, but should give you a general idea of the differences.
Stephen Mills (1 year ago)
Bill I really find your walkthoughs helpful. I hope you will keep them coming!
William McFadden (1 year ago)
That's a tough one. I would say strings take priority over percussion since you already have the regular Hans Zimmer Percussion, and get the pro version when the upgrade is on sale.
Stephen Mills (1 year ago)
Yes I have about 200.00 to spend and was either gonna get the Hans Zimmer Pro upgrade from the new version l just purchased... or Cinematic Studio Strings for around the same price since l own CS2. I already own a lot of string libraries including all the Albions & Evos and other starter libraries. I would love to have the JunkieXL mics in HZ pro but damn I hear so many great things about CSS! Whatya think is the best bang for buck? Lol!
William McFadden (1 year ago)
Glad you like them Steve. I compare them the way I would have liked to seen them compared. Any libraries you're currently considering?

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