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User Reviews by KVR Members for Orchestral Strings One

Rate & Review Orchestral Strings One Now!

1.00
Reviewed By Spitfire31 on 29th January 2013
OS: Version: 1.2.
Last edited by Spitfire31 on 29th January 2013.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

This "Orchestral Strings One" is a ridiculously ineptly programmed Maize Sampler plug-in, stuffed with samples likely ripped off from some commercial strings package.

In its latest Mac version, 1.2, VST and AU, (the Win version is 1.3, apparently), it has first of all a new 'feature' - it only works monophonically! That is, one note at a time, until the release stage of the preceding one has finished! Or should that be a 'bug'?

As before, the Max Volume control is a hazard to your hearing (and monitors) - the fully CW position ('Boost') is the quietest one and the CCW position, labelled 'Cut', produces an ear busting shriek.

There's really no reason to go into further details - this is pathetic garbage and if the 'Award Winning Producer' intends it to showcase his other products, you can imagine what you're in for. Caveat emptor!

/Joachim

1.00
Reviewed By TheoM on 19th January 2013
OS: Version: 1.3
8 of 10 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

Wow i honestly feel terrible bagging a freebie to such a degree, but when something has no use, i don't know how else to rate it.

This is the worst string "sample" i have ever heard, much much worse than freely available soundfonts that can be found on the net, for example.

There is a *very* loud click at the *very* short loop point of the sample which makes any sort of sustained sound impossible.

it is unable to play chords from everything i have tried to do (MAC AU 64 bit version), has 5 articulations which are also affected by what seems to be single note polyphony? For example pizzicato can not be played in succession, it's one note, then 2 seconds later, another note. That seems to be the only way.

The sound quality is horrendous, as is the on board metallic reverb, the strings sound dull and lifeless.

Adding unplayability, sample quality, loop point click, and general noisiness of the instrument, i can't see any scenario where it can be recommended.. i mean, with many of using SSD's these days, why would you even consider using 600mb of precious ssd space on this?

This instrument has had a very negative impact on my opinion of sound magic. I was interested in some of their piano libraries, but there are no mac demos, and i am thrilled i did not take a chance and spend money on one.

the other problem is the language they use on their own webpage claiming special technologies used in this free instrument. I have never really been one to fall for "plug in tech jargon" but with a wide range of products, and now also owning a windows laptop to use for certain tasks, i was interested in checking out their other windows only products.

They have done irreparable damage to their "reputation" by releasing this free string instruments citing the same tech savvy jargon they use on their expensive paid products. I actually feel they have exposed themselves with this instrument as selling snake oil. So i thank them for saving me time and money in the long run, and now i feel silly for defending Shane in the forums here from time to time..

Avoid, and even if you can't help yourself and want to try it, avoid.

7.00
Reviewed By timaeus222 on 11th December 2012
OS: Version: 1.0.1.
Last edited by timaeus222 on 13th December 2012.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

I don't have a clue why people are complaining so much about this plugin. The sound is quite nice with the right reverb and sequencing. I'm not an orchestral expert by any means, but the sound quality is great, and "good" at worst. After analyzing the MIDI tutorial, it appears there are keyswitches (I didn't read the manual or the description. ;D), but I'm sure they're in the manual somewhere. So there's some thought in this.

QUALITY:

The spiccato, staccato, and pizzicato specifically are really nice. I don't hear much of a difference between "Default" and "Sordino" other than maybe less bass on the "Sordino", but regardless, both are not too good. The polyphonic blend is what makes it sound fake.

RUMORS:

The Max Volume knob does decrease the max volume when you rotate it counterclockwise. It works fine for me. Set the Min Knob to 0% and Max Knob to 100%, and you've got yourself the full velocity range.

FEATURES:

The cons:

What I don't like about this is that if you play around with it too much, it can randomly overload your output and it'll automatically mute itself until you reload the entire project file. So I don't think I'll be using this unless I've already written in the notes with downgraded instruments first.

It does not remember your presets perfectly. Even if you save a preset, it'll load the default voice mode when you try to load your saved preset, so remember to change the mode if you need to.

The vibrato is pretty terrible. It's LFO, and it's fake. If I ever use that, I'd literally only use it up until 0.0050 mix (pushing the modwheel up by less than a cm). Nothing else I can say there.

No round robins is killing this plugin. The sound quality is great, but it's all machine-gun. Sounds like 3 or 4 velocity layers, but I think 3.

Now the pros:

I absolutely love how you can change the mic "position" of the sound. The reverb is quite nice too. It's within a free plugin though, so don't expect it to be mind-blowing; that title belongs to ArtsAcoustic Reverb. ;) I'm not sure why there's a "Basic" and "Advanced" interface, though. They don't really look alike. I'd expect "Basic" to have less, but it just has different knobs in general. Oh well, not a big dealbreaker.

Very RAM conservative, unlike actual orchestral libraries. Rendering doesn't take a few hours either, unlike an orchestral soundfont I found at one point (an orchestral soundfont, taking an hour to render 1 minute of song, really?).

The keyswitches allow you to save some physical memory. There aren't too many, thankfully. One instance of Orchestral Strings One is all you need, unless you're like me and you use reverb presets specific to certain types of articulations. Regardless, good reverb does this some major justice.

USABILITY:

Well, it's definitely not too difficult to figure out. The sequencing table is pretty nice, but it's not intuitive. Great idea, but the usability of it could be polished more. It would be nice to be able to click-drag to test notes out more quickly, for example.

--------------------------

Overall, pretty good. This would sound good as backup, but never fully exposed. I also don't really like how it might overload and cause you to completely reopen the project file, but otherwise a nice product.

- Timaeus

Latest 3 reviews from a total of 3

Discussion: Active

Discussion

8 November 2012 at 5:27amalienimplant

Once again (as in Piano One) cutting the Max Volume actually INCREASES the gain. The plugin is already too loud and distorts frequently (when chords have many notes), and cutting Max Volume makes it even worse. Please fix the max volume on these instruments for Logic users (AU plugin). Your instruments are wonderful otherwise, but I cannot use them at all due to this flaw in the Audio Unit version. It's very frustrating, because they sound amazing otherwise. Cutting Max Volume should make the instrument quieter, not louder.

Also, your instrument shows up as misspelled in Logic. It shows up as Orchestral Strin instead of Orchestral Strings.

11 November 2012 at 12:00amPhredderick

Just like Piano One, this plug-in does not make sound on my computer. Does anyone have any ideas

11 November 2012 at 7:25pmmetaside

First of all, thanks for the great plugin!

But I can't automate or even save the settings of this VSTi in Live.... I hope this will be possible in an updated version, cause the plugin really sounds very good.

12 November 2012 at 3:33amChapelHeel66

Where should I install this? It isn't showing up in Sonar when I install it in the VST folder (or anywhere else that I've tried). Thanks.

13 November 2012 at 4:42pmProtocol_b

The info & graphic indicate a step sequencer is included, but the AU version does not have one and the GUI does not reflect the one shown on KVR - is it only in the WIndows version? Thanks!

13 November 2012 at 5:04pmalienimplant

I cannot be the only person with the AU gain knob problem in Orchestral Strings and Piano One can I? Would a Logic user please confirm that turning down the Max Volume actually raises the volume? All of their plugins do this on my system. I can't use them at all because their audio output is already clipping on large chords and there is no way to reduce the gain.

I really wish Sound Magic would reply to these concerns. I'm starting to feel like our problems are falling on deaf ears.

14 November 2012 at 10:42pmProtocol_b

Are any posters here using the Windows version? If so, do YOU see a step sequencer, and does your GUI reflect what Sound Magic posted above in their graphic? I prithee good sir?

16 November 2012 at 12:52pmphotoshare

Its not obvious, but you need to click on the panel that says "Basic Panel" (just above the center of the keyboard) to see the step sequencer.

I'm a Windows user, and I see the image shown above as 1 of 2. I don't see the 2 of 2 image.

20 November 2012 at 7:24amProtocol_b

Hmmm! I see only the 2 of 2 - no such panel saying 'basic panel'... click in that general area though I may. There seems to be a different version for the Mac. Which is a shame, because it was the step sequenceer function that prompted me to download. Many thanks for your response Photoshare. A pity the developer does not appear to be interested in our thoughts.

20 November 2012 at 7:28amalienimplant

The Mac AU is broken. The max gain, which is already too high, gets LOUDER when the knob is turned down. It's impossible to use this instrument in production without it clipping, which sucks. I wish they'd fix this. It seems to affect all their AUs.

24 November 2012 at 3:40amProtocol_b

OK, yup - their site says that 95% of the features are WIndows-only. The AU is a lame duck. Sad.

26 November 2012 at 5:02pmTracing Arcs

Sorry to say, this is a waste of 206mb. After the excellent Piano 1, I was expecting something comparable. It's badly synthetic, and a real let down. And they still have the old 1.0 version on their website.

3 December 2012 at 11:39pmheyitsjimi

I can't even get Orchestral Strings to download. Piano One is still at 1.1 for Mac. Why the preferential treatment for Windows ??

30 December 2012 at 5:40amSpitfire31

If you're on a Mac, don't even bother to download this pathetically amaturish hodge podge of a buggy Maize Sampler instrument. "NEO Hybrid Modeling Engine", my a**!

The samples are obviously ripped from various sources in true Chinese copycat tradition (the company is apparently based in Beijing) – the legato and tremolo patches are dry and full of artefacts and noise, sounding like they have been lifted off damaged vinyl records, while the staccato/spiccato sounds are washed in recorded reverb which is cut off with a click when the sample runs out in the higher registers.

The reverb doesn't work at all, there's no sign of a step sequencer on the Mac 1.1 version (it would only make things worse), the Max Volume control represents a clear and present danger to your hearing and your monitors since it works in an opposite way to the standard.

I'm not going to waste any more time writing about this hogwash. Avoid it, at least if you're on a Mac!

20 January 2013 at 2:52pmonnodevisser

Both piano one and orchestral strings are no match for other free or inexpensive plugins that are available. Indeed a waste of space on you precious drives. That said: everybody is free to make his own decision.They are free so try them and see what you think

27 May 2013 at 8:06pmrykms

Please do share... Specifically your free superiors.

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Orchestral Strings One

Average user rating of 3.00 from 3 reviews

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