Vienna Dimension Strings opens a new chapter in the history of sampling technology. The recordings in Vienna’s famed Silent Stage started as early as the fall of 2008. With a total of more than 830,000 samples, recorded in four years at our Silent Stage, it is by far the most ambitious and intensive production in the history of the Vienna Symphonic Library. To put these numbers in perspective: Since the foundation of the company in 2000, we have published more than two million samples, covering nearly every instrument of the symphonic orchestra and more.
The 24 string players of Vienna Dimension Strings were recorded in homogenous groups (8 violins, 6 violas, 6 cellos and 4 double basses), capturing all of the human interactions and slight imperfections of a live performance, but this time we’ve used individual microphones for each player, which allows you to access each voice individually.
Creating your personal string sound
We’ve even recorded each string of each instrument in its full range (approximately one octave plus a fifth), and with the included presets you may easily decide whether to have the musicians play on all strings (with a change to the next string in fifth intervals), or forced playing on a certain string. You can also choose to play with no open strings. Getting a darker or brighter string sound has never been easier and more flexible. What’s more, the technique of individual microphone placement is perfectly suited for divisi writing! For the violins, preset setups for two groups of four players and four desks of two players are provided.
Stunning realism through imperfection
Over the last decade, sample libraries have become more and more “perfect”, sometimes at the expense of human feel. In reality, even the best musicians never play in perfect unison; one makes a change a little slower, another faster, but maybe with more dynamics, and so on. When playing as a group, musicians continually adapt, matching timbre, intensity, vibrato, intonation, bow speed and more. All these interactions happen automatically in a good ensemble, led by a good conductor, and reveal the “magic” of a live performance. With Vienna Dimension Strings, individual changes in dynamic levels of the players within a group can be achieved easily with velocity crossfades. You may even designate one or two “weak” musicians to play sloppy notes, with hesitant or delayed starts, for instance. With our Vienna Instruments PRO player and its Auto Humanization feature, all kinds of nuances and variations are possible while simply playing the keyboard. The result sounds absolutely striking!
- Four string sections of 8 violins, 6 violas, 6 cellos, and 4 double basses.
- Recorded in groups, but with individual microphones for each player, for unlimited individual performance flexibility.
- The full play range of each string was captured (one octave plus a fifth).
- Over 830,000 samples!
Unprecedented variety of articulations
- Three different sustains: Vibrato, non-vibrato (fully controllable via crossfades!) and espressivo/progressive vibrato (increasing the vibrato to maximum intensity).
- Legato Performances, Portamento Performances, Trill Performances (legato, marcato), Repetition Performances (legato, portato, staccato, spiccato, various crescendos).
- Various tremolo variations: Normal, with fast attack, and "slow-motion tremolos".
- Pizzicato, snap pizzicato and col legno.
- "Harsh” articulations: Brutally forced fortissimo sounds with short articulations, included as the loudest velocity layer with Repetition Performances of staccato, portato and spiccato playing techniques.
- Finger noises as separately recorded sounds from shifting positions on the fingerboard make for a more realistic sonic impression in combination with single note samples.
- Various ambient noises, recorded for each individual player, such as breathing, positioning/depositioning of the instrument, chair noises when leaning back and forth, browsing sheet music (in three dynamic levels!).
Individual Timbre and Ultimate Realism
- Sculpt your ensemble sound by adjusting level and position in the mix for each player, or desk, in order to create your personal string sound.
- Assign individual controllers such as velocity crossfade and/or expression for each player for realistic dynamic changes and customized balance within the ensemble.
- Ready-made presets for selecting the individual strings of each player of a group –“force strings” (all notes will be performed on the preferred string, e.g., for the violins: G, D, A, E), “avoid open strings” and “use open strings”.
- Perfectly adjusted vibrato/non-vibrato articulations with unlimited crossfade possibilities (available for sustains, Legato and Portamento Performances) – for an ideal sonic impression, especially in quiet passages.
- Mix articulations within the ensemble (e.g., desk 1 with vibrato, desk 2 without vibrato).
- Free positioning of individual players or desks on a virtual stage (e.g., when using Vienna MIR PRO or Vienna MIR PRO 24).
Advanced features with Vienna Instruments PRO*
- Instant Human Performance Control within the ensemble – timing and intonation of each player can be adjusted individually.
- Divisi sections with flexible groupings, e.g., 4 desks with 2 players each or 2 groups with 4 players each for the violin section.
- Extensive Phrase Archive (host-tempo-sync'ed) for Vienna Instruments PRO’s internal APP (Auto Playback and Pattern) Sequencer: Runs, trills, arpeggios, phrases in all scales and modes, with optimized phrasing randomization of each player.
Other configurations may work but are not actively supported.