The 6 Best Orchestral String VST Plugins for Music Production in 2022
Recreating an authentic-sounding ensemble in your music productions can be challenging, especially when you’re a new producer.
Because actual chamber string sections or actual ensembles have an incredible amount of articulation and expression that computers just can’t replicate without great attention to detail (which new producers just don’t …at least not yet).
Of course, you can just rely on samples from Splice’s audio libraries. But there will always come a time when you want more control over the music you make. That’s when you know it’s time to step up to the big leagues and invest in one of the best orchestral string VSTs on the market.
But which one to choose first?
After all, string orchestra plugins are known to cost a pretty penny and you don’t want to buy the wrong one. That’s why we’ve broken it all down for you and found the absolute best options for anyone using VST strings.
In this article, we’ll break down what makes a channel plugin, our full list of the best, and even give a short list of mentions for the best free options you can snag today.
What makes a better orchestral plugin?
There are many different factors that can make an orchestral or string sample “best”. Some people may prefer easy-to-use and feature-rich plugins, while others may prefer plugins that look realistic and realistic.
Personally, I’m always on the lookout for expressive and controllable string ensemble VSTs. Much of the authentic humanized feel of the strings comes from the attention to detail in the movement and expression of the strings. If the plugin company is cutting corners here, it’s a non-starter for me. So it’s safe to say that each of these libraries, at a minimum, ticks that box.
But ultimately it comes down to personal preference and what you need the plugin to do for you.
Made by the same company that brought us Berlin Symphonic Strings, The Orchestral Tools Time Bundle (both Micro and Macro) brings a time-based approach to symphonic orchestration. This string library is a powerful tool that archives dynamic uniqueness through its layering capabilities, allowing producers and orchestrators to play sustained, long-tail notes that are rich in texture and evolve over time in ways few other libraries are approaching.
So, for obvious reasons, it’s no wonder this library was number one on my list.
The Time Macro Bundle takes this concept to the max, with mid-sized string ensembles and session choirs that you can layer to create otherworldly string articulations that are firmly grounded in an organic sound. This premium offering comes at a steep price, but is an underlying and almost essential purchase for any producer or composer making music today.
The Time Micro Bundle offers most of the previously mentioned features on a smaller, more intimate scale. Although its scope may not seem as large, the more nuanced and delicate texture of this VST plugin creates a much more ethereal end result that can serve a completely different purpose than the macro.
Whether you’re producing organic house or full-scale string arrangements, the Time Bundle is a powerhouse offering you definitely shouldn’t sleep on.
Buy this bundle here
The Berlin Con Sordino strings are one of the best VST strings, simply because of its exacting precision that combines subtlety and texture in every articulation.
These are the exact features you need when producing and composing modern music, where solo string instruments and compositions are becoming increasingly popular.
These strings also provide the ability to play muted sections, allowing for even more intimate and dynamic expressions between sections. While many of its competitors offer false string damping, the meticulousness in the recordings of each of the sampled strings is a powerful feature unmatched by any other on the market.
Even London’s finest string players will soon be playing second fiddle in Berlin Con Sordino Strings from Orchestral Tools!
Buy these strings here
3 – Hollywood Strings Diamond Edition
EastWest Hollywood Strings Diamond Edition is the most detailed collection of classical strings ever recorded in a virtual instrument. The library was recorded by Shawn Murphy. Hollywood Strings Diamond Edition was produced, engineered, and mixed by Doug Rogers at EastWest Studios (formerly Cello Studios) in Hollywood, and includes recordings of solo instruments, sections, and ensembles in an easy-to-use interface accessible to producers and composers of all levels.
Where this library starts to get complicated is in offering four different pickup positions for each section: Close, Mid-Close, Mid-Far, Far. The Close mic position gives you a tight sound with lots of detail. The Mid-Close pickup position gives you a more intimate sound with some air around the instruments. The Mid-Far pickup position gives you a more open sound with room ambience around the instruments. The far mic position gives you an even more open sound with lots of ambience around the instruments. You can mix and match these mic positions to your liking or use them individually.
The Hollywood Strings Diamond Edition interface was designed to give you as much control over the sound as possible. You can adjust the vibrato level for each section, as well as the portamento (legato) level between notes.
This Hollywood string library, while more expensive, is designed for everyday use and in any situation. It features a classic sound that fans and listeners will love right off the bat because they’ve probably heard it a hundred times before.
Buy these strings here
4 – Spitfire Symphonic Strings
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This is a very high quality string library that provides many different articulations. It’s one of the best sounding chord libraries out there, and it’s also very easy to use.
The samples themselves feature the professional touches of 60 star players, 16 first violins, 14 second violins, 12 violas, 10 cellos and 8 sampled super deep basses with over 175 articulations, including 59 short, 94 long and 5 extraordinary legato patches programmed. by Andrew Blaney.
The Spitfire Symphonic Strings library is very versatile and can be used for all types of music. It is perfect for film music, pop music, rock music, etc.
If you are looking for a high quality channel library, this is the one for you. It sounds good and it’s very easy to use.
Discover this library here
5 – Audiobro LA Scoring Chords
Audiobro LA Scoring Strings is a library of orchestral string instruments recorded in Los Angeles. The library was recorded at EastWest Studios and includes a range of different string instruments including violins, violas, cellos and basses. The library is designed to provide users with lifelike, lifelike sound, and features a range of different articulations and playing techniques.
The library is also compatible with a range of different software platforms, making the libraries easier to use in a variety of different productions.
Buy these strings here
6 – Output analog channels
Output Analog Strings is for producers who don’t play strings.
Because its user interface and audio engine, while a powerful audio plug-in in its own right, is almost a psychedelic mix of sterile software and humanized manipulation that gives Output’s strings a truly unique sound.
This is actually a common theme with most of Output’s gear, as you won’t buy this VST string plugin to be just another one of your standard orchestral libraries. No, you’ll be buying it for its own unique way of using those strings.
This is exactly why these string sounds are often used in my own productions to help layer my main string sections, as it achieves the best of both worlds between expressive audio samples and shaping. digital envelope.
This feature alone sets it apart from the rest of the plugins on the market (albeit for a very specific feature).
Buy this plugin here
Free Orchestral Plugins in 2022
In 2022 there will be a wide variety of free orchestras. This will allow composers and producers to create realistic and professional orchestral tracks without having to spend a lot of money. There will be plugins for all different types of orchestral instruments, including strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion.
With so many high quality and affordable options available, there will be no excuse not to create beautiful and compelling orchestral music.
Here’s a quick list of free VSTs and string libraries that are definitely worth your while.
Quick recap on VST plugins
VST plugins are audio software that can be used in a digital audio workstation to add new sounds or effects to your audio. There are many different types and they can be used for a variety of purposes. Some VST plugins are designed to simulate the sound of real-world instruments, while others can be used to create new and unique sounds.
VST plugins can be used in conjunction with other audio software, or they can be used on their own.