Signal Experiments has announced the release of Sustain Strings, a free SFZ library featuring a string section suitable for orchestral music, pop and hip hop.
Sustain Strings sample library is mainly aimed at MIDI orchestrations, and it can be used on its own or layered with other string libraries to get a richer sound. Also, to fatten the sound, you may use effects such as reverb, delay and equalization.
You may need the tweaks above, because the library is kept relatively small in weight and the sound is far away from the boomy huge commercial libraries weighing tons of GB. I like that the sound is relatively dry, allowing custom reverberation. Just with a touch of reverb, you wil notice a big change in overall sound.
The SFZ library includes 4 instrument patches: sustain violins, sustain violas, sustain cellos and sustain contrabasses. They’re small patches with a fluid and coagulated sound, which means they’re very usable for orchestral scoring, hip hop and modern pop backgrounds and much more.
Sustain Strings sample library comes in three flavors: a free lite version consisting of OGG samples, a lite version (£1.99 at Sampleism) that uses lossless WAV samples, and an extended version featuring chromatic samples (every semitone) and 5 programmed velocity layers (only $7.50 at Gumroad).
The library works with any SFZ player, for example I’ve tested it within sforzando by Plogue, a free SFZ player that you should not miss in your arsenal.
In conclusion, if you’re in need of a simple and not fussy sustained strings library that doesn’t occupy all the HDD space of your computer, then Sustain Strings by Signal Experiments is for you. Keep in mind that this is not designed for pretentious and realistic orchestrations, but with the help of some reverb for example, you will achieve fantastic results. First, download the free version, then if you like it, you can go to commercial versions that are very affordable.