Checking Out: Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle by Orchestral Tools

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Benjamin Wallfisch Strings and Benjamin Wallfisch Stringscapes are both beautifully crafted, well-executed libraries. While the nuanced approach to longer sustains, separate articulations for upbow and downbow, and the elimination of loops within the legatos and sustains will not be enough to justify the price tag for some, these libraries are definitely aimed at professional composers looking to add an enhanced sense of realism to their orchestral mockups and scores.

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Jump to the Demos of Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle by Orchestral Tools

 

Checking Out: Benjamin Wallfisch Strings by Orchestral Tools

Benjamin Wallfisch Strings is all about realism and depth of sampling. With extended legato and sustains, Orchestral Tools have found a way to avoid looping samples that adds to the realism of this library. For even further realism, Orchestral Tools have sampled both upbow and downbow articulations across the legatos and sustains within the library. Finally, you will find true divisi within the legatos and sustained articulations across instruments.

Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle is available from Orchestral Tools

 

Checking Out: Stringscapes by Benjamin Wallfisch  Orchestral Tools

Benjamin Wallfisch Stringscapes, on the other hand, is all about string FX, aleatoric articulations, and sound design. From horror FX to dystopian and transcendental soundscapes, Benjamin Wallfisch Stringscapes is a unique library that anyone creating orchestral tension will find super useful.

Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle is available from Orchestral Tools

 

 

Thoughts

 

Orchestral Tools have long been known as a developer who pushes the boundaries of realism and depth composers can expect from virtual orchestral instruments. With Benjamin Wallfisch Strings and Benjamin Wallfisch Stringscapes, Orchestral Tools continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible via virtual orchestration. The key differentiators between Benjamin Wallfisch Strings and other string libraries on the market (both from Orchestral Tools and from other developers) are as follows:

1. True divisi for legato and sustained articulations – All articulations are offered as Tutti across each instrument, while the legatos and sustained articulations also receive divisi. This allows you to write even more convincing sustained chords and legato lines.
2. Separate upbow/downbow articulations – This allows composers to have full control over the actual playing of each instrument. Again, this is only found within the sustained and legato articulations but allows composers to truly craft their writing in exactly the way they imagine.
3. No loops within the legatos or sustains – Normally, developers choose to place loops within their sustains and legatos. This allows composers to hold notes for as long as desired, but at the cost of a level of realism, as the loop obviously plays the same samples over and over again. However, within Benjamin Wallfisch Strings, there is not a loop to be found. This means the instruments live and breathe across sustains and legatos as they are being held, but this too comes at a cost – while realism is added, system resources pay the price.

On their webpage for Benjamin Wallfisch Strings, Orchestral Tools warns “Please note: This is a state-of-the-art string collection. Due to its size and number of samples, it requires a powerful computer to run as intended, especially when using multiple mic positions. We strongly recommend using a machine with fast CPU clock times, lots of memory, and an SSD drive (ideally internal).” This is indeed a warning to be heeded. I found that running this library off an external SSD (as I normally would) leads to extremely long load times, as the sample size here has been significantly increased to avoid the use of loops and to create the upbow/downbow articulations.

This is a huge library (Strings = 501GB; Stringscapes = 60GB) that will both fill up significant space and demand the most of your machine. However, there is an added sense of realism as a result. Is the added realism enough to justify the extra space and specifications? For most composers probably not, but for the most demanding professional composers, for whom space and resources aren’t a consideration, I’m guessing the added realism is worth the sacrifice. While Benjamin Wallfisch Strings comes with a hefty price tag and an even heftier set of resource requirements,

Stringscapes is much friendlier on both levels – the price is very much inline with other string FX libraries on the market and I found that running Stringscapes from an external SSD didn’t cause it to suffer in any way.

All in all, both Benjamin Wallfisch Strings and Stringscapes are worthy additions to the professional composer’s toolkit. As always, Orchestral Tools continues to knock it out of the park.

Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle is available from Orchestral Tools

Facts

Both Benjamin Wallfisch Strings and Stringscapes runs within the free SINE player. The Strings library downloads as 501GB while Stringscapes downloads as 60GB. Benjamin Wallfisch Strings also includes 5 dynamic layers and both libraries include a curated mic mix by Benjamin Wallfisch in addition to the raw samples and new ‘Immersive’ mic positions for atmos. Benjamin Wallfisch Strings and Benjamin Wallfisch Stringscapes can be purchased as a bundle or individually from Orchestral Tools.

Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle is available from Orchestral Tools

 

Demos of Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle by Orchestral Tools

 

Videos of Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle by Orchestral Tools

 

Contributor Raborn Johnson reviews Benjamin Wallfisch Strings Bundle by Orchestral Tools
“Benjamin Wallfisch Strings and Benjamin Wallfisch Stringscapes are both beautifully crafted, well-executed libraries. While the nuanced approach to longer sustains, separate articulations for upbow and downbow, and the elimination of loops within the legatos and sustains will not be enough to justify the price tag for some, these libraries are definitely aimed at professional composers looking to add an enhanced sense of realism to their orchestral mockups and scores.”