Review: CASE Solo Strings by 8Dio
Massive variety of sounds in a well organized articulation system.
Built in FX provide an insane amount of options to craft your own sound.
“Randomize” button on most FX can take your inspiration from zero to one hundred in one click.
Lack of tempo-locked patches makes timing some FX with a rhythm difficult.
Price is a bit steep for a niche library only covering FX.
8Dio’s CASE Solo Strings is a huge collection of aleatoric string FX (recorded on solo instruments rather than sections) that is neatly categorized into Kontakt instruments. These unique and intimate sounds range from eerie to downright chaotic. This library is perfect for scoring tension and horror, and is likely to find a place in any media composer’s template.
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Review: CASE Solo Strings by 8Dio
This massive collection of FX is the strings portion of 8Dio‘s CASE series. CASE is an acronym for Concert Aleatoric Solo Effects. Solo Strings is the most diverse section in this series due to the nature of string instruments and the variety of unique articulations that can be found through creative playing.
CASE Solo Strings sells for $349.99 from 8Dio
CASE Solo Strings sports one of the most organized and straight-forward user interfaces I’ve used in a Kontakt Library. It offers a lot of control over detailed effects in a simple two-panel layout, and many of the values of these controls can be randomized, giving users a way to create instantly-inspiring and unique sounds.
The top half of the main panel contains a list of different articulations. These articulations are also mapped to keyswitches at the bottom of the keyboard. Just below that is a row of knobs that control basic parameters for the sounds, including Pitch, Stereo Width, Filter and Pitch Envelope, Distortion Drive, and Tone. These knobs alone offer a lot of options for customizing the sound.
Moving down, we have the Filter LFO/Step Sequencer, the mic position mixer, and the first wave of basic FX controls. The Filter LFO is very standard and straight-forward, but it comes with the signature CASE randomizer button. The microphone mixer gives us control of 6 different mic positions. While this can be useful, I find it a little bit excessive and tend to stick to the default mic mix. The effects here are nicely laid out with a single-knob approach. Here we can control a Filter, Trance Gate, Delay, Pitch Shifter, Compressor, and 8Dio‘s unique Textural Convolution Delay – this effect has a variety of presets that give the samples strange and otherworldly tails.
The second control panel contains a rack of effects: Phaser, EQ, Degrader (bitcrusher), Delay, Transform (Textural Convolution Decay), and Reverb. Some of these effects are redundancies from the first page, but they simply serve as a second wave of FX. If you want a delay on top of a delay, or another layer of Textural Convolution after your initial distortion, you can do that! Each of the FX come with a list of presets that are very useful for initial setup. This rack is a great way to provide the finishing touches to your already customized sounds from the main panel.
The massive collection of samples covers a wide spread of avant-garde and strange articulations. To name a few – glissandos, bow drops, wood taps, bends, scratches, textures, etc..
Essentially if you can think of a weird thing to do with a violin, viola, cello, or bass, it has probably been recorded in this library. Each instrument is divided into patches for Glissandos, Hits, Pulses, and Textures. Each of those patches then contains multiple sub-articulations with descriptive names so you can get an idea of what you’re about to hear when you select a sound. Every instrument was recorded with two players, which can each be soloed or muted in the mic mixer.
It’s tough to talk about the quality of the samples in an aleatoric FX library – there is absolutely no concern over tuning, expression, and realism of performance.
The sounds are exactly as you would imagine them – disturbing, chaotic, abrasive, and wonderfully strange.
This library’s biggest strength comes from the huge amount of unique sounds. Most of the sub-articulations have two to three octaves of different samples on each key. This allows you to smash your keyboard and combine several of the samples into clusters, creating a larger ensemble sound. If that isn’t enough variety for you, you can use the various built-in FX to reach into the realm of more modern and processed sounds. I am particularly fond of the “Drive” knob for distortion – it really energizes the output with a nice crunch. The “Transform” effect also stands out as a unique way to add some modern weirdness to the tail of your sounds.
CASE Solo Strings, while a niche library, has a surprisingly wide range of uses thanks to its overall volume of content and infinite ways of mangling it.
As with all our reviews be sure to check out the official demos and videos below to make sure the instrument is right for your needs.
CASE Solo Strings weighs in at 22.2 GB installed, and is only available through digital download from 8Dio. There are 6 total microphone positions, 23 instrument patches, and 96 different articulations.
This comprehensive Solo String FX library requires the full version of Kontakt 5.5 or later to run properly, and is available at 8Dio.com for $349.00 USD.
Demos of CASE Solo Strings by 8Dio