Review: Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings by Sonixinema

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Have you ever wondered what a Flying Mandolin Whoosh or a Captivating Spinning Bow might sound like? These are two of the many surprises you will find in Sonixinema’s Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings. Plenty of presets and character, this library will be a helpful tool to add color and depth to your favorite sample libraries.

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Review: Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings by Sonixinema

Sonixinema’s Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings is the first installment in their new range of instruments for Kontakt. This surprising collection goes beyond the expected orchestral textures you are likely to associate with the name, and includes more modern instruments such as guitars, basses, and mandolins as well. With both playable instruments and custom designed effects, this collection is a great way to add color to your trailers and scores.

Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings sells for £75 from Sonixinema

 

 

Thoughts

This is one of the first words that comes to mind when thinking about this library – surprise. As I began to dive into this library I was expecting to find some basic string articulations covering the violin, viola, cello, and possibly bass. I thought there would likely be a twist as well, but I imagined this only in the context of orchestral strings. It turns out I was completely wrong, as the orchestral sounds in this library only represent about 1/5th of what is available inside. In addition to orchestral string patches, you will also find presets for guitars, basses, mandolins, whooshes, and fx instruments. Each of these divisions includes a large number of well-categorized presets divided further into helpfully-labeled folders. One of my biggest pet peeves about some sample libraries is their lack of preset organization. It can be overwhelming to be surrounded by scores of presets without any hint as to what each one will sound like apart from actually loading it up. You will not find that problem here. Sonixinema has done an excellent job of categorizing this large set of presets into easily-identifiable categories.

For instance, under “Strings” (referring to orchestral string presets) you will find the following sub-folders: Distressed Longs, Aggressive Trems, Free Bowing, Harmonic Slides, String Organ, Screaming Strings, Open Flares, Harsh Tremolo, Growing Intensity, Tremolo Wafts, Tremolo Waft Slides.

Each of these subfolders contains 8 presets to bring the total of orchestral string presets to 88! This was about what I expected to find in the entire library, but alas, there are another 200+ presets besides!

So, organization? Check. Variety? Check. But, what about the sound?
It’s difficult to pin down the sound of Hybrid Scoring Strings because there are just so many different sounds inside. There are traditional orchestral sounding presets which will blend nicely with full string libraries, as well as fuzzy guitars, growling basses, and much more. Hybrid Scoring Strings starts with good sounding presets and allows you to tweak them to fit into your project.

Each instrument has a unique sound that can be further customized using Sonixinema’s intuitive interface. The sound styling options can be found in the onboard FX tab that includes EQ, 28 different reverb selections, compressor, delay, and tape saturation. This is in addition to the controls on the front panel for volume, pan, pitch, attack, sustain, and release, as well as high pass and low pass filters. The front panel “Destroy” button is especially fun, as, when activated, it allows you to use the mod wheel to gradually (or quickly!) introduce distortion into the preset. It’s pretty entertaining to hear traditional string articulations slowly morph from gentle to screaming! For some presets you can also disable the “Destroy” button and use the large knob to introduce movement via the modwheel.

Several presets also come with key-switches allowing you to alter sounds on the fly. For instance, guitar presets come with key-switches for major or minor portamento, allowing you to slide from one note to another. This is a handy feature that extends the usefulness of these patches, allowing you to add movement to your project. Another useful example of innovative key mapping is found in the bass presets. There are 4 keys in the upper octaves (one for each string of a 4-string bass) that allow you to mimic a descending slide down the neck for each string. This isn’t an earth-shattering feature, but it sure is nice to have.

I envision Hybrid Scoring Strings being useful in my own projects by offering presets that can add color and depth to my favorite sample library strings, guitars, and basses. I don’t imagine using this library as a primary instrument, but I think it provides tones and timbres that many will find useful and unique by adding something special to their sound. I can already imagine some of these presets creeping into my own work. With over 18 GB of content and 300+ presets, I believe Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings offers great value that will bring something unique to your composing pallet.

 

Facts

Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings requires the full retail version of Kontakt 5.5 (or above) required.
The library downloads over 18 GB and 8,000 sound sources of orchestral textures and modern stringed instruments for a total of 300+ presets.

Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings sells for £75 from Sonixinema

 

 

Demos of Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings

 

Videos of Hybrid Scoring Collection: Strings