Review: Hyperion Strings Micro by Soundiron


Hyperion Strings Micro is a remarkably lightweight yet flexible library once you learn how to tame its dry and up-front sound using external FX and its own user interface.

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Review: Hyperion Strings Micro by Soundiron

This is the first version of Soundiron’s new Hyperion Strings line. The micro variation contains only essential articulations of this very dry and close mic’d string ensemble. Rather than recording several mic positions, Hyperion aims to create flexibility by providing users with one very dry microphone and some very deep and intuitive spatial simulation controls in the user interface. Although the out-of-the-box sound can sound a bit harsh at first, the result of this technique is a light weight and surprisingly versatile string ensemble that be lush and full, or close and scratchy.

Hyperion Strings Micro sells for $49.00 from Soundiron


Hyperion’s interface is quite extensive, so this part will be a bit image heavy. I’ll try to hit the important parts of each panel without spending too much time explaining every little detail.

The top of every panel shows the core sound shaping controls. From left to right we have body, attack, sample offset, dynamics (modwheel controlled), release, release volume, and vibrato. Body and Attack are extremely useful, and I’ll talk about why in the sound section.

The main panel lets you assign articulations to various keyswitch slots. The lower middle section lets you tweak the velocity ranges, keyswitch assignment, pan, and volume of each articulation, down to the individual dynamic layers (only in the specific instrument patches, not the ensemble patch). The lower left zone changes depending on what articulation you have selected. On short articulations you can adjust timing/tightness (which by default is controlled by a reactive script), round robins, and toggle velocity sensitivity. On sustains, this area gives you legato toggle and speed controls, as well as vibrato blending options. The crescendo and decrescendo patches show tempo syncing options for the sample length.

In the full ensemble patch, you can use this panel to set the volume, panning, and key ranges for each individual instrument.

The effects panel offers a basic filter, compressor, and equalizer. There’s a good chance you won’t be messing with this one much if you use your own plugins.

With the dry recording in this library, the Space panel become extremely important. Here we can choose an IR and tweak some settings with a convolution reverb, as well as place the instruments in a virtual space. The middle area lets you click and drag each instrument to move them forward, back, or side to side, affecting the wetness and panning of each section. This makes the process very simple for those who get overwhelmed when looking at nothing but knobs and faders.

For those who don’t do well with music theory or playing live, this panel lets you pick a key to play in, then transposing notes around to basically let you avoid having to use the black keys when playing in parts.

The final panel is a simple arp/step sequencer, but with a feature I don’t usually see. You can set this to “run” mode to create instant fast runs at the press of one key. This is kind of cool, but it doesn’t do anything more advanced than just programming in the run using the spiccato patch manually.

The raw sound is where Hyperion seems to differ the most from its competitors on the market.

The raw sound is where Hyperion seems to differ the most from its competitors on the market. I will admit, when I first played Hyperion’s out-of-the-box sound, I didn’t love it. It’s very dry, close and a little bit harsh. I usually am all for a close sound, but this seemed to overdo it a bit. But you have to look at this as a subtractive library when you’re aiming for flexibility. Cutting some high frequencies with EQ will go a long way to pushing the sound back a bit. Up close, you hear every little detail, but cutting some of that detail will help you create some distance and space.

To get a more full and lush orchestral sound, I recommend turning the “body” and “attack” knobs all the way up. Body adds more low-mid frequencies to balance the tone more, and attack takes away some of the sharp bite from the sample start (mostly on the spiccato patch). You can then use the “space” panel to turn up the reverb and move all of the instruments back to the back of the room. Those tweaks alone will do a lot to, and you can always take it further with some simple EQ, reverb, and stereo imaging using VST plugins.

The legato transitions are all scripted/simulated in the micro version, so they won’t hold up to much scrutiny from an expert on orchestral realism. But they get the job done well enough for more broad purposes. There is a “duet” mode that can be enabled which gives you two voice polyphonic legato – a nice feature. The round robins are also limited, with only two per note and dynamic layer. Things like this are to be expected in a library labeled “Micro”, however.

The most important thing to know about the sound of Hyperion is that it is supposed to be very dry, with the intention of the user sculpting the timbre using the built-in controls. If you’re okay with working with reverb plugins and simulated spacing rather than microphone positions, Hyperion is a great budget choice that can give you a large variety of timbres.


Hyperion Strings Micro is the smallest package in the Hyperion Strings series, with 2,950 samples divided into 5 Kontakt patches. It includes the basic articulations such as sustains, scripted legato, spiccato, and pizzicato. Hyperion uses 1 mic position and detailed space/reverb controls in the interface for flexibility with a small footprint (2.5 GB installed).

Hyperion Strings Micro sells for $49.00 from Soundiron


Demos of Hyperion Strings Micro by Soundiron


Videos of Hyperion Strings Micro by Soundiron