Review Sinister Strings from Big Fish Audio


This library was featured in the 5 UNDER: Tension Tools Video

Something wicked this way comes and its name is Sinister Strings! A collection of much sought after macabre tension building string sounds for cinematic composition, trailers, game designers or something to spice up your next dark ambient track.

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Sinister Strings sells for $69.95 from Big Fish Audio

Review Sinister Strings from Big Fish Audio


Sinister Strings is part of the series that Big Fish Audio calls KLI or Kontakt Loop Interface. For users of other libraries in the series, the interface will be a familiar one providing key-switched access to the various loops included in each of the master patches. The basic architecture of Sinister Strings is built around samples from the Cello, Viola and Violin and then divided into separate Articulation and Slide patches for each instruments.

The Articulation patches provide string noise from piercing Sustains, Bends and Tremolo, while the Slide patches provide 6 different variations including 2 tremolos. As is standard with the KLI series, each loop set has individual controls for mix balance and volume on the default Mixer page.



The Group Articulations add an additional loop set called Random for some added eerie goodness. Think Norman Bates in Psycho, Hitchcock’s Birds or any of the other great suspense films that have had you sitting on the edge of your seat. By modifying the Tune parameters, Random opens up some really interesting and sonically disturbing possibilities.


The Tune tab allows further access to modify the individual parameters for each of the loop sets offering a wealth of tonal variety.


As with all KLI libraries, Big Fish provides a comprehensive Insert and Send FX rack. While you may prefer to mix in your DAW, you can easily control and shape the individual sounds with the interface by adding EQ, High/Low Pass Filter, Tape Saturation,  Rotator effect, Bus Comp and Transient Shaper along with the standard sound shaping effect like Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Reverb and Gain controls. Depending on your level of sophistication and workflow, these may be welcome options to have as part of the interface.

Although I like to use other premium effects like Convolution Reverb, Bus Comp, EQ and Drive and Tape Emulation amongst others, as a regular user of Big Fish libraries, I really like the freedom to shape specific sounds on the fly and then balance them in the larger mix at a later stage in the process.


Sinister Strings is certainly a unique offering with a very specific niche to fill – Horror, Suspense, Thriller,  Games, Dark Ambient or Noise Music all come to mind.  The is really a unique product in the market and although some libraries offer darker strings, Sinister Strings is the only one that truly focuses on creating the vibe focused on string noise. It is a reasonably priced library and one to consider if you need this type of sound in your sonic palette. Before purchase please check out the official demos to make sure that this is the right tool for you.


Sinister Strings contains 8 total patches based on 318 raw samples. The patches are categorized into Cello, Viola, Violin and Group with 4 patches of slides and 4 patches of articulations.

The library comes in at just over 650 MB and requires a full NI Kontakt 5.5.1 license. NI Kontakt Player is not supported.

Sinister Strings sells for $69.95 from Big Fish Audio


Official Videos & Demos of Sinister Strings