Musical Sampling, the creators of the acclaimed libraries Soaring Strings and Trailer Brass, are now ready with their new installment; Trailer Strings, featuring 18 Violins, 16 Violas, 14 Cellos and a whopping 12 basses.
With a huge 60 piece string ensemble, they follow in the footsteps of Trailer Brass with the same mantra: LOUD, HUGE, and AGGRESSIVE. Our thoughts on the previous libraries can be found here.
I started by loading up the All Strings patch, playing around with the different articulations. Within a few minutes, I was pretty much in love with the sound. From the hard hitting spiccatos, to the silky smooth soft sustains, and the ultra-playable adventure patches – this library delivered.
Now, as with Trailer Brass, this library does not include any legato patches. It’s also not the most natural and realistic sounding library. That said, legato and intimate realism is not the aim of this library. For such use, Soaring Strings from Musical Sampling might be a better choice. That said – this library absolutely delivers what it intends to; Hard hitting, loud and powerful string samples intended for massive trailer cues and Hans Zimmer-style walls of sound.
The sound of this library is amazing. One of my main problems with other libraries when used in a trailer setting is that they have either too little power to properly cut through the mix in a natural way, or they’re too sharp and harsh. To me, Trailer Strings really hit the nail on the head here. The short articulations are crisp and incredibly powerful, yet has a warm, silky quality to it that makes it very pleasant to listen to.
On the other end, the soft sustains are probably one of the most beautiful sustain patches I’ve ever heard in a string library. The velvety soft, yet rich tone has a really unique quality, enhanced by the way the instruments are seated. Funny enough, this soft and fragile patch is one of my favorite things about this library, which is not what I expected in a library with the slogan LOUD, HUGE, AGGRESSIVE!
Trailer Brass both gives you the opportunity to choose each single articulation in a more traditional way, as well as their performance patches (adventure), which through their “morph stacking” scripting makes notes of any length sound natural, making it a breeze to play lines with several articulations on the go. This allows for a nice workflow, and enhanced realism.
Another approach I like is their Spiccato/Staccato patches. Compared to the short single articulations where the velocity controls the dynamics, the velocity here controls the articulation (low velocity is short notes and a high velocity is long notes), while the mod wheel controls the dynamics.
This honestly took me a few minutes to get used to, but once I got rolling – it was very pleasing to play around with, making it easy to record and play natural sounding lines featuring short and long note lengths without having to use key switches or multiple patches. The fact that you can choose between the two without having to switch the patch is great.
I found it the library easy and pleasant to work with, and have already used it in my first trailer cues without any obstacles.
Just as with Trailer Brass, its follow-up features an elegant and easy to use interface. You can choose between the 3 mic positions (close, room, mix), and choose options like “to silence” and “humanize”. To silence simply means that when the mod wheel is all the way to the bottom, there will be no sound, instead of just the lowest dynamic. While at the top you’ll have the loudest dynamic possible.
The humanize function is simply adding in some “imperfections” to the rhythm, slightly putting the notes off grid to make things sound more natural if you’re quantizing things heavily – something that can be very good for enhanced realism.
This library genuinely impressed me. While it is not an all-round library made for realistic, lush classical string parts like Cinematic Studio Strings and Soaring Strings (also by Musical Sampling), it is the perfect choice for hard hitting, loud and in-your-face string passages like you’d hear in massive trailer cues and Hans Zimmer soundtracks. For what it is made for, it truly does a great job in my opinion.
The short articulations are powerful, yet warm and smooth, while the sustains and soft sustains have a lush, silky and beautiful tone to them. The sound of this library is top notch. The playability is also very good, giving you the option of choosing single articulations in a more traditional way, or playing around with the useful performance patches.
I think this library gives you very good value for the price, and while it is a quite niche product and maybe somehow “limited” in its use, I am certain that people who are simply looking for loud, hugeand aggressive strings will find exactly what they are looking for in Trailer Strings.
Trailer Strings – Music Software Score
Total Score: 4.7/5
Composer, producer, entrepreneur and digital nomad from Norway, and the co-founder of Evenant. Has a strong passion for traveling, exploring new cultures, learning new skills and creating new things.