Ableton Orchestral Strings

A life-like orchestral sound library for creating convincing orchestral string arrangements, but with limited articulations.

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Orchestral Strings

Long Summary

Ableton’s Orchestral Strings sound pack boasts a little one 4 GB of quality, multisample strings.  You’ll get convincing Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass sounds – both solo and ensemble – but unfortunately these instruments are limited to 3 articulations (granted they are the most common and useful):

  • Legato
  • Pizzicato
  • Staccato

Ableton chose to deal with the articulation switching in an unconventional manner – using a macro, rather than more traditional key switches.  This isn’t necessarily less flexible (one could use midi notes to switch the macro value), but it is a different paradigm that feels a bit more like a ‘fix’, given that macros are an essential part of Ableton’s workflow.

All in all, I wouldn’t choose this library as my go-to for orchestral music for a few reasons – limited articulations, needed workarounds for key switches and a ‘stiff’ sound that I think lacks the expressive depth needed for contemporary orchestral production.  However, I am very grateful to get this high-quality, multisample library for free with my Suite license and I will use it to layer with my other string libraries.  This pack is definitely convincing enough for that!  Plus, it is unlikely to be an over-used sound library in professional circles which can impart a new and valuable flavor.