NI Session Strings Pro 2, suitable for symphonic\gothic\black metal?

I really like the concept of Session Strings Pro 2, loaded with tons of articulations, great playability with the live player in mind.

But I really need it to fit into the style of symphonic\black\gothic metal among the other things I already know it does well.

I’ll put here few examples:


Just listen to the intro of this song:

Session Strings Pro 2 designed for pop music, actually I consider the above examples as pop, given that those are two mainstream MTV style metal bands, and the songs are really catchy to my taste. However, I’m not sure that NI meant to that when they said “pop”.

In my experience, almost all the modern string libraries have WAY too big a sound for actual pop string arrangements- it’s always that Hans Zimmer overkill sound. However luckily, that’s exactly what you want, or so I assume. No experience with NI Pro2 but I bet it fits the bill.

My definition is top 40 or widely popular music of the era. But I am ancient and may have it wrong …

This is the kind of thing I envision you really wanting- though I don’t know if it lends itself well to live performance. (And it’s stinkin’ huge lol)

Yes that’s what I want.
The problem is that all those strings libraries with big sound are not for live players, or don’t really cover all the strings articulations for this kind of music.

The only strings library I know that has great playability for keyboard players, and also cover all the needed articulations, is Session Strings Pro 1\2.

The only problem is that I’m not sure that this library can work with this metal kind of music, because I’m afraid the sound is too thin, I know it has only maximum of 8 violins 6 violas 4 celli 4 basses ensemble.

From the few short demos that available on NI site, the issue is not clear, most of the demos not relevant to what I’m looking for, but there are 2-3 demos that I think - maybe.

I really need someone who used it and can give an opinion, since I can’t try if I’m not buying it, and it’s expensive.

I get the impression that the Ark is pretty controllable real time- but it’s expensive!

I play in a symphonic metal band and I think that korg and xpand work better than most of pro vst strings (playing live).

1 Like

Hi Sebastian

I tend to agree with you. I have moved past the string libraries for live use some time ago. At some place in the sound spectrum, whether it is Rock, Metal, Funk, etc, they lose their ability to sound great. It is the same with Brass libraries. I rely on Korg M1 to cut through and give me a comfortable place in the spectrum. A well controlled stage environment or recording studio might be a much better place to drag out the lush libraries.

1 Like

I totally agree. In live mixes it’s less about “realism” generally and more about what cuts through. It;s amazing how good a crappy piano patch can cut live. Or a simple keyboard string patch. The place for a realistic patch can be if everyone stops playing and you are solo…

1 Like

It took a long time to realize that. The really good thing about the crappy libraries, other than working well live, is they usually don’t tax the load, usually cost less, and audience side never knows the difference.

I once used a tiny Casio for a piano sound. Total crap. But have a video from out front, and it sounded amazing. You just never know what will work or not work.

Hey friends, I think you all convinced me.
I’m not experienced as you all and I think I better listen to you all when you say that high end virtual instruments don’t shine in a live mix.
I’ll give a try to Korg M1.
Actually I have XPand and I don’t like it, not because of sonic quality, but because of playability.
But I’m pretty sure that Korg M1 has good playability, since it’s a hardware rompler\synth engine of a real keyboard copied to computer platform.

And I also think I have to define a clear priority order, about my equipment.

Added after edit:
What is first priority-Sound quality? Portability?

I don’t drive, and laptop rig is the ultimate solution for portability in public transportation, I think it maybe more critical than sound quality, as I can’t imagine myself dragging a heavy workstation in buses, trains, and long walks on street.

1 Like

At my age, portability is high on the list. Sound quality means a lot, but it is really a personal judgement. The type of gig I am playing, the venue, and the musicians I perform with all comes into play when deciding what I need to take with me, as well as the vsts I use. If a gig is last minute, I can make a small setup sound good if I have to. Experience will dictate your decisions.

Edit: Where I live, I see musicians riding public transit all the time. Most of them carrying guitars and maybe a small amp. If I were to do that, I would carry a laptop, a midi controller with a collapsable stand, sustain pedal, and all the cabling you need, and hope there is a PA for you to play through. I could make that work…especially so using Cantabile.

Corky, yeah I’m planing to carry a laptop+a lightweight controller in a soft bag(thinking on Arturia Keylab 88)+all the little accessories.

By the way, I carry guitars and small amps all the time, actually I much more experienced as guitarist and I had few little gigs as a guitarist.