Strings plugin recommendations

Can anyone recommend any good plugins for general purpose strings sounds, for use in a rock band context? I’m looking for orchestral strings (as opposed to synthetic pads), but I don’t require the kind of super-realistic stuff you’d use for a film score. General purpose strings for use behind vocals, mixed with a piano, that kind of thing, with a variety of different envelopes/tones to suit different contexts (or a plugin that allows these to be edited and stored as patches).

I’m currently using the strings sounds in my Kurzweil PC3x for this, but I’m keen to move all my sound generation into Cantabile to give me more control/flexibility.

Hey Neil,

same background here - I have a PC3K8 and a PC3x (back-up) and have moved everything to Cantabile.

My string layer rack consists of one instance each of

  • Korg M1
  • Korg Wavestation
  • u-he Hive (for analog type synth strings)
  • FabFilter Pro-Q (for EQ and filter; I often use a lowpass filter controlled by a fader on my keyboard to fine-tune string sounds)

Between these three synths, I get all the string and pad sounds I need. And the M1 is pretty intuitive to edit, so this is my main work-horse. The Wavestation is more for evolving, deep textures.




Hard to beat those Wavestation strings! :smile:
( Korg Legacy Collection Wavestation VSTi is only $49!)

Here is a free one I hear brought up often:


I’ve always been in search of strings that sound like “As Tears Go By” (dating myself). I use Kontakt 5 with Session Strings and East-West Gold for many thing, Also HALion and SampleTank 3. Best sounding “classical-type” (at lest to me) is Garritan Personal Orchestra. The drawback to Garritan is that the instruments don’t respond (intentionally) to the sustain pedal. It forces you into some funny fingerings, but if you have organ chops, no problem.

Thanks for your recommendations everyone! I think I’m going to set up a strings rack like Torsten, containing a small variety of plugins, exposing the best strings via rack states.


I second Torsten and Terry on M1 and Wavestation for strings

Forgot to mention the M1 Korg Legacy VSTi is also just $49 - with like 5000 patches or something insane like that!

(They start you off with 2,700 patches, but there is an additional free library, Numb1, that you download from their download area that doubles that, I believe.)

That should keep anyone busy and happy! :wink:


Thanks Terry!! Last night I bought M1, and didn’t realise I could also download Numb1…that’s another evening I’m going to be going through patches then :smile:

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Terry, could you post the link for the Numb 1 download? 2700 patches just isn’t enough ! :heart_eyes:

It is in the Korg user area where you log in to get your registrations, re-do authorizations, etc… Log in and it is a little ways down.

There is also the Devine set for Wavestation, and a ton of Mono/Poly, PolySix and MS-20 ones there.

Here is the complete list:

Sound Programs

polymoog 10/05/2010

Korg USA 07/12/2010 07/12/2010 07/12/2010

Roland Kuit 12/21/2009

Korg USA 04/10/2009 04/10/2009 04/10/2009

Jase from Outta Space (JaseFOS) 2008/04/25 2008/04/25 2008/04/25 2008/04/25

Jase from Outta Space (JaseFOS) 12/21/2007

Chris Liebing 8/2/2007

NUMB 7/6/2006

Francis Preve 3/16/2006 3/16/2006

Apollo 440 11/18/2005

Richard Devine 9/30/2005 9/30/2005 9/30/2005 9/30/2005


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I found these very useful.
Especially within a Band.
I do not need to turn up much volume to get through the Band.


Does this Disco Strings require full Kontakt or will the player do?

I think you need to have the full version: