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String Library Comparison Part 1 – Legato

This is the first of a multi-part series I’ll be doing that compares four major orchestral string libraries. This first part focuses purely on the Legato capabilities and the sound of each library.

Berlin Strings
Hollywood Strings GOLD
LA Scoring Strings
8dio Adagio

After you’ve watched the video, you may be interested in downloading the stems used towards the end of the video. Click on the button below to download the stems to import into your DAW.  This is a great way to test your reverbs on the libraries, or to just have a closer listen!

Download Stems!

Also, take a look at my soundcloud to hear some of these libraries in action!

  • Ed

    Very cool! Can we you post the midi files of the STEMS please?

    Thansk and keep doing more please!! 🙂

    • blakus

      Hey Ed! Sure, good idea. I’ll try and get them online tomorrow!

  • Kfir

    Thanks! the midi files with the CC’s would be great!

  • zack

    Which legato did you choose for the adagios? There are so many and most of them do not work at all…the new 1.5-legatos seem to be refurbished but are only including 3 of 7 (or 8) legatos, so the rest is still unusable.

    Did you also stumble across the mapping of the adagios? The legatos are stretched in a stupid way – the second lowest note of each instrument is always a pitched-up note from the open string below, so we get open stings on G# for violin, C# for viola and cello etc. This works for ALL patches.

    I bought the whole adagio strings and would say it´s the most uncompleted, crude and incomplete piece of “string library” on the market.

    The Louré and Bowings are great, but they are not synchronised throughout the different instruments, so i often have to use high Celli because the articulation i´m looking for is not included in the Violas and so on.

    Of course there is some great stuff in there, but one can´t compare it to other products like LASS or HOLLY STRINGS which are thought-out and really usable.

    8dio, if you are reading this: i stopped buying your stuff after Adagio. There seems to be another range of string articulations on the way. Haha. You should work on the already existing ones at least at long as they are barely usable before releasing new stuff…

    • blakus

      Hey Zack, I hear your frustration! It would be nice to see them do a version 2.0 on their libraries to really clean them up.

    • panibozia

      8dio release buggy products and care little to fix them, i stopped buying their libraries as well, they do not even care about our comments as they never react to them e.g. on vi-control forum, they just do not care …

  • zack

    Haha, yeah. I don´t use the Adagios often, i even forgot that i own them. But in the end it´s my fault, could´ve stopped buying after the Violins…

    At the moment i´m using a combination of Hollywood Strings and Sable (often layered) which somehow works well.
    With a bit of Albion- and Symphobia-Support a lot is possible.
    Bowings and Louré are always an option from Adagio, so there is no need to check out the Berlin Strings as a new main library. But i have to say i hear a lot of good sounding stuff from that direction, your video also showed how responsiv they seem to be.

    One question i have:
    Are you using your/embertones Blakus-Cello (or the Friedlander) to add detail into sections (like a better first chair from LASS)?

    • blakus

      Yeah, I find the Embertone stuff good for that purpose. Although I have made my own custom cello instrument that really excels at that task – I tend to use that 🙂

  • Ed

    Hey Blakus!

    Did you finally post the midi file anywhere else?


  • Tom Rhea

    Thank you for this video. Although, I must admit, I was a little disappointed to see and hear the ease of playability with Berlin Strings. I have Hollywood Strings Diamond and I LOVE the sounds, however, Berlin not only sounds great but appear to be much easier to play. In particular, the harder attacks attached to velocity. GREAT IDEA! So my disappointment would be more accurately described as jealousy for I do not own that library…as of yet.

    Which patches of Legato Strings did you load for HWS? I watched the video and you mentioned and showed the Basses, Marc. Leg, powerful. When you say Powerful I am assuming 12?

    Again, great video. Can’t wait for the next installment.

  • Hi, Blakus,
    thanks for the support we’re getting in this way!
    I am new to this job and I’m really enjoying your tutorials
    What do you think about CineStrings library /Cinesamples?
    I have heard and liked a lot!


    (sorry for my english, I tried to write in english. )

    • blakus

      Hi Didio!
      That’s a very very tough question! I actually have no experience at all with CineStrings so I couldn’t say sorry!
      Thanks for the message, and your English is fine 🙂

  • Owen Barra

    Hi Blakus , first of all thank you for such a detailed tutorial regarding legato major libraries, I favor the Berlin Strings, my question is what version of berlin these strings using? sorry my English is not good

    • blakus

      Hi Owen! This was the first version of Berlin Strings, before the updates. 🙂

  • Steve Walmsley

    Thanks for the great video. Until I saw your demo, I was pretty sure what I wanted to buy. But now I’m not sure since Berlin Strings sounds pretty good. My question is —— Does Berlin strings sound a little thin in the upper notes? I ask this because in some other demos I’ve heard, the violins sound almost squeaky. Maybe it was just the arrangements. Would you please give me your opinion. Thank you

  • Hi!
    Thank you so much for this video overview. It helps make my decisions a lot easier!


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