What I like best about this library is its sonic character. Having carefully chosen the patches, I can hear each part clearly, and there's plenty of depth to each sample, particularly in the full strings, woodwind and woodwind ensemble material. There are some really attractive, solidly-played lead lines and a number of compelling solos. And that double-stopping! Apart from the vibrato samples which were among the best in the first Kontakt Institute release, these patch editor controls really make this library fit for purpose: vari-velin, damper, ring, bend and intonation are all implemented, allowing you to tweak your solos just as you would any other keyboard instrument. In my experience, double-stopping is the most difficult sonoristic technique to sample, because it requires a great deal of flexibility, signal selection, sonic balance and all sorts of other things. The sound of the violin on these patches is wonderful, and those rich, woody voicings are really special, which is another reason why this library stands out amongst the rest.
It works with Kontakt 4 alpha 3 and Kontakt 4 beta 4, but the stable release is based on Kontakt beta 4. You'll find all the strings, woodwinds and brass positioned within the desktop in a neat grid, which you can freely drag left and right to arrange however you like. There are controls for sweep sound, spin, rise, fade, volume and portamento, plus the ability to use a sampler for tracking what you're playing and simply replacing the playback tool with the sampler for further adjustments. The samples themselves are divided into control sections, and each 'note' is set to the correct string, in the correct key, with the correct x1 added. In short, this is an elegant, well-designed way of playing with strings and woodwind and brass, and it's very easy to use. If you can work out how to host you own patches, Vienna Symphonic Library is a brilliant, highly versatile alternative to the many other string libraries available. d2c66b5586