Fallout Music Group just released a brand new addition to their Artist series: Restrung Vol. 1. The team around Randon Purcell, Andrew Skipper, Kyle Kniceley, and Simon Haglund recorded a set of the most common solo string performances found in tension, horror and suspense tracks and decided to develop an easy to use, affordable and flexible sample library around it. In line with the rest of their catalog, Restrung Vol. 1 aims to give producers a raw, dry, and powerful sound perfectly suited to scoring horror and tension.
Restrung Vol. 1 is a solo string library that provides its users with an upfront, powerful, and dry sound. The library includes a solo violin, a solo viola, and a solo cello. Each of these three instruments comes with 8 short articulations: spiccatissimo, spiccato, staccato, pizzicato, bartok, and 3 lengths of marcatos.
On the technical side, each playing technique includes multiple round robins and velocity layers, recorded over a range of 3 octaves. In addition, an “aggression” noise layer can be blended into the signal to add grit and power to the regular samples.
With over 17,000 samples captured, Restrung Vol. 1 requires 4 GB of hard drive space and is installed using the Native Access app. The library is NKS-ready and can be used both with the free Kontakt player and the paid, full version of Kontakt.
Restrung Vol. 1 uses a clear and simple interface, with all controls laid out on a single page. The upper half of the GUI features controls for the available effects processors. These include convolution reverb amount and type, release envelope, saturation, and compression controls.
The bottom half of the interface is dedicated to playing techniques. An extra aggression layer selector is available and can even be used on its own thanks to solo/mute switches. A volume control knob is also included for finer control. Below this, an articulation selector can be found, where users can select between the 8 short articulations offered. Controls for key switching are positioned just underneath, with the articulations mapped from C0 to G0 by default.
PUNCH & GRIT
One of the most striking features of Restrung Vol. 1 is how raw and dry the samples sound. The performances were captured up close and in a very dry-sounding room to give users maximum flexibility. For the sake of simplicity, only a single microphone perspective is offered that provides us with an upfront, quite intimate sound.
Despite this dryness, the samples manage to retain a certain sense of width. All the intricate details of the performance (bow noise, scratching, etc.) are clearly audible. It really feels like the string player is performing right in front of your ears. Speaking of which, Restrung Vol. 1 features the same player that also performed in Fallout Music Group’s previous string sample library release Unstrung. Both libraries were recorded under the same technical conditions, meaning that owners of both libraries will be able to blend the two seamlessly.
For each string instrument, a set of 8 articulations is available. These articulations are nicely varied and cover different lengths of performances. All of the articulations can be triggered using MIDI key switches. Across the board, the different playing styles sound powerful, raw, and pleasantly gritty. The aggressive playing style lends itself very well to horror, tension, and unease and can be heard in many modern trailer tracks. This gives the library a unique personality, very suited to what it aims to achieve: a sort of neoclassical style on steroids! On the flip side, composers wishing for a more classical and spacious sound will probably have to look elsewhere.
During my tests, I came up with a short demo trying to showcase a variety of articulations along with the available round robins and dynamic layers.
The first version was created with all settings set to default, resulting in a pretty raw and dry sound. The instruments were panned slightly from left to right:
Here is the same track but this time using the Eventide SP2016 reverb plugin in an attempt to push back the player in the room and give me a more traditional cinematic feel:
As you can hear in the demo, Restrung Vol. 1 offers a good number of round robins and dynamic layers which effectively helps avoid the dreaded machine gun effect when playing fast repetitions.
Restrung Vol. 1 sounds raw, bold, and powerful. Recorded up close, the library’s samples are perfectly suited for modern media and trailer tracks that require an aggressive, suspenseful, and commanding sound.
As usual with Fallout Music Group releases, the library provides a very down-to-the-point user experience and an effective collection of sounds, while remaining flexible and easy to use. With a good number of round robins and dynamic layers, Restrung Vol. 1 will give users the ability to quickly come up with convincing and aggressive-sounding string arrangements.
Priced at a very reasonable $109, Restrung Vol. 1 is a safe bet for composers wishing to add grit, aggression, and a bit of a Neo-Classical vibe to their orchestral templates.
Restrung Vol. 1 is available as a download for $109 through the Fallout Music Group online shop.