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Best Sampled Strings from 80s
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Best Sampled Strings from 80s

Hi -
Which are the synth/sampler/rompler of the 80s that has the best sampled strings (violins, violas, cellos, ensembles, etc)? Apart from the Emulator II and Fairlight series that today are impossible to find and priceless.

I have been looking for this for a long time, I would appreciate any help.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tearyhistory ➡️
Hi -
Which are the synth/sampler/rompler of the 80s that has the best sampled strings (violins, violas, cellos, ensembles, etc)? Apart from the Emulator II and Fairlight series that today are impossible to find and priceless.

I have been looking for this for a long time, I would appreciate any help.
The very first Romplers just started coming out in the late 80s: the Korg M1 and Roland U-110 both came out in 1988.
If you like the sound of Emulator 2 strings, I think you should get a Proteus 2 or Proteus 2/XR. Those are Romplers from 1990 that focus on orchestral sounds and I believe the sounds come from the Emulator 2 library. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
@ Mr. Varaldo ‘s great synthmania site has some excellent examples of its strings:

https://www.synthmania.com/proteus-2.htm
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeegee 303 ➡️
I think you should get a Proteus 2 or Proteus 2/XR. Those are Romplers from 1990 that focus on orchestral sounds and I believe the sounds come from the Emulator 2 library. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
Close however the Proteus 2 samples are from the Emulator III library still awesome still from the 80s
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Xpanderbeanz's Avatar
 
I’d go Emax or K2000 v3 maybe…even though the latter is 1991, many of the samples are based upon the 1984-1989 K250 & K1000 series.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
If you are wanting to stay in the 1980s the Korg M1 will be your best bet, not only are there a lot of strong samples and patches but a good synth engine to work with also

If you are willing to move into the early and mid 1990s the Roland JV line you take you far, if you are just looking for presets the Proteus 2, Roland Sound Canvas, and Yamaha MU series all have good sting sounds and can be found on the cheap. It is possible to edit them from the front panel but a bit tedious

If you are OK with plugins, the M1 plugin from Korg is awesome and has all the expansion ROMs so you get the complete sound and sample library

The Roland Zenology Pro software also has pretty much all the sample content from Rolands Romplers
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
To the OP: All great suggestions by Xander and Grasspikemusic. Unlike the Emulator and Fairlight, many of the pieces of gear mentioned here are relatively inexpensive (as Grasspikemusic said). The synthmania site has mp3 examples of many of these and of course check out YouTube examples of the samplers and modules mentioned here.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
Who cares if it's best or not, but Emulator string samples have very distinctive sound signature even for today's ears.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Head
 
Korg M1 --- it's not just the piano & organ that slay
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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usedtohaveajuno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Roland JD990 with the Orchestra II and Vintage cards (sadly you can install only one at a time) cover every string a boy needs IMO - there is an amazing choice on there
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Xpanderbeanz's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno ➡️
Roland JD990 with the Orchestra II and Vintage cards (sadly you can install only one at a time) cover every string a boy needs IMO - there is an amazing choice on there
Edirol Orchestral has many of these string waveforms too, if you can run 32-bit VST’s
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Thank you very much. They are all very good options. The Roland JV1080 with SR-JV80-02 expansion could also be a good option. My problem is that I feel that in the context of a song with an 80s imprint, a library of string sounds (Spitfire Audio, Cinematic Studio, Sonokinetic, etc) doesn't work so much but when you use sampled strings from 80s samplers or romplers, where you don't look for "realism”, you lose expressiveness and intimacy.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tearyhistory ➡️
Thank you very much. They are all very good options. The Roland JV1080 with SR-JV80-02 expansion could also be a good option. My problem is that I feel that in the context of a song with an 80s imprint, a library of string sounds (Spitfire Audio, Cinematic Studio, Sonokinetic, etc) doesn't work so much but when you use sampled strings from 80s samplers or romplers, where you don't look for "realism”, you lose expressiveness and intimacy.
Use both. One for 80s vibe and the other for expressiveness and intimacy.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Gear Head
 
Either Ultra Proteus, or a Proteis 2000 based EMU module with the Protozoa ROM

As others have said, these are waveforms from the Emulator III library from the late 80s, but you can add some more expression to those samples with the Z-Plane filters, some of which are more like the Resonators in a Physical Modelling synth.

It does mean creating your own patches though.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #14
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpanderbeanz ➡️
I’d go Emax or K2000 v3 maybe…even though the latter is 1991, many of the samples are based upon the 1984-1989 K250 & K1000 series.
Or even go for a prowl for the original 1000/1200 modules - I have the 1200 PRO-I, and it has sounds from near-real to near-Mellotron. And last time I looked they could be had for really low prices.

Otherwise, all the string samples I need are in the strings card for my JD-800.

Cheers,
Bert
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #15
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Xpanderbeanz's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feinstrom ➡️
Or even go for a prowl for the original 1000/1200 modules - I have the 1200 PRO-I, and it has sounds from near-real to near-Mellotron. And last time I looked they could be had for really low prices.

Otherwise, all the string samples I need are in the strings card for my JD-800.

Cheers,
Bert
Hi Bert!

Hope you are well.
Old 6 days ago
  #16
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Proteus FX. Sleeper cheap too.
Old 6 days ago
  #17
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tearyhistory ➡️
Hi -
Which are the synth/sampler/rompler of the 80s that has the best sampled strings (violins, violas, cellos, ensembles, etc)? Apart from the Emulator II and Fairlight series that today are impossible to find and priceless.

I have been looking for this for a long time, I would appreciate any help.
Ensoniq SQ-80 and Roland Alpha Juno are my go to String Synthesizer
Old 6 days ago
  #18
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I am very fond of the Peter Siedlajcek string ensemble. The one where they're all mixed together with some electronic reverb so it will fit in 6MB of Akai memory. The blend is beautifully done. Sits great in a mix. It's not included in the "full" version you get for Kontakt, you'd have to source the Akai CD-ROM.

Yamaha TX16W UK string library is nice and quirky, there is a plugin version and you can get the library by scrolling here. The Prosonus stuff that was made in the late eighties for CMI 3 and Emu 3 is gorgeous, still available today for Kontakt.

As others have said Emu Proteus is cool too, that's available here, you don't need the hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tearyhistory ➡️
Hi -
Which are the synth/sampler/rompler of the 80s that has the best sampled strings (violins, violas, cellos, ensembles, etc)? Apart from the Emulator II and Fairlight series that today are impossible to find and priceless.

I have been looking for this for a long time, I would appreciate any help.
Those are honestly not as great as you might think, although they do turn up on a lot of great music obvs. EII marcato strings are widely available. Hard to use them these days without sounding very eighties! So are Fairlight CMI II and III strings, in fact the entire library. CMI II are mostly awful, but they have their uses. The series III factory ones are kinda clunky but nice. The Prosonus and Sound Genesis libraries are much better than the factory strings.

I believe this is the Prosonus strings:
Old 6 days ago
  #19
Gear Nut
 
Does anyone have any experience with the Roland M-SE1? It's from the mid 90s, but it might work as well. Plus they are still cheap.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #20
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howardcano's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tearyhistory ➡️
Does anyone have any experience with the Roland M-SE1? It's from the mid 90s, but it might work as well. Plus they are still cheap.
The M-SE1 has been my go-to for strings for a couple of decades. Every time I look at replacing it, the cost-versus-improvement calculation comes up short, so it remains in the rig.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #21
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tearyhistory ➡️
Does anyone have any experience with the Roland M-SE1? It's from the mid 90s, but it might work as well. Plus they are still cheap.
Same as what you get in a JV or JD with the orchestral card. Also available in Roland cloud JV.

I was never a fan. They’re short samples- I always thought Emu did this better than anyone else, even the Proteus sounded more alive. But there are some nice woodwinds in the Roland set. But the Roland are arguably the most widely used, being the same library as Apple QuickTime MIDI! Where it’s even more compressed plus with a low SR. And possibly Windows Media as well? So when the kids say MIDI they mean the sound of Roland GM. Maybe that was what put me off them
Old 6 days ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
When the phrase “sampled strings from the 80s,” was written in the title of the thread, I thought we were recommending strings that sound obviously sampled (shorter samples with little to no velocity switching and lower fidelity).

No?
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Xpanderbeanz's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeegee 303 ➡️
When the phrase “sampled strings from the 80s,” was written in the title of the thread, I thought we were recommending strings that sound obviously sampled (shorter samples with little to no velocity switching and lower fidelity).

No?
That’s what I thought at least, a bit of an uncanny-valley “canned” quality.
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #24
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeegee 303 ➡️
When the phrase “sampled strings from the 80s,” was written in the title of the thread, I thought we were recommending strings that sound obviously sampled (shorter samples with little to no velocity switching and lower fidelity).

No?
Not sure if you're referring to my comments on the Roland? As I said, I felt Emu always did that better. The Proteus is incredibly compressed yet sounds more alive, to me compared to any of the JD/ JV series. Neither have velocity multisamples, as it happens.

Plus there are some exceptions to this assumption about short samples. CMI 3 could have 16MB RAM, in 1986 (later increased to 32MB) and the Sound Genesis library, from the eighties, definitely exploited that. Similarly with the Emu EIII.

I don't know what the Synclavier could do, but they had monophonic sampling streaming from HD around 1983 IIRC. So you could have very long samples. A whole 10MB off a $5000 Winchester drive
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
Not sure if you're referring to my comments on the Roland? As I said, I felt Emu always did that better. The Proteus is incredibly compressed yet sounds more alive, to me compared to any of the JD/ JV series. Neither have velocity multisamples, as it happens.

Plus there are some exceptions to this assumption about short samples. CMI 3 could have 16MB RAM, in 1986 (later increased to 32MB) and the Sound Genesis library, from the eighties, definitely exploited that. Similarly with the Emu EIII.

I don't know what the Synclavier could do, but they had monophonic sampling streaming from HD around 1983 IIRC. So you could have very long samples. A whole 10MB off a $5000 Winchester drive
You make a good point—that the different manufacturers got different results/achieved different sounding strings with similar technological limitations of that time (or as you point out, CMI and others didn’t have the same limitations).
Important to remember. Thanks.
Old 3 days ago
  #26
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Yep, Emulator had a special musical quality about it. And Proteus was kind-of a poor man's version of it imo.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #27
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier ➡️
Yep, Emulator had a special musical quality about it. And Proteus was kind-of a poor man's version of it imo.
Depends- there is shared hardware such as G chip and H chip. Transposing quality is identical to Emax. Main diff is Proteus waveforms are shorter with earlier loops and lower SR, in general. But they changed with the expansions.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
Depends- there is shared hardware such as G chip and H chip. Transposing quality is identical to Emax. Main diff is Proteus waveforms are shorter with earlier loops and lower SR, in general. But they changed with the expansions.
Tomás, do you know if the Protozoa ROM has the same shorter loops as the Proteus 1, 2, and 3? It it identical?
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #29
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeegee 303 ➡️
Tomás, do you know if the Protozoa ROM has the same shorter loops as the Proteus 1, 2, and 3? It it identical?
The version I have from the E-mu Formula 4000 Protozoa CD-ROM is identical to the Proteus 1,2 and 3. I think that was the whole point? I didn't know there was a ROM is that for the Proteus 2000 series? I would assume it is the same, because E-mu basically put Formula 4000 content into that series of Proteus, but again later ones developed from later content. A clever way of doing things IMO, and still a great library I feel (which is why I have it in Kontakt).
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
The version I have from the E-mu Formula 4000 Protozoa CD-ROM is identical to the Proteus 1,2 and 3. I think that was the whole point? I didn't know there was a ROM is that for the Proteus 2000 series? I would assume it is the same, because E-mu basically put Formula 4000 content into that series of Proteus, but again later ones developed from later content. A clever way of doing things IMO, and still a great library I feel (which is why I have it in Kontakt).
Yes, there’s a ROM!

What you say makes sense. Authentic recreation of the originals is the point.

I will say that the Protozoa ROM sounds more hifi than the originals in terms of frequency spectrum and detail. That must be down to the audio performance of the Proteus 2000.
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