Our high opinion of Native Instruments is plain viewing on eMusicAdvisor, and the release of Action Strings is another hole-in-one from my perspective. The phrases in ACTION STRINGS were performed by the FILMharmonic Orchestra Prague – sampled in exquisite detail by experienced score producers, Dynamedion. The orchestra was made up of 60 musicians – 36 in the high ensemble (22 violins, eight violas and six cellos), and 24 in the low ensemble (ten violas, eight cellos and six basses).
The instrument’s built-in rhythms and melodies allow arrangers of any skill level to create large-scale string productions worthy of film and game soundtracks; pop, rock, or urban music production. Over 150 phrases are organized into themes of five, with five additional custom slots available. All slots can be assigned or changed easily via the phrase browser, with every phrase being playable in all keys. The phrases are selectable via keyswitch and can be played in trigger mode or synced to the ’1′ of a host software’s tempo. Utilising Kontakt’s Time-Machine Pro time stretching algorithm, tempo can be adjusted in real time, allowing for the creative use of effects such as Ritardando or Rallentando.
As the video shows, the phrases range from basic rhythm patterns to complex melodies, each recorded live in every key, and in two dynamic levels. You can blend between the dynamic levels via the mod wheel, switch the harmonic patterns to minor or major via velocity, or change the meter to your needs. Because these strings are recorded as phrases, the sound is always stunningly natural.
All in all, Native Instruments Action Strings is a simple, incredibly effective way to create huge blockbuster scores, and also to learn the basic tricks of the trade for yourself.