Andrew Keresztes, the composer/developer of the L.A. Scoring Strings, is discovering that part of the daunting task in the early days of running a business where you’re both the creator and the boss, is also being your advertising agency account executive and PR firm, too.
The reality of this lesson burst forth just before press time when Mr. Keresztes released a new set of teaching demos one of which was labeled simply LASS Sordino Patches (explained).
Listen for yourself here. When you scroll down it’s in the middle of the page or so.
After listening to the demo, I posted the following question to Mr. Keresztes:
Having just listened to your sordino demo (quite lovely) am I reading this correctly that excluding legato bowings, you ALSO have divisi sordino violins, violas, and cellos in the same organization:
A – sordino
B – sordino
C – sordino
16 players full section – sordino
Have I got this right?
Mr. Keresztes three word response was: This is correct. In another post, he both explained and announced that the included muted strings (sordinos) were Sustains only and that legatos would be recorded for release later Fall 2009.
For once I’m at a reportorial loss of words!
When you go to the web page listing the LASS articulations, all you see are these two words stuck in the middle of the articulation list: Con Sordino. With such humble placement, I thought until this recent demo that Mr. Keresztes had merely recorded a few muted articulations.
Mr. Keresztes has also recorded a complete set of muted divisi strings too, following the listing quoted above, and these are all included with the existing LASS library.
To be honest, I’m a little overwhelmed by this happy discovery. I’ve never seen such a complete string library put out by any major company, much less by a single individual slaving away in his studio, writing, learning scripting, and then between scoring assignments, recording a library of this unapparent magnitude, and then as a father, dressing his kids and taking them to school every day.
Folks, this is the quintessential American story – one guy in a “garage” following his dream and potentially making a huge difference for so many people.
I say potentially, actually, I have to say potentially, because the review copy hasn’t arrived yet. But I have to admit that I am excited by it all. And what I find exciting is that LASS is so well thought out. The idea that all this is available in a single library, with all these articulations at your fingertips, is pretty astonishing. Actually, it was pretty astonishing before I fully understood about the muted strings. Now, it’s even more astonishing, that is, if it’s grammatically possible to be “more” astonishing.
At this point, there’s little more I can say until LASS arrives and I start working with it.
However, there are some observations I can make, and probably should.
Will LASS be, “the one” we’ve been searching and waiting for our entire MIDI Mockup lives? It depends on where your expectations are. We should start by remembering that the developer’s name is Andrew Keresztes, not J.R.R. Tolkien. For some, LASS may the library that rules them all. But I suspect that for most of us, we’re going to spend a lot of inquisitive hours going through and comparing LASS to our existing templates seeing what to keep and what to toss.
Some may decide to use LASS exclusively. But many of us who’ve been around “town” for a while, know the value of having our own signature sound. So for a while we’ll work with it exclusively, and then add articulations here and there to re-mold our sound.
Is string divisi really that big a deal? It is, if you understand divisi and have spent time in the scores of Debussy, Ravel, Strauss, Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams, and Wagner, who are the divisi mavens whose compositions have shaped film scoring in ways not often discussed. Some, if not many, of the techniques used by these great writers will for the first time become available for electronic use. And, from what we’ve seen so far, we can recreate these colorful techniques faster than ever before. It’s always good news to have a library that manages your time well.
If you don’t know divisi really well, then dive in and learn. It’s a discovery worth the effort.
Is LASS the only library with muted strings? No, there are the muted strings with the SONiVOX Symphonic Strings library, but watch the formats. I have no idea how well the library works with the EXS24 or Kontakt 3 since I lack a review copy. Then there are many muted string collections from Vienna: Solo Strings, Chamber Strings and Appassionata. There’s also a group of muted strings in the Orchestral String Collections. I’ve been sent the Appassionata Muted Strings for review, and will schedule them shortly.
However, one difference should be noted. Of these libraries, LASS has the muted divisi strings, but they won’t be recording muted First Chairs.
A closing note.
Since LASS has been formally announced, no less than three other strings have been announced and there are two previously announced libraries that haven’t yet shipped.
Immediately before press time, Mr. Keresztes announced that the introductory offer would be extended by an extra week. Hopefully, our review copy will arrive in time to get up a beginning review.
Meanwhile, we wait for the rumble of the UPS truck.
Disclaimer – Neither Alexander University Inc nor its TrueSpec Systems operation are dealers for L.A. Scoring Strings.