Output Analog Strings Virtual Instrument Updates String Machines for the Modern Age

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New releases from Hollywood's Output still carry with them the unmistakable sheen of high expectation and reverence, because the relatively young company's sound library+synth engine virtual instruments have consistently delivered impeccable sound quality combined with powerful and imaginative editing abilities.

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The initial impressions on Analog Strings suggest that it will keep Output's reputation intact, and beg for our full review treatment. Beginning with a 39GB sample collection from more than 90 recorded sources, Analog Strings runs in Native Instrument Kontakt sample or the free Kontakt Player to provide layering, editing, synthesis parameters, an effects laboratory and extensive rhythm modulation and arpeggiation options.

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Sampled sources include a 60-piece orchestra; 22-piece orchestra; solo cello, viola, violin and contra bass; copious vintage analog synths; and more far-out implements such as bowed and plucked piano strings, tape echoes, granular synthesis, processed guitar, time-stretched sounds, and “weird instruments and every interesting synth and effect we could get our hands on.” Those sounds are organized by one shots, pads and tape loops. Acoustic instruments have the option of close mic and far mic positions for a bigger, more cinematic sound.

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Several editing pages help contain Analog Strings’ deep interface in one managable space.

• Main Page: Include customizable macro control sliders, for which you can edit the range, direction, etc.

• Edit page: Amp and pitch ADSR envelopes, pan, stereo spread, pitch flutter, monophonic and legato modes. The pan tool can flip the layout of the orchestra.

• FX page: The engine has both Layer and Global effects. The Layer effects include filter, EQ, distortion (tube drive and lo-fi), compression, delay and reverb, the Global effects have all of those plus phaser and chorus.

• Rhythm page: Add quick and easy modulation for each layer. Each layer has two rhythm tabs. You choose the LFO type or step sequencing rhythm pattern, including preset patterns and shapes. The updated Flux mode Flux Rate Sequencer has over 20 rhythm presets and deep customization.

• Arp page: An arpeggiator for each layer has many editing options and preset patterns.

Output Analog Strings is out now for $199 street.