Best Strings VST PluginsThe Definitive List  [2021]

 by 

Jay Von K   -  


Updated: December 21, 2020

There are certain VSTs that have been a lifesaver for composers that don’t have access to a recording studio…

Here, you can find a top selection of them, to settle easily for the best fit!

In this article, we go through the top recommendations for string VST plugins that will cover everyone’s needs!

Best String VST Plugins

But why would you use string plug-ins in the first place?

As you can guess, the obvious choice would be adding a string section to a certain musical track. After all, string ensembles are being used for a variety of musical styles and genres.

But there is also another sector that absolutely loves using strings! You might have already guessed I am talking about film and TV soundtracks!

The need for high-quality strings for songs, instrumental music, and soundtrack has led to immense production of software instruments. With such tons of options, it takes longer to research and settle for the best fit...

That’s why to save you time, we’ll now move on to the top picks!

Let’s jump right in!

The 13 best Strings VST Plugins of 2021 include:

But why would you use string plug-ins in the first place?

As you can guess, the obvious choice would be adding a string section to a certain musical track. After all, string ensembles are being used for a variety of musical styles and genres.

But there is also another sector that absolutely loves using strings! You might have already guessed I am talking about film and TV soundtracks!

The need for high-quality strings for songs, instrumental music, and soundtrack has led to immense production of software instruments. With such tons of options, it takes longer to research and settle for the best fit...

That’s why to save you time, we’ll now move on to the top picks!

Let’s jump right in!

1. Output Analog Strings

Output Analog Strings
General

The first thing to remember, Analog Strings is a Kontakt instrument featuring a two-layer playback engine.

The thing is it offers an extensive sample library, which includes vintage synths, string orchestras, and various unconventional sound sources.

Output Analog Strings

More specifically, the library provides up to 500 presets all searchable by category and can be tagged on the browser.

Even better is that it has a set of tools, including step sequencers, to help shape and tune anything from essential string-style pads to new textures and soundscapes.

In addition to that, you get main page macro sliders and adjustable sample-looping points, allowing real-time sound editing.

Analog Strings layer fx

And don’t forget, you have various effects per layer and numerous customization options on the edit page.

Other attention points include the dual arpeggiator, modulations, numerous rhythmic tricks, and multiple filter types among, others.

So, yes!

Whether you are into music or cinematic soundscapes composition, you can get some value here.

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Output Analog Strings:

2. Best Service Chris Hein Solo Strings Complete

Best Service Chris Hein Solo Strings Complete
General

If you are looking for a plugin that offers solo string instruments in high quality, you’ll be happy to hear about the Chris Hein Solo Strings Complete by Best Service.

It features 14 instruments in total: 4 violins, 3 violas, 4 cellos and 3 double basses.

The instruments have been meticulously recorded and sampled, with a total of 100,000 single samples.

Chris Hein Solo Strings

In addition to that,  up to 38 articulations and 4 different legato transitions, along with different dynamic layers let you fully express yourself. This is enhanced by the ability to choose from up to 102 different attack shapes per note with its Note Head function.

Effects couldn’t be missing from this plugin that features integrated convolution reverbs that are customizable and even let you design the performance space. Plus, the effects rack provides you with more options.

In short, this is a great plugin for solo string instruments

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Chris Hein Solo Strings Complete:

3. Spitfire Symphonic Strings & Chamber Strings

Spitfire Audio Symphonic and Chamber Strings
General

Now hang on a second, these two upholds Spitfire's tradition of expression and emotion. Before we go any further let’s have a brief overview of each library;

Spitfire Symphonic String:

Spitfire Symphonic Strings

Taking over from the mammoth four-part Mural series, Symphonic Strings harmonizes the separate volumes into one comprehensive library.

At the top of its impressive feature list are 60-star players, 16 1st violins, 14 2nd violins, 12 violas, ten cellos, and eight super deep-sampled basses.

In the same vein, it offers over 175 articulations comprising of 59 shorts, 94 longs, and five extraordinary performance legato patches.

Spitfire Chamber Strings:

Spitfire Chamber Strings

Following closely, the Spitfire Chamber Strings is simply a rationalized replacement of Sable range.

At its core are 16-star players, three 2nd violins, four 1st violins, three violas, three cellos, and three super deep-sampled basses providing over 244 articulations, which include 38 shorts, 53 longs, 19 FX, and 45 extraordinary legato patches.

Let’s not forget;

Unlike their predecessors, these are now Kontakt player libraries accessible from library pane.

Until now, they boast of simpler folder architecture with Native Control Standard functionality ensuring compatibility Native Instruments Keyboard controllers.

And when it gets to user experience, you’ll be thankful for both string libraries have an intuitive GUI.

Given the inline help feature newbies and seasoned users alike will enjoy the magical playability without looking elsewhere.

Again, both libraries are recorded with various round-robins, dynamic layers, and three versatile mic positions (Close, Tree, and Ambient).

Moving along, each section has a broad selection of articulations and techniques availed in a handy ensemble format to allow on the go sketching and composing.

Of course, there are sacrifices from the previous versions, but the avoidance of structural file complications and savings on space is enough compensation.

Overall, Symphonic and Chamber string libraries present a new avenue of achieving tried and tested, detailed, and expressive sound from the British sampling powerhouse Spitfire Audio.

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Spitfire Symphonic Strings & Chamber Strings:

4. Cinesamples Cinestrings

Cinesamples Cinestrings
General

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cinestrings sums up Cinesamples unique approach to sampling.

Offering the warm and powerful touch like earlier creations, there isn’t much to question about this string library.

To begin with, it is easy to use, given its clean and simple GUI.

Think about accessible and selectable presets that help with writing, programming, and mixing.

Cinesamples Cinestrings

More importantly, you will enjoy unparalleled recording quality courtesy of a CORE library, which covers the essential articulations typically needed for the string sections.

Similarly, you have the mapping page, which gives you the power of manipulating velocities, key-switching, and MIDI continuous control articulation switching.

What else?

CineStrings features a mixer page allowing quick access to full mix or the four other mic positions.

You will also love the settings page that enables advanced control over patches for better sound design and programming, among other things.

In a nutshell, this is designed to deliver natural liveliness and polished sound rather conveniently.

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Cinesamples Cinestrings:

5. AudioBro LA Scoring Strings

AudioBro LA Scoring Strings
General

If you need a light and automatic virtual string instrument, the AudioBro LA Scoring Strings might as well suffice.

Why?

Scoring Strings revolutionizes realism and real-time playability of sampled strings.

On the face of it, it seems limiting now that it is designed for Kontakt player.

AudioBro LA Scoring Strings

However, any composer or audio engineer will be sold, given its time-saving auto arranger feature.

So what’s that?

Picture something automatically keeping track of your compositions then dividing your chords into various instruments sections while also monitoring the number of players at your disposal.

In addition to that, defining its distinctive sound is the original Legato performance sample patches and layered ensemble approach.

On matters controlling the dynamics, section size, and performance, AudioBro makes everything a convenient reality.

Topping it off, all the ensembles are made up of different players avoiding the same player sound scenario.

And although they were separately recorded, they blend harmoniously to produce small, medium, or large sections in perfect ratios.

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AudioBro LA Scoring Strings:

6. 8Dio Adagio Strings

8DIO Adagio Strings
General

The 8Dio Adagio String Bundle is yet another masterpiece that brings harmony to the studio when working with string samples.

One element that is immediately noticeable is the simple interface.

8Dio Adagio Strings

Though it appears quite basic, that is but the surface.

In reality, this is a huge library that takes a different approach to sampling, particularly with regard to legato.

If you've ever had issues with legato sampling, Adagio strings could get you sorted by ensuring everything correctly joined up.

It only means Adagio explores aspects that have long been taken less seriously.

Among its great attractions are its three sections comprising of an 11-player full violins section, 3-player divisi section, and a solo violin section.

Adagio Solo Cello

Needless to say, that provides greater flexibility with building parts, considering that each section has unique articulations and playing styles.

To add to that, you’ll have three mic positions- Close, Far, and Mix (a blend of Close and Far), with further manipulation possibilities.

So, yes!

Unlike most alternatives that present articulations and playing styles in unified patches, Adagio does more in getting unique element variations to work harmoniously.

With this Bundle, you’ll also love manual shaping of notes using controllers with the recording giving nothing but a natural expression.

Overall, Adagio Strings is so deep probably second to none with so many core aspects.

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8Dio Adagio Strings:

7. East-West Quantum Leap Hollywood Strings

Hollywood Strings by East West Quantum Leap
General

Whether looking for professional string libraries to add your collection or want to try something different, this is worth your time.

Designed to produce flawless string articulations for almost any situation, the variety it offers inspiring.

Hollywood Strings

In any case, Hollywood Strings stands out courtesy of the inbuilt presets in the libraries from where you could work with sections without much ado.

Beyond that, the string sections deliver rich sound coming from skillful input of outstanding players recorded in the best circumstances.

With strings, texture and sound quality counts big time, and this VST string plugin guarantees that too.

Then again, you can modify the articulations thanks to its portmanteau controls allowing you to produce better and more realistic sound.

If you’ve ever doubted the depth of expression of orchestral sampling, with the East West Quantum Leap Hollywood Strings, you will be forced to reconsider.

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EastWest Hollywood Strings:

8. Orchestral Tools: Berlin Strings

Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings
General

As it is, Berlin Strings can be touted as first-class instrumental string software.

Offering a wholesome range of Symphonic woodwind instruments and ensembles, it speaks nothing but attention to detail.

Perhaps you are already asking what makes it tick.

Frankly speaking, this is actually the work of world-class orchestral players recorded in a grand stage with multi-position microphones.

Berlin Strings

Want to know the best part?

Indeed, that boils down to the adaptive legato and the thorough articulation menu.

The point is Orchestral Tools presents a new advanced legato system, which delivers better performance analysis.

So you can select from four alternative legato types, including Slurred expressive legato, Agile, fast legato (scripted), fast runs legato, and Portamento.

Depending on your playing style and speed, the adaptive legato feature kicks in the right interval transitions.

Otherwise, it has five strings sections, including two violins, cello, viola, and double bass totaling to about 30 players with four microphone positions.

And what’s more?

You have excellent velocity control over different intensities, an extensive collection of various short notes, different vibrato expressions, and more.

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Orchestral Tools: Berlin Strings:

9. NI Session Strings Pro

Native Instruments Session Strings Pro
General

Are you looking for a huge, elaborate orchestral strings sample libraries?

If yes, the Session Strings Pro could as well be the answer.

Session Strings Pro

A complete fan favorite in recent times, Native Instruments hit all the right places with this creation.

Designed in collaboration with e-instruments, the collection of instruments and ensemble samples herein couldn’t be any better.

It gives access to an 11-piece ensemble recorded in four distinct high-precision settings for enhanced flexibility and realism.

If that’s not enough, you’ll appreciate the quality and detail in the five instrument categories comprising of the full ensemble, four violins, three violas, two cellos, and two basses.

Session Strings Pro II

Another thing Session Strings also features several velocity layers and 29 articulations, thereby enhancing the expressive range like never before.

And with smooth looping, fluid transitions, extra set of presets, and multiple round-robin samples per note, achieving unique natural sounds to suit styles such as RnB, Pop, and more come hassle-free.

To put it straight, you can’t any better reward other than naturally expressive string tracks sitting well in your mix courtesy of this software by NI.

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NI Session Strings Pro:

10. Big Fish Vintage Strings

Big Fish Vintage Strings
General

Complete, flowing, and catchy is the simplest way to describe this library that takes us back in the days.

Vintage Strings excels at emulating the sound and essence of string sections used in pop albums way back in the '60s and '70s.

And by far, the authenticity is kept spot on.

Vintage Strings

Designed with both casual and professional composers in mind, it comes with a simple and easy to use GUI.

With a convolution reverb allowing great selection of virtual spaces, EQ control topped up with an equally reliable tape saturation effect.

Even so, Big Fish Audio’s ability to focus on recording articulations keeping in kind specific music styles no doubt makes it stand out.

Beyond that, you have 3 group sizes consisting of 2, 6, and 12 players and over ten articulations recorded with real vintage gear.

Similarly, you have several pre-programmed patches to help produce enticing string sections and so much more.

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Big Fish Vintage StringsL

11. Vienna Dimension Strings

Vienna Dimension Strings
General

For starters, the Vienna Symphonic Libraries is no stranger to sampling in epic proportions.

And the Dimensions Strings follows the all familiar path.

Recorded in the VSL’s custom-built Silent Stage, a perfect setting for capturing every detail, this massive library leaves no instrument or ensemble from the symphony orchestra.

Dimension Strings

Coming with over a million samples, the collection is, without a doubt, special.

Perhaps it may fit the ultimate virtual strings tag.

In any case, the 24 string players (8 violins, six violas, six cellos, and four double basses) it offers were recorded in identical sets.

It only means imperfections and human factor of a live performance got captured deviating from the perfection principle of most alternatives.

Even more pleasing is that specific mics for each player grants access to individual voices, and every instrument is fully sampled.

What does that mean?

It’s simple, a great selection of sonic and playing options.

If you factor in included presets, the level of flexibility is impressive.

All things considered, the level of control it gives is certainly pace-setting.

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Vienna Dimension Strings:

12. Best Service Strings of Winter



Best Service - TO - Strings of Winter
General

What about a string VST plugin that would actually be able to replicate a whole orchestra?

If that sounds familiar to what you are looking for, the TO - Strings of Winter by Best Service might be your best bet!

The samples of this plugin have been performed by a 41-piece European string orchestra and the Mongolian State Morin Khuur Ensemble. Moreover, it features 60 articulations for maximum control of expression.

Strings of Winter

What makes this plugin stand out is the fact that it doesn’t rely heavily on pre-recorded phrases, but it gives you full creative control through independent arpeggiators and velocity envelopes.

You can load up to 5 different instruments in independent slots and play them together, while each slot can be assigned one of five different modules.

Of course, a variety of presets in the categories Orchestral Colours, Orchestral Rhythms and Animated Orchestra are available, if you need them.

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Best Service Strings of Winter:

13. Heavyocity - NOVO Modern Strings



Heavyocity - NOVO Modern Strings Plugins
General

NOVO Modern Strings by Heavyocity is exactly what its name implies: a plugin that gives you a lot of freedom to tweak and customize string ensembles to create unique and innovative sounds.

This plugin features full string ensembles that have been recorded and sampled at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Studios.

The ensembles have been recorded with multiple mics that allow you to choose if you want close, room, or hall mic positions.

NOVO Modern Strings

But as I mentioned earlier, the best thing about this plugin is the amount of control it gives you.

The Cycle playback engine lets you easily create a number of effects, as well as pads and drones.

In addition to that, NOVO comes with macro controls that allow you to customize certain parameter controls to make your work faster and easier.

Last but not least, the loop designer is dedicated to creating and customizing loops.

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Heavyocity - NOVO Modern Strings:

Other Strings Plugins:

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Final Thoughts

So there you have it.

Nothing moves productions like an authentic, tasty string soundtrack.

Although this list is by no standards exhaustive, it highlights some GREAT picks you can use to extend your creativity.

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