Urban Strings Kit Review
If you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll introduce you to the fact that strings have now been playing a very prominent role in production today. Stabs, hits, spiccatos, pizzcatos, and ensembles are a new wave in this ever-changing industry of production. It adds a whole new element of wholesomeness, warmth, and can easily fill the canvas of a track. This is where I personally struggle with these types of kits.
In the years I’ve done production, I’ve tampered with kits like this. Up until recently the past year or so, I’ve had the privilege of getting real strings recorded for my production. Not to make this review any bit of bias, but, it’s not even holding a candle to the real thing. I feel like I’ve been around the sound enough to justify it’s worth. I honestly feel like the Producers Choice Urban Strings kit has many shortcomings with few positives. Allow me to elaborate –
The biggest, crucial element for me, is the non-authenticity I feel with these types of kits. It’s a plug and play kit. Strings just… always represented so much more for me than that. They shouldn’t just be pre-recorded notes, or stabs, or runs. They portray emotion, promote passion, and should instantly engulf and fish in any listener. The biggest struggle I have with this Urban kit, is the fact that the wav’s are too long. I plugged a few sounds in to Maschine on stand-alone pads, and just tried to mess around. No bueno. By the time you’re cutting into another key, the note is still dragging on. A good portion of these samples are good for a traditional 1/4 note or 2/4 note and that’s it. Obviously unless you get into the stabs. Even then, they sound so uninspired that you have to EQ them properly to give it that concerto feel. Most of these sounds remind me of something Souljah Boy would use, or some other form of eye-rolling rap beat with people we wished would go away.
I can’t front though. When I mentioned the 1/4 note or 2/4 note… If you use some of them as the backbone of your beat.. They can really drive it to another level. I took longer than I normally would on a review because I had nothing good to say. But after further dissecting it, I found this to be the sweet spot. Utilizing them as a driving force to set the table and not be the main course. In no way would I use all of these sounds of the kit to make a beat. But using it sparingly, in a pinch, to create that backdrop and form the baseline of the mood? Absolutely. Of course as I said, and nitpicked. It will take proper Eq’ing to get that authentic feeling, but it’s definitely do-able.
All in all, in a nutshell, this kit falls completely short. I realize people don’t have access the way I may in getting strings, but real is real. If you have the ear, you’ll realize it too. A lot of sounds aren’t recorded in properly. You get a lot of stabs louder than the other. The sample loops pave the way for the market it seems to direct itself towards (see my reference in paragraph 4). The Kontakt Urban String Library leaves much room to be desired. Speaking of strings. I just dropped the lead track titled “Wanted:Heroes” from my project I’m putting out very soon.
Also, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter! I’d love to hear everyones beats!
Till next time! Peace!