Sudden Audio – Raw Strings
Springing up seemingly from nowhere, Sudden Audio have hit the ground running with their first release Raw Strings, melding classic bowed string sounds and fx with all manner of other instruments and found sounds.
Sudden Audio already display the level of product maturity associated with a developers second or third release, and Raw Strings shows off the potential for some future innovative product releases.
The library installs at 10.4GB from the original 16GB of sample content compressed using the NCW format.
Requiring Kontakt 6.2.2 full version or the free Kontakt player equivalent, Raw Strings is of course NKS compatible and runs within Komplete Kontrol.
There is one single master NKI preset file, which feeds the accompanying 68 NKSN snapshot file presets.
Download & Installation…
This is simplicity itself as Raw Strings requires only that you paste your authorisation serial number into Native Access, and then install the whole product from the ‘Not Installed’ tab.
This takes care of the whole process for you, placing the fully compiled library into your designated installation location.
A re scan of Komplete Kontrol standalone will add the product to the factory side of your KK browser, leaving it all ready for exploration.
Komplete Kontrol Browser & NKS Plug-in Edit Parameter Mapping…
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor & Product
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Type: Bowed Strings, Piano/Keys, Plucked Strings, Sound fx,
Knob 6 – Sub Type: Ensemble, Upright Piano, Nature, Vinyl,
Knob 7 – character: Acoustic, Arpeggiated
Knob 8 – Presets x 68
Plug-in Edit mode NKS Parameters…
Page one – Macros, Pan & ADSR
Knob 1 – Macro 1
Knob 2 – Macro 2
Knob 3 – Pan Stretch
Knob 4 – Pan Random
Knob 5 – Attack
Knob 6 – Decay
Knob 7 – Sustain
Knob 8 – Release
Page Two – Filter, Convolution, Reverb
Knob 1 – Filter Cut-off
Knob 2 – Resonance
Knob 3 – Convolution Dry/Wet
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Reverb Dry/Wet
Knob 6 – Size
Knob 7 – Diffusion
Knob 8 – Damp
Page Three – Delay
Knob 1- Delay Dry/Wet
Knob 2 – Feedback
Knob 3 – Time
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Low Cut
Knob 6 – High Cut
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated
I have to allow due clemency to Sudden Audio for this their initial release, and having been in good dialogue with them it is clear that they are willing and amenable to explore the options that better reflect our requirements perhaps as an update or certainly within future product releases.
As things currently stand with Raw Strings, there are a good number of parameters that have currently been omitted from the NKS mapping that would afford us greater access and sound design potential were they to be included.
Having cross referenced the parameters within Kontakt on it’s own, reveals that there are many more present in the master NKI file, so the possibility of carrying these over to the existing snapshot presets is already possible within an update.
As Raw Strings is essentially a four layered sample engine, to achieve this meaningful creative access would entail the inclusion of these individual layer controls into the NKS template.
Important Review Addendum
Following publication of this review, I am extremely pleased to announce that after some very positive communication with Sudden Audio, an extended NKS parameter mapping set for the included presets will soon be available, which should address many of the accessibility desires for Raw Strings.
There will still be some limitations due to the nature of NKS itself, however these updates should make Raw Strings a much more appealing product in terms of tweakability once these improvements have been implemented.
Hats off to Sudden Audio for stepping up promptly and being open to serving the needs of their blind & visually impaired customers!
Raw Strings In Use…
Despite being a feisty animal to master, Raw Strings is very capable of putting out some wonderfully textural widescreen cinematic sounds, some presets are quite capable of holding a cinematic cue with little other additives.
I use the word feisty because some of the playing results can seem somewhat unpredictable, but I actually quite liked this untamed element to the library.
As an example, I sometimes found that a string sample would suddenly change to a dusty mellotron type sound with the next key press, and all the while other held or sustained notes were morphing and evolving between other textural layers, it was all very surreal and avant garde, but curiously still an appealing experience to the ear. There is certainly some great material here for a horror/supernatural score.
Lifting The Lid…
Exploring the library further reveals that these seemingly random sonic occurrences are actually cleverly calculated and part of the more in depth features of the engine.
Note splits and velocity splits are the culprits responsible for these ever evolving landscapes, with each of the four layers having the potential to be mapped to sections of the keyboard, and velocity splits doing the same with key pressure instead triggering the action.
Sadly of course these advanced parameters are buried within the visual user interface, and not accessible to us, so instead here we can sit back and delight in the sound design talents of others with the available presets.
Given this extensive combination of variables, you soon realise how Raw Strings manages to ‘pull these rabbits out of hats’ as you play through the presets.
Raw Strings is also a bit of a Pandora’s box when it comes to it’s sound output. The 116 sample sources at first glance of the specs might seem a minimal quantity, however they can produce a surprisingly wide array of atmospheric timbres.
The library’s namesake strings Consist of mostly close microphone recorded cello, viola and violin articulations, which have been left either raw or processed with a variety of tape fx, and all have been hand edited to ensure optimal playability.
things get much more spicy when you throw in the piano, found sounds, ambiences, vinyl, tape loops, reverses, and a myriad of other audio ingredients into the melting pot, as the emerging results are often fascinating.
Raw Strings is a library that will definitely work well for cinematic, ambient, soundscape and media composers.
Certainly for any sighted users (and we do have a growing number who read these reviews for the NKS descriptions), the product will represent great value for money. The sounds from Raw Strings are easily worthy of those coming from more established developers.
(Please See Addendum In Accessibility Section Of Review)
For the majority of our KK-Access readership who are blind or visually impaired, Raw Strings might be a more considered choice with a balance needing to be struck between accessibility and the number of provided factory presets being the question to consider.
If the Komplete Kontrol snapshot presets had the same parameters offered as those made available in the Kontakt host automation list, then Raw Strings would be a total all round winner, and for some even at it’s introductory price it’s still a tempting offer, just to get some new blood into your tracks.
Whichever way you jump, it’s great to welcome an innovative new developer to the scene who has embraced NKS from the get go, Sudden Audio is definitely one to watch in the future.
Raw Strings by Sudden Audio can be purchased directly from their website at an introductory price of $69.00 (full price $159.00) until 22nd January 2021
Sudden Audio – Raw Strings Product Page:
Sample Library Review – Raw Strings Walkthrough:
Zach Heyde – Raw Strings Review:
Raw Strings User Manual:
(c) Chris Ankin
January 21st, 2021
The author cannot accept any responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based solely on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product and/or gathered from official factual sources such as the developer, web or supplied product manual.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.