In Depth - Zilhouette Strings by Cinematique Instruments

Hi everyone,

Depending on what you're trying to achieve, having flexible string ensembles can come in handy. Today's review is dedicated to Zilhouette Strings by Cinematique Instruments a 2GB string sample library featuring 7 violins, 2 viola, 7 cellos and 2 basses in total. 

In this video we'll go through all the library's ensembles and articulations as well as the production of a commercial release called 'Bodies of Concrete'. 

What does it sound like? 

Let's go through the sound of the different ensembles and talk about the sort of use you can expect to get out of these strings :

  • Quartet

The quartet has an overall warm round tone. I've found the pizzicatos to be particularly good sounding revealing enough detail and character to shape some interesting contemporary movie score ideas. The low part of the range especially has a sufficient amount of resonance to give enough depth to your arrangement. 

The sustains have enough warmth to fit in an arrangement on their own. They provide enough detail in the high range to achieve an intimate sound. The attack of the staccatos has enough presence without being aggressive. 

  • Chamber

One thing to be mentioned about this library is that its tone is pretty dark and smooth in comparison with a library like Hyperion by Soundiron that is on the brighter side. The dark tone of the strings didn't feel like a hindrance when composing. On the other hand, the Zilhouette strings don't sound like too much top end has been added which makes them great to use in a pop arrangement with drums, guitars and vocals. 

The chamber ensemble sounds less raw and more produced than the quartet. It's a good compromise in sound between a pad-like ensemble and a detailed string band. 

  • Full

The full ensemble is the smoothest of the three, it'd be the right choice coupled with solo strings or the quartet Zilhouette patch. 


Pros Cons
  • Multiple ensemble sizes to choose from
  • Warm, organic sound
  • Two seating options
  • Tuning issues on some of the patches
  • No legato

Key Features

  • 3 articulations (Sustains, Staccatos, Pizzicatos)
  • Mixable instrument groups 
  • 5 different 'true' players sizes/ ensembles per articulation 
  • 2 different kind of seating 
  • Several fine selected reverb types 
  • Warm, intimate and natural sounding 
  • Extremly flexible 

System Requirements 

The full version of Kontakt 4 or higher is required.

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