Spotlight Solo Strings


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What is Spotlight Strings?
Spotlight Strings is a SOLO STRING library comprised of 4 soloists per section and an optional "Ripieno"* backup section. So it's 4 solo string libraries in 1, and THEN some! -4 solo violins -4 solo violas -4 solo cellos -2 solo basses -Ripieno (Italian for stuffing or padding - refers to the bulk of instrumental parts of a musical ensemble who do not play as soloists, especially in Baroque music. These are the players who would play in sections marked tutti, as opposed to soloist sections. It is most commonly used in reference to instrumental music,) -5GB
Why did you create Spotlight Strings?
Actually, Spotlight Strings started out as "Solo Strings 3" back in 2008. I was experimenting with Kontakt's LFO abilities to simulate string vibrato. This was due to the fact that I wanted to be able to have the user manipulate vibrato in any way so as to suit his or her needs. At that time, it seemed there was really no way to realistically alter vibrato speed, intensity or fade-in time in real time by merely using samples and crossfading. So LFO manipulation seemed to be the solution. And also at that time, it seemed to me that there was just no convincing way to simulate a good string player's vibrato using Kontatk's LFO's back then. It was ok, but not good enough. This was until I started really digging into Kontakt's LFO structue and some other related features. So it seemed, at least in theory, that there could be some possibilities. Sure enough, after a lot of sampling, and re-sampling and playing around with a bunch of Kontakt's modules, I found what I thought was a very convincing vibrato emulation. And after getting really good results from a single solo, I thought to myself, "Why stop there?" Since I have an arsenal of great string instruments, I decided that I would record at least 4 of them and then try to combine them so as to create not only a bank of 4 soloists, but up to 4 in any combination. It proved harder than I thought. All kinds of clever randomization and tone colorings were needed in order for the 4 soloists to blend together without weird-sounding phasing and chorusing. Once that task was complete, I thought it would be really neat to see how all of this would sound combined with a big string section. So I took some of the samples from Concert Strings 2, and put them behind the new soloists. The result, in my opinion, was very promising. However, to make this all work really well, I needed to completely re-script the Concert Strings 2 samples to fit this new sound.
How do the solos in Spotlight Strings sound?
First, there is the recording of the samples. Spotlight Strings' solo samples were recorded using the Blumlein Pair setup. The mics used were Cascade Fat Head - SP Ribbon Mics. IMO, the sound is very natural. Because the Blumlein Pair setup pretty much requires a bit of distance, I recorded the instruments from about 7-10 feet away in distance. This required a bit of trial and error. Too close, and the sound was "tubby". Too far, and it got too thin. At the end of the day, the sound, compared to my other solo string libraries, is more full, has more presence, and will sit better in a mix. But the BIG difference is how you can control the vibrato. Seriously, this is the biggie. You have full control over vibrato intensity, vibrato speed, and vibrato fade-in time. Any of these parameters can be controlled via velocity, MIDI CC or static settings. It's up to you - the user. And since there are so many different tastes, I put in 8 "factory" presets, and added 5 presets that the user can create. So now you're not limited to a certain style. You can do any style ranging from "Gypsy", Celtic, Bluegrass, Classical, Modern, and just about anything.

Keyswitching - The keyswitching feature in Spotlight Strings is very flexible. Any "keyswitch-able" articulation, playing style or feature can be assigned to any available key you want. And you won't have to keep track of what key is assigned to what articulation, etc. So when you go to assign something to a key, Spotlight Strings "remembers" your previous assignments, and only provides unused keys that have not yet been assigned.

To assign a key, just click on the displayed key that has already been assigned. A flashing light will appear over the current assignment. Then click that flashing light. A menu will appear revealing available keys that you can use for your assignment.

Sordini - Mutes on or mutes off. When you select this feature, the effect will not take place until the currently-playing voices have gone silent. So if you wanted to, you could turn the mutes on, and keep playing, and the muted sound would never take place until you stopped playing long enough for the voices to stop. Then, the next note you play would be muted.

TruLegato - Inserted intervals will be placed between overlapped notes.

Developer's note: While I realize that using "true legato" technology and associated interval samples is the convention today, I do feel that it has inherent problems; the biggest being that there is a noticeable latency involved. Therefore, Spotlight Strings was developed so that you could get better results by using the "Legato" feature rather than "TruLegato".

Legato - A lot of work has gone into this so as to avoid the inherent latency that is a problem using "true" legato technology. Without getting into depth here, suffice to say that very deep programming has gone into Spotlight Strings' "Legato" to achieve to most realistic note transitions.

Purge - Since Spotlight Strings contains a very large sample count, it may be desirable to use just one soloist, etc. for example. Therefore, the ability to purge any of the soloists or the ripieno groups has been provided here.

RapidFire - This feature will play "rapid" note repetitions following the note you play. It is designed to produce a very realistic repetition effect. RapidFire has 2 sub features:

1 - Note Type - Choose from 8th note, 8th note triplet, 16th note, and 16th note triplet.

2 - Repetition count. Choose from 2 to 8 repetitions.

Q: Kontakt is not finding content

A: Make sure your directories are exactly as the diagram below with no double-nesting. For example, there should be NO other folders inside the shown folders in the diagram:

Spotlight Solo Strings Direcgtory

Q: Why is my library running in DEMO mode:

A: As it states in the requirements, this library requires the FULL version of Kontakt, NOT the free player version.

Q: Where are my serials for this library. I can't seem to add this library to my "libraries" tab in Kontakt.

A: Since this library requires the full version of Kontakt, there is no need to authorize this library using Native Instruments' Native Access.

Q: My version of Kontakt is too old to run Spotlight Solo Strings.

A: click HERE to download Spotlight Solo Strings instruments that will run with Kontakt 5.3. After you download, then unzip. Your new directory should be as follows:

Spotlight Solo Strings Directory for Kontakt 5.3

Native Instruments' update to Kontakt 5.8 contains bugs that cause Spotlight Solo Strings to crash. We have created work-arounds for this. The new instruments can be downloaded HERE.

Please see the installation notes HERE

Spotlight Solo Strings - Bertha Violin

minimum requirements

  • Kontakt 5.7.1 or newer. Must be the FULL version, not the free player version.
  • RAM - 4GB
  • quad core system clock speed of 3GHz or better recommended requirements
  • RAM - 8GB

Spotlight Solo Strings - Full Version

minimum requirements

  • Kontakt 5.7.1 or newer. Must be the FULL version, not the free player version.
  • If you're running a Mac on 10.6.8 and cannot update to Kontakt 5.3, let us know and we may be able to provide Kontakt 5.2 versions. However, in the future, Kontakt 5.3 will be needed.
  • RAM - 4GB
  • quad core system clock speed of 3GHz or better

recommended requirements

    Kontakt 5.3 or newer. Must be the FULL version, not the free player version.RAM - 12GB
    Mac users - Some systems report a high CPU footprint during live playing (not bouncing). It is recommended that you download a small part of this library to test it on your system before you purchase.

Try a test version Spotlight Solo Strings

(12 Downloadable Files)

Spotlight Solo Strings is a SOLO STRING library comprised of 4 soloists per section. That's 4 solo string libraries in 1, and THEN some! 4 solo violins, 4 solo violas, 4 solo cellos, 2 solo basses. And YOU control the vibrato, volume and panning of each soloist. And while Spotlight Solo Strings was specially-recorded and programmed to suit solo parts, you can combine up to 4 players to create a small section as well. And you don't have to add any tracks for that. It can all be done within the instrument itself. However, for actual sections, we recommend adding Chamber Strings 3 or Concert Strings 3 since they are produced with their section sizes in mind.


To test, Spotlight Solo Strings on your system, please go to the "System Requirements" tab.

Native Instruments' update to Kontakt 5.8 contains bugs that cause Spotlight Solo Strings to crash. We have created work-arounds for this. The new instruments can be downloaded HERE.

Please see the installation notes HERE

Please note that the PRESETS in all of the new "instruments_2.0" are still under construction, so the current results will not sound as expected. Stay tuned. An announcement will be made here when they are complete.

Kerry Livgren

“The Kirk Hunter Strings are the ‘go to’ library for Kontakt. They are meticulously constructed and give you every possible articulation.”

Stan Stewart

Well, frankly I don’t know how you do it. The best solo strings Kontakt library for under $150? That’s simply unheard of. Far lesser sample sets are being sold by your competitors for $300 and up.

Not only does your approach provide a wide array of articulations, but the Jamboree and other features allow these solo instruments to shine in nearly every style. I’ve repeatedly used these in everything from Bluegrass arrangements to neo-classical pieces.

Now, add the fact that you can layer 1, 2, 3, or 4 soloists and this is also a superb chamber ensemble. I can’t say enough good about your Spotlight Solo Strings!




very good I liked the sounds

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