Wednesday, March 20, 2024



Soundiron has finally released the highly anticipated HYPERION STRINGS ENSEMBLE, but does it live up to its immense expectations?

Product Version 1.0
72 .nki presets for Ensemble, 1st Violins, 2nd Violins, Violas, Cellos, Basses.
Plenty of articulation maps, seating arrangements, arpeggio patterns and FX chains to choose from.
157,567 Samples
139 GB installed (81 compressed download)
24-bit, 48 kHz Stereo PCM Wav Format for direct sample access.
Made for the full retail version of Kontakt (version 6.2.2+), with unlocked, non-compressed wavs and editable presets.




Hyperion Strings Ensemble was a huge surprise in 2024. Eight years in the making, but was it worth the wait? Before we get to that, let's show you exactly what you get. 

The library includes, 72 nki presets, 157,567 samples, 139 GB installed with unlocked wav files (81 GB using Kontakt's lossless compression). It works in the full version of Kontakt, not Kontakt player compatible. The Ensemble consists of 1st Violins, 2nd Violins, Violas, Cellos, and Basses. There's an abundance of articulation maps, seating layouts, arpeggio patterns, and FX chains available for selection. It features a selection of 78 instrument presets and 10 multi-instrument banks.

Soundiron positioned microphones capturing the essence of a 30-piece string ensemble, where each section, comprising of eight 1st Violins, seven 2nd Violins, six Violas, five Cellos, and four Double Basses, blends effortlessly, crafting natural divisi arrangements. It's worthy to note, Soundiron recorded at the renowned Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA.  Each mic position is a bespoke combination of varied microphone models and placement distances, expertly balanced, sculpted, and mastered to cater to specific use-cases and aesthetic preferences. I could really hear the intricacies within the strings with each mic contributing its own distinct quality.

Soundiron provides a huge range  of expressive long and short articulations. 

 The Legato function blends vibrato and clean sustains, smoothly transitioning between fingered and glissando legato passages across the dynamic spectrum. Its adaptive speed response ensures effortless shifts from rapid slurred runs to fluid melodies. Unlock the ability to create dramatic passages with naturally expressive bowed sustains, rapid and leisurely interval trills, tremolo, ponticello, harmonic, flautando, and an array of other effect sustains.

Included in the longs collection are True-Legato Fingered and True-Legato Portamento, along with their sordino counterparts. You'll also find sustain options such as non-vibrato and vibrato, as well as natural bowing, tremolo, flautando, ponticello, and harmonic sustains. In addition, there are choices for fast and slow trills in both ascending and descending variations, offering a diverse range of sustained expressions for your compositions.

Within the shorts, you'll find an assortment of FX shorts such as loose and tight Bartok pizzicato snaps, Col Legno bow taps, tremolo and trill staccatos, and numerous other specialized variations. There are a diverse range of crescendos, decrescendos, vibrato-clean transitions, hairpins, sforzandos, and swells, offering ample opportunities to craft nuanced and lifelike musical movements.

Each category of instruments include a collection of aleatoric effects that bring an element of unpredictability, and perfect for horror scores. These effects can contribute to the sense of tension, and unease that are characteristic of many horror, crime, and thriller films. Incorporating these effects was a delightful surprise, and I was excited to see they included them.

 Was it worth the 8 year wait?

The interface is polished and intuitive, enabling you to immediately delve into composing. The main user interface offers a comprehensive range of controls for shaping sounds, layering them, and adjusting articulation. It includes 12 articulation slots that you can customize independently, allowing you to mix, stack, cross-fade, or switch between them in real-time. Key controls like Swell, Body, Attack, Offset, Release, Release Volume, and Vibrato are easily accessible at the top of the interface window at all times. Along the bottom of the interface, there are tabs that grant access to various other pages. The tabs consist of FX Effects, Space, Play Assist, Arpeggio, and Mixer. There are seven folders with a variety of nki files in each folder, including Close, Stage, Mid, Far, Multi-Mic, Templates, and Ambiences


Within the EFFECTS tab, you'll find various modules such as FILTER, Compressor, and multi-band EQ, each of which can be toggled on or off independently. Furthermore, there are pre-configured FX chain presets available in the Preset drop-down menu for easy loading. If you prefer, you can also save and load your own custom presets using the same menu.


Enter the SPACE tab and unlock a realm of sonic possibilities. With algorithmic and convolution reverb at your fingertips, alongside stage position mapping, you hold the power to transport instruments through diverse landscapes and conjure ethereal atmospheres. Delve deeper and sculpt your sound with precision—tweak the roll-off for reflections, fine-tune the wet/dry mix, and expand or shrink the perceived dimensions of your sonic canvas. Explore, experiment, and paint with sound in ways both familiar and celestial. 

With the PLAY ASSIST tab, you can easily focus the keyboard on the scale of your choice, mapping the notes to the white keys for simplicity. Afterward, tweak the scale further using the Preset Settings sliders to adjust any note to be sharp, flat, or natural. Finally, assign your customized scale to the yellow key-switch slot of your preference, ranging from C-2 to B-1.



 The ARPEGGIO tab lets you craft dynamic rhythmic and melodic patterns effortlessly by drawing them in.  Experiment with a variety of pattern directions, randomize, swing, and timing to create some impressive organic sequences. 


The MIXER tab gives you complete control over the library's four unique microphone placements. Each mic position strip includes an activation button that loads or unloads samples, conserving RAM when not in use. You'll find separate pan, volume, and output controls for each mic position. Moreover, you have the option to save and load customized mixer presets.


The ENSEMBLE nki has an Ensemble tab that is integrated into the Ensemble presets, granting you precise individual control over each section's MIDI key range, volume, and pan position. The controls are user-friendly, accompanied by visual representations for easy comprehension, such as a color-coded key range display at the bottom. Also, you have the flexibility to deactivate any unnecessary sections or adjust their key ranges to suit your specific requirements.


The Ambiences Folder is packed with an extensive range of distinctive presets that can serve as an excellent source of inspiration. The presets are diverse, ranging from ethereal tones to tension-filled soundscapes.


Final Words

 I must say this is an epic achievement by  Soundiron. Not only was it worth the wait, but it stands as a true contender for orchestral strings instrument of the year. It's fun to play right out of the box and includes features not offered in other string libraries.  This level of customization and control makes it easy for users to create realistic and nuanced performances. 

On top of that, the user interface is clean and intuitive, making it simple for even inexperienced users to navigate and create professional-sounding compositions. The included presets offer a great starting point for those who are new to the software, while the advanced options provide ample room for experimentation and customization. Overall, the Soundiron Hyperion Strings Ensemble is an excellent choice for anyone looking to add a high-quality, versatile string library to their virtual instrument collection. Its combination of detailed samples, advanced scripting, and user-friendly interface make it a powerful tool for composers and producers of all skill levels.

Soundiron’s Hyperion Strings Ensemble emerges as a beacon of innovation and excellence. It has breathtaking sound quality, unparalleled versatility, precise attention to detail, and exceptional play-ability, it sets a new standard for virtual string libraries. Whether you are a seasoned composer seeking to push the boundaries of sonic possibility or an aspiring musician embarking on a journey of musical discovery, this library is bound to ignite your creativity and elevate your creations to new heights of artistic expression.






Written by Steve Montgomery
(Composer/Fear Devoid)

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