Getting Vibrato on Violins, Violas, Cellos

DDmUSA Member Posts: 25 Member

I am noticing with the orchestral violins, violas, and cellos within Kontakt that there really isn't a natural vibrato articulation available.  An actual person playing these instruments has a way to get a nice, subtle vibrato on a single note. There appears to be a vibrato on at all times, and I would prefer a non-vibrato, straight bow sound at first, with the ability to have the pitch wheel trigger a subtle, natural-sounding vibrato, at the very least. Violins, violas and cellos get very unrealistic all at once because an actual player can control the rate of the vibrato based on how they are interacting with the actual instrument. A controller like the Roli Seaboard seems promising if this controller will allow for such realistic performance providing variable vibrato.

In light of this, can you think of some way to add such vibrato to Kontakt?

I am running Kontakt 6.8.0 as part of Komplete Ultimate 13 (Windows).



  • stephen24
    stephen24 Member Posts: 185 Advisor

    I imagine you're talking about solo strings.

    Alas whether you spend £100 or £1000 on a controller, all it can do to Kontakt instruments is send MIDI messages. The solo strings vibrato issue you mention also applied to the original factory library, as a result of which I was unable to find a use for it.

    Even if there was something you could do about it (unlikely), the K2 library is uneditable (the reason being some mumbo-jumbo we're fed about a new Development Kit not yet in the public domain, and I doubt if this will change.)

    I get the impression you feel this is a shortcoming in Kontakt. In fact it's a shortcoming in the instruments you're loading into Kontakt - the Factory Library is very cut-down and is designed just to get you started. It's a matter of the quality of the samples and programming of the instrument itself.

    What you need is one of the many dedicated solo strings libraries available. Mine is from Spitfire Audio, which has problems but is generally pretty good. Certainly I find no vibrato issues.

  • DDmUSA
    DDmUSA Member Posts: 25 Member

    The solo instruments available at "" along with the use of the Seaboard Rise 2 controller seem like an excellent way to record an original composition that captures the realism of the instrument by way of the performance while recording.

  • stephen24
    stephen24 Member Posts: 185 Advisor
    edited October 5

    Certainly modelled instruments - i.e. entirely computer-generated - are getting pretty good. I'm very pleased with my modelled piano.

    If you haven't already bought it, make sure you have a good listen first. In particular listen to the note transitions which I think are particularly important for solo strings. These are specifically captured in sampled instruments - i.e. built from recordings of real instruments - in what they call legato mode, usually with a choice of 3 (bowed, fingered, portamento), and they make an enormous difference to the realism. (You should be able to control vibrato too - look at the manual before you buy.)

    Spend a little time comparing. These instruments are expensive.

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