Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 4/5 Stars
With Iconic Violin, Streamtech Music provide a solo violin recorded in a historic church in Heidelberg, Germany. Presented in the free Kontakt Player, the centrepiece is a fantastic sustain articulation with legato. The portamento style allows for heartstring‑pulling slides between notes, and can even be addressed beyond an octave, though the regular legato is more appropriate here. There is no round‑robin legato, but the fast legato allows for agile figures, which remain just as agile at pp as they do fff. The rebow functionality triggers a restatement of the current note, and works fairly well for lyrical melodies, although it can introduce a small change in tone.
The sustain and marcato articulations offer vibrato and non‑vibrato, and the violinist’s slightly delayed onset of vibrato included in softly triggered sustain and marcato notes is wonderful, and true to a real string performance. The vibrato is also slower to come in at lower dynamics, which further aids realism.
The inclusion of the legato transitions for all of the long techniques is welcome, and allows for much more realistic programming, as the transitions bridge between articulations when switching within a single legato passage. Though the fades between the legato transitions and the selected technique can sometimes be audible, for the most part this works fairly well.
The flautando is the highlight of the decorative articulations. With the violinist providing just the right amount of variation within the samples to create a slightly undulating texture, it works particularly well as a chordal pad.
The short articulations are the standout of the library for me, particularly the spiccatissimos and spiccatos. With a crisp attack, they are tightly and consistently edited throughout the dynamic and pitch ranges, allowing rapid rhythmic passages to be programmed without any timing issues. Very occasionally the odd round robin will stick out in fast passages due to having a particular natural artefact, however this can be easily tackled using the Round Robins editor on the Advanced page. Combining the varied short articulations allows notes to be accented with detailed, deliberate differences, just as in a real violin performance.
The acoustics of the church in which this library was recorded provide a beautiful reverb tail, with a pleasant tonal balance, however the release tails option on the Advanced tab allows for a surprisingly tight and dry sound on the shorts. With this, I can hear these shorts easily blending with libraries recorded in much smaller rooms. The different microphone options also allow for some good sound‑shaping possibilities.
It provides an extremely polished, well recorded and edited collection of sounds which are intuitive to play...
Iconic Violin could easily fit into pop and folk productions, as well as film scores. It provides an extremely polished, well recorded and edited collection of sounds which are intuitive to play, housed in an excellent user interface with some clever tricks up its sleeve.