I had first heard of SoundIron while looking for samples of a waterphone, of all sounds (look up their Waterharp library). Then, a few months ago, they released a ridiculously affordable library dedicated to the stringed instruments of the orchestra, titled Hyperion Strings Micro. Reading the manual for it, they seem to suggest strings will only be one orchestral category covered in Hyperion, a possibility I hope is the case.
Even with the Micro edition, I was quite pleasantly surprised. What it lacked in variety of articulations it made up for in sound and customizability, even if it was a partial accident on their part (my copy of the library permitted me to view the scripts).
Which ties into this new library: Hyperion Strings Elements. It seems to retain the interface and the effect processing of the Micro Edition, but it's much more advanced, both in samples and in functions. I'm a sucker for bartok pizzicato snaps, which are disturbingly rare for affordable samples of basses, let alone all stringed instruments, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to get that for so little, and with a relatively dry sound at that!
Each family of strings comes in two different Kontakt patches. One is dedicated to True Legato performances while the other is for all other articulations. While I imagine that could be frustrating for some composers having those separated, I can't complain, as someone who cares more about polyphony than about portamento techniques. Nonetheless, I did try out the True Legato patches, and I was impressed. While I was caught off guard by the default legato being fingered, the option to switch to portamento made up for it.
Alas, every product has its drawbacks, and Hyperion is no exception. I was hoping I wouldn't need to upgrade Kontakt to use Elements, especially since I was fine without version 6 for Micro, but alas. As for the library itself, I admit I like the idea of playing instruments beyond their intended range, and while I've heard Audio Imperia's Talos series (for brass) permits that, it's not the case in Hyperion unless you're layering in the full ensemble patch, which is obviously meant for limiting ranges between violins and violas, for instance. For this Elements edition, I was also hoping there would be room for harmonics, even if that could be offered for the full version of the library, when that comes out, alongside the tempting aleatoric effect articulations that are promised according to the manual for the Micro edition.
Still, great job from Soundiron, and DEFINITELY great bang for buck! If you already have Hyperion Strings Micro, you might be like me and eligible for a discount in addition to its current introductory price, which is currently only roughly $80! Definitely at least check it out when you can!
For purchasing, as well as for audio and video demos, I recommend checking out their website: soundiron.com/products/hyperion-strings-elements