Strands Is A FREE Decent Sampler Cinematic Cello Library by Venus Theory


Venus Theory has just released another great free library called Strands, compatible with the latest version of the free Decent Sampler host plugin.

We have already covered Solaris, a fantastic library for Ambient and Cinematic composers.

The newest Strands is an intimate cinematic cello library with 11 patches, covering a range of textured articulations.

They are divided into Ensemble, Harmonics Solo, Harmonics Group, Long Bow Solo, Long Bows Group, Short Bow Solo, Short Bows Group, Single Bow Group, Single Bow Solo, Tremble Group, and Tremble Solo.

This will be a welcome addition to any composer looking for a convincing cello sound without having to rely on huge and expensive cinematic library options.

I love the minimalist look and feel of Decent Sampler, as sometimes we don’t really need all the extra fancy options to get a great result.

If you have Solaris, you should be familiar with the Strands interface.

You have control over the amplitude ADSR to shape the overall volume behavior of the current patch.

In the middle of the interface, you’ll find traditional controls for a low-pass filter, with the option of assigning an ADSR envelope to the cutoff motion to make it dynamic.

On the right, you can further customize the sound with a couple of effects: Delay and Reverb.

The delay can be set in musical subdivisions to the host tempo in straight, dotted, and triplet values.

The reverb has 6 algorithms or modes to choose from: Tape Echo, Andromeda, Hall, Plate, Room, and Spring.

These options alone can transform the cello’s beautiful raw tone into deep, warm, cinematic soundscapes.

During my testing, I got some nice results by turning the cutoff all the way down, cranking the reverb to maximum in Andromeda mode, and tweaking the delay time knob in real time.

This produced some cool glitches that worked well with the reverb, resulting in wobbly tones.

I particularly like to play things ‘wrong’ during my sound design sessions, to explore new unexpected sonic directions that might surprise me.

Strands is rich in emotion and expression thanks to the recording of a 5-piece cello ensemble.

There are a few solo performance patches for scorings that require a bit more intimacy.

All in all, it’s a lightweight library of around 130 MB that may surprise you by how well it’s done.

Download: Strands (FREE or pay what you like)


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Fabio is a sound designer, sound engineer, and electronic music producer from Italy. His works can be found under the name HydraTek.


  1. Darryl Lim


    Venus Theory’s YouTube short introducing this free plugin, was hilarious lol!

    “How i paid 600$ to find out i’m an idiot…” XD

  2. If I were a gay man, and if Venus Theory happened to be gay and if we both weren’t married to woman….then I’d totally be trying to get with him. Thanks for the plugin!

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