Hans Zimmer Strings Library Review

What is everyone saying about Hans Zimmer Strings?

When Spitfire Audio announced and launched Hans Zimmer Strings, everyone was sure that this would be a ‘must have’ sample library and that this brand new, shiny sample library would be arguably one of the best sample libraries ever made.

The one library to rule them all
*cue braaams*

Understandably so! Hans Zimmer is one of the most talented and successful film composers with a monumental sound which has set the standard for modern, cinematic film music… one that so many aspiring composers have spent their entire lives trying to emulate.

Now that Hans Zimmer Strings is out, it’s time to ask… What is everyone saying about it?

It’s not the best sample library ever made, it’s not even the best string library ever made. Spitfire themselves have string sample libraries that outperform Hans Zimmer strings in terms of stability, play-ability and sound.

You might be sat there thinking… What’s wrong with it?

Let’s talk about what successful film composers are saying about Hans Zimmer Strings.




We’re going to see a lot of publications like ‘5 stars!, it’s 5 out of 5, it’s exactly Hans Zimmer’ but they won’t do a four hour walk-through where they realise it’s not…

Daniel James is a composer known for delivering phenomenal music to everything from Terminator to Call of Duty. His opinion on the library is the result of an in-depth production live-stream in which he compares Hans Zimmer Strings to other libraries for his review.

“It sounds synthy, but maybe that’s because it’s 60 cellos.” – Daniel James

Daniel James notices that Hans Zimmer Strings sounds like synthesised sound at times, this could be down to Hans Zimmers method of fusing synthesised sound with live sound for an impressive cinematic fullness. However there is no mention of synthesis or synthesised samples in Hans Zimmer Strings, which leads me to believe that the sheer level of unison in Hans Zimmer Strings has led to very audible chorusing and phasing artefacts which produce an unrealistic sound which is neither better or worse but definitely different.

“That to me is closer to Hans Zimmers sound than Hans Zimmer strings”

Daniel James explains that Spitfires Albion 1 more closely matches the Hans Zimmer sound than their new flagship library Hans Zimmer Strings after auditioning the same line played with the same instruments in both libraries. It’s important to remember that this opinion is subjective based on his professional ear, and if you want to develop your own opinion on the sample library you can listen to both examples in his video here.

It’s also worth noting that Daniel James is not anti-Spitfire Audio, as both of the libraries he compares are Spitfire libraries. However the Zimmer branding in their latest flagship library appears to be misleading. Daniel James goes on to say “We know that Spitfire can make some really big sounding libraries because we have them” which explains how disappointing the latest library is for many composers when stood against it’s impressive predecessors.

“It is Hans Zimmers Strings… but if you’re buying it expecting Hans Zimmer sounds, you’re wrong.”

There’s a clear disparity between the overall sound of the library and the parts which make up Hans Zimmers iconic sound, Daniel James goes onto explain “You’ve got Hans Zimmers orchestra, Hans Zimmers mic placement, AIR studios and 344 players.. It had the biggest opportunity to be close to the Hans Zimmer legacy sound which we expect, and it’s nothing like that.”

In Daniel Jame’s transparent review; he leaves no illusion that he is wholly unimpressed with the seemingly wasted potential of the Hans Zimmer theme, as a huge fan of Spitfire’s libraries and a avid user of Hans Zimmer Percussion it is clear that Spitfire Audio let down an endorsing notable user of their software with a product that failed to fulfil it’s promise so fantastically that it communicated a lie.

One criticism that Daniel James addresses only very lightly is the instability of the HZStrings player, a new development as Spitfire begin to abandon Kontakt. While their separation from the sampled library player monopoly is admirable, the player leaves alot to be desired.

Finally, here at ThinkSpace Education we found Daniel James review extremely engaging and find it hard to disagree with anything of his judgements. It’s important to remember that these criticisms haven’t gone unheard and Spitfire will likely update the product until it satisfies even the toughest of critics!

“It seems like more attention went into the marketing, the novelty factor and the UI design than actually making the library”

“They didn’t spend enough time making the library, it feels like it isn’t ready and It feels like a beta.”

Watch the full stream below


Sample Cast agree with the synthetic feel of Hans Zimmer Strings but also enjoy the sound of some specific patches, they conclude that it’s a beautiful sounding library but may not be a good tool for a realistic orchestral template.

Sample Cast discuss more of the technical issues than anything else, highlighting the computing resources that Hans Zimmer Strings eats up as well as some of the debilitating glitches and errors. They describe how the legatos are broken and the shorts amongst other samples are simply flawed in a wide range of ways, including extreme quietness and on the other end of the spectrum aggressively loud noise. The interface, although beautiful is problematic for the user.

Sample Cast conclude that the library is a disappointment, and while we agree that the move to their own player was a bold and brave move for the business we again cannot personally comment on the library as ThinkSpace Education do not own it.


From one of the most successful and renowned composers comes a Masterclass like no other, geared to give the user an insiders overlook of many different aspects of film scoring; there are times where Hans Zimmers talent is truly on display. Although not nearly as comprehensive as a focused course in film music, the Hans Zimmer film scoring Masterclass is extremely enjoyable and worthwhile for the inspirational words of wisdom from debatably the best film composer in the world.

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About the Author
Guy Michelmore

Guy Michelmore

Course Director Guy Michelmore is an award winning film composer. He has scored over 8 animated films for Marvel and over 200 episodes of TV for networks all over the world. He also has a detailed knowledge of sampled orchestration and contemporary techniques in film scoring.

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