As a composer, you probably write a lot of action music for movies, trailers, and video games. But many string sample libraries are bloated — they eat up your computer’s RAM, take a long time to load, and come with articulations you just don’t need in the moment.
Furia Staccato Strings aims to solve these issues. It’s a lightweight orchestral VST that specializes in short string stabs. And despite its simplicity, it’s become one of my go-to libraries.
In this quick review, we’ll go over Furia Staccato Strings and whether it’s worth your time or if you can pass.
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What Is Furia Staccato Strings?
Furia Staccato Strings is an orchestral sample library by Impact Soundworks. As the name suggests, it’s comprised of staccato string samples — and nothing else. It’s tailored for writing action and trailer music that’s heavy with string stabs and ostinatos.
As Impact Soundworks puts it:
“Whether you need to accentuate dramatic rhythms in an action cue, create tension with a repeating ostinato line, build an epic swashbuckling main melody, or weave ominous arpeggiating textures, staccato strings are de facto standard.”
Furia delivers that short string sound and doesn’t bother with any other articulations. This makes it a highly specialized tool.
Whenever I load it up, I’m always in awe with how much fun Furia is to play with. The strings sound big, beefy, and in your face — perfect for the library music I write.
And because of its simplistic design, you don’t accidentally waste time messing with other sounds or fussing with key switches. Furia does one job, and it does it exceptionally well.
It’s immediately satisfying to use and helps unlock my creative ideas right away.
Getting Started With Furia Staccato Strings
This library requires the full version of Kontakt to run. It won’t work with the free Player version.
You’ll also need Pulse Downloader to activate and install it. Once you have both Kontakt and Pulse, follow these steps:
- After purchasing Furia, Impact Soundworks will email you a product code. You can also find the code in your ISW account under “My Products”.
- Then in Pulse, click “Add a Product”, then copy/paste your product code. Follow the download instructions as prompted.
- Open up Kontakt. Click on the Files tab, then find the location where you installed the library. Load up Furia from the browser, and you’re ready to go!
Kontakt is an essential plugin every composer and producer needs in their collection. It's the hub for countless virtual instruments. Plus, you can use it as a powerful sampler and wave editor.
Furia Staccato Strings Features
FSS is simple by design. The interface is pretty minimal, so you won’t find an exhaustive features list or countless patches to explore. That said, it’s still worth pointing out some details.
Lightweight File Sizes
Furia uses less than 150 MB of memory. This has some major benefits:
- It loads super fast. This way, you can start playing right away without waiting for big files to load.
- It leaves memory for other RAM-intensive instruments and plugins.
Ensemble Size Multiplier
The samples in this library come from a 22-piece string ensemble playing in unison, which alone is a decent-sized group. You can multiply that by up to 8x, essentially giving you a 176-piece orchestra for an even bigger, more epic sound.
Multiple Mic Positions
FSS offers settings for close and hall microphone positions. The “volume” faders adjust how much of each source you’re getting. Adjusting the “width” fader changes the stereo width of the ensemble.
If you’re using an external reverb plugin, it’s usually a good idea to turn down the Hall Mic volume.
Timing & Envelope Controls
You can make fine adjustments to the strings if they sound too tight or too loose.
- Ensemble Timing changes the samples’ precision relative to the MIDI data.
- Sample Offset changes when the samples start. You can use this to reduce bow noise at the beginning of each note for snappier strings.
- Envelope (ADSR) Controls for changing the Attack, Delay, Sustain, and Release. A standard feature on most electronic instruments.
Built-In FX Rack
Most Impact Soundworks instruments come with a built-in FX rack. It lets you modify the EQ, reverb, delay, and compression, giving you more sound design possibilities.
How Much is Furia?
Right now, Furia Staccato Strings is available for only $29. At that price, it’s quite a bargain.
Alternatively, you can get Furia for free as part of Impact Soundworks’ rewards program. I’d recommend getting one or two of their higher-end libraries, then redeeming the points for Furia.
Either way, Furia is an easy buy for any orchestral composer.
The Best Way to Use Furia
I use FSS in many projects. One of my favorite things to do is combine it with other string libraries. This adds more realism and color to the samples. Plus, it helps combat the same-ness of the round robins.
Pros & Cons of Furia Staccato Strings
As with any sample library, FSS comes with some pros and cons. Let’s look at the positives first.
- Simple by design
- Small file sizes
- Fast loading
- Simple UI
- FX & sound design options
Furia has one job — short strings. This prevents you from endless scrolling through articulations and makes for a distraction-free experience.
FSS also has a small digital footprint. As a result, it takes almost no time to load up and start playing.
This is a godsend if you’re working exclusively with staccato strings. With other libraries, you often wait for every sound to load up. Even the ones you don’t use.
The UI is also simple and easy to navigate. Plus, there’s enough sound customization options to tweek everything to your liking.
- Muddy-sounding basses
- Library is kind of redundant
My one minor criticism is that for my ears, the bass range sounds a bit muddy. Even after changing the envelope and timing settings, I never felt like the basses were as crisp-sounding as the higher-range notes.
Furia is also kind of a redundant library. There are loads of free and premium sample libraries with staccato string articulations. Which brings me to the next point…
Alternatives to Furia Staccato Strings
FSS is unique in that it only has one articulation. That said, almost every major string library has staccato and spiccato articulations. So you could get similar results from something else.
In terms of pricing, these are some viable alternatives:
- Spitfire’s BBC Symphony Orchestra: Discover is a free library that gives you instruments from the entire orchestra
- SoundIron’s Hyperion Strings Micro is a fabulous budget-friendly string library that gives you multiple articulations
And if you’re reading this, chances are you already have Kontakt with the Factory Library and/or Symphony Essentials. Both of which have decent staccato strings.
Final Thoughts: Should You Get Furia Staccato Strings?
Furia Staccato Strings makes it easy to write action-y music. Turn up the multiplier, widen the stereo width, and you have a huge, epic-sounding orchestra that can’t really exist in the real world.
But for better or worse, FSS is a one trick pony. You could replicate it easy enough using other libraries, so I wouldn’t consider it a “must-have” for every composer.
That said, I absolutely love Furia. I’m often surprised how much it sneaks its way into my projects.
If you’re already buying other Impact Soundworks libraries, go ahead and pick it up as a freebie.
Other Sample Libraries You Might Like
If you’re interested in Furia, you might like these other resources: