I always wanted to include strings in my songs

Hi Ok, so all of you that know me know I only play guitar and use EZdrummer to produce songs. It is also known that I suck at technology. I just came across this PreSonus Symphonic Orchestra. ($99) I have only the professional level Studio One (I think version 2 after artist). I was wondering if I purchase this, how is it activated? do I buy a keyboard then?? Just need a yes or no. Thank you

I think you mean “Producer” right? In which case you can run 3rd party plugins, etc. … never mind, I just googled that product:


The short answer is “NO”. Here’s a quote from that Presonus page:

Compatible with Studio One Prime, Artist, and Professional (version 3.3.4 or higher)

You are on an older version than they support.

However - if you spend that $$ on a MIDI keyboard instead, it will most likely come with some sounds. Plus, the built-in instruments with Presonus has lots of sounds to explorer. I’m sure someone more in the know than me can point you to much more affordable MIDI strings, probably even FREE ones at that. HTH! :+1:

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Check out the Spitfire Labs software. It used to be I think $3 per instrument, and now they’re slowly rolling them out for free with their own standalone plugin. There’s a “Strings” instrument there. I think you should definitely give that a shot and see if it suits your needs.


You don’t need a MIDI keyboard to use it. Having a MIDI keyboard would just make it so that you could play the instrument–otherwise you’ll be drawing in the notes with a mouse. I like having the MIDI keyboard to speed up my workflow.


Hey Mr. F , yeah like Cristina says I think you should work with what you have before spending any money or downloading anything new. I don’t know Pre Sonus but it should have some virtual instruments that you can use to practice using the “piano roll” function with. You have to learn that anyway to edit the midi you put in with a keyboard unless you are a skilled keyboard player.

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Here’s some more free orchestral software. It’s not bad at all. As long as you use it to back real instruments and not start composing film score or classical music no-one will know it’s a free plugin :violin::violin::violin::violin::drum::saxophone::notes::musical_score::musical_score::musical_score: But I wouldn’t do it without a midi keyboard though. Doesn’t have to be an expensive one, all you need is the keys to program notes. And yes, you will need to learn a few new skills probably…

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Hi Mike Thanks for answering and the research. I do in fact (after looking have Studio one 2 professional) I see it is a 2.65 so I don’t have the goods I guess. I got in there and found a few things I never knew I had, but not much for a good sound?

Hi Christina. I went to the site and the strings in fact do sound sweet. I also googled the mouse/drawing concept and I think that would work with some practice. I have to start learing some new stuff. I have many ballads that could use some help. I used a guitar channel called swell a few times that has a sorta string sound but it is a hard animal to tame. Thanks for your info and I love your stuff


Hi Ingobud Good advice . I have ordered many things that are just sitting in a drawer. the last was an interface with video capabilities and a new computer with win 10 that I hated :slight_smile: I am a skilled keyboard player on one song…crocodile rock

Hi Evert Yes, this and the one Kristina pointed out have what I am looking for. I want the keys for background and transition only. I am away from my studio for a couple more weeks watching 3 of my grandkids while she is in a huge trial. I have all this saved so I can dig in. thanks

A few years back I went out and bought a cheap 49 key MIDI controller (basically a keyboard without built in sounds). I don’t play keys, but it opened up a new world of sonic possibilities. Keyboards, strings, synths, percussion and even more guitars. There are a ton of free VST’s out there and having a keyboard provides an intuitive, hands-on way of making new and interesting noises. Sure… you’ll still want to learn how to edit with your mouse and computer keyboard… but having a musical keyboard to play with is a heck of a lot of fun.

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Hi Guy I am a little torn right now. I am just happy to know it is a go for sure. Headin out now to check out that controller. Would look impressive in my mini studio for sure. Thanks much

If it’s any help, all I ever use is the free stuff with Reaper or Cubase with a cheap keyboard and layer it a little. Beyond that, I would need to be a better orchestrator and player to use better software.

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