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Some questions regarding VSL
Last post Fri, Jan 11 2019 by William, 10 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Dec 10 2018 14:49
by fishamit
Joined on Thu, Sep 17 2015, Posts 6

Hello!

I've been looking at libraries for the past couple of months and after lots of research I'm very close to buying the Symphonic Cube. From all libraries that I tried, nothing even comes close to the user interface & playability of VSL.

I do however have a few questions which I couldn't find an answer to, and I would really appreciate some help here!

1. Well, it is almost 2019. I know the VI stuff sounds amazing and works great. But investing so much for something software that's been out for this long, I'm really wondering if I will be sorry for purchasing this in, say, 3 years? I see that things are moving towards the Synchron stuff. Will the VI libraries still be relevant in the upcoming years, in terms of software updates and new libraries? I'm a bit scared it will be "abandoned".

2. Any equivelant of "round robin"? I tried the percussion from the special edition, and for example, the snares do sound great, but have a dreadful machine gun effect when using the same velocity with consecutive hits. Is the percussion library in the symphonic cube like this also?

3. Will I be able to fully use the libraries without VE & MIR? at least for the beginning. When I say fully I mean have a good sounding music using VI/VI pro only, with external reverbs and normal channel panning.

4. Is it possible to transfer the licenses from one e-licenser to another by myself? I did read somewhere that you need to physically send the e-licenser for that, and it doesn't make much sense. I've had an e-licenser fall apart before - so I'd say its crucial.

 

Thank you so much!

Posted on Mon, Dec 10 2018 15:07
by bbelius
Joined on Sat, Mar 14 2015, Posts 201

Hello,

2. The instruments in the cube have more round-robin samples as the SE. Ask the support for a manual if you need more information.

3. I would recommend to get the the Instruments Pro Player first. VE Pro is nice, but not a must have if you are only using one computer (but still a nice to have). I personally like MIR Pro a lot and it saves a lot of time, but you can use whatever reverb you like.

4. If the eLicenser is still working you can move the licenses from one key to an other simply by drag-and-drop in the eLicenser Control Center.

Best, Ben

Posted on Tue, Dec 11 2018 10:25
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1438

Originally Posted by: fishamit Go to Quoted Post

1. Well, it is almost 2019. I know the VI stuff sounds amazing and works great. But investing so much for something software that's been out for this long, I'm really wondering if I will be sorry for purchasing this in, say, 3 years? I see that things are moving towards the Synchron stuff. Will the VI libraries still be relevant in the upcoming years, in terms of software updates and new libraries? I'm a bit scared it will be "abandoned".

I think the majority of the samples in the Cube were recorded 10 to 15 years ago and they still sound fantastic. You could probably get another 15 + years out of them althouth the player and hosting software (VI and VI Pro, VE, etc.) will most certainly evolve.  But the libraries themselves sound fantastic and considering all the blood sweat and tears Vienna put into recording those on the Silent Stage I don't see those products becoming legacy anytime soon or anytime far for that matter.

However, Vienna has been mum on any future silent stage releases.  TBH if they discontinued the silent stage there would be such an outcry from the users, especially this one, and I don't think Vienna wants to go down that road. 

 

Originally Posted by: fishamit Go to Quoted Post

2. Any equivelant of "round robin"? I tried the percussion from the special edition, and for example, the snares do sound great, but have a dreadful machine gun effect when using the same velocity with consecutive hits. Is the percussion library in the symphonic cube like this also?

As mentioned before you don't have to worry about that if you get full libries in the cube.  If you have Vienna Pro you can manufacture your own round robbins with the humanization and start offset features.

 

Originally Posted by: fishamit Go to Quoted Post

3. Will I be able to fully use the libraries without VE & MIR? at least for the beginning. When I say fully I mean have a good sounding music using VI/VI pro only, with external reverbs and normal channel panning.

Yes, you could just use the VI but VE comes free when you buy a library (not VE Pro) you might as well use it to host and build your orchestral templates which will save you a lot of time in the future if and when you do upgrade. 

MIR is an option but there are others like Vienna Suite (and Pro) which, in addition to some great converbs, it also has other plugs like Compression, EQ, Limiters, Hybrid Reverb, etc. and you can try it out with a free demo license.

 

Originally Posted by: fishamit Go to Quoted Post

4. Is it possible to transfer the licenses from one e-licenser to another by myself? I did read somewhere that you need to physically send the e-licenser for that, and it doesn't make much sense. I've had an e-licenser fall apart before - so I'd say its crucial.

As bbelius said it is possible to move licenses from one key to another but you have to do it one license at a time which is annoying but that's an eLicenser issue not Vienna.  A Vienna key has a two year warranty which will protect you from malfuncitons but not loss or theft.  However, you can buy the Vienna Protection plan which will cover just about everything but look into it before buying.


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Tue, Dec 11 2018 18:27
by fishamit
Joined on Thu, Sep 17 2015, Posts 6

Thank you both so much!

Posted on Sat, Dec 29 2018 20:03
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 144

As to your third question, a significantly cheaper alternative is MIRx, with the caveat that MIRx can only be used with Vienna sounds and cannot be used for any other soundfonts. Another advantage, and someone else can correct me if Im wrong, if you arent a fan of "fiddly-bits", that is, the notion of having to tweak something to make it sound good, Vienna Suite / Pro falls very much into the "fiddly-bits" category.

One of the things for me that is important is to have it sound "good enough" with minimal configuration so I can start creating as quickly as possible, and for the past couple of days, Ive been playing with a demo of Vienna Suite and using a friend's copy of MIR Pro (he's staying at the house with me for the holidays) and they both sort of get in the way of the creation process for me. Vienna Suite and MIR Pro seem to be more useful for shaping the sound AFTER the piece is written, or the occasional "wow, this frequency is particularly annoying, Ill quickly notch it out".

MIRx shines because it has frequency balances preprogrammed into each instrument for whichever venue you are using. In short, I can enable MIRx and it just sounds good out of the box 99% of the time. You can "synchronize" the MIRx settings so that every instrument will use mostly all the same settings (wet/dry ratio, pre-eq, natural volume (which reduces the loudness of the instrument to what it would be if it were in a real orchestra, super helpful for getting a realistic mix volume wise), etc. There arent alot of settings for MIRx (which is one of the reasons to use it) and it cant be used outside of Vienna sounds, but it sounds great and is super affordable.

They have 5 venues currently, each 80 euros a piece (I believe the pernegg monestary is 90), or the entire bundle is something like 350ish. My personal recommendations for venues, the teldex studio is my top choice, gives a nice low end and a good studio balanced reverb. The Pernegg Monestary is my second choice, albeit, it has a HUGE, or as our president is fond of saying, BIGLY amount of reverb, it is warm and luscious. I usually dial the wet/dry ratio to about 25 (down from the default or natural amount of reverb setting of 50) because it really is a HUGE amount of reverb. Remember, the tonal characteristics are also being modified with these venues, so a flute will sound like a flute would sound like at that venue, both with regards to reverb and tonal quality. The Pernegg Monestary has a beautiful, warm, almost ethereal lushness to it that I love. The Grassier hall (however its spelled, the super big hall) is tonally, a bit cold for my liking so I tend not to use it much, The Gateshead is slightly warmer, but has a slightly odd tonal quality to me, classical pieces are really its strong suit. The Mozart hall is fantastic for small ensembles, it has a very warm, almost fireside type of feel to it (I use it for quartets or small chamber performances, and it worked really well for a very small choral arrangement I used awhile back).

Posted on Wed, Jan 09 2019 19:39
by fishamit
Joined on Thu, Sep 17 2015, Posts 6

Originally Posted by: littlewierdo Go to Quoted Post

As to your third question, a significantly cheaper alternative is MIRx, with the caveat that MIRx can only be used with Vienna sounds and cannot be used for any other soundfonts. Another advantage, and someone else can correct me if Im wrong, if you arent a fan of "fiddly-bits", that is, the notion of having to tweak something to make it sound good, Vienna Suite / Pro falls very much into the "fiddly-bits" category.

One of the things for me that is important is to have it sound "good enough" with minimal configuration so I can start creating as quickly as possible, and for the past couple of days, Ive been playing with a demo of Vienna Suite and using a friend's copy of MIR Pro (he's staying at the house with me for the holidays) and they both sort of get in the way of the creation process for me. Vienna Suite and MIR Pro seem to be more useful for shaping the sound AFTER the piece is written, or the occasional "wow, this frequency is particularly annoying, Ill quickly notch it out".

MIRx shines because it has frequency balances preprogrammed into each instrument for whichever venue you are using. In short, I can enable MIRx and it just sounds good out of the box 99% of the time. You can "synchronize" the MIRx settings so that every instrument will use mostly all the same settings (wet/dry ratio, pre-eq, natural volume (which reduces the loudness of the instrument to what it would be if it were in a real orchestra, super helpful for getting a realistic mix volume wise), etc. There arent alot of settings for MIRx (which is one of the reasons to use it) and it cant be used outside of Vienna sounds, but it sounds great and is super affordable.

They have 5 venues currently, each 80 euros a piece (I believe the pernegg monestary is 90), or the entire bundle is something like 350ish. My personal recommendations for venues, the teldex studio is my top choice, gives a nice low end and a good studio balanced reverb. The Pernegg Monestary is my second choice, albeit, it has a HUGE, or as our president is fond of saying, BIGLY amount of reverb, it is warm and luscious. I usually dial the wet/dry ratio to about 25 (down from the default or natural amount of reverb setting of 50) because it really is a HUGE amount of reverb. Remember, the tonal characteristics are also being modified with these venues, so a flute will sound like a flute would sound like at that venue, both with regards to reverb and tonal quality. The Pernegg Monestary has a beautiful, warm, almost ethereal lushness to it that I love. The Grassier hall (however its spelled, the super big hall) is tonally, a bit cold for my liking so I tend not to use it much, The Gateshead is slightly warmer, but has a slightly odd tonal quality to me, classical pieces are really its strong suit. The Mozart hall is fantastic for small ensembles, it has a very warm, almost fireside type of feel to it (I use it for quartets or small chamber performances, and it worked really well for a very small choral arrangement I used awhile back).

Thank you so much for this, really.

I ended up getting the Symphonic Cube along with VI Pro & Teldex MirX  - After hours of tinkering I realized that I don't like the Teldex sound very much! I started using some algo reverbs with panning and got some results that I was ok with. Completely forgot that there were other MirX venues.

Then I saw your post, and immediatly tried the Prenegg venue demo, and whoa! I have to say, I do like my reverbs long and lush, and it did not disappoint. Exactly the reverb that I need for my music. Of course I dial down the weness to somewhere between 20%-40% depending on the instrument, but that is a lovely lovely reverb. Long and lush

Posted on Wed, Jan 09 2019 20:33
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 128

I'd pay a bit to see VSL Cube samples transferred to operate in the Syncron player...why not...but otherwise....VSL Cube is phenomenal and I intend to make music with it for decades.

Love MIRPRO, I started out with one venue and ended up with all of them.  its all great stuff...

2010 MacPro 12core X 3.33ghz, 64gb ram, VSL Cube, MIRPro, VEP6, LogicPro, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Fri, Jan 11 2019 02:13
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5255

Concerning the snare drum if you use different keys - c and d - which are different strokes - there is no machine gun effect.  It is also easier to play a part for a drum with two keys instead of hammering repeatedly on a single key. 

If you are worried about VI becoming obsolete in a few years you might as well worry about the symphony orchestra becoming obsolete.  Because the VI libraries represent it with extreme precision and detail.  You will have to be recording compositions beyond the complexity of Mahler and R. Strauss to exhaust it.  If you are doing that, and find VSL inadequate, you might want to consider a live symphony orchestra and conduct it yourself.  That way you will have a similar level of control and detail.  But it will have to be on the level of the London Symphony or the New York Philharmonic, and they may be a bit difficult to book.

Posted on Fri, Jan 11 2019 15:31
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 144

Originally Posted by: fishamit Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: littlewierdo Go to Quoted Post

As to your third question, a significantly cheaper alternative is MIRx, with the caveat that MIRx can only be used with Vienna sounds and cannot be used for any other soundfonts. Another advantage, and someone else can correct me if Im wrong, if you arent a fan of "fiddly-bits", that is, the notion of having to tweak something to make it sound good, Vienna Suite / Pro falls very much into the "fiddly-bits" category.

One of the things for me that is important is to have it sound "good enough" with minimal configuration so I can start creating as quickly as possible, and for the past couple of days, Ive been playing with a demo of Vienna Suite and using a friend's copy of MIR Pro (he's staying at the house with me for the holidays) and they both sort of get in the way of the creation process for me. Vienna Suite and MIR Pro seem to be more useful for shaping the sound AFTER the piece is written, or the occasional "wow, this frequency is particularly annoying, Ill quickly notch it out".

MIRx shines because it has frequency balances preprogrammed into each instrument for whichever venue you are using. In short, I can enable MIRx and it just sounds good out of the box 99% of the time. You can "synchronize" the MIRx settings so that every instrument will use mostly all the same settings (wet/dry ratio, pre-eq, natural volume (which reduces the loudness of the instrument to what it would be if it were in a real orchestra, super helpful for getting a realistic mix volume wise), etc. There arent alot of settings for MIRx (which is one of the reasons to use it) and it cant be used outside of Vienna sounds, but it sounds great and is super affordable.

They have 5 venues currently, each 80 euros a piece (I believe the pernegg monestary is 90), or the entire bundle is something like 350ish. My personal recommendations for venues, the teldex studio is my top choice, gives a nice low end and a good studio balanced reverb. The Pernegg Monestary is my second choice, albeit, it has a HUGE, or as our president is fond of saying, BIGLY amount of reverb, it is warm and luscious. I usually dial the wet/dry ratio to about 25 (down from the default or natural amount of reverb setting of 50) because it really is a HUGE amount of reverb. Remember, the tonal characteristics are also being modified with these venues, so a flute will sound like a flute would sound like at that venue, both with regards to reverb and tonal quality. The Pernegg Monestary has a beautiful, warm, almost ethereal lushness to it that I love. The Grassier hall (however its spelled, the super big hall) is tonally, a bit cold for my liking so I tend not to use it much, The Gateshead is slightly warmer, but has a slightly odd tonal quality to me, classical pieces are really its strong suit. The Mozart hall is fantastic for small ensembles, it has a very warm, almost fireside type of feel to it (I use it for quartets or small chamber performances, and it worked really well for a very small choral arrangement I used awhile back).

Thank you so much for this, really.

I ended up getting the Symphonic Cube along with VI Pro & Teldex MirX  - After hours of tinkering I realized that I don't like the Teldex sound very much! I started using some algo reverbs with panning and got some results that I was ok with. Completely forgot that there were other MirX venues.

Then I saw your post, and immediatly tried the Prenegg venue demo, and whoa! I have to say, I do like my reverbs long and lush, and it did not disappoint. Exactly the reverb that I need for my music. Of course I dial down the weness to somewhere between 20%-40% depending on the instrument, but that is a lovely lovely reverb. Long and lush

Super glad that Pernagg worked out :). I particularly like that MIRx handles all the panning for me, even if I choose not to use the reverb part of MIRx (enable MIRx in Instruments Pro, turn the wet/dry slider to its minimum setting and disable the pre-eq setting, then route the track to your reverb of choice).

As William mentioned, Vienna has several reverb alternatives, one of which is MIR Pro, which is very pricey but super customizable. What many overlook is that MIR Pro not only has convolution reverb for about 20 venues (all sold seperately), it also comes with MIRacles, which is a hybrid reverb that combines the convolution reverb with algorithmic reverb. It is briefly mentioned in the last video of MIR Pro (toward the end) and you can see a screenshot of it in the screenshots for MIR Pro. Just remember that the MIR Pro engine comes without any venues, so you'll need to purchase one of the six roompacks seperately, and MIR Pro has 2 versions, MIR Pro and MIR 24 (same featureset as MIR Pro, but is limited to 24 channels, whereas Pro has no limit on the number of channels).

The second alternative is Vienna Suite. They sell two versions, a standard and a pro version, and while there are subtle differences between the two, the Pro version is mostly designed for surround sound, while the standard version is designed for stereo. This isnt to say the Pro version doesnt have additional features that are unrelated to surround sound, but the Pro version has a primary featureset around providing surround features.

MIR Pro and Vienna Suite have an additional advantage, they work very well with Vienna libraries. This isnt to say you cant use these products with other sounds, however, both of these products contain presets that are specifically tuned to the sounds that Vienna uses. For example, using the EQ Pro preset for the flute (which is again tuned specifically for the glute instrument sold by Vienna) gives it a more lively tonal quality. MIR Pro has presets similar to MIRx with regards to instrument location, however, the list is completely unlocked and instruments can be placed in any other instrument location, unlike MIRx, which limits the stage location to only a handful of locations, based on the instrument. Or, you can go nuts and place an instrument in any location in the venue, including the balconies simply by drag and dropping the instrument on a graphical representation of the venue. In case that wasnt enough, MIR Pro even allows you to choose your microphone types, and if you dont like the several dozen that come preloaded, you can make your own microphone profile, and you can use up to two microphones, which again, can be placed anywhere in the venue, including the middle of the auditorium if you wanted.

MIR Pro and Vienna suite work fine with other libraries and sounds as well, the presets however are specifically tuned for Vienna sounds.

When I first saw Vienna, I compared to the competition. I looked at and even purchased several small libraries from East West, LA Strings, 8dio, Cinesamples, and Spitfire. Time and time again, I come back to Vienna because of the UI. Being comppletely honest, the sound libraries from all these companies including Vienna are very comparable to each other. Sure, one library might have some articulations another library doesnt have, and it is my feeling that people get a little too hung up on that sort of thing. What makes Vienna so special is, their focus is purely orchestral. This means, the UI is focused around orchestral composition and for me, it just clicked immediately. The entire idea of the matrix in Vienna Instruments was intuitive and easy to understand. Contrast that with other libraries using Kontakt, or in the case of East West, their Play engine, and you get just an awful experience. Each instrument has a different UI to navigate around, meaning things are done differently depending on the instrument. With Vienna, every instrument has the same UI. Its very fast to put together a matrix and add an articulation if desired, especially with the search function in Vienna Instruments. All of the control sliders are a cinch to program, add, or remove depending on needs. In short, Vienna gets me writing music faster than any other UI out there, and in the end, this is the biggest frustration I have with this stuff as a whole, there are so many road blocks to getting to the point of getting notes on a page that sometimes, I have forgotten the idea I had in the first place, or, that creative spark is gone that quickly.

I have little experience with their newer playback engine, Synchron, I have to say that sadly, Im not a fan of it, what little I have used of it. I only have the Smart Orchestra and the Smart Spheres they just released, which I purchased mainly because I want to dabble in some more ethereal sounds and since these dont require much articulation switching, Im ok with it. I am disappointed that the Steinway and Yamaha pienos recently released are only available in Synchron, but again, it isnt like there is much customization required for piano sounds so Ill be ok with these once I get around to buying the pianos.

Posted on Fri, Jan 11 2019 17:24
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5255

That is a great post littleweirdo - totally agree with that!   Except I would add that I have never found anything remotely like MIR - it makes mixing with the ultimate quality reverb so easy for a musician.   

Also, the "pristine' quality of the VI instruments combined with interface always seems to create a more musical performance than other libraries.  Because VI are based on a bedrock of pure straight-ahead musical performance instead of digital tricks and prcoessing.  

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