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EVALUATION OF VIENNA INSTRUMENTS
Last post Wed, Jan 30 2019 by Casiquire, 12 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Jan 27 2019 03:37
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5726

This is a statement about the relative value of Vienna Instruments and VSL in general.  

I wonder what other composers/performers here think? What I was recently thinking about was how much I like using the VI and VE system in my studio.  In trying to formulate the reasons, I was thinking:

1) Total backwards compatibility with previous instruments - that is huge because many of the older instruments are the best-ever sampled versions of those instruments.  

2) A user interface consisting of instrument/articulation sets which can be easily rebuilt from the ground up - including patch-level. All the presets I have ever used I made myself because that way I can use only what is needed, instead of a bunch of stuff that is worthless to me.   

3) Access to MIR the most musician-friendly reverb and mixing available. I can't say enough about how great MIR is - it is like being a conductor, and just telling musicians "go over there!" and they do!  Then play in a beautiful space.  

4) Consistency of articulations across instruments which allows radical changes of orchestration. I am now using this on a piece originally for orchestra changed to instrumention of symphonic band.  That is difficult, and yet the absolute consistency of sampling of articulations in VI allows one to make as radical a change as violins to clarinets!  Amazing... yet possible. 

I firmly believe the Vienna Instrument and Vienna Ensemble, combined with MIR, are the greatest things that have happened in music in recent years.  Perhaps mainly because - they correspond to what musical instrumentation and orchestration are really focused upon - those actual articulations and expressions that each individual player does in an orchestra. No overall fakery, no slick bullshit - just real musical expression.  That is why the first instruments of VSL - more than what? 17 years old? - are still among the best ever sampled.  That first Tenor Trombone or Vienna Horn - just audition those!  It is an amazing amount of beautiful, expressive detail.  VSL did not try to take advantage of sampling, but instead thought long and hard "how do we represent what this instrument really does?"   

After years of using VSL, it still amazes me what these talented people have done!  

Posted on Sun, Jan 27 2019 07:43
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325
I have to agree. The libraries are so all encompassing and universally made that they're future-proof to an extent. I don't believe any other developer has created their own version of what VSL does.
Posted on Sun, Jan 27 2019 10:11
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582

Originally Posted by: William Go to Quoted Post

This is a statement about the relative value of Vienna Instruments and VSL in general.  

I wonder what other composers/performers here think? What I was recently thinking about was how much I like using the VI and VE system in my studio.  In trying to formulate the reasons, I was thinking:

1) Total backwards compatibility with previous instruments - that is huge because many of the older instruments are the best-ever sampled versions of those instruments.  

2) A user interface consisting of instrument/articulation sets which can be easily rebuilt from the ground up - including patch-level. All the presets I have ever used I made myself because that way I can use only what is needed, instead of a bunch of stuff that is worthless to me.   

3) Access to MIR the most musician-friendly reverb and mixing available. I can't say enough about how great MIR is - it is like being a conductor, and just telling musicians "go over there!" and they do!  Then play in a beautiful space.  

4) Consistency of articulations across instruments which allows radical changes of orchestration. I am now using this on a piece originally for orchestra changed to instrumention of symphonic band.  That is difficult, and yet the absolute consistency of sampling of articulations in VI allows one to make as radical a change as violins to clarinets!  Amazing... yet possible. 

I firmly believe the Vienna Instrument and Vienna Ensemble, combined with MIR, are the greatest things that have happened in music in recent years.  Perhaps mainly because - they correspond to what musical instrumentation and orchestration are really focused upon - those actual articulations and expressions that each individual player does in an orchestra. No overall fakery, no slick bullshit - just real musical expression.  That is why the first instruments of VSL - more than what? 17 years old? - are still among the best ever sampled.  That first Tenor Trombone or Vienna Horn - just audition those!  It is an amazing amount of beautiful, expressive detail.  VSL did not try to take advantage of sampling, but instead thought long and hard "how do we represent what this instrument really does?"   

After years of using VSL, it still amazes me what these talented people have done!  

Yeah, what he said

I don't use MIR so I can't vouch for it but I do use the Vienna Suite and I am just amazed by the array of useful plug ins you get for the price you pay.  My mixes can be compared to professional studio mixes with thousands of dollars worth of hardware gear.  The plugs are neutral and leave no fingerprints on the output unless of course you want some coloring to the sound in which case Vienna Suite can deliver.  It's the same philosophy they use when recording a sample library.  Pure, pristine and detailed.


"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 Sun, Jan 27 2019 19:13
by bogdan
Joined on Fri, Apr 18 2008, Canada/ Edmonton , Posts 292

 I agree with All of the above !

Lovely Library ( both VST and Software plugins) and also great support ! 

Posted on Sun, Jan 27 2019 22:28
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 594

I also agree fully with everything said above.  I'll add that I'm glad I discovered VSL before spending a fortune on other libraries, being disappointed, and then having to start over with VSL.  I did the VSL thing first, and based on the kind of music I write, I'm glad I did :)

All the best,

Dave

Posted on Sun, Jan 27 2019 23:17
by daviddln
Joined on Tue, Feb 25 2014, Posts 238

I also agree. I bought some libraries from other developers, but in the end, I always come back to VSL. Their libraries and software are amazing. And even though the new Synchron series is very exciting, I hope they will continue to create new libraries for the VI series.

iMac (2020), Intel i9 3,6 Ghz, 64 GB RAM
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Posted on Mon, Jan 28 2019 10:45
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 1363

I agree with all the points. VSL instruments are empowering tools. I was literally shocked twice with them: the first time when switching from older technologies to the VSL starting set included in Kontakt; the second time when playing a line with the newely purchased SE. It was as if I could finally have a real orchestra at my fingertips.

I hope the old VI collection is not abandoned, because I too feel these are their best, more complete and more flexible instruments. On the contrary, I hope they will expand them with extended techniques, something once reserved to us elitist academic composers, and now also loved by freaker film and trailer composers.

Paolo

Posted on Tue, Jan 29 2019 02:01
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5726

Yes - the flexibiity - that is really one of the best things about VI.  And that flexibility doesn't come from tricks - it comes from the basic instruments being authentically represented.  Also that's a great idea about doing extended technique articulations.  It would be wrong if only Synchron got those, because the previous VI would be awesomely extended by such recordings.  Nothing on the planet would match that.  There are in the VI libraries a few, such as the contrabassoon FX, the Appassionata Strings clusters and random pizz.,  etc.  But not too many and it would be a huge step forward to include more of those articulations.  

Posted on Tue, Jan 29 2019 16:46
by johnstaf
Joined on Thu, Apr 21 2011, EI, Posts 216

For me it's the simplicity of the system. If you want to use two or thirty articulations you can do that as easily as possible. There's never anything to fight against if you don't want to work a particular way.

Cubase (OS agnostic). Various VSL bits and pieces.

Posted on Tue, Jan 29 2019 17:05
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5726

Exactly, in fact that is one of the best things.  It helps a lot in doing a MIDI performance to look at the music lines individually, and then load only what articulations are needed.  Then, when you don't get exactly the right expression, you just add that articulation into the matrix.  You then discover that to do a fully expressive, finely detailed performance for that line - you only needed two or three articulations.  That has often happened in various performances.  It is because contained within each individual articulation is a huge amount of musical detail.  Some people- especially ones who have to have 500 instruments all simultaneously playing - don't believe this.  But an example is the Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings, an ultra-expressive piece.  This uses ONLY  legato and sustain, perhaps a detache or sforzando, but nothing else is needed, especially with velocity crossfading on ensembles.  It is all in the dynamics and phrasing of those individual articulations.

Posted on Wed, Jan 30 2019 13:39
by ddunn
Joined on Fri, Aug 03 2007, Posts 83

Yes, I agree with all said here.  The fact that VSL has continually, and consistently improved their whole product range and methodology over many years, has raised the bar for all developers.  I love the way that VSL seems to do these experiments like the Dimension libraries, and Synchron libraries.  Always moving forward with new approaches and the evolution of computing power.  I'm hooked.

Posted on Wed, Jan 30 2019 18:25
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325

Originally Posted by: ddunn Go to Quoted Post

Yes, I agree with all said here.  The fact that VSL has continually, and consistently improved their whole product range and methodology over many years, has raised the bar for all developers.  I love the way that VSL seems to do these experiments like the Dimension libraries, and Synchron libraries.  Always moving forward with new approaches and the evolution of computing power.  I'm hooked.

 

And I think those are some of their best libraries!  They really did a fantastic job on them.

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