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Any plans for new VSL 'Strings' Libraries ?
Last post Sun, Feb 28 2010 by Sami, 62 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Feb 19 2010 02:13
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 430

Hi,


I'm quite curious to know if VSL will offer anything new in the area of 'Strings' ? or are the current strings related products the end of the road with regards to VSL Strings related libraries ?



If it is too early to ask about this area of future development, or possibly a bit too sensitive of a question, I would totally understand VSL's decision to not respond to my question at this time.  But, if there are hopes of some new developments, that could excite us, regarding any plans for new strings, i.e. (Strings that are NOT recorded in the silent stage, but rather in a warm, and lively acoustic space), offering warmer, and richer timbre, then it would be very refreshing to read some feedback from VSL about this.



Are current VSL Strings library users eager to see VSL develop a newer Strings library line in the future, that is NOT produced in the 'Silent Stage' ?



Your feedback would be very interesting.



Thanks.  

Posted on Fri, Feb 19 2010 05:53
by Sami Boman
Joined on Wed, Mar 23 2005, Jyväskylä, Finland, Posts 199

I have to say I don't miss any samples with recorded reverbs or spaces. It's only restricting. I think high quality dry samples are always the best starting point. With today's impulse responses you can build any kind of space you want. I think especially software like the revolutionary Vienna MIR make recorded reverbs simply futile.

Posted on Fri, Feb 19 2010 17:17
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 430

Sorry, but IMHO, the very dry string samples in all of the VSL string line of products have one critical element missing, namely, 'Rich & Warm Timbre' .

Adding convolution reverb, MIR, or any artificial space does NOT seem to fix this issue. The lack of rich and warm string timbre is noticeable in all the audio demos I have heard so far, I'm sure they would have a much richer timbre, if they were recorded in a livelier acoustic space, I don't mean in a huge hall with tons of reflections, but just a 'Lively and Warm' acoustic space, rather than a very dry, and lifeless space such as the 'silent stage'.

I'm all ears if there are any demos that will change my opinion about this quite important detail.  So far non of the audio demos has demonstrated the kind of string timbre I consider rich, and warm, VSL strings still lack rich and warm timbre quality I would expect to hear from a first class product. I would love to see this quite important detail remedied by a new line of string libraries from VSL that are recorded in a livelier space.  I'm sure the difference in timbre quality will be very noticeable ! 

Posted on Fri, Feb 19 2010 18:14
by jammusique
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Paris, France, Posts 259

A reverb expert on the GearSlutz forum explained that real spaces creat literally millions of delays, while the convolution reverbs give you a few thousand of them which for some situations is enough to trick our brains. Maybe that's not enough (that's me who says this) for really "lush" string sounds.

Recording the room would be nice for some situations but over all would be too limiting.

I personally hope that VSL will do a new string library including dedicated second violins, and some sort of divisi feature. If they are going to do it, they might what to announce it before hand so we don't start looking in other directions. Yes

WW complete. MirX Teldex, Cubase, PC
Posted on Fri, Feb 19 2010 19:07
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582
muziksculp wrote:

  But, if there are hopes of some new developments, that could excite us, regarding any plans for new strings, i.e. (Strings that are NOT recorded in the silent stage, but rather in a warm, and lively acoustic space), offering warmer, and richer timbre, then it would be very refreshing to read some feedback from VSL about this.

 

I don't speak for VSL but I think after all the research and development (time and money) that went into projects like MIR and The Vienna Suite I don't see this happening any time soon.  At least not in the near future.  I could be wrong though.

muziksculp wrote:

Are current VSL Strings library users eager to see VSL develop a newer Strings library line in the future, that is NOT produced in the 'Silent Stage' ?

No, not really.  Not this user anyway.  I kind of like the string libraries just as they are.  I guess it's just a difference of opinion Muziksculp but my ears tell me that the strings sound fine.  I think recording reverborated string libraries at this point would be a step backwards.  Then again, who knows what VSL has up its sleeves.   


"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 Fri, Feb 19 2010 19:32
by mike connelly
Joined on Wed, Apr 28 2004, Posts 260

The winds and brass still seem pretty competitive, but I have to say that even the MIR demos don't sound as good to me as some of the other recent string libraries.  And they all seem to be fairly dry, even a little bit of room seems to help over a totally dead recording.

Posted on Fri, Feb 19 2010 22:11
by jammusique
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Paris, France, Posts 259

It may be that the lush sound that works in some situations (and that we hear in some film scores) is more due to the algorythmic reverbs, compression, and other processing more that any real room.

WW complete. MirX Teldex, Cubase, PC
Posted on Fri, Feb 19 2010 22:24
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7681
jammusique wrote:

A reverb expert on the GearSlutz forum explained that real spaces creat literally millions of delays, while the convolution reverbs give you a few thousand of them which for some situations is enough to trick our brains. [...]

It seems as you got this the wrong way 'round. Algorithmic (a.k.a synthetic) reverbs give you some hundred or thousands of reflections, while convolution (a.k.a sampling) reverb gives you exactly as many reflections as there were in the venue were the impulse responses were recorded in.

Multi sampled impulse responses (as they were introduced with Vienna MIR) will give you the individual reflection patterns for a multitude of positions and directions in a room - something an algorithmic reverb engine is hardly able to supply at all.

Kind regards,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Fri, Feb 19 2010 22:25
by mike connelly
Joined on Wed, Apr 28 2004, Posts 260

If it was just use of a good reverb, then wouldn't most string libraries be able to get that sound?

Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 02:19
by jammusique
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Paris, France, Posts 259

I tried to find the post but didn't run across it. I think it was written by the developer of the Lexicon 480. I asked a question about convolution verbs really giving everything that the real room gives. As I remember the real room gives literally millions of delays, and the convolution (of that room) gave back several thousand of those, "enough" as he put it. I imagine that MIR's thirst for power is indicative of how many delays it feeds back. I did find the MIR examples to be far superior to Altiverb (which I use).

As you know, Algoritmic would be a different story, as they aren't trying to recreate real spaces. Even the best Lexicon or VSS4 use very little processing power, yet give great (to my ears) albeit non natural sounds.

I haven't heard anything that comes close to a Bricasti (which apparently uses 10-20 times the power of a VSS4) to add fatness and some of that "lush" which is why I mentioned it regarding lush strings. That lush may come in part from the light chorusing, modulation, etc that those algorithems contain. That's great for some "cinematic" sounds. But something I wouldn't want everywhere & all the time. Which is why I will undoubtedly buy MIR one of these days (I just bought a Bricasti). And which is why I like your "dry sample" approach

It would be interesting to hear a comparison between MIR and Bricasti, although that might be like comparing apples to oranges.

I'm waiting for the next big student sale (cough, cough) to get some more libraries, then will come MIR Beer

WW complete. MirX Teldex, Cubase, PC
Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 10:08
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7681

Thanks for your interest and the friendly words, Jammusique - still it seems as if you're mixing up several things.

1. For convolution, it doesn't make any difference processing-wise if an IR consists of hundreds or millions of discrete reflections. Only the length of the IR counts when it comes to necessary processing power, and the quality of the recording is relevant for its authenticity.

2. Algorithmic reverbs are _of course_ trying to recreate real rooms, too (... ever heard the "Vienna Hall" from a System 6000?), and they _do_ need a lot of processing power - why is it just today that we see the real Lexicon algorithms for native machines? They relied on dedicated DSPs, that's what made it seem so "easy" on the machine. - They don't need a lot of RAM, but that's a different story.

3. Regarding a comparison of Vienna MIR and a Bricasti:  This really is like comparing apples with pears, or should I say: Like comparing a pure reverb box with a multi-format mixing console featuring built-in virtual instrument hosting, instrument-conscious spatial processing, project management and a unique GUI approach.

BTW - my favorite MIR-demo right now is this one, precisely because of the utter absence of conventional "reverb". :-)

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 10:50
by imusic
Joined on Mon, Nov 17 2003, Zürich, Los Angeles, Posts 34

oh lala,

BTW - my favorite MIR-demo right now is this one, precisely because of the utter absence of conventional "reverb". :-)

chapeau ;-) !

I have a bricasti and looking forward to get MIR in the next couple years (my computer is too slow, aren't that sound familiar?)

best, imusic

Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 11:54
by jammusique
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Paris, France, Posts 259
Dietz wrote:
2. Algorithmic reverbs are _of course_ trying to recreate real rooms, too (... ever heard the "Vienna Hall" from a System 6000?), and they _do_ need a lot of processing power - why is it just today that we see the real Lexicon algorithms for native machines? They relied on dedicated DSPs, that's what made it seem so "easy" on the machine.

Just for the record you surely know much more about reverb than I do. It's true that lots of names of patches on Algorithmic reverbs come from real spaces, usually (I've heard) because of the early reflection character of that patch (and to give us an idea). But of course on a Bricasti, Lexi and VSS4 (and others) you can vary the the amount of the ER's, vary the length of the tail, control the modulation, etc. coming up with sounds that no room will give you. I think of them as supra-natural. And I have a feeling that the "lush" sound that many talk about, is a little supra-natural (something no room could give you).

We're all come accustom to certain sounds: plate reverb vocals in the 70, certain verbs (EMT) on snare drums, etc. And human ears have for a few hundred years been hearing orchestras in great halls. So that "natural" hall sound is what we deem as correct. I can't help but think that after decades of getting used to "bigger than life" orchestral sounds that come from (for example) a real orchestra in a great room with a little Bricasti added in, we might start considering that sound as the standard.

For example, the last Batman score (The Black Knight) was recorded in an L.A. scoring stage, and then up to 8 Bricasti M7's were added on in the mix. That's an impressive sound, but not one that works for a more classical situation. We are all used to different sounding pianos, snares, guitars, etc, and yes even need orchestras that can be molded to sound different for different situations. So we all need (IMO) dry samples, MIR, and maybe also a Bricasti for more larger than life sounds.

As for the power, I was surprised to learn just how little Lexicon and TC verbs actually take. On a 8 core MacPro someone got I think over 50 instances of a stereo Lexi verb, and TC system 6000's use 10 year old dsp chips (like ants rowing inside to generate the power!) yet the verbs sound great (!?!). Bricasti on the other built very thirsty machines which are I think about 10 times more powerful that a System 6000. And I remember reading here about MIR, and all the processing power needed to achieve that quality. Yes

WW complete. MirX Teldex, Cubase, PC
Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 11:57
by jammusique
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Paris, France, Posts 259

Yeah that Ellington trio sounds excellent !

WW complete. MirX Teldex, Cubase, PC
Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 18:11
by Jack Weaver
Joined on Sat, Mar 27 2004, Tucson, AZ, Posts 391

The Ellington demo is wonderful on so many levels. It really shows the value of room ambience without the overlay of a synthetic reverb. I have Bricastis and Lexicons and they can’t touch that demo. 

Mir is ahead of other types of reverberators in displaying height (up & down) I would like this to be accentuated even more.

I really believe Mir will be the greatest answer for reverb – as it develops over time and has a work flow model that is acceptable to more of us.  As much as I love the thought of what Mir can become I have every intention of continuing to use the wonderful things my hardware reverbs give to my productions. There needs to be some way of using Mir as a computer-based outboard box and not tie the samples (both VSL and non-VSL) to be contained within the Mir computer. I want productions that contain both Mir-effected content and other hardware/software-effected tracks. I want to be able pump external audio tracks and software instruments into Mir.  

To tie this thread together with its original title I think if done properly Mir can breathe life into the current string samples. Incorporating technology like the filters of FORTI and SERTI into a combined better, smoother interface of Vienna Instrument/Mir will help the strings (and other) samples.

My concerns of VSL re-recording the various string sections is that because of economics they would not record as many types of articulations as the original Orchestral Strings and that because more likely than not they would have a new-style Vienna Instrument sample player that the older samples with all their great articulations would not be usable.

.

Mac Master:
2010 Mac Pro 12-core. 3.46GHz, 64 GB RAM, OSX 10.12.3, Logic Pro X 10.3.1 ,VEP5, SSD system drive, etc.

PC Slave:
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Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 19:08
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7681

Thanks for the friendly words, Jack!

Jack Weaver wrote:
[...]Mir is ahead of other types of reverberators in displaying height (up & down) I would like this to be accentuated even more.[...]

You are right on track! Actually it would be possible to decode _any_ listening format from MIR's native Ambisonics-recordings. For example, it would be possible to define two circles of speakers in different heights, or even speakers for a z-axis reproduction (on the ceiling above you, or even below he floor ... provided you are living on a grid :-D ...)

We have deliberatly restricted Vienna MIR in its present form to "conventional" (planar) reproduction formats up to 8 speakers (and for now, I can't see a huge demand for anything else). But in principle, it would be possible to add a more complex Output Format Editor to MIR Pro for exotic multi-channel setups. ... which doesn't mean that it _will_ be included ... it's just an idea we have in mind.

... sorry for hi-jacking the "lush strings"-thread 8-]

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 20:34
by Jack Weaver
Joined on Sat, Mar 27 2004, Tucson, AZ, Posts 391

Honestly, I was really only thinking about output into stereo speakers.

VSL is so far ahead of everyone else in the audio industry regarding this type of development. When there is a work flow that meets the demands of post production engineers Mir could be become a standard.

.

Mac Master:
2010 Mac Pro 12-core. 3.46GHz, 64 GB RAM, OSX 10.12.3, Logic Pro X 10.3.1 ,VEP5, SSD system drive, etc.

PC Slave:
12-core e5650, 48 GB RAM, Win7, MIR Pro/VEP5, SSD system drive
Posted on Sat, Feb 20 2010 21:07
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7681
Jack Weaver wrote:
Honestly, I was really only thinking about output into stereo speakers. [...]

LOL Party!!! ! Seems as I was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Sorry for that.

Kind regards,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Feb 21 2010 00:22
by Rob Welsh
Joined on Thu, Feb 12 2004, Chicago, IL, Posts 68

I applaud the implemanation of multi-channel surround options within MIR. I would like to see, however, a single industry standard for the speaker type and positioning for mixing and playback of multi-channel content. For a seamless 360 degree, holosonic, image specific soundfield, 5 to 7 identical (with and optional height channel), front radiating (non dipolar) full range speakers (at ear level) is the optimal approach. But if speaker positioning is one way when the music is mixed, and another upon playback, the multi channel mix be will a distortion from how it was initially concieved. That why I push to have a standard for for the playback of such recordings whether it be in film or music only.  Does Vienna have a speaker positioning standard for the mixing of 5 or 7 discrete channels? And where do you position side/ side rear channels on the circular axis for your mixes? This all may be a little premature for the current offering of MIR, but I think it's good to open up the dialog on this.

Also, will there be more "hotspot" points within the various rooms to accomodate image specific surround envelopement options. I know this will take the music away from the "spectator sport" perspective, but I feel this coud open the floodgate to new and interesting sonic soundscapes.

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Posted on Sun, Feb 21 2010 00:57
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7681

(Note to myself: Maybe we should split this thread ...)

Right now, the surround mixes I do are done in a standard, quite precise ITU 5.1 speaker setup. I once tried a 6.1 setup (with a rear center speaker) just for testing. Also a "classical" Quadrophonic setup worked out nicely.

But during an earlier phase of the Vienna MIR development we had a loose collaboration with Iosono (a spin-off company of the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany). In their showroom studio in Illmenau I had the chance to do a proof-of-concept mix on a full-blown Wave Field Synthesis system. Now _that's_ the kind of surround we were dreaming of as youngsters! 8-) Simply breathtaking.

-> http://www.iosono-sound.com/technology/

 Looking at the screenshots of their control software, you will see that the two technologies fit like a glove:

-> http://www.iosono-sound.com/tec...y/hardware-and-software/

What a pity that we won't see this approach in the average living room in the near future. :-/

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
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