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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 Sun, Feb 21 2010 09:40
by jammusique
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Paris, France, Posts 262

That's fantastic ! Or shall I say lush. Stick out tongue

WW complete. MirX Teldex, Cubase, PC
Posted on Sun, Feb 21 2010 20:46
by Martin.Leese
Joined on Sun, Feb 21 2010, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Posts 1
Rob Welsh wrote:

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.



Your suggestion is an excellent one for 7.1 systems. 5.1 already has ITU-R Recommendation BS.775-2 (07/06), which specifies speakers at 0°, ±30°, and ±110°, although it is unclear how many people actually have their speakers laid out this way. (Four of the speakers in a square seems to be more popular.) Ambisonics, however, is fundamentally different from 5.1 and 7.1, and does not need a standard speaker layout. This is one of its great advantages.

What is encoded in Ambisonics is not speaker feeds, but direction. When mixing in Ambisonics, the positions of the speakers are unknown and are of no interest. Further, when Ambisonics is decoded to speaker feeds all of the speakers cooperate to localise a sound in its correct position so, for example, when the speakers on the left push those on the right pull. The speakers all contribute to the creation of a single coherent soundfield.

For more information on Ambisonics, please see the Wikipedia page.

Posted on Sun, Feb 21 2010 22:45
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 8062

Welcome and thanks for chiming in, Martin! Good to know that our little discussion attracts the interest of an Ambisonics specialist.  :-)

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Feb 22 2010 10:31
by coelin blue
Joined on Wed, Dec 30 2009, Posts 11
I don't consider the VSL samples to be dry - there is some ambience or early reflections in the sounds which is easily heard when compared to dead dry libraries like GPO. That ambience makes the samples live and makes the stereo image natural.

But I have problems to get the instruments to sounds distant when I want to, a problem sometimes with strings but especially percussion and brass. Adding convolution reverb makes a difference, but I still hear the closed-miked origin.
If I could wish something, I would have all samples recorded with distant and close miking, with a blend knob. EWQLSO has it in their expensive libraries but I don't know how good it works.

The second thing to wish was a function that could replace the speed control, which I don't find working so good. I want automatic chose of articulation according to the length of a played tone and playing style. Not for real time playing obviously, but for already recorded tones. Synful Orchestra has it, and I think it works pretty good (but the character of their sounds is more or less crap...)
Posted on Mon, Feb 22 2010 11:44
by jammusique
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Paris, France, Posts 262

I agree that there are new ways to handle samples, but I'm sure VSL will have some novelties in that field. They have all the audio they need. Maybe they will find new ways to chop it up, and manage it with their sampler.

As for the mic distance, what reverb are you using? And are you sending pre or post fader. IMO you need at least Altiverb to work well with VSL, and all the better if you have MIR. And with the features in those verbs, you should be able to control the distince well.

I have a feeling (I might be wrong) that close/distant micing options with samples is a feature of the past, since the advent of MIR. Yes

WW complete. MirX Teldex, Cubase, PC
Posted on Mon, Feb 22 2010 16:12
by coelin blue
Joined on Wed, Dec 30 2009, Posts 11
I am using SIR1, but I belive the quality of the impulse file is more important than the actual impulse reverb make. Latency is another thing...

Imagine you record a voice close and distant. Will they sound the same if the room is dry? I don't think so. The close voice will have more brightness and sound less damped, and have a different dynamics. Even if you put reverb on the close miked voice, pre or post fader, you still can tell it is close voice with reverb on it. I experience something similiar with VSL. Some instrument too closed miked to get depth between instrument groups.
Posted on Mon, Feb 22 2010 22:09
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 8062

Most orchestral recordings are actually a mixture of a main microphone system and spot microphones for added definition. This is exactly what you would achieve by using the room signal created by the MIR engine (i.e the main system) with the direct signals mixed in. Actually this concept was part of the Vienna Symphonic Library's samples from the very beginning.

Apart from that, Vienna MIR offers a dedicated "distant" Character Preset for most Vienna Instruments to give you even more options on the direct signal itself.

HTH,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Feb 22 2010 22:29
by mike connelly
Joined on Wed, Apr 28 2004, Posts 260

How close are the Vienna instruments typically mic'd?

The issue of making a drier recording more wet isn't nearly as big a hurdle as making something mic'd close sound like its mic'd from a distance.

Posted on Mon, Feb 22 2010 22:54
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 8062

This depends. Micheal Hula, our musical director, would have all the details (which he woudn't share anyway ;-) ...), but I would say between 1 or 2 m for certain solo instruments up to 5 m and more in case of ensembles (which isn't even close to "close", in my book).

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Feb 23 2010 07:30
by coelin blue
Joined on Wed, Dec 30 2009, Posts 11
Dietz wrote:
Most orchestral recordings are actually a mixture of a main microphone system and spot microphones for added definition.

And that is exactly what I am talking about, and a feature I like to have. No science fiction, I find it in other VST:s such as ez drummer.

Dietz wrote:
This is exactly what you would achieve by using the room signal created by the MIR engine (i.e the main system) with the direct signals mixed in.


And in that case classical recordings would be made that way - why bother setting up the extra microphones then?
Posted on Tue, Feb 23 2010 09:33
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 8062
Roger Noren wrote:
And in that case classical recordings would be made that way - why bother setting up the extra microphones then?

I don't understand this question, sorry.

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Feb 23 2010 15:52
by mike connelly
Joined on Wed, Apr 28 2004, Posts 260

5m seems like it could be reasonable for a group, but one meter for a solo instrument seems way too close for an orchestral sound.

Posted on Tue, Feb 23 2010 15:59
by coelin blue
Joined on Wed, Dec 30 2009, Posts 11
Dietz wrote:
Roger Noren wrote:
And in that case classical recordings would be made that way - why bother setting up the extra microphones then?

I don't understand this question, sorry.



What you wrote seems like a contradiction to me. First you say (which I agree upon) that classical recordings are made with balancing close and distant miking, and then you say a convolution reverb can control the depth placement just as good. Then I wonder why classical recordings are not made that way since it seems much easier.

My point is that close and distant miking gives different characteristics, which not entirely could be simulated by the CR. In my opinion, the best way to simulate something would be to do it as close to the real thing as possible. I understand that users don't want to have any reverb sometimes, so the close and distant miking should be done in a fairly dry room. Then, by balancing these two, adding the reverb wanted, it should give a convincing result. The demos I've heard from VSL are very impressing in every aspect expect for the depth definition.
Posted on Tue, Feb 23 2010 17:35
by julian
Joined on Fri, Jan 07 2005, UK, Posts 720
mike connelly wrote:

5m seems like it could be reasonable for a group, but one meter for a solo instrument seems way too close for an orchestral sound.

When you are recording real instruments in an orchestral setting it would be unlikely you'd go further away than 1m with the "spot" mic for your solo instrument. Apart from around this position sounding just fine (along with mixed in pick-up of the room and other orchestra mics) any further and the mic would tend to pick up additional instruments in preference to your solo.

Julian

Posted on Tue, Feb 23 2010 18:16
by mike connelly
Joined on Wed, Apr 28 2004, Posts 260

julian wrote:
When you are recording real instruments in an orchestral setting it would be unlikely you'd go further away than 1m with the "spot" mic for your solo instrument. Apart from around this position sounding just fine (along with mixed in pick-up of the room and other orchestra mics) any further and the mic would tend to pick up additional instruments in preference to your solo.

Julian

I'd agree that 1m may be fine for a spot mic, but in that situation it is also blended with a more distant mic.  In general, orchestral recordings sound most natural using mostly the main mics that capture the entire ensemble, and a small amount of spot mics (when they are needed).

I'm talking about recording with only one mic and having it at 1m, which seems to be the case with some VSL solo instruments (correct me if I misunderstood).

If you really wanted to recreate that means of recording a full orchestra, it seems like the best way to do it would be to use multiple mics (more distant mics and closer "spot mics") and let the user mix between the two.  The difference in sound between close and distant micing  is more than just verb and I doubt it can really be simulated well.

Posted on Tue, Feb 23 2010 19:16
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 448

So, does MIR actually help improve the actual timbre of the currently available VSL strings libraries ?  (i.e. offer rich, natural, and warm strings timbre) ?  I personally don't think so. 

Yes, MIR can improve the perceived spacial elements around the samples, but since the samples themselves do NOT have that rich, warm timbre I'm expecting to hear, I very much doubt any type of spacial treatment will solve this problem. Sadly, this is very much the case with all of the VSL strings audio demos I hear. They lack that natural, warm, and pleasing strings timbre that my ears have a big craving for. 

If VSL thinks that MIR is the ultimate solution to improve the current VSL strings, I would love to hear a few demos that prove that this is actually possible. So far I'm NOT convinced.

Posted on Tue, Feb 23 2010 19:22
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 8062
Roger Noren wrote:
Dietz wrote:
Roger Noren wrote:
And in that case classical recordings would be made that way - why bother setting up the extra microphones then?

I don't understand this question, sorry.



What you wrote seems like a contradiction to me. First you say (which I agree upon) that classical recordings are made with balancing close and distant miking, and then you say a convolution reverb can control the depth placement just as good. Then I wonder why classical recordings are not made that way since it seems much easier.
My point is that close and distant miking gives different characteristics, which not entirely could be simulated by the CR. In my opinion, the best way to simulate something would be to do it as close to the real thing as possible. I understand that users don't want to have any reverb sometimes, so the close and distant miking should be done in a fairly dry room. Then, by balancing these two, adding the reverb wanted, it should give a convincing result. The demos I've heard from VSL are very impressing in every aspect expect for the depth definition.

You didn't read my previous post properly (or it's a language thing - English isn't my mother tongue, as you may have guessed  :-) ...)

What the main microphone in an orchestral recording picks up is 90 or more percent room reflections. These reflections are coming from sources which are "dry" by definition (as an instrument isn't a room in our sense of the word - well, maybe with the exception of an organ).

This room signal is what MIR is all about. Mix in the dry signal to the "proper" amount  - which is always more a question of aesthetics than pure science, to my experience - and you are right there. The feeling for "distance" is built-in.

Of course we are in the virtual world, so we have to deal with side-effects that wouldn't occur in reality, so all we can do is to betray the human ear as skillfully as pissible. :-) MIR is still brandnew, so we yet have to gain mastership.

Kind regards,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Feb 24 2010 10:43
by Sergino Futurino
Joined on Thu, Dec 18 2003, Italy, Posts 652
muziksculp wrote:

So, does MIR actually help improve the actual timbre of the currently available VSL strings libraries ?  (i.e. offer rich, natural, and warm strings timbre) ?  I personally don't think so. 

If VSL thinks that MIR is the ultimate solution to improve the current VSL strings, I would love to hear a few demos that prove that this is actually possible. So far I'm NOT convinced.

 

 A friend of mine who's a professional classical player came to my home a week ago and told me that VSL+MIR is the most convincing orchestra mock-up tool till now.

In a world where somebody says that old LP are better than 24bit/98K digital recording, that is a big success for the Vienna Team.

If you don't like it, you may go for the real thing and nobody will argue with you. I think that every man prefer a beatiful girl instead of a video of herGeeked, even if is a 3D movie.

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Posted on Wed, Feb 24 2010 14:58
by Jann
Joined on Sat, Jan 18 2003, Posts 50

 

Sergino Futurino wrote:

I think that every man prefer a beatiful girl instead of a video of herGeeked, even if is a 3D movie.

For a moment there I thought I read "I think that every man prefers a beautiful girl instead of the wife he got"...Sleep

Posted on Wed, Feb 24 2010 17:28
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 448
Sergino Futurino wrote:

 A friend of mine who's a professional classical player came to my home a week ago and told me that VSL+MIR is the most convincing orchestra mock-up tool till now.

In a world where somebody says that old LP are better than 24bit/98K digital recording, that is a big success for the Vienna Team.

Thanks for the feedback. 

Hearing is believing !   That's the only way to prove that VSL + MIR is the ultimate sounding virtual orchestra solution on the market.  

If (VSL + MIR) can offer the type of string sounds I'm eager to hear, I would buy it instantly. The real issue is that non of the audio demos have been able to deliver that rich, and warm, strings timbre I'm seeking. I'm also aware that there is no way we are going to be able to compete with real string players when using samples, but the closer we get to that animated, lively, warm,  singing, and rich timbre sound, the more convinced I will be that VSL + MIR can do the job.  

IMHO,  VSL woodwinds, and brass, timbres, are much better sounding than VSL's strings timbre, so I'm hoping that VSL might have some future plans, to offer a line of new ' improved ' Strings libraries (2nd generation VSL strings ) one of these days. So far there is no sign of this happening, but who knows, they might decide to do so one of these days.  On the other hand, if I do finally hear that jaw dropping VSL strings audio demo, I will put this argument to rest. 

Cheers.

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