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Extended techniques
Last post Mon, Feb 11 2013 by Casiquire, 18 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Feb 25 2011 01:01
by A871
Joined on Thu, Feb 04 2010, Posts 67
Hi everyone,

being new to vsl, and trying it's sounds with the exploration kit, I'll have to say...what a collection!
I have not yet figured out which collections to buy, but don't be afraid I'm not going to ask your advise :)
Seems like enough people already did on this forum :)

I was wondering if there are more people like me who would like to see a VSL "contemporary techniques" library.
There are a lot of modern scores (for example Ligeti/penderecki etc) that ask for sounds/effects that are not yet sampled by vsl.
Some ideas :)


-harmonic tremolo (used quite a lot)
-sub ponticello (behind the bridge!)
-pizz. sul ponticello and pizz. sul tasto
-harmonic pizz.
-fingernail pizz. (buzz pizz.)
-harmonic trills
-chromatical recorded open strings! (for use with fiddle or scordatura)
-silent tapping of the strings, without the use of the bow
-bowing the tailpiece
-soundboard knocks and taps
-overpressure of the bow, scratching noises


-keynoises for more instruments
-blowing through mouthpiece/reed
-helicopter (bassoon)
-breath/air noises
-uncorrected harmonics of natural horn
-natural horn :)

Many of these sounds don't need to be sampled for every single instrument, because the sounding result (effect) is often quite the same. So it should be possible.

Thanks for reading my humble post!

p.s.: except for brass mutes, a recorder-collection would be extremely nice :)

Posted on Fri, Feb 25 2011 01:41
by civilization 3
Joined on Sat, May 16 2009, SF Bay Area, Posts 1631

I am more than interested. There is next-to-nothing out there, so VSL will own this share of the market. I don't guess it's tiny either.

MacBook Pro 15,1: 2.9 GHz 6-core i9
32GB 2400MHz DDR4
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Posted on Fri, Feb 25 2011 15:18
by J.Hall
Joined on Tue, Sep 28 2010, Sweden, Posts 67
I agree that this would be very nice to have. I think there is "cluster" samples for flute ensemble, oboe ensemble etc. in VSL but to be honest clusters doesn't get you very far in modern scores. Most of your suggestions seem possible to sample but I can imagine there's a lot of problems to adress. For example, the point with much of contemporary techniques is getting a random effect and the possibility to randomize with samples is pretty limited. Like most cluster samples (in my opinion) that exists in a lot of libraries it could end up with superficial cliché versions of the techniques. It would probably be easier to do something like this with technology like the one in Synful Orchestra which doesn't rely on samples but digital "formulas", or whatever it's called. :)
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Posted on Fri, Feb 25 2011 16:32
by A871
Joined on Thu, Feb 04 2010, Posts 67
I don't think clusters are a problem, with the new VI PRO you can humanize all voices independent to get a realistic result.

I know that a lot of scores indeed ask for a random effect. For example multiphonics seldom sound the same when played on different instruments, but it would be nice to have a sort of database of these sounds. Round-robin could bring the solution. Vsl is already using this technique to get variations with repetitions and other shorter samples. Or the samples could be mapped chromatically according to the fundamental, or the most prominent sounding tone (in case of the multiphonics).

Sounds like knocks on the soundboard only ask for 10 short recordings (round-robin) with 1 or 2 velocity layers.
Air noises/blowing through reeds need even less samples.
Sounds of open strings and tapping the string without the bow ask for a traditional way of recording.
I think everything can be done with the use of samples, but maybe that's just me :)

I appreciate all ideas!
Posted on Sat, Feb 26 2011 16:25
by stephank
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Berlin, Posts 80

I hope this is not against any forum rules (if it is just remove this mail), but as ong as VSL does not offer any extendet techniques I would suggest the IRCAM solo instruments by UVI.

I work with it and think that it is pretty usefull. I use it a lot togetzer with the VSL samples and it blends more or less good (the VSL samples are (of course) on a different, much higher level).



Posted on Sat, Feb 26 2011 21:09
by A871
Joined on Thu, Feb 04 2010, Posts 67
Thank you for the tip! They sound really nice, although i could image vsl doing a better job, it's nice to know that such a library exists. It would be so great if you could import third-party samples in vi Pro :) Vi pro is by far the best sample-player in the world. Anyway, thanks for your reply!
Posted on Sun, Feb 27 2011 10:24
by A871
Joined on Thu, Feb 04 2010, Posts 67
this is a review I've read somewhere, it ain't very positive, I still hope VSL will get their hand on this one day, anyway here's the review:...

Overall the UVI seems to work but there are three major concerns.

1. The UVI seems to have a custom keyswitching system which is clearly an essential function. The bad thing is that it doesn't work. The ready-made KS patches do what is expected, but I can't get the UVI to change between normal patches. I can set up the keyswitches but pressing them won't change the articulation.

2. The UVI uses twice the memory for loading the same articulation twice.

3. The UVI doesn't seem to have any kind of scripting facilities which means that the IRCAM Solo Instruments is the only classical library I have that doesn't have any sophisticated means of connecting notes. VSL has sampled legato, PLAY and Kontakt use scripts. The UVI doesn't seem to offer either.


It includes string, woodwind and brass instruments plus guitar and accordeon. Total of sixteen instruments.

There are some nice effects that aren't available in any other library (as far as I know).

The quality of recording and playing is good. There's some noise in the quiet articulations.

The manual includes a part about notating the effects which is by far the coolest feature of this library.


It's extremely shallow. I haven't found any round robins which is a big thing. This library is a machine gun construction kit, not a musical instrument. Other than that the basic articulations work but they aren't much compared to the quality offered by the big players. Some effect patches have only a single sample. There's three notes in 'Tuba Cuivre'. Three! There's only one ascending and one descending chromatic run per instrument in one dynamic and tempo. I mean one, not one per key. Flute multiphonics has 32 different samples, oboe multiphonics has almost the full keyboard mapped but most of the samples sound alike. The library has only the basic winds, not even bass clarinet, contrabassoon, english horn or piccolo.

Reverb is on by default in every patch.

Overall I'm disappointed. Most likely it will get some use and with some luck I might even get my money's worth but it's no bargain. I don't know how much using the name of IRCAM or the musicians costs but I feel that the bang-for-the-buck ratio is rather low for this library.
Posted on Sun, Feb 27 2011 10:26
by A871
Joined on Thu, Feb 04 2010, Posts 67

could you reply if the issues in this review are true.
I'm most worried about the key-switching problem.

Posted on Sun, Mar 06 2011 17:11
by stephank
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Berlin, Posts 80

Hi A871,

sorr for my late answer. 

The point with the key-switches is not true. I use  the library with complete customysed instruments and keyswitches. It works fine and relyable. 

I didnt cared much about point 2.

Point 3 is right in some way, but this library was never ment to be another standrd instrument library. It´s just about extended techniques and it is pretty usefull in this way.

Hope that helps,


Posted on Thu, Mar 10 2011 02:55
by sibeliusmusic
Joined on Mon, Feb 09 2009, Brooklyn, Posts 19
I vote yes! The more comprehensive the collection, the more useful it becomes.
Posted on Fri, Mar 11 2011 15:30
by zentrumsounds
Joined on Sat, Jan 03 2009, Posts 152
Just to point out that I also have been using UVI IRCAM as a crutch for VSL's shortcomings in the contemporary articulation dept. It's not a great software sampler and in Vienna Ensemble it does some very weird things (like when two articulations are played simultaneously they share the sample data causing some weird stuttering). Also, I've not managed to get it to react to hairpins which I must get around to sorting out!. However i do have an extensive list of exceptions in the playback devices which allow me to access the UVI via notehead changes and other technique commands. Used in conjunction with some algorithmic orchestration tools it is VERY useful. However if VSL were to create an added library of extended techniques I would be VERY happy to purchase.
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Posted on Fri, Mar 11 2011 15:44
by A871
Joined on Thu, Feb 04 2010, Posts 67
zentrumsounds wrote:
However if VSL were to create an added library of extended techniques I would be VERY happy to purchase.

So would I :)

P.S.: Thank you Stephan for your reply!
Posted on Sat, Mar 19 2011 17:24
by jbm
Joined on Fri, Jan 16 2004, Posts 1150


This has been on my wish list for years, literally.


Posted on Tue, Mar 22 2011 15:22
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5443
A871 wrote:
was wondering if there are more people like me who would like to see a VSL "contemporary techniques" library. There are a lot of modern scores (for example Ligeti/penderecki etc) that ask for sounds/effects that are not yet sampled by vsl.

I agree completely and think this would be one of the most important additions to the VSL library.  It would be good for purely artistic reasons, but also when you consider how effective these techniques can be in film scoring, it would be very valuable to film/TV composers.  Also, since VSL has made a point of being as complete as possible with articulations, it would make sense to include the more modern ones as well as the traditional.

Posted on Tue, Mar 22 2011 19:20
by Erik
Joined on Sat, Nov 20 2004, The Netherlands, Posts 144


This might not be the right place for mentioning other products than VSL, but given the subject of missing sounds in the VSL library I would like to make an exception here. I didn't see any words about two companies involved in effects/multiphonics yet.

As far as I know 'Xsamples' (German company) has made some fine patches for contemporary music (all solo strings and most woodwind instruments).
Please check out their demo page (very nicely done with a score view!) if you are interested in effects and multiphonics etc..
If unsure you can write them if they offer exactly what you maybe searching for.

Also Westgate Studios (apparently they have quitted their independent business and their products are for sale via BigFishAudio). Most of their woodwinds and horns (rips etc.) also have some contemporary patches. Not very many, but however.....

To the moderator of this forum: just delete this contribution if you think that this VSL forum isn't the right place indeed for these other products. I am a dedicated user of many of your superb VSL products; if VSL would have offered contemporary sounds as mentioned hereabove this topic didn't exist anyway......(just another hint!!)


Posted on Tue, Mar 22 2011 20:37
by A871
Joined on Thu, Feb 04 2010, Posts 67
Hello Eric,

actually I own the Xsample library. It's very nice. However, it doesn't include all instruments. There are no brass instruments or saxophones. Furthermore, kontakt hasn't got the possibilities of VI pro. It's the integration of contemporary techniques in VI pro I'm particularly interested in.
Posted on Mon, Feb 11 2013 16:38
by clruwe
Joined on Sat, May 07 2011, Posts 100

It would be nice to hear from the people at VSL if this is something that's on their minds...

Running Windows 7 (64bit), I7 with 24GB of RAM
Posted on Mon, Feb 11 2013 18:09
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325
Recently, a competing string library came out with "aleatoric" strings, which is essentially done by controlled detuning. VSL doesn't advertise this but you can easily do the same with their library in VI Pro by setting the humanization to different levels of detuning and fading that in and out. I wonder how many other odd effects the libraries are already capable of.
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