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VSL Divisi / Dimension Strings
Last post Sun, Dec 04 2011 by SJSF, 62 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Sep 12 2011 22:32
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Posts 498

Oh, and I forgot to mention... I've played the cello a bit (a LONG time ago in a...) and recently I've purchased a violin and started to play a bit. Yeah, a lot more work for the cello to get the same effect, imo anyway.

-Sean

Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 00:27
by Vincent M
Joined on Sat, Jul 02 2011, Posts 205
So if it's just that, what's the matter? If i want to play C E G, i take solo violon 1 to play C, an other solo violon 1 to play E, and a last solo violon to play G. Wouldn't that give the same result as ''automatic'' divisi strings?
Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 00:36
by Vincent M
Joined on Sat, Jul 02 2011, Posts 205
Ha ok, i think i understand... If VSL orchestral strings were divisi, and i take the violion ensemble. I could play them as a group, or play them individually. So it would not be solo 1 + solo 1 + solo 1, but solo 1 + solo 2 + solo 3. Am i correct? But if there was a DIMENSION string... WHAT about solo strings??? Would they not be useless? There will only be Strings, Brass, ect, and no separate solo and ensemble instruments?
Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 00:48
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Posts 498

First, you can't just use a solo violin multiple times. This results in a "phased" sound. That's complicated so I'll stay away from explaining that. But another problem is the fact that you have the same performer and the same violin playing everything. Although ideally it may sound like it would work, it doesn't. If you loaded 34 of the same violin to try and build a section you would get a sound that isn't very realistic.

If you have a full string section, but record it in a way that you can use an individual portion for divisi, then you can both have divisi and also use them all together for the lush sound of a full string section. This doesn't just provide realism in sound and in divisi-bility but also realism in being able to adjust the timing of each section to be slightly 'off'. The key to emulating human performance is imperfection. By adjusting muliple sections, or each instrument individually to start at slightly different times, one can control the 'loose' or 'tightness' of the performance. Composers may intentionally want an extremely loose performance. DVZ has developed a system that accomplishes these things very well. I would like to see something equal or superior from VSL and recorded with VSL quality in recording methods and performance.

But at very least, VSL users definitely want divisi and a Violin II. Doubling Violin I samples as a Violin II section comes with the same problems I mentioned before.

-Sean

Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 01:03
by Vincent M
Joined on Sat, Jul 02 2011, Posts 205
Thank you iscore. I know that i can use the trick to raise by 1 chromatic tone the same note of identical sample and after that correct the pitch int the VI. It would broke the phasing issue... BUT it would be the same sample, and at high volume of instruments with this technique i guess it shows quickly it's limits... But if there is a DIMENSION VSL string, what about the solo strings? They would be useless... No? Thank you.
Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 02:50
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Posts 498

The Solo strings would still have uses. First, as a simple solo instrument for solo passages. Second, as a 'first chair' performer. The first chair performer adds to the realism in more than one way. a) the position of a first chair player, with the solo sound in that place... this makes it sound more real as this is your strongest performer and having this sound come through now and then adds to that realism. b) The 'sound coming through' part is especially true, but not just as a first chair. I use the cello and bass solo's all the time to have more dymanic change in a phrase. A little less unified, less in tune, looser timed- for a moment now and then where it adds to the performance or adds some imperfection.

This may sound a little redundant, it's hard to word how I view it from my own template. I have solo, chamber, orchestral, and app (what I own of them anyway) loaded at all times. I actually have everything I own from VSL loaded at all times. This way I can create the most fluid performance possible, the most controllable, and the most realistic.

Another support for the need of divisi... many of us do these things, BUT divisi would certainly save a LOT of time in this regard. Much less time for much more realism. The more I talk about it the more I can't wait! Crying

-Sean

Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 04:34
by noldar12
Joined on Thu, Dec 04 2008, Posts 582

Vincent, by using that trick, you are actually using a different sample... for example, the samples for D4 and D#4 (with the trick, sounding as D4).  By using a slightly different EQ or some other technique, in addition to different panning the II violins can then be made to sound slightly different from the I violins.  Not ideal, but it certainly works.  Overall, the issue of II violins comes up from time to time, but based on VSL's responses, the creation of a II violin section seems highly unlikely.

As for solo strings, in addition to "first chair" there is still the world of string quartets, piano trios, solo concertos, and all other sorts of solos, sonatas, and chamber music where solo instruments are called for: septets, octets, etc.

Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 10:18
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Posts 498
noldar12 wrote:

Not ideal, but it certainly works.  Overall, the issue of II violins comes up from time to time, but based on VSL's responses, the creation of a II violin section seems highly unlikely.

No offense, but I think you're way off on this point. First, it's not just 'not ideal', but it isn't even as workable as people suggest. A cheat is still nothing but a cheat, and with it comes problems. Timbre and player performance, even in sections, is still something noticable. Finer ears hear problems with such 'cheating' methods.

The main reason why though, may not even be for it's uses but simply the high demand. Everyone is begging for divisi and Violin II. If VSL indeed comes out with a new string library, I can assure you that I myself would not buy it if those two requirements were not met. Most other users would probably agree. Why buy new if we already have the same 'limited' supply right now? If VSL comes out with a new library, and a divisi one at that... it most certainly will need a Violin II to please users. Not to mention, it would be highly un-competing to say 'Wow EW, nice... you have divisi and the like..... yeah, but we'll stick with our limited playback abilities'. There's no logic behind that if VSL is trying to make money at all.

-Sean

Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 13:17
by cgernaey
Joined on Mon, Apr 04 2005, Detroit-Michigan, Posts 1029

Obviously what I say means nothing because I don't work for nor have any inside knowledge of VSL, however I will say this.  There is absolutely no way you could convince me in any way that VSL hasn't already thought about what you're saying about Divisi strings.  There is just no one who could convince me that they would waste their time recording unbelievable amounts of hours of recording time with so many string players and decide to ignore the few key things they left out last time.  They like you and me learn from experiences and when have they not always come through with something that is breaking the walls down on other companies?  VE Pro first did it, then VI Pro is just astounding.  There is no other word for it, Kontakt doesn't even touch VI Pro.  Nothing I use does.  It completely brought life back into every VSL sample I own and made me much more efficient and professional sounding with minimal learning curve.  Look at MIR.  Look at the new Divisi Brass!  Is this not a clue they are listening, learning and keeping up with the times?  The problem is you're most likely not going to hear anything about them or when they will be released.  They could be ready next month, or maybe they are still "making an outline" of things they need to accomplish.  Everything is speculation at this point but don't think for one second that they will allow themselves to drop their reputation and just "stick it to their users" and let other companies take over the entire market.

So many people complain (including I myself used to) that VSL strings are so hard to make sound real and to give proper space.  I like many got so dam brain washed and obsessed with that idea that I actually started believing it.  Now a days I take a recording of a piece I love and it takes absolutely no time what so ever to get that same string sound or so close that any non-super-critical ear would believe they are the same.  Sure it took getting over the learning curve but now I can make a sound almost anyone would love from scratch within 60 seconds.  I can load some samples, change settings and add a couple effects in less then 60 seconds guarenteed that are aww inspiring in sound and great for atleast laying down a workable track that can be further worked later.

All the other libraries I own sound beautiful out of the box but are so washed in reverb that I am finding now the better I get at this, the more UNUSEFUL those samples are.  There are only so many places you can use massive string sections drowned in reverb I don't care how good they sound when you are plunking chords in realtime.  They are sloppy, slow responding and minimally useful for anything other then layering here and there.  I suppose for writing video game music they are great, but for true music they really limit you and lock you into one sound.  Just last night, I was layering a bunch of strings (not mentioning the competitors) and as I was enabling tracks and disabling tracks I finally said oh hell yes that's the stuff right there!!  I had told myself sure enough, these 3 companies go amazing together.  It was then, that I looked up and realized I had messed up and not actually had the competitors going at all.  What I had was VSL chamber blended with VSL solo strings with a pinch of orchestral just to increase the section size when increasing the velocity xfade (but only a small amount).  I played a live performance CD and my strings were so accurate with the real recording that I don't care how good you think you are, I have perfect pitch and those strings belnded so perfectly into the recording that I had to stop playing because I didn't believe my samples were working.  It was scary accurate.  Hearing the difference with their new Divisi Brass section, I can't imagine what their Divisi Strings would sound like when they are done.

I am every bit as excited as you trust me lol.  I try not to think of it because if I do, it will just create a reason to have an excuse that attempts to justify why it is I can't do something.  I can simply blame VSL for something that is already achievable, just takes a little effort.  So when are those strings coming out :P :).

Maestro2be

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Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 16:24
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Posts 498
cgernaey wrote:
They like you and me learn from experiences and when have they not always come through with something that is breaking the walls down on other companies?  VE Pro first did it, then VI Pro is just astounding.  There is no other word for it, Kontakt doesn't even touch VI Pro.  Nothing I use does.

Amen!

I initially wasn't going to reply to your post, but I just have to make a correction to some of my previous statements on other threads, concerning a point you made. I agree and disagree with the point of 'how much time it takes' to get results.

If I'm composing, I tend to get distracted if the playback isn't at least 'right enough' that it gets the idea across. This takes time and I often loose interest and let myself get unproductive. I realize that this is more about me than VSL. But I think a lot of other users get this way. I think that decent playback results out of the box help in this regard. At the same time, I don't mind fine-tuning my finished products and getting the right sound, after the fact. So in the sense that it really doesn't take long to get amazing sound, this is true when I'm going over a peice. In the composing mindset, I can't stand listening to something that is far too 'off' to ignore, and I don't want to have to take the time now just to get a semi-intended result. I want to put it down, have as close to a real player performance as possible, then move on and continue. Although this may seem too 'picky' to some, it is obviously plays into many users 'creative workflow' which can have a huge impact on the user. So I think it's important to push VSL to aiding us in the 'quick results' features (like humanize, divisi, etc) - but on the other side of the coin, it really isn't that bad in the long run. I think most of these problems come from how much work for realism it takes during workflow, as I've just said... but I'd add by saying that I think most users don't mind the work it takes to fine-tune in the end. Believable performance now, fine-tuned or 'the desired performance style and expressive qualities' later... my problem is when I have to take too much time for real performance now. I can live with the amount of time it takes to fine-tune (but of course, any time saving there is necessary also) but just to get a believable performance, should take as little time as possible.

Hopefully that made sense. Anyway, I was hoping that my 'how long would it take' question would get answered. I was trying to be as general as possible in my initial post. Does anyone know how long the Orchestral String library took from planning through editing?

-Sean

Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 16:52
by noldar12
Joined on Thu, Dec 04 2008, Posts 582

Sean, understand that I really would also like a 2nd violin section.  IMO, it is one of the rare areas where VSL is behind some of its main competitors.  My comments were made simply to indicate VSL's ongoing response, and that it likely will not happen.

Posted on Tue, Sep 13 2011 17:37
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Posts 498

lol, I worried that I came off a bit harsh. It wasn't intended. I just think that at this point, with everyone else providing what users are demanding... and with VSL having an even better track record (imo anyway) then VSL would make the biggest mistake as a company by not producing something of equal or greater value to its users. Even then, I'd even argue that VSL would be crazy if they didn't try to far exceed DVZ, Spitfire, EW, and any other decent sounding and flexible library out there.

Now that I remember, I actually saw a post from a VSL guy saying that things were in the works. It was as non-committing and non-answering as possible...other than that VSL records new samples every day and that 'things are in motion', and the topic matter was divisi. So in my eyes... and yes I might be a bit dillusional... VSL is most certainly coming out with a Divisi product, and I will most certainly be selling my soul for it! lol  (and going broke most likely, but I'd sell half of the crap I have just to buy it Crying as it is in every way the most crucial 'missing link' in my library right now.

-Sean

Posted on Sun, Oct 16 2011 22:01
by mpower88
Joined on Thu, Aug 12 2004, Posts 727

VSL has certainly spoiled everyone, and pushed virtual instruments forward a great deal. I don't think other libraries would be as good as they are if it weren't for VSL pushing the envelope and demanding the highest standard.

If they do a "dimension strings" I wonder if it will be "dimension strings 1+2" and "appassionata dimensions 1+2"? Hope so that would be good!

Being able to have true divisi in a virtual instrument is the next logical progression...

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Posted on Mon, Oct 17 2011 23:22
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 404

Will VSL offer any NEW & IMPROVED Strings in the near future ?

That's the 6 million $ question  Confused 

So far.... NOTHING Hmm

Posted on Tue, Oct 18 2011 08:23
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
muziksculp wrote:

Will VSL offer any NEW & IMPROVED Strings in the near future ?

That's the 6 million $ question  Confused 

So far.... NOTHING Hmm

 

I'm sure at some point they will. However, if you mean "will they record them in a barn with an acoustic tail of 6 years/", then I'm sure they won't.. Wink

DG

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Posted on Tue, Oct 18 2011 18:20
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 404

As long as they don't record them in their famous 'Silent Stage' they will sound good !

No barn is needed Wink. Just a lively, rich,and warm sounding room instead of the dead, poor, and cold sounding Silent Stage.

Posted on Tue, Oct 18 2011 19:16
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
muziksculp wrote:

As long as they don't record them in their famous 'Silent Stage' they will sound good !

No barn is needed Wink. Just a lively, rich,and warm sounding room instead of the dead, poor, and cold sounding Silent Stage.

 

Nothing wrong with the Silent Stage. It must be your bad programming or bad mixing. Party!!!

Seriously, the only thing that needs to be improved is the playing. Not to say that it is bad, but there needs to be vibrato control, at the very least, in order to make the libraries up to date, and less anemic sound from the Orchestral Strings. There is nothing "wrong" with any of the patches apart from the legato and sustains. The vibrato patches in Chamber Strings Collection work really well for cross fading, so if this was available on the Orchestral Strings and also less vibrato on the Appassionata (sort of defeats the object....!) then the VSL string libraries would still be top notch. Even now there is nothing that I prefer out there from any of the other developers.

DG

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Posted on Tue, Oct 18 2011 21:21
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Posts 498
DG wrote:
Seriously, the only thing that needs to be improved is the playing. Not to say that it is bad, but there needs to be vibrato control, at the very least, in order to make the libraries up to date, and less anemic sound from the Orchestral Strings.

Agreed! There is absolutely nothing wrong with the silent stage at all. It's like all of mixing. You make it dead to start, so that you have the flexibility to do whatever you want later. If people aren't getting a warm sound, then they are mixing it wrong. While other libraries might give you warm from the start... you are stuck with THAT warm and you have far less control.

What most VSL users want is more Vibrato control, more articulations, improvements on previous offerings (whether cross fade issues, legato improvements or anything else), and a more flexible library for realism. I think if VSL offered a bit of DVZ style control, it would be nice. I picture a tab next to the matrix tab, that has things like 'looser' among the divisi sections (for legato, pizz, stac, etc) so that we don't have to adjust timings on everything to get a good sound. While VSL has loose patches, it's one thing to have loose vs tight, where DVZ has complete control here. Maybe VSL won't do this, and obviously not necessarily how I've thought it out- but flexibility and realism are key. Vibrato, looseness, more options to sound like a real orchestra, etc.

I would take all of that well before a warmer sound, even if I liked that sound. I could have a sound that was 100 times better to start, but if it wasn't flexible enough that I could write notes and get that performance... what's the point? Want amazing sound? Hire an orchestra. What to compose, arrange, fill in gaps, orchestrate, and demo on a computer? That's what libraries are really all about- not replacing people, but giving us what we just don't have the resources for in every day use... all of course, imvho. Wink

-Sean

Posted on Tue, Oct 18 2011 21:56
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608

iscorefilm wrote:
I think if VSL offered a bit of DVZ style control, it would be nice. I picture a tab next to the matrix tab, that has things like 'looser' among the divisi sections (for legato, pizz, stac, etc) so that we don't have to adjust timings on everything to get a good sound. While VSL has loose patches, it's one thing to have loose vs tight, where DVZ has complete control here. Maybe VSL won't do this, and obviously not necessarily how I've thought it out- but flexibility and realism are key. Vibrato, looseness, more options to sound like a real orchestra, etc.

-Sean

 

Unfortunately the DVZ approach doesn't work. Recording violinists two by two does not sound like a violin section when put together. It is a nice idea, but a failure in execution. If it was possible to reverse engineer the difference between that approach and a section all recorded at the same time, it would have merit, but so far there has been no progress on this matter. Things may change in the future, as more and more modelling becomes mainstream, but I think that this is a while away.

DG 

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
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Posted on Tue, Oct 18 2011 22:42
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1055
DG wrote:

Recording violinists two by two does not sound like a violin section when put together. 

DG 

As juxtaposing/doubling the same Violins I (giving them a different line, panning them) doesn't make them sound like a Violins II section (tweaking them electronically just makes them weird). I believe it's time the major companies consider putting some money together and record some musicians again. The expectations today are not the ones of 2002 or 5.

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