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Demo Suggestion Which Will Probably Come Off Snippy...
Last post Thu, Apr 11 2013 by Suntower, 20 replies.
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Posted on Sat, Mar 30 2013 07:27
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

But when did that ever stop me.

I've been listening to yer competitor Spitfire. They have good products. They have an even better marketing campaign, IMHO. But what really catches my ear are their demos. Frankly, they are more contemporary and generally 'hipper' in the sense that most of them are in this vague Britten/Copland rip-off that has been the prevailing style for 'indie' movies over the past decade. (Chamber Orch with piano up front is in like -every- 'sensitive' movie since 'The Piano'.)

It took me a long time to decide on Chamber Strings... and I -agonized- about Dimension... mainly because the demos just weren't in that wheelhouse. I had to really -imagine- it. I know this'll come off as snotty, but from a marketing standpoint just listen to their demos... they're much more in line with what is 'happening'  (oddly enough by being so 'square') I have no interest in their products... just making a marketing suggestion. (In fact, underneath the cool marketing, they're pretty vague on -detailed product information-... something VSL -excels- at providing.)

Of course, adding 2nd violins to C/S couldn't hurt! :D (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Best,

---JC

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
Posted on Sat, Mar 30 2013 17:55
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325
I think the reason VSL doesn't care to make their demos fit that style is because VSL and Spitfire have two different target audiences. VSL is the type of product that you HAVE to "imagine" in every sense. It's a thousand times more versatile, which means that you can get whatever kind of sound you want but you have to work for it, whereas Spitfire is made to have a very particular sound out-of-the-box that they don't expect anybody to try to alter. Also while VSL can produce a great cinematic sound that really doesn't seem to be their target audience, and I'm more than OK with that.
Posted on Sun, Mar 31 2013 15:27
by Conquer
Joined on Thu, Sep 28 2006, Posts 812

Hi Suntower, I take your point. There does seem to be a standard way of approaching media music and most companies make it their priority to cater for that - but it is terribly limiting artistically. VSL's creative "Here's every imaginable detail of an orchestra, now get on with it" approach may be their best selling point. And though it might sound silly, those that want "instant push-button movie score" may find the Vienna samples too deeply musical for their needs.

Posted on Sun, Mar 31 2013 18:53
by noldar12
Joined on Thu, Dec 04 2008, Posts 582

I must admit that the VSL demos sold me on VSL.  The fact that VSL isn't another "Cinematic-wonderkind-perfect-trailer-or-film-score-out-of-the-box-follow-what-everyone-else-is-doing" library is exactly why I have put my limited funds into VSL. 

That companies have different target markets is fine.  What concerns me from time to time is when various suggestions are made that VSL retarget its methods to look, and sound, like most everyone else.  While there is money in the film end, hence the emphasis of so many, that is only one very small slice of the total musical world.  That VSL can be used in so many different ways is its great strength, a strength much - though not all - of the competition cannot match.

Posted on Sun, Mar 31 2013 20:22
by mschmitt
Joined on Mon, Jan 01 2007, Posts 154

One thing I wish VSL would do with their audio demos would be to also have a pdf of the score with each articulation used labeled over the staves. This would give potential buyers a very good way to know exactly what they are buying and to see how powerfull their libraries really are.

I'm not suggesting they do this with every audio demo! But maybe just one short piece for each library that really hilights all of the different articulations, without any other libraries being used. Just a suggestion, but I think it would be very helpful for composers looking to buy virtual instruments. Especially because here in the midwest there are no stores that have VSL instruments set up for customers to demo.

Full Cube and lots of other stuff
Posted on Wed, Apr 03 2013 06:10
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

I avoided Spitfire precisely it =was= a 'orchestra in a box'. But little by little they are fleshing it out and my guess is that they'll get to a similar destination... albeit from a different direction. I just think a lot of the VSL demos are slightly dated. Making a good 1st impression doesn't -necessarily- imply 'shallow'.

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
Posted on Thu, Apr 04 2013 11:23
by Arbee
Joined on Sun, Sep 18 2011, Posts 78

I've often wondered too if VSL's demos are doing these libraries full justice. The demos are great, just not heavily produced like some. However, and it's a big however, with VSL I get the product I heard in the demo - not so much with some other libraries. Please don't think I'm singling out Spitfire (I have their percussion library and quite like it), but with some libraries I feel like I'm paying for a great room sound and getting free samples that sound OK but not spectacular under close mic scrutiny. IMHO VSL+MIR blows them out of the water.

Posted on Thu, Apr 04 2013 15:52
by MacDude
Joined on Thu, Jun 04 2009, UK, Posts 60
mschmitt wrote:

One thing I wish VSL would do with their audio demos would be to also have a pdf of the score with each articulation used labeled over the staves. This would give potential buyers a very good way to know exactly what they are buying and to see how powerfull their libraries really are.

I'm not suggesting they do this with every audio demo! But maybe just one short piece for each library that really hilights all of the different articulations, without any other libraries being used. Just a suggestion, but I think it would be very helpful for composers looking to buy virtual instruments. Especially because here in the midwest there are no stores that have VSL instruments set up for customers to demo.

+1 Great idea, especially for those who aren't as 'educated' to the whole array of articulations and playing styles such as myself Angel

EDIT: Can i also add, there's a large market of potential buyers out there who stay away from VSL products because it's viewed as the 'Elite' of sample libraries. Which is by no means a bad thing. "Only the pros' use it because they know what they're doing". Very much how Pro Tools used to be seen. Mschmitt's suggestion would not only displell the 'VSL' myth but also more importantly, educate which is never a bad thing.

Mac Pro 5,1 OS X 10.13.6 12 Core 3.46GHz 48gb RAM
Cubase Pro 10.5
Mac Mini i7 running VEP 6 .5 Pro
MacPro 2,2 2 x 3Ghz running VEP 6.5 Pro
Posted on Thu, Apr 04 2013 17:45
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1788
mschmitt wrote:
One thing I wish VSL would do with their audio demos would be to also have a pdf of the score with each articulation used labeled over the staves. This would give potential buyers a very good way to know exactly what they are buying and to see how powerfull their libraries really are.

Hello mschmitt

In the early days we often got a midifile with the keyswitches for the pieces. Nowadays we have such a lot of possibilities to arrange our ViennaInstrument that a midifile isn't really a help without a lot of additional papers and instructions.

Yes, I agree that this could be a help: A piece with a pdf + the articulations...

...such as this?

And the music... http://www.vsl.co.at/en/211/442/412/356/608/378.htm

(originally for English-Horn1, adapted for EH2 and Altoflute)

So - why VSL doesn't offer such PDFs? I don't know.

Why don't users (old hands as I am) offer such PDFs?

1. It is quite a bit of work and...

2. It has probably taken some hundreds (thousends?) of hours to get top results with the samples. So keep in mind that this is a precious knowledge which you don't offer for free. More, if you are using these abilities for earning money you are interested in to keep the seecrets for yourself.

I also see some potential in the future for VSL-demos:

A) It was a good decission to use a professional composer for producing demos (Guy Bacos) for VSL. His demos are excellent. Nevertheless, most of the demos get and got now the sound of Guy. In the early days we had a lot of different mixings, music stiles of a lot of composers and mixers. They all showed in a postive way what the samples are able to produce. So the advantage of one good composer is a disadvantage in the meantime in my eyes.

B) Following point A) the demos of Guy are all mixed in the same way - by Guy - which isn't wrong actually. Unfortunately, most of the demos are produced with MIR (which is clear in a way) so the demos sound even more the same way. 

Summing up A) and B):

Excellent demos, but all of them are knit from one pattern more or less.

So demos don't really show the hudge possibilities you could have with the (dry) VSL-Samples also depending on different mixes.

What to do?

  • More demos with simple melodies + PDF with samples (as you are demanding for)
  • Demos (melodies), once played dry, once played within MIR, once played with SUITE
  • Demos, composed by Guy, mixed by Dietz or other members of VSL (to get a more different bandwith of sounds)
  • Demo, once mixed in MIR, once mixed with the SUITE
  • ...

Further:

Fact is, when I'm interested in the Dimension Strings I would like to know how they sound pure - without any effect and how the sound after I use a common reverb for example.

Currently I just get fantastic Dimension Sounds, even mixed with other strings, with MIR, with... I don't know...

So here is some potential as well - I believe.

All the best

Beat Kaufmann

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Fri, Apr 05 2013 01:38
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5726

I totally disagree with this post of Beat kaufmann.  There is no "secret" -  so Guy Bacos is keeping what he does a "secret"? That is ridiculous.  There is no secret to VSL - it is simply a sound called  the symphony orchestra.  That is provided by the detailed samples, and you can use it any way you want. You can experiment with weird new combinations, you can emulate old orchestrational practices, you can emulate a specifc composer, whatever.  So to say there is a "secret" is completely in error.

I have no desire to hide from people anything that ever sounded good in my music. Why?  To feel like a big shot?  I would feel small if I did that. If there are people who are actually doing that - they are seriously wrong, because what they believe is their secret is old news to anyone who has the same library.

Also, the conception that it is hard to make VSL sound good is absurd. It sounds incredibly good right out of the box.  Just load an instrument and play it. 

And Beat - you are wrong about using MIR - everything sounds the same? That is crazy.  The venues are radically different in the four roompacks, and create a completely different sound, instantly.  On top of that, you can tweak things if you want, and make more changes in the sound, and with the MIRacle additions there is even more variation.  So how you can think that MIR makes everything the same is beyond me. 

Posted on Fri, Apr 05 2013 02:09
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

This topic has gotten -far- more expansive than I intended. I don't
dislike the current demos. I just think they could use some fresh
partners. I happen to like the Spitfire demos and that's all I meant. No disrespect to Guy... whose sandals I am not fit to untie. That said, what constitutes 'creative' contemporary scoring is more John
Adams and Phillip Glass than Korngold or John Williams and all that 'epic' comic book movie crap.

I think some of 'the pros' here do not have enough empathy for the unwashed
masses. VSL -is- more difficult OOTB. If all you want is 'One Button 2001 MegaChord!' it's -way- easier with Symphobia. And frankly? That's all a -lot- of people want.. at least at the beginning. So there -is- a -steep- learning curve
compared with other libs. With great power and all that...  Now some people
take to it easily, just as some people have a quick facility with, say, notation or ear training. As a teacher, it took me -years- to not scream at students who didn't find some skill as 'easy' as I -thought- they should. I figured -everyone- was basically not paying attention.

In short, some have to -work- at 'getting' it and VSL should take all necessary steps to reach out to users with -copious- examples.

I have asked Guy for MIDI on a couple of demos and he has always been gracious (and prompt) in helping me out. Which is -insanely- gracious.

I agree with the above comment about the 'processed' quality of other libs... VSL is the unvarnished truth. -However-, it never hurts to give people a -little- of what they want.

I think VSL is perceived as elitist and I think that's to the company's detriment. All it does is push the new generation (which is generally -not- as schooled in 'traditional' music skills) further and further away; in effect just giving them over to the 'construction kits' of the world. Far better, IMHO, to do what colleges now do... provide as much -remedial- service as possible and thus show users 'hey, this ain't so bad!', rather than just saying, 'come back when you have the basic skills together.' All that does is lose people (permanently) to the 'phrase generators' of the world.

---JC

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
Posted on Fri, Apr 05 2013 03:17
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5726

Suntower wrote:
VSL -is- more difficult OOTB. If all you want is 'One Button 2001 MegaChord!' it's -way- easier with Symphobia. And frankly? That's all a -lot- of people want.. at least at the beginning.
 

that is bullshit.

What is difficult about loading an instrument and playing the sound it produces?  that is what you get out of the box in VSL.    It is people like you who are causing misunderstanding on the internet on a daily basis. 

VSL is the simplest to use way of playing orchestral samples I have ever encountered, and i have used most all of them.  The interface is totally intuitive.  It is for composers and musicians who want to create their own music.  That is NOT LIKE SYMPHOBIA which is someone else's music, all put into place.  The people looking into VSL are not looking for that -  generic scoring with no composer input.  You don't seem to get that.   So until you do, I won't respond anymore. By the way, I don't care if this went off topic because your original concept was very weak and, in fact, fallacious.

Posted on Fri, Apr 05 2013 03:24
by mschmitt
Joined on Mon, Jan 01 2007, Posts 154

Thanks Beat! That is exactly what I was thinking of. In order to get a realistic performace from a VSL instrument you really have to already know how to write for its acoustic counterpart. It's one thing to hear short excerpt of long and short detache runs, trills, repetitions etc... but I think that leaves the new potential customers wondering  "These all sound great but how well will they all sound together?" And it can be difficult to tell how well a single instrument sounds in an ensemble piece.

I do like that the samples are "dry" so you can mix them however you want with what ever fx you have or can afford. It might be nice to have as you suggested a short piece played dry, then with the suite, and then with MIR. (I love the suite, having all of the presets makes it so powerfull and easy to get great sounds, once I tried out the demo it was a no brainer that I would get it instead of the Waves Silver bundle.)

On a side note, I think I saw some posts awhile back that you were thinking about writing a book on midi orchestration, but decided not to. That's unfortunate because there is a real lack of good books on the subject, and I'd certainly buy your book if you wrote it.

Best wishes,

Michael

Full Cube and lots of other stuff
Posted on Fri, Apr 05 2013 09:33
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1788

Dear William

You don't need to agree with my statement. No problem. But when I read your answer I feel that I probably couldn't transfer my opinion the right way.

Unfortunately English isn't my mother tongue. Neither am I against the excellent demos and music of Guy nor am I against MIR. And finally I like, no, I love the samples of VSL. But...

Take the Demos at "Dimension Strings" for example:

  • 9 of 12 Demos are "Guy-Demos". Different Music yes, but he mixes and composes as "Guy". No problem so far... but he is just he. (advantage/disadvantage in the meantime)
  • I suspect, that all these DS demos are mixed with MIR. No problem at all. Very good so far. But keep in mind. MIR is an effect. Even if you are right about different venues and so on it is always MIR. Try to mix the samples without MIR and you will get a complete other mix - which can sound even better nota bene.
  • There is no demo which shows us the combination "some real band instruments" combined with the DS (instead of real studio string players)
  • There is no demo of a Pop-Song containing DS
  • There is no demo of a dance-, techno-,
  • There is no demo which shows as some simple different articulations for example some nice legato parts. VSL is still unbeatable conserning this matter.
  • ...

Demos should be here for the customer who like to make the decision "purchase" or not. So demos also should show how samples sound without effect, with simply one small reverb, alone. Therefore I mentioned: Why not show the same demo mixed in several ways. And why not with the addition of a pdf with the samples which where in use (mentioned above). In the early days VSL produced such articulation demos.

Further also important:

The customer knows that after a purchase he will not get these beautiful sounds of the demos. So demos should also show in a fair way how samples sound pure.

I try to say it once more and hope not to annoy:

There are lots of excellent and fantastic demos at VSL. After listening to the first three demos you know: VSL can obviously sound very very very real and fantstic.

If you are going to listen to the next 10 demos you don't get another impression than "still great".

My opinion: Demos at VSL become more and more very nice works of art but less and less pieces of music for making the "purchasing decision" - demos of what I will get.

So the one sort of demos we have (works of art). The other sort of demos we miss.

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Sat, Apr 06 2013 13:36
by Conquer
Joined on Thu, Sep 28 2006, Posts 812

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Beat and Guy for the enormous amount of work they have put in demoing the Vienna instruments. VSL's libraries are the most versatile orchestral samples out there by a long shot, and personally I like the way the company doesn't bang the 'cinematic' drum.

IMHO newbies would find the large VSL articulation menus a little overwhelming - many people who use these products have little or no musical training, and (though experienced composers may find it hard to believe) they might not even know what 'staccato' means. That's why some companies avoid musical terms and instead give their patches crass, guess-the-movie names like 'Pirates French horns'!

Posted on Sat, Apr 06 2013 14:55
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1788
mschmitt wrote:
...On a side note, I think I saw some posts awhile back that you were thinking about writing a book on midi orchestration, but decided not to. That's unfortunate because there is a real lack of good books on the subject, and I'd certainly buy your book if you wrote it...

I just started to write a sort of tutorial about "How to use all the effects (EQ, Compressor, Panner, Reverbs, Delays etc.) with Samples". This will not be the final title.

This tutorial will contain a bunch of different tasks for each effect to reach certain results with also included audiotracks. The aim is to bring you up to more experiences and tricks with all the effects we have. Of course there will be a short theory and my results for comparing (a possible solution).

The release will be by the end of 2013 I hope.

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Sat, Apr 06 2013 15:13
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1788
Conquer wrote:
...I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Beat and Guy for the enormous amount of work they have put in demoing the Vienna instruments.

Thank you very much, but the thanks belong to Guy, William, Jay and other demo producers but no more to me.

Since I'm doing a lot of recordings and other audio tasks I have no more time for producing extra VI-demos.

That's the destiniy of a self-employed person...

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Sat, Apr 06 2013 18:08
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5726

Beat Kaufmann wrote:

You don't need to agree with my statement. No problem. But when I read your answer I feel that I probably couldn't transfer my opinion the right way.

Unfortunately English isn't my mother tongue.

 

Sorry Beat, you are right it is probably a misunderstanding on my part.  You are doing better than I am since I forgot all my German!    

Posted on Mon, Apr 08 2013 17:44
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1995

Caught this thread. Interesting comments. Well, I can try these ideas, maybe I can already apply them to the next demo.

Posted on Thu, Apr 11 2013 02:04
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

Dear Guy,

FWIW: This topic spun painfully out of control--much like, IMO -any- topic that even -smells- like 'criticism' of VSL. Of couse that was not my intent. I hope I've made clear how much I appreciate your work in general, and the personal help you've given me on occasion (above and beyond the call!)

Frankly, I purchased C/S almost solely because of the demo 'Illness And Recovery'... because it was something (vaguely) like what -I- do. I could relate to it. I couldn't 'previsualise' the results with just snippets of Bach. Perhaps I am unworthy. In any event, I would welcome more stuff in a 20th century vein. (whatever -that- means. :D )

Best,

---JC

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
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