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Chamber Strings , Is it still useful to have ?
Last post Sat, Oct 12 2013 by muziksculp, 16 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Sep 30 2013 20:20
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 420

Hi,

I have the following VSL Strings Libraries :

VSL Dim-Strings + (EXP), VSL Solo Strings + (EXP), VSL Appassionata Stings I + (EXP), VSL Special Edition + (EXP), VSL Orchestral Strings I + (EXP). 

Would adding VSL Chamber Strings (EXP), offer a lot of additional color, and flexibility to what I already have ? or is Dim-Strings able to offer most of what Chamber Strings would offer. ? and how useful are Chamber Stirngs for layering with the other VSL Strings to achieve more color/character, given the VSL Strings Libraries I already have  ? 

Any feedback on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Muziksculp 

Posted on Tue, Oct 01 2013 00:28
by C.B.
Joined on Wed, Aug 11 2010, Quebec Canada, Posts 128

Hi Muziksculp,

I had ask myself the same question last year (just before buying Dimension Strings). Dimension strings and chamber have both significant assets. You already know that Dimension strings have the ability to play each player independently. But the string chamber orchestra is more complete: much more articulations and the ability to play con sordino. 

So yes, you can expect additional colors and flexibility. How much more? Well, it depends of your needs and taste. For exemple, layered Chamber Strings and Orchestral Strings give me more expressivity and complexity on con sordino passages.

Good luck!

C.B.

C.B.
Posted on Tue, Oct 01 2013 02:42
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 420
C.B. wrote:

Hi Muziksculp,

I had ask myself the same question last year (just before buying Dimension Strings). Dimension strings and chamber have both significant assets. You already know that Dimension strings have the ability to play each player independently. But the string chamber orchestra is more complete: much more articulations and the ability to play con sordino. 

So yes, you can expect additional colors and flexibility. How much more? Well, it depends of your needs and taste. For exemple, layered Chamber Strings and Orchestral Strings give me more expressivity and complexity on con sordino passages.

Good luck!

C.B.

Hello C.B.

Thanks for the helpful feedback. 

Actually, I was more interested in Chamber Strings I + Exp. (Not Chamber Strings II which is the Sordino version).  So, I'm not sure if, and how Chamber Strings I + Exp. would benefit my VSL strings collection.  

I'm not in a rush to buy, but feel that it is a smart thing to ask other users on this forum for their opinions before buying.

Cheers,

Muziksculp 

Posted on Tue, Oct 01 2013 06:23
by Peter Alexander
Joined on Wed, Aug 21 2002, Virginia, Posts 642

For what I'm writing, Chamber Strings 1 allows me to create a good divisi similuation when working with the orchestral strings and appassionatas.

Peter L. Alexander
Author, Professional Orchestration Series
www.soniccontrol.tv
www.alexanderpublishing.com
Posted on Tue, Oct 01 2013 07:13
by Oguz Sehiralti
Joined on Mon, Dec 03 2012, Helsinki / Finland, Posts 47

I'm about to purchase DS now. :) I honestly couldn't find any reason to get chamber strings I + exp instead. Since I didn't use either of them yet, I cannot talk about their sound, but to me, the only essential articulation difference between them seems to be the harmonics glissandos in chamber strings. Sure, chamber strings have a few more staccato options, and the non-vib dyn patches should be nice to have but I feel like these can be achieved with DS, since each player can be controlled. So one can strech the sample to get shorter or longer staccatos in some players and still achieve realistic results I guess. And non-vib sus patches can be used with vel-xfade. 

Actually, contrary the common opinion in the forums (DS are good as additional libraries but not as the go-to library), I feel like DS look much more like a go-to library with all the most common articulations covered incomparably well, and for other, more "colorful" articulations, one can use other libraries. For more articulations, Orchestral Strings are the obvious winners compared to Chamber Strings.

Well, just my 2 cents. I'm about to click purchase on DS! :)

Edit: I should add that I was considering CS for a while since I could benefit from student discounts. I was considering even the SE edition but I realized that DS will be a better "investment" in the longer run.

Posted on Tue, Oct 01 2013 07:20
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

I -love- CS so take the following comments as such... good, bad & ugly.

I think Chamber Strings sounds very different from Dimension and I actually prefer the sound of CS in -general-. Plus it's easier to use for simple things, faster to load--just sounds good OOTB. I especially like the basses... Although I -do- wish there was a 2nd violin for a bit more variety of colour.

Also, at the risk of sounding -whatever-, it sounds about 400% better with the Extended Lib so that's almost a
-must- unless you want to do a -lot- of hand work. I mean not 100%. I mean 400% better.

And at the risk of sounding even -more- -whatever-. I don't have a lot of money to throw around. I think CS has always been quite spendy IMHO... and even more so when you factor in the cost of the Extended Lib. In short: that's a LOT of shekels for added colour. I got CS because there was NOTHING else like it for a long time. I still love it, but...

<HTH>

---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 Wed, Oct 02 2013 04:52
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 420
Suntower wrote:

I -love- CS so take the following comments as such... good, bad & ugly.

I think Chamber Strings sounds very different from Dimension and I actually prefer the sound of CS in -general-. Plus it's easier to use for simple things, faster to load--just sounds good OOTB. I especially like the basses... Although I -do- wish there was a 2nd violin for a bit more variety of colour.

Also, at the risk of sounding -whatever-, it sounds about 400% better with the Extended Lib so that's almost a
-must- unless you want to do a -lot- of hand work. I mean not 100%. I mean 400% better.

And at the risk of sounding even -more- -whatever-. I don't have a lot of money to throw around. I think CS has always been quite spendy IMHO... and even more so when you factor in the cost of the Extended Lib. In short: that's a LOT of shekels for added colour. I got CS because there was NOTHING else like it for a long time. I still love it, but...

<HTH>

---JC

Hello Suntower,

Thanks for your helpful feedback regarding Chamber Strings. 

Do Chamber Strings users feel they are very good to use when a more Period Style (i.e. Baroque Strings Ensemble , think Bach, Handel, ..etc. ) is needed ?   I'm asking this, because in addition to using CS to layer, and add more color to the other VSL Strings, I enjoy using Strings for Baroque style writing, and would like to know if CS would be very good to use when a Period Style String section sound is needed. 

Thanks,

Muziksculp 

Posted on Wed, Oct 02 2013 18:25
by noldar12
Joined on Thu, Dec 04 2008, Posts 582

Muziksculp, for me chamber strings has been very useful for period styles.  I have been writing a double-bass concerto in classical period style, and the chamber strings are perfect for it.  Also, in the extended portion of the library, IIRC, chamber strings include Baroque trills, unlike the other string libraries.  As has already been said, they also work well for creating divided parts with orchestra strings.

I agree with the other comment that one really needs both the standard and extended portion of the library.

Posted on Wed, Oct 02 2013 21:31
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 420

Hi, 

Thanks for the feedback regarding Chamber Stirngs. 

One of the forum members here, ' Philippe BAYLAC ' has some great Baroque genre demos, and I have noticed that he uses a combination of DS and CS, Solo Strings. in many of his fantastic audio demos posted on this forum.  

It would be very valuable, and helpful to me, if ' Philippe BAYLAC '  can provide a bit of his insight as to how useful Chamber Strings are for him, given his experience with CS, DS, and other VSL libraries, i.e .Solo Strings, to create a Baroque style string sound.

Thanks,

Muziksculp  

Posted on Wed, Oct 02 2013 22:06
by Arbee
Joined on Sun, Sep 18 2011, Posts 76

For what it's worth, my template has "come to rest" using Solo and DS Violins, Solo and CS Violas, Solo and CS Cellos, and just CS Basses. Having played around with various combinations for ages (i.e. for far too long), this to me is as good as it gets for a smaller section, and I'm loving it. I must get a demo or two out there at some stage.....Embarrassed

Posted on Wed, Oct 02 2013 23:38
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5604

The chamber Strings are essential for a more "in-your-face" string sound, which includes both Urban/Downtown and Baroque.  But also as pointed out they are good for the normal divisi one uses in a large string section which is usually two-part.   

One thing to consider is that they have a different timbre from the other strings, and what you are trying to do with strings in general is combine different timbres to increase the complexity.  So ideally, you want all the strings available to emulate the huge differences that live strings have.  Also, the different instrument sections have different strengths. For example, the Chamber Strings basses are really vivid in their sound, much more so than the other larger bass sections.  I have done layering with Chamber basses and solo bass and it is an extremely complex sound in combination that I ended up liking better than any of the other basses.  Also, the particular variations in timbre one encounters between for example the Orchestral Violas, the Appassionata Violas, and the Chamber Violas are delicious to use in various situations for different expressiveness.  One gets a more intense, emotional tone from these smaller ensembles.  

Another thing to consider is if you do a layer of Dimension strings with Chamber strings it will increase the transparent individual tonality of each player enormously.  Especially if also adding the solo strings.  

The main point is probably that live strings have so much variation of sound that any additional recordings that are done to capture the various nuances are invaluable.  It is only with increased complexity in sampled sounds that one can capture the huge variability of string expressions.  And, it has now become apparent that the VSL strings taken all together are far more complex in their possible combinations than any other sample library.  The other libraries, even though good, all have a singular approach to sampling strings, without all the subtle variations of different approaches that VSL has developed over the years.   I am increasingly looking at the VSL library in terms of how it started with the basics - the Orchestral Strings - and then added more and more refinements.  This gives the MIDI composer/performer a great advantage since this "history" VSL has  corresponds to the real, actual variations of sound one gets in different live ensembles and players. Part of this is because the head of the company is a cellist.   A great advantage for string sampling and in figuring out exactly what is needed to represent everything that strings really do!  

Posted on Thu, Oct 03 2013 00:07
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 420

Hello & Thanks for all the helpful feedback.  

I will most likely go ahead with purchasing Chamber Strings Standard + Exp. in the very near future. 

On a side-note . I am relatively new to using VSL Libraries, VI-Pro 2, MIR-Pro and VE-Pro 5. So I am just beginning to discover the amazing flexibility, and sonic variety one can achieve via combining various VSL libraries in many, many ways.  The more I work & experiment with VSL libraries, the more I get amazed at what is possible to accomplish with them, imho. VI-Pro 2 is the most flexible, and well designed sample player engine currently available, nothing else on the market comes close. The more I use it, the less I feel like using any other sample player. Big Smile

Chamber Strings will surely be a valuable VSL String library to have.  Given your valuable feedback, and listening to some of the produced audio demos with them, I am sure I will find many ways I can use Chamber Strings with the other VSL Strings Libraries that I already have, and other non-VSL Strings Libraries too. 

I'm also eagerly waiting for Dim-Strings Violas, and Basses to be released.  Hopefully they will all be available this year. 

Cheers,

Muziksculp  

Posted on Tue, Oct 08 2013 21:34
by Pyre
Joined on Thu, Jun 28 2012, Posts 147
William, could I possibly quiz you briefly with regard to layering different string libraries please? I'm just branching into this field myself, and am wondering how best to set up certain elements (I have Solo, Chamber and Orchestral Strings, and a basic version of Appassionata as found in the Epic Orchestra that comes with VEP.
Would you suggest having the layers around the same volume, or to lower some in the mix for more subtle support? Same articulations for all layers, or mixing things like staccato and detache, sustain and performance legato?

With regard to MIR, would you have the layers positioned next to each other (for maximum size) or occupying the same space (for maximum homogeneity)? And would you have them all located within the same MIR room, or Solo in a small room, Chamber and Dimension in a bigger one, and Orchestral and Appassionata in the biggest?

Many thanks for any light you could shed on the topic!


Pyre
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor, 3.59 Ghz
64 GB RAM
1 TB hard drive for audio, 4 TB hard drive for libraries, 1x 256 GB SSD for OS
Audient iD14 4-in 2-out USB interface
Korg Triton Extreme-76 master keyboard, M-Audio MidAir-25 lap keyboard.

Windows 10 Pro, Cubase 10.5 Pro
VSL Symphonic Cube (Full library), Vienna Choir (standard library), Vienna Solo Voices (standard library), Vienna Imperial, Konzerthaus Organ, and download instruments Recorders, Harpsichord, Basset Horn and Contrabass Clarinet.
Vienna Instruments Pro 2.5.18635 and Vienna Ensemble Pro 5.4.16181
Vienna Suite, Vienna MIR and room packs 1-5
Sibelius 7 and Komplete 8
All 64-bit.
Posted on Tue, Oct 08 2013 23:56
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5604

It is an interesting topic.  There are a variety of things you can do if you have all the strings you mention.  One very noticeable fact about the ensembles is that on a unison, it does not necessarily increase the complexity or expressiveness if you simply layer Chamber with Appassionata, or Orchestra with Chamber, etc.  This is because smaller ensembles can make a larger ensemble sound smaller itself. 

However, if you layer a solo string with Appassionata (or any of the other ensembles) it increases the espressivo quality a lot.  The solo must be very soft and reduced in dynamic range so it drops out while the large ensemble gets louder.  That can be done by turning the dynamic range slider down.  Also, they should be significantly humanized with a different preset than the ensemble. 

Another good use of the smaller ensembles is for larger divisi sections.  I have found that orchestral is a good divisi for two-part divisi on Appassionata, and Chamber is better for three parts or more.  Even though the numbers of players  may not match exactly, in actual sound it is very close to real divisi sections.  You can always layer in solo as well if you wish, including a second transposed solo violin on second violins.  This, if used with different humanize settings, can be very complex and expressive.  Also, the changes in timbre caused by shifting from Appassionata to Orchestral or Chamber for divisi are almost perfect. 

All of this does not mention the Dimension Strings, which I feel are the greatest thing yet created for sample strings.  Because they can be used by themselves all together, or in ANY COMBINATION of individual players among themselves or with any of the other ensembles.  You can imagine the number of possibilities of combinations this creates, especially since they are incredibly expressive and varied in their sound, just like the real players who recorded them. 

On MIR setups, I have basically tried to place the smaller groups where they would be if they were divisi of the larger group, simply laid on top  in two or more parts of the larger ensemble.  If it was solo, I simply placed the player where he would actuallly be sitting among the other players.  It is probably best to make each instrument in a different position. 

One other thing - In order to deal with the massive amount of CPU and memory that this approach entails, since I don't have the largest computer system I have sometimes done a second group of strings after freezing the first.  With Dimension, this becomes necessary unless you have the largest possible RAM.  I have only 24 GB so I ended up doing second run-throughs with a different ensemble that was humanized differently and placed in slightly different positions on the stage.  You can hear some of this stuff on the Vertigo demo I did, which has a lot of layered strings including Solo, Appassionata and Dimension. 

Posted on Wed, Oct 09 2013 11:33
by Pyre
Joined on Thu, Jun 28 2012, Posts 147
Thanks for responding so quickly, I think it's an interesting topic as well. Just how much quieter would you suggest the solo string instrument would need to be compared to the ensemble? -6dB? It sounds like a good idea, though, it would be great to have the expressivo vibrato of the solo mixed in with the usual sustain of the ensemble.

If you are using a second section for divisi, am I correct in thinking that you only have them playing when divisi parts are required, and have them silent the rest of the time? Does that mean the volume of the main part would need adjusting to counter the introduction of the additional section, so the sections with divisi don't sound twice as loud as the rest of the piece?

I would get Dimension Strings and the full Appasionatas in a heartbeat if I could, but my current project simply can't justify the expense. Maybe in a couple of years.

I end up using freeze an awful lot anyway, I only have a measly 8GB of RAM to work with.

Thanks ever so much for your feedback, that's been very helpful for me.


Pyre
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor, 3.59 Ghz
64 GB RAM
1 TB hard drive for audio, 4 TB hard drive for libraries, 1x 256 GB SSD for OS
Audient iD14 4-in 2-out USB interface
Korg Triton Extreme-76 master keyboard, M-Audio MidAir-25 lap keyboard.

Windows 10 Pro, Cubase 10.5 Pro
VSL Symphonic Cube (Full library), Vienna Choir (standard library), Vienna Solo Voices (standard library), Vienna Imperial, Konzerthaus Organ, and download instruments Recorders, Harpsichord, Basset Horn and Contrabass Clarinet.
Vienna Instruments Pro 2.5.18635 and Vienna Ensemble Pro 5.4.16181
Vienna Suite, Vienna MIR and room packs 1-5
Sibelius 7 and Komplete 8
All 64-bit.
Posted on Sat, Oct 12 2013 09:15
by muziksculp
Joined on Fri, Oct 03 2003, U.S.A., Posts 420

Hi,

I finally went ahead, and purchased Chamber Strings I  (Standard & Ext.) . I will be having fun discovering what Chamber Strings I offers, and experiment with various layering scenarios with other VSL Strings Libraries in the next days, and weeks to come. I will post some feedback on my experience in the near future. Which could be helpful to other VSL users.  

I wish to Thank all of the forum members on this thread, for their valuable feedback, and VSL for producing these amazing libraries, and tools for us. 

Cheers,

Muziksculp  

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