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How does it compare to EWQL Symphonic Orchestra?
Last post Fri, Aug 22 2014 by johnstaf, 36 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Mar 30 2014 20:34
by BachRules
Joined on Sun, Mar 30 2014, Posts 360
I am currently using EWQL Symphonic Orchestra, and I am curious what I am missing by not having Vienna Symphonic Library? If you are familiar with both libraries, please describe what I would gain by adding Vienna Symphonic Library? Is there Vienna-Symphonic-Library sample audio that would highlight any capabilities it has over EWQL Symphonic Orchestra? Thank you.
Posted on Sun, Mar 30 2014 21:43
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325

Wow, this is a huge question.  First and foremost, VSL is unbelievably consistent.  EWQLSO is not, you'll have different articulations for instruments in the same section as one another, some instruments have modwheel-controlled dynamics and others don't, etc.  With VSL you always know exactly which articulations you'll have.  Also the modwheel dynamics of VSL are vastly superior to those of EWQLSO because they are also consistent, or for those who don't like crossfaded dynamics VSL also has a lot of very practical "dynamic" recordings.  Then there's legato.  Some people might disagree with me, but legato is a big deal in my opinion.  It allows a melody to sound like a fluid series of connected notes rather than separate samples joined together.  EWQLSO does not have legato samples--they have a legato script, but it doesn't always sound great, and they have "QLegato" patches, which are really just patches with the attacks cut off.  VSL's libraries come with sampled legato meaning that you get real recorded transitions between notes.  Lastly some people prefer samples recorded in a hall or ambient space (like EWQLSO) and others prefer dry samples so that they can apply their own reverb and get the samples into whatever space they choose (like VSL).  I'm a fan of the second option because I might want one piece to sound like it was recorded in a hall but another piece to sound like it was recorded in a large studio, or I might want a more dry soloist.  Even EWQLSO's close mics don't sound entirely dry.  All in all EWQLSO is like an instant "orchestra-in-a-box" where VSL gets a lot more specialized and detailed.

Posted on Sun, Mar 30 2014 22:00
by The Minstrel
Joined on Fri, Oct 16 2009, Sweden, Posts 94

I do not own SO, however, I am an owner of other products from EWQL, including Hollywood strings Gold and Hollywood brass Gold. I prefer VSL over EWQL for several reasons. For starters Vienna Instruments (VI) is superior to Play. It's intuitive, stable, resource friendly and flexible. Should you need even more flexibility and muscles, you can always upgrade to VI Pro, to benefit from humanization, auto voicing, time stretching, SSD-optimizations and more.

Regarding the sample content, VSL is recorded dry in contrast to EWQL. A matter of preference, of course, but I prefer my samples dry, and I'd imagine you won't find many forum members here with an opinion divergent from this. Furthermore, crossgrading from EWQL SO, you would benefit from true legato and portamento articulations.

What you would gain apart from this depends on which libraries from VSL you are considering.

Posted on Sun, Mar 30 2014 23:56
by BachRules
Joined on Sun, Mar 30 2014, Posts 360
This is helpful. I have not tried to get a true legato sound out of EWQLSO yet, but that will come later. I can see how legato would be a big deal.

Casiquire wrote:
VSL's libraries come with sampled legato meaning that you get real recorded transitions between notes.


VI has sampled legato for each semitone transition? And every whole-tone transition too? What about when you move by a minor third, major third, or fourth; etc.?

Wet samples (including "close" mics) are a substantial limitation, no doubt. I'm not complaining about EWQLSO, because instant "orchestra-in-a-box" is exactly what I want for now, as I'm focusing my time on composition (more than production), but that could change later on, hence my curiosity.

The Minstrel wrote:
... Furthermore, crossgrading from EWQL SO, you would benefit from true legato and portamento articulations....


How do the VI strings compare with EWQL Hollywood Strings? I read that Hollywood Strings has more advanced legato/portamento than EWQLSO, and am also considering buying Hollywood Strings.

Thanks to both of you for the information.
Posted on Mon, Mar 31 2014 10:34
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1572
BachRules wrote:
VI has sampled legato for each semitone transition? And every whole-tone transition too? What about when you move by a minor third; or fourth; etc.?.

Yes.  I believe it's up to an octave but I'm not sure on that.

BachRules wrote:
Wet samples (including "close" mics) are a meaningful limitation, no doubt.
 

Actually, VSL 's samples are probably the driest on the market which is a good thing because you can create a sonic environment of your own.  However, I believe the VI Pro has a built in reverb

BachRules wrote:
How do the VI strings compare with EWQL Hollywood Strings? I read that Hollywood Strings has more advanced legato/portamento than EWQLSO, and am also considering buying Hollywood Strings. Thanks to both of you for the information.

Listen to the demos and decide for yourself.


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Mon, Mar 31 2014 10:58
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12106

Hi, 

Legatos were indeed recorded one octave upwards and downwards from every note within the range of each instrument. Additionally, in different tempos (fast legat0, and performance trills for smaller intervalls).

Both VI and VI PRO contain a reverb, and you can add MIRx as a reverb option.  

Best, 

Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Mar 31 2014 13:56
by Richard Bowling
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Bloomfield, NM, Posts 44

Hollywood Strings require significant system resources to be used effectively (SSD, RAM) I can run an entire Orchestra with VSL on the same computer I run Hollywood Strings alone on. 

Posted on Mon, Mar 31 2014 14:29
by musos
Joined on Sun, Dec 08 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa, Posts 912

In addition to all the comments above, I must add my views on support.

The VSL team are amazing with regard to answering questions on these forums or by email. When VSL receives feedback about bugs and problems, there is almost always a fix or update within a short period of time.

Sadly this has not been my experience with EastWest. I have personally waited for bug fixes that never happened and have even been banned on their forums for complaining!

Include all the reasons in the comments above and VSL wins by a mile.

Posted on Mon, Mar 31 2014 15:46
by julian
Joined on Fri, Jan 07 2005, UK, Posts 720

The VI-Pro player is miles ahead of Play (which looks like something out of the 80's). Also I can endorse Musos view regarding customer support - I'm still waiting to have a simple EastWest articulation query/bug resloved after nearly 5 months!

In terms of sample comparison, on the orchestral side I would regard VSL samples as more comprehensive in articulations and though perhaps needing more input/work can ultimately provide a greater sense of realism across a greater variety of styles.

Posted on Tue, Apr 01 2014 04:17
by BachRules
Joined on Sun, Mar 30 2014, Posts 360
Indeed the 'Play' software does not instill confidence. So far it hasn't hindered my work, but I wouldn't call it stable.
Posted on Tue, Apr 01 2014 09:00
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325

If you do plan to go into more detail, I'd suggest a totally neutral forum.  Obviously this one will have a heavy bias.  You'll find that even outside this forum VSL stands strong on its own merits and many of the opinions expressed here are universal opinions, not just opinions of long-time VSL users.  I've seen innocent threads like this turn into flame wars before, and if you were to ask me my own opinion of EWQL's support you would get a very..."strong"...opinion.  It would need to be censored for any children that might be reading :oP  So it's much safer to have discussions of this nature in a forum where there are no potential professional ramifications for the company running the forum.

Posted on Tue, Apr 01 2014 09:27
by BachRules
Joined on Sun, Mar 30 2014, Posts 360
Sorry if I've said too much. I meant it to be a thread where people could advocate for VSL, with respect to its differences from EWQLSO, because that's my frame of reference. I'll probably end up using both products.
Posted on Tue, Apr 01 2014 12:12
by Cyril Blanc
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Paris France, Posts 2658

I move from QLSO to VSL, it's night and day 

MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 64 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 and S25 Komplete Kontrol, DX7
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many....
---
Macbook pro Retina 2.7 ghz 16 GB
---
Mac Mini server 10.10 (server EyeTV, Itunes, WEB, and Backup )
--
Logic X , Dorico, Band In A Box, ORB Composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Overdrive
Kontakt, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V5, Maximo, Realivox Blue. CS 80 V3, The Orchestra, Art Conductor 5, Genesis Children Choir, Lunaris, Lacrimosa

Final Cut pro
Camera full HD
Posted on Tue, Apr 01 2014 21:00
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325

Understood, this has been a civil thread so far!

Posted on Wed, Apr 02 2014 01:07
by noldar12
Joined on Thu, Dec 04 2008, Posts 582

I will also chime in, and say that I've moved from EWQL to VSL.  To me, both the actual samples and the player software for VSL are far better than what is offered by the other company.  For what I am seeking to do, VSL simply works, and for me (an amateur) VSL has fewer of the "write for the samples" issues.  The scope of the articulations of the VSL full libraries also greatly help with realism.

Posted on Wed, Apr 02 2014 06:08
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325

Agreed Noldar, I never ever "write for the samples" with VSL.  Unless there's something truly unusual to the point of being slightly experimental, VSL can do it all.

Posted on Fri, Apr 04 2014 10:39
by GoranTch
Joined on Tue, Mar 14 2006, Berlin, Germany, Posts 524
BachRules wrote:
How do the VI strings compare with EWQL Hollywood Strings?

Here you can listen to some additional VSL strings examples. I would recommend Wagner (for DS Violins, Solo & Orchestral Strings), Dvorak & Bach (both for Solo + Orchestral Strings combination) and Mozart (for period performance style chamber string orchestra sound (smaller sections, very limited use of vibrato), made with DS Violins, Solo & Chamber Strings).

Posted on Fri, Apr 04 2014 10:43
by GoranTch
Joined on Tue, Mar 14 2006, Berlin, Germany, Posts 524
Casiquire wrote:

Agreed Noldar, I never ever "write for the samples" with VSL.  Unless there's something truly unusual to the point of being slightly experimental, VSL can do it all.

I still dream of being able to do Helmut Lachenmann's Kontrakadenz or Mouvement (vor der Erstarrung) with VSL one day... Party!!!

Posted on Sat, Apr 05 2014 07:18
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1572

Not to play Dog Pile on EWQL but the reason I never went with them for orchestral samples is because they seemed to me to be a one trick pony in that regard. If all you do is big in-your-face Hollywood styled film scores EWQL will, at least, get you there. But it won't get you anywhere else.  That's why VSL is a superior product.  You can do big Hollywood scores, small intimate chamber pieces with various setting arrangements, experimental avant-garde stuff, Pop music, Jazz, whatever...

The reason for this is, of course, their studio where they record everything dry and pure enabling you to create your own sonic environments.

VSL's software is so much more intuitive and user friendly.  As Noldar pointed out, you shouldn't have to be composing for the samples.  Even VSL's standard libraries will take you a long way.

I have EWQL products but unfortunately I have to hose my system down with roach spray before I use it because their Play engine is so buggy.  At least on my system.

Speaking of 'PLAY' let me tell you-AaaaH!!!!!!  lk;jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjkkkkkkkkkkklj';;jlklklklklklklklklklklk;jlkjiiiiiiiiiiiiiii0000000000000

                    [jasensmith slumps over the keyboard unconscious as Nick Phoenix shoots him in the neck with a tranqualizer dart]  


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Sun, Apr 06 2014 02:32
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5512

the question you need to ask yourself when comparing orchestral sample libraries is - could this do the complete Rite of Spring?  This is the single most demanding orchestral piece in history, along with some of Mahler's symphonies and a few other less known works.  Would EWQL be merely a digital travesty of such a work, with workarounds every few bars?  I can answer that for you - yes it would.  

That library could never even begin to do such demanding music.  It is dependent on being used to do relatively mindless film scores.  Especially with the Play engine which is non-existent as an interface compared to Vienna Ensemble's elegance, let alone the samples themselves. 

Now, of course you may be thinking. "But I want to do mindless film scores!"  Yes, of course you may.  But you need to remember - VSL can do those also, but a thousand times better than the libraries that are limited to those.  The VSL version of the Rite of Spring is actually a good performance compared even to live orchestras.  There is no other sample library that can do that.   VSL's success is based upon a uniform system of methodical sampling of all instruments that truly covers the full expressive range of each.  And the way those samples have been incorporated into the musically oriented interface of Vienna Ensemble is a crucial element.   There simply is no comparison right now between VSL and any other sample library.  The combination of the VSL sample recordings themselves, VE, VI, and MIR are unmatched.

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