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Posted on Sat, May 10 2014 23:04
by Rolf_Music
Joined on Tue, Feb 05 2013, Posts 82

I love VSL and am looking forward to complete my collection. However, it seems that in only 2 years orchestral tools has already designed a system that will beat the current VSL products within probably 3 years. The products that they are planning to provide has really far more  articulations and velocity layers than we VSL users have available right now with several expansions packs for each instrument. They said they were planning to provide every articulation with all of their variations. Some of them already listed here:

http://www.orchestraltools.com/observatory/index.html

My question is, how will you people at VSL deal with this? Others, especially OR, are really catching up making VSLs list of articulations / playing styles and velocity layers look tiny in comparison. The trend of creating expansion packs is already there. I highly propose that VSL creates "expansion packs" for their products. A good idea would be to add expansion packs for the dimension strings, brass, woodwinds to provide further articulations. 

For example: Expansion Pack 1 (various Pizzicato, col legno, staccato playing styles), Expansion Pack 2 (Legato playing styles) Expansion Pack 3 (double,triple, quadruple stops), Expansion Pack 4 (various crescendo speeds) and so on.

The stretch system and crossfading in VI is good but does not sound too convincing if used to a certain extent.

Would like to hear your opinion. Would you like the idea of expansion packs for the "dimension" series or single instruments?

Tags: Suggestions
Posted on Sat, May 10 2014 23:19
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608

Doesn't matter what the articulations are, if:

  1. The library is out of tune
  2. Flawed in conception
  3. Badly edited

I think good QA is far more important.

DG

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 01:24
by Richard Bowling
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Bloomfield, NM, Posts 44
DG wrote:

Doesn't matter what the articulations are, if:

  1. The library is out of tune
  2. Flawed in conception
  3. Badly edited

I think good QA is far more important.

DG

+1

Other than VSL - I don't think there is a library developer out there  that has meticulously recorded each instrument as if that instrument was the single most important instrument. Consistenly VSL delivers authenticity and a high standard of consistency.  in my opinion. 

Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 01:32
by Richard Bowling
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Bloomfield, NM, Posts 44

There really is only a need for expansion packs if the initial content is not complete. VSL releases a full arsenal of articulations.  

Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 10:19
by Rolf_Music
Joined on Tue, Feb 05 2013, Posts 82

That is true that VSL has a big amount of articulations. However, I would like to see for example some more "very expressive" variations for long notes and more types of legatos. Adagio Violins for example have over 8 different legato styles. OR also have many types of legatos, including slurred, fast agile etc.

The list of the basic versions of each articulation is pretty much complete in VSL but I would like to see a focus towards expressive / human performance articulations. Variations of legatos,portamentos, sustains and crescendos.

Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 10:59
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582

I thought the whole point of the VEPro and VI Pro line of software was to give the user more control over the sample e.g. time stretching, scale editor, sequencer, Humanization etc.

Sometimes more is less.  If you have numerous articulations with numerous variations, then a simple string quintet could be a tedious undertaking when you're just trying to string together a simple legato line.  How would these variations be triggered? keyswitches? Modwheel? Velocity?  Things could get very confusing.  It kind of drains all the fun out of composing with VSL

However, I've always argued for more velocity layers for the BosendorferSmile


"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, May 11 2014 11:04
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
Rolf_Music wrote:

That is true that VSL has a big amount of articulations. However, I would like to see for example some more "very expressive" variations for long notes and more types of legatos. Adagio Violins for example have over 8 different legato styles.

Those are not different types of legato. They are notes with built in
expression. Practically useless for people who want to write music. They only
work (sort of) if you write what the library wants you to write. In any case they can be recreated using the tools we already have.
Rolf_Music wrote:

OR also have many types of legatos, including slurred, fast agile etc.

VSL has Legato, Fast legato, Slur legato, Fast Slur legato and Trill
legato. OR's Agile legato sound like a cheap synth, and the runs legato is so
bad that there are often notes in the reverb tail that weren't even played.  Surprise
Rolf_Music wrote:

The list of the basic versions of each articulation is pretty much complete in VSL but I would like to see a focus towards expressive / human performance articulations. Variations of legatos,portamentos, sustains and crescendos.

There are already plenty of crescendos and articulations, and when coupled
with VI Pro, there are so many variations possible I would know where to start
describing them.Whilst I agree that there are few things I'd like to see, most of what you
suggest can already be done. The user just has to have some skill, and not expect the library to do it for them. Wink

I would prefer to get things that currently can't be done, and BTW they can't be done with any other library either.

DG

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 11:50
by Rolf_Music
Joined on Tue, Feb 05 2013, Posts 82

Hello DG,

Thank you for your clear answers, I see you are a member since 2004 so I would like to ask you if you could help me find a solution towards 3 problems I have.

Taking my Solo String 1 Library for example. I use it together with VI Pro and Mir Pro getting very nice sounds. I pretty much use up alot of matrixes and all articulations. Also I make extensive use of all parameters in VI Pro. The problem im facing however is:

2) Slurred legatos work for medium fast but not very fast passages. Same goes for portamentos. If I stretch it down I can hardly recognize it as a slide anymore. Probably has something to do with the attack, not sure.

3) Long notes with vibrato sound fake if held too long. Any suggestions? I really wanted to create an evolving and expressive sound similar to pfp 2s patch. What I already do is non-vibrato to vibrato but vibrato to more expressive vibrato doesnt seem to be possible due to phasing. Do you have any idea how I can achieve a really romantic vibrato combo with solo violins?

4) Velocity levels, only 2 for legato. the forte (?) sounds good but with time it gets too monotone. The piano level is hardly noticable, a mp / mf patch is missing. I could use the in built low pass filter and reduce it a little but that destroys alot of the essential frequencies and I dont really want to use it too much. A better alternative I often use (in kontakt) is "EQ automation" via note expression which gives great results for faking dynamics... since VSL is dry surgical eq modification note per note would give incredible results.... in VI Pro I cant do that. Using normal automation is not an option and very tiresome as it wont move with the notes.

Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 13:28
by LAJ
Joined on Sun, Dec 13 2009, Posts 529

I am waiting/asking for Movie-like Horror-Suspension-Effects for years. Every time i asked for this, I never got an answer. Crying

That's why I finaly decided to stop buying further Products from now ... cause I heared a demo from a competitor who offers this.

Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 14:17
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
Rolf_Music wrote:

Hello DG,

Thank you for your clear answers, I see you are a member since 2004 so I would like to ask you if you could help me find a solution towards 3 problems I have.

Taking my Solo String 1 Library for example. I use it together with VI Pro and Mir Pro getting very nice sounds. I pretty much use up alot of matrixes and all articulations. Also I make extensive use of all parameters in VI Pro.

All of those problems you mention are specifically because you are
talking about a solo instrument. I was specifically talking about ensemble libraries, because those were the examples you gave.

In
all other solo libraries (with the exception of Sample Modeling) you
will find exactly the same problems. There are reasons for this, and
whilst there is another Solo String product on the market that will
help with some of your problems, it creates many others of its own, so
still wouldn't be satisfactory.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that having a gazillion
articulations would solve all or even most of those problems when you're
talking about a solo string instrument. I think that strings are
inherently so complicated to play that to try to get a traditional sample library to be completely realistic is not going to happen.

DG

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 15:10
by Rolf_Music
Joined on Tue, Feb 05 2013, Posts 82

Alot of the instruments are solo based. Im going to buy woodwinds 2 soon and assume it will have have similar issues regarding stretching and crossfading.

The problem to alot of the issues regarding "dynamics" and "conflicts with crossfading" would be solved if we had the option to "automate the in built eq on a matrix level" and if we had a "high pass filter". Including the option to change eq and filters on a patch level. I also think it would be great to introduce a melodyne similar feature which enhances vibrato without changing the patches speed. As a result we would have a VI Pro which is alot more powerful than it is now.

I actually have a few suggestions with screenshots which I will post later in a different topic.

Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 16:23
by cgernaey
Joined on Mon, Apr 04 2005, Detroit-Michigan, Posts 1062

For what it's worth, I have spent so many years trying to get VSL Solo Strings to sound as good as a real player that it has become obvious to me it's an impossible thing to create.  Unless the part is so basic and so minimal, and then also only spands a few measures I can pull it off.  But if I expect to pull off more than that, I have revert to hiring a real solo player.  I tried for 3 months to get a simple performance to sound strikingly realistic but in one day, I accomplished this with a real player and a small amount of cash.

I do find the solo strings great for fast, shorter note stuff though such as classical Bach and other musical literature that doesn't require extremely expressive long notes, or dynamic moments.  They are amazing to layer with as well.  They have a beautiful raw sound to them.

I know that great things can be done with the solo strings but even being the best ones you can buy on the planet, they have limitations and as Daryl said, I can't even imagine what it would take to recreate that type of performance.  Perhaps a Sample Modeling type string instrument but the problem is, it's far more difficult to create a sample modeled string instrument than say a brass or wind styled instrument.  It would take much skill to operate a sampled instrument of a Violin and create a perfect performance that contains every aspect of a top notch world class player (which is what our expectations are/would be).  Also, how much time do you have to edit and edit and tweak?  If you have unlimited time, and devote yourself to perfecting it, even more possibility opens up to you but it's often hard to remember the vast amount of possibilities that are already available, let alone add a gazillion more options that I will forget are there.

I am happy with them for what they are, but they simply cannot replace a real player (and honestly, I am glad for this to save all of our musician friends).

Maestro2be

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, 128GB RAM, AMD 3970X 32-core
Gigabyte TRX40 Aorus Xtreme, Radeon RX 5500 XT
Studio One 5.1.1, Cubase 10.5, Nuendo 10
RME Multiface 2, All NVMe SSD Drives (OS & Samples)
Posted on Sun, May 11 2014 20:37
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325

I don't think VSL is worried about anybody else "catching up".  I don't think they're going to do anything at all to keep competitors at bay  If they were worried about this, they would need to put out an expansion any time any competitor makes any library that's even closely related to an instrument VSL has recorded, since every new library offers something different.  We would have a new VSL expansion every three minutes and it would just be ridiculous.  Let's look at the facts though.  VSL's instruments are what, ten years old?  More?  And they're still heavy competition for the very newest libraries.  In that ten year span, VSL's instruments have been honed to perfection and their sampling methodology has been so fine-tuned that new instruments and software come out virtually bug-free.  Also VSL is far ahead of the competition just by releasing something like Dimension Strings.  I'm not sure if a competitor will catch up to that any time this decade.  Honestly I'd be running over to Orchestral Tools' website posting comments like "VSL is way ahead of Orchestral Tools--we need expansion packs!" because of DS.  But OT doesn't care what VSL is doing and vice versa because the libraries are so different and it would be the death of any developer to watch what everyone else is doing and try to match it.

As a side note, the list of expansions and upcoming products that OT has posted is in no way detailed.  It's a stretch to say that they're going to wipe out VSL with all these upcoming articulations when we don't really know what those articulations will be.  For example, Expansion B of Berlin Strings provides sul pont, sul tasto, harmonics, and col legno.  VSL already offers all of these in some way or another.  To be fair I'd love if VSL would provide these articulations with legato, but I can't remember the last time I've missed it.

Posted on Mon, May 12 2014 06:02
by icecubeman
Joined on Fri, Nov 09 2012, Nitra, Posts 201
DG wrote:
OR's Agile legato sound like a cheap synth,

I think same after first listen to demos. And after about half year from release this library is unusable due to bad programming.

Posted on Tue, May 13 2014 07:16
by Peter Alexander
Joined on Wed, Aug 21 2002, Virginia, Posts 642

With VSL, the expansion pack is when you purchase the Extended, also labeled L2, edition.

Peter L. Alexander
Author, Professional Orchestration Series
www.soniccontrol.tv
www.alexanderpublishing.com
Posted on Tue, May 13 2014 08:11
by civilization 3
Joined on Sat, May 16 2009, SF Bay Area, Posts 1749
Rolf_Music wrote:

The problem to alot of the issues regarding "dynamics" and "conflicts with crossfading" would be solved if we had the option to "automate the in built eq on a matrix level" and if we had a "high pass filter". Including the option to change eq and filters on a patch level. I also think it would be great to introduce a melodyne similar feature which enhances vibrato without changing the patches speed. As a result we would have a VI Pro which is alot more powerful than it is now.

I actually have a few suggestions with screenshots which I will post later in a different topic.

To me, these statements are actually kind of bizarre. You can't get an EQ and automate it? You think 'dynamics' are addressed by 'EQ'? What is the crossfading "conflict"? What exactly in the 'crossfade' - which crossfade? velocity? - is addressed through EQing?
I can sort of see 'filter at the patch level' as long as there is a master filter, but I also think this is thinking of the thing in terms of electronic musi and sound design. I don't get how performance detail is sorted through filters and EQ. Do you not like the sound of VSL's samples?

IE: for a solo instrument I do not velocity xfade, I think there is zero point to it. For a section, reinforcements and cancellations of phase are what happens. So where it occurs in velo xfade it's somewhat related to reality.

I don't think VSL can't be surpassed but I don't think OT is where this is going to happen. In terms of winds, Sample Modeling is the next evolutionary step. I'm not a great strings maven, but I think modeling of instrument behaviors applies, but the sound of strings is a different problem than brass or silver.

And that you're reading the marketing drivel by 8Dio quite uncritically; you see them go on about how they've solved the crossfading issue (no), and then this 'vibrato' purely through these devices of pitch/LFO as in synthesizers is the way to go. It's not exactly revolutionary.

If I can't be persuaded by demos...

MacBook Pro 16,1: 2.3 GHz 8-core i9
64GB 2667MHz DDR4
OSX 10.15.6
VE Pro 7, Cubase Pro 11.0.10
Posted on Tue, May 13 2014 08:18
by civilization 3
Joined on Sat, May 16 2009, SF Bay Area, Posts 1749

I know nothing from Orchestral Tools strings via experience. However I have Berlin Woodwinds. They sound good I think. But it is basically articulations loaded individually in .nkis and there are multis to give you keyswitching. And there is layering of that. Big fuggen deal.

And it's buggy, it won't even load here. I got Orange Tree Samples Mind Control to give me an instance with more than one articulation. I'm pretty skeptical of VSL needing to stay competitive with this vendor. The "Articulations Performer" multi is following VSL from a decade ago with Giga Performance Tool in a sort of half-assed implementation. And they have abandoned it in the strings (buggy?), so we have the argument now that loading single .nkis is superior because you want to do a lot of work with crossfading anyway, individually. Sure, let's go back to that and pretend VI Pro didn't happen. Get real.

MacBook Pro 16,1: 2.3 GHz 8-core i9
64GB 2667MHz DDR4
OSX 10.15.6
VE Pro 7, Cubase Pro 11.0.10
Posted on Tue, May 13 2014 09:06
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12583

Hello everybody, 

Of course we appreciate your personal opinion in this forum, but let´s try to keep insulting phrases, both on a personal level and about software products, out of this discussion. 

Everybody in this business is doing their best to follow what they feel is right, and the diversity makes the scene as interesting as it is.

Thanks, 

Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, May 13 2014 14:41
by Rolf_Music
Joined on Tue, Feb 05 2013, Posts 82

VSL is the best without doubt. After purchasing some of their collections I started asking myself: "Why didnt I purchase from them before? Lost alot of money through Kontakt libraries".

Anyways, just thought I would share what I was thinking :D

I still think that it would be kind of nice to see specialized packages for each articulation, specifically for strings as they are the most complex :D

Posted on Fri, May 16 2014 10:33
by Oceanview
Joined on Sat, Jan 12 2008, Oxford, England, Posts 160

I just wanted to add something here about the relationship between the complex issues of realism and sustained notes. It is on sustained notes that one is more likely to become aware of the vibrato in the sample repeating - which sounds unrealistic. Awhile ago I questioned whether it would be possible for VSL to create a vibrato equivalent of the global humanize function in VPro. The thread is here:

http://community.vsl.co.at/forums/p/36559/224706.aspx#224706

There wasn't much response to this and no word from anyone at VSL as to what they thought of it.

To recap, my suggestion was to start with a non-vibrato sample. The software could be triggered by any note long enough for the vibrato to be audible (starting at a couple of seconds?). The software would apply random types of vibrato to the single sample. The humanize software already includes five types of vibrato. This would mean avoiding the need to do more recording and create more samples, and the software would be added to VPro.

This isn't meant to cure all the issues to do with achieving realism but I think it would make a big difference - especially on a solo violin line.

Oceanview
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