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Special Edition uses after upgrading to standard/full?
Last post Fri, Jun 16 2017 by PaoloT, 11 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Mar 08 2016 04:57
by jeshi
Joined on Tue, Mar 26 2013, Tokto JAPAN, Posts 3

With the current Special Edition sale, I am reconsidering getting some more SE libraries. I currently have Solo Strings I std, Harps std, and SE woodwinds1. My original plan was to get Standard/Full versions of strings as I need them, SE versions of woodwind/brass and upgrade individual instruments to Full as needed. I also use KirkHunter and other sample libraries.

I am realizing that my learning curve with all the different VSL articulations is slower than I expected and that having fewer articulations might not be such a bad thing. So I am considering between getting the SE bundles (vol1 and/or vol2) or just getting some more SE wind sections (SE brass1, SE winds2, SE brass2) and saving the extra money for another string library in the summer (maybe Chamber I or Appassionata I).

My question is whether people here find value and use for their Special Edition libraries after they have upgraded to Standard or Full libraries?  One possible use I could see for also having SpecialEdition versions is using them on a laptop (less disk and memory usage) when roughing out new pieces or when needing to do quick demos. Or does everyone just ignore their Special Editions after upgrading?

For reference I have a reasonably powerful win7 desktop machine which is my main workstation, but I also enjoy working on the laptop.

thanks jessica

Posted on Tue, Mar 08 2016 11:24
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 472

Of course I can only speak for myself, but when I upgrade a SE library to a full library, I just use full the version. But I don't use a laptop with little harddisk and memory space. For the solostring library I use very much the possibility in Vienna Instruments Pro to stretch samples in order to vary the vibrato. For me that creates a lot more realism.

Posted on Wed, Mar 09 2016 01:44
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582

Good question

Like MMKA I can only speak for myself but I purchased the original Special Edition extended version back in 08.  That version was basically a watered down library of the standard Cube which was everything in the orchestra. .  In fact, it was more like what sediments were left in the water after the watering down; you were severely limited on articulations and samples.

As time went on I purchased the full libraries and used the SE to fill the holes in my templates.

Today I have about everything that I want so, until I buy the English Horn download, I will have no use for the SE.

I'm not sure anymore but I think you get discounts on the full library if you have an SE library with the same samples. 


"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 Wed, Mar 09 2016 04:18
by soundsreal
Joined on Sat, Oct 25 2014, Posts 13

In my experience considering the rather extreme difference in what even a standard library version can do compared to the special edition version my only use for the SE is to get a general idea of what instruments I will end up using and which I will more likely pass over. 

If you already know which instrument you want and will use, and the standard is close to the price of the SE, that my friend, is what I tend to call cause for celebration rather than further deliberation.

It may be taboo to say this here but the fact is that not all VSL instruments are truly created equal, and probably also sometimes we as users may not know how to use them as well as we think we do. Either way I wish I had adopted this strategy earlier and I would then have a standard solo flute instead of flute ensemble, and the VSL Viennese horn rather than the VSL tenor sax, but hey, that's just me.

Posted on Wed, Mar 09 2016 07:08
by jeshi
Joined on Tue, Mar 26 2013, Tokto JAPAN, Posts 3

thank you everyone for your honesty and experience.  I also had the feeling that the SE versions were mostly a way to get people into the VSL system and give them a taste (a rather good taste) of what is to come and provide a stepping-stone upgrade path. 

I think I will stick with my original plan of slowly getting Standard libraries and mostly skipping the SE. I may still pick up one or two SE winds/bass sections on this sale so that I can get a better taste of those instruments (maybe SE wind2, SE brass2, since my other libraries don't cover those instruments so well). Also it seems that the upgrade discount from SE winds/brass is more reasonable than the discount upgrading from SE strings to their standard version. For example SE winds2 (at 72euro today) will give an upgrade discount of 65euro against WindsComplete.

soundsreal, I agree with you about the VSL flute1, I am very impressed with it. I may have to grab the Viennese horn, thanks for the recommendation.

Of course we can keep the discussion going if anyone wants to jump in with some situations where they are glad they also have the SpecialEdition versions (after upgrading).  It might also be helpful to know which instruments when upgraded to standard library versions showed the largest or smallest improvements.

Posted on Wed, Mar 09 2016 11:18
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582

When I first took the plunge into the VSL realm I knew that I couldn't afford the cube (at that time I think the standard cube was about $9,000) so I purchased as many standard libraries as I could and used the SE to fill in the blanks.

In retrospect, I think I would have skiped the SE completely and just used my limited budget on creating the most comprehensive, string library(s) that I could buy.  Then piano, then maybe woodwinds, brass etc.  As I worked with the libraries I found that I just didn't have enough samples to do what I wanted to do.  I mean the VSL legato and staccato samples are the best on the market hands down but they only get you so far.  And remember, VSL usually runs a monthly special so eventually something you need will be available at a discount.

On the other hand, it all depends on you and your writing style.  If you like doing the big "in your face" Hollywood filmscores but you can't afford even the standard cube then the SE would be a viable alternative.  Persoanlly, I find these default Hollywood extravaganzas that every composer and his/her mother is doing these days rather tiresome.  I prefer smaller more intimate settings because less is more but that's just me    

"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 Fri, Mar 18 2016 15:44
by Todd_SLCUT
Joined on Fri, Sep 25 2009, SLC, UT, Posts 18

I tend to use the Special Edition samples when a) I don't have a full version of that particular instrument, or b) I'm just mocking the piece up in Finale before I send it into a DAW to do the bulk of my editing. It keeps the sample # down, allowing me to have more instruments running at once. 


also, the articulations offered are usually really good for what I need. 

Posted on Sat, Mar 26 2016 17:18
by esperlad
Joined on Thu, Nov 07 2002, Posts 233

I think Jessica asks a great and inportant question. I am happy to give you my thoughts and perspectives:

The purchase options have greatly improved since the VSL people have given the option of single instruments and the Special Edition packages.

I think you need to decide which instruments will be used on a regular basis. For example: There are several string instruments avaliable today. I like the chamber and solo strings. The orchestral strings are good, but I don't use them as much. The larger appassinata strings are good for some things, but I use them less.

I love the wind instruments! These sound really good overall. The SE versions are quite good. I like to write Concert Band music and the SE winds will work out great. You just need to make sure you get the PLUS volumes and you should be set for most wind music. The Oboe d'amore is favorite instrument of the wind section. I was also very pleased with Saxaphones. I am currently using the Alto, Tenor and Baritone saxes...SE versions. They all work great for me. I have plans to get the second clarinet...I only wish they had included some vibrato articulations in the standard package.

There are some wonderful Brass instruments. I would recommend the entire Trombone family (Alto, Tenor, Bass, Contrabass, ensembles). The Trumpets are good. I wish there were more mutes to select. I really like the Triple Horn. The Wien Horn is better now that you can get the 24-bit version. There are lots of articulations and choices if you like to write for the Horn in F.

As you make more choices for the future, look at the articulation list and see if what you need is listed, and then go from there. Of course, some articulations have not been recorded. I would personally like to see mordents for all the wind and string instruments. Let us hope more material will get recorded.

I hope this information is helpful for you. Good luck on your writing.

Posted on Mon, Mar 28 2016 12:32
by jeshi
Joined on Tue, Mar 26 2013, Tokto JAPAN, Posts 3

thank you esperlad, todd and jasensmith, your comments have really helped me.

I decided to take advantage of the sale and bought SE wind2 and SE brass1&2, but just the basic articulations (not the plus).  Overall the SE winds/brass are quite nice and complement my KirkHunter/Wallander WIVI libraries quite well, in the same way that VSL solo1/harps has complemented my KirkHunter string libraries. So far I am more impressed with the SE winds than the brass, but part of that is because I love the sound of woodwinds and know how to work with them better.  This will probably be the end of my SE purchases and from now on I will buy VSL string collections (Chamber1, Solo2...) and individual instruments(Flute1, Oboe d'amore...) until the situation/money allows me to upgrade to larger bundles.

Posted on Fri, May 19 2017 22:30
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 1326

I use the Special Edition instruments, of which I also have the Standard or Full version, to create hybrid instruments to be used when composing. For example, I might use a matrix from the SE Flute 1, and add to it a flattertongue patch from the Full version. In the end, the SE Flute will demand less CPU and memory, but still have all the needed articulations.

To help me in this process, I'm creating a set of scripts that are the same for all instruments, and allow for easy interchance of instruments. When finished composing, I can simply replace the SE Flute 1 with the Full Flute 1, and the same script will select the right articulations.

I'm using Logic's Scripter, and a modified version of Art Conductor to select my articulations from the various libraries. I started from VSL's VIPRO basic matrix, and added cells for additional articulations. The general structure of the matrix is the same for all instruments. Since Scripter expects the same articulation to be on the same position in a list, I keep the list coherent for all instruments.


Posted on Fri, Jun 16 2017 12:43
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 1326

I should partially rectify what I wrote above. SE and Full instruments can be exchanged, but not perfectly. SE sustain articulations usually have 3 layers, whereas Full sustain articulations have 4 or 5 layers. This means that the boundary between them are placed at different points. When going from SE to Full, you have to check all the dynamics, to be sure the correct dynamic layer is selected by the same controller data.


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