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Woodwinds
Last post Sat, Apr 16 2016 by Aaron Garner, 13 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Apr 13 2016 18:18
by Aaron Garner
Joined on Tue, Mar 15 2016, Posts 58

Hi,

I'm new to this forum and to VSL instruments.  So far I just have the SE strings and brass, but I am hooked.  Although I pretty much have all of the major woodwind libraries out there, after playing around with VSL's ww's in the audition player I don't think any of the others are quite as good.  They are just fantastic.

I'm sure most people go through a similar process, but I'm trying to decide what to buy.  I guess I'm just asking for some basic feedback and experiences.  I do realize buying decisions should center around what one needs and how the instruments will be used.  I use ww's a fair amount.

I'm leaning towards the Woodwinds I bundle (standard).  If anyone has the full edition, I'd be curious to know if you have benefited from all the extras that don't come with the standard version.  Things like mordents or grace notes can be made without a patch for it.

The other option is to just start out with the full library for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon.  I would miss out on the ensembles.  My last question is, does anyone think one could layer three solo instruments to produce an effective ensemble?

Thanks for any input,

Aaron

Posted on Thu, Apr 14 2016 21:08
by matteo
Joined on Mon, Apr 07 2008, Switzerland, Posts 56

I just bought the Woodwinds I full edition and I'm very happy. The extended library has a lot of progressive dynamics and more articulations. The arpeggios and scale runs are very realistic. 

Vienna SE Plus Extended, Appassionata Strings I, Woodwinds I, Brass I, Saxophones, Fanfare Trumpets, Flügelhorn, Solo Voices, Konzerthaus Orgel – MIRx, VIP – iMac 27" Intel Core i7 40 GB RAM
Posted on Thu, Apr 14 2016 23:29
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 453

Hi Aaron,

concerning the extended libraries, my experience is, that I often take patches of that library, and in a sometimes unorthodox way. For example: in an oboe melody I sometimes use for a short note a dynamic patch (dynamics of 2, 3, or 4 seconds), which give just that extra liveliness, sound and expression, that I'm looking for. So in the search for the just sound and expression, the extended libraries are definitly a very important part of my pallet (Be aware that dynamic patches have the opportunity of crescendo and decrescendo, I discovered that after a rather long time ). I didn't regret the buying of the full libraries for one moment.

Concerning the ensemble libraries with three unisono instruments: you can always complete your collection for a reduced price (I just have the single intruments of woodwinds I minus clarinette Bb extended and I saw that I should have to pay for the full Woodwinds I library the amount of the ensembles plus the extended library of the clarinette, this month special offer prices, minus some discounts, because I have Special Edition Libraries of the ensembles and some bundle savings). The problem with three unisono single patches is, that you have to do some tweaks to be sure that you don't use 1 particular sample the same time twice or three times. I believe you call the effect interference, what means, that it can sound ugly (2 contrary but same waves can deminish and even remove each other).

Posted on Fri, Apr 15 2016 00:52
by Aaron Garner
Joined on Tue, Mar 15 2016, Posts 58

Thank you both for the replies.  I know on forums people ask these sorts of questions about which library to buy or should they buy the full version etc., but I think what many want is some sort of confirmation which is what both of you did.  For some it seems like the basic articulations are fine, but I like having as few limitations as possible.  I have all of 8dio's ww's, Berlin ww's, EW ww's and CineWinds, but from what I can hear, none of them seem to offer the kind of flexiblity VSL ww's do.

I know what you mean about using an articulaion for something other than what it was intended for.  I recently used a tremelo patch to add definition to a fast string line - it actully worked.  I just mixed it in a tad.

I think buying the full Woodwinds I library is the way to go.  I head the music theory program at a college, and sometimes I will do a quick mockup of a student composition so they can hear what their piece sounds like.  Their compositons typically feature a solo instrument so I like having as many articulaions as possible.

Matteo, I am glad you mentioned the arpeggios and scale runs.  Although one can play those in without a special patch, they do sound incredible.

Thanks again for the replies, it was helpful.  I know the woodwinds are fairly old, I haven't heard any libraries that sound better overall.

Cheers,

Aaron

Posted on Fri, Apr 15 2016 07:56
by J.Hall
Joined on Tue, Sep 28 2010, Posts 69
Originally Posted by: Aaron Garner Go to Quoted Post
Thank you both for the replies. I know on forums people ask these sorts of questions about which library to buy or should they buy the full version etc., but I think what many want is some sort of confirmation which is what both of you did. For some it seems like the basic articulations are fine, but I like having as few limitations as possible. I have all of 8dio's ww's, Berlin ww's, EW ww's and CineWinds, but from what I can hear, none of them seem to offer the kind of flexiblity VSL ww's do.
I know what you mean about using an articulaion for something other than what it was intended for. I recently used a tremelo patch to add definition to a fast string line - it actully worked. I just mixed it in a tad.
I think buying the full Woodwinds I library is the way to go. I head the music theory program at a college, and sometimes I will do a quick mockup of a student composition so they can hear what their piece sounds like. Their compositons typically feature a solo instrument so I like having as many articulaions as possible.
Matteo, I am glad you mentioned the arpeggios and scale runs. Although one can play those in without a special patch, they do sound incredible.
Thanks again for the replies, it was helpful. I know the woodwinds are fairly old, I haven't heard any libraries that sound better overall.
Cheers,
Aaron



You do sound like a pro user but I'd still recommend going with Standard first, since you prefer few articulations. If mockup speed is a factor then I'd keep in mind that the extended has articulations that might mostly be used if you have the time to really sculpt the individual parts.


I do not at all regret buying my full instruments but it's not night and day compared to SE/SE+. Just thought I'd give another perspective. :)
i7-6700, 32 GB DDR4 RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB SSD, 500GB HDD
Cubase 8.5 / VI PRO / VE / MIRx / SE1+, SE2, SE4 / Dim. Brass I / Dimension Strings I standard / Soprano Choir + some full single instruments
Posted on Fri, Apr 15 2016 13:39
by Aaron Garner
Joined on Tue, Mar 15 2016, Posts 58

I read somewhere that in the SE's they sampled in whole steps rather than half steps, but it was on a forum so I don't know if it's true.  Also, if I'm interpreting the upgrade path correctly, VSL says when single instruments are available there is a discount if you own a SE library.  I could just get the SE's of the ww's and upgrade to a full single instrument as needed.  One nice thing about the SE's is that you get so many more instruments.

Posted on Fri, Apr 15 2016 16:56
by J.Hall
Joined on Tue, Sep 28 2010, Posts 69
Originally Posted by: Aaron Garner Go to Quoted Post
I read somewhere that in the SE's they sampled in whole steps rather than half steps.



That is correct, but not for the legato patch. In the full libraries you get half tone samples and a few more velocity layers on short and long notes (but not the legatos).

I did not find that these extras made a night and day difference for me, although an improvement.

And yes you get a discount towards standard and full libraries after SE. I'm working my way up one instrument at a time, although it's a bit more expensive in the long run.

I would definitely start with SE and move on when the need arise.
i7-6700, 32 GB DDR4 RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB SSD, 500GB HDD
Cubase 8.5 / VI PRO / VE / MIRx / SE1+, SE2, SE4 / Dim. Brass I / Dimension Strings I standard / Soprano Choir + some full single instruments
Posted on Fri, Apr 15 2016 20:16
by Aaron Garner
Joined on Tue, Mar 15 2016, Posts 58

Thanks for the good advice.  I'll probably get the SE libraries.  This way I can hear almost all of the ww's and the ensembles so when the need arises I can upgrade single instruments.

One more question - how do the VSL woodwinds work with other libraries?

Posted on Fri, Apr 15 2016 23:55
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 453
Sorry, English is not my native language (as you had noticed already probably). What are ww's. I didn't find it on internet.
Posted on Sat, Apr 16 2016 04:43
by Aaron Garner
Joined on Tue, Mar 15 2016, Posts 58

I think your English is great for not being native.  WW's means woodwinds.  I'd love to hear some of your music that features woodwinds.

Posted on Sat, Apr 16 2016 14:27
by MassMover
Joined on Mon, Sep 29 2008, Posts 236

One more advice: You probabably won't need so much details for unison ensemble writing, so here the articulations of the special editions might be fully sufficient. I started out with the SE and soon added the full single instruments for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon2 - still quite happy and not missing the full ensemble Instruments.

Posted on Sat, Apr 16 2016 18:55
by Kai
Joined on Sun, Dec 29 2002, Graz, Austria, Posts 164

Hi Aaron,

here’s another point of view …

After my SE libraries were just sitting unused on my shelf for years due to their limitations, I got the Woodwinds I standard a month ago and upgraded it now during the sale and I am more than happy that I did that. There are good reasons to consider the Woodwinds I library instead of the SE version since aside from the (probably less important) chromatic sampling it includes up to twice as many velocity layers - which to me makes a huge difference.

Yes one can combine solo instruments to form a small ensemble. With a MIRx venue (which in my opinion helps nearly as much to achieve realistic results as the sounds themselves) there are distinct (pre-defined) positions and eq-settings for first and second instruments that give a good impression of different instruments playing, even though it is the same patch. Transposing and tuning back by half a tone is another way to prevent the phasing problems mentioned above (since this way different samples are playing the same tone). So it is perfectly possible to work just with the solo instruments. The woodwind ensembles are nevertheless very nice, since they have a different timbre that is hard to reproduce when layering the solo sounds in unisono. 

The extended library contains a lot of pre-recorded phrases like mordents, grace notes, … and fortunately one can indeed easily play these phrases without such separate patches (although they sound nice I generally don’t like pre-recorded phrases very much due to their inflexibility and probably won’t use them). The extended libraries include (in addition to very useful longer portato versions with faster attack than the sustained sounds) also far more performance patches, which are just spectacular. It is these patches (in particular performance marcato, grace and trill) that allow to realistically play faster phrases (including mordents, grace notes, runs, arpeggios, trills, …). E.g. the performance grace is far more than the name suggests: it is extremely playable since it has generally more velocity layers than the legato patch and sounds great for nearly arbitrary passages, so that (like the performance trill) it can be used for all kinds of applications.

In case you decide to go for single instruments, I would recommend to get the full libraries, since the patches in the single instrument standard libraries are not the same patches as in the standard versions of the collection libraries (like Woodwinds I), but rather the reduced SE versions (with fewer velocity layers)! Unfortunately, I did not find any information on this point on the VSL webpage and found it out the hard way out after purchasing single instruments.

Cheers

Kai

Posted on Sat, Apr 16 2016 20:27
by Aaron Garner
Joined on Tue, Mar 15 2016, Posts 58

I really appreciate the responses.  This information has now solidified my decision.  I didn't know about about the difference in velocity layers.  Twice the number for some patches?  That alone sells me on the Woodwinds I over the SE version.  I guess I just have to decide between the standard and full version.

Regarding the single instruments, I just assumed the standard versions were the same as the full versions, but with fewer articulations.  I would never have thought that they would have fewer velocity layers.  I also don't typically use pre-recorded phrases.  I just can never seem to find a place where they sound natural within the context of a melody.  I agree sometimes they sound incredibly real, but for me generally not useful.

Okay, as I'm typing this, I decided to get the full version of Woodwinds I.  That's it . .  done!

Thanks everyone for offering your opinions.  As I said before, I know these kinds of threads get posted all the time on forums so I was hesitant to ask.  The dialog was actaully really helpful in my decision.

I've been reading and watching demos about the MIRx so that will probably be my next investigation.

Thanks again,

Aaron

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