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Last post Tue, Aug 15 2017 by Beat Kaufmann, 10 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Jul 24 2017 17:37
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 11


My name is John Minardi.  I recently purchased the Vienna Symphonic Libary 1st Edition and I love the sound quaility of the instruments.  I am not employed as a musician but I have always loved the music sound tracks from movies and TV.  I am a retired Electronics Technician and really just wanted some way to occupy my time.  The VSL has been very satisfiying for the ideas I had in mind to create some music.

I am a little fustrated though.  I have no formal training in writing, reading or arrangement of music and there are times when I feel I may not be technically correct in the use of the instruments.  But, it is a lot of fun composing music.  I have some of my compositions at the following web site.    


Have a great time composing!

Thanks, John Minardi

Posted on Tue, Jul 25 2017 07:11
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Hall One, Posts 695

You are wellcome, never mind to ask anything you are interested, we all love the musicalty of the vienna samples and are constantly learning to explore theiir power.

To be serious: Is there any greater resource of sample-based recordings of classical music out there?
Posted on Wed, Jul 26 2017 16:36
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 310

Hi John,

Welcome to the wonderful world of VSL instruments.  I am sure your retirement will be filled with many new and exciting experiences as you indulge your interest in composition.  Frustration is a part of the game as there is much to learn.  Nobody can tell you preciesly how to "fix things" because each individual works differently.  Give yourself time, patience, and permission to make mistakes and soon things will become clear.

All the best,


p.s.  You share the same name as my high school principal, which of course had me wondering until you mentioned your background as an electronics technician.

www.dearvillainmusic.com - Brand New Site Just Launched!
Posted on Wed, Jul 26 2017 19:21
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 11

Hi Dave,

It's nice to meet you and thank you for your post.  You're right; I do need to give myself some time to feel comfortable with this.  I am truly my worst critic.

I have sampled some of your compositions.  They are wonderful! Was it all done with the VSL?  

Thanks again Dave and take care.


John M.

Posted on Wed, Jul 26 2017 21:15
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 310

Hi John,

Glad to hear you enjoyed the music!  Everything is 95% VSL.  I have a couple of instruments from the Kontakt library, but all the orchestral instruments are the Symphonic Cube, standard library.  I also have MIR Pro for reverb, but other than that...that's it.

All the best,


www.dearvillainmusic.com - Brand New Site Just Launched!
Posted on Wed, Aug 09 2017 18:39
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1323
Hello John,
Welcome to the world of VSL. I hope your not married because VSL will become your mistress:D.

Not too shabby for your first jaunt in the world of VSL. Don't be afraid to let loose with the articulations and tools at your disposal. I would recommend trying to imitate a favorite piece you have then work from there. You learn so much when you do that.

Congratulations and welcome aboard.

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 Thu, Aug 10 2017 14:48
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 312

Hi John,

I am also retired and now find myself spending at least 40 hours per week on music. Unlike you, I earned a degree in music, but then spent my working life in banking. Even putting in 40 hours per week, it has been a daunting task to learn the technology of DAW and samples, while also trying to improve my composition skills. 

The task before us is so large, that in my opinion the only way forward is to compartmentalize each category of activity and approach them one at a time, not all at once. So a list of possible categories might be:

I. Composition Skills
    a. Harmony
    b. Melodic techniques
    c, Counterpoint and Voice Leading
    d. Musical Form
    e.  Orchestration

II. DAW skills
    a. Midi
    b. Midi Editing
    e. Using Plug-Ins
    f.  Using EQ, Compression, Limiting, Reverb

III. Sample Instrument Skills
    a. Learning the Player
    b. Understanding Articulations
    c.  CC's and performance controls
    d.  When to use Velocity x-fade vs Key Velocity
    e.  When to use attack and release parameters
    f.   Blending or combining articulations / patches and ways to move between them or combine them

And on and on and on . . . 

Best of luck, and have fun.

Paul T. McGraw 

Posted on Fri, Aug 11 2017 16:49
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 11

Hello Jasen,

Thanks for your post.  You made me have a good laugh about VSL becoming my mistress !  I think that's whats happening !

I want to thank you much for your advice about using more articulation techniques and for listening to the compositions.  For most of my life, I have played in rock bands but I had a secret admiration for orchcestral music.  In fact, I listened to classical much more than rock songs.  My main instrument was drums and I also play piano, bass, guitar and percussion instruments.  I was composing and recording songs for these instruments but, now at 62, I got a little bored with the same old sounds.  

The VSL has been a great way to create the compositions I have in mind.  When I listen to the compositions, I can hear how cautious I have been about not letting loose as you say.  I'm recording one right now that I think will remedy that situation.  I never did take the time that I should have to learn music composition and arrangement techniques.  I have great respect for many of the composers on this forum.

Thanks Jasen and it's nice to meet you.

John Minardi

Posted on Fri, Aug 11 2017 17:52
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 11

HI Paul,

Thanks for your post.

40 hours a week! Thats great.  You're right about it being a daunting task.  In fact, and I hate to admit this but, I just started using the expression control on a composition I am recording right now.  I don't know why I didn't check out the performance controls a little better but I think I got a little impatient and just wanted to dive in.

Thank you for taking the time to write the list.  I will print it out and keep it on hand.  There are some things on it that I didn't consider at all.  Much of what I do is by ear as you know and this will be very helpful for me.

I don't know if you listened to any of my compositions but if you would like to, here is a link to them; any crtique will be much appreciated. (copy and paste)


My recording technique, I think, may be a little unorthodox.  I don't use MIDI.  Not because I don't like it but I kind of gotten used to recording directly to my DAW.  It can be somewhat difficult at times, but I think it plays a big part in honing my skills in playing the keyboard in just the right way to get the performance sound I am aiming for.  It has definitely given me a great respect for the musicians in orchestras and the great skill they possess.

 Thanks Paul and it's nice to meet you.

John Minardi

Posted on Tue, Aug 15 2017 19:05
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1701

Hi John

Here are some tips, tricks, and explainings you could probably use for getting better results with your VSL-Libraries. http://www.beat-kaufmann.com/vitutorials/index.php

Some are older, some are newer, some are helpers, some are just for giving ideas,...

Enjoy and I wish you a lot of success!

All the best


www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
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