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Testing out Synchron Violins 1 (Legato)
Last post Sun, Dec 31 2017 by Dominique, 19 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Dec 26 2017 22:57
by stephen limbaugh
Joined on Tue, Feb 23 2016, Los Angeles, Posts 248

So, I'm trying to get a handle on how this legato system works, and what types of patches are intended for what types of articulations/speeds/etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2C6PEJRoxs

This is an UNLISTED link for the VSL community (please don't share).

Paul or others, any advice here?  I'm not quite getting the desired result.

(the exerpt is the 2nd movement from Symphonie Fantastique)

2019 MacBook Pro, 8 core i9, 32gb RAM. Heavy Digital Audio PC slave, 6 core Xeon E5-1650, 128gb RAM. Logic 10.4.8. Mojave & Windows 10.
Posted on Wed, Dec 27 2017 20:34
by JimmyHellfire
Joined on Tue, Dec 24 2013, Posts 333

Something's wrong with the legato, true. The patches are way too responsive and immediate - to the point of actually hardly being legato at all. The transitions feel far too short, so that the destination note jumps out very suddenly, resulting in some kind of a strict detache feel. To me it sounds as if that there was just too little of the transition portion between connected notes.

I'm very curious if perhaps the Synchron Player is meant to remedy this. Otherwise I feel it'd be best to revisit these patches - even if it meant that the final release of the full library needs to be pushed back even more. The tone itself is wonderful and there's a lot to love about these new strings. It would be a shame if their true potential never truly came to shine because of the odd legato behavior.

Posted on Wed, Dec 27 2017 22:56
by suon
Joined on Sat, Sep 04 2010, Posts 106

I originally felt the same way.  I do wish there were one or two more "sloppy" legato transition styles, and a light portamento version, too.  (Here's to hoping that VSL may be willing to add such transition styles in the future?) 

However - after really sitting down with the legato this afternoon and giving it a serious open-minded chance, I am beginning to really like the legato styles that they have provided.  In particular, I feel these legato styles provide *controllable* flexibility.  I can see how this will be useful in a wide range of music, working more broadly than sloppy legato transitions would (even though I'd still wish for the sloppy/portamento options, too). 

I just uploaded a legato demo in a separate post, too.  Jimmy and Stephen, do you feel that example has the same problems that you are describing here?

Stephen, about your Berlioz example -

You might already agree that getting realism from sample libraries always requires trial and error between velocities, crossfades, and articulations, often using unexpected articulations with unexpected velocities to get the right nuance.  For me personally, this is a game I'm willing to play, and I hope that Synchron Player makes it easier to play that game, or at least doesn't make it harder to use wrong articulations that surprisingly might work in unexpected places =)

In your clip, it looks like there's not much velocity xfade action going on.  I bet it would open up a lot of possibilities to vary the velocity xfade more dramatically - to sculpt attack/development/decay of individual long notes, or over arcs of notes in one bow stroke.  You probably already have tried various different legato articulations with trial and error, but my feeling is that if you just trial and error some more, it could work.  One particular example that really sticks out to me is around 0:40 - 0:45. instead of using slurred legato followed by the long patch, I suspect it would sound better if you used normal or fast legato, followed by short sforzando articulations to mimic a detache with a slight attack.  In some places, I think you might consider using other articulations than legato, too, where a more crunchy attack or a light release are needed - those details sometimes add more realism than a legato transition would, especially on beginning/ending notes of the phrases.

Posted on Thu, Dec 28 2017 04:50
by stephen limbaugh
Joined on Tue, Feb 23 2016, Los Angeles, Posts 248

Re Suon -- yes to all that.

I had more time to mess today.  Other thoughts:

  • The A/B switch for the releases helps yeild "blurred" results when I mess with it.
  • The Slurred Legato is the key I think to passages that are marked in a score as... well, slurred.
  • Lyrical vibrato vs the normal.. I need to experiment more with that.
  • Velocity Xfade has a different behavior for Synchron! Velocity layers are removed when Vel Xfade is turned on!

 

I suspect when we get the legato tutorial video more questions will be answered.

2019 MacBook Pro, 8 core i9, 32gb RAM. Heavy Digital Audio PC slave, 6 core Xeon E5-1650, 128gb RAM. Logic 10.4.8. Mojave & Windows 10.
Posted on Thu, Dec 28 2017 06:25
by JimmyHellfire
Joined on Tue, Dec 24 2013, Posts 333

Another thing I've been made aware of on the VI Control forums: to make the results feel more "legato", why not just simply adjust the attack slider a bit?

It actually works surprisingly well, and since we can do this per patch basis in the edit view, it's possible to "set and forget" for the legato patches without affecting the other articulations.

Posted on Thu, Dec 28 2017 07:18
by Sami Boman
Joined on Wed, Mar 23 2005, Jyväskylä, Finland, Posts 198
Originally Posted by: stephen limbaugh Go to Quoted Post
Velocity Xfade has a different behavior for Synchron! Velocity layers are removed when Vel Xfade is turned on!


What? Why? Always?
Posted on Thu, Dec 28 2017 09:38
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 11895

Hi, 

Yes, we are reducing the velocity layers for Performance Legatos when Velocity XFade is switched on. The second lowest layer and the second loudest layer is eliminated for the 8 velocity legatos (regular and no vibrato). 

1) The amount of streaming samples is reduced. 

2) You don't hear the difference, as Velocity Xfade works so remarkably well with the consistent velocity layer.

EDIT: 3) Of course those very helpful dynamic matrices (SOFT, MEDIUM and FULL Dynamic Range) each contain 4 Velocity Layers, and those are also available with Velocity XFade, The higher resolution you get with these matrices are great to work with!

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Dec 28 2017 12:03
by Piotr Katzpersky
Joined on Mon, May 11 2015, Polska, Posts 30

Hi Paul,

I've got question about legatos - are you planning to make legato walkhthrough video? Because this is one thing that is bit hard to grasp. Seems simple, but is complex ;) Few patches, but many legato types, different vibratos etc. For me basic connection between notes is far from what I would like to get without tweaking. But manipulating attack and release during every transition is against that promise:

"With Synchron Strings I, we have achieved the ultimate in realism and expressiveness, while providing a new level of ease-of-use.

Play short notes, long notes with various attacks, legatos, scalable vibrato intensities and note repetitions with a minimal need to switch articulations, and by moving just one or two preconfigured controllers."

I've heard Herb's demo and it is very technical, at some points wow (how to achieve part from 1:37 - that repeating structure, awesome!), but at some a bit... too technical, not very musical. And it ommits fast melody lines. So, any walkhthrough on the horizon? :)

Posted on Thu, Dec 28 2017 12:43
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Göttingen, Posts 953

Originally Posted by: Piotr Katzpersky Go to Quoted Post

I've heard Herb's demo and it is very technical, at some points wow (how to achieve part from 1:37 - that repeating structure, awesome!), but at some a bit... too technical, not very musical. And it ommits fast melody lines. So, any walkhthrough on the horizon? :)

Honestly, I do prefer Herb as soundengineer and developer of Highend Samplelibraries (as who he has done an incredible job since years) over Herb as compoer (improviser) of short demo sketches.

IMHO I am sure a good musician is able to do wonderful things with Synchron Strings and as we can and have to wait until the Library (and its player) is complete we also can and have to wait for good music done with that Library.

http://klassik-resampled.de ... 3648 mp3 with a whole Week (=7 Days /=171 hours) of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries

http://synchron.12sf.de
a) ...Synchron-Strings explored in 40 mp3 with more than four hours of complete and ambitious scores from 19th, 20th and 21th century produced with Synchron-Strings.

b) ...Synchron-Steinway explored in 48 mp3 with nearly three hours of complete and ambitious scores from 18th 19th 20th and 21th century produced with Synchron-Steinway.
Posted on Thu, Dec 28 2017 14:08
by Piotr Katzpersky
Joined on Mon, May 11 2015, Polska, Posts 30

Originally Posted by: fahl5 Go to Quoted Post

IMHO I am sure a good musician is able to do wonderful things with Synchron Strings and as we can and have to wait until the Library (and its player) is complete we also can and have to wait for good music done with that Library.

I'm also sure of that. The magic is in music, composition, orchestration, not in samples. But Synchron legato seems to be too sudden / slurs to loud and somehow they feel detached. Audio below has 3 legato types, standard, slow, slured, out of the box, same velocity etc. Maybe it's just me, but the connection is not that... connected (slow sounds the best imo).

https://soundcloud.com/piotr_katzpersky/legato-1/s-M8ZWD

I believe that there will be some magical legato knob in Synchron Player to manipulate those samples. So again to Paul: can you confrm that Player will have additional legato transition control? I'm not saying to hurry (take your time guys!), I just want more informations.

By the way, sorry to OP for derailing the thread, but subject is same, so I hope for forgivenes.

Posted on Thu, Dec 28 2017 17:30
by stephen limbaugh
Joined on Tue, Feb 23 2016, Los Angeles, Posts 248

One other thing I want to add is that when properly used in the Synchron Player or in VIpro2, I think this library smashes all others AND that the legato has been reinvented and will sound amazingly real.  I just don't know quite yet how to properly weild it.

2019 MacBook Pro, 8 core i9, 32gb RAM. Heavy Digital Audio PC slave, 6 core Xeon E5-1650, 128gb RAM. Logic 10.4.8. Mojave & Windows 10.
Posted on Sat, Dec 30 2017 18:12
by stephen limbaugh
Joined on Tue, Feb 23 2016, Los Angeles, Posts 248

New test!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN5uvXp82QM

  • one articulation
  • one velocity
  • no key switching
  • performed LIVE
  • no automation
  • raw Synchron sound from the soft dynamics preset

To my ears, this is pretty damn convincing especially for a live, completely unedited performance... and once I were to add some processing, and riding some of the CCs a little bit, this is gonna rock.

2019 MacBook Pro, 8 core i9, 32gb RAM. Heavy Digital Audio PC slave, 6 core Xeon E5-1650, 128gb RAM. Logic 10.4.8. Mojave & Windows 10.
Posted on Sun, Dec 31 2017 00:51
by sururick
Joined on Mon, Aug 18 2008, Posts 32

Are there any full string ensembles in Synchron Strings?

Posted on Sun, Dec 31 2017 01:17
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1562

Originally Posted by: JimmyHellfire Go to Quoted Post

Another thing I've been made aware of on the VI Control forums: to make the results feel more "legato", why not just simply adjust the attack slider a bit?

It actually works surprisingly well, and since we can do this per patch basis in the edit view, it's possible to "set and forget" for the legato patches without affecting the other articulations.

I don't know about Synchron but the other libraries work better if you increase the Release fader for legato no more then 10 units.  You have to be very careful with attack because you start to loose definition and the notes become too blurred.  Plus over attack gives the notes too much of a WAH! sound.


"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, Dec 31 2017 07:59
by JimmyHellfire
Joined on Tue, Dec 24 2013, Posts 333

Originally Posted by: jasensmith Go to Quoted Post

I don't know about Synchron but the other libraries work better if you increase the Release fader for legato no more then 10 units.  You have to be very careful with attack because you start to loose definition and the notes become too blurred.  Plus over attack gives the notes too much of a WAH! sound.

Sure, and I mean, it's not a magic bullet or anything ... but it at least makes the playing feel somewhat more pleasant. Bottom line however, the legato patches are problematic, simply moving a slider ultimately won't remedy that.

Posted on Sun, Dec 31 2017 09:01
by Dominique
Joined on Fri, Aug 08 2008, Posts 178

Originally Posted by: stephen limbaugh Go to Quoted Post

  • no automation

 

Why would you ever gonna post something that you didn't even take the time to add some basic cc1? It is bound to sound like an organ, and so it does. I really don't see the point behind it, other than demonstrating how not to use a strings library. Sorry that the words are a little harsh, but you could have made it sound much better by spending just 20 seconds more on it.

Posted on Sun, Dec 31 2017 09:28
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 358
Originally Posted by: sururick Go to Quoted Post
Are there any full string ensembles in Synchron Strings?


Yes
Posted on Sun, Dec 31 2017 17:48
by stephen limbaugh
Joined on Tue, Feb 23 2016, Los Angeles, Posts 248
Originally Posted by: Dominique Go to Quoted Post
<p>
Originally Posted by: stephen limbaugh Go to Quoted Post
</p>
<ul>
<li>no automation</li>
</ul>
<p>
</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Why would you ever gonna post something that you didn't even take the time to add some basic cc1? It is bound to sound like an organ, and so it does. I really don't see the point behind it, other than demonstrating how not to use a strings library. Sorry that the words are a little harsh, but you could have made it sound much better by spending just 20 seconds more on it.</p>



Hmm. Have you listened to much organ music?

As this is a discussion about legato, the purpose is to isolate the transitions between the notes, which are slurred together without a change in bow direction (thus, the groups of notes only have one “attack” sound on the first note of that group).

To my knowledge, an organ cannot do that, the slurred passages merely being played with very slight note overlap to mask the instrument’s characteristic limitation.

Give it a second listen and focus in on the timbral changes that take place between each grouping of notes. Until now, I’ve never heard any library of any orchestral instrument group do this convincingly without lots of automation, articulation switching, and library mixing.

2019 MacBook Pro, 8 core i9, 32gb RAM. Heavy Digital Audio PC slave, 6 core Xeon E5-1650, 128gb RAM. Logic 10.4.8. Mojave & Windows 10.
Posted on Sun, Dec 31 2017 18:55
by Dominique
Joined on Fri, Aug 08 2008, Posts 178

Originally Posted by: stephen limbaugh Go to Quoted Post


As this is a discussion about legato, the purpose is to isolate the transitions between the notes, which are slurred together without a change in bow direction (thus, the groups of notes only have one “attack” sound on the first note of that group).

 

Got it. I missed that you wanted to showcase the transition only, not the preceding and following note. Convincing is not a word I would attribute to this example, but I am sure it is due to the lack of cc1 information, not the legato transitions themselves.

 

Have a happy new year everyone! See you in 2018.

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