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Synchron Strings Challenge
Last post Wed, Aug 15 2018 by belkina, 23 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Jul 30 2018 12:11
by belkina
Joined on Sun, Jun 13 2004, Montreal, Posts 440

I've done a couple of projects with the Synchron Strings now, and I like many things about them. One thing I can't find a way to do is to get strong vibrato in a very soft passage, with gentle attacks. The viola line on the first page of this video is a good example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Mj6HBbvXM

Notice how much variety there is in the details of the vibrato and the envelopes. 

If you are interested, give it a try, it's only one phrase!

That is the Synchron Strings Challenge!  :-)

Posted on Mon, Jul 30 2018 17:02
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 385

wow, what a beautiful piece and performance (Villa Lobos). Would indeed be amazing if someone can reproduce that with samples, Synchron or not!

Best

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 11:46
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 358

Hi Alan,

Okay, I took the challenge, and worked a little on the melody. The result you can hear beneath. And no, it has not the qualities in the finesses of the link you send.
I used not only the Synchron Strings but also 2 samples (vi-sus-espr and perf-rep-leg for the repeating notes) of the Chamber Strings (the VI one, not the Synchron-ized version). Also I brought in the solo viola (the sus-Vib-espr) and softened the attack a little, and of course some equalizing.

Best

Altos melody

Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 12:26
by belkina
Joined on Sun, Jun 13 2004, Montreal, Posts 440

I think it sounds pretty nice, certainly not at all mechanical. I like it. :-)

I hope more people will try.

I'm curious, is anyone able to achieve something like this with the Synchron strings alone? (Although I am personally interested in all expressive simulations.)

Originally Posted by: MMKA Go to Quoted Post

Hi Alan,

Okay, I took the challenge, and worked a little on the melody. The result you can hear beneath. And no, it has not the qualities in the finesses of the link you send.
I used not only the Synchron Strings but also 2 samples (vi-sus-espr and perf-rep-leg for the repeating notes) of the Chamber Strings (the VI one, not the Synchron-ized version). Also I brought in the solo viola (the sus-Vib-espr) and softened the attack a little, and of course some equalizing.

Best

Altos melody

Posted on Wed, Aug 01 2018 21:19
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 131

Here's my take - SY violas only, a tiny bit of delay on top of the factory preset (and nothing else). Vibratos are not even close, but I couldn't make them any better. Well, I'm only learning to use this library, and this was a good exercise:

https://drive.google.com/open?id...FpKUFWJ53-6BDo8a0w90wc_c

Posted on Wed, Aug 01 2018 21:33
by belkina
Joined on Sun, Jun 13 2004, Montreal, Posts 440

Originally Posted by: crusoe Go to Quoted Post

Here's my take - SY violas only, a tiny bit of delay on top of the factory preset (and nothing else). Vibratos are not even close, but I couldn't make them any better. Well, I'm only learning to use this library, and this was a good exercise:

https://drive.google.com/open?id...FpKUFWJ53-6BDo8a0w90wc_c

One thing I tried myself was having them play loud and with maximum vibrato, and then using CC11 to make it sounds softer. But I couldn't get the attacks to sound right. :-(

Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2018 06:46
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 131

Quote:
One thing I tried myself was having them play loud and with maximum vibrato, and then using CC11 to make it sounds softer. But I couldn't get the attacks to sound right.

Yes, I tried it too, and indeed, it doesn't really work out :)

The MMKA's mockup is really good, though.

Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2018 11:50
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 358

Second try. Now I used only Synchron Strings.

Viola melody only Synchron Strings 1

Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2018 13:08
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 131

MMKA, please make the link accessible (it's not).

Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2018 13:11
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 358

Sorry, I saw it. I hope it is now accessible.

Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2018 13:57
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 131

Yup, it works now! I listened and I have to say I liked your 1st version much more. The colors became bleak. Well, it's pretty much the same for my own version. As Alan pointed out, the situation could be slightly improved with the highest velocity layer, at least in theory, but even with that I've not found a single sample in SY violas that matches/rivals/stands up to the vibrato presented by the challenge.

Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2018 14:24
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 358

I tried the example again with and without help of the chamber violins. And I think you are right.
The conclusion can be, that Synchron Strings 1 doesn't have the vibrato of the vi-sus-espr sample of the chamber Orchestra.
For myself I made some time ago the conclusion, that one, or at least I, will get the best string performances with mixing several string samples (samples can be from the same library or another). Of course this is not a law, but in many cases it turns out to work so, at least for me.
In this piece the combination of the consistancy of the Synchron Strings, mixed with the expressive sound of the Chamber Violins sample gave obvious the best result for me at this moment. 
I tried a little with the Synchronized Chamber Orchestra alone, but that didn't give the result either I can get with the mixed version.

Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2018 14:26
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 358

Alan, a question for you: what do you think about the attacks of my Synchron alone version?

Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2018 14:42
by javajam
Joined on Sun, Mar 13 2005, Paris, France, Posts 155

The 'Synchron only' sounds like a student/scholar playing thing. No expressivity. And no way about the attacks imo.

The first you posted sounds better but I can't believe we could get anything really close to the original with any Vienna strings unfortunately...

Posted on Fri, Aug 03 2018 11:09
by Erik
Joined on Sat, Nov 20 2004, The Netherlands, Posts 144

Hi Belkina,
I just sent you a PM....

Posted on Fri, Aug 03 2018 11:20
by belkina
Joined on Sun, Jun 13 2004, Montreal, Posts 440

Originally Posted by: MMKA Go to Quoted Post

Alan, a question for you: what do you think about the attacks of my Synchron alone version?

:-) The attacks are quite nice, but I would like a bit more variety, in particular the difference between a note that starts a new bowstroke and a note within a slur, where the attack would normally be somewhat gentler. There are a few existing sample libraries that offer this. When the strings are playing with everybody else it's not noticeable, but in an foreground string line like this one it makes a difference.

While we are on this subject, if I listen to the real version I am also struck by more variety in the enevlope of each note. That I think can be done with the Synchron strings, using controllers on each note. It's a lot a work, but we are trying to imitate performers with decades of musical experience and training, under a fine conductor. And virtual orchestration, like real orchestration, should be a kind of continuous ear training. There are so many things I hear now that I did not even notice years ago when I started. And I know lots of student conductors for whom the same is true. That's why I thought of this "challenge". :-)  

Posted on Fri, Aug 03 2018 15:22
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 358

I did still one. I mixed Synchron Strings violas with Chamber Strings violas and one solo viola. For me indeed a challenge what I can get out of the libraries I have. But now for me it's done.  
Thanks, Alan, for this thread. It was a way to learn more from the Strings!

Melody with Synchron Strings violas, CS violas, solo viola

Posted on Fri, Aug 03 2018 19:40
by belkina
Joined on Sun, Jun 13 2004, Montreal, Posts 440

Definitely better. :-)  The vibrato is still a bit too predictable for my taste, but I'm very picky!

Posted on Fri, Aug 03 2018 20:15
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1986

I sent you a PM

Posted on Mon, Aug 06 2018 12:14
by stefan_telser
Joined on Wed, Mar 14 2007, Posts 107

Hi Everybody!

My excerpt is with Chamber-Violas only. So it's not part of the challenge, but still might be interesting for comparision.

http://www.teluff.com/tel/Villa-Lobos-Violas-Chamber-Strings.mp3

The reverb is MIR24 with Roompack "Synchron Stage Vienna".

I do not yet own Synchron Strings. I'm not sure it's the rigth product for me, because I like to edit the dry audio waves in my DAW before sending them to a reverb.

Best Stefan

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