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Posted on Tue, Jul 02 2019 21:09
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 120

Due to the 30% sale this month, I will 100% be buying Dimension Strings I thru III.

The question is: which one?  Synchronized or VI?

There seem to be pros and cons to each...I think?  I'm hoping that both Paul and owners of one or both of the libraries could chime in with answers to the following questions as well as general advice to help me decide which to buy.  It would be much appreciated!

Essentially, I'm enamored with the flexibility of VI Pro and the set-up tweaking required of that player is totally fine for me when it comes to solo instruments and unison ensembles.  However - unless there's something I'm missing - it looks like a truly herculean task to set up custom presets and matrixes with Dimension Strings in VI Pro, especially taking the Force Strings patches into account, even with the Ctrl-Alt-W function.  But I do enjoy the flexibility and features of VI Pro that Synchron doesn't have.  I'm quite on the fence about this one...

My questions:

1) First, I want to make sure I'm understanding clearly how the library works/is used.

My understanding is that you can either:

  • Use each player in a separate instance and track for maximum flexibility
  • Organize the player's patches into Desks/Groups/etc. per instance for more expediency and quick divisi. (Or use the entire ensemble)

To do option #2 in VI Pro, you have to create a matrix or preset of matrixes in which each cell has the appropriate player patches loaded into the slots.  So, Violin Desk 1's matrix or preset of matrixes would have each individual cell loaded with Player 1 and Player 2's respective articulations in the slot editor.

To do option #2 in Synchron Player, you use a keyswitch to switch between Groups, Desks, and Players; the articulation patches will then automatically adapt to the appropriate players.  So, if I select Player 1, only Player 1 will play whatever articulation I choose.  However, if I select Desk 1, Player 1 AND Player 2 will play the articulation I choose.

Is all the above correct?  

If so, it means that Synchron Player is *massively* easier to set up groups/desks with since you don't have to assign each individual cell with each individual patch - Synchron Player will do all the assigning for you in realtime.  But that leads me to my next question:

2) Can you edit what players are in groups/desks in Synchron Player (i.e make one group of 5 and one group of 3 violins)?  It seems clear that you can do this in VI Pro (however time consuming it may be), but it wasn't clear to me if you could do this in the SYN-zed version from watching the walkthrough videos.

3) I've had it confirmed that if you disable the IR in Synchron you get the panned, dry samples.  This is very important to me because I don't always want to use DS in the Synchron Stage (In fact, my main reason for consideration of the SYN-zed version is the easier workflow and in-instance automation).  Are the dry samples that are IR-bypassed the same exact samples (aside from tweaks, volume balancing, etc) or are there any left out from the VI version or that have been stream-lined in a way that make them not accessible on an articulation-selection level?

4) Does MIR Pro recognize the SYN-zed Dimension Strings the same way it would recognize the VI Dimension Strings (i.e. apply character presets automatically, put it in the appropriate MIRx locations, etc.)?

5) Paul, are you at liberty to verify if any of the following will be added to the Synchron Player (or a Synchron Player Pro version) in the future?

  • Time-Stretching 
  • Interval Mapping
  • Sequence Mapping
  • Auto-Voicing (for "auto divisi")

 

Any insight/help/recommendations would be so, so helpful.  

Thanks!

- Sam

Posted on Tue, Jul 02 2019 22:11
by bbelius
Joined on Sat, Mar 14 2015, Posts 522
Hi Sam,

in short: get the synchronized version. It has more features like integrated IR, panning, volume matching and more.

a1: yes, it is correct if I got your question. But you can modify the template from Synchron to behave like VI and the other way round.

a2: You can configure the preset however you want and with Synchron Player this is easier and faster done.

a3: you will get the dry but not panned sound. The panning is baked in into the IR. The samples are exactly the same and the articulations are the same.

a4: I don't think so, but I have not tried.

Best, Ben
Ben
Technical Support - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Jul 02 2019 22:37
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 11307

Hi Sam, 

A few things to add (Thanks, bbelius!): 

3) The samples have been refined and re-edited to fit the Synchron Player philosophy, but both versions are from the same material, of course. 

4) Synchron-ized products are not designed to work in MIR PRO, but you can assign the available instruments profiles. 

5) I learned not to make any promises. But of course those will be interesting features. Not sure about Interval Mapping and Sequence Mapping... While I personally like those features, I really don't think that it is used a lot - and it's not so easy to integrate without a matrix system. 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Jul 02 2019 23:11
by SonicSonar
Joined on Mon, Sep 17 2012, Posts 38

If you are enamored.  Go Synchron.

I owned Dimesnsion strings for some time now and

I have not grasped the 8 separate playes to Divisi to Groups to Desks to All to Regular strings to G strings to D strings to A strings to E strings to Open strings.

Never understood how to use all those options to my advantage.

VI->  doesn't have Violin 1 and  Violin 2.  Just Violins.

Synchron looks to have the 2nd Violins.

To my ears, Dimension strings were never great at soloing.  There are better libraries for that.

VI: sequence mapping is another thing that is unclear how to use.  Instructions were...meh.  Hence why so few people use it.

If you go Synchron, then you shouldn't buy any of the VI.  Stick to one or the other.

Windows 10
128 gig ram
i7 6850

Cubase 10
Finale 26
Posted on Wed, Jul 03 2019 01:55
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 120

Originally Posted by: bbelius Go to Quoted Post
Hi Sam, in short: get the synchronized version. It has more features like integrated IR, panning, volume matching and more. a1: yes, it is correct if I got your question. But you can modify the template from Synchron to behave like VI and the other way round. a2: You can configure the preset however you want and with Synchron Player this is easier and faster done. a3: you will get the dry but not panned sound. The panning is baked in into the IR. The samples are exactly the same and the articulations are the same. a4: I don't think so, but I have not tried. Best, Ben

Thanks, Ben.  As always, your advice is much appreciated and helps me out a great deal.  I'm leaning towards the SYN version, in all honesty...but I'll have to mull it over some more.

- Sam

Posted on Wed, Jul 03 2019 02:13
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 120

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post

3) The samples have been refined and re-edited to fit the Synchron Player philosophy, but both versions are from the same material, of course. 

By Synchron Philosophy, I'm assuming you mean the new method of keyswitching and volume matching with other synchron products?  I'm asking because (and please correct me if I'm wrong), the SYN versions of Appassionata and Chamber strings both have a few articulations from VI left out (FX from Appassionata, Zigane legato from Chamber).   Are there any articulations left out from the VI Dimension Strings or merged in such a way that they're not available as individual patches?  From screenshots and videos, it didn't seem like it, but sometimes it can be hard to tell...

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post

4) Synchron-ized products are not designed to work in MIR PRO, but you can assign the available instruments profiles. 

This occurred to me thirty minutes after I posted.  Derp.  Problem solved :)

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post

5) I learned not to make any promises. But of course those will be interesting features. Not sure about Interval Mapping and Sequence Mapping... While I personally like those features, I really don't think that it is used a lot - and it's not so easy to integrate without a matrix system. 

Completely understandable; your job is not an easy one and I have great respect for the way you go about it.  Quite honestly, time stretching is the only one that I think makes a sizable difference (when coupled with dynamics patches), but life can go on without it :)  Consider it a feature request, then, I suppose.

As always, thanks for the prompt and helpful response.

- Sam

Posted on Wed, Jul 03 2019 09:04
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 11307

Hi Sam, 

We have put the focus on the most essential articulations for SY-ized Chamber and SY-ized Appassionata, to have a compact master preset and to offer a good price. Who knows, there might be additional content available in the future...

SY-ized Dimension Strings are based on the same mappings. The main difference here is the better mixing configuration, via impulse responses=> placement in the room. And those mixer presets will also help a lot.

Best, 
Paul 

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Jul 03 2019 09:53
by Lucy
Joined on Sun, Nov 26 2017, Posts 26

Not trying to sway you either way, but I think the dimension series works great on the Synchron player, I just find it quicker and easier to use. With slightly poor eyesight those abbreviations in the tiny VI matrix cells are a nusiance!

With the Synchron player, I really only use the impulse responses while I'm putting togther tracks, as they sound great out of the box and a warm, well-balanced sound is more inspiring to work with, but generally I strip away the IR's and reverbs and put everything in MIR for mixing down.

I do like the gadgetry on VI pro, but I really don't miss it when using Synchron.

Posted on Wed, Jul 03 2019 15:42
by Pixelpoet1985
Joined on Fri, Dec 23 2016, Germany, Posts 190

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post

5) I learned not to make any promises. But of course those will be interesting features. Not sure about Interval Mapping and Sequence Mapping... While I personally like those features, I really don't think that it is used a lot - and it's not so easy to integrate without a matrix system.

It's a pity that interval mapping isn't used much, for me it's the basis of all (!) my matrices. And I really hope that it will be integrated... 

Maybe some of you use it in a different way, but it's great for controlling the attack portion of a legato phrase. It would be really enhance the marcato presets, so that the staccato overlay will be triggered ONLY on the first note of a phrase (instead of on every single note). In addition to that, it also great for repetitions, because the first cell triggers the starting note and repetitions notes.

The only improvement I would like to see (for VI Pro) is that you could differentiate between a starting note (first attack) and a repetition note, so that you can assign different patches. Hope you understand what I mean. This would be the ultimate killer-matrix!

PLEASE MAKE IT AVAILABLE!!! I already said that this feature is the only reason (besides time-streching) why I'm not using the Synchron Player. Without it I can't make use of my presets the way I want them.

Posted on Thu, Jul 04 2019 00:08
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 120

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post

Hi Sam, 

We have put the focus on the most essential articulations for SY-ized Chamber and SY-ized Appassionata, to have a compact master preset and to offer a good price. Who knows, there might be additional content available in the future...

SY-ized Dimension Strings are based on the same mappings. The main difference here is the better mixing configuration, via impulse responses=> placement in the room. And those mixer presets will also help a lot.

Best, 
Paul 

Perfect - all the info I need, thank you.  I look forward to diving into divisi.

As for the SY-zed App Strings, I'm considering picking them up given the re-edited non-vib legato and sustain patches.  I was a fan of how they sounded on the demo page.  Plus, it would be a useful learning exercise to try and match the Synchron IRs with the dry VI apps in MiR, see how much I can figure out through trial and error...

Anyhow, have a good one!

- Sam

Posted on Thu, Jul 04 2019 00:10
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 120

Originally Posted by: Lucy Go to Quoted Post

Not trying to sway you either way, but I think the dimension series works great on the Synchron player, I just find it quicker and easier to use. With slightly poor eyesight those abbreviations in the tiny VI matrix cells are a nusiance!

Sway away!  It's why I made this post.

Originally Posted by: Lucy Go to Quoted Post

With the Synchron player, I really only use the impulse responses while I'm putting togther tracks, as they sound great out of the box and a warm, well-balanced sound is more inspiring to work with, but generally I strip away the IR's and reverbs and put everything in MIR for mixing down.

That is exactly what I plan on doing myself.  It's great to see that it works for you; this helps inform my decision quite...decisively...

Thanks!

- Sam

Posted on Tue, Jul 09 2019 23:24
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 120

I decided to go with the Synchron-ized Dimension Strings.  After diving in, I had some thoughts about its usage and would like to share them with anyone who might find it useful.  Perhaps someone else is trying to decide the same thing?

- Synchron Player is great.  It's intuitive, resizable, and easy to work with.  With more in-depth patch editing features and dimension control types, I think it could easily become the most flexible sample player out there.

- Set-up of custom presets for dimension strings seems to entail roughly the same amount of work that it would for VIPro.  Both involve creating individual patch configurations for every combination of players and playing modes (open string, regular, etc.) that you want.  That's a lot of dragging and dropping!  Fortunately, the presets cover everything in a very obvious way and the pre-fab groupings make perfect sense, so I don't really see I need to change much of anything.

Note: The way I like to work is to live-play a line in on one articulation (usually perf_legato) and then add in keyswitches manually after-the-fact.  With the exception of a few more intuitive set-ups like speed legato or certain sequence maps, I find that live playing with too many controllers is actually slower for me than clicking in articulations (as if I were editing a score with expression marks).  The Reaticulate script (for REAPER) makes complex combinations of keyswitches and what not a moot point, so given that tool the complexity of keyswitching in Synchron doesn't matter.

- Where Synchron makes Dim. Strings much easier to work with is in tree structure.  In VIPro, it's not possible to have one instance able to access every articulation in every conceivable grouping with every possible string playing mode AND have things like speed legato or velocity detected fp/sfz/sfzz; there simply aren't enough "layers" of selection.  In Synchron, there are 8 of them, all equally powerful.  This allows me to, from one instance, change sections, string playing modes, and articulations as well as create elaborate crossfades and control set-ups without having a gigantic mess of matrices.  That and the ability to automate the mixer levels (as well as add per-player EQ and other effects within one instance) make the Synchron version of Dim. Strings much less cumbersome to use for my personal workflow.  I'm glad I went with this one, so thank you all for the advice!

- The Enable slots on MIDI feature is brilliant. What a great way to save time AND RAM.

**********

As I stated above, a great benefit of the tree structure is the ability to create really deep, nuanced levels of selection that go well beyond what VI Pro can do.  However, that depth could be put to much greater use, in mu opinion, if VSL added more ways to control the Dimensions and patches.  I can see time-stretching easily being added to the EDIT tab alongside Humanize.  Additionally - barring my lack of knowledge as to how the software works - I don't see why interval mapping and sequence mapping couldn't go right along with Speed and Velocity in the available dimension controllers.  Interval mapping could be as it is in VI Pro, with slot 1 as the neutral patch, slot 2 as the UP interval and slot 3 as the DOWN interval.  Sequence mapping could simply cycle through the dimension slot by slot.  Both would require the dimension to be patch level, of course.  

Adding these features would allow set up of, say, a dimension where a staccato patch is shortened (via time stretching) the faster one plays, a legato where only the first note is marcato, an ostinato that doesn't require keyswitches to be copied over, etc.  And all this while still having 7 layers of articulation selection/organization to keep things nice and tidy.  It would be like the best of both worlds!

I'd say of the things I'd like to see ported from VIPro into Synchron, Time Stretching and the Round Robin Selection (the red circles) are the things that I think are quite crucial to getting the most out of certain patches.  I'm also missing how to turn of release samples...I'll look again though...

 

Anyhow, hope these rambling brainstreams help someone.  Thanks all for your advice, and have a good one.

- Sam

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