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7 TUTORIALS: Synchron Prime Edition
Last post Thu, Jun 09 2022 by Paul, 32 replies.
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Posted on Thu, May 05 2022 19:42
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 983

Originally Posted by: Macker Go to Quoted Post

Viktor, as stated by Paul in various places, E-Licensed and iLok-licensed VSL products cannot be operated together in one computer; it's strictly either/or, per computer. And as far as I know, none of VSL's instrument libraries or players have the option of running under either E-Licenser or iLok; you'll need the version built by VSL specifically for one or the other of these two licensing technologies. Also, it appears that PE and all new VSL products now will be built for iLok only.

To be more specific.  yes you can have E-licensor and iLok products together on the same machine at the same time.  But..you cannot have both the E-licensor and iLok versions OF ONE PARTICULAR PRODUCT installed at the same time.

For example, my Imperial Piano, which is only available as eLicensor...still works along side all my other VSL stuff which has been upgraded to iLok.  But I cannot have installed at the same time, the eLicensor version of MirPro as well as the iLok version of MirPro.  The installation of iLok MirPro overwrites and replaces the Licensor version.  Its one or the other.

if you want to install PE as iLok and leave all your other libraries as elicensor for the time being...I don't see any reason why that would not work.  Except what I do not know for sure...and Macker has implied, is whether the Synchron player itself can play both iLok and elicensor products.  You're only using one or the other in any given instance of Synchron Player... but I'm not sure whether the installation of one iLok libraries requires you to upgrade ALL of your Synchron libraries to iLok also because of a new or changed version of Synchron that only supports iLok instead of elicensor.

Posted on Thu, May 05 2022 23:59
by Helmholtz
Joined on Fri, Aug 27 2021, London UK, Posts 42

So Dewdman once again you claim you're being "specific" in a technical matter? Well just for now, let's try to pretend all those previous unfortunate occasions never happened, and deal with this one.

• Macker said "operated together", but you appear to think it significant just being able to "have" E-Licensed and iLok-licensed products together in one machine? As far as I'm aware it's not been identified as an issue by VSL, given that they're different products. So what's its significance for you? And in what circumstances would it be useful to have both versions of the same VSL product installed on one machine?

• Do explain precisely in full detail how you think users such as Viktor and others should proceed so they can have various E-Licensed and iLok-licensed VSL products operating together in one machine. Then I hope you'll request that VSL post a technical note on the topic, just to verify your advice.

• What technical difficulties, limitations and risks, if any, might possibly attend following your advice?

• What steps have you taken to ensure that you're not leading innocent users up the garden path again? Oh wait - strike that "again" - we're supposed be be temporarily forgetting about those previous instances and pretending to be keen to hear advice given by someone who speaks as if he takes the veracity and validity of his technical advice earnestly, seriously and responsibly.

Posted on Fri, May 06 2022 00:23
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 983

why do you some of you guys always need to turn these discussions in a big fight over words?  I'm just trying to clarify things.  I'm not trying to offend anyone as you seem to want to do.  Sorry if you can't appreciate that.  Its possible to have elicensor and ilok products installed and running on the same machine.  I gave one example of Imperial Piano which is still only available as elicensor.  

It is not possible to have both the elicensor and ilok version of one particular product installed and functioning on one machine.  Nor is there any reason to.  Unless....  If the Synchron player itself has to be all or nothing, elicensor or iLok...

What is not clear to me, as I already said. in my earlier response that you are so unhappy with.....is whether you have to upgrade all Synchron player libraries to iLok at the same time.  Perhaps you can confirm the answer to that...and if not you, perhaps VSL can.

Posted on Fri, May 06 2022 00:30
by Helmholtz
Joined on Fri, Aug 27 2021, London UK, Posts 42

You've clearly never worked in a high pressure, high-end pro technical environment. Believe it or not, words matter in technical matters. No one ever told you that?

If you want to be "specific" about this stuff, it's best if you direct your technical questions to

Oh and there are other threads far more relevant than this one for iLok and E-Licenser issues. Thanks so much for dragging this one off topic.

Posted on Fri, May 06 2022 00:41
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 983
Originally Posted by: Helmholtz Go to Quoted Post
Oh andthere aremore relevant threads than this one for iLok and E-Licenser issues. Thanksso much for dragging this one off topic.

I didn't drag anything off topic. Someone asked the question, Macker answered and added to the answer. Do you somehow think the way you're berating me now is not off topic? Go away troll.
Posted on Fri, May 06 2022 00:44
by Helmholtz
Joined on Fri, Aug 27 2021, London UK, Posts 42

Said this forum's worst troll. Lolol. Lovin' your projection, champ.

Posted on Fri, May 06 2022 02:37
by spicemix
Joined on Fri, Mar 18 2022, Posts 40

Hey! No one's taking the title of worst troll away from me!

Actually I have found you both useful to read over the years and this was a dongle in a teapot.

The walkthrough videos should definitely have shown Vibrato XF on the solo instruments. The fact they didn't, mislead me into thinking it wasn't included. I expect marketing to display all the positives loud and clear and your friendly forum trolls to inform us of the negatives on these mostly non-refundable purchases.

Speaking of which, apparently they do refund, at least for store credit, if you act quick. Which is nice to know.

Videos comparing the Vienna instruments with eg. CSS suggest you have to struggle to get an emotive performance out of the Vienna recordings. I think what's going on is all the notes are played straight and get a lot of dynamic compression to ensure an even performance, you are then expected to use MIDI CC to coax an emotive performance out of this very vanilla, on/off, one-size-fits-all recording style. That's going to be really hard to make natural; perhaps the better strategy is to choose the library that fits the mood of the piece. That's my main concern with Prime Edition, it might not offer emotive depth out of the box.

But given the full Synchron instruments are so resource intensive this may be the best product VSL offers. If they get a set of Synchron Solo Strings and add them to this library, definitely a competitive offering. The first and second chairs offered here could knock down to second and third chair and the first chair replaced by the library that offers the specific mood you're looking for. The Synchron Player is excellent (contrast with the rickety old VEP) and offers a dry patch that you can match reverbs with other libs, plus timbral shift etc.

I think this looks like a solid product even if saying so makes me less of a troll. I'm happy they've gotten out of the Steinberg orbit with the ilok. I was waiting for that.

Posted on Sun, May 08 2022 03:58
by spicemix
Joined on Fri, Mar 18 2022, Posts 40

I'm very close to buying this now there's a nice price at Thomann.

The manual is up and required reading:


They really haven't held back much. I suppose I could get the Embertone quartet ($299) for the 1st chair strings until VSL offer them in Synchron versions to match. But pretty much everything is there and should work. Thankfully rolls on much of the percussion although I'm not certain about velocity layers. This looks like a better deal than BBCSO Core which is a popular comparison...more like the Pro level for that.

Finished my first project with Berlin Inspire 1 + 2 and client loved it. And then immediately started asking for the missing articulations I'd need to get the whole Berlin Series for! The Teldex sound is a bit wet on the Berlin but the Release knob lets it be dialed back if needed. The Kontakt version let me fix a few bugs as its mostly unlocked. Anyway that gig gives me the funds to get Synchron Prime which offers far more articulations and control. May get more Berlin when its on sale I suppose.

Anyway congrats to VSL on this release at this price point, definitely taking it directly to the competition and getting back in this game. Seems things are looking up in general for this company as they've been responsive to my bug reports as well. Well done and I will report back how I like this once I make the purchase.

Posted on Thu, May 19 2022 12:38
by Florian Hoffmann
Joined on Tue, May 17 2022, Heidelberg, Germany, Posts 3

Before you buy elsewhere:

If you consider buying the Synchron Prime Edition together with one or more of the reduced packages - Synchron Strings Pro, Synchron Woodwinds, Synchron Brass, Synchron Percussion 1, Synchron Harp - make sure to play around with VSL's web shop to see the actual prices.

Price reductions work both ways. If you put these libraries into the same basket, you will not only get the extensions reduced, but also the Prime Edition itself. Guess this won't work if you buy these things in separate orders, or from separate vendors.

If you consider buying the complete Synchron Package bundle, make sure to add the Synchron Prime Edition to the basket as well. It reduces the price of the full package.

Posted on Fri, May 20 2022 01:45
by spicemix
Joined on Fri, Mar 18 2022, Posts 40

Installed the demo and ran through every instrument. How nice to be able to have a full demo of a sample library before purchasing!!!

I should say that everything VSL has been doing since the iLok transition has been fantastic. My only issues with the company have been with the bugs in VEP7. I'm guessing the iLok transition and Vienna Assistant and this product has dominated their attention in the meantime, which is understandable.

This product is really an outstanding value. Vibrato Cross-fade control, Marcato start legato runs, Sforzatissimo brass, the Agile shorts, all of these things make the library very realistic and responsive to play. I would have changed around the default presets to show these advantages off when you first boot up the player, because I can't see not using them by default. Of course, that's why I have VEP7 to make a template with my preferred arrangement ready to play.

In fact, the Epic Orchestra 2.0 that comes with VEP7 adds some missing parts to Synchron Prime, in the strings and some percussion articulations. Plus there are the HELLO free instruments, which will be adding Harp Glisses and Violin Runs soon according to Mr. Michelmore. So I pretty much have everything I need, other than First Chair Strings, which I suppose VSL hasn't produced yet. I have workable alternatives for those in the meantime.

This more or less leaves the subjective dimension. The VSL Synchron sound is quite neutral, shiny, fancy. You may love that, but of course, you may be one who pours too much cologne on yourself every day. Which is my sense of the demographic that would respond positively to the fanciness of the tone. OT Berlin Series and Spitfire offer a more contemporary, moody tone, that splashes too much reverb on itself. (Since I got the Kontakt Berlin Inspire I was able to dry out the patches a lot, but I would need the Pro level BBC to do it with Spitfire.) Those choices have a strong attitude that will either work, or not, while the more vanilla VSL may need more mix skill sculpting an attitude to fit.

Although, now that I play through a second time, the second chairs seem to be more "moody" and reverb'ed. So maybe try the Horn 2/Clarinet 2 etc (which Michelmore misinterpreted as two players rather than second chair) if you want a more Berlin-series tone. The Celestial Strings are a more Spitfire-like thing, you can blend them for some "pepper" texture on the other strings. That and the Epic 2.0 Flautando and you more or less have the range but within the VSL general tone.

Some of the criticisms of Synchron Prime have been lame...for instance, not offering vibrato on Clarinet or French Horn is simply because it's totally non-standard to have vibrato on those instruments. The Clarinet btw in Synchron Prime is truly awesome sounding and may be the best in the biz. The library doesn't have Marimba or Vibes but you can get those for $7 each at 8dio at the moment. The Sfz brass is totally brash and cinematic with everything cranked, there's no wimpiness here even if it is tuxedo attire sound out of the box.

One criticism that does land a bit is the legatos don't seem to be true legatos. But I think Berlin has also moved to a synthetic legato within SINE player. (Hey, sometimes I roll my own synthetic vibrato, so...) True, sample-based legato makes a library massive and hard to program. I've had to fix several Kontakt true legatos. So these are fake legatos, but they are typically OK enough, and the Legato articulation most certainly does not sound like the Long Sustains when played fast enough. True Legatos and multiple dynamic layers (which I'm not sure VSL even recorded) are factors that make a more expensive library an upgrade, but I'm not sure most productions will need them.

Synchron Player is outstanding, for instance the Sfzissimo brass has a bit too much "humanize" on it by default for me but I can easily tamp that down. The controls are useful for bringing emotive life into these samples. It's hard to imagine the same people made Synchron Player and VEP but I predict VEP will catch up soon enough.

Anyway outstanding product and I do plan to purchase before the end of the month. Vanilla is the most important flavor in the cart and you can take it anywhere. The competing products cost more than double this for realistic playable solo winds and brass, and you can defeat the reverb here almost entirely, blend them with any strings of your choice and a nice reverb and you've got any orchestra you need. Try the generous 30-day full demo.

Posted on Thu, Jun 02 2022 21:33
by spicemix
Joined on Fri, Mar 18 2022, Posts 40

I should avoid the dreaded "sike award" and update the thread with what I actually did and think.

A lot changed in a couple weeks; Spitfire ran a Spring sale that, along with a coupon and an upgrade discount, made the price of BBCSO Pro $513 for me...not much more than the $389 Prime Edition was going for on Thomann. Since BBCSO Pro includes the 5 string leaders, and a lot more articulations, and a whopping 20 different mic positions on everything in the library, making it tailorable to virtually any situation...I had to get that this time instead. I am fully satisfied with that purchase BTW. I was able to get sufficiently "iconic" sounds out of lots of well-known riffs on each instrument, along with lots of attitude as I mentioned and a fairly genuine symphonic sound out of the box. There are a few things VSL and Berlin Series do better, but there is nothing approaching that value at that discounted price.

With the luxury of a full demo of Prime Edition still running, I can compare them head to head. As I've gone through it, I'm starting to think the Strings are actually the true strength of Prime Edition, however, these are somewhat controversial Strings. To me, they are kind of like a fantasy of what Strings should sound like, using a lot of close mic, with a lot higher quality and placement of the mic than we're used to hearing on a symphonic recording. The fundamentals are clear and round and the balances of tone are perfectionistic.

The argument is whether this sound is both unrealistically hi-fi, and also, cloyingly saccharine. Which means "overly sweet" to those who ran off with the circus. VSL Synchron era is more Johann Strauss than Richard Strauss. In solo, I can find it hard to argue that the VSL Synchron recordings aren't better. Surely they are cleaner and higher fidelity and you hear every nuance in flawless balance. But this also takes out all the edge and posture and atmosphere. I'm not sure there's an easy way to put that back in...convo reverbs and compression/EQ/saturation etc. doesn't solve problems that stem from the player, instrument, room, and the direction of those elements combined. By avoiding all criticism the result lacks conviction.

There are several instruments where the earlier "Silent Stage" recordings are simply superior to these. The solo trumpet in my VSO+XP is better than these trumpets even! Although it only has a single articulation and so isn't of much use to me. You ought to have refunded me for it when I asked so I could get SE1 instead...

Still, I would enjoy getting this set and it's an excellent value. There are a lot of instruments here and the player is excellent. My original impulse applies: the brass and winds can serve very well as 2nd and 3rd chair (No idea why the Brits call this idea "desk" btw...where is the "desk?" The music stand?) to the Spitfire or Berlin 1st chairs with a little work in the Mix panel and some shared reverb. The Strings would make a good inoffensive "family movie" sound...I mean they are perfect for what they are. The percussion is useful and as I mentioned before, the Epic Orchestra 2.0 that came with VEP7 and the freebies (thank you for these!) fill in a lot of the gaps here just fine. I will continue to use those when I want some VSL tone, and I will look to pick up Prime Edition perhaps in the Holiday sales. And again, a Synchron Solo Strings release is the obvious missing piece and hopefully we see that soon.

Posted on Thu, Jun 09 2022 16:54
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 13811

Hi everybody, 

Check out our 6(!!) Tutorial files for all major DAWs, available in the ADDITIONALS section of your Vienna Assistant!

Here's a link to the Synchron Prime Edition Playlist, with videos for most of the pieces!

  • Custom projects available for Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools, Digital Performer and Studio One.
  • MIDI File and Synchron Player Presets available separately, easy to adapt for your sequencer!

More to come! Enjoy!


Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
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