Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • Vienna special edition - bit miffed

    Sorry to be a bit negative because I think this package is an incredible deal, but I can't help but feel a bit hard done by for having bought vienna instruments at such high price over the last year, when this collection seems to have the majority of what most people would use on a regular basis, for such a tiny percentage of the price. I feel that I've been somehwat loyal to vsl- I have sacrificed a lot and spent every penny I own over the last 10 or so months on these collections, but had I known such an edition was coming out at such a price, I could have saved literally thousands of pounds. This, by the way, coming from someone who uses mostly the standard editions.
    I think it's great that the Vienna Instruments are now available to a whole new world of people, I just wish I was among them and not where I am now which is broke and very annoyed!
    rant over.

  • I don't mean to sound unsympathetic, alborada, but welcome to the world of high technology.

    For the sake of argument let's assume the new libraries really are just as good as the big one. With any high-tech purchase - I don't care what it is - you know going in that there's a period of time between when you put a product in the car and when you finish unpacking the box that it's still current and holding its value. By the time you've put the shrink wrap in the recycling can outside, the price has gone down or it's been leapfrogged by another product.

    This is a slightly different situation, but the situation is still basically the same. In this case VSL waited a year to come out with Vienna Instruments versions of their libraries, which is actually a good run!

    The question is *always* Do you need it now? If the answer is no, then you may as well wait for the next thing to come along. Our world moves so fast that it's always a tail-chasing venture; you use what you buy as long as you can and then move on.

    Or you can look at it from the half full perspective. See something you like but can't afford? In two years you'll be able to afford it.

    Again, I don't want to sound callous, because I get equally annoyed when that happens to me. Looking around my room, the 30" monitor I bought a year ago - which had already come way down from the original price - dropped about 20% four months after I bought it.

    But in the meantime I got four months of use out of it, so what can you say.

  • Alborada:

    Like you I had to wait and save before purchasing most of the the Cube a little more than two weeks ago (!!) - - but I'm not sorry at all. The SE will be useful for lots of things and to many people - - possibly including me when I'm away traveling from my studio - - but it does not appear to be anything like an equivalent to the Cube at a fraction of the cost. The Cube has a depth that, as far as I can tell, no other library appoaches (80GB does not equal 550GB). The relationship here seems to be similar to that between the complete Pro Edition and the Opus 1 and 2 bundle. I wouldn't regret the purchase of the Cube - - it is an instrument that one can continue exploring for years. Given the price of real musical instruments. I don't think it's outrageously expensive. (It's definitely less expensive than Kurzweil K250 - with 12 voice polyphony - - I purchased in 1990.)

    Consider the possibility that if you'd waited and bought the SE, you'd have found its limitations fairly quickly and then felt impelled to buy at least parts of the cube. I recently completed a mockup recording of a movement for string quartet for the piece's eventual human performers and each instrument required a matrix of 36 cells. I doubt that this kind of variety would be possible with the SE.

  • I purchased a K250 around 1992 for $1250. It's in my garage retired, along with another one I bought for parts. And I have a 250RMX that worked last time I turned it on. It was $350, in great shape, inside a flight case and with all four soundblocks. [:)]

    That's my point. If you can't afford $20,000 (which is how much those things were in 1987) wait a little while and whatever it is will come down. It's the same with most things - cars, whatever.

  • On the other hand, Nick, the 7' Steinway B (made in 1897) that I bought in 1980 for $900 (!!!) is now worth over $80,000! Unlimited polyphony and dynamic range too. Nothing beats those acoustic instruments!

  • I look at it this way:

    This new set is something I don't have to buy at all! I've just saved myself a ton of cash! [:P]

  • ok, sorry for sounding like a spoilt child, and of course I understand the cruel nature of high technology. But this is slightly different- firstly it's not really a technology issue- secondly the huge difference in price seems to me to be uncomparable to any other product I can think of. Sure, the extra articulations etc in the cube are vitally important, but look at the contents list of the SE, and see how much it would cost you to re-create by buying the seperate Cube components (ie all of them). It's a big difference! I guess thats the point of releasing it. But....why only now???
    All the other editions or packages (eg Appassionata strings) have been announced months in advance, so why not this?? It would have literally changed my life if they had said something about it previously.

  • Well, in order to do some serious mockup, I don't think the SE can be compared to the full editions...just as Opus 1 couldn't compare as well as the Pro ed...the extended versions are way more complete and let's not forget there are a lot less layers in the SE...

    Still I think it's a no brainer...even after ordering it, I'll be buying complete editions as soon as my pocket will allow [:)]

  • Alborada:

    I really dont think the SE is comparable to the Cube and I don't think that the SE's appearance at about 10% of the cost of the full Cube is simply a story of the kind of depreciation that affects the world of high technology. It's a differet animal. After all you could get a large library of sampled orchestral instruments for $200 with the Garritan Personal Orchestra, or an even larger one from EWQLSO (Gold and Gold XP bundle) for $900. But these are not the same as each other or the Cube or the SE. According to Herb the SE is sampled in whole steps rather than in 1/2 steps, the Bösendorfer in the SE has about 10% of the content of the original, there are fewer velocity layers, etc. Where the SE might come in handy for Cube owners is that it allows one to take one's work along when traveling and one might also be able to use it in combination with the Cube to conserve computer resources - - e.g. there might be places in even a very sophisticated mockup that don't require the kind of variety (and, therefore, RAM footprint) the Cube provides. If you bought a real Steinway grand, I don't think you'd be upset that, besides building great pianos, Steinway is collaborating with Garritan to provide an "offical" Steinway sample library for $200. It will, no doubt, sound pretty good, but will it be the same as a real 9' Steinway Concert Grand?

  • The SE is a GREAT deal.

    However, one of the greatest acheivements of the VI is the programming of the repetition performances.

    SE does not contain these and it is a shame; it would be the main reason I would buy any VSL VI. As a result, I cannot see getting this package unless I needed to work off of a laptop for basic sketches, and I don't even have one.

    For the same(ish) money I would rather upgrade just my Chamber Strings Horizon to VI...

    You gotta see it for what it is.


  • The performance legato patches do have legato repetition samples included.


  • Hi alborada,
    Your luck will sway both ways, meaning that some purchases will feel poorly timed, and others finely timed. In the long run, the bumps will even out. The cube is better and you will never have to have doubts. So, try to forget this specific episode and make some music to feel better.

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    alborado, you don't sound like a spoilt child. I'm just trying to give the Zen perspective. [:P]

    @Another User said:

    On the other hand, Nick, the 7' Steinway B (made in 1897) that I bought in 1980 for $900 (!!!) is now worth over $80,000! Unlimited polyphony and dynamic range too. Nothing beats those acoustic instruments!

    Where did you find that piano for $900?! It must have been a fluke, and you must have done some work on it if it's worth $80K. My mom had a Steinway baby grand around that vintage, but it had simply worn out and the overhaul it required wasn't worth doing. She ended up replacing it - with a larger Steinway grand that I actually don't like as much; she has a second Steinway grand next to it that's less controlled, but it has a lot more character. (No, she doesn't play with her feet - she teaches. [[:)]] )

    My big problem with acoustic pianos is that they lack the MIDI In my keyboard skills require. [[:)]]

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    @Nick Batzdorf said:

    My big problem with acoustic pianos is that they lack the MIDI In my keyboard skills require. [:)]

    Have you tried a Disklavier?


  • Herb,

    So sorry to not be clear: yes the legato repetition samples are included and that is important.

    I was referring to the SHORT note repetitions. As First and Pro Edition (and Horizon) users are aware, the repetition tool has always been the most difficult to tame until the brilliant VI player.

    It is the feature I lust after the most.


  • I see myself using this not solely for sketches, but also for solo woodwinds in particular for final compositions.

  • Nick:

    I was walking down the street in Boston past M. Steinert and sons, the official Steinway dealer in Boston. in the window was a sign advertisng a Steinway B for $900. As you might imagine, I suspected that this must be a piano that came in several bags of parts, but I went inside and had a look. It was a little beaten up and the soundboard had numerous cracks - - only one of which rattled (it had spent most of its life at the New England Conservatory where, when I was student in the preparatory division, it was customary to heat the place to at least 80Âș F during the winter). So, realizing that despite its worn condition, this piano was the deal of the century, I bought it on the spot - - instantly emptying my bank account.

    About 3 years later, the pinblock cracked - - one morning I sat down and played the first chord of the day only to observe the pins merrily twirling as the strings unwound. I called the piano technician at Juilliard whom I had known when I was grad student there, an elderly - - and saintly - - German fellow who always arrived to tune pianos in something close to black tie. After examining the piano, Herr Barth offered to replace or fix everything that needed replacing or fixing for the cost of the parts - - and to lend me a piano for free for several months - - just, he said, because he knew me and knew that I was a struggling musician who would not otherwise have the means to get my piano repaired!!!! The only condition was that no other technician be allowed near the rebuilt piano for a period of 5 years.

    I, of course, was incredibly grateful. As a result, the rebuild - which took several months - was infinitely cheaper than it would have been had I had to pay the going price. (It cost about $2000 - paid in installments). As for the piano's present value - - that's what it was appraised for by my current technician. I don't plan to sell it ever.

    All this informed me that amazing luck and absolutely extraordinary acts of kindness and generosity are indeed possible... [:)]

  • I can understand someone's consternation at spending a lot of money for any product that is the only thing available and forces the purchaser to but way beyond his actual needs. Then being bummed out when a product does come out with the basics he needs and at far cheaper price. The problem is that VSL is first and foremost a comprehensive library for those that want all that is offered in the complete cube. If SE was releasd first than you would have all kinds a disappointed people asking for a more complete library. I think SE is great but I see all the things that aren't there for my needs. I may pick it up to have some important basic instruments I don't have but it's no replacement for the individual collections that are vital for the pro user.

    Since VSL has already shone that they eventually release paired down collections such as Opus I, I would have settled for that package and waited for it's VI counterpart if I was okay with just a wide ranging basic library.

  • Remember all the VSL protestations that "their are no plans to release a VI version of Opus 1-2" ????

    This special edition looks pretty close and even better in some respects.

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    Great story, Steve.

    You were in Boston the same time I was, by the way.

    @Another User said:

    Have you tried a Disklavier?

    Yeah, I thought about that as I posted. That would solve the MIDI in problem, but it would create two others: 1. I'd be broke; and 2. I'd be even broker after adding onto our house to make room for the piano,