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  • ProjectSAM vs Vienna Instruments

    Whenever I get the money to buy a new sample library, (I'm hopeful, but it will be a while...) it will most likely be either:

    Vienna Brass II

    OR

    ProjectSAM Orchestral Brass Package

    To be honest, I'm considering Project Sam over Vienna.  It's $100 cheaper and in a more flexible format.  Their online demos are also more impressive to me and the style of music I want to create.   Then again, when you look at the numbers:  Vienna Brass II  apparently has nearly 60GB of samples, whereas ProjectSAM has  12GB.  Also, Vienna's samples are in 24 bit, whereas ProjectSAM's are in 16 bit.

    Can anybody offer me a sales pitch as to why or if Vienna is better?  I just want to make sure I'm not missing any variables, because it's a lot of money to spend.  Thanks,

    -Allen 


  • If you can't hear the difference then get the cheapest.


  • Oh wait, I took a closer look at the description, in order to actually get the full 60GB in Vienna it costs $1480... jeepers... never mind


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    @DG said:

    If you can't hear the difference then get the cheapest.

     

    Yeah, that is what I'm thinking, as to get about the same amount of articulations with projectSAM costs about THREE times less than Vienna.  And the difference between 16 bit and 24 bit, to my ears, in this situation, is negligible.  I know many people may argue with that though.   


  • I find the Project SAM libraries impressive, they sound great but what makes vienna instruments amazing
    is the software interface. The playability is unmatched. The Matrix mechanism is ingenious.

    Its not just about samples but how easy they are to use, load, and program to get the realism.
    I feel that VI is superior to all other products because of this.
    But, it does come down to $$ and must get what you can afford.

    Good luck,
    David

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    @DM33 said:

    I find the Project SAM libraries impressive, they sound great but what makes vienna instruments amazing
    is the software interface. The playability is unmatched. The Matrix mechanism is ingenious.

    Its not just about samples but how easy they are to use, load, and program to get the realism.
    I feel that VI is superior to all other products because of this.
    But, it does come down to $$ and must get what you can afford.

    Good luck,
    David

     

    Thank you for your reply.  The articulation switching that can be done with Vienna Instruments is more advanced than what can be done with GVI, (the sampler I'd be using with projectSAM).  Although, GVI is more advanced in many other ways as it has multiple filters and pin-point control of each sample.  With GVI I can stack multiple instruments/articulations per channel.  This is very useful to save processor power when I want to have multiple instruments play the same MIDI part.  It's much more CPU friendly than Vienna Ensemble.  With GVI I get switching controls and iMIDI, however, it isn't quite as advanced as Vienna's matrix design. The work around in GVI for the things that iMIDI can't do, would be to layer my MIDI clips on the same track (which is very easy to do in Sonar) and to record a new clip for each articulation.  It's more tedious that way, but that may actually be the way I prefer to work anyhow so that I can mix and handle the different articulations seperately and then join the layers into one clip when I'm done.

    With Vienna Instruments Special Edition I havn't used the articulation switching very much.  It's just been hard for me to set it up so that I can make use of it within the same take.  Perhaps this is because I'm using the Special Edition, and if I had a full set of one of the Vienna libraries I would have enough articulations to make more use of it.  One thing I have found very useful, though, is the velocity and cell crossfading.


  • I own both. Project SAM libraries are great, and they -- not VSL brass -- are in my default template. Not once have I regretted my SAM purchase. And the people at SAM are as responsive as VSL. Really, these are two good companies. But take the following under advisement.

    1. You are going to miss the Legato and varied repetition sounds in VSL in time. SAM sounds superb when it sustains, but when it moves or repeats, the lower price of the library begins to tell. SAM has a high wow factor, but its impact wanes when you require a life-like acoustic response. Privately I've hoped and suspected that SAM will revisit its library with performance tools of some kind.

    2. It is not a deep library. There's nothing hiding under the hood. The demos are rightly convincing, but that's all you will get. VSL articulations dwarf SAM, and they have not been fully demoed.

    3. As you quote GB totals, bear in mind that SAM has a close, medium, and far miking for all of its samples. So divide the number by three.

    4. "GVI is more advanced in many other ways as it has multiple filters and pin-point control of each sample." Giga's editor is excellent indeed. But SAM's limited number of samples will in turn limit your ability to mold sound. You can't pinpoint samples that you don't have.

    5. "This is very useful to save processor power when I want to have multiple instruments play the same MIDI part." I'll assume you've proven this to be true. It is not true in my experience, though. What consumes CPU is sample processing; if a sample is playing, it requires CPU. More sounds triggered means more CPU, no matter how they are layered. Layering may be convenient -- and Giga's layering is very cool --- but I don't know why it would take less CPU. Perhaps I misunderstood.

    6. In a word, SAM brass is heroic. VSL is clarion, at times austere. I've often thought that SAM gives our saturated cinematic ears what they want to hear. But VSL reminds us of what real brass sounds like. Its muted brass is just off-the-wall incredible. The muted legato stands with the VSL clarinet as the most amazing, responsive sampled instrument I've ever heard.

    We've all dealt with VSL sticker shock. But there are legitimate reasons why it's more expensive. Regards to your music-making.

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    Thank you!  That was the kind of insight I was hoping for.  

    I suppose also since the SAM brass sounds are in 16 bit, they require less gigabytes of space, which can make the numbers look slightly decieving in comparison.  (hard drive space isn't an issue for me though) 

    I've found that GVI runs with less CPU strain than Ensemble and eats up less memory.  (Though Ensemble has worked very well for me, I think it's an awesome program, especially since upgrading to it is free!)  One reason I guess may be because I'm loading 16 bit samples into it instead of 24 bit with Ensemble and because of Ensemble's additional complexity with the switching and round-robin.  My machine is a 3Ghz Dual Core running Vista with 2GB and I can play back about 20 tracks into Vienna before I start getting dropouts.  With GVI I can get up to about 30, give or take. That's what I meant about the performance wise.  Once I ad Altiverb those numbers drop down to 16 Tracks of Vienna OR 20 for GVI, though I have a mixture of the two.  

     

    @plowman said:

    In a word, SAM brass is heroic. VSL is clarion, at times austere.

    That's useful information for me thanks - it's helped me to make my decision.  As a discussion from a previous thread I started on the forum helped me to realize, I'm more instrested with creating something cinematic than realistic.  In the near future I think I'm going to get the SAM Solo Brass selection.  Then, depending on how pleased I am with that I'll plan from there.  I do want to get VSL, but I'll have to wait for that same day to come when I can afford it (which may be a long time, but hey, I'm hopeful...).  

    As for the strings, there are some shopping decisions for me there too, but I guess I wont go there in depth right now.  (East West, Garritan, VSL, or GigaViolin are what I'm reseraching.)

    Thanks again!

       


  • "I've found that GVI runs with less CPU strain than Ensemble and eats up less memory." Okay. I incorrectly thought you were saying that GVI layering was less CPU intensive than either not-layering (more individual tracks) in GVI or layering with VE. Remember that VI / VE has its own real-time decompression of proprietary samples. Giga is just playing back audio files. That may be the core issue in the CPU differences.

    "In the near future I think I'm going to get the SAM Solo Brass selection only." Cool. I use the solos far more often than the Ensembles. SAM has a solo horn patch that combines a sharper attack (marcato long, I think) matched to the sustained horn, with a velocity attack envelope. It's exceptional, and it's been my go-to horn for three years. BUT, I don't have the VSL triple horn -- only a one-velocity "teaser" sent to users for free a couple years ago. I have the feeling that the VSL legato triple horn trumps the SAM horn.

    By the way, I have blended VSL legato brass solos to SAM solos with great effect. These libraries play well together.

    I own the Garritan Strings. It was a cherished possession, but I'm afraid it's gone the way of Miroslav for me. Garritan will serve you best if you like large, roundish string textures. Violins Grand Detache is shamefully wonderful in strong octave statements. But if you're one for detailed strings -- if you need to hear a bow here and there poking out from the ensemble, or the faint indentifying of one or two players rushing or lagging -- you would need more resources. But hey, I paid about 600 for GOS, and I bet it's a bargain now.

    I've never really researched EastWest. I'd be concerned that the patches are pre-packaged to impress the soundtrack market.

    If I could, I'd own them all. But VSL allows a variegation that no other library currently affords.

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    @plowman said:

    I've never really researched EastWest. I'd be concerned that the patches are pre-packaged to impress the soundtrack market.

    If I could, I'd own them all. But VSL allows a variegation that no other library currently affords.
    What I like about East West is there 'little' libraries like Stormdrum, The Beatles thing and that kind of stuff - they sort of carved out a niche there. No dissing East West at all because those gentlemen do a good job to be absolutely fair - they are good at what they do. Lately, I've been hearing things done on EW orchestral packages and while they're OK in most respects - sometimes it can sound metallic. However, some of the guys that use EW more or less solely for their work can make it sound spectacularly good - but with any orchestral library, if you can't orchestrate and/or write for the orchestra, then nothing will sound any good.--------I bought Project Sam Trombones in a sale ages ago and they sound good - no legato though and I can't remember if there are repetitions or not at the moment. Not a bad sound.

  • plowman, I just found a link you posted in a different thread pointing to some info on the Vienna Performance Tools.  Are the performance sets (or tool) built into the other Vienna packages now or is it still a seperately sold item?  The fact that you can program so many articulations and repetitions is impressive.  Would I be right to say that VSL is the only one who offers so many different samples per note?  As far as round-robin, it seems like the competition offers 2, maybe 3 variations per note.  How many does VSL offer?  I'm guessing 9 or so, but I really have no idea...

    As far as the strings, I'm leaning away from GigaViolin now.  Listening to the demos again in comparison to VSL and Garritan, the GigaViolin sounds very lifeless.  The Garritan sounds amazing, but then I'd have to get Kontakt 2... which isn't a "have to" as I'd love to, but it's just another $500.  Of coarse, VSL sounds amazing too, just more pricy. 

    However, I did find this website which seems like really high quality samples.  Anybody use or heard of this? http://www.kirkhunterstudios.com/ 


  • Hi PaulR. Yes, the loop libraries I've purchased from EastWest have served me well. I've got at least three, and they were thorough and immediately usable.

    Vienna Instruments (and by extension, Vienna Ensemble) have all the Performance Tools built into it. They are transparent to the user. Perf-rep sounds use a repetiton tool automatically. Perf-Leg sounds call up the legato mapping. VSL EXS Pro Editions use performance tools that are built into Logic. For most users, they annoyed more than they helped. One might argue that we lost a few options with VI, but one can also argue that a car that runs deprives you of a reason to get out and push.

    GigaViolin's claim to fame was that it had a process that sidestepped phasing during the cross-fading of samples. Yeah, requiring Kontakt was enough to scare me away too.

    I *think* SAM has three note alternation on some of their staccato brass. Garritan (and most other libraries) have up and down bows for detache. This way, instead of sounding like a machine gun, it sounds like two machine guns. But off-hand, I believe you're right about VSL topping off the number of alts. Even the basic short sounds in VSL have four alternations. I think the perf-reps have up to nine. And you are right to ask, because sometimes this stuff gets lost on the masses. Library professional demos are usually very good, no matter the product. They tend to disarm us because they work contextually. The more helpful if less spectacular demos just give us the unadorned sound in legato or repetition. mod-wheeling up and down so that you can monitor the phasing and agility.

    But the greatest library illusion of all is creating music, at which point the listener is oblivious to the medium.

  • This is interesting, to see from a newcomer's persepctive.  But the difference is that Project SAM is an excellent and admirable basic sample library. 

    But VSL is beyond State of the Art.  It is the State of the Universe for anyone who is cool.  If you are cool, you must have everything these guys ever do.  If you are uncool, then go with other libraries. [H]


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    @William said:

    This is interesting, to see from a newcomer's persepctive.  But the difference is that Project SAM is an excellent and admirable basic sample library. 

     

    But VSL is beyond State of the Art.  It is the State of the Universe for anyone who is cool.  If you are cool, you must have everything these guys ever do.  If you are uncool, then go with other libraries.

    Ywah - if you want to be cool then it's VSL. All these libraries have developed their own sound -or at least the users have developed a sound through orchestrating to a library's strengths.---------The really BIG disappointment has got to be DVZ. That dog just won't hunt - as I think you Yanks would say:))))

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    @William said:

    This is interesting, to see from a newcomer's persepctive.  But the difference is that Project SAM is an excellent and admirable basic sample library. 

    But VSL is beyond State of the Art.  It is the State of the Universe for anyone who is cool.  If you are cool, you must have everything these guys ever do.  If you are uncool, then go with other libraries.

     

    Being cool is expensive.... [:|]

    Do I get the Lexus or the Honda? Hmmm....  if only...   [:)] 


  •  Allen, have you looked at the Special Edition? Just want to make sure you noticed that, because it really is a great starter, and gives you a full orchestra (with much less articulation, but still sustain, legato, détaché, staccato, and a few more instrument specific articulations).
     From there you can upgrade to the cube in the time that your budget will allow. Just wanted to make sure you didn't miss that option.

    Colin Thomson 


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    @ColinThomson said:

     Allen, have you looked at the Special Edition? Just want to make sure you noticed that, because it really is a great starter, and gives you a full orchestra (with much less articulation, but still sustain, legato, détaché, staccato, and a few more instrument specific articulations).
     From there you can upgrade to the cube in the time that your budget will allow. Just wanted to make sure you didn't miss that option.

    Colin Thomson 

     

    Hi Colin,

    Yeah, I have the Special Edition.  It's gotten me very excited about Vienna Instruments; however, I'm dreading the day that the extended library lisense demo expires.  So, in preperation for that is why I'm browsing around for different libraries with more articulations.  Strings and violins being the most expressive instruments that exsist, I really feel like I'm just going to stomach it and save up for the Vienna Solo strings.  After all, if you really want something it's just a matter of time and savings.  I could spend the money on video games, you know, but where would that get me... lol  [:D]

    As far as the brass, I'm going to start out with ProjectSAM, and perhaps upgrade to Vienna in the future.   


  • I have the standard special edition, too, but I decided that I just would not use the extended content, so that I would not get used to it. Only one problem with this plan: The extended content never runs out of time when not used, and after many months I still have the content begging me to try it out.[^o)] But mostly I just play around with the organ on the extended content. I think that is all I will miss. Although it is pretty evil of VSL to make it so that you have to get attached to their product before they rip it out of your hands.[:'(] Oh well.

    Colin Thomson 


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    @ColinThomson said:

    I have the standard special edition, too, but I decided that I just would not use the extended content, so that I would not get used to it. Only one problem with this plan: The extended content never runs out of time when not used, and after many months I still have the content begging me to try it out. But mostly I just play around with the organ on the extended content. I think that is all I will miss. Although it is pretty evil of VSL to make it so that you have to get attached to their product before they rip it out of your hands.[:'(] Oh well.

    Colin Thomson 

     

    Yeah, I know, they're cleaver!  They get you used to using the extended library to where it's a part of your work flow and then snach it away!  It's like stealing an ice cream cone from a little kid!  [:'(]  Oh, well, at least we get to use it while it's there.  At least we get a few licks...

    I didn't know it was just when you load up an extended library patch.  I was wondering why the number of starts on my sychnrosoft key goes down sometimes and not othertimes.  Thanks - now I know...

    I wont miss the guitars, as I honestly haven't found them very impressive.  As far as guitars, I'd go with Vir2 Acoustic Legends or East West Ministry of Rock over Vienna.  I will miss the chamber and appassionata strings though...


  • Now additional articulations can be downloaded for the Special Edition in small steps from this web site, for $14 a package!!  What an excellent idea/service!   Now guys like me can grow into it more slowly as our wallets will allow!...

    I'm a very happy camper right now...  [:D]

    Or... will be soon... it looks like the downloads aren't quite functional yet