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  • Could someone check the VI_perf-legato for this bug, please

    I´m starting to think, that this is a problem of my setup, cause I can not imagine, VSL not realizing this problem or not taking care about it. Since I realized so many panning problems in the VI-patches, but none of them as heavy as this one, I´d be greatful, if someone could play this patch legato from C5 to D5 (in my setting C4 is the middle one) at full velocity. I get a heavy fade from center to right. Anyone else having this problem? Thanks a lot!

  • Yes I hear it; no I don't find it a problem.


  • How did you solve that. In my orchestra-setup this sounds like there are two different violins playing. One in the middle and one about 15 meters to the right. Just found out, that this happens with many legato notes. Can´t imagine, that this is no issue for the VSL-Team.

  • By the time I have narrowed the stereo field, panned and added reverb it sounds fine.

    DG

  • In distant orchestra settings it works fine for me too, but a soon as I get a little closer, it´s disturbing a lot. Specially with whole sections like the HO-4_glissandi, moving quite a lot on some notes. I´m just afraid, VSL is focussing too much on inventing new stuff, instead of fixing bugs, which is o.k. for me with other bugs. But this one is quite noticeable.

  • I'm sure that if you do a search you will see that Dietz has addressed this issue more than once, and it isn't a bug, according to him. I really don't hear it when I narrow the stereo field. You are doing this, aren't you? You're not dealing with any silly Logic panpots or something similar?

    DG


  • [URL]http://community.vsl.co.at/forums/p/14924/95417.aspx#95417[/URL]
    [URL]http://community.vsl.co.at/forums/p/16812/121083.aspx#121083[/URL] (your own thread, Felix! :-))
    [URL]http://community.vsl.co.at/forums/p/14744/93391.aspx#93391[/URL]

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Hey Dietz, thanks for the links. I have to say, that the result of these links were not realy satisfying, since you said yourself, that narrowing "is a good idea, if U want to create a stage-situation other than an intimate chamber-musical setting" and I´m currently working on such an intimate setting. Specially looking at the Vi_perf-legato, it´s hard to believe, that the different pan positions are natural problems. Specially if U compare the sounds of two legato notes with the same notes, played seperately, it seems more to me like the legatos have been recorded later with another micro-setting. And I think this could be fixed by some editing of the library. Don´t get me wrong. I love the VSL-Library and apreciate your work. But in this case, where a bug is quite obvious, I feel a little left alone, since the problem is known and not fixed yet. While VSL is such a detailed and precise library, it´s hard to believe, that they just accept this problem.

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    @Felix Bartelt said:

    [...] Specially looking at the Vi_perf-legato, it´s hard to believe, that the different pan positions are natural problems. Specially if U compare the sounds of two legato notes with the same notes, played seperately, it seems more to me like the legatos have been recorded later with another micro-setting. And I think this could be fixed by some editing of the library. [...]

    Felix - yes, we _do_ record the same note on different days, as our recording-sessions sometimes last several months, or almost years for a single instrument. But our microphone-setups are measured (and replicated) within a tolerance of maybe +/- 0,5 cm in x/y/z-axes, as well as the positioning of the players and the instruments themselves. In the SilentStage it's not exactly like "Hey, it's a bit hot today, let's try to sit closer to that open door!", you know ...? 😉

    If you do lots of acoustic recordings in stereo yourself, you actually should know this phenomenon, and its even more perceptible in a room as analytic as ours.

    We discussed the acoustic phenomenon quite a few times internally, since we can of course hear what you (and other users) write about. But where do you start to "fix" this natural phenomenon, and where do you accept what's going on? You always change the sound when you change phase-relatinships within a stereo-signal.

    In addition, it would mean to re-edit the whole bunch of samples we already published - manually. Oh, and BTW - all loop-points have to be set again (manually) after you messed around with phase and run-time. All this neither funny nor cheap, while the fix for it is so easy: If you can't stand what happens in stereo, do what every sound-engineer would do in real life, too: Make the signal mono. 8-)

    Kind regards,

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • I agree, that there might be some natural pannings, but how can this example be a natural problem. http://www.hohes-b.de/VI_solo.mp3 Actually, I would find it very difficult to create such a panning effect without any editing and I bet you won´t find this in reality. Since it is the same note, once with legato, once without, how can that be a natural effect? Concerning the editing: I have no idea about the technique, but just panning the "wrong" samples left would do in my oppinion. Concerning the cost and work, this would cause, there´s a tradeoff to the philosophy of delivering the best quality, cause one day there might come someone else, having a better quality. In the case of VSL I see the quality in having the posibility to play very realistic out of the box, which is definitely not the case in the example above.

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    Ok, I'm quoting myself from the thread I mentioned above ([URL]http://community.vsl.co.at/forums/p/16812/121083.aspx#121083[/URL]):

    @Dietz said:

    Make a simple test: Listen to a slow sine-sweep on your favorite monitors. You will hear the tone wandering around, although neither you nor the speakers move.

    Maybe you tried this already (... you never commented on this). Now try the inverse test: Put a static sine-tone on your monitoring (e.g. 440 Hz) and move your head a bit, or move you body forwards and backwards. You will be astonished.

    Now imagine the speakes are the microphones, and you're the player ... ---- I'm sorry to admit that we _don't_ torture our musicians by tieing them up to a stake with their head and body (... ok, only sometimes [6]).

    In any case: It's a well-known, natural acoustic phenomenon, and it simply happens in natural environments (read: real rooms, real instruments, real people).

    All the best,

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • As I said: I agree, that it´s impossible to have a tightly centered sound. But did you really listen to my example? http://www.hohes-b.de/VI_solo.mp3 The pannig difference between the first two notes is accaptable. But I don´t think I´m exaggerating by saying "The legato sounds like two different players!" And the fact, that I just recognize that in perf-gliss or legato patches, tells me, it´s rather an editing than an accoustic problem.

  • Actually, one of the reasons it sounds so different is that the last note of both examples is not played on the same string. Example 1 you have both notes on the A string, and example 2 the first note is on the A string but the second is on the D string.

    DG


  • I don´t think the that the string causes the panning. Specially when other or same notes of that string are moving to the right, whenever they are connected to other notes. No matter if you play a legato up or downwards, the second note is panned very right. Sounds pretty much like an editing not a natural accoustical problem in the case of the solo violin. Anyway. Even though I gave up my hopes of VSL fixing that, thanks for taking the time to discuss this.

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    @Felix Bartelt said:

    I don´t think the that the string causes the panning. Specially when other or same notes of that string are moving to the right, whenever they are connected to other notes. No matter if you play a legato up or downwards, the second note is panned very right. Sounds pretty much like an editing not a natural accoustical problem in the case of the solo violin. Anyway. Even though I gave up my hopes of VSL fixing that, thanks for taking the time to discuss this.

    I wasn't for one minute trying to say that the string change causes any panning; Dietz has already explained the cause of that. I was just trying to offer an explanation as to why the sound is different.

    I know that this is a big deal for you, but I have to say that once I've narrowed the stereo width, and put it through a really small convolution reverb, I really don't hear any panning anomalies that sound unnatural to me. However, you could always automate panning, if you don't like what you hear. I don't envy you though, and I'm not sure that I would like the result.

    DG

  • Felix,

    From what I understand of VSL's approach to recording their solo instruments, they're not necessarily going for the peak of "realism" with the original recordings at full stereo width, but are rather trying to capture as much stereo information as possible; to have a really robust stereo file, as a sort of starting-point. So the recordings, at full stereo width, will probably always sound overly "wide", and will reveal these sorts of problems more than one might expect. I don't know the details of how the instruments are mic'ed, but I'd imagine Dietz is actually understating it a bit when he says "the front row" - I'd imagine the recorded stereo position would be more like sitting somewhere on the stage! Also, you have to keep in mind that, if you intend to do any imaging of the instruments at all - even for a chamber ensemble - you will still have to narrow the stereo width, as it is certainly impossible for you to be sitting directly in front of _all_ the players in the group. You might be sitting in front of one of them, but the others will invariably be off to the sides.

    With the above in mind, however, I do understand your frustration. But I don't think the effect you're experiencing is necessarily related to the stereo width or positioning of any individual sample in the library. I think this is an effect of the Frankenstein-like nature of any sample-playback system. What you are hearing are subtle psychoacoustic effects which are completely natural in _any_ real space, with any real performer, but you're hearing them _without_ the continuity of a live performance. In a live performance, if the musician leans forward slightly, or turns slightly to the side, there is an acoustic continuity to that event, which your ears pick up and adapt to in an entirely natural way. The sound is changing, and the panning effects of the space are reflecting this change, but that change is completely continuous - it never "jumps", because it is part of a physically continuous event. Additionally, everything else you're hearing in that space - the audience, your neighbours, your own breathing - are also continuous, and constantly informing your perception of spatial cues. In a sampled performance, on the other hand, the changes between every sample are abrupt, and that is what is jarring to your ears... (or perhaps I should say, to you mind!)

    I have also noticed that this has a great deal to do with the natural decay of the instrument. In the legato instruments, by virtue of the way their recorded, you hear _much_ more of the natural sound of the instrument itself, particularly in terms of decay. Therefor, it's really important to pick your samples and articulations carefully, if you're working on a final output mix. I'm getting into the habit of using performance articulations as much as possible, as these tend to contain the maximum of "real" performance information (transitions, decays), and I also make sure any short note samples (staccato, portato) are allowed to decay fully (that is, either turn up the decay, or lengthen the note in your track). In my experience, this helps to unify the samples of the instrument, somewhat ironically, by allowing the natural panning effects of all the articulations to speak a little more clearly.

    Finally, I have to concur with DG on the absolute best solution: narrow the stereo pan, and apply a "small" convolution reverb. This will help localize the sound in your mix, even if you're shooting for an intimate chamber ensemble. In fact, I've just been playing around with the Violin Solo Perf-Legato, hosted in the Vienna Ensemble (which has VERY good control of stereo width and position, btw). I narrowed the width to about 1/4 of full, and added a tiny bit of "small room" reverb and, like DG says, I honestly don't notice the panning effects. And it is certainly not a cavernous, reverberant kind of sound. Adequately intimate, for sure.

    Keep in mind, also, that a small chamber group is something like a Turing test for sample libraries, and I don't know of a library that has really passed! You can do **extremely** well with VSL. But a groups of 4 or 5 talented musicians, sat in a room playing your music, will not be replicated by a computer any time soon, IMHO! ;-)

    J.

  • I hope I´ll handle that problem, even though it does not really work too good with the HO-4_per-gliss, specially when they are playing solo and with my mixing abilities. Anyway! Maybe the problem for me is more about paying quite a lot for a sample library. while according to Dietz VSL is knowing and accepting a bug like this one, telling it is no bug or leaving the fixing to the users. Once again: I love the work of VSL and apreciate, that they allow discussions like this one - unlike others. But in this special case I have to say, it is a philosophy, I don´t like.

  • Hi J., we just wrote our comments parallel. So I read yours just yet. Since I don´t want to say wrong thinks about VSL and I called the panning problem in the VI-perf-legato (solo) a bug. Play some notes above C5 legato (e.g. C5-D5, D5-E5, E5-D5...) Do you really consider the fade to the right on every legato - no matter in which direction - as a natural problem?!? Maybe there´s something wrong with my ears, but to me it sounds like the legato is more than 5 m fading to the right.

  • Sorry, Felix - which instrument? You mean the HO-4_perf-legato [EDIT - sorry, perf-gliss]? I was just playing with that, with a narrowed pan (dry), and I don't hear a huge problem. Just in case, I also tried it with the Violin Solo, and again I don't hear a major issue. But keep in mind that I'm using the Vienna Ensemble, with its panner set to around a 15% width for violin solo, and about a 25% width for the 4 horns. It really shouldn't be much wider than that, IMO. Maybe someone could correct me, if I'm wrong about that. But if I imagine myself in an actual performance space, it doesn't make sense, to me, for the stereo width to be much wider - not even for a small venue. I mean, if I'm about 2 feet away, maybe, but I can't recall listening to a performance at that distance, so I'm no judge! ;-)

    J.

  • Actually... I could use some confirmation on this. (Dietz?)

    I tend to make a mental triangle from my ears to the instrument. I then set the width to try to "cover" the space occupied by the instrument. This changes, depending how large the space is supposed to be - how far away I want to be - but it never makes for a very large width. Keep in mind that, because of the wide stereo recording, you're not losing any stereo information if you use a proper panner, like that in the VE. So it's not as though a narrow width is cheating you out of anything your ears would normally pick up.

    To my ears, setting the stereo width to full just makes me feel like I must have an absolutely **massive** head! With ears about 6 feet apart! ;-)

    J.