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  • How much further are you willing to go with samples beyond the human technical difficulties?

    I'm curious to know how some of you approach this matter. Do you limit the possibilities when writing with samples to the "normal" technical difficulties by a human? Do you not take that into account since it sounds good anyway? Are you concerned if ever it's played by humans they should be able to play it comfortably? What's your take on this? Guy

  • Hi Guy, hope all's well with you. My view is that if the samples are going to make it as far as the mix then anything goes - you could, for example, extend the range of a concert flute down an octave (though not, sadly, in the VI!) and get a very nice, breathy synthetic texture, or write sustained notes longer than any brass player could hold. But if the sample is to be replaced by a real player then one should take every precaution to make sure the part is technically playable, otherwise you'll get a less-than-optimum performance. For me it's a purely pragmatic matter, I don't have any ideological axes to grind.

  • I write for an ensemble using VSL and I have to take this into account. Since VSL is so thorough with what they provide, you have to realize that not every baritone sax player can play 9 eighth notes at 180 bpm, and not every alto sax player can play in the altissimo range, and not every bassist has a C extension. I wrote a lot of this stuff before I knew what every instrument was actually capable of, and what your average player was capable of. I've been told that what I've written is very difficult to play, and I blame that on my lack of  knowledge concerning each instrument.

    So if you have this knowledge I would employ it :)


  • Simulating "real" instruments and the way a normally trained musician would play his instrument is only one (for me smaller) aspect of using samples. E.g. playing/programming a cello from the Solo strings library in a way that a cello player could/would never play his instrument, mixing/layering sulpont, pizz, detachè, tremolo and glissando sounds (also polyphonically) leads to musical textures that are simply amazing and great for soundtrack work actually.
    So I'm not a purist in that sense really...