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    I was perusing the promotional videos of this new library a little while ago, and I really really feel sick to my stomach! I mean what's next? PROJECT JOHN WILLIAMS for Kontakt? Am I going to use this library? Are you? Have we become so musically paraplegic? Are we the composers of today so technically inept? Press this button to get "Indiana Jones Main Titles from (1':34''-1':48'')"? Press the other button - you proud professional composer you... - to get "E.T. Adventures on Earth (0':00"-0'-10")", and don't forget to get paid and put your name on the credits?.... 

    Jerry Goldsmith, Bruce Broughton, John Barry, Maurice Jarre, Elliott Goldenthal, James Horner (who at least knows how to pinch himself, he doesn't need programmers!), and even John Williams (among others), they all had to work at times under inhumanly tight deadlines, so there goes that miserable potential excuse... And the other miserable potential excuse that we don't have enough budget for orchestrators holds as much water as one wants. Those of you who think it does, why don't you consider the difference between detailed musical sketches (if ever you've seen them), and pressing button A while twisting knob B (EQ, for our "sensitive" ears... We're perfectionists...). Even the excuse that these days the composer (except at the top) has to be his own engineer and producer is only half valid, because a composer worth his salt will still compose every note of his symphonic score if no orchestrator is engaged (that's how things are done in this league newbies - DJs, pop composers who are used to composing on drum tracks, grooves, etc. - no disrespect meant, just a different league).

    The difference is, the aforementioned composers could do it with pen and paper!... Has the industry really allowed for so many incompetent drones to infest its continually putrefying waters? Where is this going? Where does it end? The line between tools that make our life easier (like the VSL, Sibelius, NOTION, etc.), and devices that do our work for us - correction! devices that do more than our work for us (the former assumes that we actually could do the work ourselves if pressed) - is not as thin as some people would have you believe. To me it's as thick as people are. How will we continue to "boast" that we are  c o m p o s e r s  and get any respect, when soon directors and producers of some musical background (beginner dilettantes) will be able to write "their own" music to their films...

    No wonder I keep reading worshipful reviews on so many bad or mediocre soundtracks on the internet. A lot of people just don't have the first idea what quality is all about... You have both my wrath and my pity. You will NEVER know on how much you are missing out...

    P.S.: Note to the developers: I know you're making money guys, and I admire your proficiency in electronics PLUS music! Can't you put your talents into software that will facilitate the work of actual musicians please? Don't drive the stake through the heart of an already endangered species...

  • well, no serious composer would even think about buying the orchestra in a box, because they know how it is done. these sort of libraries are rather for people who like to live under the impression, they too can be (or already are) great orchestrators and composers until one day they realize they should have spent their time on studying rather than on looking sharp while wearing sunglasses at night.

  •  It's just a bunch of hype.

  • I just had a look at this library, and I have to say that it might be very useful if you know how to use it.

    All the scale runs and other phrases are almost impossible to realize with single samples, and if you are in a rush and need to create something realistic sounding within a short time, why not?

    Sometimes multiphrases and prerecorded scales and runs can be quite inspiring...what about the VSL runs, trils, arpeggios?

    Hollywoodwinds go one step further and I don't think that it opens the doors to every c-class composer who doesn't know how to orchestrate, because his way to utilize this library would be c-class level, triggering one key and having a perfect sounding woodwind phrase isn't enough, it's the overall quality and mood of the composition that counts.

    I just did a piece using prerecorded vocal word phrases (not melody), and I have to say that it was quite interesting  to see how the samples lead me into a direction I never intended to go...

    just my 2 cents


  • Whaat...I think you people are missing the point.

    Hollywoodwinds is a GREAT library actually...that lets you do stuff that simply is not possible with any other lib.

    Think of it like any other library only with more ornate still have to know how to write for it!!

    Here`s a demo i did when the lib was brand new, just to see what it can do...It took 1 hour, as opposed to the godknows how many hours this would have taken otherwise, if at all possible.?

    If you use HWW to augment your other WW`s it adds something lifelike, organic and very kewl to the end result, i have them permanently in my template, and love what they can do. 

    Serves a very specific purpose, just like it says on the box.:) No hype.

  • Looking at the actual content of the library, there aren't that many full textures that I'd really consider compositional.  Most of the library is tuttis, scale runs/rips, trills/tremolos, and effects.  There are a few accompaniment patterns that are overly distinctive for my taste, but the vast majority seem like things that are so incredibly common and in many cases simple and obvious - they aren't there because composers aren't smart enough to think of doing repeated eighth notes, they are there because a prerecorded run or trill is pretty much always going to sound better than trying to sequence one.  Sure, some of them are things John Williams uses, but it's not like he invented them, they are all things that he lifted from dozens of composers who came before him.

    Even VSL has canned trills and runs (although not synced to tempo like this library, right?).  To me, this is just a more comprehensive extension of that.  Sure it may be a time saver, but the realism is way more of a selling point to me.  I'd be curious if someone could mock up similar textures using VSL or other libraries and have them sound as real.

    And even if a hack composer can string together some of textures, those are still just background parts.  You're never going to pass for a great composer if you can't write great melodies.

  •  Agree with Pzy and Mike Connelly. This library is, I believe, meant to make life easier and your mockups sound more realistic. It doesn't mean that someone is not going to compose original music just because he can program a realistic run in a few seconds rather than spending 30 minutes on a run that's not quite 'there'. It also promotes quick ideas in woodwind writing. I don't believe it's meant to replace the study or knowledgeable use of woodwind choir in compositions. Seems like a fantastic library to me, for what it is. In the same vein as Symphobia.

    But what does this have to do with Vienna Instruments?


  •  pzy-clone - that demo sounds really good.  I can see how this can augment other more "normal" sounds.

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    @Christof Unterberger said:

    I just did a piece using prerecorded vocal word phrases (not melody), and I have to say that it was quite interesting  to see how the samples lead me into a direction I never intended to go...

    This sounds really nice, Christof.



  • Pzy-clone.  That demo is great and it's an excellent example of when something like this works. 

    I'm from a pencil and paper background originally but if I had this then I'd use it.  More often that not the director/producer couldn't care less if you've been up all night with a pencil and rubber or went to bed at 10pm having used a bunch of samples.  Ofcourse it does depend on whether or not it's going to be played in which case it's the poor orchestrator who'll be up all night.

    There are no rules dictating how a composer should create music.  If it works, it works! 

  • I don't think it is nice to start a thread and then disappear out of town, so I thought I'd give some general comments as opposed to addressing all points one-by-one.

    A lot of people seem to not have gotten the points I was making. I never said the product was not great (I even wondered whether I'd use it). I never said the product was not expeditious (actually the opposite was part of my argument). I also never said that this would make a great composer out of anyone - I never even hinted that HOLLYWOODWINDS was an enemy.....!! 

    What I did say (paraphrased here), is that we are somewhere on the road - not the end of it - that eventually could lead to complete fraudulence. Because there actually exist rules about composition, and one of them concerns fraudulence. A director or producer may not care whether a composer stays up all night or does the job in 10 minutes; they don't even care if half or more of the material is not by the composer they are PAYING to produce original music (so long as there is no lawsuit). My point is, that at some time in the future they also won't care about hiring a composer, since they will be able to get these derivative, impersonal results themselves with minimal training, or with the help of an amateur...

    I agree that this tool is great for a composer that could ALSO notate what is provided here, and there is not much need for engineering which saves valuable time, and is great for absolute ignorami in engineering such as myself. Yes, there are good things about this super library; I was focusing on the negatives which, in my opinion, are considerable. And please don't compare the VSL generic string runs to this software featuring all the rhythmic march-variations that Williams ever came up with (yes, he was influenced himself, but the musical context he has created in his works is almost totally his). This software is more like Sibelius' Ideas feature, and really... how many of you ever use it?... Or would you use it if it featured Williams and Elfman stencils?...

    I insist that besides this being a great time-saving tool (which I first acknowledged in my original post), it - and others like it in the future, allow for people that had never had any business trying to work in the industry, to literally  p i l f e r   musical material from the sweat of their betters, and pass it off as their own. This is awful by itself, but not nearly as bad as the way the composer's art (at least in film and the classier part of popular culture) will be grossly devalued, not right now with HOLLYWOODWINDS, but sometime in the future where more automated, streamlined emulators will afford the untalented, the unworthy, their own delusions of grandeur. Look ma! No hands...... 

  • Errikos,

    I think I see your point and I agree.  It's as if Classical, Orchestrated and Film Score music has almost been DJ 'ized.  An anology would be the fact that most of your Dance/Trance/Hip Hop/Rap genres unapologetically use canned pre-recorded grooves for their "beats."  The DJ needs a groove at 120 BPM, for example,  so he simply types that parameter into his DAW and he gets volumes of pre-fabricated cookie cutter beat tracks that he can lay into his songs. 

    Are you suggesting that perhaps elements of Williams, Elfman, Goldsmith, and Zimmer have been turned into cookie cutter templates that any chimp with a DAW could slap together to compose an "original" film score?  It's like Film Score Composition for idiots.  Well, I must admit, that's a frightening proposition.  The Dumbing down of Classical composition.

    Am I understanding you correctly?

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    @Another User said:

    Are you suggesting that perhaps elements of Williams, Elfman, Goldsmith, and Zimmer have been turned into cookie cutter templates that any chimp with a DAW could slap together to compose an "original" film score?
    Is there any reason to believe that this is actually the case with this library?  If you don't have the library you can download the manual and a supplement that list exactly what "templates" it includes.  And I can't remotely imagine how someone without actual composing skills would be able to put together anything even remotely resembling a film score with it.
    Personally, I think this library is worth having even if you just bought it for the runs and trills and didn't use anything else - as Tanuj pointed out, even VSL doesn't (yet?) have runs that sync to tempo.

  •  This is a stupid discussion...about the evils of samples again, being..ironicly...held on the forum of the biggest (perhaps) Sample library developer today. Come on now...

    For example, the demo i posted..i said it was done in 1 hour..and it was, BUT...there is certaintly not anything that sounds like that out of the box, if i showed you guys the midi file you would certaintly see that even with prerecorded runs and phrases, you need to be able to write ( in general..not saying i can :P) and program well, AND...this illusion of holding down one key as a part of the new world order of dumbed down composers is simply a myth.

    Play back a single pre-recorded phrase with any lib..and it will sound exactly like a single phrase being played back...and imo, if you cannot differentiate a phrase from a complex arrangement done by a skilled composer...well, you are a much bigger part of the problem of dumbed down music than any sample lib developer.

    I dont think there ever will be a shortcut to writing good original music even with samples, ...we have had prerecorded orchestral phrases for YEARS, for those that can rememeber that "far" back....

    And the great misconception here is the idea that somehow a library like HWW exists only to dumb down or make unskilled composers shine...well, thats simply wrong as i see it. It exists to give you more options, variation, nuance and possibility...that does not compromise anyones artistic skill or integrity at all, i have a hard time understanding why those are seen as mutualy exclusive, especially when the majority of people making those same old claims are indeed also working with samples for 99% of the time...?

    So...if one could have done something like this with say, EW or VSL, i would have preferred that..becouse it would ultimatly give you more control...but you cant, so i embrace what possibility we do have today, instead of complaining it will take away your work or make you redundant somehow...i dont think skill will ever become redundant in this context, quite the opposite really...becouse mastering all these libraries is actually a additionall skill to learn, and anyone having worked with samples KNOWS that it`s NEVER a case of going to bed at 10 while the pen and paper guy sits up all night....if anything, it`s quite the opposite :)

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    @Pzy-clone said:

    This is a stupid discussion...

    In other words, you are above this discussion and judging those who are taking part in it.

    Did I get that right?

  • No, you did not get that right :)

    Well ok "stupid" in the sense that: discussing if a certain sample lib is dumbing down music or not seems rather futile in this context  since we all use them to some extent, and if one is to follow that logic...would not all of them be doing that pr definition?

    But by all means...if people here feel there is a substantial difference between a sampled 8 horn section and a woodwind ensemble , im not passing "judgement", simply stating my opinion, You are free to take in what way you want offcourse :)

     Im not over or under any discussion, just i think the question is based on a weird form of reasoning...yeah so maybe they are dumbing down things, it may very well be...but i dont see how HWW for example is doing that any more than what we already had for years?

    Thanx for your comment on the demo btw, i simply wanted to show that the library is not only a loop or "press one key" type of thing, but alas...:)

  • "... The following is a paid advertisement by Hasbro, the creators of Instantscore... "

    Fade in to composer sweating profusely in front his computer monitor.  "Jezz! that director is a real pain in the neck!  He wants this big @$$ brass march finale cue when the General finaly bites the bullet and he wants it yesterday.  Who does he think he is?  Steven Spielberg?  What am I going to do. "


    "From the makers of Shamwow, introducing Instantscore the revolutionary new MIDI plug in that will score your Hollywood blockbuster in a New York minute.  You don't have to spend years studying at a music conservatory anymore.  You don't even have to attend a high school music theory class anymore.  You don't have put your blood sweat and tears into that great film score anymore.  And let's face it, being original is just too gosh darned time consuming.

    Composer smiles big with a sparkle on his teeth (Ting!)

    Hey!  I've got Instantscore!


    That's right maestros!  No more all nighters with pen and paper and those crushing deadlines have just gotten a lot less crushing.


    Well I'll just press the "What would John Williams do in a situation like this" button.  Or how about the "Hans Zimmer Zinger" button.  Or maybe... Yes... this is a job for the "just rip it off Horner" Button!


    Our sample snipits have been proven to win Academy Awards.  We know because they have already won a couple.

    Fade to black...

    Or how about the Apple Iphone approach...

    "Lets's say you have a director who is being a real ball breaker about that big action sequence cue for the film score you're working on.  Well, there's an ap for that."

    Or maybe the car insurance approach...

    Film score composition?  It's so easy, a caveman could do it.

    I don't want to speak for Errikos but I think the question that he raises in his OP is perhaps the use of programs like this Hollywood woodwinds would set a precedent that leads to canned film score music (Instantscore by Hasbro) where originality is essentially dissected from the process.  I find that disturbing.  Some would say that we already have canned film score music.  At this point I would argue no.  What we have is over used cliches and just plain laziness.  But we're getting there. 

    To be honest I haven't heard this library and if it's just runs then I don't think it would set a precedent but I'm not completely sure what Errikos is suggesting.  That's what I was asking in the first place because I'm not familiar with this library and I assume he is.

    Tanuj, what you must realize is that, yes, at the end of the day people who write music with virtual libs are doing it to save time and money but that doesn't excuse being unoriginal lazy or down right stealing does it?   And I think that's what Errikos is trying to get at.  Or words to that effect.  But I guess if you have a director who doesn't care then why should the composer.

    Speaking of dumbing down, I think I have dumbed this thread down enough for today.  My apologies Errikos.

  • No apologies necessary, you said with humour what I was trying to say with venom. Within 10 years I can see your commercials becoming reality. People just don't get it.

    HW is only a crutch at the moment, and with a crutch you still must possess limbs to use it; HW can only address people that must have considerable skills in music to take advantage of it, still... In a few years, it's mostly a matter of algorithms - [ever heard of LISP? yes, I also have done computer synthesis at university, writing code in three different languages, worked with max, csound, etc. and have contributed to electronic music concerts] - the crutch could become full prosthetics triggered by mental commands (walk, run, dance! etc.), allowing a poor legless soul to function; it will be physically him walking running, dancing, but he'll be doing it with someone else's steps. The prosthetics and their sophisticated programming won't make him a good runner or dancer, but he won't be laughable either, since his running programming could be emulating an Olympic champion (similar with the dancing). The Rolls-Royce model could perhaps allow him to play football as well ("Play like Zidane today!"...) This is not an exact parallel, but I believe conveys my misgivings about future film composition. It is not HW I am targeting; it is the philosophy of over-reductionism. Jansensmith, I know the director won't care. That's why the composer should care doubly. 

    I know these kind of programs if relied upon exclusively will produce execrable soundtracks; but that's with today's ears. I submit that soundtracks are execrable today already, but you usually need "older" ears to realize that. Not because older soundtracks are not available for comparison, but it is different to compare something older, to something you have been born into, than be exposed to the new as a concrete adult. Same with future soundtracks if they go the direction I have been dreading - and I hope they won't. Young composers of that day will not see too much wrong with them, It will be the modus operandi of the day, even if not condoned by everyone (I hate the banality, triviality, obviousness and indigence of 90% of soundtracks today, but how many would agree?...)

    Lastly, software such as the VSL does not fall in the same category at all. Isn't it patent?! Giving you a major octave string-run is not compositionally suggestive, it is too generic. Giving you building-blocks of E.T. and Indiana Jones synced to tempo not only is suggestive, it is the thing for which the program was specifically designed, targeting untalented pilferers. They welcome this library, along with others who would use it for faster results - like I would mortgage the house for a program that would take my Sibelius score and engineer it into a complete orchestral recording complete with reverb, E.Q., perhaps allowing me the choice of imitation conductor from a preset list: Karajan, Kleiber, Monteux, etc. But that's because I don't have access to an orchestra, I have no engineering skills to speak of, and I would not know how to conduct a digital orchestra. BUT, I do know how to compose. Those that don't I am giving you the following imperative: Go forth and do something else with your life and stop offending our sensibilities! However, since I cannot enforce it (I would!!...), refer to above Hasbro product...

    String Quartet package - €400 (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven) w/t Extended Techniques - €600 (Bartok, Nono, Crumb)

    etc., etc. up to

    Full Orchestral Package - €8000 (Strauss, Stravinsky, Holst) w/t Extended Techniques - €10000 (Ligeti, Xenakis, Lachenman)


    Hollywood Orchestra - €5000 (Segments of FOP/ET as used by Williams, Elfman, Moriccone, Zimmer)

    "We can't all be geniuses! But now, thanks to Hasbro with its elite team of programmers, we can dress up as our favourite composer, every day can be Halloween!!" [ed. remember how stupid everyone looked in Superman uniforms....]

    Minimum requirements: 6.4 GHz Intel 3000, 1TB RAM, 6TB HD. Expensive? Upside: No minimum requirement in talent!

    Ah Salieri, you were born too early.....

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    @Another User said:

    Nobody forces people to listen to a certain kind of music. If you are good and original - in the end your music will stand the test of time.

    OK, point taken, but what if the future Instantscore by Hasbro uses your music and/or your style  for their plug in, because it stands "the test of time," and doesn't bother to credit or pay you.  Then what?  It's all fun and games until somebody gets an eyeball poked out and what if it's your eyeball.  Now you may not care or consider it an homage but I would certainly care and I don't think I'm alone.  

    You say that you have composed in the electronic realm?  Well, if that's true, then you know that sampling other artists' music is rampid in the electronic genres.  What you might not know is that 9 times out of 10, those artists being sampled are not compensated or given credit.  It isn't until the artist using the your samples receives the letter from your attorney do they then want to negotiate something.

    Now maybe it isn't fair for Errikos to bash HW, if in fact that's what he's doing I'm not sure, but I don't care about HW.  My concern is the push button compositon point that he raises for the reasons I've laid out above.    

  • I don't think there is any reason for this thread to continue, sadly we have come down to having to repeat ourselves....

    For the record:

    1) I am paraphrasing here what I already said and/or implied: HW is a fantastic program - that is why I got concerned in the first place, if it was crap it would not matter; but the more sophisticated and user-friendly the program, the more a hack can disguise himself behind it.

    2) I'm talking about the FUTURE forecasted fears I have, NOT what is happening now, but since you mention it Tanuj, I believe that lots and lots of VI composers are hacks. You know why? Because lots and lots of composers in all facets and genres are hacks, with first of all the majority of so-called academic composers (Nietzsche was so right about this...), so I don't see why it should be different with VI composers, and the success you mention means nothing - Capone was successful...

    3) As far as my confessed poor engineering skills are concerned, the difference is I will never pose as an engineer or attempt to be employed as one, even if a program comes out that allows me to  p r e t e n d  to be one...