Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • VSL recorders, lute, mandolin, Viola d'amore?

    Does VSL have any plans to add any of these? These are the instruments I personally would like to see sampled well.

    If anything, does anyone know who produces any of these with high quality and flexibility. I don't expect things to be as good as VSL, but most other options are no where near as flexible. Collections like RA are nice, but in some cases the offerings are well below par. The Bagpipes are horrendous! I don't expect VSL to look into bagpipes or anything (although a single ethnic collection would certainly be a wonderful treat!) but I would like to see certain more common instruments done, like recorders, etc.


    P.S. I know I'm probalby not the first to ask this, but after searching for recorders and not finding anything... I thought I'd ask.

  • I too have a strong interest in Renaissance and Baroque instruments -- even Medieval instruments.

    Most of what's out there is low quality, and to my knowledge there is NO library with viola da gamba or viola d'amore.

    Although most of their libraries (except a few of the pianos) are low res, the Sampletekk Recorders library is fairly detailed, if not terribly expressive. Precisionsound has one too, but they chose to bias theirs towards pop music, with no access to dry samples or ones without vibrato.

    I think MOTU Symphonic Instrument included a Lute. I keep hoping for an update on that VI.

    Precisionsound has a detailed Mandolin library but it's not one that's suited for classical work. There are quite a few other mandolins out there in various ethnic and guitar libraries, but I won't mention any of them here as NONE are appropriate for classical use.

    There is a brand-new Renaissance and Baroque library from Soniccouture that is MAGNIFICENT, very detailed and expressive. It covers several holes that have been neglected by other sample library developers. NONE are part of your list, however.

    Nevertheless, here's the link, which could come in handy for others. I bought it immediately, and am pleased as punch as I have been wanting a quality Theorbo and Hurdy-Gurdy for some time.

    At least the Theorbo is a type of Lute, which you would probably need to match to a standard Lute in many works anyway.

  • Thanks for the link! Some good stuff there. Although I didn't find enough variety and a few things I didn't like, but otherwise better than most of what I've found.

    I bought a Sonivox Bagpipe that I love, but the company cheated me!!

    1st, I had a limited amount of installs and I can't install it anymore because one needs an internet connection to 'verify'. They won't verify it anymore. I reinstal Windows once a year so I can't install it anymore. I bought the samples and have a right to use them, so I ripped the file apart and am converting the audio to Kontakt. I refuse to let something I paid for go, let alone the only bagpipe samples I've liked. (yes, it's ilio which owns VSL, but still... bad service is bad service, no excuses!)

    I've decided to sample a couple instruments that I have access to but do not own. That's how bad this is. No one makes VSL quality instruments in this category and I grow tired of waiting.

    Dry, articulations, expressive options, true legato, 24-bit, etc. All of these things are not 'too much' to ask for... but the minimum I require. The only thing better is overkill on repetitions, effects, the 'weird' sounds instruments can make that aren't traditional. We don't have that from even VSL yet, so who knows. It may never happen.

    But anyway, thanks again for the link.


  • I really don't don't like the quality of the sound of the SonicCouture stuff (mentioned above).


    +1 for VSL to record these instruments and more.

  • Yeah, the sound was what did it for me. There were things I liked about the samples, don't get me wrong. They weren't bad for the most part as I noticed small things I liked. But sound quality was low enough that I wouldn't use them. Although I get excited with any new samples I don't know about. I usually go out of my way to email people saying what I'd rather have, as I suggest things on VSL all the time. I was planning on emailing them saying that if they released new samples that sounded more VSL in quality, I'd buy them.

    All the more making me want some from VSL, lol.


  • How can you judge the samples when you didn't buy it?

    You are judging the demos, which are produced in a way that I don't like also. I've learned to look past that stuff with many of these manufacturers, who for money reasons have to cater primarily to Hollywood type composers (not my bag -- I DESPISE Hollywood production values).

    Nevertheless, a VSL take on ancient instruments would be different and much welcomed.

    Note that the Soniccouture library is based on a SPECIFIC historical collection in Cambridge England and is limited to what was at hand. Therefore there will be no follow-on (though I did let them know about another collection they might have access to, if interested).

    The only other company I have hopes for when it comes to ancient instruments is MOTU, because they "get" it. They are located in Boston, which is one of the world's major centers of ancient music (and instrument) revivalism and the location of the Friederich Heune Collection.

    MOTU Symphonic Instrument had a tiny collection of ancient instruments; not enough for me to keep it. But I would be tempted back in if a follow-on version included more in that vein. They used mostly super-close-miking, so stringed instruments were a bit raspy.

    But the point is that the company is made up of people who are musicians first and technicians second, so they have the right mindset to understand the needs of composers. I have petitioned them before to do more with ancient instruments -- especially as they have access.

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    @Another User said:

    I DESPISE Hollywood production values

    Do you mean this in relation to music, anything Hollywood, other? I'm curious.

    On your last point. I am a composer first, but even I have studied more about recording and editing on my own than some people I've seen. This is why I'm thinking about making a recorder on my own. If I had the resources, I'd even produce my own choir. I like Vienna's for the sound quality but I prefer a bigger choir. Word building has not been implemented well enough from anyone yet. EW is fine, but not real enough or easy enough. And as much as VSL needs to put out Divisi strings... a true choir needs divisi also; at LEAST 8 parts (SSAATTBB). I only bring up the choir as choirs and the instruments we've been talking about are the two things I have never been happy with (sample-wise).


  • Understood. I too have extremely high standards but this is the first time ever that something has come along in the Renaissance/Baroque realm that would work in a mock-up as opposed to only buried as an "interesting" sound in some huge production.

    Choir-wise, it sounds like Soundiron's upcoming Mars and Venus choir libraries may be of interest. Only one demo so far (of Mars) but they MIGHT have done a good job of word-building for Old Church Slavonic and Gregorian/Latin contexts. I'm looking forward to it if it lives up to its promise, and can see it possibly mating with the ancient instrument libraries.

    By "Hollywood", I quite specifically mean the modern movie productions that are physically based out of there and run by the big companies.

    I don't consider Pixar to be Hollywood even though they are popular and widely distributed. They are located practically next door to where I work (SF Bay Area) and have different production values story-wise and musically as well. Same with Francis Ford Coppolla, who sometimes is big but is NOT Hollywood (he too is locally based). What a marvelous self-written soundtrack to "Tetro" last year! Didn't know he was a composer!

    I like dynamics and contrast in the music, and story-building and character development. In other words, traditional movie-making values. And thus I contribute to local independent and short films, but put bread on the table with my day job in the audio business (where I cross paths with big names fairly frequently, but fortunately ones that I have respect for :-)), so that I don't have to take music jobs I wouldn't want.

  • Agreed with the Hollywood bit!

    I've seen the choir, but a while ago. Hopefully it will actually get released! lol - My biggest consern with the specs on it though, are some of my bigger problems with choral libraries. 1- how vast is it? 2- how flexible is it? These two things seem 'okay' with this choir.

    VSL has several different tempos while this choir seems very limited in that regard. The whisper/chant collection is exciting, but I worry it won't be as expansive as I'd like. The vowel bit is nice, but that's where I'd put my focus. I want to have either believable word-building with ease or a a massive library. 15 GB can fill up pretty quick. If it was 100GB I might think otherwise. But that's ONLY because it's not a word-builder choir.

    And as much as I prefer sampling over modelling... Some of the Wallander stuff is fairly impressive considering that it's modelled. I wonder if more focus was placed in modelling, if even more realism could be achieved. With that in mind, I've been wondering something. Say that modelling could produce a VSL quality sound. If that were possible, perhaps a virtual choir would be better implemented via modelling. Just a thought anyway.

    Anyway, I don't mean to make this a redundant conversation, but thanks for the input. I can always talk samples. Hopefully well get some more +1's on here! (Or some VSL guys who want these instruments themselves?) lol


  • Here this thread comes up, yet again. 

    I don't want to speak for VSL but my guess is that there just isn't enough of a demand out there right now for recorders or a lute.  Lute?  Maybe in the future and perhaps a solo recorder as recording an ensemble in true Baroque fashion might not be worth the cost of producing it.  Just a guess. 

    A choir, on the other hand, may be in the works (I hope).  There is a demand for a boys choir, or even girls for that matter, and think what it would be worth to have a sample library of the world famous Vienna Boys Choir.

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    @mhschmieder said:

    Same with Francis Ford Coppolla, who sometimes is big but is NOT Hollywood (he too is locally based). What a marvelous self-written soundtrack to "Tetro" last year! Didn't know he was a composer!


    A bit OT here but Francis assisted his father Carmine and received a co-composer credit for the score to Apocalypse Now. Word has it that Carmine wasn't comfortable working with Moog synthesizers for the score but Francis insisted upon it.  Subsequently Francis assisted his father and ended up composing a lot of the cues himself.  At least that was the rumour I heard.  Both of them won a Golden Globe and a Grammy for the score.  

  • Is there demand? Yes. Is there enough? - that's up for debate.

    Obviously there are those who'd use it. Not everyone purchases the Euphonium samples, but it still has it's place. I personally have very little use of the Electric Guitar, and with what else is out there... VSL would probably get more out of a Lute, imo anyway.

    But in the end, it's this simple to me. Sampling a recorder is by no means an incredible task. If VSL produced a download package or dvd collection of 'special traditionals' or something... having a Recorder, bagpipe, lute, mandoline, and accordion (or whatever package users making such requests want most)... but point is that it wouldn't be costly to produce, yet there would certainly be users who would want it.

    How many Bassoon 2 and Euphonium purchases are there? How many purchases of EWQL RA are there? That alone proves my point, that such instruments are absolutely desired in the sampling community. With the quality and thorough work that VSL does, such instruments from them would be FAR more welcome than the alternative options currently available.


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    @iscorefilm said:

    Is there demand? Yes. Is there enough? - that's up for debate.

    Obviously there are those who'd use it. Not everyone purchases the Euphonium samples, but it still has it's place.

    Exactly.  And the Glass Harmonica, Heckelphone and Waterphone have their place in a modern orchestra too although they are rarely ever used.  Key word here being modern.  Lutes and recorders don't have a place in a modern orchestra anymore.  And what about that electric guitar (Overdrive) which I use a lot.  Does it have a place?  Every once in a while yes it does. I have seen modern orchestras use overdrives although very rarely.  Don't forget that VSL has a foothold in Jazz too where overdrives are used more frequently.

    One of my very first posts on this forum was requesting recorders.  That was back in January of '08.  Here we are nearly 4 years later and we have seen a choir, Brass Dimension, Bosendorfer Imperial, MIR, Vienna Suite, and many others but no recorders.  I'm not so interested in recorders anymore.    

      Aside from the Boys Choir that I mentioned above I would like to see more enthnic or world instruments sampled.  There is a growing demand for world music out there and ethnic instruments would help fill that void.

    In the end, I think you're right Sean in that if they ever produce a recorders sample library it would be like an expansion pack to Special Woodwinds or something.  The Lute maybe another one to add to their plucked instruments collection.  We'll see.

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    @jasensmith said:

    Key word here being modern.  Lutes and recorders don't have a place in a modern orchestra anymore.

    Modern has less to do with the sound and more to do with the style of writing. I could use anything to produce sound and I could use that 'anything' with an orchestra. VSL's audience is not exclusive to film only. In fact, if we compared VSL and EW then RA would seem far more appropriate to have come from VSL than EW to begin with as VSL's user base is far less film-oriented (on average anyway) than EW. How many VSL demo's utilize the electric guitar? How many could utilize the recorder? Vivaldi would be accomplished best through VSL over any other library, no? 

    That's just my take on it... I'm not trying to turn this into the world's longest and most pointless recorder debate... lol But, I'd like to see them, and I think a 'special collection' would work. But the only real point of this thread, I guess, is just to say 'I want it too'.

    And yes, if I have to sample it myself- I will! I even requested that VSL allow a 3rd party format for samples in VI Pro as I intend on sampling things and hate kontakt now that I've been spoiled with VIP. It will certainly be a while before I've got anything usable... but I'll post it on here when I do. (in case anyone's interested anyway)


  • >Lutes and recorders don't have a place in a modern orchestra anymore. Hmm, I hear recorders in MODERN film scores all the time... far more often than glass armonicas and waterphones!

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    @wwzeitler said:

     I hear recorders in MODERN film scores all the time


    Name one, aside from the obvious period piece.  (Quick! google "recorders used in film scores") 

    Besides, film orchestras are in a different realm all together.  Sure, in a film  orchestra, you might hear recorders and  lutes but you could also hear synths, overdrives, burundi drums quipos, pan flutes, zithers, Harmonicas, Human Beat Boxes, Blow Bottles, what have you, but should VSL drop everything they are doing to create a Human Beat Box sample library because somebody out there might need it for the 80's Break Dance revival movie they are scoring?

    Look, if VSL decides to make a Lute or Recorder library, great!!! I'll be one of the first in line for the recorders because I would like them too.  but c'mon.  Aside from a few obscure composers out there who the hell uses lutes anymore.?  OK, I think a lute was used for the new Clash of the Titans remake score, I'll grant you that one, but that film could also be considered a period piece to some extent.  And it was a live player recorded not a sample library.  If the demand for Lutes, Recorders, or Human Beat Boxes increases I'm sure VSL will accommodate.  

  • Announcing, "Vienna Dimension Human Beat Box Sample Library, with the sounds of Herb, Paul, and Dietz all recorded in divisi"

    Since when does VSL only cater to a film-scoring audience? And again, I ask... How can EW justify such instruments, being exclusively a film-focused library... yet VSL, a library appealing to film and classical users wouldn't have period instruments?

    It just doesn't make sense for VSL to ignore the request, yet EW would make such a library.


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    @iscorefilm said:

    Announcing, "Vienna Dimension Human Beat Box Sample Library, with the sounds of Herb, Paul, and Dietz all recorded in divisi" [...]


    Shhhhhh!!! Didn't we agree not to spill the beans about this _that_ early?!?


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Sorry Dietz, I was just too excited to hear your beat boxing technique, that I couldn't hold back.

    Maybe the expanded library will be the three of you scatting... [H] Maybe if you guys do another video like the one with the "East Wurst tomatoes" bit, we'll see a preview of this library, lol

  • I've been hearing the instruments in VSL Elements in film and tv scores for years, decades. Horror/terror, sci fi, all the time. It's not very surprising to me to find that stuff here. I haven't found some of it anywhere else; Sonic Couture has some glass instruments but it doesn't sound as good to me and it's more limited in scope. The blown bottles in Glass Instruments of VSL are awesome btw. :)