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  • Which orchestra is better?


    I post again this letter because I guess something went wrong and it never reached you.

    So, I have to decide if to buy the "Chamber Strings" bundle (full) or the "Orchestral strings" bundle (full).

    My orchestral compositions nearly always have a complex harmony of seven or more voices, so there could be:

    violins 1, violins 2, violins 3, each with an independent line.

    violas 1, violas 2, each with...

    cellos 1, cello 2, each with...

    double bass 1, d.bass 2, each with...

    So, if I have the "Orchestral Strings" I will have the sound of 42 (!!) violins (3 times 14); 20 violas and so on. That, I guess, would be quite unreal.

    What about using Chamber Strings that would give me 6 X 3 violins, and so on...

    In theory this should be the right way, but I'm not sure about the "reality" of sampled orchestra.

    I would really appreciate the opinion of some more expert person.

    I add that I'm not composing "film music" but more the so called "contemporary" music (...whatever that means...!). This means that I'm not searching for the "Holliwood sound".

    Thanks a lot for the help


  • You are dealing with the old divisi problem with samples. You are right that one should not simply double or triple the orchestral strings as it will create a bad thick quality.   This can be solved in the current VSL libraries by using a combination of different sized ensembles.  Some people will blast on here and say you can't do this but they are full of crap.  You can get a great divisi sound right now by splitting Appassionata strings into either Orchestral strings (for 2 part divisi) or Chamber strings (for 3 or 4 part)  or even solo strings (which I did on an 8 part divisi in violins and violas).  Also, you can do irregular kinds of layering, like a couple solo strings with Chamber, etc.  If you wanted to split up the smaller sized Chamber strings, you could use Solo.   I have found that getting the exact number of players is NOT significant.  The main thing is to get the smaller sound on whatever you are splitting.    This is a great advantage to having all the VSL string libraries as they are meant to compliment each other. 

  • Hello William,

    Yes, it sounds interesting... At the moment I have these Strings: Solo strings (full) and the free Appassionata (that comes when you buy VE Pro).

    So maybe the best solution could be to buy Chamber Orchestra. So I can have Appassionata for the thick "unisono" ( italian) lines, Chamber for 2-4 parts, and Solo strings for peculiar sounds. What do you think?

    Thanks for your time an attention


  • One long-standing technique that many use is to layer chamber and orchestra strings.  When parts need to be divided, one part is played by the orchestra section, while the 2nd part is played by the chamber section.  For a large number of multiple parts, the smaller sections of the chamber strings would look intriguing, as three first violin parts would get you to only 18 first violins, which is not a bad total number at all.

    The sound of the chamber strings is very, very good, particularly if you like a closer more intimate sound.  If you read through a lot of the threads here, the chamber strings are regarded as one of VSL's best libraries.  On the other hand, the orchestra strings have more articulations, and more dynamics patches.  The fast legato in the orchestra strings could also be of use to you, depending on your writing styles.  Long-term, aiming to have both would not be a bad idea.  Having all three solo/chamber/orchestra would give you great flexibility (the potential downside to AP strings is that it simply does not have as many basic articulations as the other libraries).

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    @roberto said:

    Appassionata for the thick "unisono" ( italian) lines, Chamber for 2-4 parts, and Solo strings for peculiar sounds.

    Yes, that is actually an approach that may work best of all, since the Appassionata are almost always the best sounding full unison, and the Chamber work very well to split them into divisi.  On a piece that had a lot of divisi, I added solo strings on lines as if there were only enough players to cover the third or fourth divisi part and it sounded amazingly real.  The intimate sound of the Chambers is almost exactly like the more textured sound you get in a divisi and the closer mics actually help in this illusion. 

  • I really don't know how to thank you all. It's a great help what you are giving me. 

    More and more I'm convincing myself that the best solution is to buy the Chamber, until next time, maybe with Orchestral Strings. ...We'll see.

    In a while I'll be back, I'm sure, to ask you some trick.

    Thank you again and good work to all of you