Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • Where are all the Orchestral Strings demos?

    Unlike most of the available VSL sample libraries, the Orchestral Strings demos primarily showcase a few articulations, not actual compositions or mockups that use the library. Yes, there is a demo for Barber's Adagio, but it would be nice to hear a few more when trying to decide whether to spend $1,600+ USD.

    Recently, the market has been flooded with new string libraries, and compared with Orchestral Strings, it is easier to hear what those competing products have to offer, because they have more audio demos (and even video walkthroughs).


  • Funny enough I actually feel the opposite.  Other libraries don't just let you hear the articulations, they let you hear it in-context with who-knows-what kind of effects applied and who-knows-how-many articulations layered.  Though I agree with your point as well, it's useful to hear a demo of the library's practical use.


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    Hi Symfoniq,

    I agree that this selection does not really cover the Orchestral Strings.

    The Orchestral Strings contain the most articulations of all our String Collections and are the backbone for most of the arrangements you hear in the bigger classical mock-up section. Of course our users also mix the various string ensembles in different ways (Chamber / Orchestral / Appassionata and now of course also the Dimension Strings), which makes it harder to find out what´s what.

    I´ll put that on my to-do list for more videos on the upcoming new website.

    What are you looking for, in terms of sound?

    The Orchestral Strings are often described as the most "european-sounding" string ensemble we offer, with a clear and elegant sound.

    You can also contact me at so that we can find a solution.

    Best,

    Paul


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
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    @Symfoniq said:

    ...Recently, the market has been flooded with new string libraries, and compared with Orchestral Strings, it is easier to hear what those competing products have to offer, because they have more audio demos (and even video walkthroughs).

    Yes, we probably can compare Libraries in a better way in the context of an orchestra.

    But: You also will be deceived just within this context.

    We often can listen to spectaculair demos with imposant sounding libraries in a cinematic context.

    Nice! But when it comes to play a classical mockup - silence - nothing.

    So most of these super sounding demos are following the possibilities of the samples itself and not "the must" of a certain music...

    What I mean:

    I've never heard "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" with LASS or any other Library - why?

    Because they probably not are able to reproduce the Mozart how it should really sound. But I know what VSL can do!

     So finally I don't know what we should get? Probably demos of the pure articullations and some demos as you wish to get it.

    Best would be 2-3 "international standard mockups" for all the full Libraries... which is of course not possible...😉 - unfortunately.

    Beat


    - Tips & Tricks while using Samples of VSL.. see at: https://www.beat-kaufmann.com/vitutorials/ - Tutorial "Mixing an Orchestra": https://www.beat-kaufmann.com/mixing-an-orchestra/
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    Thanks for all the responses. This forum is always very helpful!

    @Another User said:

    We often can listen to spectaculair demos with imposant sounding libraries in a cinematic context.

    Nice! But when it comes to play a classical mockup - silence - nothing.

    You are absolutely right. Lack of flexibility in competing products is why I'm most heavily invested in VSL.

    My main point is that the Orchestral Strings page advertises itself this way: "Both collections cover an enormously wide variety of playing techniques built on the foundation of the essential string orchestra, whether you’re recording Mozart’s 'Kleine Nachtmusik' or your latest movie score." So based on that, I'd expect the demos to run the gamut of styles. But it sounds like this issue is on Paul's radar, so I won't belabor the point.

    And by the way, your Eine kleine Nachtmusik mockup sounds fantastic!


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    @Paul said:

    I´ll put that on my to-do list for more videos on the upcoming new website.

    Exciting! When will the new website be up?


  • I have several string libraries and have auditioned many others.  I don't think there is anything better than Vienna.  Also, Vienna is much easier to use than some other products.  The matrix concept of loading sounds makes it fast and efficient to work with as many or as few articulations as you need.

    Dimension Strings are incredible and I use them a lot; but I still love Vienna's orchestral strings.  They work for pop, orchestral, and film equally well.  They are more pristine and accurate than other companies' products and they sound large enough for anything without being overly epic.  I would also add that while they are not cheap, in the long run it is better to buy the gold standard product than to spend $500 or $1,000 over and over on different libraries hoping to get what you need.

    Good luck.

    P.S. I am not associated with VSL.  I am a songwriter and producer who loves strings and has some strong feelings about which work better. :-)


  • I posted a similar query a while ago, and with a few new string libraries now on the market it would be great to get a sense of how Orchestral Strings (on its own or maybe mixed with DS) stands up in context, especially with MIR. I totally enjoy and appreciate the sound and flexibility (and lack of nasty surprises!) of the Solo, Chamber and DS strings that I have with VI Pro and MIR, and I get a good sense of Orchestral Strings capability with the SE version that I have. Given the price of the Orchestral Strings bundle, even with my SE discount, a few more recent demos would tip me over the line and keep me from potentially wasting my money on other products that I may potentially regret.


  • One big advantage of Vienna Symphonic Library over all other current sample libraries is they started more than a decade ago with the Orchestral Strings, which are still the "backbone of the orchestra" just as strings are normally considered.  This is completely because of one thing - the methodical sampling approach which is very thorough and covers a wide range of all playing styles.  As Beat Kaufmann noted, the other libraries can give you impressive sounds for one style - usually the "Hollywood" film score (which nevertheless VSL can do better than any others because of Appassionata)  but the others cannot even begin to compete with the range of different playing styles represented by the various string libraries within VSL.  And if you have Orchestral, Appassionata, Chamber, Solo and now Dimension strings, nothing else comes close to the expression and wide ranging sound contained within all those libraries put together. 

    This is partly because of the historical facts of the development of VSL over time. They sampled a basic complete string ensemble articulation with Orchestral, but later added the various other sounds that a conductor/composer might want - such as closer, more "in-your-face" Chamber Strings, or the HUGE sound of Appassionata, or the Solo which still is unequalled for intimate complex musical performances. And with Dimension, you have a new level of control that has never been attempted elsewhere over each individual player within an ensemble.  Amazing!  I am still trying to get a grip on what is possible with Dimension - it is mindblowing.  Also because everything in VSL is "backward compatible" due to it all being based on real musical values - the detailed sampling of serious musical performance.   But anyway, the most thorough representation of all articulations of any of the libraries is in fact still found with the Orchestral Strings.  I think of it as the base of all the variations possible with real strings in an orchestra that the other VSL libraries complete.


  • While I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say William, I still believe a few more dedicated Orchestral Strings demos that illustrate similar material to that which recent competitors are presenting, would be worthwhile for potential customers. Sometimes, unfortunately, words are not enough.


  • I agree with Arbee and feel that VSL tend to sell themselves short.  Most of VSL's time is devoted to making great products while the least amount of their time is devoted to selling them.  This goes from making the website friendly to new users all the way down to the demos.  Maybe it's just because I've spent a lot of time in America now and I'm used to aggressive marketing.  But hey, that's the kind of market VSL's competing in, they should ramp things up a few notches ;o)


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    @Arbee said:

    I posted a similar query a while ago, and with a few new string libraries now on the market it would be great to get a sense of how Orchestral Strings (on its own or maybe mixed with DS) stands up in context, especially with MIR. I totally enjoy and appreciate the sound and flexibility (and lack of nasty surprises!) of the Solo, Chamber and DS strings that I have with VI Pro and MIR, and I get a good sense of Orchestral Strings capability with the SE version that I have. Given the price of the Orchestral Strings bundle, even with my SE discount, a few more recent demos would tip me over the line and keep me from potentially wasting my money on other products that I may potentially regret.

    I'll answer this partially since I've been testing them for Visual Orchestration 3. Based on my testing, in general, the Vienna strings are vastly under rated, while at the same time, separate from MIR/MIRx some things are needed to really bring out the sound. One of them is within the VSL family, and that's FORTI/SERTI which is highly under rated. Once ERs and a TILT filter are added to the Orchestral Strings 1 and 2, they really blossom out and you get a much fuller sound from them that can work in any genre. At that point, it's the covering reverb.

    Outside VSL, Ernest has a product that's been around for years called The Hollywood Impulse Responses which combine a reverb tail + a TILT filter. Add to this an ER from FORTI/SERTI and literally, in minutes, you've got your sound. Here's the link:

    http://numericalsound.com/hollywood-impulse-responses.html

    Tonight I applied the same procedural test to Appassionata Strings 1 to see if I could get them into the same room with Berlin Woodwinds (BWW). Worked. Like. A. Charm. Listening on Sennheisers, it was like having Von Karajan's string section in my computer. If you do the whole thing within FORTI/SERTI you have multiple choice on dark/bright factors for the TILT filters which helps in matching either Teldex or others in Kontakt that have a slightly darker quality.

    RE: The Teldex sound. You have that available in the Vienna Suite with Hybrid Reverb and separate impulses for the Vienna Convolution Reverb.

    SORDINO: I have the Cube and the complete Orchestral Strings 1 and 2 including the extended set. You have a VERY complete set of recorded muted strings vs. a switch that "enables" a muted string sound in Berlin Strings and also two other string libs that I'm aware of. This has been available since the days of the Pro Edition.

    LEGATO: There are multiple legato bowings plus a "backdoor" legato with the trill legato.

    SIZE: It's a larger string section (14 vs. 8 vs 11).

    In fairness, I should point out that the other libs are multi-mic setups.

    Speaking personally, I wrestled with this very question. But the career/musical decision that I came to, was that I defined the sound I was looking for. And here it is:



    some rigorous testing, I saw that I could pretty much achieve this sound with VSL, the Dimension Brass and Strings, and possibly LASS for some divisi writing. So this is my main template which is in development.  The sound I'm getting is coming almost entirely from the Vienna Suite, FORTI/SERTI, these extra bundles from Ernest, and an older Lexicon PCM 90.

    With this planning criteria in place (hellooo Lean Six Sigma), I would then look at these other libs for a secondary template with a smaller sized darker sounding ensemble. My model is the London Metropolitan Orchestra as used in the Endeavour TV Series from ITV. Here's a link with Barrington Pheloung conducting:



    a little effort, I could also capture this sound in VSL by creating a new template with the Chamber Strings or the Dimension Strings.

    With VSL's new "audio division" you really do have a lot of different ways to go within the family!

    HTH.

    PA


  • With regard to Demos, I think that the video demos of the libraries by Guy Bacos don't get enough attention.  I don't know if they were sactioned by VSL or Guy just did them out of the kindness of his heart and VSL posted them for everybody's convenience but they are so helpful in understanding how each articulation can be used.

    For example:

    http://www.vsl.co.at/en/211/442/344/350/1030/643.htm

    On this page, Guy has a video demo of the solo Violin and it's almost like a Violin for Dummies demo because you hear the articulation and see it.  Before seeing these videos I would legato everything because I didn't know any better but the videos gave me, a none string player, an idea of how to use other articulations and how to combine them to acheive a more varied sound.

    I know it would probably be a serious undertaking but more of these video demos would be nice.  Maybe put Guy on the payroll for a while and let him go nuts with each instrument and/or collections.  Or just feed him some free samples, I don't know but more of these type video demos would be great.  


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    @Arbee said:

    I posted a similar query a while ago, and with a few new string libraries now on the market it would be great to get a sense of how Orchestral Strings (on its own or maybe mixed with DS) stands up in context, especially with MIR. I totally enjoy and appreciate the sound and flexibility (and lack of nasty surprises!) of the Solo, Chamber and DS strings that I have with VI Pro and MIR, and I get a good sense of Orchestral Strings capability with the SE version that I have. Given the price of the Orchestral Strings bundle, even with my SE discount, a few more recent demos would tip me over the line and keep me from potentially wasting my money on other products that I may potentially regret.

    I'll answer this partially since I've been testing them for Visual Orchestration 3. Based on my testing, in general, the Vienna strings are vastly under rated, while at the same time, separate from MIR/MIRx some things are needed to really bring out the sound. One of them is within the VSL family, and that's FORTI/SERTI which is highly under rated. Once ERs and a TILT filter are added to the Orchestral Strings 1 and 2, they really blossom out and you get a much fuller sound from them that can work in any genre. At that point, it's the covering reverb.

    Outside VSL, Ernest has a product that's been around for years called The Hollywood Impulse Responses which combine a reverb tail + a TILT filter. Add to this an ER from FORTI/SERTI and literally, in minutes, you've got your sound. Here's the link:

    http://numericalsound.com/hollywood-impulse-responses.html

    Tonight I applied the same procedural test to Appassionata Strings 1 to see if I could get them into the same room with Berlin Woodwinds (BWW). Worked. Like. A. Charm. Listening on Sennheisers, it was like having Von Karajan's string section in my computer. If you do the whole thing within FORTI/SERTI you have multiple choice on dark/bright factors for the TILT filters which helps in matching either Teldex or others in Kontakt that have a slightly darker quality.

    RE: The Teldex sound. You have that available in the Vienna Suite with Hybrid Reverb and separate impulses for the Vienna Convolution Reverb.

    SORDINO: I have the Cube and the complete Orchestral Strings 1 and 2 including the extended set. You have a VERY complete set of recorded muted strings vs. a switch that "enables" a muted string sound in Berlin Strings and also two other string libs that I'm aware of. This has been available since the days of the Pro Edition.

    LEGATO: There are multiple legato bowings plus a "backdoor" legato with the trill legato.

    SIZE: It's a larger string section (14 vs. 8 vs 11).

    In fairness, I should point out that the other libs are multi-mic setups.

    Speaking personally, I wrestled with this very question. But the career/musical decision that I came to, was that I defined the sound I was looking for. And here it is:



    some rigorous testing, I saw that I could pretty much achieve this sound with VSL, the Dimension Brass and Strings, and possibly LASS for some divisi writing. So this is my main template which is in development.  The sound I'm getting is coming almost entirely from the Vienna Suite, FORTI/SERTI, these extra bundles from Ernest, and an older Lexicon PCM 90.

    With this planning criteria in place (hellooo Lean Six Sigma), I would then look at these other libs for a secondary template with a smaller sized darker sounding ensemble. My model is the London Metropolitan Orchestra as used in the Endeavour TV Series from ITV. Here's a link with Barrington Pheloung conducting:



    a little effort, I could also capture this sound in VSL by creating a new template with the Chamber Strings or the Dimension Strings.

    With VSL's new "audio division" you really do have a lot of different ways to go within the family!

    HTH.

    PA

    Do you intend to show exactly how to get that sound(s) in visual orchestration 3?


  • I show some of them there and in Scoring Stages.


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    So after giving it a lot of thought, I made the leap and acquired VSL Orchestral Strings 1 and 2 (Full). This was no easy decision for the reasons I mentioned in my original post. Purchasing Orchestral Strings meant not purchasing (at least for now) some competing, newly released libraries that cost less and have more demos.

    After using the VSL Orchestral Strings library for a couple of weeks, my only regret is not getting it sooner (or perhaps even starting with this library). The Dimension and Appassionata Strings fill their roles well, but these Orchestral Strings seem the most versatile. They can sound intimate and defined or big and lush. For me, the Orchestral Strings section sizes are perfect 80% of the time. And the programming is top-shelf. So, thank you for this amazing library, VSL team. I just wish you'd tried harder to sell it to me. [:D]

    Since it's better to help solve problems than merely complain about them, here's a short cue I put together using only the VSL Orchestral Strings. No doubt Guy Bacos or Jay Bacal would do better, but I'm pretty happy with the result:

    January Strings