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  • Testing MIRx and VSL Orch Strings vs Hollywood Strings

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    Just been doing a few tests for myself, and I thought I would share it for anyone who is interested - especially those considering MIRx.

    The primary objective of this test was to see how much MIRx benefited VSL orchestral strings, and in doing so, familiarise myself with the different rooms. It eventually turned into a VSL versus East West thing, but this is mainly because I'm looking to see if MIRx will be the essential factor in potentially using VSL instead of Hollywood strings. More on that later.

    This is a short piece based on a theme from a film I scored a while ago. The following is using only VSL orchestral strings, and the standard legato patch. The different files give the listener an idea of the different venues using the same piece. (It's not the greatest piece, nor the best programmed, but it's enough to give an idea of the tone colour of the different rooms). (the "2" in these filenames has nothing to do with the sample library, it is just the second piece I came up with. The first one was rubbish).

    VSL MIRx Test Orch Str 2 GrosserSaal.wav

    VSL MIRx Test Orch Str 2 Teldex.wav

    VSL MIRx Test Orch Str 2 MotzartSaal.wav

    I then added loegria con sordino sus multi (layered with vln2 vla celli and bassi) and VSL woodwinds:

    VSL MIRx Test Orch Str 2 MozartSaal with added winds and loegria con sord strings v2.wav

    The loegria patch gives it that larger than life, layered feel. Could also be done with orch or appasionata sordinos, which I don't have.

    At this point I was very impressed with the sound, to the point where I was wondering if this might be replacing Hollywood Strings as my go to string section. To compare, I decided to make a version with Hollywood Strings. (this cannot be put through MIRx for those who don't know. It's using QL spaces).

    VSL MIRx Test Orch Str 2 HWSTRINGS.wav

    VSL MIRx Test Orch Str 2 HWSTRINGS w WW and Loegria con sord.wav

    After finally having figured out how to stream HWS powerful system legato BC patches over ethernet, I was expecting this to be better. The legato patch still is laggy, and though I could have spent another hour or so fixing it up, I decided to leave vln1 how it was. You can hear it struggling behind the winds, and not really feeling like a 'part' of the orchestra. To compensate for the lagginess I decided to go for a more 'articulate' melody with a couple staccatos and marcatos here and there. Kind of works, but still not fantastic. The overall sound is still good and HWstr still seems to be among the better 'out of the box mixed' libraries.

    I personally concluded that the VSL orch violins, for this kind of melody, seemed to have more life and more preciseness than HWstr. Also overall, the MIRx allowed for an easy way to achieve an ensemble roomy sound that I previously have not been able to achieve using reverb units alone. I could have purchased MIR pro but I never wanted to make the commitment.

    Here's a combination of Both VSL and HWStr, mainly VSL for violins and HWStr and Loegria for the rest:

    VSL MIRx Test Orch Str 2 MotzartSaal MIXTURE vsl vln 1 with hollywood strings and loegria and ww.wav

    Again, it's not the greatest piece, and I'm sure there's room for improvement, but it was done for the purpose of the test.

    So for the short animation which I am supposed to be scoring right now, I will be using VSL orch strings - not just because of the quality of sound with MIRx, but because of the responsiveness of playback when compared to the HWstr version. I might still use HWstr, but as more of an accompaniment, rather than the articulate melodic lead. Also loegria for figuring out voicings, then transferring to VSL like I did here.

    Without MIRx I wouldn't have considered this.

  • I read your posting earlier already, but I didn't find the time to answer back then with a big "Thank You" for your efforts and your friendly words. Highly appreciated! :-)


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • I am methodically doing the same type of testing for the same purpose (replacing HS). I really appreciate you posting this as it confirms my current position. I have always been a little frustrated with my inability to get a good mix from my Vienna libs and would settle for a "canned" out of the box sound from other libs and greatly limited compositions- MIR really began to help steer me in a different direction with making a switch and begin building a new template. The resources it takes for me to run a full HS template I can nearly load a FULL orchestra of VSL -and- it is stable. Stability is everything. 

    By the way- nice melody