Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • How does it compare to EWQL Symphonic Orchestra?

    I am currently using EWQL Symphonic Orchestra, and I am curious what I am missing by not having Vienna Symphonic Library? If you are familiar with both libraries, please describe what I would gain by adding Vienna Symphonic Library? Is there Vienna-Symphonic-Library sample audio that would highlight any capabilities it has over EWQL Symphonic Orchestra? Thank you.

  • Wow, this is a huge question.  First and foremost, VSL is unbelievably consistent.  EWQLSO is not, you'll have different articulations for instruments in the same section as one another, some instruments have modwheel-controlled dynamics and others don't, etc.  With VSL you always know exactly which articulations you'll have.  Also the modwheel dynamics of VSL are vastly superior to those of EWQLSO because they are also consistent, or for those who don't like crossfaded dynamics VSL also has a lot of very practical "dynamic" recordings.  Then there's legato.  Some people might disagree with me, but legato is a big deal in my opinion.  It allows a melody to sound like a fluid series of connected notes rather than separate samples joined together.  EWQLSO does not have legato samples--they have a legato script, but it doesn't always sound great, and they have "QLegato" patches, which are really just patches with the attacks cut off.  VSL's libraries come with sampled legato meaning that you get real recorded transitions between notes.  Lastly some people prefer samples recorded in a hall or ambient space (like EWQLSO) and others prefer dry samples so that they can apply their own reverb and get the samples into whatever space they choose (like VSL).  I'm a fan of the second option because I might want one piece to sound like it was recorded in a hall but another piece to sound like it was recorded in a large studio, or I might want a more dry soloist.  Even EWQLSO's close mics don't sound entirely dry.  All in all EWQLSO is like an instant "orchestra-in-a-box" where VSL gets a lot more specialized and detailed.

  • I do not own SO, however, I am an owner of other products from EWQL, including Hollywood strings Gold and Hollywood brass Gold. I prefer VSL over EWQL for several reasons. For starters Vienna Instruments (VI) is superior to Play. It's intuitive, stable, resource friendly and flexible. Should you need even more flexibility and muscles, you can always upgrade to VI Pro, to benefit from humanization, auto voicing, time stretching, SSD-optimizations and more.

    Regarding the sample content, VSL is recorded dry in contrast to EWQL. A matter of preference, of course, but I prefer my samples dry, and I'd imagine you won't find many forum members here with an opinion divergent from this. Furthermore, crossgrading from EWQL SO, you would benefit from true legato and portamento articulations.

    What you would gain apart from this depends on which libraries from VSL you are considering.

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    This is helpful. I have not tried to get a true legato sound out of EWQLSO yet, but that will come later. I can see how legato would be a big deal.

    @Another User said:

    ... Furthermore, crossgrading from EWQL SO, you would benefit from true legato and portamento articulations....
    How do the VI strings compare with EWQL Hollywood Strings? I read that Hollywood Strings has more advanced legato/portamento than EWQLSO, and am also considering buying Hollywood Strings. Thanks to both of you for the information.

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    @Another User said:

    How do the VI strings compare with EWQL Hollywood Strings? I read that Hollywood Strings has more advanced legato/portamento than EWQLSO, and am also considering buying Hollywood Strings. Thanks to both of you for the information.

    Listen to the demos and decide for yourself.

  • Hi, 

    Legatos were indeed recorded one octave upwards and downwards from every note within the range of each instrument. Additionally, in different tempos (fast legat0, and performance trills for smaller intervalls).

    Both VI and VI PRO contain a reverb, and you can add MIRx as a reverb option.  



    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • Hollywood Strings require significant system resources to be used effectively (SSD, RAM) I can run an entire Orchestra with VSL on the same computer I run Hollywood Strings alone on. 

  • In addition to all the comments above, I must add my views on support.

    The VSL team are amazing with regard to answering questions on these forums or by email. When VSL receives feedback about bugs and problems, there is almost always a fix or update within a short period of time.

    Sadly this has not been my experience with EastWest. I have personally waited for bug fixes that never happened and have even been banned on their forums for complaining!

    Include all the reasons in the comments above and VSL wins by a mile.

  • The VI-Pro player is miles ahead of Play (which looks like something out of the 80's). Also I can endorse Musos view regarding customer support - I'm still waiting to have a simple EastWest articulation query/bug resloved after nearly 5 months!

    In terms of sample comparison, on the orchestral side I would regard VSL samples as more comprehensive in articulations and though perhaps needing more input/work can ultimately provide a greater sense of realism across a greater variety of styles.

  • Indeed the 'Play' software does not instill confidence. So far it hasn't hindered my work, but I wouldn't call it stable.

  • If you do plan to go into more detail, I'd suggest a totally neutral forum.  Obviously this one will have a heavy bias.  You'll find that even outside this forum VSL stands strong on its own merits and many of the opinions expressed here are universal opinions, not just opinions of long-time VSL users.  I've seen innocent threads like this turn into flame wars before, and if you were to ask me my own opinion of EWQL's support you would get a very..."strong"...opinion.  It would need to be censored for any children that might be reading :oP  So it's much safer to have discussions of this nature in a forum where there are no potential professional ramifications for the company running the forum.

  • Sorry if I've said too much. I meant it to be a thread where people could advocate for VSL, with respect to its differences from EWQLSO, because that's my frame of reference. I'll probably end up using both products.

  • I move from QLSO to VSL, it's night and day 

    MacBook Pro M3 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" screen - Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs - Quite a few Kontakt libs - CS80 fanatic
  • Understood, this has been a civil thread so far!

  • I will also chime in, and say that I've moved from EWQL to VSL.  To me, both the actual samples and the player software for VSL are far better than what is offered by the other company.  For what I am seeking to do, VSL simply works, and for me (an amateur) VSL has fewer of the "write for the samples" issues.  The scope of the articulations of the VSL full libraries also greatly help with realism.

  • Agreed Noldar, I never ever "write for the samples" with VSL.  Unless there's something truly unusual to the point of being slightly experimental, VSL can do it all.

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    @BachRules said:

    How do the VI strings compare with EWQL Hollywood Strings?

    Here you can listen to some additional VSL strings examples. I would recommend Wagner (for DS Violins, Solo & Orchestral Strings), Dvorak & Bach (both for Solo + Orchestral Strings combination) and Mozart (for period performance style chamber string orchestra sound (smaller sections, very limited use of vibrato), made with DS Violins, Solo & Chamber Strings).

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    @Casiquire said:

    Agreed Noldar, I never ever "write for the samples" with VSL.  Unless there's something truly unusual to the point of being slightly experimental, VSL can do it all.

    I still dream of being able to do Helmut Lachenmann's Kontrakadenz or Mouvement (vor der Erstarrung) with VSL one day... [<:o)]

  • Not to play Dog Pile on EWQL but the reason I never went with them for orchestral samples is because they seemed to me to be a one trick pony in that regard. If all you do is big in-your-face Hollywood styled film scores EWQL will, at least, get you there. But it won't get you anywhere else.  That's why VSL is a superior product.  You can do big Hollywood scores, small intimate chamber pieces with various setting arrangements, experimental avant-garde stuff, Pop music, Jazz, whatever...

    The reason for this is, of course, their studio where they record everything dry and pure enabling you to create your own sonic environments.

    VSL's software is so much more intuitive and user friendly.  As Noldar pointed out, you shouldn't have to be composing for the samples.  Even VSL's standard libraries will take you a long way.

    I have EWQL products but unfortunately I have to hose my system down with roach spray before I use it because their Play engine is so buggy.  At least on my system.

    Speaking of 'PLAY' let me tell you-AaaaH!!!!!!  lk;jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjkkkkkkkkkkklj';;jlklklklklklklklklklklk;jlkjiiiiiiiiiiiiiii0000000000000

                        [jasensmith slumps over the keyboard unconscious as Nick Phoenix shoots him in the neck with a tranqualizer dart]  

  • the question you need to ask yourself when comparing orchestral sample libraries is - could this do the complete Rite of Spring?  This is the single most demanding orchestral piece in history, along with some of Mahler's symphonies and a few other less known works.  Would EWQL be merely a digital travesty of such a work, with workarounds every few bars?  I can answer that for you - yes it would.  

    That library could never even begin to do such demanding music.  It is dependent on being used to do relatively mindless film scores.  Especially with the Play engine which is non-existent as an interface compared to Vienna Ensemble's elegance, let alone the samples themselves. 

    Now, of course you may be thinking. "But I want to do mindless film scores!"  Yes, of course you may.  But you need to remember - VSL can do those also, but a thousand times better than the libraries that are limited to those.  The VSL version of the Rite of Spring is actually a good performance compared even to live orchestras.  There is no other sample library that can do that.   VSL's success is based upon a uniform system of methodical sampling of all instruments that truly covers the full expressive range of each.  And the way those samples have been incorporated into the musically oriented interface of Vienna Ensemble is a crucial element.   There simply is no comparison right now between VSL and any other sample library.  The combination of the VSL sample recordings themselves, VE, VI, and MIR are unmatched.