Just was having fun test-driving Synchron Strings today. Here's a quick example using Synchron Strings legato patches.
- Used all four legato styles and no other patches. Only used lyrical vibrato in the audio file here. I did listen to it it with the normal vibrato style, too, and it sounded basically just as good to my ear.
- Used the out-of-the-box Room Mix setup, no other processing. I also did try it with other mic setups and the legato sounded basically just as good to my ear.
- I did not "compose for the samples." Actually I just improvised the melody while trying to keyswitch in real time, and then cleaned up the performance, tweaked the timing of the notes, drew in CC automation for velocity xfading manually, and tweaked keyswitches.
- Used mono legato mode.
- After finalizing the MIDI clip, I copy-pasted it four times: 1st time, copied it into cellos to double the melody in octaves, 2nd time copied it to violins high register, 3rd time copied to solo cellos slightly lower register. I did *NOT* tweak each copy individually, they are all exactly the same MIDI.
I would love to hear what you all think, whether you think it sounds natural, and if not, what about it sounds incorrect. I'd be interested to here such feedback and then check back at whether it's something I could improve in the MIDI or if it may be something in the library itself. Please discuss!
My thoughts: It sounds really good to me! I like the ability to control the expressiveness quite precisely. I felt I was able to coax the performance I wanted with a reasonable workflow tweaking keyswitches and CC automation. I was able to control where I wanted immediate attacks, soft attacks, faded note releases vs more immediate release, note transitions while swelling the velocity, transitions that jumped immediately quieter, etc. Velocity crossfading worked nicely to make the last notes at the bottom of the scales sound very natural. And, when I copy-pasted to different registers and across violin to cello, things translated extremely well.
The moderate-speed runs/arpeggios sound nicely blurred to my ear. I haven't tried to create faster runs yet, where the inaccuracy of players in an ensemble becomes more important. I'm predicting it will be better to keep poly legato mode for faster runs. I wish there could be one or two "messy" legato transition styles for that purpose, but at the same time, I think it's highly valuable that the given legato styles are more precise - the ability to control them in such versatile and expressive ways is arguably more important for a broader range of scenarios. Still, various additional "messy" playing styles where individuals are not so accurate with each other would be very welcome, if it could be done in a future update or a future product!
A note to VSL directly - I think there may be a possible bug revealed in this example. There is a noticeable awkward volume change around 0:12 - Actually in the MIDI, that note is already released by then, and there is an intentional gap between that note (G) and the next one (G an octave higher). Does that mean the release sample is getting affected by velocity xfade? Perhaps it may sound better if release samples were not affected by velocity xfade after being triggered?