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  • VSL Bb Clarinet 1 or Bb Clarinet 2 for orchestral composing?

    Hi, I saw that both of the clarinets were the same price so I'm wondering which would fit better for orchestral composing?

    Here are links for quick reference: 

    Clarinet Bb 1 https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Woodwinds_I/Clarinet_in_Bb_1#!Demos

    Clarinet Bb 2 https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Woodwinds_Bundle/Clarinet_in_Bb_2#!Demos

    If anyone already has these libraries I would appreciate your opinions as well. 


  • I only own one library, I can't remember which one, but the idea is you can use both instruments in the same piece without the problems of phasing or sounding too similiar to be a realistic rendition.

    so the short answer to your question is both instruments would work just fine in an orchestral setting.


  • Sound-wise they are similar (for my ear, at least) and the choice would be entirely subjective. The main difference that I noticed is that the 2nd clarinet has vibrato articulations (the 1st one has none of those). Vibrato is especially pronounced on the lower notes. 


  • Depends on the style you like to write. Traditionally, as part of an orchestral instrument, clarinet 1 (non vibrato) the purer sound is prefered, classical musicians don't like vibrato for the clarinet, but for some solos or 20th century repertore especially in the jazzy genre, clarinet 2 (vibrato) is better. 


  • One other difference: Clarinet 2 does not have recorded trills. It only has performance trills. Clarinet 1 (like other basic VSL wind instruments) has both performance trills and pre-recorded minor 2nd to major 3rd trills. 

    (The orchestral clarinets (a3) have performance trills and pre-recorded minor and major 2nd trills.)

    I admire the inventiveness and flexibility of performance trills. But sometimes, you just want to hold down a key, get the trill, and move on.  Ars longa, vita brevis. ("Art is long. Life is short.")

    Pre-recorded trills are particularly helpful when generating printed music from a DAW like Logic, where all the performance trill notes require a work-around in Score layouts, but a pre-recorded trill is just one note with a "tr" on top. 


  • I agree with that on the trills - even though the performance trills are good as an option for certain more irregular trills, often - especially in orchestral use - a simple recorded trill is much easier and just as good to use.  In fact (though I am being very lazy)  it is a pain to record actual played trills when you don't need them.  The omission of recorded trills in recent instruments has necessitated this.  I was glad to see that Synchron strings  do have sampled trills.  

    Concerning the clarinets they are both fantastic! The entire clarinet section VSL recorded is one of the most outstanding group of instruments they have ever done.  Like the soprano E flat clarinet - I actually never knew that instrument could sound so beautiful until I heard the VSL sampled one!  Also the bass clarinet and even contrabass and basset horn.  I just love this group of instruments coming from a concert band background.   The 2nd clarinet is versatile in that you can use it for classical style just fine, but it has added articulations like jazzy portamento and vibrato. Though you don't HAVE to use those as it has the more straight tone and legato as well.