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  • CHANGE IN VSL'S DIRECTION ?

    I know that Synchron instruments are really great sounding and what many people will want to use, but I have to make this observation -

    One of the most remarkable things about VSL has always been how every single recording ever done - out of millions literally - was compatible with the others.  The First Edition instruments could be used with the latest ones the same exact way.  Even the different string libraries - like Dimension, Orchestral, Appassionata, etc. - all can be used alone, but also blended to create a "meta-library" of string sounds that can have mind-boggling diversity as shown by all the demos and user compositions that combine sounds in new ways.

    I started thinking about this because of FX Strings.  The FX strings have been created FOR SYNCHRON ONLY.  If they were for Orchestral Strings recorded on the Silent Stage then they could be used in any VSL recording.  So you could even use them with Synchron by using the MIR Synchron impulses.  But the reverse - going from a Synchron to non-Synchron - does not work since the reverb is baked in. 

    I am now thinking the executive decision has been made - no more non-Synchron recordings.  All the instruments previously sampled are "Legacy" sounds.  Is that true?  That shouldn't happen because  what made the company an industry leader was the total compatibility of all instruments and systems that is has always had. 


  • Meanhwile in the real world, it's not a gargantuan task to use Synchron libraries together with the older VSL range.


  • Above my pay grade to make determinations like this, but it's possible they decided what made them great in the past will not keep them great in the future. Times, tastes, and expectations change. Change or die. Not saying this is the case, just throwing it out there for consideration.


    Hobbyist ... Sy Woods, Brass, Perc I, Str Pro, Elite Str, Duality Str & Sordino, Prime ... Sy-ized Woods, Perc, Solo Str, Ch Str, App Str, Harps, Choir, Dim Brass, Dim Strings ... VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D, Vienna Suite Pro ... Cubase 12, Studio One 6, Dorico 5
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    @JimmyHellfire said:

    Meanhwile in the real world, it's not a gargantuan task to use Synchron libraries together with the older VSL range.

    Yes but you cannot use Synchron instruments with anything other than Synchron acoustics.  All of MIR other than Synchron is left outt.  All of any other reverb except for overall generic wash is unuseable.  

    That is the whole point.  Previously VSL was the single most flexible and useable library of all because of the Silent Stage. 

    My other point is more of a question - are all new VSL instruments going to be Synchron only?  Including the Choir which is unfinished?  


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    @JimmyHellfire said:

    Meanhwile in the real world, it's not a gargantuan task to use Synchron libraries together with the older VSL range.

    My other point is more of a question - are all new VSL instruments going to be Synchron only?  Including the Choir which is unfinished?  

    When Synchron Percussion I came out, Paul said there would be other libraries recorded at the Silent Stage. And Herb mentioned the Extended version of Dimension Brass. 


  • Hey William,

    That was exactly my concern while looking at where VSL has been going to lately. So I had questions too on a similar topic within this forum about MIR. This is what I practically got from Dietz, around another user also asking what is going to happen with MIR Pro now, any future venues to be made etc.:

    Right now the work force of VSL is completely focused on Synchron Strage-related products, but I have high hopes that we will find the possibility to give MIR Pro the attention it deserves in the not so distant furture. - Dietz

    I guess we could safely say - Yes, VSL is going "wet samples" only, but it would not necesseraly stay this way forever. Also my understanding is that they have high hopes for MIR Pro in the new surround and 3D stuff becoming more and more popular in the industry, hence the new Full Libraries simply having more mics instead of less samples, which I personally prefer a lot more.

    Cheers from L.A.


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    "Paul said there would be other libraries recorded at the Silent Stage. And Herb mentioned the Extended version of Dimension Brass." - daviddln

    I didn't hear that and it is good to know. Synchron is really impressive, but the idea of abandoning the previous Silent Stage/MIR approach completely is disturbing.  I guess it is not the actual plan to do that.  🤔


  • William,

    This is good indeed!I have invested, financially and emotionally, in the classic VSL approach already and would've hated it to see it plunge. I think it is the best platform out there. Like you said, Synchron is and sounds great/impresive, but...

    Looking forward to see what's on the horizon!

    Best,

    ZWaves


  • "I have invested, financially and emotionally, in the classic VSL approach already and would've hated it to see it plunge." - ZWaves

    Yes, that is it, especially emotionally.  I feel like the original sampled instruments are friends who play my stuff.  Like with the Dimension Strings - a bunch of unique individuals whose quirks I am slowly learning...


  • Hey William,

    Today, Spitfire Audio released their first long awaited (and free) Labs instruments - Piano and Strings. They are no longer using Kontakt, but their own plug-in interface (it reminds us of something, right?) and guess what? The samples are DRY!

    I know why VSL decided to move towards "recording with the ambience" workflow. I am pretty sure they got influenced by other sample creator giants like Spitfire Audio, Orchestral Tools (with their Teldex IR, which by the way could be turned off on the interface) just to mention a few. I've read somewhere on this Forum that VSL is doing this Synchron stage "because that's what people want"...

    Now, who's moving in which direction at this point? While Spitfire finaly is able to come up with their own software interface (first one was their Hans Zimmer Strings) AND move towards "dry" samples (abandoning the ambience print) - who is influencing who?

    Just a quick observation I wanted to share.

    All the best,

    -ZWaves


  • I don't think it's a valid comparison.

    The two new Spitfire instruments are lightweight, freeware gifts. It only seems reasonable to not conduct a full-blown, multi-mic recording session and pay for costly recording time in an expensive recording space for something like that.

    Orchestral Tools generally still records "wet". They did their solo instruments dry, with a single velocity layer for legato and with an IR for technical reasons (it's way easier to avoid phasing and "sucking" for solo instruments that way).

    Also, people like a change of pace every once in a while. Why not record something ambient after doing dry stuff for such a long time and vice versa? As a developer, why not broaden and expand your own catalogue? As a business, you need to keep releasing new stuff every once in a while after all. So, I wouldn't jump to conclusions.


  • I'm also noticing that some developers go into the dry direction, e.g. Soundiron with their upcoming string library. Maybe it's just a temporary taste, maybe not.

    I don't have the feeling that VSL was influenced by others, because they don't need to be. They bought the Synchron Stage and, for me, that was definitely (one of) the primary reason(s) for going the wet way. Maybe I'm wrong. But, of course, I cannot know.

    Hope to see some dry libraries in the future again. But I can understand that the focus lies on the Synchron Series. There so many libraries (woodwinds, brass, ... and even strings 2) to come before going back to release other dry libraries. But, actually, what should come orchestral-wise? There are nearly all instruments recorded.

    I started with VSL products two years ago and still find it hard to make them wet. I have MIR Pro, but it's a complicated, yet powerful software. I'm more into the "hollywood" sound à la John Williams and really wished that there were some (more) tutorials for MIR Pro on that matter. So, for beginners like me, it is probably the best way to buy a wet library.


  • The two new Spitfire free instruments are not within the caliber of nor have the same concept as VSL's products. That is why my previous comment was not meant to be any kind of a comparison. I have pointed a few facts disclosing the direction in which two current lines of products are diverging into.

    Everyone gets influenced one way or another, including VSL and Spitfire or any other company. But that's besides the point I wanted to make originally.

    It's good that Synchron Instruments are here. The fact is that anything that VSL makes will always be good, because they know their craft very well. So in and of itself that range of instruments is sounding fantastic. Does it measure with the capabilities and flexibility of the classic line of products? I don't think so. I am glad that VSL is not planning to abandon the dry samples recordings and hopefully they soon realize that dedicating all their resources, time, and effort into Synchron isn't such a great idea. Expand and make more of the Dimension Series for example. With more techniques and more controls. It will be well appreciated from composers and arrangers alike. VSL is one well oiled machine by now.

    As far as ease if use, it does take a little extra to master the sampler and the software, only for the user to be double rewarded on what VSL can do. If you are a beginner, VSL has cleverly developed the MIRx extensions and the MIRx Mode within MIR Pro for us to use with almost every setting already set in advance by the professionals and sounding solid. Great starting point and a playground to learn from.

    I will continue to think of the Synchron series as VSL's exotic line, "out-of-the-box" / plug & play libraries for that one specific sound.

    Cheers everyone!


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    @ZWaves said:

    I will continue to think of the Synchron series as VSL's exotic line, "out-of-the-box" / plug & play libraries for that one specific sound.

    But wouldn't that be a somewhat limited assessment of the product line? Synchron Series is nothing like some other popular ambient libraries like the ones from Spitfire, for example. Those indeed provide a very specific type of sound and that's kind of their selling point.

    Synchron is very different. It doesn't provide a specifically flavored or tailored sound at all. To my ears, the Synchron Stage sounds very clear, strong and compact. And the samples do have a great sense of spatial depth to them, which just helps the realism. But they're not drenched in reverb at all and are not very specifially colored, and are just as flexible and malleable as the old Vienna Instruments samples. The percussion is a great example. It's sounds absolutely "pure" and "real" - not particularly "Hollywood" or whatever at all.

    Therefore I can't agree at all with the notion that VSL have changed their philosophy and are now creating flavor instruments with one specific sound in mind. I think the new line just needs a bit time and attention to adjust to.


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    @JimmyHellfire said:

     I think the new line just needs a bit time and attention to adjust to.

    The Strings need another Expansion-pack with focus on Portamento (maybe in combination with tons of different runs-styles).

    I would like to see 3-4 Portamento-variants like short, medium, long and veerrryyy long. I think this is a very important part of the puzzle. And as soon as this is out all people have the best Strings-Section on earth.


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    @Another User said:

    Synchron is very different. It doesn't provide a specifically flavored or tailored sound at all. To my ears, the Synchron Stage sounds very clear, strong and compact. And the samples do have a great sense of spatial depth to them, which just helps the realism.

    Aren't we suppose to bring that (spatial depth and realism) with MIR Pro?

    The Percussion does sound great. The stage does its thing there, help shape the sound that we'd expect in a recording situation and this is what you have called and perceived as "real". But can I place these sounds in another environment? We have to use RoomPack 6 for all the instruments to work properly. You are correct that some time is needed to see how Synchron will be accepted.


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    @LAJ said:

    The Strings need another Expansion-pack with focus on Portamento (maybe in combination with tons of different runs-styles).

    I would like to see 3-4 Portamento-variants like short, medium, long and veerrryyy long. I think this is a very important part of the puzzle. And as soon as this is out all people have the best Strings-Section on earth.

    I can't consider any library the "best string section" if it doesn't have true divisi.  I love the sound of SyS but between not having divisi, portamento, glissando, or a smooth connected flowing legato sound, it's really nowhere close to the "best strings ection" title.

     

    I'm also surprised to see someone say that MIR is complex to use!  It's one of the most user-friendly pieces of music software I've used before.


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    @Casiquire said:

    I can't consider any library the "best string section" if it doesn't have true divisi.  I love the sound of SyS but between not having divisi, portamento, glissando, or a smooth connected flowing legato sound, it's really nowhere close to the "best strings ection" title.

    Precisely one of my points - true auto-divisi. Someone on this forum here had already asked about that and what are the prospects of seeing this feature incorporated into the Synchron Player, but the answer from VSL was - "not at this time". The Player has been announced since January 2018 more officialy and being such a recent release is technically still under development.

    As far as the legato sounds, I'm seeing that SyS is overflowing with them 😃. Someone even asked "why so many?" on which I'd say - the more the better. I have noticed though that there aren't nearly enough articulations in this first library as the classic VSL Strings. Hence the title Synchron Strings I pointing that this is only one of several more to come, or at least one more, enhancing the articulations.


  • The "best string section" is Meta-Strings, an ensemble made by putting most or all of the VSL string libraries together.  This allows almost all articulations, divisi up to Debussy levels, portamento, etc. with sections and even individual players totally controllable.   

    Whether you can use Synchron Strings as part of that is not clear but perhaps with the MIR Synchron it would be possible though not with the kind of instant playability being advertised.     

    I was thinking something rather odd and vaguely disturbing in that Synchron is not only like the old East West orchestra -though obviously better quality - but FX Strings is like Symphobia-type libraries.  This not only is a change for VSL but a reversal.  I always thought that the difference between Symphobia stuff and VSL was that with VSL you create your own Symphobia, by using an amazing thing called... ORCHESTRATION. 

    What composers have always used.  So it is ditinctively your own, rather than exactly the same sound that the other guy  is using.  But FX Strings is not only pre-baked reverb but pre-baked performances.  That is Symphobia. 

    This probably indicates that VSL having cornered the serious orchestration market now wants the instant orchestration market as well, which probably makes sense from a business standpoint.  Artistically, I wonder.  For example, I am working on a "modern-horror" album which has various atonal sounds.  If I use FX Strings for this, I am essentially doing what somebody else can do, instantly, by just pressing a key.  The creativity of a composer is gone, and supplied by the wonderful creativity of somebody else - the people at VSL.  

    I feel that if VSL continues with this approach and creates more instant orchestration libraries, they are dooming themselves to an obsolescence that is so remarkably missing from the previous so-called "Legacy" libraries.  (I hate that word! )  Because creating a representation of the vastly intricate, detailed and flexible instrument known as the Symphony Orchestra allows endless possibilites to emerge - even now at this late date in the history of music.  But pre-baked performance sample libraries become old very fast for a simple reason - anyone using them sounds the same. 

    But all this seems representative in general of technology now - people are becoming weaker and more dependent while machines become stronger and more independent.  


  • I agree with you, William. I hope there won't be too much libraries like this one.