Well, I think sometimes things just don't really pan out. That's life.
I had high hopes for this library and was one of those who pre-ordered. The thing is that I usually never pre-order stuff and never have. The only exception to this rule was SyS, because based on previous experiences, VSL was the one company I kind of trusted blindly - turns out that one time exception came back to bite me like a mofo. It's my fault, and it's not the end of the world. but there you go.
Tbh, what stings more is not the fact that I find the library not worthy of using, but exactly that in some ways, what happened here kind of feels like a breach of trust. I always associated VSL with meticulous quality, a no-nonsense, no-shortcuts approach, innovation. I feel that SyS betrays those expectations.
So much about the library seems fibbed, band-aid, makeshift, cheapened out. The omission of standard articulations, the fake patches, the tacked-on transitions ... actually I even feel there was even some blatant false advertising. For example: the articulation list always stated "marcato", whereas there is literally no marcato in this library. Not even a "fake" stacked patch, like the sfz. The only "marcato" thing in SyS is a dimension preset where a long note is being stacked with a short one - something you could do yourself any time.
This is just completely the opposite of what I've come to expect from VSL. Their products always reflected that they were willing to go the extra mile - this one on the other hand makes it obvious that they were trying to cut corners and skimp their way around as many things as possible.
Or maybe they just made a bunch of wrong decisions. I'm sure they worked like crazy on this thing. But to me it seems that the effort was spent in the wrong areas. For example, I believe much was expected to come out of the many dynamic layers, which to me totally backfired, because the benefit is almost inaudible/nonexistent. It only makes the patches even more fiddly and difficult to use and blew up the library to an absurd size, whereas those gigs would have been way wiser spent on more articulations and more variants of true recorded dynamic performances.
Not sure the many mic positions are really needed either. 3-5, each with a clear purpose and distinct sound, would have been enough.
I believe that it would probably be better to record legato samples as a whole - without transition samples crossfading into standard sustains. I'm not an expert on this, but it seems that some other developers took this approach and it sounds way more real.
The tone is kind of brittle and overly sharp with some odd biting resonance you can't really get rid of. The basses are great and the violas are really nice too, but the celli do have this problem and the violins are just incredibly weird - screechy, but flat, lifeless ... can't even describe it.
I also feel that nobody needs two different vibrato intensities you can't even crossfade through coming from novib, when even the strong vibrato actually hardly produces any emotive vibrato. I'm sure that most people would end up not using the normal vibrato at all, while still struggling with getting some kind of passionate movement out of the lyrical one.
I've been trying to mock up some stuff originally done with other libraries and it just doesn't come out right. To me it just doesn't work. The violins are the weirdest. The tone is odd, the legato hurts inside and the results just don't really sound musical. Fiddling with it is hard work, but you end up just having to admit: the other version you already had just sounds more beautiful and real.
I can already see the buffoon comments stating that it's my fault because apparently I was too stupid to "master" this woe-ridden product or didn't have the necessary rigor, but even if that were true: why should I? It's just not worth it. What's the point, when there's already stuff available that produces better results with less painstaking effort?
There's parts of the library that are great soundwise, but ultimately, there's just to many problems. I gave up on it and finally deleted it from my drive. I don't really think that things could be improved here. It would be so much of an overhaul, they could almost just as well make a new library. It's a shame. I'd sell it, but honestly, I'm not sure who's supposed to buy this thing off of me.
The whole "synchron-ized chamber strings" thing also kind of strikes me as a band-aid solution and a cash-in with leftovers, and I'm not sure that's a philosophy I'm willing to support. I just hope that VSL carefully reassesses when it comes to the rest of the Synchron line. I do really like the percussion. Maybe things can turn out different for winds and brass.
I'm not trying to bash anyone either. Sometimes you put a lot into something and it just doesn't work out, and that's tough to deal with. I think it's a shame that VSL is facing all this backlash, as I'm sure they were incredibly busy and hard at work making this library.
I don't know what went wrong. Perhaps the concept sounded great on paper but didn't fly in practice. Perhaps cost-cutting measures because the stage cost them tons of money. Or maybe the library actually is exactly what they wanted and believed in, but turns out that the expectations of the users were misjudged and the market isn't embracing it at all. I really do wish them all the best with the next product and that they successfully bounce back from this setback.