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  • Synchron Celesta super-quiet compared to other instruments (and vs. original)

    I searched the entire twenty pages of Synchron topics to make sure this hasn't been covered, so I apologize if I somehow missed it, but the Synchron Celesta seems way too quiet no matter what I do with various settings, and this is coming from someone who typically aims for -16 dB for peaks and -20 to -24 dB for averages, to avoid too much trimming during mixing (most people I know record close to 0 or -6 dB; old school from 16-bit days).

    Although I still need to use the original VSL percussion now and then for certain playing styles and contexts, I have fairly successful transferred much of my work over to Synchron Percussion, after carefully setting up my own presets. The Celesta is the one that eludes me so far, even though I feel it should slightly better than the original one. Although I could add gain to it later in the chain, I feel something must be wrong that it is so low, so am holding off on using it at all.

    Stranger still, I have one part that has a few places where there are rapid staccato leaps, and other places where diads or triads are played in a semi-sustained dotted rhythm, and the "normal" playing style is where the volume drops precipitously even if I have mics maxed out, CC7 and CC11 at 127, and MIDI velocity near peak, or even with sustain pedal on, and longer note lengths. But the staccato parts come out loud and clear!

    Using the original library, I had a keyswitch track to go between staccato and sustain/normal. That is no longer offered in the Synchron version, but I figure it wasn't necessarily essential in the original either. All the other pewrcussion elements seem equivalent in articulations and other aspects, between the original and the new Synchron library, once one studies more deeply the new system in Synchron Percussion. Celesta seems an exception.

    If a different choice was made for some reason, that's fine, but I feel I MUST be missing something -- especially as no one else has reported this. It's true that some have reported the overall low output, but as I said, this one is significantly lower than ALL of the others, even when tweakable parameters are set to effectively maximize output.

    Another interesting factor in my specific part, is that the staccato leaps are in the highest octave, and I do notice that this new version seems to get softer the lower it goes, but I thought the same celesta model was sampled this time around. If not, that might explain it, because I have two dozen cleesta libraries, most based on different models, and am aware that this instrument varies significantly across the model range.

  • Hello Mark!

    With our Synchron libraries we try to put the volume levels of all instruments in a natural context. The Celesta is a soft instrument. If the orchestra is playing in forte or fortissimo, this instrument cannot be heard. That's normal.
    Anyway, you can easily raise the volume in the MIX tab of Synchron Player. All the mixer presets for Celesta have a lot of headroom there. To further push it, you could use dynamic tools like compression or limiting.

    Staccato should have the same exact volume as long notes at the attack, if they have the same velocity. An extra staccato articulation isn't necessary for the Synchron Celesta. For staccato notes there are dedicated release samples that get triggered.

    We have sampled a Kolberg Celesta for Synchron Percussion while it was a Yamaha Celesta for the VI Percussion collection.

    Best regards,

    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Andi, thanks for such a helpful and complete response. Now I know that it isn't inappropriate to raise the level on the Synchron Celesta by magnificent amounts. I had a feeling it might have been about natural balance relative to the other instruments in that library.

    I didn't realize the original library was a Yamaha. I will keep using it for these two songs then, as it's a very specific sound that I need, and no one else has sampled the Yamaha. One thing I have learned over the past decade or so, is that Celestas vary in timbre almost more than pianos! So each one is almost like a different instrument, in many ways.

    I do like both of them very much, but they will suit different purposes. I looked into buying a Yamaha Celesta a few years ago, but they were more expensive than I realized, so I pushed it off my list as Marimba is a higher priority and those now go up $1500 a year due to roesewood scarcity.