Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • What to buy??

    Hello everybody!

    I'm new to VSL and haven't bought anything yet.. I'm using a MAC G5, Cubase SX3+Halion 3. My music-category; poprock/melancholy. I love strings and realistic-sound to especially solo strings. I'm willing to spend appr 1500usd and consider diff types of libraries. (other companies also since people recommend different products everywhere I ask[:)]. What do you recommend to my musicstyle?
    Anybody who can compare VSL with Eastwest platinum ? (btw also on sale)

    I'm impressed by the demoes made by users at this forum, expecially with the perfomance -set. How does it work with cubase/halion3.0?

    Thanks in advance


  • Hi and welcome

    You might want to have a look at Opus (thats the "beginner" version of the full orchestral package). Then since you like strings you could consider getting either:

    Ensemble Strings (on sale now)
    Solo Strings (on sale now)

    You could have both Opus+Ensemble strings ans stay right around your buget (a little over). Or you could instead take Solo Strings and be a little under budget. Lastly if you allready have a teh basic orchestra sounds covered you could go for both Ensemble Strings and Solo Strings instead

    I dont own platinum, so I cant help you with a comparison. But I would choose Opus over Gold (I own both).

  • Its been I while since I took part in this community. After this thread, I bought solo+chamber strings 1 (in autumn 2005). I´m very pleased with the quality, but I feel its time to expand my library. My budget is now 4000€, but I find it a bit confusing knowing what to buy.. Still strings will be in focus on my upcoming projects. I find all articulations inpiring and usefull. Basically I want all strings (all articulations), but with a basic/normal wind/brass library + full percussion. What bundles do you recommend for me? Since I already own solo/chamber 1, is it possible to get a discount on other bundles? Thanks in advance for all your recommendations

  • I am a Logic user
    I was a QLSO Platinum user that wanted to upgrade from to the "Play" version E/W told me that QLSO Platinum "Play" will not work on my QUAD G5 2.5 Ghz, 8 GB with a raid of 6 Raptors!! Apparently "Play" is a CPU exterminator

    So I decided to move to VSL and I have bought the Appassionata, it's just great, uses very little CPU, the sound is great, you have at long last real legato (not the horrible QLSO one) (the only reproach, is that the number of articulations available for the Double Bass are very limited compare to the number of articulations available for the Violin, the Viola and the Cello)
    Test done so far show that I dont need my Raid 0 anymore

    I have bought after the Standard Edition, for 345 Euro, you have a beautiful set, just listen to the demo, I have exactly the same sound at home when I play the demo in Logic ! (no tricks, no fiddling )
    With SE, VSL is giving you a demo song, you just need to paste your midi track in it, all is done for you (equa, reverb....)
    If I was you I will start with SE, you can always upgrade it !
    Download the training video

    MacBook Pro M3 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" screen - Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs - Quite a few Kontakt libs - CS80 fanatic
  • Thanks Cyril, for your informative answer. I¨ll check out SE:-) Any other with recommendations?

  • "Play" version E/W told me that QLSO Platinum "Play" will not work on my QUAD G5 2.5 Ghz, 8 GB with a raid of 6 Raptors!! Apparently "Play" is a CPU exterminator

    hmm...  strange

  • To be fair - I've heard some wonderful orchestral things done with EW particularly by one particular guy. They sound great and there was recently a violin piece done that sounded very good too. Horses for courses. Naturally, VSL specializes in orchestral samples and I think most people would agree that they are the best at it.

    But EW also do smaller specialist libraries and percussion sets that are absolutely excellent - and combinations of these libraries with VSL can make you sound a lot better than you really are. Financial considerations can also be a factor.

  • "...can make you sound a lot better than you really are..." PaulR

    The secret of most major film composers now working, though using live orchestras for "class."  Smear those beautiful London Symphony strings over those block chords and Presto!  You've got yourself the score to the latest blockbuster!

  • Yes indeed. Perhaps not a problem for the younger generations that are into instant gratification of course. Just recently we added EW Stormdrums to a live score by a very good orchestra. Sounded great and all that.

    Just the other day I watched Michael Clayton and we thought that was a very good film. JNH did the score and I can't remember it - but it must have been good because there was no sudden jerking around during the film.

  • That may be, but this James Newton Howard is a main offender in my book.  I am not saying he is a bad composer - maybe he does great concert music when not doing film scores - but this  approach I truly believe that he and Hans Zimmer and several others are now using is DESTROYING THE ART OF FILM MUSIC.

    Sorry, but the flames are necessary because this is a wretched development in what used to be a great art form and is being ruined by pop music.  The origins of film music are in severely classical NON-POP composers like Korngold (a truly great post romantic concert composer with several masterpieces in the concert repertoire)  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman, Miklos Rosza, Georges Auric, and the greatest of all Bernard Herrmann and many others who were not Johnny-Come-Latelies to the orchestra but lived and breathed it as their only existence.  They were not guitar players or piano tinklers who get an orchestrator to show them how to write film music.  And don't talk to me about being prejudiced against pianists - Rachmaninoff was one of the greatest, but mastered the art of orchestration on his own to write one of the greatest works ever composed for orchestra that film composers today rip off right and left. 

    All right, I'll stop now and go get another cup of coffee.

  • But they require pop music in films today. Didn't I just say about the instant gratification thing? You can't expect Hans to write a Herrmann score - what are you thinking of?

    JNH can write good orchestral scores - although I don't know if he orchestrates them himself. But writing film music is about making money. Making money - not making art anymore. You're going to have to realise that the days of Herrmann, Korngold, Rosza et al are gone. They're gone and they're not coming back any time soon. You have to deal with the raw materials you have available - i.e. the modern cinema audience. You can't go round making them have to listen to Herrmann type music - that involves things like.........thinking and....imagination. That type of thing could destroy a Hollywood producers day just thinking about it.


  • That's interesting vibrato, though I don't agree completely.  That kind of film is still being made, but is not very common.  Examples are the first Batman, which had a complex, contrapuntal, excellently orchestrated Herrmann-style score (though not orchestrated by Elfman), and Lord of the Rings which is a perfect example of a Max Steiner-Korngold style score that Shore did the orchestration for himself. 

    However, it is now possible to do music with none of that excellence or complexity.  A "composer" (usng the term very loosely) can noodle with his synthesizer and give the results to an orchestrator on a sufficiently high budgeted film.  This is then converted into a score like Last of the Mohicans, which is not a film score at all.  It is one short little ditty that a chimp could have composed, played over and over again with a few extra chords.  These things are not film scores, and the people who do them are not composers.  They are sound effects technicians, because that "music" is not music at all.  It is simply a sound that is being used to affect the scene.  So it is partly because of these changes you mention that more than one kind of "score" is possible today.

    Anyway though the way the orchestration is done is highly variable based upon the people and the film involved, so you are not confused. There is no one way it is done.  It is true that Herrmann did his own orchestrations entirely, and I remember Dave Connor stated previously here how he saw the detailed sketches Goldsmith did that were so involved that the orchestrator had very little to do. 

  • One other thing - you're right about Herrmann not getting so much work later on.  It was because of Mancini - in other words pop music. However,  near the end of his life there was a sudden resurgence of interest in the style he did, and he started doing scores like de Palma "Sisters," "Obsession"  and his last, Scorcese's "Taxi Driver."

  • That is an interesting post Tanuj - I agree about the Korngold F# Symphony.  Have you heard his so-called "Sinfonietta" ?  (If that is a "little symphony" I shudder at the thought of what he thought a big one was - maybe something like Gurrelieder?) Actually his first symphony, which was written when he was 14.  That fact alone makes him a prodigy the equal of, or superior to, Mozart. Because of the extreme harmonic and contrapuntal complexity with utter mastery of form, development and orchestration.  But it also has an Adagio that is as beautiful as Bruckner's adagios.  And of course his opera Die Tote Stadt which is one of the few modern operas that can compete with the great classics of Verdi and shows Korngold's wonderful late Romantic morbid streak.  It also has an incredible orchestration that film composers would love to emulate.  It is interesting how Korngold viewed his film scores as "operas without words."   

    Actually Korngold shows the same thing you are saying about character - how could "training" account for his writing that symphony when he was 14?  Music is just there, in your brain.  The training may help you get it out, but it has to be there to begin with.

  • "One note at a time..." [:D]  Cracks me up...wonder if Korngold used the "one note at a time" compositional approach as well? [:P]

  • sorry about the outburst - that video set me off.

  • ...

  • Well now that I have recovered from that youtube -  yes we have hacked this thread, but it was answered fairly well.  Actually there should be a separate thread on Korngold. 

    That is a good point about Korngold using short motifs.  In fact, his Sinfonietta is entirely based on four notes!  Every movement.  Vaughn Williams did that in his f minor symphony, but it is not too common.   The new master of short motifs brilliantly developed in a symphonic style is definitely John Williams who was very influenced by Korngold.

  • I'm a big Korngold fan, but in case you didn't know, most of his film music was not orchestrated by him, because of the extra demanding schedule in the "studio system" days (30's and 40's). For example, the score for THe Adventures of robin Hood was orchestrated by the excellent composer Hugo Friedhoffer... and that was usual at that time, but of course Korngold gave Friedhoffer a highly detailed sketch of what he wanted, this wasn't because Korngold didn't have the ability (OF COURSE!!) but because of time issues. Herrmann was one of the only ones during the 40's, 50's and 60's who did all the orchestration process himself. Nowadays, talented composers like Danny Elfman still rely on orchestrators, others, like Howard Shore, orchestrate and conduct all their music.

  • Yes, that is true, because of the studio system at the time, nobody orchestrated their own scores. It was actually against the union rules.  However, Korngold imposed his own approach to orchestration upon his scores to an unusual degree, as did Jerry Goldsmith much later.  If you listen to his symphonies and especially his opera,  you will hear exactly the same orchestral sound.  As well as very unusual effects that nobody was doing at the time.  You are right about Herrmann as he was extremely unusual in demanding to do the orchestration himself. As is well known he later went on to do the most original and varied orchestrations in film history.