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  • Solo Strings + Woodwind Ensembles or Opus 1

    Hi all,

    I was hoping you could help me choose here.

    I'm looking to expand my sample library and everything I've heard from the VSL collection sounds far superior to other collections in the lower price bracket.

    When the sale started, I was delighted since I had my eye on Opus 1 but couldn't afford it. I saw that it was listed at £379 at the distributors and was ready to buy, but the price has now shot up to £429! I've found out that they made an error with the original sale price.

    So my question is, what's the difference between the Horizon "Solo Strings" and "Woodwind Ensembles" packages when compared to the similar content in Opus 1? I could perhaps justify spending £360 on these two packages combined if I knew that they offered greater value than the strings and woodwinds in Opus 1.

    Of course, I realise that means I would be missing out on the other instruments provided in Opus 1 (Horns and Harp above all), but I'd rather have higher quality strings and woodwinds and spend a little less money, with a view to saving up to purchase other instruments in the future.

    I'm struggling to justify spending £429 on Opus 1, especially since I was on the verge of buying it at the original £379 price point.

  • Hi,
    I'm no expert in this, but the answer really has to do with what you really want. I've just bought the Opus bundle and the Horizon Solo Strings package and I'm absolutely delighted with them all.

    The best advice I can give is to look at the product page for each of these packages on this site and examine the articulations etc for each.

    Opus 1 give you the potential to simulate a full orchestra - and a very convincing one at that while the Solo Strings will enable you to produce very convincing pieces for Vioin, Viola, Cello and Bass either playing solo or in any combination e.g String Quartet. Each package is superb but they are obviously not interchangeable - hence it depends what you want most.

    You could also listen to the demo pieces for each of the packages - That's what finally made me decide to part with my cash.

    Just looked at your question again and realised I wasn't specific enough at least in part.. **There are some Solo Strings samples in Opus 1 but obviously very cut down compared with the Solo Strings package. As far as woodwinds go I can't remember offhand what there is in Opus 1 as far as the woodwind is concerened but what I say above still holds - take a look at the articulations pages for each of the products and the answer's there.
    Hope that helps a bit.

    Best of luck with your choice. [:D]

    Regards,

    John

    **Corrected in later reply! [:O]ops:

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    Hi John

    I tried checking the articulations listed, but for the Solo Strings there's a lot of information missing:

    @Another User said:

    articulations to be published soon


    On first appearances, the Woodwind Ensemble collection seems to have more depth than the woodwinds included in Opus 1, so perhaps I should take this an indication that the Solo Strings will be similar in their size and depth?

    To make things more clear - I don't make "orchestral" music, so if I did go for the Opus 1 package, I would just be picking and choosing various instruments to suit whatever I'm working on. I've listened to several demos from various libraries and the VSL stuff seems to be closest to the kind of quality I'm after, but I can't afford to make mistakes at this price range, hence my questions here.

    I'm thinking that perhaps the Solo Strings package would be more suitable for me when it comes to my (predicted) use of strings. Would I be right in thinking that Opus 1 leans more towards larger string sections? I'd be much happier with a "small" string library to call on.

    Conversely, it appears to me that the woodwinds in Opus 1 are more like a collection of solo instruments, whereas the Horizon Woodwind Ensemble contains samples of several instances of the same instrument playing together. Is this also correct? There is mention of solo woodwinds in the product description, but these don't appear to be available as part of the Horizon series. The plot thickens!

  • Hi... exactly what music do you do? Solo Strings and WW Ensembles are pretty specialized packages...

    In general I would advice to get Opus1, but if you imagine you will mostly be composing for solostrings then, obviously that should be your choice.

  • Well, I make instrumental music of various styles - Hip Hop / Funk / Downtempo. That type of thing. So my use of orchestral instruments will be "pop" I suppose - short phrases and hooks rather than grand, layered arrangements.

    I may well process the sounds quite heavily but I'd like to ensure that I at least have the opportunity to use "natural" sounds too and the VSL libraries certainly seem to stand up well even when isolated and only lightly "produced" (with reverb etc).

    The cheaper libraries don't seem so attractive in this respect, which is why I'm desperately trying to find a way to capitalise on the current VSL promotion - I can't afford their libraries otherwise.

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    @Another User said:

    articulations to be published soon


    On first appearances, the Woodwind Ensemble collection seems to have more depth than the woodwinds included in Opus 1, so perhaps I should take this an indication that the Solo Strings will be similar in their size and depth?

    To make things more clear - I don't make "orchestral" music, so if I did go for the Opus 1 package, I would just be picking and choosing various instruments to suit whatever I'm working on. I've listened to several demos from various libraries and the VSL stuff seems to be closest to the kind of quality I'm after, but I can't afford to make mistakes at this price range, hence my questions here.

    I'm thinking that perhaps the Solo Strings package would be more suitable for me when it comes to my (predicted) use of strings. Would I be right in thinking that Opus 1 leans more towards larger string sections? I'd be much happier with a "small" string library to call on.

    Conversely, it appears to me that the woodwinds in Opus 1 are more like a collection of solo instruments, whereas the Horizon Woodwind Ensemble contains samples of several instances of the same instrument playing together. Is this also correct? There is mention of solo woodwinds in the product description, but these don't appear to be available as part of the Horizon series. The plot thickens!

    Hi Hint,

    Yes you're right about the Woodwind Ensemble package - there are samples of groups of instruments i.e. 3 x flutes, 3xOboes, 3xClarinets and 3xBassoons. So if you play a single note on your keyboard with a flute sound loaded you'll hear 3 flutes playing the same note at the same time. Play a tune ands it'll sound like 3 flautists playing it together in Unison. Same for the others too - 3 Clarinets 3 bassoons etc. I suppose if you used all of the instruments together (effectively 12 players) you could make it sound as though a wind band or large orchestral woodwind section were playing.
    In Opus 1 the woodwind instruments are individual instruments. If you load a flute in the sampler and play a note it sounds like 1 flautist is playing etc.
    But you do get more different kinds of instruments in Opus 1. On top of the flute,oboe,clarinet and bassoon, you also get a piccolo, an English Horn (cor anglais), a bass clarinet and a contra bassoon.
    Of course you can use each of these more than once so that you can have say a first and a second flute playing. You're certainly OK to do this if they both play different notes (rather than in unison) but I'm not sure whether phasing becomes an issue if you have both instances play the same note - I'm sure someone will confirm this or otherwise.
    The strings in Opus 1 are sections. i.e.when you load the violin ensemble and play a note - there are 14 violinists all playing the same note - similarly 10 Viola players - 8 Cellists and 6 Double Bass players with the appropriate patch loaded.
    In Solo Strings you'll have a single player playing each note that you play.
    I must correct something I said in my previous reply - you DON'T get any solo string samples with Opus 1 - I got confused there - you do get some of the solo strings samples with OPUS2 but as I said they are basic in comparison with the Solo package.
    The Solo Strings package is really quite comprehensive in that there are LOTS of articulations allowing you to truly make things sound real.

    When you say you'd prefer a "smaller" string section the Solo Strings would give you that but with a large palette of articulations and sounds to work with. It's definitely oriented towards small Chamber pieces or solos. But having said that you'd never be able to make it sound like an orchestral string section.

    Go with your ears - listen to the Demos and you'll hear what kind of sound you'll be getting with each package. (The piece by Thomas Bergersen uses the solo violin from the Solo Strings package but all the other stuff going on in that piece isn't! It's from one of the Orchestral packages! Sorry if that sounds condescending - I'm pretty sure you realise that, but I can't be positive and I wouldn't want you to buy the Solo Strings package on my advice maybe thinking that you could make BIG sounds like you hear in that piece.) Everything else is absolutely as it comes though.

    Cheers,

    John

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    @Hint said:

    Well, I make instrumental music of various styles - Hip Hop / Funk / Downtempo. That type of thing. So my use of orchestral instruments will be "pop" I suppose ...


    Hi Hint,

    unless I'm severely mistaken, the answer lies in what you're saying about your music. The styles you mentioned rather make use of string and brass sections than solo strings and woodwinds, so if your stuff is more on the mainstream side I believe you would be ill advised getting the Solo Strings and Woodwind Ensembles whose use would be quite limited in Hip Hop etc.

    Opus 1 offers a fair amount of articulations for all instruments, and you can still use a flute or clarinet for colouring or hooklines etc. while getting all the strings and brass you need. In my opinion, Solo Strings and Woodwind Ensembles would be overkill on the one hand (too many articulations) but limit you otherwise (not enough instruments).

    Cheers,
    David
    VSL manuals

  • Hi David

    Yes - you touch on the problem I guess... buying either package would certainly appear to be overkill in terms of number of articulations and number of samples. But the demos I've checked from smaller libraries (either full collections or individual instruments) have left me cold so far.

    However - I'm 90% sure that I will find far more use for Solo Strings rather than the larger sections provided in Opus 1. The music I make isn't really mainstream and is perhaps more "intimate" than you imagined from my previous description.

    As far as the Woodwinds package is concerned, I just know that I will find more use for Woodwinds rather than Brass although I would love to have both (of course).

    I suppose I am beginning to realise that the VSL stuff isn't really aimed at someone like me! My current thinking is that I could grab the Solo Strings now and try to use them as much as possible between now and January 5th. If I subsequently decide I simply can't do without a similarly detailed collection for any of the other instruments, I can then still take advantage of the promotion. Alternatively, if I feel like I'm in over my head I can at least take solace in the fact that I didn't spend quite so much cash [:D]

  • In my opinion the solo strings is one of VSL's best products (but then so is Opus 1). You won't be unhappy with either. However, the ensemble woodwinds is a bit more specialized. So I think it's a good idea to be certain that you need this kind of ensemble woodwind sound before purchasing.

    Best,
    Jay

  • Hey.

    If you are doing more pop stuff then classical, you really should think about the "chamber strings". They are amazing for this genre. (In my opinion)

    Best regards, Stephan

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    @Another User said:

    If you are doing more pop stuff then classical, you really should think about the "chamber strings"


    They sound great but are out of my price range, unfortunately.

    It's still possible that I could bite the bullet and stretch to getting Opus 1, but I'm really not sure yet since it's such a big investment for me. Thanks for your help so far, everyone!

    Are there any demos that people could point me to which aren't full blown orchestral pieces, but still use elements of Opus 1? Jazz, Pop or Rock... that kind of thing?