Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • VI Manual

    I would like to propose that a detailed manual for VI be done-- even if it's available only by downloading a PDF. I'm not certain what type of manual has already been prepared, but this request comes as one who watched the VSL DVD demo and several live demonstrations of the Pro Edition only to find that some features didn't work as neatly on my system as it did in the demos.

    To the VSL team who has lived with this library, functionality is very simple to their thinking. Not all of the functionality is difficult to understand, but the fluency of the team with VSL and VI might lack a certain objectivity, if you would pardon the term, with how users might approach a library with such vast content. What comes to mind is in how easy and how musical the original PE features of VSL were touted to be-- and aside from my own hurdles, I've read the posts of other users over the years on this forum who have had and are still having similar difficulties from installation to instantiation.

    I would propose that the VSL team employ someone who is not part of the VSL team to learn VI from scratch and subsequently to write a step-by-step "how-to", no matter how simple it might be. Their current printed materials tend to focus on WHAT the features are rather then HOW they are employed. Many elements of the instructional DVD lose something in translation. Although it was helpful for what it was, it just didn't go far enough.

    Before I continue, I would like to thank Herb for agreeing to put VI file and sample names in English!!!

    I'd like to see:

    1. A complete print out of the file and folder hierarchies, and a DETAILED walk-through of the installation process, including how the library might be divided across the two 250GB hard drives recommended by the VSL team.

    2. A clear graphic showing and explaining the windows and buttons on VI-- One thing I noticed was that the selection wheel in the middle of the GUI has six buttons, four of which are duplicated in the upper right hand corner. This may not seem all that big of a deal at first glance BUT it should be explained clearly---
    ---WHY these particular four buttons are duplicated on the GUI
    ---WHY one set of selection buttons are activated upon the mouse click while the other set of buttons are activated upon the RELEASE of the mouse click.
    ---Whether the duplicate buttons are redundancies (and WHY); or IF different features or operational modes are unlocked when the same duplicate buttons are activated from their respective locations.

    Here's the clincher--

    ---Why it is-- or what it is that necessitates at least one of the buttons located on the selection wheel (which is not repressented in the upper right hand corner) can be activated in the upper right hand corner by an INVISIBLE hot spot....!!

    4. How to create custom user matrices from scratch in detail with no assumptions made as to how easy it might be.

    Objectivity is crucial. Were it not for this forum, the VSL team might not be aware at all what users are struggling with. Thank goodness the VSL team listens to its users!! The only problem here is that it often takes days to post a question and to wait for an answer. It takes hours or entire days sometimes to search through the entire forum to locate discussions on related issues. This alone has brought a few of my projects to a halt, or has forced me to find other means of meeting deadlines until such time the VSL problems are addressed, tested, and corrected. User error is one thing, but in some cases the problem has necessitated replacement files, which also take valuable time to locate, prepare, and upload for access in the user area.

    Having a detailed and *objectively* written manual cannot be underestimated. I hope that the VSL team will take this suggestion to heart without offense.

    Thanks for listening.

    Best,
    JWL

  • Heartily agree,

    Though a pdf is very convenient it should only supplement rather than replace a printed version. Often it is good to get away from the computer environment and find answers in actual printed material!

    One concern, in terms of manuals, is the splitting up of the Cube. It is great to have just one manual for the Pro Edition compared with all the individual section manuals from, say, the Horizon series. My vote would be for 1 single comprehensive manual for the Extended version of the Cube - considering the purchase price most users would, I suspect, expect nothing less.

    Julian

  • Thanks for the suggestions, we will try our best.

    As for the manual: Our Vienna Instruments always show you, what you are about to load, so you always see a file description in the information window, which makes everything quite self-explanatory. The same applies to the "Control Edit" and "Perform" Window, you always see what you are doing and how the Vienna Instruments interact with your playing.

    We´re working on new videos and more information, that will be released, as soon as they are ready.

    Best, Paul

    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
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    Paul wrote:

    @Another User said:

    Our Vienna Instruments always show you, what you are about to load, so you always see a file description in the information window, which makes everything quite self-explanatory.

    This may be clear to you because you understand what you are doing, but it may really not be self-explanatory to a beginner/newcomer. This is what JWL meant (I think) in his original post here.

    I have looked at the videos once, and am waiting for my VI's to ship, but I have no doubt I'll need serious coffee input and sleep deprivation before I get to the point where I understand the difference between patches and universal thingummys etc etc.

    JWL: I like your idea of a "stranger" coming in to write a manual. It took me quite a while to get my head around certain concepts of the whole VSL library and the performance tool. I have no doubt that the VI's are even more complex.

    So....all new videos, manuals and info are most welcome.

    Regards - Colin

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    @Another User said:

    Our Vienna Instruments always show you, what you are about to load, so you always see a file description in the information window, which makes everything quite self-explanatory.

    This may be clear to you because you understand what you are doing, but it may really not be self-explanatory to a beginner/newcomer. This is what JWL meant (I think) in his original post here.

    I have looked at the videos once, and am waiting for my VI's to ship, but I have no doubt I'll need serious coffee input and sleep deprivation before I get to the point where I understand the difference between patches and universal thingummys etc etc.

    JWL: I like your idea of a "stranger" coming in to write a manual. It took me quite a while to get my head around certain concepts of the whole VSL library and the performance tool. I have no doubt that the VI's are even more complex.

    So....all new videos, manuals and info are most welcome.

    Regards - Colin

    Colin-

    This is exactly what I meant!

    Many applications such as Photoshop, Logic, Digital Performer, MX Studio, or Maya become intuitive once you've learned all the ropes. With VSL-PE, I've nearly hung myself on these same ropes!! Few applications succeed at being truly "self-explanatory". Any application can become very easy to use, but nothing should be assumed when it comes to how easy an application might be to learn. I'd rather have a manual full of redundancies than one which assumes too much about the user's visceral awareness.

    I do confess that I still stuggle with getting the PE to work as it was intended, but I've developed an extensive series of workarounds (some of the quite silly) because the information for PE is just not easy to find or otherwise unavailable. Maybe part of this stems from my frustrations with using Logic itself, which after several years I still find to be a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

    But I have very high hopes for VI and would greatly appreciate having a clear explanation of how to use its features.

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    @Another User said:

    Maybe part of this stems from my frustrations with using Logic itself, which after several years I still find to be a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

    Well, this same principle applies strongly to Logic. I got Logic at v2.x (!! waaaay back) and it took me a long time to get a handle on what the hell was actually going on. I became quite comfortable after a while, and my understanding of Logic grew through v3, v4 etc to v7.x which I now use.

    God help the poor souls who come upon Logic now!! It's so huge that it's scary and there are some functions which I have still hardly ever or never used.

    Getting back on point: There was never a manual from Emagic that gave a beginner a simple "Start here - now do this - okay, then do this" type of initiation into the arcane and secret world inside the program. There were manuals, but they were simply long explanations of all the buttons and functions. You'd literally have to read through hundreds of pages before you could understand the environment and how to connect all your MIDI gear, before you could record a note!

    So, this is what users want, but don't always get - a walkthrough manual of how to get started, then how to go deeper and so on.

    Anyway I hope the VSL team hear us. . . .

    Regards - Colin

    PS - don't give up on Logic, give it another 5 or 6 years and you should be fine! [H]

  • Hello,

    I agree very much.
    What I miss in most manuals is this very direct approach like: e.g. you want to record a sequence in Logic 7. To do this click here, click there, now look at this window, and so on until you see a recorded sequence.
    I don't want to know how everything works in the beginning, I just want to record something into my computer, and I want a clear path to reach this goal. Of course you cannot cover everything this way, and there should be something more elaborate also, but for basic things it would be very nice not to have to read so much before you can do something seemingly simple. I am a composer, not a technician.

    Greetings,

    Gerard

  • JWL, thanks you so much for your words on how it could be better explained for simple people like us.
    The "look how simple it is !…" isn't always shared by people with a different logical mind.

    Your idea of taking a non VSL member seems very good.

  • This is what Roland did with their S770 sampler.

    Roland had been known for having almost useless manuals, in broken English and needlessly complex all around. So with what was then their new flagship sampler, they hired Paul Lehrman to write it. It made the whole learning process wonderful. It was conversational, and since Paul plays, it was practical.

    Here's hoping....

    Tom

  • Lord knows I have had it up to here with manuals written in "Japanglish."

    I was just at the Synful site and I appreciate that they have their manual in .pdf format. In addition, their demos presented on their website are available for examination in different sequencer formats when you download the program:


    • Mac OSX. Go to Macintosh HD/Applications/Synful/Synful Orchestra/Examples. .lso is for Apple Logic, .dpf files are Digital Performer, cpr for Cubase, and .mid for simple Midi.

    • Windows. Go to /Program Files/Synful/Synful Orchestra/Examples. .cpr is for Cubase, .cwp for Sonar, and .mid for simple Midi.


    I imagine that Synful is targeting many of the same people that the VSL folks are; hopefully we can see some of the same for the new VI stuff. For people like Steve ("there's still time - $100 reward" thread) who have to resort to offering strangers money so he can learn this way it seems rather silly that VSL hasn't stepped up to the plate to offer some demo sequences to help people see the big picture.

    Clark

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    @clarkcontrol said:


    I imagine that Synful is targeting many of the same people that the VSL folks are; hopefully we can see some of the same for the new VI stuff. For people like Steve ("there's still time - $100 reward" thread) who have to resort to offering strangers money so he can learn this way it seems rather silly that VSL hasn't stepped up to the plate to offer some demo sequences to help people see the big picture.

    Clark


    I'm not too worried yet, as I haven't even caught a sniff of VI (and won't for another month). However, I do remember that there were tutorials and demo files available for Pro Edition and (Perf. Set) which were very useful, so I would hope that VSL is going to continue down this road. As we actually have a chap on this forum whose signature is "VSL Manuals" I would like to hope that all our concerns are already being taken care of [:D]

    DG

  • That would be our David Ender.

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • DG,

    Yes, true we haven't even seen the product yet. It's easy to forget that amidst all this excitement.

    Something I forgot to add to this .pdf manual thing: In many of these digitized manuals one has the ability to use hypertext to zoom around the manual, do searches, connect to the web, etc.

    In other words, it's not just a xeroxed paper manual.

    Dietz mentions David Ender. I have seen him post quite a few times and the guy really has me believing that the new manual(s) are going to be excellent.

    Anyway, VSL has everything to gain by making available a .pdf version freely downloadable for anyone to check out--and this would also apply to their quicktime videos, IMHO. I know that people like me get serious gear lust by pouring through these things, whether it is for Synful, Soundsoap Pro, a new laser printer or the Exsmanager. It's better and cheaper than an add campaign.

    Clark

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    @Another User said:

    JWL, thanks you so much for your words on how it could be better explained for simple people like us.
    The "look how simple it is !…" isn't always shared by people with a different logical mind.

    Your idea of taking a non VSL member seems very good.

    Cheers, Laurent!

    As I mentioned earlier, having seen more of the videos, I already feel more confident that VI will be much more intuitive than PE- for me, anyway. I'm always fascinated about how other people learn a new application from scratch without taking a formal training course. I just believe that having a pdf to print out or even having a proper manual will make it a lot easier and faster to have this wonderful musical tool work for me rather than me working for it.

  • "I was a BIG user of the S760 (and still use it!!). It took forever to figure that thing out, and the manual was notorious for having one sentence on an otherwise blank page that said nothing more than-- "In this window you may edit the sample.". That was the entire chapter on that particular feature. There was no indication how to get to that window or what the abbreviated symbols and buttons meant. "

    Right. That's why I said "Roland 770". The Roland 770 manual was written by Lehrman, and was great. When they came out with the 760, the went back to doing the manual themselves, and it was, again, awful....[;)]

    TH

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    @clarkcontrol said:

    Dietz mentions David Ender. I have seen him post quite a few times and the guy really has me believing that the new manual(s) are going to be excellent.


    Don't give me too much credit yet, or I'll never be able to live up to it! [[;)]] Anyway, I try to do my best and hope you'll find it useful. After all, Vienna Instruments was completely new to me, too, not so long ago. But you couldn't have the manuals be written by someone who's never worked with a sequencer or sampler before, or you'd get your VIs in half a year's time at the earliest.

    In any case, I'll keep working on the manual and adapt it when I find from your comments that there's something missing or misunderstandably explained, and manual updates will be published on the VSL user area. If you don't feel the necessity to discuss some issues in the forum, you can also send me comments and propositions by e-mail: d.ender@vsl.co.at.

    Regards,
    David

  • Cool, thanks, we really appreciate.

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    @clarkcontrol said:

    Dietz mentions David Ender. I have seen him post quite a few times and the guy really has me believing that the new manual(s) are going to be excellent.


    Don't give me too much credit yet, or I'll never be able to live up to it! [[;)]] Anyway, I try to do my best and hope you'll find it useful. After all, Vienna Instruments was completely new to me, too, not so long ago. But you couldn't have the manuals be written by someone who's never worked with a sequencer or sampler before, or you'd get your VIs in half a year's time at the earliest.

    In any case, I'll keep working on the manual and adapt it when I find from your comments that there's something missing or misunderstandably explained, and manual updates will be published on the VSL user area. If you don't feel the necessity to discuss some issues in the forum, you can also send me comments and propositions by e-mail: d.ender@vsl.co.at.

    Regards,
    David

    Hi Dave--

    Thanks so much!!

    The idea was not to have someone who has never used a sequencer-- just someone who has never used VI (like all of us here). As long as you are the new pupil of VI, then following YOUR learning process will be the most edifying information we can get.

    Please don't underestimate how important that is or how much what you are doing for us is deeply appreciated and highly valued.