Orchestral libraries comparable to VSL?

The market is big, the differences among libraries, too. Discuss which libraries are your digital gold, and which ones are better left in stores.

Orchestral libraries comparable to VSL?

Postby kmiya100 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:13 pm

As most of us know, we can only get Vienna libraries in their new format. Which other libraries would be most comparable for orchestral stuff? I am currently converting a project that used Rosegarden, Linuxsampler, VSL, VSL Performance Tool, Ardour, and Jconv, to Logic and Vienna Instruments Special Edition. For future projects, I would rather use Rosegarden and Linuxsampler with good libraries. What are the best orchestral libraries in gig format? Should I look at libraries in other formats that convert easily to gig? I am especially concerned about good string sounds, both ensemble and solo. Any advice would be helpful.
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Re: Orchestral libraries comparable to VSL?

Postby Alex » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:54 am

kmiya100 wrote:As most of us know, we can only get Vienna libraries in their new format. Which other libraries would be most comparable for orchestral stuff? I am currently converting a project that used Rosegarden, Linuxsampler, VSL, VSL Performance Tool, Ardour, and Jconv, to Logic and Vienna Instruments Special Edition. For future projects, I would rather use Rosegarden and Linuxsampler with good libraries. What are the best orchestral libraries in gig format? Should I look at libraries in other formats that convert easily to gig? I am especially concerned about good string sounds, both ensemble and solo. Any advice would be helpful.


An oldie but goodie is the Sonic Implants libs. I've used these since they first came out, and they've more than paid for themselves many times over. Not as many articulations, and "special' additions, but a solid lib set that lends itself to user manipulation, and has a decent tone as well.

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Re: Orchestral libraries comparable to VSL?

Postby kmiya100 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:19 pm

Alex, thanks for the suggestion. I've looked at their site, and listened to several demos -- they sound very comparable to me. I have a couple of questions which you may be able to answer. Does the complete Symphonic Collection contain each of the individual section libraries? Do they have a smaller collection of all the instruments, similar to VI Special Edition (I couldn't find one)? Finally, is their protection scheme easy to work in linux? We're really hoping to have one workstation with linux: Rosegarden, Linuxsampler, Jconv reverb, and Ardour. Any experience you have on the matter will help.
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Re: Orchestral libraries comparable to VSL?

Postby Alex » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:44 pm

kmiya, i've had my sonic implants libs since they first came out, and at that time i was using them on windows. i extracted them to a hard drive then moved the gigs to where i wanted.
There's no smaller edition of sonic implants, the sections are laid out in 4 parts, related to groups in the orchestra. I did the same thing with my akai miroslav viteous libs, and converted them to gig, before i got to linux.

Probably most importantly of all, the sonic implant strings lend themselves to layering. Recorded as fairly small sections, they're ideal to use twice, for example, as a full sounding section. So although there are inherent limitations with using only section strings, (i've been a long time advocate of recording strings as desks, hence making it easier to build up sections in a more realistic sounding profile, and enabling the user to more accurately position the desks in a soundscape across a stage) the modest size of each section in SI expands their useability into chamber group composing etc, at least to a partially realistic sound.

I've written several emails to sample lib manufacturers asking them to consider not only recording desks, but provide a means for linux users to participate, without having to use a win box, just to get at the samples. There were no replies at all, and since then, most sample lib manufacturers have locked their libs up into proprietary players, adding a further barrier to linux use, by offering only win or mac versions.

No easy decisions here, i'm sorry. I'm immune to marketing hype, and my samples continue to do their job very well indeed. i might have to do a little more work, but then i shape them to a more individual sound, instead of the inevitable generic one size fits all option that comes with closed players. so i'm still using libs, some of which i bought well over 15 years ago, and they're still doing the job, however big or small that may be.

Sonic Implants are an excellent lib set, particularly the strings and woodwinds, so instead of thinking of purchasing the entire set, i respectfully suggest you think about this from the perspective of one section at a time. This is not a recommendation, but if i were faced with buying for the first time, i'd go with the strings as a start point.

The expressive string gigs, imho, are worth the price of the entire strings lib set, however simple they maybe. But that's just me, others might differ.

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Re: Orchestral libraries comparable to VSL?

Postby kmiya100 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:03 am

Alex, Thanks so much for all the excellent information and advice. I was wondering if you have a website up with samples of your music using the Sonic Implant strings. I would love to hear what you've done.
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Re: Orchestral libraries comparable to VSL?

Postby frink » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:27 pm

Depends on what you want to do. There is no one-size-fits all orchestra. If you're wanting to do more modern music with strings I'd suggest the London Solo Strings by Big Fish Audio. Although the amount of articulations may be daunting with some patience and creativity you can produce amazing string parts that fully mimic a chamber orchestra. I use it to fill in rock and jazz numbers that need a little extra umph!
"Bugs taste better when crushed." - MiCON FRiNK, the digital coding lemur from Borneo.
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