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Best virtual strings?
Old 1st February 2007
  #31
Gear Maniac
 

Hey pigpen,

One thing to keep in mind is that most of the things mentioned in this thread are FULL ORCHESTRA, not just strings. If strings are all you need...the next question is "What kind of strings?" Are you looking for a big, Hollywood style string section, or a smaller section to fit into a band arrangement?

I recommend checking out the Vienna Symphonic Library, and their newer VI's. I know VSL is known for being very pricey, but you can buy the instruments individually....they have a Chamber String instrument that lists for $595
http://vsl.co.at/en-us/211/344/218.vsl

They've also got solo strings, a couple of larger string sections, blah blah blah....you get the idea. This way, you're just paying for what you want....and getting (IMO) a higher level of quality than some of the full orchesta pieces of software that cost the same ($400-600).

Just a thought.
Old 1st February 2007
  #32
Lives for gear
 

VSL gets my vote the new instrument plugin one is even better than the performance tool. When ever someone ordered a VSL machine at work the order needed alot of testing just to make sure all those samples were working right!

I found the EAST WEST ones too big even with the close mics. I don't think that it would be as versatile.
Old 1st February 2007
  #33
Lives for gear
I went through the same search in December and I ended up buying the East-West Platinum bundle:
http://www.audiomidi.com/EWQLSO-Plat...dle-P8611.aspx

Unfortunately, the sale is over. They were selling it at half price.................a terrific deal. Maybe they'll run another sale soon.

The best I've used..........wonderful quality.

I also have Atmosphere, which sounds great. However, I have not successfully been able to fit it into a mix. It is big.........too big. It sounds amazing alone, but it doesn't sit nicely in a mix. It just overwhelms everything.

The East-West bundle basically does it all for me now.
Old 1st February 2007
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjogo View Post
My fav is still the Kurzweils--- $400-800 used --great strings !! It's not only the samples but, the engine that "produces" the string > that creates that quality. The Kurzweils are bargain --especially since we spent $2-3k for our units ...that are now $500
Hey, some of us spent a lot more than that on our Kurzweils.
Old 1st February 2007
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyJah View Post
Hah! No, I am not anything but a happy user. This software is absolutely fine when in a pop/rock/soul - context. This is happily the context I am in these days...

But I would absolutely wish Synful the best of luck too...
A very good idea this software, but the company seems to be kind of small and without the (necessary?) marketing power some others have. Hope they will be able to continue to develop.
With pop/rock/soul, sometimes fake works better than real, you know, like a 1980s Casio synth might work better than the London Philharmonic for a particular track. So agreed, context is king!

I actually don't think Synful's problem is marketing though. If it were able to genuinely give samples a run for their money, we wouldn't stop talking about it and it would sell itself. I think the real issue is a race between, on one hand, the rate at which the algorithm improves to the point at which it genuinely rivals samples, and on the other hand, the rate at which the price of storage drops to the point at which it's no longer an issue with samples.

I mean, if an algorithm could totally replicate the sound of an instrument, why would we ever use another sample? But on the other hand, if vast amounts of storage could be had for a song, why not use samples? It's the old elegance vs. brute force in computing.
Old 1st February 2007
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude View Post
Hey Matt, have you checked this out yet? http://www.pianoteq.com/ Algorithmic piano. Best ever as far as both sound and playability (outside of my Steinway..), IMHO.
It's impressive for sure, but anemic, IMHO. Pianos do so much more than what that algorithm is doing. Still, I could see it being useful in the right context. Definately impressive, but yeah, I'm not about to sell my Steinway either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude View Post
As far as strings go, I use the fully blown East West and I (obviously) think that they are the most realistic sounding. Strings (and any other instrument for that matter need to have a reverberant space in order to sound "real". VI dry recordings force you to use artificial reverb. Even Altiverb doesn't give you the impact that the East West technology gives you. In my most very humble opinion.
Agreed about the reverb. Have you heard about VI's MIR - "Multi Impulse Response Mixing & Reverberation Engine for Vienna Instruments." If nothing else, with an acronym like that, we know it's going to be expensive.

I guess this should be a different thread but do you like East/West for brass as well?
Old 1st February 2007
  #37
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiMattMatt View Post
Agreed about the reverb. Have you heard about VI's MIR - "Multi Impulse Response Mixing & Reverberation Engine for Vienna Instruments." If nothing else, with an acronym like that, we know it's going to be expensive.

I guess this should be a different thread but do you like East/West for brass as well?
Well, yes and no. I like the Horns.. The new XP edition has a lot more to offer in the brass dept. Several more attacks, round robin switching to help reduce the "machine gun" effect. Being a trumpet player, I'm ultra critical of the trumpets. But they do sound good in context. The first platinum edition had just one player (or it sounded like it...) and that lent a pedestrian sound to the timber of the section.

Overall, outside of a real orchestra, I find the East West to be the best sounding, easiest to get "up and running" (I hate gear getting in the way of spontanious creativity.) and biggest CPU eating monster out there... Haha!!

BTW, I agree with you on the "anemic" quality of the Modartt piano. A sustained note lacks the harmonic/overtone interplay a real piano has. It almost sounds like an old fashioned looped sample. (Haha.. "old fashioned..."). But where it tickled my ivories was in the responsiveness dept. I have the Bösendorfer and Steinway (came with the EW XP, again, mine's better... ;-)) samples and they sound good, but the latency is such a drag.

Last edited by ArcCirDude; 1st February 2007 at 09:42 PM.. Reason: It's late......
Old 1st February 2007
  #38
Godwin Symphony Mod. 849 plus Schulte (Number One) Compact Phasing "A" plus Ursa Major Space Station.
Sorry, had to do that...
Old 2nd February 2007
  #39
AB3
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I have been told this one is the best. Any comments:
http://www.sonivoxmi.com/ProductDeta...ringCollection
Old 2nd February 2007
  #40
Here for the gear
 

Vienna Symphonic Library is recorded dry, so you can choose whatever reverb you want.
Dont think EastWest is dry, do recall they had orcherstral hall ambience.

You also have heaps of different techniques and playing styles.

But if you some strings for some general additonal chords to other instruments, maybe you will save some dimes on Garritan P.O. or something...
Old 2nd February 2007
  #41
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jdjustice's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
anyway, i've added east west's fare to my shopping list.

so have i.

now i am just waiting for the new Digi sampler to come out to see what they bundle with that (it's going to be a mini-edition of samples from East-West).

i was already going to buy an EW collection of strings, and since i am primarily on PT, it makes sense to me even more since Digi announced the partnership.


cheers.
~j.d.
Old 3rd February 2007
  #42
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cjogo's Avatar
The Kurzweil ORCH rom ---has phenomenal samples >> plus the units have 10 analog outs + digital--- you can create that bow across the strings ....with the wheels and their ribbon controllers & VAST --hard to beat > for the used prices these days
Old 9th February 2007
  #43
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allencollins's Avatar
 

anyone like personal orchestra?
Old 9th February 2007
  #44
Gear Maniac
 

pig pen,

if you already know how to arrange and orchestrate your best bet would be:

http://www.music.uga.edu

You could probably get some decent players in for under $100/session/player, well worth it for the final results. If you can track with iso or do OD's you'll be in good shape when you need to tweak the tuning (which will be probably be necessary with students). Halfway decent players will allow you to get away with a lot more on the sample side. Working this way GPO would be fine, VSL or EW would be better.

I find that whenever I use samples I spend an inordinate amount of time getting them to sound even halfway decent to my ears. In all truth it would be much quicker for me to hand write out an arrangement and just let the players read off the full score (which is fine for pop sessions).

If you don't know any orchestration, go out and buy a book right away as it will make your life much much much easier.

cheers,

joel
Old 9th February 2007
  #45
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cjogo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiMattMatt View Post
Hey, some of us spent a lot more than that on our Kurzweils.
Think I bought 2 > K2600 for about $6k --I have spent small fortunes on a few racks and 3 keyboard >> but now they are ultra affordable used
Old 9th February 2007
  #46
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Vienna is good if you add high quality convolution reverb. Symphonic
Strings is already recorded with great sounding but not overdone
amount of room ambience. With both together you´ll get a lot more
variety, although still lacking in lots of possible usefull sampled string
sounds. For high quality but rather limited percussion you can use
London Percussion, I think it´s called.
Old 9th February 2007
  #47
Lives for gear
Vienna Chamber Strings...$550
Old 9th February 2007
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
Vienna Chamber Strings...$550
yeah - i programmed strings for years and that libaray would be my first choice if i'd be you. after using the legato tool once you will never want to work with conventional libraries anymore - promise. i haven't tried their new plugin version but i guess it works great from what i heard on other forums.
i also think that the chamber strings are much better suited towards pop arrangements than the big versions from VSL.
Old 9th February 2007
  #49
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjogo View Post
Think I bought 2 > K2600 for about $6k --I have spent small fortunes on a few racks and 3 keyboard >> but now they are ultra affordable used
I have a K2600, love it, very powerful unit, won't let it go.

However, I have to say that the progress in sound quality of top VI's the last few years is pretty amazing. I didn't want to believe it, but the EWQLSO bundle is clearly higher quality. Likewise, for Ivory.

Substantial negatives in terms of hard drive space needed, potential latency, etc. But the sound quality will knock you out.

I mix 100% OTB to tape (DAW for editing/storing) so I prefer hardware and didn't expect this would be the case.
Old 9th February 2007
  #50
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cjogo's Avatar
We prefer a hardware box--especially welcome the 10 analog outputs of the Kurzweils--would not even have the vaguest idea how to transfer a PC/Mac plugin >> over to our system....
Still using VS 2480 Roland stuff :: prefer the automated board > not much of a mouse & wave editing tech studio. We use a great deal of solo orchestral samples---and I think the engine/sample in the Kurzweils > lend themselves to top performance ~ in that arena.
Old 9th February 2007
  #51
Gear Nut
 
rodrigo's Avatar
 

VSL price increase

Speaking of Vienna Symphonic products, audiomidi published they're getting a 10% price increase after February 15th. So if you're thinking of getting any VSL products, now would be a good time
Old 10th February 2007
  #52
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Except for the Vienna french horns I´ve never found any brass
libraries that sounded realistic.
Old 11th February 2007
  #53
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cjogo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
I have a K2600, love it, very powerful unit, won't let it go.

However, I have to say that the progress in sound quality of top VI's the last few years is pretty amazing. I didn't want to believe it, but the EWQLSO bundle is clearly higher quality. Likewise, for Ivory. But the sound quality will knock you out.
.
Don't even have a computer in the studio --but would like to hear that sound "quality" --will have to discover how to load the EWQLSO bundle ~~ in one of our PC ....
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