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Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

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Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby bkk_dev » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:08 am

I am planning to return to composing after several years of absence. Scene is quite different from over 20 years ago. I just purchased Notion4 license a week ago. Have just finished downloading its Sound Bundle, and have been reading a long the ways about current sound libraries and composing technics and environment. My primary field of interest is in classical music composition, from solo, chamber to orchestral music. My primary criteria to choose Notion4 over other software is the quality of the performance I believe I will receive from playing back the score. So here they are:

1. Amoung Notion's own Expansion Sounds vs Miroslav Philharmonic vs VSL Special Editions: How are the resonant qualities of the result from mixing sounds of each instruments compared. Twenty Years ago, the play back sound just biting each other out. They didn't act like the real sound waves in that they mixed and harmonized to have certain resonant quality before the result reached your ears.

From what I've observed over demos, samples and youtube, the new sound libraries seem to be much much better than before, in this regard. The patches do not sound like competing for attention all the time, as before. However, from times to times, you would find some moments in the demos and samples (from all of the mentioned libraries) that still exhibit this kind of uglyness. So this is my main concern. Which of these libraries give the best result in resonant qualities of the mixed sounds? Or, if some works must be done (seemed to be the case) to give a more natural result, which library is the easiest to work with, to achieve the better harmonized sound, under Notion4?

2. Will other libraries work as well with Notion4 as the mentioned above libraries? Such as, Cinematic Strings, LASS, EWQL, GPO, etc? Can Notion4 works with more than one library at the same time (the same moment in time)?

3. Do these libraries, working with Notion4, still have limitation in term of how many sounds or patches Notion4 can play at once? Like the old MIDI Synths' limited specs? Or it can play as many sounds from as many libraries at once, as long as the computer can handle it?

4. For VSL Special Edition Volumes, does Notion4 work with all of them, out of the box, (Vol1, Vol1 Plus, Vol2, Vol2 Plus, Vol3 and Vol4)? Would Notion4 work with their newer libraries, such as Vienna Dimension Strings, also out of the box?

Please bear with my newbies questions. These questions are not meant to put down some products in any other way. I just want to have a bit smoother glide back into writing some music.


Thank you.
Surapol Pairojtanachai
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Re: Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby Migot » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:49 am

bkk_dev wrote:I am planning to return to composing after several years of absence. Scene is quite different from over 20 years ago. I just purchased Notion4 license a week ago. Have just finished downloading its Sound Bundle, and have been reading a long the ways about current sound libraries and composing technics and environment. My primary field of interest is in classical music composition, from solo, chamber to orchestral music. My primary criteria to choose Notion4 over other software is the quality of the performance I believe I will receive from playing back the score. So here they are:

1. Amoung Notion's own Expansion Sounds vs Miroslav Philharmonic vs VSL Special Editions: How are the resonant qualities of the result from mixing sounds of each instruments compared. Twenty Years ago, the play back sound just biting each other out. They didn't act like the real sound waves in that they mixed and harmonized to have certain resonant quality before the result reached your ears.

From what I've observed over demos, samples and youtube, the new sound libraries seem to be much much better than before, in this regard. The patches do not sound like competing for attention all the time, as before. However, from times to times, you would find some moments in the demos and samples (from all of the mentioned libraries) that still exhibit this kind of uglyness. So this is my main concern. Which of these libraries give the best result in resonant qualities of the mixed sounds? Or, if some works must be done (seemed to be the case) to give a more natural result, which library is the easiest to work with, to achieve the better harmonized sound, under Notion4?

2. Will other libraries work as well with Notion4 as the mentioned above libraries? Such as, Cinematic Strings, LASS, EWQL, GPO, etc? Can Notion4 works with more than one library at the same time (the same moment in time)?

3. Do these libraries, working with Notion4, still have limitation in term of how many sounds or patches Notion4 can play at once? Like the old MIDI Synths' limited specs? Or it can play as many sounds from as many libraries at once, as long as the computer can handle it?

4. For VSL Special Edition Volumes, does Notion4 work with all of them, out of the box, (Vol1, Vol1 Plus, Vol2, Vol2 Plus, Vol3 and Vol4)? Would Notion4 work with their newer libraries, such as Vienna Dimension Strings, also out of the box?

Please bear with my newbies questions. These questions are not meant to put down some products in any other way. I just want to have a bit smoother glide back into writing some music.


Thank you.
Surapol Pairojtanachai



Surapol,

I'm composer doing the same work as you planned to do.
Just focus on VSL products, it is the best !
Vsl Se vol.1,2,3,4 will serve you very well.
About «dimension Strings» just ask Brian at Notion's support.

To finish, in the last ten years I have spend both Time and money looking many sounds packages and four years I have move to VSL and I have no regrets.

Hope to help

Very Best

Alain
Alain LeBlond
Composer born in 1957

Notion 4,
VSL SE 1,2,Plus, MIRx
DP8, Finale 2012
OS X 10.9.3, Mavericks
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Re: Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby wcreed51 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:47 pm

+1 for VSL.

All the SE packages are supported out of the box. EWQLSO is also supported out of the box. The supported libraries can all be mixed within a piece.

The other libraries you mention (including Dimension Strings) would require custom rule sets to be written. Not sure they can be mixed in the same piece yet, but will be possible in the future.
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Re: Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby bkk_dev » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:08 am

@Alain
@wcreed51
Thank you very much for your reply. All other readings I've done so far seem to swing VSL way also.

May I asked for your opinions on DAWs? Do you have any need to use DAW instead of Notion4 for composing? For what instance? In other word, can Notion4 compared to other DAWs as far as music production is concerned? I've been using only notation for writing music. Should it ever occur that I will need to write music on notation software and produce the final production on DAW? In other words, is Notion4 flexible enough for editing detailed controller values on each note, for instace, to achieve more convincing violin's upbow staccato 6-7 sixteenth notes run?



@wcreed51
I've tried writing something on Notion4. So far have not bought any sound libraries yet. It seems to me that even though I can mixed libraries within one score, however, each staff can be assigned only one patch of one library only. Am I understand this correctly?

So, for example, if I want to used two different flute sounds (for some piercing flute sounds, and at places warmer flute tones) from different libraries for the same flute part, I will have to have two flute staves for one flute part. Is this correct?

Thank you.
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Re: Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby tombax » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:31 am

Surapol:

No, that is not correct. You can change from one instrument to another on the same staff: Press Shift-I at the place on the staff where you want the change.
You can also set up different instruments for multiple voices on the same staff, but you'll have to consult the manual for that one.
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Re: Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby idiotSavant » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:39 pm

I've recently purchased Notion 4 and both Miroslav Philharmonik and VSL Special Edition Volume 1 and Volume 1+. So I'm a newbie as well, but here are my impressions:

1. VSL is substantially more expensive than MPK. You probably already know that. So you would expect a significantly better sound. You do get it from the strings, but I find the winds and brasses of MPK to be more harmonious when mixed. I can't afford the Special Edition V 2 yet which contains the brass and wind ensemble instruments, and so I have to use individual solo winds to create ensembles. This may be part of the issue. There's some harshness in the winds that I'm using with VSL.

2. The playback engine of VSL appears to be much deeper and more robust (at least as far as I've delved into them). I haven't tried it, but I feel like I could tweak the sound quality of the VSL much more effectively to get precise sounds I want. However, the interface is much more complex and subtle. I think it would take months of working with the engine for VSL as opposed to MPK in order to master it. I could tweak some controls in MPK, and adjust the sound immediately and easily without having to study the manuals. But you may want more depth.

3. Based on my limited experience with them, both programs respond pretty well to notation in Notion 4. The MPK sounds aren't as complete in terms of expression capabilities (trills, con sordino strings, tremolo and vibrato) as the VSL. That's what you're paying for, all those additional samples in VSL. I've noticed that VSL has trouble with slurs in Notion. It doesn't like them very much. This can sometimes make things jumpy, which you may not like. Also, VSL responds drastically to dynamics. The ppp is almost inaudible, and the f will blow the cones out of your speakers. I've made a feature request of Notion to add some sort of overall dynamic control (minimum and maximum settings) to address this. I didn't notice it as being an issue with MPK. Maybe it's just that VSL is designed to be really sensitive to dynamics. VSL also has some trouble with hairpins that I never noticed using MPK.

So in summary: MPK is $150. For that you get a complete orchestra, as well as organs and choirs. It sounds pretty impressive. There are some things it won't do, but you may decide that it's not an issue and your pocketbook comes first. MPK is complete, you buy it and you're done. VSL SE V1 and V1+ and V2 and V2+ will set you back almost $1000. Unless you're a rich composer, VSL is a hobby. You have to acquire it on the installment plan. And then you're always looking for instruments you don't have.

By the way, I've thought about using both engines to get the strings of VSL in combination with the winds and brass of MPK but that requires running the program in 32 bit mode on my Mac. I will have to play with that more.

In the final analysis it's all about the sound and what you like. Here are a couple of links to some work that I've posted:

This is Elgar's Dream Children Movement I using VSL: https://soundcloud.com/michaelmyers08/d ... movement-i

It's a quiet piece with very subtle strings, but if you crank up the volume you get some indication of the quality of the samples.

This is Sibelius' Valse Triste, using MPK: https://soundcloud.com/michaelmyers08/valse-triste

It's also a quiet, subtle piece for comparison.

I think you can hear the differences between the two packages pretty well in these recordings, especially the strings.

By the way, you'll notice that I haven't mentioned the native Notion instruments. Once you hear them up against either of these other packages you'll realize that they are nowhere near the same quality. At least that's my impression.

I'd highly recommend that if you get into it that you acquire a good reverb as well. It makes a lot of difference in the final sound. I really like Reverberate by LiquidSonics. It's a convolution reverb available as shareware for $90 and it sounds awesome. It has really useful halls and rooms for classical work. It's effective right out of the box, without any tweaking, and behaves very politely with Notion 4.

So this has been long-winded but I hope helpful.
Michael

Notion 4 Mac
VSL Dimension Strings
VSL Special Edition 1,2, Plus
Miroslav Philharmonik
Apple Logic
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Re: Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby bkk_dev » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:57 pm

@tombax

Thanks for the info. I started to play more with Notion over the weekend.



@Michael Myers

Thank you very much for very useful insights. I downloaded MPK and install it as demo. I see your point that MPK is a 32-bit application. So the 32-bit (MPK) and 64-bit (VSL) VSTs cannot be called from a 64-bit application? I haven't known this. This will create a lot of problems. Because, I stipulate, a standard orchestral score would require a vast amount of memory space which definitely must run on 64-bit applications and libraries.

Your examples of VSL and MPK playbacks are very interesting. I do agree with you on quality of VSL vs MPK. Could you point me toward good examples that use Notion's Sound Expansion.


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Re: Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby wcreed51 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:33 am

If your on a PC, you can use a program called jBridge to use 32bit VSTi in 64bit Notion.
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Re: Newbies Questions on Sound Libraries

Postby Admin » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:42 am

wcreed51 wrote:If your on a PC, you can use a program called jBridge to use 32bit VSTi in 64bit Notion.



JBridge is also in Beta on Mac and works fairly well, but even though you can use it, we do not support use with JBridge either on Mac or PC because it is a little unstable. There have been varied results around the community, so try it out, but we cannot make any guarantees about it's stability.
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