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which VSL Strings to choose for best support in N4?

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which VSL Strings to choose for best support in N4?

Postby Yves » Mon May 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Dear support,

DILEMMA! :?

This is a long time that I have been waiting for a solo cello or solo double bass string from VSL... things that will not be available, unfortunately... :(
Also today it seems to me that I have two choices at nearly the same price (275€ and 260€), to get those two solo strings instruments:
- SOLO STRINGS I
or
- SE Vol.1 Strings + SE Vol 1 Strings PLUS
I only care about those two instruments cello solo and double bass solo (for using sections, I am using my beloved Synful, but solo cellos and double bass are less effectives with Synful :(...), also my only use will be Inside Notion 4 and its existing presets.
I only need the samples that will be effectively in use Inside N4 matrix/preset, but it is impossible to understand which solution is best: SE strings vol1 and its extension SE strings vol1 plus? or solo strings I ?

I would prefer to take SE/SEplus strings if the N4 presets only use the samples of SE.
However, I would prefer to take Solo Strings even if N4 will not use all additional samples in its preset if the samples that are in use have more dynamics steps (for exemple if it has 12 sample dynamics instead of 8 sample dynamics). I am not sur if this is the case... but I can't find more information on this.

so Notion 4 VSL ADMIN, I believe you are my only help! :?: :D
Notion 4/Sonar X3 producer/Reason 7-Akai EWI USB/Yamaha C2s
Synful/Wivi/VSL inst./Miroslav/GPO4/N3 Exp. Sounds/QL Solo Violin/Hauptwerk
EW Symphonic Choirs+VOP/Vocaloid 3 Prima+Tonio
QL Pianos/Garritan Steinway/EZKeys/Pianoteq 4
Waves/Clariphonic/Maag
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Re: which VSL Strings to choose for best support in N4?

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue May 20, 2014 3:58 am

Yves wrote:I only care about those two instruments cello solo and double bass solo . . .

I would prefer to take Solo Strings even if N4 will not use all additional samples in its preset if the samples that are in use have more dynamics steps . . . but I can't find more information on this.


With the caveat that I do not have this Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL) product or any other VSL product except the VSL orchestral instruments that come with Kontakt 5 (Native Instruments), I am intrigued by some of the VSL technologies, in particular Vienna Ensemble Pro 5. The VSL instruments are beyond what I can afford, as well, but so what . . .


The most important advice I have is that you can get very detailed information on VSL Solo Strings 1 and Solo Strings 2 by registering for a user account at the VSL website, which (a) costs nothing and (b) makes it possible for you to download the various VSL library manuals and other VSL product documentation in PDF format . . .

This is the VSL website page where you register for a VSL User Account:

Welcome to your Personal User Area (Vienna Symphonic Library)

You need to provide your email address; a user name; and a password for your VSL Personal User Area; and you can sign-up for the VSL newsletter and occasional announcements of discount sales and so forth . . .

The VSL folks are prudent in their emails, so you only get an email from the VSL folks when it probably is something you will find interesting . . .

I downloaded the library manual for Solo Strings I and II, which actually is the "Vienna Instruments Solo I & II Mapping Documentation", and it is a PDF file with 192 pages of very detailed information which I think will be more than sufficient to answer your question about "dynamics steps" and a lot more, since for each of the four instruments (violin, viola, cello, and string bass), it has all the information, with "all" being a bit of an understatement . . .

For example, this is the overview information for VSL Solo Strings I String Bass dynamics, which is followed by more detailed information about each specific dynamic level, type, style, and so forth . . .

[NOTE: To see the full image, right-click on it and there be a menu-item similar to "View Image", which is the one to use if you are using the Firefox web browser . . . ]

Image

This is one of the ten (10) detail sections for String Bass dynamics . . .

Image

There are more dynamics in VSL Solo Strings II String Bass, where there are an additional 13 different types of Sordino dynamics . . .

However, it is important to understand that there are three libraries (Standard, Extended, and Full), and based on the prices you provided, you are looking at the Standard library, which does not have all the dynamics . . .

The details for the Standard and Extended libraries are found at this page:

Standard and Extended libraries for Solo Strings I (Vienna Symphonic Library)

The details for the Full library is found at this link in the lower part of the page, and the highly detailed information for the Full library is found in the user manual (see above), of course:

Full library for Solo Strings I (Vienna Symphonic Library)

You will need a "Vienna Key"--which is a USB dongle--to use Solo Strings I & II or any of the other VSL products . . .

THOUGHTS


Since your focus is specifically on cello and string bass, I like the idea of getting Solo Strings I and II, but it is a bit expensive . . .

There is an upgrade path, so you could start with the Standard version of Solo Strings I and add to it over time when there are discount sales . . .

Another strategy is to wait until there is a discount sale on the Solo Strings I and II Bundle . . .

Regarding the way this will work with NOTION 4, I think there are mappings for some of the VSL libraries, but you probably will want to plan on creating your own user-defined custom rules, since you can be very precise this way and can tailor the various articulations to your specific needs . . .

It is possible that some of the folks who use VSL products with NOTION 4 already have user-defined custom rules that they can share or at least can provide some advice on how to create your own user-defined custom rules . . .

If you need something different for each individual note--as contrasted to using the same articulations, dynamics, and playing styles for phrases--then I think you will need to explore and to understand user-defined custom rules, but when the focus is on phrases, you can do this with a MULTI, where you load the VSL VSTi virtual instrument with a set of articulations and so forth for String Bass, with each one assigned to a different channel, which than makes it possible to change articulations and so forth by switching channels for the String Bass staff, which is easy to do via SHIFT+i and channel switching (which actually is called "instrument switching"), where the advantage of the MULTI-Channel-Switching strategy is that it uses the raw samples without "adjusting" them by doing calculations and so forth, hence will be the most realistic, as well as requiring no specific music notation for the articulations, dynamics, and playing styles . . .

In other words, when a string bass phrase is a particular type of legato, you will use the matching set of samples where the bassist actually played the notes in the particular type of legato, with no intervening computing being done . . .

For reference, I played string bass at first but switched to electric bass after a few years, and stayed with electric bass for half a century, so I certainly understand the need for deep bass and all the finer aspects of deep bass tone and texture . . .

Intuitively, the Solo Strings I and Solo Strings II libraries appear to me to be the most focused with respect to cello and string bass, and while they are a bit expensive, as noted you can get them in phases or steps . . .

The fact of the matter is that bass is the foundation or fabric upon which everything else rides, but for some unknown reason this basic fact is not so well known or understood by most composers, arrangers, and producers, which has the unfortunate consequence that while they could be making wonderful music, without deep bass it sounds like it was played through an orange juice tin can . . .

In the Pop music universe, the big clues are "Heartbreak Hotel" (Elvis Presley) and "Billy Jean" (Michael Jackson), along with every early Beatles hit record, which is fabulous . . .

"Heartbreak Hotel" (Elvis Presley) ~ YouTube music video

"Billy Jean" (Michael Jackson) ~ YouTube music video

Fabulous! :)

P. S. If for some reason you cannot download the user manual for Solo Strings I & II, send me a PM, since I might be an an anarchistic mood and might attach the PDF file to my reply; but it is easy to register at the VSL website, and this is the preferred way for you to do this, since it gets you on the VSL mailing list, which is a good way to keep informed on discount sales and other promotions . . . :ugeek:
Last edited by Surfwhammy on Tue May 20, 2014 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: which VSL Strings to choose for best support in N4?

Postby Yves » Tue May 20, 2014 5:59 pm

thank you so much Surwhammy! :D

I have not paid attention that Under my VSL login, I was able to download pdf of all librairies, included the one I have not bought. :o
- you made a good point on bass as a good fondation on every music! 8-)
- you made a good point too on multi channel switching for raising the number of matrixes of patches downloaded to improve subtil phrasing writing, however, I am not sure I am willing to complexify that much my notation writing when I compose (I am used with Synful and Wivi "ease of notation writing" by just adding notations element without having to worry on swithing patchs!!!).

and

- you bring me the answer about the difference between a "VSL SE patch" and a "VSL instrument collection patch":

I have explored the PDF file from the VSL SE manuals and the VSL instruments collection manual.
and for the same patch, SE has less dynamics and repetition samples than an instrument collection patch.

As an explanation, you have to understand what is a VSL preset in notion: :idea:

A VSL preset in notion is a custom made Matrix of patches, and a patch being a collection of samples that describe the same articulation.
for exemple:
* In VI_SOLOSTRINGS 1, a violin staccato is the patch number "01 VI_Staccato" that includes 4 velocity layers and 4 alternations for a total of 408 samples and 25MB of RAM.
* in VI_Special_Editions, a violin staccato is a patch number "01S VI staccato" that includes 3 velocity layers and 2 alternations for a total of 156 samples and 9MB of RAM.

=> so for the same patch, you will have more samples/dynamics (and as result: subtility) with the instrument collection patches (as compared with a VSL SE patch, not with Synful or Wivi that have a perfectly "smooth" rendition of dynamics! ;) )
=> when I insert a VSL Special Edition Pro instrument in Notion Setup, it will open a Vienna Instrument Pro with a custom made Matrix for which I will just have to go thru the entire matrix and replace all patches that pointed to a VSL SE patch and replace them by a VSL instrument collection patch.
Fortunately, the directory/organization of all patches is well done/simple, and it is easy to find the right patch in replacement of any missing VSL SE patches: I experienced this already with my VSL single instruments that I use within the VSL SE matrixes of Notion 4 preset!
=> finaly, by reusing the original preset of Notion 4, I have no need to make complex editing to switch articulations, and just use Notion 4's notation elements to alter/change articulation.

Lastly, the Notion's custom made matrixes are quite complex and seem to cover quite a large range of articulation and phrasing: by using them it will save me lot of time and efforts, and I think that this will satisfy perfectly my need to write music quickly to not loose inspiration! :D :D

whaou, Surfwhammy, once again your reply is quite extensive and rich of info, and always right on target!!! :ugeek:
Notion 4/Sonar X3 producer/Reason 7-Akai EWI USB/Yamaha C2s
Synful/Wivi/VSL inst./Miroslav/GPO4/N3 Exp. Sounds/QL Solo Violin/Hauptwerk
EW Symphonic Choirs+VOP/Vocaloid 3 Prima+Tonio
QL Pianos/Garritan Steinway/EZKeys/Pianoteq 4
Waves/Clariphonic/Maag
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Re: which VSL Strings to choose for best support in N4?

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue May 20, 2014 6:21 pm

Yves wrote:thank you so much Surwhammy! :D


Glad to help! :D

After reading your explanations of the key factors, I think it makes sense and is not so difficult to do . . .

The primary aspect I used in making my suggestions was your expressed need specifically for advanced cello and string bass control with respect to articulations, dynamics, playing styles, and so forth, which then made the solution obvious, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous!
:ugeek:
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