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Topic: What's the best way to make unison woodwinds?

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  1. #1

    What\'s the best way to make unison woodwinds?

    I\'m looking to buy an orchestral set pretty soon - probably VSL Opus 1.

    Just wondering about something. I notice that the VSL woodwinds don\'t include any \"massed\" samples - ie three flutes playing in unison, three oboes in unison etc.

    For a while I was thinking this would be a limitation of the set that I would have to fill elsewhere, but then I happened to look at the patch list for the full VSL woodwind set, and noticed there are no massed sampled there either, despite the fact that the set is 60GB big.

    Whereas there are massed brass sample even in Opus 1. The conclusion I draw is that the folks at VSL consider it necessary to have an actual massed sample to create a realistic brass unison, but not so for woodwind.

    Do others agree with this? And if so, how do you go about creating woodwind unisons? Do you have separate tracks in your sequencer for flute 1, flute 2 and flute 3, say, and send them to separate Giga inputs, but with each input holding the same sample? Do you delay or detune them slightly differently to make it more realistic?

    Not sure how EWQLSO or GPO handle this either - would be interested to know.

    Thanks for any information or pointers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: What\'s the best way to make unison woodwinds?

    EWQLSO has Woodwinds section...

  3. #3
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    Re: What\'s the best way to make unison woodwinds?

    GPO has ensemble instruments to build sections with. These instruments do not share the same wave pool so there is no phasing issues you normally get when you play 2 solo instruments in unison. Also, the library gives many alternate instruments for the same instrument. For example, there are 4 different oboes. These usually work better than using a 3 clarinets type patch. It\'s very rare for woodwinds to play unison for lengthy periods of time.

    BTW, these will work very well with the VSL Opus 1.

  4. #4
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    Re: What\'s the best way to make unison woodwinds?

    Originally posted by Ouch that hurts:
    I notice that the VSL woodwinds don\'t include any \"massed\" samples - ie three flutes playing in unison, three oboes in unison etc.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hmm, good point that I didn\'t notice either---and I bought Opus 1 in large part for the woodwinds (not that everything else isn\'t great also). Just another good reason to consider adding Westgate Woodwinds as well, I guess.

  5. #5

    Re: What\'s the best way to make unison woodwinds?

    Thanks everyone. Maybe I\'ll have a look at adding GPO, or Westgate. Or maybe I\'ll start with just Opus 1 and see how I go building the unisons from it.

    Gotta disagree about ww unisons hardly being used. What about Wagner, Bruckner, Strauss? Not that that\'s really my style, but it\'s a big important part of the repertoire, and a huge influence on contemporary film music.

    Also some of the spiky bits in Prokofiev etc.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: What\'s the best way to make unison woodwinds?

    With the full VSL set, there are so many different articulations (and in many casees, multiple players) that you can construct unisons very easily. I\'m not sure what the breakdown is on Opus 1, but depending upon which articulations are included you might find the same to be true.

    To reflect Haydn\'s observation, I really don\'t find myself looking much for woodwind unison\'s either. It\'s not something that gets done a whole lot outside of wind ensemble literature. But regardless, you may find enough material in Opus 1 to construct some good woodwind unisons. In fact, just layering the multisamples with the legato versions would probably do it quite effectively, since these are separate performances and the phasing problems would be quite minimal (and easily enough solved by slipping a note a few ticks if something were lining up in a bad way).

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