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Topic: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

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  1. #1

    Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    I put these together mostly for my own purposes. I wanted to see how my various libs stacked up against Opus 1. I need to put a few disclaimers here now:

    #1, these are all out of the box, played in, no mouse-clicking in notes. I emphasize "out of the box." I probably could've spent a lot more time on these, tweaking, and in the case of the libraries other than Opus, putting together multiple MIDI tracks to achieve the desired effect. But I wanted to see what these could do just out of the box..load it up and go. #2, not all samples and articulations are represented obviously. I'm sure I overlooked some here and there (cut me some slack, I have 106GB of samples) #3, all of these sample libs are awesome. I'm not trying to say one is better than the other. It really all depends on what kind of sound you're looking for.

    That being said, enjoy. And if you'd like to hear comparisons that are not below, feel free to private message me and I'll be glad to create some mp3s if I have time. It's the least I can do for all those here who have helped me make purchasing decisions.

    Opus vs. GOS
    http://www.samhulick.com/misc/GOS_v_Opus_Strings.mp3

    1. GOS - Cellos Aggressive Staccato
    2. Opus - Cellos Staccato

    3. GOS - Basses Pizzicato (on a slow beat)
    4. Opus - Basses Pizzicato (on a slow beat)

    5. GOS - Cellos Pizz (snap)
    6. Opus - Cellos Pizz (snap)

    7. GOS - Violins Pizz
    8. Opus - Violins Pizz

    9. GOS - Violins Sautille mf
    10. Opus - Violins Staccato

    Impressions: The differences aren't too huge. I feel the Opus staccatos are way better than the GOS staccatos, but I prefer the sound of the GOS violin pizzicatos to the Opus ones. Opus tends to sound crisper and sharper in many cases. And as I posted in another thread, I think the GOS grand sustains are great, and have a lushness to them that's lacking in Opus.

    ================================================== =

    Westgate Woodwinds vs. Opus Woodwinds
    http://www.samhulick.com/misc/WG_v_Opus_Winds.mp3

    1. WG - Clarinet NV Crossfade
    2. Opus - Clarinet perf leg

    3. WG - Bassoon V Crossfade
    4. Opus - Bassoon perf leg

    5. WG - Bassoon Stacc
    6. Opus - Bassoon Stacc

    7. WG - Flute Trill
    8. Opus - Flute Trill

    9. WG - Piccolo Stacc
    10. Opus - Piccolo Stacc

    Impressions: Westgate is known for its organic, woody sound, which can be nice, but obviously the performance legato in Opus makes it stand out, and is probably preferable for solo performances where there are no (or few) other instruments to hide the idiosyncrasies of samples that have no legato.

    ================================================== =

    SAM Brass vs. Opus Brass
    http://www.samhulick.com/misc/SAM_v_Opus_Brass.mp3

    1. SAM Horns - MW Sustain
    2. Opus - Horns MW sus

    3. SAM Horns - Stacc (A)
    4. Opus - Horns Stacc

    5. SAM Horns - MW Sustain
    6. Opus - Horns Perf leg

    7. SAM Trumpets - Stacc
    8. Opus - Trumpets Stacc

    9. SAM Solo Trumpet - MW Sustain
    10. Opus - Solo Trumpet perf leg

    Impressions: I'd say in most cases, Project SAM sounds better. For fanfares and fast paced passages, I'd choose SAM over Opus. But for intimate, soft passages, I'd probably use Opus. Listen to that Opus solo trumpet.... yum. Oh, and just an interesting note, I was not able to replicate this fanfare (done with SAM Horns) using Opus 1:

    http://www.samhulick.com/misc/SAM_Fanfare.mp3

    ================================================== =

    True Strike vs. Opus Percussion
    http://www.samhulick.com/misc/TrueSt..._Opus_Perc.mp3

    1. True Strike - Timps, medium mallets, let ring
    2. Opus - Timps, medium mallets, let ring

    3. True Strike - Various Piatti
    4. Opus - Various Piatti

    5. True Strike - Snare Ensemble
    6. Opus - Snare Ensemble

    7. True Strike - Tam Tam (7 hits)
    8. Opus - Tam Tam (3 hits)

    9. True Strike - Celeste
    10. Opus - Celeste

    Impressions: I really like the warmth of the Opus timpanis, but I could still obviously see scenarios where I'd want to use the True Strike timpanis, for more upbeat and in your face pieces. I couldn't get the True Strike timps to achieve that soft, warm tone the Opus timps have. The piatti and tam tams are all good, just a matter of what you're looking for. Both snare ensembles sound great. Now, the celeste... True Strike's is good, but I have to say, the Opus one sounds almost EXACTLY like the one in Hedwig's Theme. There's a sort of muted soft tone about it that I couldn't get with the True Strike celeste.

    ----

    That's all. Hope this is of some use.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    Sam,

    Thanks for taking the time to do that. I own Opus 1, as well as GOS, so I found the round of string Mp3's very interesting. I agree, I think Opus has a clearer sound, almost as if the picture is better focused... but that may not always be the desired result. And I agree, GOS's grand sustains (and Grand Detache's) are to simply die for. Those samples have so much personality...

    The brass was an eye opener for me. I don't have Sam's, but know it's a respected library. After hearing your test, they just got bumped up to the front of the "wish list"

    The woodwind legatos from Opus are really untouchable by any other library I've heard. I own Westgate Woodwinds to. and at the time of their release, I think they filled a nitch. But they just don't hold up at all anymore, IMO. However, I would think they could be used along side of Opus for creating your own ensembles.

    I think overall, the percussion was a wash. Each library had such a different sound and texture, I could see both being valuable.

    I guess all this shows, is that there's something valuable to be had with each library, and if you like keeping your options open (as we all do, I'm sure), then owning just one library can be very limiting.

  3. #3

    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    The kind of comparisons that really make simplier the life for people that are about to buy a sample library. Good job Sam.

    Specifically I agree most of your judgement except for Percussions. Most of the wow effect of True Strike come when mixed, and all instruments sound really more spacious and realistic to me than Opus ones. I always noticed from demos the percussions as one of the weakest part of this lib.

    Btw, you did westgate sound pretty nice.

    Keep coming those things, really useful.

    Luca

  4. #4

    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    One thing I think is worth mentioning. The velocities in Opus 1 (and probably 2) are very touchy. You might think you're playing evenly, and with most other libraries, it sounds fine, but with Opus, you'll get passages that go (soft)(soft)(soft)(LOUD)(soft) and you'll have to go back and edit the MIDI velocity manually. This is kind of a pain. That's the only problem I have with the library.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  5. #5

    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    Nice work, well done. Thank you!

  6. #6

    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    Wow! Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner

    Opus vs. GOS
    http://www.samhulick.com/misc/GOS_v_Opus_Strings.mp3

    1. GOS - Cellos Aggressive Staccato
    2. Opus - Cellos Staccato

    3. GOS - Basses Pizzicato (on a slow beat)
    4. Opus - Basses Pizzicato (on a slow beat)

    5. GOS - Cellos Pizz (snap)
    6. Opus - Cellos Pizz (snap)

    7. GOS - Violins Pizz
    8. Opus - Violins Pizz

    9. GOS - Violins Sautille mf
    10. Opus - Violins Staccato

    Impressions: The differences aren't too huge. I feel the Opus staccatos are way better than the GOS staccatos,
    The Opus staccatos are certainly cleaner - the GOS ones sound a bit random with lots of bow noise etc picked up in the recording. But I wonder whether this is because it's the GOS "Agressive Staccato". Would the normal GOS staccato maybe not have this problem?

    but I prefer the sound of the GOS violin pizzicatos to the Opus ones.
    Agreed. Fuller and richer again.

    Opus tends to sound crisper and sharper in many cases. And as I posted in another thread, I think the GOS grand sustains are great, and have a lushness to them that's lacking in Opus.
    Also agreed, on both counts.

  7. #7

    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    Ouch:

    Nope, the GOS non-aggressive staccs also lack bite. The aggressive staccs were supposed to address that to some extent, but they don't.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  8. #8

    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    Westgate Woodwinds vs. Opus Woodwinds
    http://www.samhulick.com/misc/WG_v_Opus_Winds.mp3

    1. WG - Clarinet NV Crossfade
    2. Opus - Clarinet perf leg

    3. WG - Bassoon V Crossfade
    4. Opus - Bassoon perf leg

    5. WG - Bassoon Stacc
    6. Opus - Bassoon Stacc

    7. WG - Flute Trill
    8. Opus - Flute Trill

    9. WG - Piccolo Stacc
    10. Opus - Piccolo Stacc

    Impressions: Westgate is known for its organic, woody sound, which can be nice, but obviously the performance legato in Opus makes it stand out, and is probably preferable for solo performances where there are no (or few) other instruments to hide the idiosyncrasies of samples that have no legato.
    This is much clearer to me - the Opus examples are a million times better. The WG sound really synthy to me next to them.

    Some of the WG note-joins sound really odd, like one note is overlapping the next one or something. I noticed this especially in the clarinet. Is this to do with the programming - do the MIDI lengths overlap each other? Is this maybe the way one plays it to use the VSL legato, and you used the same MIDI file for the WG? Or is it something else?

    It certainly sounds wierd, and unrealistic, so I'd be interested to know whether or not it's to do with shortcomings in the library itself.

  9. #9

    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    SAM Brass vs. Opus Brass
    http://www.samhulick.com/misc/SAM_v_Opus_Brass.mp3

    1. SAM Horns - MW Sustain
    2. Opus - Horns MW sus

    3. SAM Horns - Stacc (A)
    4. Opus - Horns Stacc

    5. SAM Horns - MW Sustain
    6. Opus - Horns Perf leg

    7. SAM Trumpets - Stacc
    8. Opus - Trumpets Stacc

    9. SAM Solo Trumpet - MW Sustain
    10. Opus - Solo Trumpet perf leg

    Impressions: I'd say in most cases, Project SAM sounds better. For fanfares and fast paced passages, I'd choose SAM over Opus. But for intimate, soft passages, I'd probably use Opus. Listen to that Opus solo trumpet.... yum.
    Agreed. The raw sound quality of SAM is much better to my ear, particularly in the loud dynamics, where the sound seems to maintain more "body", rather than just going all sizzle.

    I didn't feel the VSL performance legatos made as much difference here as one might expect, maybe because brass legatos are not generally as smooth as strings' or woodwinds' anyway. There's definitely a difference in the horn one, and the VSL here sounds lovely. But between the trumpets I wouldn't say there's much in it. I think I'd be tempted a lot of the time to use SAM for the better sound and live with the legato compromise.

    Of course what we really need is for the SAM boys to record transition samples, so we can use the legato facility in GS3 and get the best of both worlds!

  10. #10

    Re: Opus 1 vs. Other Libraries, sit back and listen...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouch that hurts
    This is much clearer to me - the Opus examples are a million times better. The WG sound really synthy to me next to them.

    Some of the WG note-joins sound really odd, like one note is overlapping the next one or something. I noticed this especially in the clarinet. Is this to do with the programming - do the MIDI lengths overlap each other? Is this maybe the way one plays it to use the VSL legato, and you used the same MIDI file for the WG? Or is it something else?

    It certainly sounds wierd, and unrealistic, so I'd be interested to know whether or not it's to do with shortcomings in the library itself.
    Nah, it's probably just my playing. I'm used to slightly overlapping to achieve a legato effect, but I probably overdid it here. WG really does sound great, even now that I own Opus, I wouldn't get rid of WG. The bassoon staccatos sound better in WG than they do in Opus, in my opinion. There's other good stuff there. Plus you get a pennywhistle in WG, and a recorder I think..(don't recall).
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

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