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Topic: the Right Stuff ??

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  1. #1

    the Right Stuff ??

    Hi everyone, long time no visit.

    I am in search of the right sample libraries for a couple of purposes but I don't really know nearly enough about it to even know what to look for.

    We have GS3 which I bought mostly to host The Black Grand, which we use all the time. I got GS3 Solo so it doesn't have the full gigapulse thing going on but anyway... we don't use nearly all of the features of GS3, just basically treat it as a compact and efficient grand piano that we don't have to mic.

    OK now to the point.

    I think we need some strings, horns and maybe choir library. Here's what we will be using this stuff for (in the immediate and long-term):

    - small string ensemble, think "Death and the Maiden" .. but mixed into rock/pop tunes. I'm guessing I need some solo string library and write arrangements just as I would for a regular string quartet.

    - orchestral strings - here ranging from film-score-like stuff to pop/rock mixes. This is NEARLY covered adequately with our synth.

    - Tower of Power type horn section stuff (blues/rock/R&B/pop horns) .. guessing again here I need some solo horns (trumpet, alto, tenor, trombone) sampled rock/jazz/r&b style (not orchestral .. talking metal mouthpieces & strident trumpet tones).

    - choir - what I want to do is record a small choir for real (say 20 voices), and then add some choir sample parts to fill it up and make it sound more like a larger choir (100+ voices). Not classical .. again this will be for rock records.

    Does anyone have specific suggestions for stuff I should look at? I have looked at some orchestral & solo strings libraries that sound very good but they are extremely expensive. There's no way we can justify that kind of expense for like one tune here and there... it'd be cheaper to just hire a string quartet or whatever when we needed it. Are there any free/shareware libraries out there that can get us started? This is not our bread and butter work. These are for color parts in rock records but they may end up being quite exposed so I don't want something crappy (we already have that!).

    Thx again!

  2. #2

    Re: the Right Stuff ??

    Check out Kirk Hunter's stuff for inexpensive strings. Emerald and Saphire Symphony Orchestra includes both orchestral and solo strings. Or, if you already have the orchestral strings covered, you can buy the solos alone. Kirk plans a separate release of chamber strings in the near future. It's inexpensive, but has lots of articulations and good quality.

    Regarding pop brass, I have QL Brass, which might be available at a good price. Take a look at Garritan's JABB as well. I find QLB to have lots of cool bits and pieces that sound great, but they can become tiring, if overused. JABB may be more playable. If you want the occassional stylized accent that sounds very real, check out QLB. If you are going to use lots of brass melodies, I'd lean towards JABB. In either case, it takes lots of solid programming to do jazz/pop brass even close to realistically.

    Choirs get more expensive. There's basically SOV, VOTA, EWQLSC and Giovani. Giovani is a children's choir only, but is the most affordable. VOTA is great for that over-the-top Orff sound. EWQLSC is pricey.

    I'm planning on getting Giovani at some point. It sounds great and you can sneek it into lots of music to add air and humanity. (It's also the least expensive option.) The VOTA sound has lots of testosterone, and is perfect for big movie trailers, but it can be cartoonish or comical if used with smaller works. Lots of people still use and love SOV. It might be the best bet for a full, but somewhat more modest sound. It's not cheap though.

    Best of luck in getting what you need at good prices.

    -JF

  3. #3
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    Re: the Right Stuff ??

    Quote Originally Posted by krash
    - small string ensemble, think "Death and the Maiden" .. but mixed into rock/pop tunes. I'm guessing I need some solo string library and write arrangements just as I would for a regular string quartet.
    This is not our bread and butter work. These are for color parts in rock records but they may end up being quite exposed so I don't want something crappy (we already have that!).

    Thx again!
    Funny you should mention that.

    http://vsl.co.at/en-us/67/3920/4038.vsl

  4. #4

    Re: the Right Stuff ??

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Check out Kirk Hunter's stuff for inexpensive strings.

    ok that's a good start. I guess it takes a lot more to make a decent string lib. vs. piano (with articulations and all that). Is there a way to vary the attack or the vibrato on this stuff? It sounds good once the sound gets going, but having all of the violins playing with synchronous vibrato sounds pretty bizarre and the attack sounds very "keyboard" on most of this (very sudden, doesn't account for the movement of the player's fingers to finger different notes). I guess this is a matter of precise programming of the parts ?? I've never used a string lib.

    Regarding pop brass, I have QL Brass,
    I figured that's "Quantum Leap Brass" ... but ...

    SOV, VOTA, EWQLSC
    I don't know what these abbreviations stand for ...

  5. #5

    Re: the Right Stuff ??

    SOV = Symphony of Voices

    http://www.spectrasonics.net/librari...honyvoices.php

    VOTA = Voices of the Apocalypse

    http://www.soundsonline.com/sophtml/...l?sku=QLVOTAGS

    EWQLSC = East West Quantum leap Symphonic Choirs

    http://www.soundsonline.com/sophtml/...tml?sku=EW-165

    Hope this helps,

    Darren

    PS The Kirk Hunter stuff is great bang for the buck. I bought his Virtuoso Strings for $49 and love the sound.

  6. #6

    Re: the Right Stuff ??

    FWIW, I would never put exposed solo instruments on a record as you describe using samples. You can get great string quartet stuff happening with two players: someone who doubles on violin/viola, and a cellist. You can even get very nice ensemble string lines multitracking one player. Samples are great but for a record project you should consider hiring real people.

  7. #7

    Re: the Right Stuff ??

    Quote Originally Posted by rob morsberger
    Samples are great but for a record project you should consider hiring real people.
    Yeah I'll see how that works out ... finding the right players may be tough. Drummers, guitarists, that kind of thing, I know. But I don't have the first clue about how to record a string ensemble, who to recruit, how to write the parts, etc. Well I have the first clue but not much more.

    So I guess there are pros and cons for both approaches. The big "pro" for using samples is that it's a one-time expense that we can keep using.

  8. #8

    Re: the Right Stuff ??

    Yeah, but if you really care about the record...it's a forever thing, subject to greater scrutiny and artistic pride than other musical situations where samples may be the perfect solution. Where are you located? I've had great results...as have many others....mixing samples with live performers too. Anyway...something to consider.

  9. #9

    Re: the Right Stuff ??

    Regarding the quartet, spend the $99 and get the samples so you can write and preview the music. Then, if you can afford it, hire real players.

    It's not a matter of either/or. The best case is both.

    -JF

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