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Topic: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

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  1. #1

    Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    In the interest of K.I.S.S (and actual personal preference) I'm hoping to find a small, inexpensive, orchestral lib *without* the zillions of articulations, arpeggios, clusters, etc, with some good (meaning considerably better than rompler or soundfont-type) non-vibrato solo strings.

    I currently use Cubase/Halion with the Roland L-CDX-03/04 and have had good luck using breath-controllers, etc, to do phrasing and dynamics, and 'pitch-bend' vibrato is working well with solo instruments. The Roland string libs are working fine for ensembles but have only one sustained vibrato-less violin (and I don't care for it too much), so I'm at a point where I would like to upgrade to better libs, but do not want or need a huge set like the VSL (time is important plus it's pretty fun to perform the articulations).

    Physical Modeling would seem to hold an answer, but I have not yet found anything that works much better than my synths for realtime performance of parts, anyway (I am fairly adept at programming what I have), and the synths are not quite up to the task of being a general-purpose solution.

    I have not had any hands-on at all with Emerald or GOS; perhaps one of these would do (or a subset), I have listened to many of the demos, but I have heard none with examples of the 'straight' solo strings which I am after, and don't want to buy something blind.

    Anyway, thoughts/advice/links will be appreciated. Thanks for any help

    ps - I am very much still in the learning stage as far as writing for orchestral instruments goes... just getting to the point where it wouldn't be completely mortifying if one of my 'creations' managed to escape the confines of my local computer

    pss - thanks to Northern Sound Source for all of the great reference material (!)

  2. #2

    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    Hmm... I could have sworn those old Roland libraries had pretty good non-vibrato patches for all the solo strings. Maybe it's one of the theorized (but not confirmed) cuts in the CDX versions? Perhaps my memory is fuzzy and I imagined the whole thing.

  3. #3

    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    GPO is probably the way to go -- it's as close to plug-and-play as they come. Instead of a million articulations, you just load up the instrument. Important articulations can be accessed with keyswitches and sometimes CCs. Very dynamic and fluid sound, it handles crescendos and phrasing better than any other library in my opinion.

    Not sure if the solo strings have a non vibrato option. I THINK you can control the vibrato but you might want to check in the Garritan forum first--I am at work now so I can't check my own.

    chris.

  4. #4

    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeZoot
    Not sure if the solo strings have a non vibrato option. I THINK you can control the vibrato but you might want to check in the Garritan forum first--I am at work now so I can't check my own.

    chris.
    Nope. The vibrato is burned in the samples.

    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  5. #5

    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    No, there are no non-vibrato solo strings in GPO, so if you really need them, GPO is probably not for you.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  6. #6

    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Von Richter
    Hmm... I could have sworn those old Roland libraries had pretty good non-vibrato patches for all the solo strings. Maybe it's one of the theorized (but not confirmed) cuts in the CDX versions? Perhaps my memory is fuzzy and I imagined the whole thing.
    I think your neurons are in order; there are a number of very nice sounding non-vibrato samples, but except for the one (well there is the 'Fiddle' but I am not counting it) they are not sustained more than a second or so, and, although charming, they are played in a way that makes them hard for me to loop gracefully.

  7. #7

    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    Quote Originally Posted by danpowers
    No, there are no non-vibrato solo strings in GPO, so if you really need them, GPO is probably not for you.
    Thanks, that is what I suspected. I am persuaded that the idea will work well enough for me, at least.

    Let me add two more questions:

    - I am using pitchbend (with a guitar controller... sneer if you must but it works) to do slurs; it works great except that the samples don't 'stretch' with the pitchbend, and sound less than optimal as a result... will any of the major software samplers compensate in realtime for this (as I think one of the old Kurzweil PC-something keyboards used to)?

    - are the 'big' libraries as cumbersome to work with as it would seem? Maybe my perception of the difficulties is exaggerated (?), not that I'm scared of doing a bit of work, but I would like to as much as possible, actually be finished with a part once I perform it adequately.

    Thanks again

  8. #8
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    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    An additional few random notes on choosing an orchestral/solo string sample library. For what it's worth.
    This question is revisited often, with the ongoing problem (not here) of one person like’s GPO and another likes Emerald and it probably depends on your compositional style and personal taste more than anything else.

    Also, it depends on your end goal... is it primarily as a compositional tool, or is it for final production?

    I really like GPO for sketching in an orchestral arrangement. The instruments are a step above any sound module I know of as far as being natural and realistic and, as CMZ said, very easily controlled.

    For individual strings, with an inexpensive/"does it all" kind of library, maybe that’s KH. (Marco did a couple of nice demos with those on a thread about "Who has the best Solo Strings" just a week or so ago.

    Just for Violin? Stradivari! (you control the vibrato) Have you heard the Strad 2.0 demo recently posted?

    GPO comes with a player (even though it is much enhance by K2 and SIPS (Big Bob's scripts). Works on a laptop. About 200us plus shipping and you're ready to go. Great company service.

    Emerald requires K2, Giga, (maybe Halion?). Works on a laptop. Don’t personally own it but lots of people are quite happy with it. $600 or so to get up and running (325 KHEmerald, +? for K2)... I don't know.

    As you have already mentioned there is also the VI solo strings… and you don’t have to buy a sampler (Search JBacal for some surprisingly good demos). I don’t think it works on a laptop/small PC, but could be wrong… and maybe that’s not a consideration. Something like 500 us but that's just solo strings and you still need the orchestra. Does have non-vibrato.

    I will add, there are a lot of opinions and examples spread among previous threads worth searching around on. No harm checking the latest views… but there is quite a bit of background on this topic if you want it.

    Cheers.

  9. #9

    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jibrish
    An additional few random notes...
    Thanks (I'm home sick so I'm checking this thread fairly often), I have searched the forums (and the web of course) quite a bit, but haven't seen anything on this particular ("who has a small, good-sounding lib with non-vibrato solo strings included") question.

    I know the general topic of "which library" comes up (probably way too) often but I'm looking for something specific this time and I'm hoping someone has already found what I'm looking for. The responses are useful and interesting at any rate, though, even if they don't contain that particular bit of information.

    Tarvini

  10. #10

    Re: Any suggestions for small orchestral sample lib?

    If you just want violin, I would look into the Garritan Strad, very cool. Apparently a cello is also coming soon?

    Emerald comes with quite a big lot of solo string samples, but curiously, the violin does not appear to include non-vibrato, even though the violas do. I haven't checked the cello or bass yet.

    If you use Kontakt 2, you can use Big Bob's killer SIPS and get really nice legato or slides between notes (on any library) without nasty stretching. You can assign the parameters to real-time controllers for lots of expression. It also has a great vibrato unit, again fully controllable.

    Also download the demo of Synful Orchestra and give that a whirl.

    About those Roland samples... odd that they aren't looped... I think (not sure) that the Edirol HQ Orchestral uses the same samples, and all the non-vibrato patches on that are looped.

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