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Topic: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

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  1. #1

    A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.



    I bought the Quantum Leap Brass set about a month ago, and what a disappointment!. I have all the well-known libraries, and have found that I simply can\'t use almost anything in this QLB library at all. It seems so haphazard and un-thought out. Just a few examples: there is no simple sustained trombone section, but there are two odd slide effects I can\'t imagine anyone ever being able to use. It has ff samples that just won\'t mix with anything at all, a completely useless \"Bari sax runup in 4ths\" sample but hardly any complementary basic samples to use with it. I could understand (and appreciate) having this sort of odd effect if the library has the basics covered. But not here. It\'s kind of like having the AO effect-y stuff without the basic samples to couch them in. Anyway, a very immature library at a hyped price.

    An amusing tip-off: The creator of the library uses such useful pragmatic sample descriptions as \"Awesome...!\" and \"Excellent...!\".

    I recognize some of the samples could be useful given just the right occasion, but really precious few, and so many of the samples end up just amounting to dead space on your hard drive. Given the costs involved in buying these libraries, that\'s not a pleasant experience.

    I made a big mistake in buying the QLB library mainly on faith. In retrospect, I should have listened to many more demos and done more careful research. I would encourage all of you who are considering a library not to pay very much attention to the hype on this forum (so much of it comes from the sample creators themselves), certainly -don\'t- buy any of these very expensive libraries on faith, and be sure to do your own thoughtful research. If at all possible, find a friend or colleague who has the library you\'re interested in and listen to all the sounds it provides, as well as whatever functionality it includes that may be useful to you.

    As for me, I believe it makes eminent sense not to throw money blindly at pre-orders for Gigastrings, or any of these other overhyped and very costly products, with being very sure that what you\'re getting will be useful to you.

  2. #2

    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    I bought Quantum Leap and received it yesterday. Though the audio quality was good, and I\'m using it for a spot I\'m doing, I too was dissapointed. I had heard such great things.

    The playablilty of the patches on the Roland 5080 is unbelievably bad. For instance, there is a patch of trumpet falls...one short, one long. If you hit the key ever so lightly, you get the quick fall..the one most folks would use most often. Hit the key normally hard, and you get this slow fall I might use once a century. So you hit the key easily, hear the one you want, and then have to play with the levels as you record. What a pain. Why not two separate patches? How on earth was this rationalized? Nick, are you out there?

    There are more examples but you get the idea. For 600.00, I wouldn\'t suggest it to anyone. For 300.00 perhaps.

    That\'s why even going by raves from folks up here, you can\'t be too sure. You have to try out different libraries, but in reality, you can\'t try any of them. Stores sure don\'t stock them. So it\'s a crapshoot. A very expensive crapshoot. Libraries costing this much should offer a few representative patches for a small fee to serious guys to try out before sinking hard earned cash into them. Gary\'s library will be a fortune, and after thinking about it, I\'m going to pass on investing until a way is figured out to try these things before buying. I wouldn\'t buy a computer, or a guitar, or a software program, or speakers, or a mike, or a converter, or anything else in my studio without using it first. It will be up to the guys selling this stuff to figure out whether it\'s worth it to them to allow this kind of thing. But if not, here are two sales already lost.

    I\'m 600.00 down now from this library, and not pleased a bit.

    [This message has been edited by tomhartman (edited 08-04-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by tomhartman (edited 08-04-2001).]

  3. #3
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    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    Please be careful with your posts here. These libraries are created by real people with real feelings and a lot of hard work. You throw around these insults so wildly without any concern with who they affect. Nick happens to be a great sample library developer and up till now, there\'s nothing else out there as far as brass goes that\'s even close to QLB. Nick frequents this board a lot and I cringe at him reading these posts because I know what it feels like to have your hard work thrashed (actually, after 10 years as a professional composer, I know it real well
    Not to discount your claims as they may be valid, however have a scrap of human decency and tact.
    -J

  4. #4

    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    >>
    That\'s why even going by raves from folks up here, you can\'t be too sure.
    <<

    That\'s because the \"folks\" contributing to these forums are nowhere near the level of sophistication and musical craftsmanship that the two of you seem to possess.

    See, for us the Quantum Leap Brass is one of the BEST libraries out there! Believe it or not, we find it highly usable, and a bargain too! How pathetic are we?

    It\'s all a question of levels: what is \"below satisfaction level\' for musicians the likes of you, is \"above excitement level\" for the little people like many of us here.

    And we LOVE those new incredible strings coming from Gary and his team. We really do, because we realize that it\'s amazing that we can even approach this level of quality, considering just a few years (months?) back we were stuck trying to emulate an orchestra using 2Mb looped out-of-tune samples from eastern Europe.

    Giga changed all of that, and now we get Stradivarii violins recorded at Lincoln Center (small stuff, I know, nothing that would impress you). Gary, Tom, Nick, Dan, Donnie and a few others are putting out products which get us seriously excited about the possibilities, and excited we get, and we come here and share our excitement.

    Another thing we do is to try to offer criticism without insulting those whose work we appreciate so much. I can\'t speak for everyone, but at times I feel real gratitude towards these guys, because I know that my ability to express my ideas is greatly enhanced by the work they have done.

    Creating sample libraries is: expensive, difficult, time consuming and rarely profitable. Do you honestly believe these guys could have any kind of business selling their products for even less than they are now? How much do they have to put into a library, and how many copies do you think they end up selling?

    Most of the people here realize and appreciate the above facts, and act accordingly. Try putting together a few samples yourself, it could be an illuminating experience, and maybe it will change your perspective towards the whole thing.

    There is a real sense of epiphany and discovery going on in these forums, and most of the time a genuinely positive vibe. Something the two of you seem to be bent on changing.

    We also enjoy keeping a positive dialog and a meaningful conversation with those that try to advance the state of the art in sampled instruments, and we\'d like to keep it that way.

    The suggestion that the sample creators are somehow fueling a kind of hype machine in order to lure unsuspecting musicians into buying their overpriced offerings is, well, highly insulting and indicates a mind numbing lack of respect for the community which was built around these forums.

    Given the level of your expectations, I would guess you\'ll never be satisfied with the products discussed here. So the question really is: why even bother? Isn\'t there a place somewhere where those that know better like yourselves hang out?

    Such place _must_ surely exist, and when you find it and go there, we will miss you terribly.

    A-

  5. #5

    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    Agreed. This is not a useful library.

    Regarding your comments about reviewing libraries before purchase, I would suggest the following:

    Having had the good fortune to have a successful film career, I am now in the position to be able to have a number of talented composers working for/with me on my projects. When a new library comes out, we are generally given a trial copy and schedule permitting, I have each of them write a short piece of music incorporating as many of the samples on the library as they can. It is a good exercise for them, and I am able by listening to the results to get a very good idea of what the library contains.

    Here, on this forum, you all have the good fortune of having each other. Many of you own these libraries, and I would encourage you to do the same exercise and share the results. You must remember that it is natural for the library creator\'s demo to be biased toward the positive elements, but that if those of you who find fault are able to demonstrate it through composition and publication of your work, everyone will benefit.



  6. #6

    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by IOComposer:
    Please be careful with your posts here. These libraries are created by real people with real feelings and a lot of hard work. You throw around these insults so wildly without any concern with who they affect. Nick happens to be a great sample library developer and up till now, there\'s nothing else out there as far as brass goes that\'s even close to QLB. Nick frequents this board a lot and I cringe at him reading these posts because I know what it feels like to have your hard work thrashed (actually, after 10 years as a professional composer, I know it real well
    Not to discount your claims as they may be valid, however have a scrap of human decency and tact.
    -J
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don\'t think it\'s a matter of decency. There\'s no doubt Nick did a tremendous job recording the stuff, but when you are asking people to buy something that costs this much, with no way to try it out, then the cards will fall as they may. There have been many compliments about this library, so Nick is hardly getting trashed.

    This is honest feedback from real people that put real dollars down. In my case, it helped me get through a session that would have cost me money to hire guys live. It is not as convincing as those guys would have been, but as you say, better than anything else out there.

    Directors spend months and months working on a film too, but in the end they will always be reviews... good and bad. Nothing personal is meant by it.

    If my tone was at all insulting, I apologize.

  7. #7

    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    Not useful???? I beg to differ... While I only use the orchestrally minded patches in the library, I try these patches first when I add brass to my compositions. The 3tp pathces, the 3bones (staccato and sus/mod wheel filtered), the bass bones and the tuba are all very nice brass, and something I don\'t find as good in AO or Miroslav. For the french horns, they\'re still not \'quite there\' for me, but doubling them with the trombones and/or french horns from AO can give some pretty decent results. I\'d give the library 4 stars of 5. Of course I am now much more interested in the upcoming QLB 2: Orchestral. I hope Nick will do 6 or 8 fh ensemble samples in NUMEROUS articulations ranging for fffffffff to pp. Hopefully this will give us \'that\' Hollywood sound!

  8. #8

    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by apessino:
    [B]>>
    That\'s why even going by raves from folks up here, you can\'t be too sure.
    <<

    \"That\'s because the \"folks\" contributing to these forums are nowhere near the level of sophistication and musical craftsmanship that the two of you seem to possess.\"

    There\'s no need to be condescending. The truth is, I\'ve heard a lot of folks rave about things and I didn\'t think they were that good. I believe my opinion on any sample library is as valid as anyones...I\'ve been arranging and composing....using the real thing...and samples....for many years. So there\'s no need to cop an attitude because some of our opinion\'s differ from yours.

    \"See, for us the Quantum Leap Brass is one of the BEST libraries out there! Believe it or not, we find it highly usable, and a bargain too! How pathetic are we?\"

    It may very well be one of the best out there. I haven\'t gotten to play with AO or Miroslav, not being independently wealthy. But being the best out there has nothing to do with what I and others have said.


    I\"t\'s all a question of levels: what is \"below satisfaction level\' for musicians the likes of you, is \"above excitement level\" for the little people like many of us here.\"

    You may be right, although again, you are being condescending.

    \"And we LOVE those new incredible strings coming from Gary and his team. We really do, because we realize that it\'s amazing that we can even approach this level of quality, considering just a few years (months?) back we were stuck trying to emulate an orchestra using 2Mb looped out-of-tune samples from eastern Europe.\"

    I may love Gary\'s too. I can\'t tell from what I\'ve heard so far.


    \"Giga changed all of that, and now we get Stradivarii violins recorded at Lincoln Center (small stuff, I know, nothing that would impress you). Gary, Tom, Nick, Dan, Donnie and a few others are putting out products which get us seriously excited about the possibilities, and excited we get, and we come here and share our excitement.\"

    Yep, and I\'m with you. When it\'s exciting.

    \"Another thing we do is to try to offer criticism without insulting those whose work we appreciate so much. I can\'t speak for everyone, but at times I feel real gratitude towards these guys, because I know that my ability to express my ideas is greatly enhanced by the work they have done.\"

    Absolutely agree with you there.

    \"Creating sample libraries is: expensive, difficult, time consuming and rarely profitable. Do you honestly believe these guys could have any kind of business selling their products for even less than they are now? How much do they have to put into a library, and how many copies do you think they end up selling?\"

    Have no idea. This was their choice. I know a library that cost 1000.00 and sells 1000 copies equals a million, so who knows. I know it\'s a tough and expensive venture, and somehow, none of these guys get rich.

    \"Most of the people here realize and appreciate the above facts, and act accordingly. Try putting together a few samples yourself, it could be an illuminating experience, and maybe it will change your perspective towards the whole thing.\"

    Oh I have and I don\'t envy them. But that\'s like saying if I don\'t like a car, I should go build one. A bit simplistic. You\'re basically saying \"if you want to be respected up here, you better agree with us,\" which is pretty silly. We are all looking for the same thing. Some find it more easily than others. Sorry if I offended you.

    \"There is a real sense of epiphany and discovery going on in these forums, and most of the time a genuinely positive vibe. Something the two of you seem to be bent on changing.\"

    Nonsense. There is a real need for honesty among those of us who do this for a living and need the best of the best, and are expected to pay large amounts for something we can\'t try out. Honest criticism has always been welcomed in democratic arenas...which I hope this board endorses.

    \"We also enjoy keeping a positive dialog and a meaningful conversation with those that try to advance the state of the art in sampled instruments, and we\'d like to keep it that way.\"

    Are you speaking for the collective masses now? Really, this is very pretentious.

    \"The suggestion that the sample creators are somehow fueling a kind of hype machine in order to lure unsuspecting musicians into buying their overpriced offerings is, well, highly insulting and indicates a mind numbing lack of respect for the community which was built around these forums.\"

    You\'re making far too much of this. The sample makers are doing the best job they can. That doesn\'t mean they always succeed. It is really as simple as that.

    \"Given the level of your expectations, I would guess you\'ll never be satisfied with the products discussed here. So the question really is: why even bother? Isn\'t there a place somewhere where those that know better like yourselves hang out?\"

    Gee thanks for the invitation to leave, but I\'ll pass. I suggest you hit the \"Skip\" button if you cannot tolerate opinions that differ from your own.

    \"Such place _must_ surely exist, and when you find it and go there, we will miss you terribly.\"

    Thanks, but you won\'t have to miss us. We\'ll be here, raving about things that sound great and are useable to us, and reporting honestly on those efforts that are not. Cheers!

  9. #9

    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by IOComposer:
    Please be careful with your posts here. These libraries are created by real people with real feelings and a lot of hard work. You throw around these insults so wildly without any concern with who they affect. Nick happens to be a great sample library developer and up till now, there\'s nothing else out there as far as brass goes that\'s even close to QLB. Nick frequents this board a lot and I cringe at him reading these posts because I know what it feels like to have your hard work thrashed (actually, after 10 years as a professional composer, I know it real well
    Not to discount your claims as they may be valid, however have a scrap of human decency and tact.
    -J
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I certainly take your point. I\'m not trying to hurt anyone\'s feelings.

    However, that people may (or may not) work hard creating these products doesn\'t change the fact that 1) we buyers aren\'t able to see the whole product until it\'s too late to do anything about it; 2) if we don\'t like it, we can\'t return it; and 3) if we don\'t like it, we can\'t even resell it.

    This is, in this economy, a very unusual buying situation. You can return or resell nearly everything you buy today. But not these samples. If you buy a bad product as I did, you really have no recourse at all (except to feel better because you warned others not to make the same mistake you did).

    If Nick Phoenix is a nice, warm-hearted guy as you say he is, I\'m sure he\'ll gladly refund my money, since I\'m a customer unsatisfied with his product. After all, if Nick bought a product from my company (or any of millions of others) and were unsatisfied, he would get his money back, no questions asked. Almost all retail commerce works this way.

    BUT - is there any chance Nick will refund my money for being dissatisfied with his product?

    Not a prayer.

    And all you sample buyers out there know it.

    So these developers have a pretty darn good scam going. They have a product you can\'t see, won\'t refund if you don\'t like, and won\'t even let you sell if you don\'t use it.

    And you\'re giving -me- a hard time for warning other people to research carefully before they buy?



  10. #10

    Re: A lesson learned about demos and buying sample libraries.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MChilds:


    So these developers have a pretty darn good scam going. They have a product you can\'t see, won\'t refund if you don\'t like, and won\'t even let you sell if you don\'t use it.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don\'t think it\'s intentional. Obviously, there are a lot of folks out there that would steal the stuff and then return it. The only answer is either hearing demos that you are convinced represent the kind of thing you are looking for, or the sample makers charging a nominal fee to send a few patches to you to audition. Who knows. But you\'re right...it is a very expensive spin of the wheel.

    SIMON: I don\'t think the library is unusable...I\'m sure I\'ll get some great results from it. I think I just got the impression that this would be a set of disks that had more than a few patches here and there that I would find helpful. No, I\'ll just add it to the arsenal (as if I have a choice....

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