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Topic: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

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  1. #1

    Arrow Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    Hi everyone,

    I would really like your help on deciding which libraries to buy. Most of the samples I've been using are 5 to 10 years old. Finally have some extra cash and would like to upgrade. I haven't really kept up with what's out there now.

    I know there have been several libraries for brass and strings over the past couple years. I'm not aware of any new woodwind sets. I'm still using Dan Dean's woodwinds (and some of his brass) which are now 10 years old. I did pick up LASS strings a year ago.

    I write mostly concert orchestral music rather than film music, although occasionally I'm called on to write a score for my student-director friend.

    I prefer an up-front, more intimate sound...like if you were sitting in the 4th row on main floor for a concert, not the typical Hollywood sound, although I realize much is determined by the brand of reverb one uses and its settings.

    Best way to describe my music I guess is to give you an example. I posted "A Musical Incongruity" a couple of years ago here, if you're familiar with that.

    If not, I'll post 3 clips from a 35 minute piece called "Ode to Music" which I'm just finishing. (Wouldn't want to bore you with the whole thing) This is an unabashed tonal retro piece I'm writing for fun. Instrumentation , for the most part, is classical period (only timpani in the percussion section, no harps, tuba etc.) [It's just that renegade bass clarinet that screws it up!] I'll post the entire piece with score here when finished.... if your interested.

    At any rate, any insight on the new libraries would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance to all willing to chime in.

    Cass

    ODE TO MUSIC CLIPS
    A 4-minute Middle section

    The 8-minute Ending section

    The 4-minute Beginning section

  2. #2

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    Cass... always a pleasure to hear any music from you.

    I am definitely not an expert on sound libraries so I am not giving a suggestion, rather just expressing an opinion. To my ears, all libraries sound way too cinematic, for a more classical approach one just has one choice and that choice is VSL.

    Fab

  3. #3

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    I'm going to echo Fab's vote for VSL. I just got the SE Standard and SE+ Standard libraries and I really like them. It's their entry level library so it doesn't represent all of the possible articulations and techniques they've recorded nor do all the samples have all the velocity layers their larger libraries have.

    Now figuring out what they offer and what you get is a bit confusing. Basically they have Standard and Extended versions of all their offerings whether it's a DVD product or a downloadable product (this is another route you might explore). Usually extended gets you more techniques but in some cases additional instruments with the same techniques offered in the Standard version. Anyway they do have clear charts showing you what's offered.

    Another reason I went with the libraries I chose is I'm a Finale user and the SE/SE+ libraries integrate fairly well with Finale. I think ultimately though it's better if you use a DAW in your workflow especially if computer playback is important to you which I'm guessing it is since you're wanting another library.

    Sorry to be so verbose. Check out the VSL site browsing through videos and checking out their forum to see what types of issues you might encounter. There are also some very fine demos some of which are done with the SE/SE+ library. Some are just crazy good but they're done with the full library and probably an engineer at the console
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  4. #4

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    Cass... always a pleasure to hear any music from you.

    I am definitely not an expert on sound libraries so I am not giving a suggestion, rather just expressing an opinion. To my ears, all libraries sound way too cinematic, for a more classical approach one just has one choice and that choice is VSL.

    Fab
    Fab,

    Great response on this, regarding both my music and the upgrade question. I write what I feel inside, not what is popular or currently in style, so I don't usually get that much response...so I thank you.

    I was kind of honing in on VSL but as I said in my post, I haven't really kept abreast of all the new libraries recently, so I wasn't sure if there were other libraries catering to a more classical sensibility or not. I'll start listening to all the VSL demos, something I haven't done yet. Thanks again,

    Cass

  5. #5

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    Quote Originally Posted by swinkler View Post
    Now figuring out what they offer and what you get is a bit confusing. Basically they have Standard and Extended versions of all their offerings whether it's a DVD product or a downloadable product (this is another route you might explore). Usually extended gets you more techniques but in some cases additional instruments with the same techniques offered in the Standard version. Anyway they do have clear charts showing you what's offered.


    Sorry to be so verbose. Check out the VSL site browsing through videos and checking out their forum to see what types of issues you might encounter. There are also some very fine demos some of which are done with the SE/SE+ library. Some are just crazy good but they're done with the full library and probably an engineer at the console
    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for the detailed reply....not verbose at all, this helps a lot. E gads, every time I try to figure out what to buy at the VSL site, I quickly get overwhelmed. You really have to scrutinize which articulations come with each version. But after reading your response and Fab's, I'll take my time and try to figure out which path works the best for me. I have downloaded a few of their single instruments over the last year (Eb clarinet and Bb trumpet used in this piece) and have been very satisfied with the sound and the ease of implementation of them within my DAW. Only issue is which path to take.....but I'll figure it out. I'll take my time and watch the demos as you recommended.

    Thanks again for your great response to this.

    Cass

  6. #6

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    Quote Originally Posted by Cass Hansen View Post
    Fab,

    Great response on this, regarding both my music and the upgrade question. I write what I feel inside, not what is popular or currently in style, so I don't usually get that much response...so I thank you.

    I was kind of honing in on VSL but as I said in my post, I haven't really kept abreast of all the new libraries recently, so I wasn't sure if there were other libraries catering to a more classical sensibility or not. I'll start listening to all the VSL demos, something I haven't done yet. Thanks again,

    Cass
    Cass... I did not have the chance to listen to lots of music from you, but I fell in love with that Mirror Reflections you posted on the "other side" of this forum... and this Ode to Music is more than a confirmation. You say you "write what you feel regardless of fashion". I say you simply have an incredible sensitivity about music, fullstop. Instead of being a random permutation of loud brasses and short strings hits making up what today is called "cinematic music", your music actually flows like music, has got a melody, a very strong rithmic identity and a harmony interesting and complex just enough to keep you alert but without degrading into the atonal nonsense that is so trendy, lately.
    Hey, I have no right or competences for judging anyone, but at least I can say that I really like your music.
    Ah... to tell the whole story, I do not even understand your urge to upgrade your libraries: there is nothing sounding any wrong in your renderings. Probably you've just got better ears than mine.

    Fab

  7. #7

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    I like Westgate's woodwinds (clarinets & French Horn) and Dan Dean' Solo Strings Advanced. Though both of these have been out for a while, I think they fit the intimate character that you are after. I never use the amibance settings in the solo strings and the woodwinds don't need any help either.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  8. #8

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    Cass... Instead of being a random permutation of loud brasses and short strings hits making up what today is called "cinematic music", your music actually flows like music, has got a melody, a very strong rithmic identity and a harmony interesting and complex just enough to keep you alert but without degrading into the atonal nonsense that is so trendy, lately.
    Ah...........a kindred spirit. Seems were on the same wavelength here although it might be on a frequency out of range for most..let's say 30,000 hz lol. Composing is just a hobby for me...never made a dime from it...but remains an important part of my psyche just the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    Ah... to tell the whole story, I do not even understand your urge to upgrade your libraries: there is nothing sounding any wrong in your renderings. Probably you've just got better ears than mine.

    Fab
    In actuality, it's probably because I have worse ears than yours. All renderings sound bland and distored to me but so does a live concert or a professional recording. I seriously injured my hearing when I was young. I played the glockenspiel (bell lyre) in marching band for years with no ear protection. (Always wondered why I couldn't here anything for hours after practice.) Back then you didn't hear about using ear plugs for such things. Didn't know I had ear loss until I went to college. I was a electrical engineering major and I was in a lab with a tone generator and oscilloscope. I mistakenly left the generator on at full volume at 9,000 hz. My instructor came over and asked me if I was trying to make everyone deaf. I guess I'd beaten everyone to the finish line, I was already deaf.

    Not only can I not hear high frequencies, but worse, my whole range of 20 hz on up is distorted. Everything rattles, especially percussive sounds. I love playing the piano but I haven't heard the pure tone of that instrument in years. It sounds like someone has put pencils on all the wires. So I try to get the best quality samples I can to make up for my sonic shortcomings.

    Again, thanks for the kudos Fab, and take care of your ears!

    Cass

  9. #9

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    Quote Originally Posted by ejr View Post
    I like Westgate's woodwinds (clarinets & French Horn) and Dan Dean' Solo Strings Advanced. Though both of these have been out for a while, I think they fit the intimate character that you are after. I never use the amibance settings in the solo strings and the woodwinds don't need any help either.
    Thanks ejr (or is that E junior...sorry couldn't resist) for the tip on Westgate's woodwinds. I'll definitely check them out. I really haven't heard much about woodwind libraries for the past few years and the ones I have heard of, I'm not wild about. Most of the oboe and english horn samples are dreadful in the legato tone department. So I keep searching.

    Again, thanks for the lead.

    Cass

  10. #10

    Re: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings???Best libraries for my type of music

    Quote Originally Posted by Cass Hansen View Post

    .....

    Not only can I not hear high frequencies, but worse, my whole range of 20 hz on up is distorted. Everything rattles, especially percussive sounds. I love playing the piano but I haven't heard the pure tone of that instrument in years. It sounds like someone has put pencils on all the wires. So I try to get the best quality samples I can to make up for my sonic shortcomings.

    ...

    Cass
    Yes but... on the other hand, why spending a fortune on samples if you anyway hear everything distorted?

    Sorry to hear all of these, but then again these are problems that did not stop Beethoven from becoming an absolute master, so keep up and enjoy.

    The fact that you are a hobbist doesn't have anything to do with the quality of your music. Lots of pros do an awful job, but still they get paid for that. These are the deep misteries of life: without offending anyone, we live in a world where Elfman is making bucket loads of money while Vivaldi and Bach died poor. Now what about this....


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