Kirk\'s demos are fantastic, particularly the solo violin and viola, but I\'m wondering how hard it would be to pull of those detailed articulations. Looking at the articulations list, it looks like a lifetimes work. I mean the violin sounds COMPLETELY real, but is life too short?
Although KH are absolutely the finest I\'ve yet heard, would VSL solo strings be a more user-friendly route?
My experience with KHSS is that you can do things quickly, or you can polish layer after layer, or stop anywhere in between.
Start with the hrd-sus patch, and you can just play. Use the expression control, and it starts to sound pretty lifelike. Replacing articulations here and there isn\'t too time consuming - especially once you\'ve learned what the samples sound like.
You can stop here with good results. But it takes hard work (well, time really) to get to the next level.
You might find that the change to another articulation is a bit discontinuous. Now you start messing with velocities a note at a time. Or the blend between two notes isn\'t ideal. So you start drawing detailed envelopes at the intersections. To get really crazy, put the notes on different tracks (channels), so you can control exactly how the one note fades in as the next fades out.
For most stuff you don\'t need to take it to this level. Just place a few articulations and go.
Also, reverb makes a HUGE difference with this lib. If you\'re working totally dry, some of the note transitions may sound harsh. Add a touch of reverb and the problem disappears. I always work with a touch of reverb so I don\'t obsess about problems that will easily come out in the wash.
The bottom line is that you can get really good results fairly quickly and easily. Truly great results will take some time. You get to choose where to draw the line.
I am a very new user of KHSS. It arrived literally a few hours ago, so my experience is obviously very limited. But there are one or two things I have to say about it.
Firstly, it is not an entirely mono library. It includes about 2GB of stereo samples of the Romantic \"Gypsy\" violin, which apparently is a different instrument played by a different person than the one used in the main violin patch. In some ways I prefer it to the other violin. Stereo gives a certain depth and presence to the sound which I find lacking in mono (however much effects processing you add to it -- although that certainly does help).
However, if I am not mistaken, the Gypsy violin is still only a beta version. The spiccato patch is practically unuseable in its current state (and the release notes on the DVD do say that they are not the final version). It sounds to me that the tuning of the instrument generally could do with some further work also.
I also came across what appear to be one or two minor errors in the programming. For example, the single-layer violin esp ppp-fff patch produces no sound at all unless the mod wheel is turned right up.
Another thing I noticed was that some of the short bow samples sound cut-off, as if they had been edited too severely without their full releases. This struck me even when playing through a reverb. The viola and cello marcatos are the most noticeable in this case (not to mention the Gypsy spiccatos which are cut way too short!). Has anyone else found this to be a problem?
Anyway, I look forward to exploring this library further. It certainly has plenty of potential, as the great sounding demos by Jon and Marko demostrate.