Hi! I wanted to share with you my personal experience with the purchase of Mr Vitous\' CD \"Solo instruments II\".
Last fall, my partner and I decided, based on some positive critics and of course our desire to complete our musical instruments\' samples library, to buy the above-mentioned CD for the sum of about 800 US$. I must say right away that we were bitterly disappointed by the quality of the product that we received, and here are the reasons:
1-The general poor quality of the samples: some samples are plainly unpleasant to hear. I could state many examples, but I\'ll take the flute. I had the expectation that a soundbank of this price would happen to contain smooth, beautiful, usable sounds, but unfortunately, it is not so. Some of the flute samples have a brittle, plainly ugly sound (F#5), which, of course, makes them useless. And since the intervals between the samples are often quite big, to discard this note leaves a distance of a fifth between the two remaining notes. The homogeneity and realism loss of the instrument makes it hardly usable. Some oboe notes have a phase problem. In general, the samples are not homogenous: too much or too little attack, too loud or too light, etc. Most of the notes are out of tune. The feeling of close-miking makes every sound bidimensional and tonally harsh and unrealistic. I could go on, but I think my point is clear.
2-The small number of notes per instruments. A flute can generate 38 notes (C4 to D7). The two flute programs on our Vitous CD contain 9 and 11 samples each. For the violin the same problem occurs: this instrument can generate 45 notes (G3 to E7), but only 14 notes have been selected (and the vibrato of this violin is very very fast). But, for the violin in pizzicato, we have a total of 29 sounds. Well, we know that pizzicato notes are very short if we compare them to sustained notes, and consequenly take very little space on the cdrom, but for $800, I think that we consumer deserve 2 cdrom with more notes, so we could have better homogeneity and increased realism. Moreover, the intervals between samples seem randomly chosen: we have half-tones and fourths, all mixed up! It is very strange!
3-Only one velocity per note.
4-Excessive vibrato everywhere.
6-No index or nomenclature of the samples.
7-No possibility to hear the sounds prior to buying (at least not in Montreal).
My partner has been working with Advenced Orchestra library for a few years and I had the occasion to explore it too. A.O. is, imho, way, way superior in every way than what we heard from Vitous.
So. After these constatations, we communicated with Ilio (the distributor) to tell them politely what was our situation, and they were quite serviceable and very kind; we appreciated that. They assured us that they would find a solution to make us happy, etc. and that they\'d forward Mr Vitous\' reply as soon as it would come in. They offered a 300$ refund and sent us another Vitous CD (the double CD -1500US$) for us to examine and possibly buy (!!...). We went through it and sent it back, and refused to sell our right of speech. During the few months of correspondance with Ilio, not a single word came from Mr Miroslav Vitous.
Oh! I love Northern Sounds!
Let this be clear: I don\'t write these words in a feeling of resentment, not at all. I write them in a spirit of cooperation with my fellow sample library buyers, so that our mistake may serve the community and prevent more people from being screwed.
I noticed this: every time I heard someone praise the Vitous library, I realized after asking that the person who praised it never actually heard it himself. It seems to be a hollow glamour kind of reputation that I hope I\'m helping to shatter.
I\'ve bought a few libraries like this.... it pretty much sucks and makes you not give a hoot about the copyrights. But in response to the other thread in this forum that is a bit applicable here. I think this is a great example of a library that IS overpriced. However there are still some really good libraries available, GOS of which I think is one of them. I remember after I bought my first library that was horrible, and I\'d dropped all this hard earned money, I figured I\'d sell my sampler and forget sampled sounds... I went at least 6 months before I spent anymore money on sample libraries.... i just felt sample raped [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Anyway, that\'s why we have to rely on forums like this to let the truth be known!!
that\'s my 2.5 cents [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Finally, someone is speaking out on Miroslav, thinking that I was the only one considering his libraries to be junk! I first bought the Woodwinds and Brass for Samplecell (I run Pro Tools). The entire library was useless. The horns sound more like an organ than an organ does! The free samples that came with my Samplecell were far superior.
In blind hopes of achieving better quality, I paid Ilio an additional $100.00 to trade in my Samplecell version for the Giga version. As the old saying goes “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. Alas, the Giga version is equally as terrible as the Samplecell.
Word of warning: Do not even consider anything from Mirislov Vitous. Every time I see his picture, I see him laughing at me.
I remember many years ago going to Time & Space\'s office here in the UK to try out the full Vitous library. I could not believe how un-playable most of the sounds were! I left very disappointed and never considered the Vitous stuff again.
I think that we should remember that these samples are OLD. They were recorded at a time when there simply weren\'t any kind of orchestral emulation sample libraries available, certainly not on the level that we can all get so easily and relatively cheaply today. Expectations, as well as sample sizes, are much higher now than they were back when MV first recorded these dogs. I\'d wager that if MV were to author a new library, one for the Giga generation, it\'d be a much different story.
To those comments about the flute, I think you can hear the poor quality of tone in the demos themselves. It comes off like a poor hardware synth version of a flute: very static tone, likely due to super short loops, no breath to apeak of, just dull and flat.
I agree with Ed, this stuff is almost 10 years old!!! Back then SampleCell was about the most advanced sampler you could get and it only had a max of 32megs (actually the original SampleCell only had 8). Developers were forced to deal with very limited bank sizes or nobody else could use them! 128megs of RAM for your computer cost over $1000 and people\'s expectations were much lower, we were all used to 12bit systems like Emu\'s and Akai 650\'s.
I would really urge anyone to consider the age of a sample library as one of the parameters when making a buying decision!
I think sample developers (and user taste) have evolved. In a way sample libraries are a bit like fashion. What used to be considered a really good piano 5 years ago is now laughable. In the mid 90\'s, the biggest trend in sample libraries was phrases and motifs already pre-played that you could trigger for realistic sounding stuff (orchestral colours for example), now more and more developers are going back to playable instruments and phrase samples seem to be on their way out.
For a few years, Miroslav was da bomb! Now, others have come and de throned it.
I feel bad for your loss of $$$, I really wish you could return the library and get the full refund you should be entitled to!