On the basis of their complete versions, would anyone venture to offer a comparison between the string sounds/performance features of EWQLSO, VSL, and Garritan strings?
I'd be interested in aspects such as the realistic transition between notes in melodic lines, variety of articulations, performance nuances and ease of programability, etc.
Does the EWQLSO offer "silky-sounding" violins (i.e., not bright and buzzy)?
From what I've been reading, it sounds like using a combination of libraries offers the best options, if you can afford the price. Do the different platforms and bit depths present any difficulties? (I'd be using a top of the line PC for all of this.)
Last edited by remmet; 07-05-2004 at 08:38 PM.
You left out Sonic Implants Symphony Strings which are pretty darn good. If Gary can match the same kind of quality he captured with the Grand Detache strings, GOS2 will be something to look forward to. On the downside, that's pretty much the only patch I still use from the original GOS.
GOS 2... very intriguing. But back to the existing state of things. I use GOS Advanced 1 and EWQLSO Gold but having looked at the articulations and listened to the demos of Platinum what I say still really holds true. GOS Advanced has a more comprehensive set of articulations and effects than any other strings library availble at the moment, including VSL. It's a dry library so you have to mix and use effects to get it to sound right for your situation whereas EWQLSO Gold is recorded with included ambience so that you can start using it right away but you have less flexibility when mixing. Platinum gives you the option to use 3 mic positions, one of which is up close and fairly dry compared to the others so you could mix it like you would VSL or GOS. GOS offers a legato tool but it is not as comprehensive as that in VSL since it works through the use of more generic "masking samples" as opposed to the exhaustive sampling used to make the VSL legato tool work. Both GOS and EWQLSO have both 1st and 2nd Violin sections but even the most up-to-date VSL literature shows it as having a single 14 piece vioiln ensemble instead.
Here is my personal take on things: EWQLSO allows you to create mock-ups that sound good much more quickly and it has a number of "expressive" patches that have some dynamics built in so that you can sometimes get good results without having to use as much controller data. That said, GOS Advanced gives you much greater flexibility and control and the sound of most of the 1st Violin short bow patches in particular have a character and sound that is difficult to find anywhere else. I love both EWQLSO and GOS Advanced and have continued to use both ever since I got them. I haven't used the VSL Strings ensemble package but I have used their Solo Strings and I have to tell you that their legato tool is a force to be reckoned with.
So that's the current state of things. Meanwhile, all 3 of the companies involved have mentioned that big things will come next year if not sooner. I don't know what the progress is like on the other projects but EWQLSO was scheduled to have a new recording session some time this summer. Given Welter's comment, it seems like GOS 2 may be even farther along. If you can wait, chances are some good stuff is coming up but we all have projects and our own need for instant gratification to deal with. :-)
Hi Hudson, always a pleasure to hear your comments. If anybody wants advice about the SI strings libraries than Hudson is the guy to talk to. I'm suprised you don't use the GOS Sul Tasto patches more but then I suppose they aren't dramtic enough for most of your cues. I love them though. Look forward to hearing your next work.
A lot of people I respect seem to like to blend VSL strings patches with Sonic Implants Symphonic Strings. Actually I think SISS is a pretty darn good deal all the way around - it may be my next goal (have VSL already.)
I really like this demo!!! What patches did you use? What's that background noise? It sounds very realistic! Although I think the background noise could be a tiny bit softer at the start.
Thanks! I used VSL Performance Tool Legato Violins blended with Vn Staccato 1 & 2 (Performance Tool, Alternation) with a real dimuendo at the tail - Vn Dim - (instead of an expression cc#11 tweak - although that would have done it too.)
Meanwhile, all 3 of the companies involved have mentioned that big things will come next year if not sooner.
There's a foiurth - Kirk Hunter's new Concert Strings with players recorded in their seated position on stage. The library comes with Full Ensembles, Chamber Strings and Solo Strings; open and muted; close & far mic'ed; approximately 60GB for all strings.
The first set is in Giga 2.54 format and will easily import into other formats. An update for GS3 will be released later which will be optimzed for GS3 polyphony and take advantage of the new MIDI Rules tool (iMIDI).
Kirk's new web site goes online later this week. New demos to follow.