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Topic: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

  1. #1

    Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL


    I'm using Garritan Orchestral Strings and the Miroslav Vitous samples. I keep on hearing great stories about Vienna Symphonic Library, VSL. I was wondering if anybody on this forum works with this package and if he/she could explain me the differences between the three.
    I'm particularly interested in the performance tools which come with VSL. I know the Legato function and alternation functions in GOS, but I was wondering how they work in VSL and options they give you. Are they more than in GOS?

    Regards, Peter

  2. #2

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

    I have used Seidleczek Advanced Orchestra (AO), GOS, and VSL (solo strings only), and recently EWQLSO Gold.

    My experience is only based on the VSL horizons solo strings, but i think the other VSL legato instruments all work the same way. The 'performance tool' adds a key switch and a transposition to notes in a legato passage used with a legato instrument. Each 'legato' instrument note is really 24 keyswitched samples: the note with normal attack (start of a legato passage); the note with a minor second step up, major second step up, minor third step up, etc, up to an octave leap, then with a minor second step down, major second step down, minor third step down, etc, again up to an octave. In each case, the sample for a note includes a 'release trail' of the previous note at the appropriate pitch difference.

    The GOS legato is more like a tiny bit of keyboard pedal applied (a 'release trail' of the same pitch as the previous note).

    The VSL legato sound is better than GOS legato (imo) at the expense of large size and a little extra complexity. There is no special feature for legato in AO though there are some keyswitches called 'legato'.

    The legato instruments end up being quite large in vsl, even with just one velocity level. I made a 'custom' version omitting the samples for skips larger than a fifth in order to fit a good selection of vsl instruments into a 1.5 gig pc.

    You can do VSL legato and GOS legato in midi directly, omitting the 'performance tool' and the 'maestro tool'. Using the CAL language in sonar, for example, one can quickly (but not during playback) apply the legato keyswitches and transpositions to a midi track.

    VSL's biggest failing is inconsistancy in timbre from one dynamic level to another, and it has a few minor tuning problems; GOS has some tuning problems too, some samples are simply out of tune with themselves and others waver in pitch or not exactly tuned to equal temperament; it is more consistant from velocity layer to the next layer. AO has many tuning problems in terms of wavering and exact tuning, but no samples that I recall out of tune with themselves, and not many velocity timbre problems (not many velocity layers, period). EWQLSO has tuning problems in the strings, too, both varieties, samples out of tune with themselves and samples not tuned quite correctly. Don't know yet about velocity/timbre inconsistancies. No special legato technique in Gold, and the heavy reverberation causes faster passages to blur badly (but I'm still new to using Gold, so this could be user error!)

    Hope this helps. I've been a heavy strings user for a few years with different packages, and work with AO, GOS, and VSL daily.

  3. #3

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

    There are no obvious tuning-errors within our library, and even if you suspect one sample to be faulty, you are kindly invited to contact our support and/or to come to our large forum-site on vsl.co.at/forum . We try to fix any issue within hours, usually. -

    The same is true for new customers, of course :-] ... Peet78 - please come to our site and listen to those hundreds of demos on vsl.co.at/demos to get the idea. Enjoy!

    All the best,

  4. #4

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

    There ARE tuning errors in VSL (solo strings, anyway). They are not large, I don't mean to imply that; however the response in the VSL forums to my comments on tuning particular notes was dismissive, so the above statement is wrong. Don't mean to be hard on Dietz, but giving a blanket statement like the above annoys me. And the VSL patches are all programmed with pitch bend set to ZERO, so it is impossible to fix tuning without re-programming every instrument.

    [edit] also, it is especially appropriate on this general forum to compare and contrast differing packages, so for a representative of the company to come and attempt to flatly contradict a user's point of view is bad. And THAT is the other fault with the VSL folks, perhaps American-style customer service doesn't make sense to them -- on their forums (happens here, too, occasionally) people get censored, cut off from access from time to time. [/edit]

  5. #5

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

    Peter - best thing to do is go to the VSL site and listen to the demos and watch the recent videos they've put up about the performance tool - about 15 minutes worth - they're very informative.
    David Carter (DaveTubaKing)

    Intel 8 Core i7 975 Extreme Edition 3.33GHz, Corsair 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz , Sibelius 6.1, Symphonic cube, MIR, Vienna Choir


  6. #6

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

    Here is a quick example of both tuning errors and mis-matched timbre, from the vsl solo strings package, the half-second duration detache with four velocity layers and an up and a down bow (or rather, a 'bowing 1' and a 'bowing 2'): www.guglielmomusic.com/vsl_solo_example.mp3 Taken from the boring routine I have to use to run through a tuner (I use G-Tune), record the adjustments, write a Sonar CAL program to adjust, and then use in compositions. For adjusting timbre, I haven't yet found a way to automate it or even tabulate it -- requires a fair amount of touch up by listening and changing.

    Shows both that the samples are not perfect and that they are pretty good anyway.

  7. #7

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

    wow, that violin sounds INCREDIBLE! I don't really hear a big difference. Perhaps when you switch from the soft bow to a harder down bow, the note is a bit sharp but I attribute this to the vibrato in the playing style and not the programming.

    If this is the worst VSL gets, man, I'm going to have to save my pennies for this library. Really awesome solo violin.

  8. #8

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL


    I was a violinist up to 20. Not at professional level, but still. I don't hear any mismatched timbre. You have dynamic levels with the timbre that naturally corresponds to the applied attack/ bow weight. Where's the mismatch?


  9. #9

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

    I've played violin my whole life and must say that never ever is a violin player going to play exactly in tune, maybe a single note every now and then. Every note is somewhat out of tune depending from the events before and after the note. That is part of the violin sound. A poor player is random in his tuning, a good player is where he intends to be but rarely in the precise tuning you can create with your samples and tuners. Therefore you should tune every single note as a violin player would do concidering that you want to take that road. Still there are bigger problems when sampling solo string instruments and atleast I don't mind about a note being couple cents sharp, a sample being exactly in tune might not be any better in the musical context.

    I didn't quite get the order of the samples in your demonstration. Which ones are different dynamic layers from the same program? Dynamic layers and crossfade programs are a big problem in most of the orchestral libraries and are especially difficult to do well in solo string programs as crossfading to different phases of the vibrato will always sound awkward. The same thing causes problems in the transitions between notes as the vibrato is a somewhat independent part of the violin technique that usually doesn't react to the note changes.

    I'm also a bit annoyed about samples being in slightly different places in the stereo field. When listening with earphones the minor deviations make a solo line waver back and forth in the stereo field. The same problem exists atleast in VSL Opus1 and EWQLSO Silver. Have you noticed it? It doesn't matter in full orchestral texture but is fairly noticeable in solo parts.

  10. #10

    Re: Comparing GOS, Miroslav and VSL

    peet - all in all I would say that VSL strings with say GigaPulse are the best out there and I own GOS, SISS and VSL

    And the Solo Strings from VSL are indeed - amazing

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