As many know, string mixing, matching, and tuning has held my interest on these forums. Just posted a one minute excerpt from the beginning of the third part of the Holy Day Overture. This is completely new, since I have tossed the five minute previous version. Strings alone in sustained tones, beginning with a violin solo note taken over by violas. Uses GOS, VSL solo strings, AO strings, and a few notes from EWQLSO Gold (taking some of the high 'cello notes that GOS can't reach). Still believe that if you take enough time with it, mixing libraries is better than using just one.
Please don't tell me "sounds synthy"! But comments welcome.
I don't know how you mixed the various libraries but the result doesn't sound 'real' to my ears. The 'center' strings have a definite horn-like quality as if you layered an analog string patch. I don't hear anything that resembles the VSL solo strings. But, of course, this is only one man's opinion, others may not agree.
What is your approach with the tuning? By the discussion that went on in another thread I undestood that you found tuning errors in libraries and therefore I assumed that you are looking for exact tuning. The strings in your example aren't properly tuned so I'm wondering that why are you detuning your libraries?
I don't think it sounds "synthy". I certainly like this better than the earlier version (which I also heard). My main impression is that the solo violin is too dry. Although it is obviously meant to stand out, I think you have made it do so excessively.
BTW, exactly how high do those Gold cellos go? I always felt a little cheated by the relatively narrow cello range in GOS. I'm glad you found another library with a longer range.
Thanks for the listening and comments. It really is ... hmm ... interesting and surprising what different values we all genuinely have. A couple of responses:
eg21, the solo strings are there; but the individual vibrato gets lost in the mix (except for the first solo violin note). "Real" is definitely my goal, so thanks for the nope. I'll keep trying. Probably there is too much mashed in the same sonic area, though I tried to apply a little eq and directional panning to each instrument differently.
janila, as to the tuning: first, the local tonic of A is at approximately 438 not A 440, because of the overall tuning for the whole piece in Bb major. Then, a great deal of tuning is necessary both to get the different libraries to agree on a unison (and STAY in unison for sustained notes) and then to tune the consonances. Incidentally, when doing this, one really notices those samples (Garritan, are you listening? Check that C5 in the cello susV!) that are out of tune in themselves, so they simply can't be completely tuned. So, a G# in my tuning should be tuned about 14 cents flatter than the already low A, so that it is a pure major third above the E which is a pure perfect fifth from A. If you compare to an equal tempered keyboard, that G# is going to sound far out -- and it is. But it is tuned to the music around it, or at least that's my goal. EACH library, without exception, required tuning adjustments, and in each library some notes require following the note with corrections as it fluctuates in pitch. The total tuning ranged from about 25 cents flattened to 20 cents sharpened -- almost a quartertone in all. I'm curious -- do you just "Hear" what you call out-of-tuneness, or do you compare with a reference which is equal tempered?
DCB, you may be right about the solo violin note -- it required some clumsy cross-fading because the VSL note wasn't quite long enough for my purpose. The Gold sustain celli go an octave higher than the GOS sustain celli, to a C above the treble clef. Very nice to have the extra notes. The VSL solo strings also have a very good range, going quite high in each instrument.
I'm curious -- do you just "Hear" what you call out-of-tuneness, or do you compare with a reference which is equal tempered?
Do you mean that do I have to use piano or other reference to notice that the strings aren't in tune? There is no need for that because the intervals clearly aren't "properly" tuned. I assume that most of us have lived our lives in equal tempered world and therefore the out-of-tuneness of your clip has that slap in your face factor. Stacking your strings with a piano playing in unison would propably hurt my brain.
I understand tuning libraries when the song includes an instrument which is in some exotic tuning. In your case there are only strings which can be tuned and played in or out of tune. That is why I can't grasp that why are you "ruining" your libraries. If you listen to a real orchestra do you think that there is something wrong with the tuning? For me the libraries are just where I want them to be even though there can be individual samples slightly out of tune.