Eric Lindemann, creator of Synful Orchestra posted this in the Steinberg forums. I should love to know the opinion of others.
"I want to be able to play natural instrument sounds from a MIDI keyboard (or other controller or sequencer) using standard controls (Volume, Mod, Pitch-Wheel, Velocity) in a convincing expressive manner. I want this to be a musical experience without a lot of editing, pushing of special buttons, program changes, pushing special keys, applying special phrasing tools, etc (programming as we call it). When I play legato I want it to sound legato as it would on the instrument I’m simulating When I play detached I want it to sound detached.
There are several reasons this is not possible with samplers (no matter what the library).
1) The samplers and libraries do not have the variety of note articulations and especially note transitions reflected in real instruments. (I don’t think making such a library would be practical but I’ll discuss that another time).
2) The samplers and libraries are not able to sustain notes for an indefinite length of time, looping does not sound convincing.
3) One cannot change the character of a note in a natural and convincing way while the note is being sustained.
4) There is not a continuum of timbre from loud to soft as in a real instrument – we have 2-4 “velocity levels” – but what happens when the loudness changes during sustain?
5) The samplers and libraries do not have convincing control over vibrato so controlling vibrato onset in an expressive manner is unconvincing.
6) The samplers and libraries have no natural strategy for adjusting articulation according to the players phrasing. Your obliged to use a bunch of supplementary meta commands to select between a very limited set of articulation alternatives (legato and non-legato) and dynamics."
I think this is a very clear statement of the issues - not sure that I agree with the idea of inputing everything through keyboard though - If I want synth percussion then surely the best way is to thump something, if I want synth winds then blow something.
What are your views?