I posted this on the VSL forum a little while ago. Copied from my post there:
I just got Opus 1 a few weeks ago and I decided that I would do a detailed mockup in order to familiarize myself with it. I just finished one of the main sections of the first movement of Mahler's third symphony. It's 100% VSL, from Opus 1 and Epic Horns. Brass mutes have been simulated with EQ, which I think it turned out a lot better on the trombones and horns than with the trumpets.
It's the first track on my soundclick page - I apologize for the low file quality, but I don't upload things often enough to justify getting pay hosting.
Wow, what a challenging piece this must be to mock-up! Mahlerians are critical by nature (Bernstein, Von Karajan, Stokowski not good enough) so this must have been very challenging. You did a great job - it sounds very true to the original. Can you give some details about the verb and EQ (what did you do in post production)? I would like to take a look at the MIDI if you care to post and see how it performs in my template without Opus 1.
Horns are very good and Mahlerian. The horn trills at 4:10 sound great. The climax is very convincing over all. Its quite a good mockup. Some of the winds sound a little synthy and bass drum doesn't sound very convincing. Did you EQ the entire thing after recording it or did you EQ just specific instruments because I thought the bass drum was muddier than it usually sounds in recordings. Why did you have to use EQ to simulate the mutes?
I have the full scores to Mahler 1, 2, 8. I would love to mock something from those, but I would bet so much time and effort goes into the phrasing and humanizing that it is quite a challenging project though good learning experience.
Yep, this was a terribly challenging muckup. I couldn't have justified the time to do it if I hadn't been learning so much about how to use Opus 1 better in the process.
Post production - Because I did this piece as a means of learning how to exploit the library, I did each instrument separately. Although I mixed the final audio from each instrument in the same file, reverb and EQ was applied individually. I also reduced the stereo images a lot before applying any reverb.
I know what you mean about the winds. VSL's winds sound fantastic, but it would have been much better if I could have used the Horizon Woodwind Ensembles library, since a lot of the piece uses woodwind unison lines. I had to simulate unisons by layering various articulations over each other, which sounded decent in some places but was a compromise overall.
I have seven recordings of this piece, and my favorite, by far, is Chailly's with the Concertgebouw. In that recording, the bass drum was more felt than heard, which is what I tried to do here, though I guess it didn't work :\. I didn't apply any EQ to the bass drum.
I used EQ on the normal samples for the mutes because Opus 1 doesn't contain brass mute samples.
I guess I could post the final MIDI, but because each instrument was done separately, all instruments operate on the same bunch of channels, making it pretty unusable for most purposes.
Thanks for the comments! I'd love to do more Mahler, but I think I'll wait until I can afford the Woodwind Ensembles and possibly the French Oboe Horizon sets.