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Topic: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

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  1. #1

    How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    Just wondering, how do you guys assess which new additions to add to your arsenal, and what are the points you consider when analyzing overlap? For example, if you have a complete orchestral library already (EWQL Platinum or Gold, or VSL, or SI..etc), what would the reasons be to add a section library (for example, Dan Dean's libraries, or the London Percussion)? I can see that a seperate section library might have some articulations or sound characteristics that's different/missing from your complete library, but just how much of a difference justifies spending hundreds (or thousands) more for additional section libraries? And for those that own multiple complete/section libraries--would it greatly pain you to have to use only one complete library? And if not, which single complete library do you feel is the most versatile (as in, you won't feel too crippled to use without additional libraries).

  2. #2
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    Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    As for your last question --- I think it's safe to say it's probably VSL for many.


    Otherwise --- buy what you need and can afford. I mean it's pretty simple, buy what you like. I'm not gonna buy the same stuff some other dude buys, I buy what works for "me".

    As far as overlap --- I think people tend to buy stuff they don't necessarily "need" it's a want at times. I feel they/we buy it to keep things from getting stagnant. New sounds are a little more exciting to use than the same ol' sounds. It's a way to spice things up and at the same time make your music sound more like you want it to.


    Otherwise -- people tend to buy stuff that fills a "specific" gap for "them". You may not see it as a gap in your collection so don't sweat it. (Some people may have 50 pianos, I may only have 20 cuz that's all I care to have. And maybe I have more overlap of something that guy doesn't feel the need to buy as much of. See?)


    Just my opinion, but it's true for me..........

  3. #3

    Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    Sam products easily cover my needs in terms of brass and percussions. My favourite purchases until now.

  4. #4

    Smile Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    I think you also need to ask yourself what you want out of the samples. If you're just doing mock-ups, to allow a director to hear how your music would sound when he gets round to giving you a budget for the London Phil, then I don't see the point in heavy overlap, since the final product is going to be different anyway. If you're using samples to produce your final product, then it's obviously more important to have the exact sounds you want. But, as Kid-Surf says, you need to be realistic about what sounds you will actually ever use. If you rarely write for organ, then there's no point being able to imitate every stop on every organ in Europe - at least not if you're paying for it. For those instruments you do use a lot it stops you getting bored of your own music if it sounds like different performers once in a while.

  5. #5

    Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatique
    Just wondering, how do you guys assess which new additions to add to your arsenal, and what are the points you consider when analyzing overlap?
    I'd say economy and time is the biggest one factor in that. You might get one "complete" package and then shortly after find that the Timpani of a separate lib sounds so much better then what you got with your "complete" thing that you would feel stupid if you didn't use the other timpani.
    I use Opus 1 as a sort of base for orch music, and although opus 1 is a fairly complete thing for mockups of the traditional SO setting, I tend to use Roland timpani over Opus timpani. Why? It just sounds better and I had the economy to get it.
    Time is also another factor, you get more stuff as time goes along. It's impossible to buy new stuff while at the same time making sure that you don't overlap what you already got from before. I got 4 hardware synths here, and they all have strings

    A thing may claim to cover all, but when you get down with it you always find that it doesn't cover all in a way that is practically useful, and if it does it doesn't do it all the way out without huge compromises. The old question of "Why by 10, for 6 times the price when you can have just one that does it all for a fraction of the cost?". Well, if you compare a piece of music put together using 10 separate libs you usually find that it sounds much better than the same piece played by the "covers all" lib. All-in-one packages usually always cut down on the quality quite a bit to drop the price and/or add versatility.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatique
    those that own multiple complete/section libraries--would it greatly pain you to have to use only one complete library? And if not, which single complete library do you feel is the most versatile (as in, you won't feel too crippled to use without additional libraries)
    The feeling of knowing that "I really wonder how this would sound with that wonderful timpani of that lib" is rather disturbing to me. I want to get the best sounds I can (for the way I work) so that I can sort of discard that task from my "have to think of" list. It's a great relief. And again, nothing is complete. Toolbox kits, music collections, mixed chocolates, workstations, sample libs .. nothing is really complete - ever. That's just a sales word.

    I'd say look at EWQL and VSL libs if you look for orch sound. VSL can be purchased partially and in smaller pieces than EWQL but they are really both "complete" and versatile.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  6. #6

    Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    Thanks for the replies!

    I asked this question because recently I saw a thread where someone posted comparisons of various section libraries against the Opus library, and I was shocked to hear that just about all the various section libraries sounded better than the Opus library. I was under the impression that the VSL series is one of most prestigious libraries out there, but now I'm wondering if it's only due to the sheer size and price. If section libraries in general sounds better than complete libraries, I'd much rather just mix and match sections from various developers (that would pose a problem of having them match in the mix though). Almost all complete libraries also offer to sell by the section, but that's almost pointless if specialized section libraries out there are better.

    I'm currently an Edirol HQ Or user, and while it's good for certain things, it's mostly only good for mockups. There are so many articulations missing, and the sounds themselves are sometimes a bit flat. It's got a great brass section though.

    My next step is to put together a complete orchestral toolbox that can handle highend/finished recordings on its own. I'm looking into the best sounding complete library or section libraries, and the way things look, I'll have to do a lot of research and do some mix and match. It's scary how much choices we have these days, and there seems to be an alternative for everything. For example, people always say that EWQLSO is the best for the big Hollywood sound, but VLS also have the epic series which goes for the big sound. Not easy to choose.

  7. #7

    Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatique
    I asked this question because recently I saw a thread where someone posted comparisons of various section libraries against the Opus library, and I was shocked to hear that just about all the various section libraries sounded better than the Opus library.
    I have the Opus 1 and several section libraries as you called them. There isn't a weak sample in the Opus 1 package, they just don't fit in every occasion. Most people seem to get brass libraries to support VSL brass, especially from Project SAM. The reason for that is to get the pompous Hollywood sound which VSL couldn't offer before the Epic Horns library was released. Now the Epic Horns is a go-to french horn library for many composers. For more intimate work the VLS brass has worked fine from day one. Another reason for substituting VSL brass is the fact that the instruments are Viennese type and have a different character than their French cousins.

    I have the Project SAM True Strike 1 for a couple of reasons. The Opus 1 percussion is a rather limited collection and I can't get a discount for both Opus 1 and VSL Pro Percussion if I was going to upgrade to full VSL Pro Edition. Also the concert hall acoustics support the percussion sounds nicely. I feel that Hollywood style percussion is one of the hardest things to do well with dry samples and convolution.

    The Opus 1 strings are really good but they are somewhat a one trick pony. They aren't the biggest section strings available and they aren't that intimate when compared to chamber string libraries. They are great whenever they fit to the composition.

    There aren't better woodwind libraries than VSL. Some are different in a nice way but none of them are better. Only thing I could support my Opus 1 woodwinds with is the VSL French Oboe package which has the full French oboe, piccolo runs, English horn and a small clarinet.

    I'm not exactly a VSL fanboy but I have to admit that assuming that VSL is renowned only because of the size of the library just seems wrong to me. Most likely I will be upgrading from the Opus 1 to the Pro Edition or the full Cube when it is released. There just aren't any libraries that can do the things VSL can. It can't do everything which is the reason why I continue to get libraries from other orchestral library developers.

  8. #8

    Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    I just took another listen to those comparison examples, and upon second listening, the Opus 1 doesn't sound as bad as it did to me the first time--it's just more subtle and has has a deeper, mellower sound in some instruments. However, I thought the True Strike examples were far better than the Opus 1 examples.

    Here's a question for you guys: IF you could start over again today from scratch (and the past money you spent on libraries will be refunded to you in full), which libraries would you buy today to build a complete orchestral toolbox?

  9. #9

    Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    Well... I buy things that overlap when I'm not completely content with what I have, or if I would like to have another sound characteristic. But Kid-Surf hits the nail on the head - sometimes we buy just to have the newest sound, and not get bored of the same old sounds.

    The one library which I would choose is VSL hands down - It only seldomly occurs that I choose another library over it. When I do its to use sounds which VSL dont have... like the SAM's effects, or the sound of the Bass Slap in EastWest... But two days ago I bought True Strike simply becuase having more articulations and sounds is good, and I really like the sound of the True Strike library. So I can imagine myself using that together with VSL....

    Sometimes your just composing and you think to yourself... nah - it does not sound right - maybe True Strike would sound better here. Other times soem other library sounds closer to whats in your head.

  10. #10

    Re: How do you avoid overlap in your library purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcussen
    But two days ago I bought True Strike simply becuase having more articulations and sounds is good, and I really like the sound of the True Strike library. So I can imagine myself using that together with VSL....
    True Strike has a very distinctive sound to it which is both a good and a bad thing. It's propably the best sounding orchestral percussion library but it can get too recognizable especially when all percussion sounds in a piece come from the TS. That's another good reason to have both VSL and Project SAM percussion.

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