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Topic: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

  1. #1

    Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    There are some guitar libraries on the market, especially for accoustic guitars & basses.
    But it is really difficult to get a library for classical guitar, which sounds real like a classical guitar.
    This is the reason for the following comparision of guitar libraries which includes a classical guitar (mostly called "nylon string guitar").

    As base of this comparison I will use:

    Joaquin Malats: Serenata espanola
    for Classical Guitar Solo

    (Joaquin Malats, Barcelona, 1872- id., 1912) Pianista y compositor español. Se formó en Barcelona y en París. Realizó numerosas giras por Europa y América. Es autor de una suite sinfónica (Impresiones de España) y de numerosas composiciones para piano.)
    The famous guitar composer, artist & teacher Francisco Tárrega arranged Serenata espagnola, which was originally written for piano forte, for classical guitar.

    00) Original recording of Serenata espanola

    I recorded this piece, when I was a student of the University of Music & Arts in Graz, Austria, on the guitar.
    I used a Hannabach guitar (a famous German guitar maker) and the recording is more than 30 years old.
    Excuse me, if the recording qualitiy is not up today standards!

    Below the first page of the score:


    For the following comparison I used a score wirtten with Geniesofts Overture 4 which was based on my 30 years old notes to Serenata espagnola.
    The score includes all necessary information (Barree, fingerings, string numbers, articulations, etc.) for a classical guitar player.
    Overture 4 is excellent tool for composing classical (and others) guitar pieces & I used it for all my compositions for this instrument.

    01) Malats: Serenata espanola performed with RealGuitar


    I used the DXi plugin of Real Guitar in a forte ENSEMBLE rack.
    I don't know what classical guitars have been recorded for the "Nylon string picked & fingered" instruments.
    real Guitar comes as plugin (DXi, VSTi). The VSTi version can be easily used whithin Ove4's rack.

    For those which want to use Sereneta espanola together with RealGuitar in a sequencer I post two links:

    General MIDI 1:

    Cakewalk Sonar 5 Producer Edition

    02) Malats: Serenata espanola performed with Horizon Vienna Concert Guitar with GigaStudio 3


    The VSL HORIZON SERIES Vienna Concert Guitar is available in GigaStudio & Kontakt & EXS 24 format.
    I used the Gigastudio version.

    The instrument sampled for the library is unknown.

    03) Malats: Serenata espanola performed with YT Pure Guitars with YT Independence


    The Yellow Tools Pure Guitars is available in GigaStudio, Kontakt, EXS 24, Independece, HALION and AKAI S1000 format.
    I used the Independence version running as plugin within Ove4.
    "Independence is the latest in a long line of sample-based products from an innovative German company that has consistently set new standards for high-quality multi-sampling. Independence sees yellow tools taking another leap forward, demonstrating yet again its expertise in sampling with the creation of this fully-fledged, feature-packed software sampler."

    The instrument sampled for the library is a nylon string guitar made by the German guitar maker HOPF.

    Please listen to this examples & compare it with the original version 00).
    Make up your mind and let us know, what's your favourite instrument.

    ================================================== ===============================

    All these guitar libraries have excellent accoustic guitars & basses included.
    Please listen to (outside the comparision):


    This composition uses different Accoustic guitars & basses from YT Pure Guitars.
    The percussion comes from YT Pure Drums.
    The synthesizer sounds from Dream expierience.
    All together was recorded with Overture 4 & Gigastudio 3

    :-) Jovan
    the man with the blue guitar

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tom Crowning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    On the other side of the big pond

    Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    Be prepared to get flamed for this comparision (no, not from me).

    I think your examples are not easy to compare, the RG is recorded very dry
    (too dry IMO), VSL very wet and YT just right.
    Additionally it sounds as if you'd put the most work into the last recording.

    Anyway, when I try to compare having all these differences in mind I'd say:

    - RG sounds bad, the higher notes sound like cembalo
    - VSL sounds good, but some small problems with higher notes, too
    - YT sounds good

    But this is HIGHLY subjective, I've done the VSL <-> YT comparision some
    months ago and liked the YT Pureguitar more even it's an 'el cheapo $99' product

    Most probably when I would have settled with VSL I'd say 'VSL is better' today


  3. #3

    Smile Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Crowning
    Be prepared to get flamed for this comparision (no, not from me).
    I'm prepared, this can allways happen.
    But I agree, I had to input much more work into the VSL Vienna Concert Guitar. It is quite the same like with the other VSL libraries.
    But in any case the setup of a classical guitar piece for a playback with a sampler is really a hard and difficult job.
    Anybody who believe he can do a better job is invited to use the attached MIDI or SONAR link & may publish his result.

    the man with the blue guitar

  4. #4

    Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    Thanks for doing this. It's nice to hear direct comparisons like this and I know it took you some time to put it together.

    I didn't like the Real Guitar version at all. VSL was OK, but like Tom said, too much reverb. Yellow Tools was best for my taste.

    The most interesting thing to me was that I didn't feel any emotion from any of them. They sounded "nice" and I suppose I could believe any of them were real, but I didn't have the desire with any of the three to hear the whole piece.

    Compare that with the live version of you playing and it's night and day. I listened to the live one last and it was soooo much more satisfying.

    The lesson for me is that samples are pretty good but a real player brings so much more to the party.

    - Mike Greene

  5. #5

    Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries


    I agree with everybody else's assessment, I prefer the YT, but honestly none of them sounded believable to me.
    And this was before listening to the real recording, which I listened to last. After that, the others just sounded depressing...

    Thanks for doing this, very educational...


  6. #6

    Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    Where do I buy the "Original Recording" samples?

  7. #7

    Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    I like the original.

    Sorry, I know this doesn't help, but it's so real...

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    San Francisco

    Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    I'm sorry but this "comparison" is like a character assassination of RealGuitar. As mentioned above, why is there lovely convolution verb on the Yellow guitars track and bone-dry direct-input nothingness on the RealGuitar version? Second, one of the strengths of Real guitar is the ingenious implementation of all the release samples and slide samples - did you turn all of that off or something when you made this track?? Also, it sounds like you used the nylon pick patch for what is a fingered piece, no?

    I'm of the opinion that, had the RG version been done correctly, the quality of the individual samples themselves might not quite match up to those of Yellow, but the overall impression of performance would put it firmly in the running for the best of the three.

    Care to take me up on this and repost?

  9. #9

    Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    This just reinforces my belief that I need to make friends with more guitar players. The sampled versions didn't necessarly sound bad, but in the time that it would take somebody to get it to sound up to par, you could probably have your buddy come in and make a far better sounding recording in less time.

  10. #10

    Re: Comparision of Guitar Libraries

    w/ regard to the demos- YT wins this one but would like to hear RG done correctly. As a previous poster said, once all the articulations are done properly, RG would probably sound better than YT. Not the best demonstration of the strengths of these libraries so it's a bit hard to compare. But that was fun, Thanks.

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