Agreed. Seems likely to me that it has less to do with the instrument itself than with the mix. The VI mix sounds more compressed to me than the Horizon, and hotter, more "tubey", which doesn't serve the delicacy of the piece as well. In some other VI demos we've already heard an airyer, more open sounding mix employing the same sample sets (see, "Prayer" or the 12 cellos Bach prelude which was also mixed by Beat). Additionally, the Horizon demo tends to use spiccatto instead of legato articulations on the runs. While this choice was likely meant to showcase what the VIs can do in this regard, as a musical choice it does give the piece less delicacy and space. There's also portamento in the the VI version, and overall it is 'performed' in a more bow-on, dug in manner.
The upper Holberg-Praelude-Version shoud be a demo for the VI's power. A demo for short staccatos, > (accents), sffz, sfz, ffp,
crescendos molto, diminuendos... like it is writen in the partiture of this movement.
So perhaps I did to much from the musical view. But I like the piece in that way > powerful and crispy.
Another point is the final downmix. In my opinion a demo should show the samples sound as clear and close as possible . So I tried to mix a close and "dry" movement.
But - and I know that - interpretations and mixdowns are always a matter of tast too... So your feelings are OK like they are.
-I'm not against Vienna L or Vienna VI at all, of course. They are excellent products, I would like to own, if they were less expensive. (the price of light modules is now more affordable, but still challenging. For the same price you may buy tons of good samples from other producers. I don't say what is better, it's a matter of personal targets and quality needs: clean or expressive? professional or educational, or live-sounding? etc.)
- I think that even if the sound is clean, professional and very well recorded, the expression of Vienna VI is still less effective than other existing products, because of the strong caracter of articulations! Sometime the crossfading or paste of single articulatons is producing the feeling of two different players alternating, instead of a single player changing articulation. It's more evident in solos (solo strings for instance).
ABOUT HOLBERG SUITE PRELUDE:
- the rendering of classic master piece is not just a matter of sounds and technology, but a matter of musical taste and style also.
- this version of the Holberg prelude is far better than previous one, and the programming is quite accurate. I still find weak some point, and I tell you where respectfully, as my personal humble opinion, because I still respect the professional doing it:
> the repetition is sometime still very mechanic, and seems in some points too robotic to be true. Little micro-variations of sound, attack, duration in fast repetition are necessary IMO. Is it a limit of quick programming or a limit of the library?
> the Grieg piece is not a Baroque piece even if written in "ancient style" I don't agree with the too flat lack of vibrato and the compression of dynamics: IMHO as every romantic piece it should be better with pianissimo, cantabile and furious crescendo. But it's a matter of performance: I think that probably Vienna gives you all that tools.
> the cello line makes the controcanto to violin cantabile: IMHO it must be as expressive as the violin is. Violin sings very flat, but cello is too, really too much flat. It sounds very MIDIsh even if the sound is realistic.
ABOUT MY VERSIONS:
I DON'T say my version is better. It's quite different, starting fromn the target, that is my musical taste, not (or not only) the technology used. Another point is the total (very affordable) "price" of library used to make it.
A) the repetition is sometime still very mechanic, and seems in some points too robotic to be true...Is it a limit of quick programming or a limit of the library? B) the Grieg piece is not a Baroque piece even if written in "ancient style" C) the cello line makes the controcanto to violin cantabile... It sounds flat.
Listening again to the various versions (including the wonderful crispy sound clean and so realistically recorded of Vienna VI) of the piece, and thinking about progress, I feel very Happy!
Nice to get to know you and thank you for giving such a constructive feedback.
Here are my replies. But first of all:
I'm not sure whether you know the PARETO-rule or not - the 20/80 rule. It says that you spend 80% of your money for 20% of things. Or 80% of your phone calls are to 20% of your circle of acquaintances. You can adapt this 20/80 rule to nearly all facts. So in my case I did 80% of the Holberg Suite in 20% of the time. The other 80% of time I would need to finish the last 20% (to the absolut 100% maximum of demand). I can tell you - I you know it as well - Until now I used hours for it. So I like to go on with other pieces now.
to A) The VI has repetition samples. I believe that 8 notes are in a row. These repetition-samples fight against the robotic sound. Sometimes I used them but I also used the short staccatos. The are even more chrunchy as the repetition-spiccatos. The disadvantage: The sh-stacs are single notes with only two varation. > Perhaps you noticed this as the robotic-sound. To put this right I should vary every note in its volume... like here.
to B) Grieg is not a baroque piece - yes. Therefore I used sfz- sffz-, fp-, ffp-, cresc-, dim, p-legato, p-detaché-, expressive-, marcato-, harsh-... samples.
I further had the score (Eulenburg Edition) and a CD played by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-field with Sir Neville Marriner. > I tried to copy this orchestra - so to say. And nevertheless I have the experience of more the 35 (38) years playing the violin. Sometimes it also helped.
to C) Yes I agree: The cello line sounds flat. The VI owns tons of samples which I don't know all at the moment. Fact is that I fiddled around for minutes to create this "dolce" part. But I couldn't found exactly the samples to come to the idea I had in my mind. But I had to go on > Pareto.
Nevertheless I now worked out the cellos in a better way by using the track automation. So If you want to check the new result please click on: Praelude (New Cello/Violin Mix)
All the best from Switzerland and have nice Easter-days
- though the weather forecast is not very good for our countrys
I'm quite interested in what sequencer [Cubase, Sonar etc] you did the Holberg suite demo with. Thanks if you could let me know this.
Hi Steve (again )
I use Cubase SX3 but I "growed up" with Logic. Unfortunately Emagic turns away from the windows users. A lot of knowledge was worthless.
Today I'm familiar with Cubase as well. It would be a good thing to take all the good things/functions from both of them and creat a new Sequencer > perhaps a Cubogic. In my very first days Cakewalk (DOS) was in use which is Sonar today - I believe.