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Topic: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

  1. #1

    "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    I'm wondering:

    Should I go for the full VI Chamber Strings and then use the following little "stacking" trick to achieve a fuller sound, or should I save up for a much longer time (!) in order to get the full VI Orchestral Strings 1+2?

    See this link:


    Does the sound when "stacking" VI Chamber really come so close to the sound of VI Orchestral Strings, that one can get by with just VI Chamber?

    Best regards,
    Henrik Jensen

  2. #2

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    Henrik, your link is to the Search function on the VSL forum. (Not only that, but possibly the worst search function on a forum ever!) ;o)

  3. #3

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    Sorry about that!

    If you search for author "mattdean", one of the threads which shows up has the title "Chamber strings with more violins 'stacked'?"

    Apparently the idea is this (cut/pasted from the thread):

    1. Copy two tracks of a string line

    2. Tranpose one 'copy' up a whole step - PW it down a whole step (less a minor difference for detuning FX)

    3. Tranpose one 'copy' down a whole step - PW it up a whole step (less a minor difference for detuning FX)

    And then set the midi track to have a timing offset
    The effect can be heard here:


    To my ears (I'm a hobby user), it sounds lush so I'm thinking, full Chamber strings is 1.000 Euro while full Orchestral strings 1+2 is twice that. So if the first can be made to sound approx. similar to the latter, it's 1.000 Euros saved.

    It sounds (no pun intended) too good to be true, though - that's why I'm posting

  4. #4

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    I owned ALL of VI's strings. Chamber strings it best of bunch. You simply cannot go wrong with it. Stacking as you mentioned but more importantly in divisi writing. The percussive fast passages are also brilliantly done with Chamber.

    Rob Elliott Music

  5. #5

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    I just finished a whole CD using this technique. It worked well. There certainly are subtle differences between this technique with the Chamber strings and the Orch strings. I don't think the difference justifies owning both VI's - unless, of course you are doing serious scoring or symphonic work, I think it makes sense then.

    Here's a cut I used the Chamber Strings as above to get a nice section sound:


    My advice would be: get the Chamber Strings full library and if, or when you can, get the Appasionata Strings. Between those two and the above technique you will have your bases covered. BTW, the chamber strings are great for faster tunes. They cut well. I just doubled them- not tripled - to take the edge off.

    One other thing, the Solo Strings VI layered with the Chmaber strings VI is OFF THE HOOK! It sounds incredible. Very expressive. Here's a cut I used this combination:



  6. #6

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    Thanks, this is starting to sound really interesting!

    If it's not too much trouble, I would love to hear a few mp3s with:

    1) Examples of using this "stack-technique" with more orchestraltype music, i.e. not pop music,

    2) Examples of stacking without using the PW to trigger other samples - that is, simply copy a Chamber string track and adjust the other track's start timing

    If the latter gives a decent, full sound I will probably just use that, maybe until a piece is fully finished.

    Btw. wont the transpose/PW-technique give problems at the borders, meaning, at the lowest and highest note possible. If you for example transpose the lowest possible note downwards, then use PW to pitch it up, will it sound? Same for the highest possible note.

    Sorry for all these questions, but if I spend money on Chamber strings, I can't afford to go for Orchestral strings for a very, very long time, sooo...I need to be 100% sure that I make the right decision here. I'm afraid I will end up regretting not going for the std. version of Orchestral Strings 1+2, and then use them while saving up for the ext. versions of the libraries. I'm looking at the articulations in each of the 3 libraries including Chamber, but as a hobby user who have never used VI before, I can't tell if Chamber will be sufficient. Much of the content is similar, it seems, also in the ext. versions, although OS 1+2 has much more content of course. On the other hand I have a hunch that much of this content is "nice to have", not "need to have", in particular for someone like me, and that Chamber strings in fact has all I need.

    I just LOVE the sound of the Chamber strings demos on VI's homepage though, so if I think I can live with using a few tricks to make it sound fuller and I'm confident I will not regret getting OS1+2 instead, I will probably go for it.

  7. #7

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    Hello Henrik,

    I have to agree with mattdean that the combination of Chamber with Solo strings sounds incredible.

    Here are two little snippets from a production I am currently in. First demonstrates a short phrase with a) the VSL solo violin b) Chamber Strings, and c) Solo and Chamber together:


    And in the second example, Violins I and II start with the same note, so as there are no second violins in all VSL string libraries, I pitched down the first violin with the PW, whereas the second violin plays the original note. Also here, both first and second violins are layered with solo violins:


    The transition from pitched down to original pitch in the first violin is maybe still noticable, I have to edit that, but it may give you an idea. I also want to mention that for stuff like this I am used to apply Melodyne more and more, which is not only good for pitch and time corrections but gives you a lot of creative possibilities for editing "dead" audio material such as rendered audio tracks.

  8. #8

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    Matt-- those high notes you sing in xquisite are wild!


  9. #9

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    Thanks Jay. I love singing in my falsetto. I try to stretch my boundaries. It was the perfect song to go crazy on. I've actually reached the C above the F# I sing in Xquisite. Now, THAT was freaky!


    I'm not a classical somposer so wouldn't be able to do those examples for you. However, just tripling the tracks without using the PW will only make them phase. You would be triggering the same sample, and even shifting the time and detuning won't give the same result.


  10. #10

    Re: "Stacking" VI Chamber Strings

    Thanks for making the audio examples available, I also think stacking Solo strings and Chamber strings sounds really nice.

    Frankly, I can't hear much difference in quality between the "chamberstringtripled" demo of yours, Matt, and some of the Orchestral strings demos from VI's homepage. But how quick and painless is this "Chamber string transpose and PW"-trick in daily use? I imagine it can get pretty annoying, plus there must be a "track explosion" compared to using Orchestral strings.

    Are there other issues with the technique I should know about?

    I'm trying to think everything over carefully, that's all. And I'm still wondering if I will end up regretting not getting the Orchestral strings because of the extra stuff in the extended library compared to Chamber.

    Oh well, in the end it will probably be my budget that decides..!

    Thanks again for your time, it's much appreciated.

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