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Topic: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    Hi,

    I've been planning to make my own sample library containing 6 violins, 4 second violins, 4 violas, 3 cellos and 2 kontrabasses. In addition to that I'll record solo violin, viola and cello. I want to create string library my own because I feel that small string sections that are available now don't offer the intimate, warm sound that I need. I want my strings to be expressive, emotional and human.

    I'll use Kontakt 2 scripting to add legato and other performances. I think I use tune variaton also to simulate live-feeling. I don't record every possible playing styles, but I think legato sustain, portato and staccato are enough. Maybe I'll record some kind of horror effects also.

    So I would like to hear your advices and thought about this. Any tips for creating custom samples? I'm not sure if this will be a commercial product, but if it will be, what kind of a sound would you want and what performances? What is a good price for this kind of product?

    Best regards,
    Tapani
    Passion for Sound
    http://www.soundreel.com

  2. #2

    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    test, test, test and test. And then test.

  3. #3

    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    that's a very ambitious project!

    If you plan to do it, I'd seriously consider planning to release it to recoup some of the costs, and a little something for your time.

    I don't think that the sample library marketplace is over-crowded, and I'm not certain that it really can be, as each composer or producer has their own idea of what a specific instrument needs to sound like for a particular project, and no one library will probably ever cover all the bases.

    Two comments...

    if you are going to release it I would add a solo bass to the list of solo instruments. Other than that I think your approach is very well thought out, and it is certainly a library I would evaluate, for all the reasons that you want to create it!

    I'm not sure it makes a whole lot of sense to limit it to onep playback engine, that could really limit your audience. I'd develop it in K2 if that is what you are most comfortable with, but I'd either port it myself, or hire others to port it to other engines.

    Good luck!!!

    Bill
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  4. #4

    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    Marcussen: Yes I'm sure there will be lot of testing. I was thinking that I'll record solo violin first and test a lot of different things. I'll try ty learn from each session and optimize recordings and scripting.

    Wst3ae: I also don't think that sample library markets are over-crowed. And also I don't plan to compete with any string library, as one of my goals is to blend my chamber strings to other sample libraries to give it more feeling and expression.

    One of the reasons that I didn't include solo bass is that I feel that 2 basses are very close the solo sound. But I have to think that thru and see if I'll include it anyway.

    As for the playback engine I was thinking about Kontakt player option where users can use instruments as VSTi. Other formats are ok too if Kontakt 2 scripting transfers well on other engines also.

    Thanks for your input!
    Passion for Sound
    http://www.soundreel.com

  5. #5

    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    Quote Originally Posted by tabbu
    Marcussen: Yes I'm sure there will be lot of testing. I was thinking that I'll record solo violin first and test a lot of different things. I'll try ty learn from each session and optimize recordings and scripting.

    Wst3ae: I also don't think that sample library markets are over-crowed. And also I don't plan to compete with any string library, as one of my goals is to blend my chamber strings to other sample libraries to give it more feeling and expression.

    One of the reasons that I didn't include solo bass is that I feel that 2 basses are very close the solo sound. But I have to think that thru and see if I'll include it anyway.

    As for the playback engine I was thinking about Kontakt player option where users can use instruments as VSTi. Other formats are ok too if Kontakt 2 scripting transfers well on other engines also.

    Thanks for your input!
    I agree with everything your saying.

    Will be exciting to hear your results. I'm really looking forward to it, and hope you do it.

  6. #6

    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    Quote Originally Posted by tabbu
    So I would like to hear your advices and thought about this. Any tips for creating custom samples?
    If I were to record samples then I would write some music first. I mean, real melodies, lines etc. Copy, paste, transpose halftonewise. Then put a conductor in front of the strings group and afterwards cut out of the recording what I need.

    I don't know whether this could be practically realized. But to me it is a big difference in sound between ... "Take # 1034, please play a Bb3 spiccato in mf, one, two, three" and a strings group that goes emotional.

    To give the players some time to practise the passage before recording would also not be a bad idea. The conductor could do a good job here.


    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  7. #7
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    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    I have to admit i'm a little unclear on the shortcomings you perceive in VSL's solo/chamber offerings, as i find them eminently capable of emoting.

    Not to the very outer extremes, of course, but the problem with trying to create a sample library that captures those 'moments,' where form breaks down and emotion pours through, is precisely that they're so recognizable. Repeat them, and it's obvious to the listener. This is the perennial 'character vs. playability' dilemma with sample libraries. My impression is that the VSL libraries strike about as good a balance as can be struck in that regard.

    But - this same point yields some potentially helpful ideas with regard to your library. If you want a reliably emotive library, i would say that the cardinal rule will be LOTS of samples of the same notes and performances, implemented with LOTS of round robin. Otherwise, too many of those delicious artifacts that make up a truly emotional performance will repeat and stick out, sounding artificial.

    Best of luck with the project!

  8. #8

    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    Quote Originally Posted by jloeb
    I have to admit i'm a little unclear on the shortcomings you perceive in VSL's solo/chamber offerings, as i find them eminently capable of emoting.

    Not to the very outer extremes, of course, but the problem with trying to create a sample library that captures those 'moments,' where form breaks down and emotion pours through, is precisely that they're so recognizable. Repeat them, and it's obvious to the listener. This is the perennial 'character vs. playability' dilemma with sample libraries. My impression is that the VSL libraries strike about as good a balance as can be struck in that regard.

    But - this same point yields some potentially helpful ideas with regard to your library. If you want a reliably emotive library, i would say that the cardinal rule will be LOTS of samples of the same notes and performances, implemented with LOTS of round robin. Otherwise, too many of those delicious artifacts that make up a truly emotional performance will repeat and stick out, sounding artificial.

    Best of luck with the project!

    I agree that VSL chamber strings are the best sampled strings on the market today. They truly are expressive. However I have other kind of a sound in mind. I think VSL strings are too perfect and clean. I'm looking for a solution where I can get more human results and that way more musical. But as I said I like most of the VSL stuff so I think I'll be using alot of Vienna's products with my strings.

    Yes I'll try much as I can to avoid same sample repetition. I'll record at least 4 different staccatos (and maybe I'll include spiccatos also) for each velocity layer. For sustains, I think two different takes are enough. Also I'll apply a lot of scripting to avoid repetition. I'll apply tune and attack variation and each legato stroke is a bit different.
    Passion for Sound
    http://www.soundreel.com

  9. #9

    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    If I were to record samples then I would write some music first. I mean, real melodies, lines etc. Copy, paste, transpose halftonewise. Then put a conductor in front of the strings group and afterwards cut out of the recording what I need.

    I don't know whether this could be practically realized. But to me it is a big difference in sound between ... "Take # 1034, please play a Bb3 spiccato in mf, one, two, three" and a strings group that goes emotional.

    To give the players some time to practise the passage before recording would also not be a bad idea. The conductor could do a good job here.


    Hannes
    That's a very interesting way! You could have very great samples out of it. However I'm afraid that there's no way I could have ALL the samples that I need from it. But I have to think how this could be done. It's true that it's very hard to get true emotion from players while recording hours and hours.
    Passion for Sound
    http://www.soundreel.com

  10. #10

    Re: Making a personal chamber and solo strings

    tabbu,

    hours and hours is OK, but hours and hours without any musical content is boring. You will see that the players will sink in their chairs and the violins drop down ... and chances are that the sound could reflect this.


    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

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