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Topic: Thoughts on Philharmonik

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  1. #1

    Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Well, I've been advised by the forum to become active here again, so the first thing that comes to mind is the only library I own yet. I've been using it for a full year now and after all the work I've done, I don't really know what to think of it. I've seen on many forums that people don't like the lib that much and think of it as an "amateur" lib. After all this time, I don't know whether to agree or not. 7 GB of sample material really isn't that much, and I'm wondering if the reason I'm getting EWQLSO Platinum and Symphonic Choirs isn't just the sound, but also the sheer size of articulations.

    I've been discussing Philharmonik with a member here that's written a farewell post here recently and we noticed similar stuff - increadible wetness, a lot of shaping needed before use and rather static and unexpressive core. This last makes me particulary confused since Philharmonik is considered so "lush" and "expressive" and is basically their number one argument. The two of us weren't the only ones who noticed this.

    The biggest problem I have are definitely strings, violins especially. I spent a year trying to get the famous "life" and "fullness" they're talking about, and I'm getting less and less hopeful that I'll ever achieve that. The more tweaking I do, the less realistic the are.

    I don't even want to get started on their support team and the fact there is no forum on their site, so you have to wander around forums looking for an IK specialist if you need some help.

    On the other hand, the GUI is the best I ever saw.

    Overall, I feel like it is a lib more oriented towards quick mockups of existing classical pieces and suplementing pop work, than simulating a real orchestra going for emotion. The fact that IK's and SR's reps and specialists are not present on orchestral forums is interesting.

    Well, to everyone who hasnt heard a post-mock up of a suite I did with a real orchestra for a Christmas theater play that I posted earlier, here it is again: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=644479 Minimal messaging, only attack and release shaped, and default reverb, for pure demo reasons.

  2. #2

    Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    I dunno atmajian, I own quite a few orchestral libs (Gold Pro XP, VSL, HALion SO, MOTU SI, Apple Jam Pack, SAM brass, M-Audio Symphony Orchestra Brass & Strings) and find merits in each one, although NOT ONE does everything well in my opinion.

    For Miroslav, I find using the non-looped samples to be the most effective. The natural arc in the playing of the sample comes through more than the looped patches. It might take a little more work and awareness of phrasing and such but I do think MP has its good points.

    Check out various demos I have done with it of late:

    My music

  3. #3

    Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Yeah, I agree with davecos, don't use the looped patches. They don't sound good at all I think. And as he also says, every library has its flaws, even todays bigbros like Platinum Pro XP or VSL. You probably could buy a new orch plugin and be twice as happy as you are now, but still you'd probably find that "the oboe, or the organ, or whatever" from that library sound better than this new library that is supposed to be the best. The only problem when working with many libraries is that it may kill the creativity and natural workflow.
    You mention Platinum Pro XP as one of your options. I don't own it myself, but if I'm not wrong you would need more than one computer to takefull advantage of it, plus, the computers would have to be extremely fast. If you are only used to work with Miro you know that CPU or RAM is allmost never an issue...

    I don't think Philharmonik is an "amateur" lib as you call it. Many pros are using it but I doubt any pro is using it exclusivelly.

    My advice is if you can afford a new library, go for it.Take your time though and listen to demos and make your choice based on your needs, present and future, and off course your computer's capabilities. It wouldn't hurt to have more than one library...

    Chris...

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Chris, you've done amazing music using Miro. They should hire you to do more demos utilizing that software because you really do it justice!

  5. #5

    Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Quote Originally Posted by Shantar
    Yeah, I agree with davecos, don't use the looped patches. They don't sound good at all I think. And as he also says, every library has its flaws, even todays bigbros like Platinum Pro XP or VSL. You probably could buy a new orch plugin and be twice as happy as you are now, but still you'd probably find that "the oboe, or the organ, or whatever" from that library sound better than this new library that is supposed to be the best. The only problem when working with many libraries is that it may kill the creativity and natural workflow.
    You mention Platinum Pro XP as one of your options. I don't own it myself, but if I'm not wrong you would need more than one computer to takefull advantage of it, plus, the computers would have to be extremely fast. If you are only used to work with Miro you know that CPU or RAM is allmost never an issue...

    I don't think Philharmonik is an "amateur" lib as you call it. Many pros are using it but I doubt any pro is using it exclusivelly.

    My advice is if you can afford a new library, go for it.Take your time though and listen to demos and make your choice based on your needs, present and future, and off course your computer's capabilities. It wouldn't hurt to have more than one library...

    Chris...
    Well, if you can't make a long note with a lib, it's a pretty big problem, wouldn't you agree?

    I don't think Philharmonik has that many flaws. I think its lacks are the problem. I've worked with Platinum and Choirs and it was a whole other experience for me.

    I didn't say Philharmonik is an amateur lib, I'm just quoting a lot of people. And, like I said, I've heard and read it is most popular in pop work.

  6. #6

    Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Quote Originally Posted by atmajian
    Well, if you can't make a long note with a lib, it's a pretty big problem, wouldn't you agree?

    I didn't say Philharmonik is an amateur lib, I'm just quoting a lot of people. And, like I said, I've heard and read it is most popular in pop work.
    I don't think it's as simple as it not having good loops. I do think an overhaul on the programming end of things with some added samples to spice up some of the weaker areas would be cool mind you.

    As for Miroslav Phil being amateurish (as declared by some people- but not you as you mentioned) if you read Tim Curren's review in Film Score Monthlty ONline he mentions that many Hollywood composers or composers working in the Hollywood system often turn to Miro for their samples. Perhaps it's because it's quicker and more immediate than the East Wests or VSL's of the world where you have so much choice that that in of itself can take some time (at least when using the kontakt players- PLAY might eradicate the drudgery of finding the appropriate samples). The other thing is that bigger name composers get real orchestras to play their final pieces so they aren't as interested in sonic realism as lower level composers whose budgets dictate the use of orchestral sampled libs as opposed to the real thing. [personally, I would take a real semi-pro orch, or else hire a smaller pro acoustic group over the best sampled lib any day- none of the current libs still gets that close to the real thing IMO].

    Anyhow, I guess my feelings on Miro is that it's warm and more organic than some of the other libs I own so I use it more and more these days. But then again, I do rely on my Gold Pro XP brass and Steinway piano samples quite a bit. Same goes for VSL Legato Horn & Flute patches.

  7. #7

    Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Well, personally, I don't believe anything that's written in the newspapers about any commercial product, just as any review in any media. That's one of the reasons I hang out on forums pretty much, one of the rare free and uncensored places to see what the majority really is. From what I have heard from a lot of my colleagues doing orchestral work, very few use Philharmonik for more or less the same reasons as mine, and forums say pretty much the same thing. Except for the once oriented towards electronic music needing supplementary acoustic sounds. Even here I've noticed a lot less talk about Philharmonik than some other libs. Well, maybe that's because people are more satisfied with it than with others, I don't know.

    I personnaly don't mind either the big wetness or loops of the lib - what I find problematic is the feel of the lack of something in a lot of sounds, and the lack of sheer articulation size. I avoid any modifying of sounds whatsoever as it just makes them less realistic, and therefore I'm desperate for a wide range of articulations across sections. Not matter how good you imitate it, harp glissando or picollo glissando can never sound like anything else than harp glissando and picollo glissando performed on the keyboard or mousewritten in the piano roll. Those kinds of aounds are no symphonic adventures needing special expansio pack or something, and yet they aren't there. Also, when talking about unlooped sounds, another problem for me is the inconsistency is lenght, which goes for both all sections and all range.

    And the lack of good old keyswitching is something definitely too much for me. Can't wait for PLAY, for that matter.

    But, again, the biggest problem I have with Philharmonik are definitely violins. They sound like they were recorded in a completely separate room, then panned even more then they are naturally panned, and then programmed to sound even less realistic. Just listen to the sudden change of timbre in the higher octave. I also never read that the instruments were chromatically sampled. And the lack of any fullnes, sweep, expresivness, width,power, passion in them ... Well, like I said, I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I don't like them.

    My favorite Philharmonik sounds are definitely Brass FF, Flute, Male Choir and Steinway Hall ... The harp is also beautiful. I think I'll try sticking with my favorite sounds from Philharmonik and try to blend them with other libs in the future, regardless of wetness of both Philharmonik and SO and SC.

  8. #8

    Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Quote Originally Posted by atmajian
    Well, if you can't make a long note with a lib, it's a pretty big problem, wouldn't you agree?

    I don't think Philharmonik has that many flaws. I think its lacks are the problem. I've worked with Platinum and Choirs and it was a whole other experience for me.

    I didn't say Philharmonik is an amateur lib, I'm just quoting a lot of people. And, like I said, I've heard and read it is most popular in pop work.
    You are right to feel what you want about any library, off course. Personally I am happy with Miro, but not until just recently (after the update)when I gave it a new chance and I'm very pleased with the results it gives me. I'm still in the process of getting to know the library and so far I think it is very inspiring to work with and working with only one lib also helps me actually write music and not just trying out different sounds from different libs...
    I do have other libraries too (EWQLSO GOLD, Siedlaczek's Advanced Orch, the old Roland L-CDX-03/04 orchestral disks, GPO) and almost all of them have somethings good but none of them are complete IMO. As for now, I mostly use Miroslav and for the super-hollywood-sound I'd turn to Gold.

    However, what davecos also mentioned is true, Miro is used by pros, even today. Just read the Klaus Badelt interview on the official philharmonik page and you'll see...

    For me, working with samples is not allways about sounding realistic, but getting a nice and warm sound is allso important I think. The old Roland disk, for instance, always gives a full and rich sound, and in the hands of a pro it can sound very, very good.

    Chris
    Last edited by Shantar; 02-23-2007 at 12:54 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9

    Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Quote Originally Posted by Shantar
    You are right to feel what you want about any library, off course.
    Lol You mean of course I can feel whatever about any lib, or that I can feel anything as long as I am off course?

    Just kidding ... I'm just quoting other people I've talked to, in real life and on forums.

  10. #10

    Re: Thoughts on Philharmonik

    Honestly, Miro is one of the first of it's kind, it was made for hardware samplers with limited ram, and it's pretty long in the tooth, so it's not really fair to directly compare it to modern chromatically sampled streaming libs with a bazillion articulations. It still has certain great sounds so it's good for picking up as a supplement.

    This is not to say you can't do full pieces with just the Miro and have them sound good. The great recording quality and rich hall used haven't aged at all.

    The Miro used to cost an incredible fortune back in the day. I am surely not the only one who lusted after it and a rack of samplers when it was state-of-the-art.

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