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Topic: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

  1. #1

    VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    I've got a question for VSL Special Edition owners out there. I'm thinking about buying it, but I found out that it uses one VSTi instance per instrument, instead of 8 per instance like the Kontakt player. This will result in quite a number of separate instances each with it's own window. I'm just wondering if anyone has found this to be hard to work with, or if it's substantially less manageable that the K2 player. I can't imagine that it's better having each separate. Maybe I'm concerned because I'm using Cubase, which doesn't allow me to name instances of VSTi's, so I'm just imagining sifting through a big list of instruments all named 'Vienna_34' and such. (Any Cubase users know how to give names to instances?). But it just seems like it's potentially a bit of a hassle, for example, what if I delete a MIDI track before deleting it's corresponding VSTi instance - what was that instance, Vienna16, or maybe Vienna28? It's probably not a huge deal, and I like the demos I've heard, but I have limited funds these days and just doing my due dilligence.

    Any opinions/experiences are much appreciated.


  2. #2

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    I am surpirsed at how many pieces of info about the SE like this that are not prominently displayed on the web site. Why is that? I have already ordered it, and I didn't know the samples were stretched when I did, or that it does an instance per instrument. I also run Cubase, and it sounds like that will be a little bit of musical proctology. Grr.

    Now the productive question: Where did you guys find information like this? I love research, and I'm poor, so I usually do tons of it. Is there some well-known place that info is located that I should be looking at? Besides here.



  3. #3

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    Well, the one instance thing is pretty obvious I think from the video on the web site and the whole communication. In Kontakt player you would need 8 slots of Kontakt to load all the articulations of one instrument - in VSL VI you can load them into one instance of the VI. So the comparison is a bit useless ......


  4. #4

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    Obvious to someone else, not to me. Guess I assumed similarities that weren't there to other samplers. Is this the same with the "bigger" Vienna libraries, or particular to the SE?



  5. #5

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    It's true of Chamber Strings, at least (the only VI library I own at the moment). My understanding is that this is true of all Vienna's VIs
    Dan Powers

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  6. #6

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    Quote Originally Posted by steff3
    ... In Kontakt player you would need 8 slots of Kontakt to load all the articulations of one instrument - in VSL VI you can load them into one instance of the VI. So the comparison is a bit useless ......
    That's a pretty big assumption that you always need 8 slots for one instrument, isn't it? I'm just a newbie to virt orchestra, but I almost always use keyswitched patches (maybe 3-8 articulations each) and it's infrequent that I need more than 1 K2 slot for any one instrument. Maybe if you're working with libraries that don't have multiple articulations in one patch it would be like that? But for me I'll be looking at 1/7 - 1/8 the number of instances of the VST player using K2 vs. SE.

    Just seems like have 20, 30, 40 or more instances will be a bear to manage.

    But I dunno, that's why I'm asking.


  7. #7

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    The idea or need of various slots / channels for one instrument comes from VSL's invention of the famous legato and repetition tool that lets you play the right transition for (almost) every interval (or repetition) in a phrase. In other words, there has been a software called Performance Tool sitting between you (or the sequencer) and the sampler (in early versions GigaStudio and EXS, later also Kontakt and Halion for the Horizon instruments). But this required one dedicated midi channel for that tool to work, i.e. you needed two separate midi channels for, lets say, staccato (without performance tool) and legato (with the performance tool). You had to either use different midi tracks for the same instrument, or you had to use one midi track with midi set to "all channels" or the like. In both cases, it required a lot of editing and nearly no ability to play musical phrases in realtime.
    Now, with the VI, they incorporated all the performance tool abilities (and much more IMO) into one "instrument" that you can use with only one midi channel. And not only that, you are absolutely free to choose which (and how many) articulations you want to use, then selecting them - in realtime - with keyswitches or any CC you want, independent of whether they are "simple" staccatos or real legato patches, and so on. It's somehow a very different approach, but if you get familiar with it, you don't want to miss it anymore. At least my experience.


  8. #8

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    The multiple instances thing with VSL VI's concerns me because:

    1) What if you're loading large ensembles, and not just multiple articulations of the same few instruments?

    2) What if you wanna use VSL VI instruments in combination with stuff from other libraries, in completely different formats?

    The big question really is, how much is the VI's RAM footprint and CPU hit per instance? That is, when you load up the VI with no instruments, how much RAM/CPU does it cost just to load the VI host itself? A single Kontakt 2 plugin instance, for example, takes up over 400mb RAM for the program itself; Stylus RMX is over 500. So even if you're just loading up separate VIs as basic as "winds" "high brass" "low brass" "high strings" "low strings" "percussion", that's potentially 6 x ___mb before even considering the size of the samples themselves (unless it has some kind of multi-instance optimization?). And I haven't even mentioned CPU cost yet.

    I guess this is my longwinded way of asking, is it honestly possible to run a reasonably full orchestra in realtime on one machine with VI?
    Wilbert Roget, II

  9. #9

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Roget
    I guess this is my longwinded way of asking, is it honestly possible to run a reasonably full orchestra in realtime on one machine with VI?
    I don't know the SE edition in the sense of RAM and CPU use, I am working with the "big brother", but I would assume: no. But the same goes for EW or Sonivox orchestral stuff IMHO.


    You can go very far in my experience. Someone else may correct me, if I am wrong, but as far as my understanding goes, the VI runs as a seperate application (on the same machine in your case), and the plugin (VST, AU) works as an interface communicating with that program, thus not (or only a bit) interfering with the sequencer's RAM usage. And the player does NOT load the same sample twice, even if you use various instances. Thus, for instance, you could program first and second violins with two instances of the player, and they are sharing their similar samples (if they have, of course). Further, if you have finished editing, you can use the player's learn function to eliminate samples not needed. The result may astonish you, ais it did me. Then you can go on editing the next instrument or ensemble.

    But in general, if it's about to layout (or compose) something with the wish to have the complete orchestra under your fingertips on one machine, then VSL may not be the best choice to do so, IMO. To me, VSL is the perfect tool for final editing and rendering, but just for composing, I would use something like GPO, or Synful (to me, a very good tool for exactly that).


  10. #10

    Re: VSL Special Edition Usability Question

    I called Ilio a few days ago and asked about CPU drain relative to their other products, and he was very quick to point out that SE is less taxing than even Opus 1/2, let alone the cube. Seems believable because it's whole-step samples, not chromatic. I hope I can have a whole orchestra running at one time, don't want it if I can't - the license is for one machine only.

    But this is all guesswork, hope someone who's put together a full SE orchestra can share his/her experience....

    And I still hate the idea of in Cubase, trying to keep track that 'Vienna_19' is horns and 'Vienna_13' is Violas, etc. But that's a Cubase issue, I know..


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