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Topic: Latest review of VSL Special edition

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  1. #1

    Latest review of VSL Special edition

    Here's the latest review of VI SE. Part one anyway by Peter Alexander
    Interesting to note he does not recommend purchasing the extension!

    Just download latest edition.

    http://http://www.filmmusicweekly.com

    http://www.filmmusicweekly.com/issue...kly_102307.pdf (This may open it directly)

  2. #2

    Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    I'd like to correct some things in this review of the Vienna Special Edition:
    - The harp is part of the Standard Library, as listed on the VSL website:
    http://vsl.co.at/en/211/442/484/485/559/292.htm
    - The Extended Library can not only be purchased at the VSL website, but also at VSL's international distributors and at all Vienna Authorized Dealers. The discount on the Extended Library is granted to anybody who has registered Opus 1 or Orchestral Cubes or Performance Sets of the First/Pro Edition sample libraries, no matter where you buy the Extended Library of any Vienna Instruments Collection.
    - The articulations of each instrument of the Vienna Special Edition, not only of the strings, can be found at the VSL website:
    http://vsl.co.at/en/211/442/484/485/684/409.htm
    They're also listed in the product description, containing all articulations for each instrument group:
    http://vsl.co.at/en/211/442/484/485/559/292.htm

    Cheers, Martin

  3. #3

    Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    In response:

    1. On page 13 of the review, we posted a chart directly from the Vienna web site. Reading the chart does not indicate to me that Harp is part of the standard collection since the word "normal" (which I take for standard harp) is listed in the extended collection.

    2. As a registered VI owner, I don't recall receiving any VSL newsletter stating that I can purchase the extended edition from any dealer or distributor. Since there's been a change in policy, could you please point us to a link stating this on the Vienna site, so I can make a printed correction?

    3. On the page you point to with articulations, my criticism stands. Articulations are listed under the extended edition, not standard. Those articulations are listed on page 13 of the review which is a direct copy of this page to verify my comments.

    4. At the second link, I stand by my criticism. Look where the articulations are placed. Under the Trombone ensemble we see the first list of four (4) articulations. So I take it you want customers to assume that those four listed articulations apply to each of the instruments above. Each list needs a starting sentence that says, "The following list of woodwinds and brass each have the following four articulations..."

    After spending some hours with SE, I have two views about buying the extended edition and that depends on your musical purpose. My views are sourced in owning the Cube plus the Appassionata Strings, of which some months earlier I wrote a review in Film Music Weekly calling the Appassionata Strings the new workhorse string library. For those whom English is a second language, "workhorse" is a compliment.

    My printed criticism suggested that if your writing goals were more film scoring oriented, then buy the Specal Edition, but rather than updating to the Extended Version, instead, look at buying the Appassionata strings instead. That's still money for Vienna, just spent differently. I said that because having the Appassionata library, I was disappointed at the articulations that were included in Special Edition.

    As published previously in my reviews, with the Appassionata strings you can achieve amazing results, and unlike Orchestral Strings I and II, you can do so without spending an extra $595 to get Altiverb.

    Because, as I see it, Appassionata is their flagship string library (now supplemented with muted strings in their Appassionata II), a few more articulations should have been added - again, my opinion as reviewer/owner.

    In my printed reviews, I've stated that Appassionata is one of two independent workhorse string libraries on the market today with the second being String Essentials 2 by Peter Siedlaczek available from Best Service (Northern Sounds advertisers).

    At the time of the second review, I had not received String Essentials 2 to effect a comparison.

    Since the second review, published prior to Christmas, Vienna has introduced its download program which is very affordably priced and enables Special Edition owners to expand their library in a very reasonable way - as noted by reader comments below.

    For updating to the Extended Edition, I said it determined how broad your writing is taking you. I cited as an example, Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, much of which can be produced with Special Edition and the Extended library.

    I also pointed out the jazz elements possible for upgrading since I felt that the Vienna saxes are very strong. With the addition of a walking bass, which VSL now has available, Special Edition can knock off such groups as Super Sax (five saxes, rhythm, solo trumpet), small horn ensembles (tpt-alt-bone-bari, alt-tenor-bone-bari, tpt-alt-bone-bari), the Four Brothers sound (three tenors and a bari) and the Glenn Miller sound (clar, alt, alt, ten, ten).

    Given these pop opportunities available with the extended edition, I criticized the lack of additional percussion to create a drum set.

    I also felt that the soprano voices should have been included in this library. With so many arranging bases covered, adding some aspect of the Soprano voices would have made for a very well rounded collection. And I would have rather had the voices then the oboe d'amore.

    You can produce a lot of music with Special Edition.

    My criticism, which I stick by, is that the thinking behind the library's creation is sound musically from an arranging/compositional perspective. But it's not very well explained. Nor are there enough demos yet that demonstrate what Special Edition is really capable of doing.

    With other complete orchestral libraries out there at a much lesser price (compared to about $1100 for Special Edition with the extended version), I think a few more paragraphs of explanation are worthwhile in what is now a very competitive orchestral library market.

    More written explanation, and more demos, is only to Vienna's sales benefit. I judge this to be important since the approximate $1100 cost is equal to the tuition cost of one semester at many U.S. two-year colleges.

    The second review, published before Christmas, covered how I felt about the sound, which I prefaced by saying I had a bias towards it because I owned the library! My original decision to buy the library was based on trust in Vienna on what they had acheived earlier, and the demos done by composer Jay Bacal.

    To summarize my printed review, unless you really need the Extended Edition, consider buying the Special Edition standard edition supplementing it with the Appassionata Strings, their new walking bass, other download libraries from Vienna, and potentially Peter Siedlaczek's String Essentials 2.

    Excluding my recommendation for Mr. Siedlaczek's, these recommendations come to about the same price as the SE Standard with Vienna product. My experience with the library is that by adding Appassionata I to the core Special Edition, depending on your needs, you have wider musical production opportunities. Again, determined by what your writing needs are.
    Peter L. Alexander
    www.professionalorchestration.com
    www.alexanderpublishing.com
    Learn it right the first time.

  4. #4

    Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    I have the extended edition and I use it all of the time. I totally think it's worth the money and I have also bought the SE Plus downloads that include additional articulations for strings and brass (wallet ran dry for the woodwinds ).

    Yeah, I can see how the Standard library would be good for most people but I really like the Extended because of the Epic Horns, saxes (totally awesome!), Appassionata Strings, etc.

    BTW- the new SE Plus downloads are worth it too. At least I think so. I'm playing them right now. Er, well, not as I type since I am not an octopus...

  5. #5

    Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    Personally I love VSL SE. It's a nice basic library with good coverage of orchestral elements. What I like the most is that it doesn't take much tweaking to get it sounding good. I also like that it was recorded so dry because you're not limited to a certain "size" sound.

  6. #6

    Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    You both made my points. You saw an arranging/compositional need for the extended edition. Excellent!

    The great thing about the Vienna Instruments player is that once you've learned it, you've learned it for the whole collection. And as announced at NAMM, the new Vienna Ensemble 3 has its own proprietary "FX Teleport" so you can connect multiple Vienna systems together via LAN cable into your main DAW.
    Peter L. Alexander
    www.professionalorchestration.com
    www.alexanderpublishing.com
    Learn it right the first time.

  7. #7

    Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    Quote Originally Posted by peter269
    And as announced at NAMM, the new Vienna Ensemble 3 has its own proprietary "FX Teleport" so you can connect multiple Vienna systems together via LAN cable into your main DAW.
    What what!? I've been waiting for something like this to happen for years. When was this announced and where can I find more information about it?

    Great discussion by the way. Looks like I lost touch over the holidays, time to catch up! (Too bad the wallet is empty though)...

    Thanks,

    Alex

  8. #8

    Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    Quote Originally Posted by peter269

    2. As a registered VI owner, I don't recall receiving any VSL newsletter stating that I can purchase the extended edition from any dealer or distributor. Since there's been a change in policy, could you please point us to a link stating this on the Vienna site, so I can make a printed correction?
    I never got a newsletter, but I found out this was possible. Whilst the shop at www.vsl.co.at was down I emailed them to ask how to get hold of the extended edition, and was told it was possible via Time&Space. I tried their website, but nothing was obvious. So I phoned them, and it turned out to be really easy. It turns out the international distributors have access to the database of registered basic edition owners, and can thus do all the discount calculations that the Vienna site can do.

    I think this needs to be made clearer somewhere, since it actually ended up in a much quicker delivery than when I've ordered from the Vienna site (who actually pass the order to Time&Space anyway, but take their time doing it).

  9. #9

    Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu
    I never got a newsletter, but I found out this was possible. Whilst the shop at www.vsl.co.at was down I emailed them to ask how to get hold of the extended edition, and was told it was possible via Time&Space. I tried their website, but nothing was obvious. So I phoned them, and it turned out to be really easy. It turns out the international distributors have access to the database of registered basic edition owners, and can thus do all the discount calculations that the Vienna site can do.

    I think this needs to be made clearer somewhere, since it actually ended up in a much quicker delivery than when I've ordered from the Vienna site (who actually pass the order to Time&Space anyway, but take their time doing it).
    Thanks for confirming that the Vitamin B packet I'm taking is working...

    (starting to worry for a moment!)
    Peter L. Alexander
    www.professionalorchestration.com
    www.alexanderpublishing.com
    Learn it right the first time.

  10. #10

    Talking Re: Latest review of VSL Special edition

    All I can say....is that I have loved it, since the first day I got the special edition & expanded library. The legato scipts are awesome. I am very pleased with the sound, ease of use and intergration with other libraries.

    I HIGHLY recommend this library!!
    DAW

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