This is my 1st post to this forum.
Currently I am working on a project which is pretty much based around classical/symphonic orchestration with solo instruments. One option would be to go for a real soloist (violinist), but after some" dilemmatic" period I have I purchased the VSL SE and Vienna Appassionata strings 1, and also the VSL SE PLUS hoping that next to the orchestration I will be able to get/play some realistic solo string lines. I am pretty happy with the "full" orchestration ,
BUT when it comes to exposed solo violin solos all my happiness disappears . Especially when the solo violin is very much exposed and playing slow with lots of expressions in the low registers. I am just not able to get good lines . Even my synth's/rompler's solo violin is better...After several weeks the solo violin string from the VSL is growing on me - but I just do not get the sound what I want.
I know, it is not possible to get a nice realistic line in a minute...
Make sure to have a controller doing the velocity crossfades; I map mine to an expression pedal, and then I map the expression to a little fader on my second keyboard. Someday I really want to get a wind controller for expression control.
I just got VSL SE, and I think the solo instruments sound pretty good.
I need a bit more explanation.
In your case you expression pedal does the velocity crossfades - and it does the velocities as well - so, it does not matter how hard you hit the keys (so there is no midi note on velocity). Correct?
That's correct. In the Vienna Instrument, there is a button for Velocity Crossfades. If you turn that button on, then it disables the keyboard velocities and activates the little fader below. If you right click on the fader, then any midi controller you move becomes mapped to that fader. I use an expression pedal, but you could just as easily use the mod wheel or a breath controller or any slider.
I have the VSL SE strings (picked them up a few weeks ago) and am pretty happy with them overall.
- VSL and Westgate stuff need more verb than, say, Sonivox and EWQL.
- Some of the notes are "noisier" than others and so you may need to do some parametric EQ to improve the worst offenders.
- The legato has fewer velocity layers (only 2 I believe) so there is a large, awkward-sounding jump in there that can only be tempered by careful application of CC11, or by the use of crossfading, as was mentioned.
The results you will get sound considerably more realistic once you take those things into account, IMO.
You definitely, definitely, definitely need to use an expression pedal and modwheel to get the beauty out of the VSL stuff. And once you incorporate those, you'll be amazed at how the library just comes to life. Especially on those solo (exposed) instrument lines.