I'm currently setting up an orchestral template that I intend to work with for my upcoming orchestral projects. These are to be played by real orchestras in the end so I use only Finale for composing and producing score/parts.
However, I like to have som decent playback of the score while I'm working but this will be directly from Finale 2010.
My plan is this:
Woodwind: Xsample Chamber Ensemble
Orchestral strings: Vienna SE (will probably buy SE Strings - PLUS to get some additional articulations)
Orchestral Percussion: Xsample
I have brass and timpani in Vienna SE but I can't seem to get a good result from them. I occasionally trigger vel xfade with the VSL brass and all keyswitching is working as it should but they always sound a bit "thin". Another problem is that the brass have 2-3 velocity layers and the "forte"-layer has a very sharp, thin, piercing sound and it will immediately stand out from the orchestra. Either I'm not using the VSL brass as I should or they are not that great for working with Finale?
Basically, I need some advice here: Is it possible to get e decent "realistic" brass sound from the Vienna stuff (played from finale) or shall I look for some other brass library? (I've been looking at Project SAM for instance)
My setup: Mac Pro 2x2.8 GHz, 6 GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5.7
Finale 2010, Vienna SE, Xsample Chamber Ensemble, full GPO, Kontakt 2
(also Logic 8, Pro Tools)
If you don't like the edge to the Vienna Brass, then just pull the filter down a touch. You don't even have to automate it, because it wouldn't affect the lower levels to any great degree. You also have to make sure that you put it in the correct space for the sound that you require. Get that right, and you shouldn't have any problem.
You also have to make sure that you put it in the correct space for the sound that you require. Get that right, and you shouldn't have any problem.
I suppose you mean that the brass needs it own ambience? Right? Will this really make that much difference? What kind of ambience would you recommend for brass?
I've been listening to a lot of the brass demos on the VSL site and despite that they probably use Altiverb and filtering I still find them a bit "thin" compared to real recordings of brass instruments. They are not bad by any means but it feels like they are the weakest part of the VSL library. Maybe the full VSL brass libraries are different in sound but they seem a little much for my needs.
Regarding Vienna Suite:
I haven't looked into this product much since I normally don't produce mockups or simulations for anyone else to hear. But it might be worth to investigate if it can improve the brass and overall sound. How is the reverb in VS btw?
Regarding Project SAM:
I listened to the demos on their site and they sound very impressive but they seem to be focused on film/game music. Please correct me if I'm wrong here. What I want is something that is as close as possible to real instruments (it won't do me any good if I compose something that sound fantastic on my computer and crap in reality...) That was one of the reasons I chose VSL instead of EWQLSO. I'm not looking for an impressive "hollywood"-sound, I just want something that will simulate my scores as realistic as possible.
Does anybody know the number of velocity layers in the Project SAM Brass samples? Has anyone used them with a notation program (Finale/Sibelius)?
I have to put in a vote for SAM brass. I have been using them for years, and largely rely on the solo instruments CD, which when I bought it was under $100! (I think now the whole brass collection is around $400.) I feel like the section brass feels a bit big and cinematic, but the solo CD works great for legit trumpet, trombone, and french horn. (If looking for anything jazzy this is NOT the right library.)