I don't know if it is "proper" to ask this here on the forum. I know that the Xsamples library uses the Kontakt Player, so it's not like I'm asking about a really distant topic ...
Does anyone know anything about the Xsamples library?
First hand experience with it?
Someone over on the Finale forum mentioned that they are having a 50% sale on their library, which STILL makes it a pretty expensive investment at nearly $1000 (after taxes and whatnot).
The sounds are nice, and I could really use some of the "instrumental effects" they have. The poster on Finale forum who mentioned this library says it is well integrated into Finale, coming with its own HumanPlayback presets.
I'm just really leery of dropping a wad of cash on something like this without a bit of first-hand knowledge.
I've been patiently awaiting the next Garritan string library, but I suspect now that it will be still a good ways off before it sees the light of day. Personally, I'd much rather stay with Garritan products. Those are the ones I know and trust. But if the delay before the new string library is released is more than a year, I might be tempted to buy Xsamples as a stand-in while I wait.
One thing that might push me to the Xsamples side is that the Strad and Gopher are no longer supported (ie: no more updates to them), and will apparently not be ported to Aria Player. And I was really hoping for an accompanying viola and contrabass to go with those two.
The XSample library is an excellent library if you want the classical chamber orchestra sound. If you are looking for a full orchestral sound it is not the library to get. Also, if you are looking for a library that provides the `Hollywood sound' it is not the right library to get.
The 50% off sale is a *great* deal. Again, if a chamber sound is what you are looking for I would not hesitate to purchase it.
Don't worry about asking on this forum. Most people have multiple libraries. With GOS2 a ways off we need something to tide us over.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM
The instruction booklet is... shall we say: cryptic?
I have to DEFINITELY give kudos to Gary here for this: the Garritan products, EVERY SINGLE ONE I've installed, have been a breeze to install and get up and running.
The installation process for Xsamples leaves a great deal to be desired. They could, and should, have automated 90% of it. As it is it's "insert the disk, start the installer, now manually copy the files..." with a rather cryptic "into THE folder.." which begs the question during installation: WHAT FRIGGIN' FOLDER???!!!!????!!!??? It's not like the installer creates a SINGLE folder.. it creates a crap-load of folders and sub-directories.
That said, the instruments sound good and DO work well within Finale.
The solo instruments sound as good as the Strad and Gofriller. With some additional articulations, like being able to do a glissando in harmonics, which is really REALLY nice. Along with bartok pizz and col legno.
It's a bit harder to balance the volume with Xsamples when you're used to the Garritan settings. This is going to take a bit more fiddling around with settings and whatnots.
A word of advice to Gary and company:
Once you finally get the next sample library ready (which I'm presuming is GOS2), PLEASE, please, please, please, treat notation-users as though they were complete idiots. WE DON'T MIND!!!!!
Don't assume that we know what we're doing.
We know music.
We know sheet music.
We know those dots and lines on a page.
Most of us know that the big red button in front of a computer turns it on.
But please don't do like the makers of Xsamples and expect us to know anything about computers.
Have an installer that INSTALLS. And recognizes that there are possibly multiple versions of Finale on a computer (I have 5 right now), all of which MAY need access to the sample library.
Meaning, have your installer LOOK for different versions of a notation programme and OFFER to install whatever is needed.
And be sure to contact the person responsible for HumanPlayback in Finale, and have the installer have all the right technique definition files ready for HP.
By the way: one technique that would be useful "pre-installed" would be one that allows you to switch easily from mono to poly with instruments that allow this, like the Strad and Gofriller. If GOS2 reacts in the same manner, it would be good to be able to include SOME means for Finale to recognize when it should switch from monophonic to polyphonic playback (chords and double-stop passages with the Strad and Gopher can be a nuisance if there are slurs in the score.. both of those libraries tends to want to do portamento when they see note overlap, meaning I need to insert an invisible expression every time to switch back and forth between polyphonic and monophonic playback mode. I don't mind inserting the invisible expression.. but defining it was a real nuisance).
Well, sorry for the TL : DR post.
If you do find a bit of time to read this, it contains SOME of the things I really think notation users would appreciate.