• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Topic: Guess which string library...

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Guess which string library...

    ... was used to create this rendition of Ralph Vaughan Williams "Fantasia On a Theme By Thomas Tallis".

    http://www.box.net/shared/oet5er4u3v

    Admittedly, it's not the best possible rendition due to my nooby status, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by skallman View Post
    Re: Guess which string library ... was used to create this rendition of Ralph Vaughan Williams "Fantasia On a Theme By Thomas Tallis".
    I've no idea, it could be any of them so far as I'm concerned ... but you can't be that much of a nooby if you've been on this forum since 2006.

    Why don't you just say which one it is and let's all have a sensible discussion about it?

  3. #3

    Re: Guess which string library...

    I really am a nooby compared some of the folks who show up here on this forum as well as some others. Compared to them, I certainly don't have the skill set which could produce a better recording of this piece. (Oh,well. That will come soon enough I hope.)

    As for not revealing which library I used to make the piece, I wanted to see if anyone can tell if there is any real difference between any of the new string libraries (hint: is IS one of the new ones, not an older library), or maybe our ears have been fooled into thinking there's an detectable aural difference between them. Such is my curiosity!!

    That, and I have a whacked out sense of humor which gets a kick out seeing if anyone can guess correctly. (Hee, hee! )

    Steve

  4. #4

    Re: Guess which string library...

    Quote Originally Posted by skallman View Post
    ... I wanted to see if anyone can tell if there is any real difference between any of the new string libraries ...
    Many people seem to be focussed on doing that, but if that's your intent, I think.

    There there are two approaches you could take if you want to do a proper comparison.

    Either:

    1. Take an off the shelf midi file and run it through each library making no alterations, and see if anyone can tell which rendition belongs to which library - any nooby could do this, but that's not what you have done here, I understand.

    or ...

    2. Get an expert sample library demo programmer who does not specialise in any one library to program the same piece of music in each different library to the best of their ability, using all the musical and mixing skills they can muster. They either need to spend unlimited time on each version making sure that each is as good as they can get it until they say it is complete, or they could spend a fixed time on each version, making it as good as they can get it in a fixed time, in which case it becomes a slightly different test other than just comparing sample libraries.

    Quote Originally Posted by skallman View Post
    That, and I have a whacked out sense of humor which gets a kick out seeing if anyone can guess correctly.
    But it's just a pointless waste of time for anyone else to play that game.

  5. #5

    Re: Guess which string library...

    But it's just a pointless waste of time for anyone else to play that game.
    No offense was intended. Just wanted to have some fun. Serious music making need not always be so serious. Certainly, my lame attempt at humor shouldn't be taken so seriously.

    Anyway, to further the discussion, the library in question is Kirk Hunter's Concert Strings II.

    And as far as "Get(ing) an expert sample library demo programmer" to help out on the mix, boy, I wish I knew someone like that, so I'm left to my own devices when it comes to making a final mix. In this particular case, I did nothing more than hit the record button on my notation program and sent the output through a reverb plugin, and nothing more. Hence the slight distortion during loud passages. I tried out various compressors and limiters, but couldn't get any satisfactory results without the usual pumping and artificiality that such plugins sometimes introduce in the final mix.

    Oh, well. Better luck next time.

    Steve

  6. #6

    Re: Guess which string library...

    No offense taken, and I'm all for a well-delivered, good joke.

    But onto that serious discussion ...

    I'm a relative nooby myself.

    I mostly use the Garritan strings in the GPO3 library, though I also have VSL Strings as part for the Kontakt 4 factory selction that I hope to get more use of in time.

    Not knowing anything about your mix, I would have not been surprised if you had said it was either if my libraries, or some other library altogether.

    I've seen some real experts here make bold assertions about whether a mix is or isn't a particular library .. and proven to be wrong ... and many flawed attempts at comparisons.

    Knowing what you've done with the piece, I'd say the sound of the ensemble strings is generally pleasing and quite good, though the solo instruments are somewhat harsh and would be the first thing to improve upon.

    It is quite an impressive results given how you've produced it, but I'd hope to be able to get better results with either of my string libraries and more time than you say you've spent on it.

    If you are looking to create mixes of your own compositions or arrangements using the KH library, then I'd say stick with what you've done here ... its quite good enough for your purposes.

    But if you are looking to create even more realistic mixes of either your own compositions and arrangements or other peoples compositions, arrangements or midi files, then get a decent DAW/sequencer and learn all you can about audio mixing and using the libraries you have ... but that will be valuable time taken away from any composition/arranging aspirations you may have.

    Good luck whichever path you choose .. if either!

  7. #7

    Re: Guess which string library...

    Knowing what you've done with the piece, I'd say the sound of the ensemble strings is generally pleasing and quite good, though the solo instruments are somewhat harsh and would be the first thing to improve upon.
    I'd have to agree. Though there is a 3-band equalizer built into each instrument, my attempts to get a warm, buttery sound from these solo strings is a work in progress. My experience at these sort of things is limited, and it's going to take some time to work out these kinds of kinks. Oddly enough, when listening to several commercial recordings of this piece, the solo strings sound very similar to these CS2 solo strings, but not as yet, where I'd like them to be.

    I think I'll wait until the promised updates to the Concert Strings II library comes out this summer before I spend any more time trying to improve the sound I already have created in this piece. By then, my skills should have improved along with the library.

    Steve

  8. #8

    Re: Guess which string library...

    Hi Steve,

    I don't wish to contradict anything Peter has said as much of it is sound advice. But IMHO, the degree of expression and realism in your work here FAR exceeds much of what most people achieve with sophisticated DAW set ups. Infact, 'FAR exceeds' is an underestimate! No, the two things that matter most are good compositional skills (and RVW certainly knew his stuff!) and a good library. I thought this might have been Cinematic Strings or possibly LASS (which I don't own) - but I was certain it wasn't that over-hyped and over priced, metallic sounding Hollywood Strings!

    The solo strings bothered me though - but I'll check against some live recordings which I have because they may be closer than I think. I use Kirk Hunter's romantic violin and several others such as XSample, sometimes switching libraries mid-phrase to get the right effect. You can do that with good samples - and at the moment, I think that is the only answer.

    Great post - and good luck.

    Regards, Graham

  9. #9

    Re: Guess which string library...

    I've been reading Eric Sarafin's 2nd "Mixerman" book these last few days.

    He points out that its' difficult to listen to a piece objectively that you've mixed yourself while the mix is still available for further tweaking and not in a fixed state.

    He also points out that the prime purpose of a mix or production is to conveying the original song to its best, which (in this context) is not necessarily the same as just getting the most realistic sound.

    Both points seem very relevant here.

    Now that I've had a chance to listen to (three times so far, I might add) and experience the piece just as a piece of music - a single production RVW's original "Song" - without the distraction of trying to work out what library it might or might not be, I must say that I was quite deeply moved throughout, and it is almost a religious experience listening to this rendition, as I'm sure both RVW and Tallis would have intended it to be, and I was mostly too carried away in the experience to even think about what library it is.

    I've already said that the realism is impressive, and I can forgive the relatively minor problem with the solo strings, and occassionally there is a raw medieval edge to some of the ensemble parts too I think, rather than the modern rapturous lushness that abounds throughout, and an over-exaggerated crescendo early on. Though given the original source (a medieval composer), that may not be entirely out of place.

    I certainly agree now that it is extremely impressive to say it has come out straight out of a notation program (using an imported off the shelf midi file, I assume?), and also that most people spend too much money on expensive audio setups for relatively poor results when they would be better off spending less on more targeted products and getting the knowledge of how to use them well before expanding their set up.

    If you are still a nooby, I think at least you've now found an interesting and very satisfying route to continue down.

    It would take me a lot of work with either of my libraries and DAW to get this piece to enthrall the listener so well as your production does, let alone improve upon it, which makes the KH library very tempting ...

  10. #10

    Re: Guess which string library...

    He also points out that the prime purpose of a mix or production is to conveying the original song to its best, which (in this context) is not necessarily the same as just getting the most realistic sound.
    Couldn't agree more. In working with the various instrument libraries at my disposal, I was always striving to attain a realistic SOUNDING orchestra. As time has gone by, it's become more important for me to work towards a more realistic sounding PERFORMANCE; one that moves the soul instead trying to impress the intellect with how well we can make these machines of ours can mimic a "live" orchestra. ('Nuff said. I shall now get off my soapbox. )

    I certainly agree now that it is extremely impressive to say it has come out straight out of a notation program (using an imported off the shelf midi file, I assume?)
    Good call! This recording was made using a MIDI file imported into Overture 4. I had to do a LOT of editing to get the rhythms and timing right before it was "ready for prime time".

    Glad to see you like the final product so much. Take care.

    Steve

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •