Since alot of posts are asking about Advanced orchestra strings, I\'ll throw out my first impressions about the CD I just got a couple of days ago. (Another great experience with East/West. It got here overnight from my Web purchase, no problems!)
To save space, I\'ll just say that Holger has been stating the truth in all his posts. He\'s done a very nice job programming these to take advantage of GS.
For example, you can load the violin section bank into GS channel 1. This actually contains all the various articulations such as ff legato, pp legato, tremulo, pizz, ...
You switch from one articulation to another by striking one of the lower keys in the 1st octave (since they\'re not in the violin\'s range and open for use). This is a GREAT feature and much easier that inserting program/patch changes into the cakewalk file.
My question is how do I aviod having that trigger note show up in my track if I import the MIDI file to Finale to print a score? I guess I can have a separate track for trigger notes.
I haven\'t had time to change any of the compositions from the Vitous to AO strings, but my first impression is that Holger is correct. The AO strings give you alot to work with at a great price.
I own the \'MINI\' looped version of Vitous. This is a looped version that has much less than the full $1500 version of his strings, but easy to work with. The strings have a rich, warm sound that you would hear in a nice concert hall.
My problem is that I also need to compose pieces that will be played in a small theater or by a smaller classical period orchestra (i.e., Mozart, Haydn feel.)
The AO strings are exactly what I needed. The sound is closer up with less reverb, but still very pretty. The solo violin actually compares well with Vitous, which has a gorgeous solo violin. Of course, you can always add reverb to AO to warm the sound up as much as Vitous.
As far as Ultimate strings goes, I\'ve been using the Violins banks that came with GS. I go back and forth on them. Sometimes I think they sound no better than my Roland warm strings synth patch, but when I mix the lower range of the violins in with Vitous for legato passages, they really add a nice realistic texture to the sound.
My recommendation is to pick up the entire set of AO if you need a full orchestra to start with (get the GS version). It\'s a bargain. When your budget increases, be sure to add the entire Vitous library as well.
As I get the time to play with all the libraries I\'m coming to one general conclusion for personal use of strings. Right now, I stick with AO and Miroslav to keep things simple. Most other libraries are not quite up to these two and they tend to leave things out that these two have. In general (IMOHO) Miroslav strings (and other instruments) are the Kink of long sustained samples. There is just no comparison for me. However, AO is the king of short articulations and staccato and effects. Especially the upgrade disks. Other than trills, I tend to avoid the origional AO strings disks. On the upgrade disk, try out the staccato strings of any section and either hold down the sustain pedal or lengthen the release to hear the hall on these samples. They are very playable.
I agree with dave on some points - the vitos sustained sound really wonderful. I use the e.g. for atmospheric parts in scoring, with add long reverb. But for Orchestral Arrangements I pefer the AO strings, they sound not so sweet but more real, mixed togheter with the brass and woodwinds it simply sounds like an real orchestra. Vitos has wonderful tone, but too less structure in the sound.
A good technique to get both is to arrange everything with AO, seperating all tracks on an audio editor, layer the vitos sustains and mix them with different balance on the different parts. This leads to a real full and living string sound!
I have also been very successful using the audio editor technique you described above; however, it becomes difficult to alter notes etc. and change things as you go along. Have you found a successful way using dimensions or other techniques to accomplish the same thing in MIDI without having to resort to convoluted program changes etc.
I you mean the virtuoso strings by ILIO, I know the lib since 2 weeks. It sounds great, and firstly you get not only big, orchestral string sections but also small sections e.g. for chamber orchestras. The sound is very brilliant and close, not so warm and full like vitos. To combine with AO and vitos you have to do some eq´ing to adapt the sound character. Negative point is the missing of special techniques like grace, crescendo and too less solo-strings (e.g. just one solo vibrato violin available!). Also too less contabass sounds.
[This message has been edited by holger (edited 07-22-1999).]
Virtuoso Strings are very good for their intended use. The purpose was to create an EXTREMELY expressive string library. This was accomplished fairly well. I personally score mostly serious dramatic subjects and find I can\'t really use these strings. Unfortunately they are too over the top on the vibrato for me to use them. I feel at $995 I probably should have passed on the library. I wish Kirk would have done a no vibrato pass with the Orchestra why they were there. The sonic quality of this library is good, and the programming is much better than you get with Miroslav, etc... If you are looking for a very expressive library, this is the one to get.