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Topic: Library suggestions for chamber music

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  1. #1

    Library suggestions for chamber music

    I\'ve been reading (and sometimes posting) on this board for a long while now, but still haven\'t bought any modern gear, since I got out of the music industry years ago.

    I think I am finally ready to take the plunge, but I don\'t think I\'m going to go with Giga. Instead, I\'d like to keep it very simple and portable and get a 15\" powerbook, Logic, and run samples solely from within EXS.

    Two questions:
    1. Can I get enough polyphony this way to do fairly complex chamber music? (Say 18-25 parts?)

    2. What sample libaries would be best in this hardware configuration and for this style of music.

  2. #2

    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    18 to 25 parts?!? That\'s a big chamber!

    I really like Kirk Hunter\'s Solo Strings. It\'s a good place to start, and reasonably priced. The library includes separate voices that should be easily mapped to EXS. It also includes some lite samples with shorter tails. I find that I don\'t need much poly for Kirk\'s strings, but it sure eats memory! The lite samples would get you going, and you could always consider Giga later for doing final renders. Composing with a lite template with a simple setup has lots of practical benefits. But having the whole enchilada for final renders has benefits too.

    Kirk offers a nice flute now, though I don\'t own it. You might consider Dan Dean\'s Solo Woodwinds Lite for the whole section.

    Beyond that, it depends. Sam\'s Horns and Trombone are probably out. They\'re way too agressive for chamber work. I\'ve got Bigga Gigga\'s Brass. It\'s a bit timid for me, but may very well suit the chamber style you seek. It\'s also not too huge, and not too expensive.

    I\'m not sure what else you need. Sackbut? Crumhorn?

    Another thing to consider is if you want to compose in a sequencer or a notation program. You may prefer working in Sibelius or Finale, and getting some other Mac-happy sampler. Or maybe EXS exposes its MIDI ports, so you could mate Sib/Fin with EXS sounds. For traditional styles I compose in Sibelius and do the finishing work in the sequencer. (Be aware though that Sibelius is best used with a keyboard that has a dedicated 10-key keypad.)

    Good luck with your entry into 21st century music :-)

  3. #3

    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    What about the Xsamples? I\'ve heard demos of them and they sound really amazing. Has anyone used those? If so, how are they? I think the woodwinds and strings sets are probably really good for chamber music, from what I\'ve heard in demos.

  4. #4

    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    I have the Xsamples woodwinds samples and use them a lot. They are sampled really well and I am a fan of keyswitching which they offer quite well in these libraries.

    So, I can load an oboe and have 5-7 different articualtions ready to be triggered via the keyswitches.

    I also like that Xsamples has extended techniques (flutter tonguing, key clicks, etc) offered in their libraries.

  5. #5

    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    18 to 25 parts?!? That\'s a big chamber!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">A small orchestra is still considered a chamber orchestra.


    ------------
    Alex Cremers

  6. #6

    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    Originally posted by JonFairhurst:
    I\'m not sure what else you need. Sackbut? Crumhorn?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Sackbut and Crumhorn are the funniest instrument names ever.

    -shawn

  7. #7

    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    Originally posted by Alexcremers:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">18 to 25 parts?!? That\'s a big chamber!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">A small orchestra is still considered a chamber orchestra.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Ahh. The term \"chamber orchestra\" is familiar. Somehow my brain hadn\'t connected it with chamber music, which I\'ve associated with trios/quartets/quintets and ensembles that could fit in one\'s home. With 25 players my guests would be outside in the rain :-)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    I\'d say VSL pro edition. Granted, not the cheapest option on the planet, but you could run just the tiniest hint of additional reverb and have almost the perfect sound. The intimacy and the detail, and the widely varied articulations for each instrument would give you the additional polish you need at that level of exposure. The release samples have quite a bit of first order reflection content, but the soundstage they use for recording attenuates the tail. The room is actually a bit on the large-ish size, but the isolation gives you a lot more intimacy than the room would indicate on first blush, and the reflective content is so well diffused that the samples don\'t speak any particular size as much as just giving a general impression of space.

    The one exception to that would be string ensembles. The VSL ensembles are a bit large for chamber music, but the Sonic Implants Symphonic Strings are very compatible, and have small section sizes. The room is a bit more reflective, but the recorded presence is about the same, so you can get a very nice blend. In fact, I\'ve even layered the two for really huge sections, and it works very well. The bite of the louder legatos in the SI collection complements the VSL legato performances nicely and gives them some \"virtual\" dynamic layers that work very well. But that\'s decidedly not chamber-sized orchestration.

    If I\'m not mistaken, Herb intends to record some small sections at some point in time for divisi, etc., so it\'s likely some edition of VSL will eventually have those.

  9. #9

    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    But isn\'t VSL Pro a bit heavy for EXS? I\'d think a lighter solution may be the ticket for loading on a single PowerBook. I guess it depends on if the goal is composition (use the light template) or performance (hook up as many Giga PCs with all the libs you can afford).

  10. #10

    Re: Library suggestions for chamber music

    Originally posted by shawn:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Originally posted by JonFairhurst:
    I\'m not sure what else you need. Sackbut? Crumhorn?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Sackbut and Crumhorn are the funniest instrument names ever.

    -shawn
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Indeed, they are - but oh, what wonderfully weird sounds they make... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Actually, the same soul who created the excellent Early Patches Akai disc (filled with all sorts of great medieval instruments) is _supposed_ to be creating a brand new disc of other renaissance instruments, including - you guessed it - a full consort of Crumhorns.

    But unfortunately, no Sackbuts.

    Still, I find myself drooling with anticipation... [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

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