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Topic: Synclavier libraries

  1. #1

    Synclavier libraries

    I\'m thinking of purchasing some Synclavier libraries. Are the sounds on these libraries, e.g. Synclavier Strings, synthetic sounds or real sounds? I ask this because they\'re called SYNclavier. On the demo\'s they sound like real instruments.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gary M. Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Myrtle Beach, SC (USA)

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    They sound pretty real to me too.... but, I think they\'re \"synths\" I cannot be certain.... anybody else know? http://www.ilio.com/ilio/synclavstrings/index.html

  3. #3

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    They are real strings but I read a review in \"Keyboard\" many many years ago and they said it sounded terrible and totally outdated! (And this was at least 6 years ago!) - So my suggestion to you is, stay off of them [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Ilio wrote back to \"keyboard\" and defended their product. It was like a war between distributor and reviewer [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Quite entertaining.


  4. #4

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    It is notable that the orchestral libraries of Ilio: Synclavier and MV are old libraries, but still sold for a high price.
    The synclavier descends form the seventies and eighties.

  5. #5

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    Well, the CD\'s certainly have their own kind of sound, so you can buy them if you want these sounds, although they\'re not up to date.
    I find it also kind of fun to look into the history of sampling. Does anyone still have one of these Synclavier machines? Sampling in those days certainly was only for the rich. It\'s all kind of nostalgic.
    Here\'s an image:

  6. #6

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    I have them I have them!!! YEA YEA!! ME!!!ME!! I dont have the Brass and Winds.... but I have the rest....

    ***Here is my review....**

    You should first understand that it was sampled from a synclavier (yes it is real acoustic orchestra samples), and that they sound SOOO much better when they come out of the actual synclavier. Mark Snow uses one for all X-Files scores and everything else he does. So does Sean Callery for 24 (and everything else he does). So the orchestra samples... (except the string sextion pizz, thats prosonus)...as far as I can see, from these 2 guys in these shows are all from the synclavier. - listen to these shows and you\'ll see what I mean.

    But... like I said, these composers actually have a real synclavier and they sound a LOT beter coming out of a real synclavier.

    That out of the way whats these \"cds\" sound like?

    Well be prepared to do some programming to get the most out of the samples, especailly if you get the Akai. If you get a native Kurzweil or Roland disk and run it from the appropriate native sampler (eg, dont convert it) then you\'ll get crossfades already programmed for you. The akai doesnt have this though. (may I suggest the Sample Cell version, which you can find cheaper for some reason)

    Personally, I bought the Akai Strings syncalavier cd. This cd has a few problems on it.

    One: They sampled a few notes badly on the harp (around middle C being the most obvious). The synclavier harp sounds gorgeous though!! You can get rid of the troublesome notes in the editor though, and it sounds fine after that. I dont know if the real synclavier has velocity sensitive samples for its harp sound, but the one on the akai cd doesnt. Beucase of this the notes in the upper register sound a bit too percussive and not as plucked as it should sound. Still, its a really nice sounding harp that sometimes sounds better if you layer it over AO-Upgrade Harp.

    Two: They provide a string ensemble patch which gives you the celli section across the lower register, then in the middle you get violins, and then in the upper register you get violas. This sounds is a very usefull and a good idea... apart from them making it a memory saving patch and didnt bother to provide a better normal quality patch. Why did they do this?? AH! But not to fear....instrument editor gurus... you can make your own if you want by using instrument editor.

    Three: ITS WAAAAAAYY TOO EXPENSIVE!!!! How long has this thing going to be sold at the same price? The strings (and brass and winds) are definitly not worth the money they are charging. HOWEVER... if they do reduce the price I think they compliment the other cheaper orchestra libs very well. I own, Prosonus, all the synclavier libs (exept brass and winds) Advanced Orchestra, [also Atmosphere strings] Now if I get Roland Orchestra samples these few chepaer libs I think fill the gaps in each other very nicely. - and of course SAM Horns (and soon Trombones)

    The solo cello is very VERY nice in the lower register. It has long loops and in that register, and also includes a cresendo decredendo effect so it moves from one note to the next rather nicely (not so in the upper register which is more like the solo violin [see below]...).

    I know sounds the solo violin sounds LOT better from an actual synclavier so this is probably just sloppy programming. The loops, although of a resonable length, dont move from one note to the next very well. But having said this, carefull and attentive programming in the editor may be able to fix this.

    Back to the string ensemble patches. If you made your own patch with all three sections (violas, violins and violas) like I suggested earlier and you add crossfades, and control the dynamics with another controller these strings will sound more like the way the synclavier outputs the sound... and like I said they do compliment the other value orchestra cds around IMHO.

    Ok, lets get off the topic of the strings... the World and Orchestra percussion cd samples are great!!! It was probably easier for them to not mess up sampling it (o_O). The celeste is really REALLY beautiful, as is the glockenspeil. The church bell, is also really good. The other ethnic percussion on that disk is also really useful imo. The waterphone FX is also really cool, and usefull. (I got the Sample Cell version of this one and everything converted* perfectly that I can see)

    The Essential Percussion cd is great too and like the World and Orchestral cd is quite good value for money. Dont expect Drum Kit from Hell, but there are nice acoustic drums here and some very cool processed kits, and a few very useable Distorted Reality esque FX that also sound great. The other percussion sounds are also really nice and these sounds work great when used with the World and Orchestra samples. The orchestra samples arent anything like VSL or anything but they do compliment the cheaper side of the orchestra sample cds market and the ethnic samples are very nice.

    If any of you plan to buy these libaries... DO NOT BUY FROM ILIO.... Buy from www.timespace.com. Where for some reason the Sample Cell version is a quite a bit cheaper, and it converts* fine as I can see although I have only tried with the World and Orchestral percussion disk - (you also get the volumes all nice and labled instead of the mess of the unorganized mess that is the partition akai cds.) I wouldnt get the akai again, no way.

    Also, if you get the Keys and Guitars cd, DO NOT get the Roland version because it doesnt convert well... youll have to go into the instruemnt editor to fix it. The grand piano sounds great coming from the synclavier but not so great on this disk - (This is probably bad or lazy programming and sampling, OR that it wouldnt have fit in the samplers at the time so they didnt sample it extensively). Layer it over GigaPiano and it sounds much better I think and makes the Synclavier piano from this disk much more usefull and useable again.

    The childrens choir in the synclavier is really REALLY unique and beautiful, a very pad like sound but very very good - its totally different to anything else on the market and any other synth Ive ever heard. I bought the Roland cd of Keys and Guitars and they have very thin souding samples of these choirs, that sound nothing like the childrens choir on the synclavier! Why did they sample such a bad sounding patch? or is it just the conversion of the Roland disk?? I really wish I knew.

    * - I used Translator. CD Xtract might convert the formats better... or worse... who knows.... :-).

    Final thought: I know that this review has been a little bit strange as I jump around a lot, but maybe you get the idea and that is has answered a few questions... I know I have already said this, but ILIO SHOULD lower its price of these cds. At least the strings, brass and winds and keys and guitars. The World and Orchestral cd is pretty good value for money considering. Its got lots of useable good samples and I would definitely reccomend it - but get it in Sample Cell format (www.timespace.com) or you\'ll pay a lot more for no apparent reason...

    I\'ll make a few demos when I get my computer back up and running. Im not the best person for the job but I\'ll try ;-)


  7. #7

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    Luigi, you forgot to show the picture of the CPU,( or whatevrer that thing is,) that is the size of a fridge!!!


    I love the synclavier, I want one. ;-)


  8. #8

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    Thanks for the enormous replies!! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    It\'s notable that like the \'outdated\' Miroslav Vitous of Ilio, this Ilio library also costs too much. It would be nice indeed if these libraries would become less expensive. I only have the AUDIO DISK 2 - Orchestral. If the other synclavier libraries would become cheaper I\'d certainly buy them. Athough they don\'t come up to the libraries of nowadays, they certainly have a very nice own unique kind of sound.

    I replaced the picture with a smaller picture.

  9. #9

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    Originally posted by Lee Blaske:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I love the synclavier, I want one. ;-)
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">No you don\'t, Ed.

    I\'ve still got my small $50,000 FM Synclavier II in the closet. They were very cool in their day, but their day has long passed. Current equipment blows them away. Synclaviers were also complicated. They came with a HUGE stack of manuals.
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Ah. So are you saying its not something one can simply plug and play?

    IMO, these days, the only reason to have one is if you\'re interested in historical systems as a hobby. Keeping a large computer system like a Synclavier running will be a big challenge. Finding media, parts, peripherals from that era, etc. is difficult.[/QB]
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">It just seems like you can do everything on them.

    If you\'re really hankering for one, though, keep your eye on eBay. They can be had very reasonably. Some of the owners initially list them at absurd fantasy prices, but after they\'ve gone through several cycles with no bids, the prices drop way down. Shipping of the larger units would be significant, though.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">If I were to pay under $4.5k for one, would that be resonable?

    There are stil places that fix em up and they say they are really hard machines that hardly ever break down.

    Tell me something though. What sort of system should I look for? I want to use all the synclavier sounds (piano, orchestra percussion etc etc) with velocity sensitive keys and aftertouch if possible. The FM synthesis would be great. With a decent poly count, but other than that I dont think I need anything else. But to get all of the above would I have to spend more than $4.5k?


    PS: If its in the closet, why dont you sell it? What can your system do? Why reason do you think Mark Snow and Sean Callery still use these machines today if they are so old and outdated?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    South Ken, London

    Re: Synclavier libraries

    Yeah, Synclavier IIs aren\'t necessarily much use today but try out a fully stocked Synclavier 9600 system with the beautifully weighted VPK keyboard (also used on Prophet T8s) and that\'s a different story. You can still update the drives etc and these things are built like tanks and more reliable than anything else I\'ve ever used. The software takes a lot of getting used to to, but the end result is still superb. And the sound quality is sublime.

    Sometimes older sampling technology (and products of that technology) is knocked compared to what is available today, but don\'t forget that a lot of those old beasts, such as the K250, are still amongst the most playable and musical of electronic instruments. And the recent passion for the VSL performance set seems to prove that people want playability rather than just a pristine set of sounds.

    Oh, and I really like this forum!. My studio buddy recommended I come here for informed debate and he was more than right!.

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