Budget Woodwinds Shootout!

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by jimjazzuk, May 19, 2019.

  1. gussunkri

    gussunkri Member

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    I will probably regret this, and, given that I am a beginner, I am probably doing Spitfire a disservice, but I did post an example of Spitfire Studio brass and woodwinds core.
    Here it is again:

    Because I am such a beginner, I cannot quite tell, does this example show off the problems you have highlighted?
     
  2. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

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    Curious as to what reverb you're using. The mix sounds a bit up front and lacking dynamics, but hell that could have to do with the library.
     
  3. gussunkri

    gussunkri Member

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    I did the whole thing on my traveling rig. One of the things to like about studio orchestra core is the small HD footprint so I can use it on the internal drive of my Macbook. However, that also meant that I couldn't use my favorite reverbs (Nimbus, R4, Re-lab LX480). This uses Valhalla room as the only reverb. I have a love/hate relationship with Valhalla room. It can sound phenomenal, but it can also make mixes very muddy (perhaps the problem is with me, not the plug-in).

    My example uses only legato or long articulations, no eq and only one reverb instance, so it is not really mixed. This really is the sound and the balance between the instruments out off the box (except for the added reverb).
     
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  4. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

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    I had a feeling it was Valhalla. You might want to try a lower mix setting on that verb, my friend.

    It's not you.
     
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  5. Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

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    Nice composition!
     
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  6. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    I have written several pieces as well, and the client thinks they sound wonderful. Mission accomplished! I am not singling alone out here either, and I respect everyone's input.
     
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  7. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    They are no budget library by any means but I simply love the legacy Berlin Woodwinds. There is no perfect woodwind library for sure, though imo opinion they do a lot of things pretty pretty well and you can customize them quite a lot. For me personally one of the best winds out there still.

    Some Berlin Winds (though in that piece more for the decorational elements and for thickening lines)
     
  8. Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

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    I'll echo this sentiment. I bought Spitfire Studio Woodwinds during the recent sale, so I've had limited time to explore. I also own Berlin Woodwinds Legacy, and although that is a fine library too, I was having an issue that I don't see mentioned in these discussions often, and that is the issue of blending.

    I think people are mostly looking to play expressive solo lines, and a criticism of SStW is that they sound flat. And I don't disagree with that, but the flip side of the coin is that they blend well and can be stacked. The problem I'm having with BWW is that when I add together the whole woodwind section, and even try to blend it with strings, it starts to get the pipe organ effect and sounds synthy. So far I'm getting a more natural sound from SStW when I write for the whole section. To me winds aren't just about legato solos.

    As for quality control of SStW, the volumes of the longs are way louder than the shorts. I created custom multis to correct it, and I boosted the shorts an average of 8 or 9db and in a couple of cases boosted 12db. That's nuts, and I think it does show some sloppiness on the part of Spitfire. Of course, it's worth noting that Berlin Woodwinds Legacy has inconsistencies as well.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  9. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    Then (imho) you are doing something not quite right (I am speaking of BWW)..either you are not orchestrating for winds in a way "how its done" (study wind orchestration...my tip) to bring out their strenghts and idiomatic orchestration types for woodwinds , or its some balancing issues in your template or probably both together.. Just my opinion of course. Therefore I can´t share that sentiment here. Sure when you orchestrate Bassoons and Clarinettes in pairs of 2 octaves then you get an organ like effect because it simply that this is gonna sound like that..(because its an orchestration type, an odd one for the common situation, but done in several repertoire music, see also R&J by Tschaikowsky but there for an effect which makes sense). Sorry for the confusion but I hope that clarifies that a bit. In the end: Budget woodwinds are fine for the budget, I still would safe some more money and get then something really good.

    Having said that: I paid for berlin Woodwinds, so I am unbiased and just share my appreciation because I work with them almost every day and my opinion is: If you can´t get let them sound good (in terms for the standards what we have in the sample world available)..then its not the woodwind libraries issue. Not saying you can´t in particular though. I also add that I very much share less love with the revive addon which I find it was done not in a good fashion at all. Too less good sounding samples and patches. A bummer because the micing option to refine the mix is great though.
     
  10. I like music

    I like music Senior Member

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    Nice! I'm more curious about the brass(es) you used here. Guessing it is a combo of SM + IB + CSB (or maybe the Spitfire stuff I've seen you use before?)
     
  11. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

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    The whole series suffers from this issue, though the strings a bit less, so it seems it was some kind of inexplicable design decision.

    There are also various ways that you can change the response curve for the shorts, and I find changing the response curve to be the quickest solution. Or you can select cc1 for dynamics on shorts option, which in limited experimentation I have found seems to be mapped better.

    On the brass the dynamic levels for the longs are also pretty bumpy so I’ve found I need to create patches restricted to dynamic layers for better control. (Or vice versa use expression to control dynamic change within a dynamic layer.)
     
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  12. prodigalson

    prodigalson Senior Member

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    I dont' really have a dog in the race, but I found this video the best and most compelling argument I could find for the Studio Series. It has it's problem moments and I despise the heavy handed approach to reverb but I think overall the orchestra sounds "good-sounding" (although of course that term is intentionally subjective).

     
  13. Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

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    Fair point. If I get a chance this week I'll go into a little more detail and post examples. I don't exactly have a rooting interest for or against either of these two libraries. If I can figure out how to make BWW blend better, I'll be stoked!
     

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