Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by jneebz, Oct 25, 2018.
I'll be the first one in line!
Very classy. unlike the other developer.
Well, at the risk of drawing the ire of a poster on this thread, EWC is not for me, but purely because a choir isn't on my radar at this time. But I am wondering how everyone is getting along with the new Spitfire VST itself (does it have a name ? - I'll call it the Spitfire player).
I have heard lots of comments about the library and it's sound - but not very much about how they are finding the Spitfire player in use. I suppose that this is probably a good sign.
There is an upgrade to the SSO coming next year - and I'm speculating that it will use the new player.
In the meantime, Black Friday and another 32Gb RAM is on my horizon for now.
How much that would be appreciated, but I would still prefer a core version as @Jaap suggested. It's more of a disk space issue than a money issue, although cheaper is always better (I am Dutch after all ).
However, @sostenuto has a valid point why this is probably not going to happen.
This is another important issue we have no info about...kontakt allowed preload size adjustment and streams quit well. Spitfire REALLY needs to publish this engine's specs, how it handles these things...imo, give different CPU's & ram that folks have...
That's a very fair reply I think, and probably good business sense in the long run: there will always be short term occurrences that spring up unexpectedly, but if you are reactive to each one of these, then in the long term you are no longer running your business, your competitors are. Fair point.
Doesn't help me choose though!
Actually, from my own perspective, I think I have now chosen: Dominus was originally my first choice for a choir library, but once it was announced that Spitfire were to release a choir, I just had to wait, and see what they came out with: one of my favorite developers, with one of my favorite composers just could not be overlooked. In the end, what they produced wasn't what I personally was looking for: the lack of a phrase-builder, as both you and 8Dio have successfully implemented in your libraries, was a deal-breaker for me, which wasn't compensated for by the inclusion of the EVOs concept. That may be great for others (particularly those who already have choir libraries), but it just wasn't what I had on my shopping list, so combined with the lack of NKS support (due to not using Kontakt) and in the end it's an easy pass from me.
So, for a lyrical choir, aimed at non-epic, soft/intimate ambient genre, for me it comes down to Dominus and Insolidus. I have watched the demo videos countless times now. Both libraries sound absolutely beautiful, but what has now finally made my decision for me is the inflexibility of Insolidus: all of the demo videos I have seen have the same rhythmic structure (3 to 4 syllable phrases, pause - repeat). It sounds great at first, but it gets very repetitive, but given the architecture of the library, it seems to me that you're essentially locked into this structure, as far as I can tell - do current owners agree? If so, what sells Dominus to me, is that you have managed to achieve very convincing legato, without the need to lock the user into an artificial structure (ie. a 3 syllable phrase, or a 4 syllable phrase, as with Insolidus). That you have achieved that level of flexibility whilst maintaining smooth legato is truly astonishing. I think where Insolidus has the edge is that having pre-baked dynamic transitions (swells, crescendos and arcs) probably sounds that little bit better than crossfades, but it's not enough of a difference to overcome the advantages that the flexibility of Dominus provides, which frees the player from the artificial rhythmic structure imposed by the library.
The other disadvantage of pre-baked phrases as Insolidus has, is that you will end up playing the same phoneme combinations over and over. This might not be that noticeable, I'm not sure, but take for example the phrase "And so is the snow" (a phrase in the Silka library). Once you have used this in one piece, it would become very noticeable if used in another. Perhaps with latin phrases, that's not too much of an issue, I don't know, but with the almost infinite flexibility of phoneme combinations in Dominus, again because the user isn't tied to either rhythmic or phonemic structure imposed by the library's architecture, then this can never be an issue for Dominus.
One other issue with Insolidus: the 2,3 and 4 syllables patches need to be played on different tracks. That means that if you want to use them in a single piece to break up the imposed rhythm and increase the number of phoneme combinations, you can't just play in a line as the inspiration comes - you have to do separate tracks for each. That makes it difficult to just play what you feel in the moment, and is another example of the inflexibility imposed the library's structure.
I don't want to be dismissive of Insolidus - it is a beautiful library, and a huge achievement by 8Dio. But in directly contrasting it with Dominus, its weaknesses (assuming I've understood them correctly) really highlight Dominus' strengths. Similarly, bringing it back round to the topic of the thread: the Whitacre library sounds beautiful, but Dominus really shows what could have been achieved if they hadn't have immediately dropped the idea of a phrase-builder.
So, these are just my thoughts after reviewing both libraries for a few days, and mulling over my decision, which is: Dominus.
However, this is based purely on reviewing the information available online, and since I don't currently have either library, I'd love to be corrected on anything I've misunderstood (or my assumptions confirmed if correct) by people who actually have these libraries (or their developers!) - just please do so before Black Friday, after which, it'll be too late for me!
So the engine seems rock solid here. Have been putting it thru its paces the last 24 hours.
Now - I'm currently away from my studios, so running on a (tricked out) macbook pro. Library is sitting on an external Glyph 4TB SSD - which is 6x faster than a 150MB/s spinning disk. That *AND* spinning disks have much slower random I/O times (which is important for sample players.)
The software seems to have a few targetted options for sample preload / number of voices which could be a big help to those on spinning drives. I don't have a spinning drive here to test it on. But I can say it runs like butter in other sessions that are already fairly large (60+ kontakt instruments running quite complex stuff - getting to the limits of the macbook pro.)
I certainly don't feel like its much more or less resource heavy than a similar kontakt instrument.
I *didn't* have the same experience with phobos, which caused two of my systems issues - but they managed to sort out fairly quickly after the first release. This player has far more testing behind it now - since they use it for labs (smart move in my opinion) as well as zimmer strings - though I don't use the latter!)
For your reference, the mbp I'm running things on has 32GB ram. Which is heaps given I can run extremely low preloads with my ssd setup, and I only run stereo sessions (well, mostly) on this portable rig. I also have my older 2015 laptop with me; if I get time in a week or so (after a bit of a project crunch this week) I'll happily install onto that machine and see how it runs for you.
Initial thoughts having used EWC for a bit as part of an orch and not just in its own
(while I don’t like to gulp my 82 Margeaux down too fast, there are a few aromas that do come through quite quickly!):
1. Performance - is waaayy better than HZS. Most patches run in the 20-30MB RAM range unless you really want everything all at once (compared to HZS using 400-500MB per patch - so the UI is clearly very, very efficient). HDD disk streaming A-Okay. You don’t need NORAD to run this. What I’m struggling to get my head around is that even when you’ve loaded a low RAM patch with these quality sounds you can easily ramp it up across 6-8 mics with only a tiny (1-2MB) performance uplift. (Score - A)
2. UI - is growing on me. I love my multis and a small tight use of real estate on a screen (ala Blake R or whoever designed the Albions) but....its pretty clear that when you get to a certain size something like this may work better. For someone with bad ADD like me, this UI actually stops me playing around and experimenting too much, and lets me wallow in the one instrument for a bit and actually listen..(Score - B)
3. Uniqueness - Some very interesting stuff in here that on the surface one might be compelled to sniff at, but given my experience with HZS, something tells me I’ll be using some of these weirder artics years down the road when other libs have long dried up. This offers new colours you won’t see in any other pallette. (Score - A)
4. Sound - it clearly has the SA and Air quality to it, but at first I didnt think anything special to it until I put it underthe current score I’m working on all done with SSO and HZP/HZS - now EWC is blowing the roof off.
a. I’ve said this before but I believe it even more now - the more Spitfire Air libraries you have, the better this will sound. The sound of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Everything really does sound like the singers are in the same room as the Orchestra.
b. May sound odd, but the most unexpected thing I’ve experienced with this is that even with 100+ instruments belting it out, the voices actually shine through the rest of the orchestra rather than getting blended in. I didn’t expect this, but it’s the most stunning thing to hear. Even the softer pads ring out at a totally different frequency to cut through some how. Now that was worth the price of admission (Score A++)
5. Quality - top marks to Spitfire. This one has thoroughly been tested. Install smooth, no glitches, no fruity notes. The best tested product from them yet as far as I can see so far (Score A+)
Regarding the player, I like it. Need to spend more time with it, but I have a few initial thoughts.
The big knob
Let me turn up or down by simply mousing up or down instead of having to do a circular motion. Could be a user-selectable toggle in the plugin preferences circular/linear control of the knob.
Preset Menu (Patch browser)
Would love it if the pull-down browser, where you load different patches, could be resized larger or even fill the plugin's entire UI . Too much scrolling needed for my taste.
Would be nice to see all mics on that one page. The Advanced/Global button section takes up a lot of space that could be reclaimed for mic options.
EVO Grid individual volume levels
Since each evolution in the grid has a default volume of "100%", you run into situations where if you want only one or two evolutions in the grid to be louder, you have to instead reduce the volume on every other channel to bring the relative levels where you want them. So, I think it would be great if 100% weren't the top end of the slider, so that you could set only that one particular part of the grid that you think is too quiet to 200% for example. Or if the notion of going over 100% violates some UI philosophy, you could just set the default slider value for each evo to 50% for example.
Forgive my ignorance, but is there a reason why there can't be an ADSR tab in the main instrument? It would be nice to be able to tweak the attack or release for every available patch. As far as I can tell, the only control we have over the envelope is in the EVO patches and in the longs patches of the individual sections in the main choir plugin (as opposed to the tutti patches).
The big knob was designed to be like that per CH’s WWII utilitarian design principles.
The patches can be added together if theyre loaded together (just use the Shift key). You cant have multis per Kontakt though.
I wonder how much thought those WWII Utilitarian designers gave to carpel tunnel syndrome?
Thanks to those of you who have used EWC for your comments so far. I find myself now, after the initial disappointment of what I hoped EWC would be, to be increasing lured by the beautiful tone of the choir, of what it is. Doing some quick A/B comparisons with the tones of other choirs, I find that there is some sonic "magic" that's here; its siren song is calling to me...
I felt exactly the same way after HZS. After using it for months and finding ways to work with it I couldnt have found at first, I’ve come to adore it. The true beauty of some things isn’t in what you see in the first instant gratification straight out of the box. Some things in this world (thankfully) still have more depth than that...
One note about Dominus. The forte dynamic has a quite fixed dynamic structure while the lowest dynamic has actually a Swell that makes possible similar crescendos like in the other libraries mentioned. We usually leave some freedom to our musicians to put dynamics in phrases to make them more emotional (our clarinet is an example of that). Another side note is that we don't use the timemachine at all in Dominus. Not only it is a CPU killer, but it creates some strange warbling artifacts even if used for small tempo changes.
This is my situation as well, and it would be nice to have some guidance on how to proceed. Perhaps the fact that this advice seems harder to find than with orchestral instruments or synths or hardware is a sign that with choirs there are many paths and much more depends on own's very particular needs and taste, more so than other types of libraries. I was struck by Garry's observation:
I very much dislike imagining myself under this workflow and knowing where I'm at with my templates I think I would almost certainly have to either upgrade my RAM or get another machine to run samples to get this to work for me if I was trying to use with the choir along with orchestra. So that leaves me back still deciding which choir library to go with first. Which of the available options would best complement what I already have: the two Ark choirs, the Time Macro Choir, Oceania, and the old EWQL Symphonic Choir (which I find maddening)?
What’s the update to SSO? I was looking to maybe getting it on Black Friday but perhaps I’ll hold off.
They’re referring to the fact that the expansion packs were taken off sale earlier this year and will be back again next year. You won’t be put at any kind of disadvantage by buying SSO now verses waiting until we update SSO with the expansion packs again. Ben.
That's well put. And I think 90% of the unhappy dynamics of vi-c threads comes down to confusions between these two things, particularly on an innovative library that genuinely attempts something new.
But also, most what I find so useful and interesting about vi-c threads a their best emerges as people work though through this distinction towards various forms of clarity.
Your many informative Posts are much appreciated. As they evolve, I'm left wondering how you would advise impressed prospects who do not yet have a 'mainstream' Choral library.
Are there 'essential' missing pieces with EWC that must be considered ?
Current 'uninformed' leaning _ as keyboardist with weak MIDI skills _ is toward Dominus /EWC ….. for ease of playing-in creations.
Other posts suggest complementary libraries (e.g. Dominus, Insolidus) …. and I'm asking whether these should be in place before EWC.
Yeah but for me, "innovative" libraries "with beautiful tone" aren't much of an appeal if they don't help me put food on the table. So maybe it's not so much "confusion," but practicality...at least in some cases.
Separate names with a comma.