Let's talk about sample library reviews, demos, walkthroughs, and everything in between,

purple

Senior Member
I hate to be mean, but someone has to say it. Most sample library review videos on youtube are useless. There are exceptions, and I don't want to name names, but I can't be the only one who thinks this, surely? If you're going to make a sample library video on youtube, make it a demo or a series of demos. Such videos are a million times more valuable than a video of someone noodling on legato horns for 4 minutes with no dynamics or melody in mind like it's a synth patch. I will say Patch walkthroughs actually aren't so bad, as they at least give an idea of what's in the library.
 

Sunny Schramm

Active Member
hmm... I watch them a lot but never had one where someone plays four minutes the same sound. most of them are quick walkthroughs to show what you get - sometimes with a little demosong following. only the spitfire-walkthroughs and presentation-videos I like "a little bit" less - too much marketing-talk and meta in my opinion.
 

Geomir

Senior Member
I prefer 100% those "patch walkthroughs", without much talking if possible, even if the reviewer play random notes that are not the best demonstration of the instrument / articulation he is testing! That way at least I can hear how the library sounds out of the box (including how fast the patches load, the interface, etc).

Exception: I was waiting more than 10 mins in a video to listen how the Uilleann Pipes sound, and the reviewer started playing staccato chords with them! That was shocking.

Sound libraries demos (combined with an "epic" video) is easy to fool many people. They make them very impressive, you can never be 100% sure that they don't apply external reverb / delay and similar plugins, and you can not clearly listen to the instruments exposed!

I dare to say that in the past I was so impressed by the demos of GPO 5, Miroslav Philharmonik 2 CE and UVI Orchestral Suite! The demos feature the full orchestra, full of reverb, and the result can be impressive! And then you try the instruments one-by-one, and wonder why the Hell they sound so bad?

Of course I can understand and respect that pro musicians usually prefer the demos, because they know how far the library can go, how good it can sound in the proper hands, even after of hours of programming!

Anyway I believe that the thread title is a little generic and absolute! I mean, imho, there are some very good reviews and some very bad ones!
 

Matt Damon

New Member
Sound libraries demos (combined with an "epic" video) is easy to fool many people. They make them very impressive, you can never be 100% sure that they don't apply external reverb / delay and similar plugins, and you can not clearly listen to the instruments exposed!
The biggest problem with sample library demos is that they commission composers to write pieces specifically for them, so you can showcase the strengths and ignore all the weaknesses.

This should be a red-flag to everyone given how much public domain music there is that they could use to demo their library. Sure, your library can play "epic" stuff with endless ostinato, big string pads and Zimmer Brams, but can it play Brahms? How about Beethoven's 5th? The opening to Eine Kleine Nachtmusik?

I get suspicious when I see no such demos, and I just avoid the product because more than likely, it won't be able to play the style of melodies I've written either because it requires more articulation than just a "legato" patch.

There are some companies like [redacted] who do have some alright libraries, but you'd never know from the marketing because all of their demos are just super-boring "pad and ostinato" and I'm sorry, but most of the time it's because the composers they've hired to demo the products simply aren't very good.
 

Jackdaw

Member
I assume that we are talking about that certain channel Sample Library Review, not just review videos in general.
I admit watching SLR videos quite often and I generally get the info I need from them. But I really hate the style they are made: it is quite obvious that they do zero pre-study about the library they are about to review. Then half of the time goes with wondering how the GUI works and other annoyances.
 
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purple

Senior Member
My post was originally aimed more at the "review" type videos people other than developers put out, but a lot of the points about developer demos are correct as well... I really wish developers would use existing film music/classical music at least somewhat in their marketing process. Having a reference that I know and that does not change and bend to the will of the samples makes it much easier to really objectively view the sample library.
 
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purple

Senior Member
I assume that we are talking about that certain channel Sample Library Review, not just review videos in general.
I admit watching SLR videos quite often and I generally get the info I need from them. But I really hate the style they are made: it is quite obvious that they do zero pre-study about the library they are about to review. Then half of the time goes with wondering how the GUI works and other annoyances.
I actually don't think that channel is the worst. I watch some of those videos and while I do feel they are on the shallow side, they at least give somewhat of a useful overview of the library which is nice as an introduction. Showing the process of working with the library on a track is nice as well, as they often do, but for me the style the guy writes in is not really what I do, so it's not ideal. I can't imagine orchestral composing being all that fun to watch(it's mostly fiddling on the piano and scribbling for me), which is why most of those who do that format are more of the "epic" type...
 

Geomir

Senior Member
The biggest problem with sample library demos is that they commission composers to write pieces specifically for them, so you can showcase the strengths and ignore all the weaknesses.
Very nice point, never thought of that! Another reason why I prefer walkthrough-style videos than "super demo songs made using the library" (and - who knows - maybe some extra libraries or external expensive plug-ins)!
 

Zero&One

Senior Member
I feel most of these YT review videos are more concerned about views, clicks and "ding that bell" than the actual product. They've become the new 'unboxing' videos. Equally useless

Many have been given a free copy. I don't care what they say, that 100% changes your view.

However, I have made many decisions based on the mentioned SLR videos. He's generally honest where the libraries are weak and I like the first look approach.
 

Stephen Limbaugh

le nouveau 36 rue Ballu
Mr. Purple,

Listed below are the links to three separate videos that highlight various features and composition techniques. Is there one that you find particularly informative or entertaining? If not, I would be interested in your thoughts.

Rite of Spring Walkthrough

Synchron Pianos Comparison

Contrabass Clarinet
 

lux

Senior Member
I for one I'm not after a huge critical approach in videos, it just means nothing to me.

Having someone who takes the time to show notes and sounds out of a library is more than enough for my needs. I often need more of them videos, even better if from players of mixed abilities. I'm not really on hold until I got a rating from someone else in order to get a purchase decision. So, even if something is described as marvelous or awful, all my attention is devoted to see the small keys in the bottom moving and ear the sounds they produce. That is pretty informative to me, no matter how much that's from a virtuoso. I think Don made a very nice work during the years, like many others, contributing also to give the sample librares market a good marketing look and feel au pair to other markets.

I'll be honest when I say that I don't understand how today we can still feel hurt by a marketing based language, we're a bit grown up (should I say we're getting old?) and that's part of our lives from such a long time. Simply ignore the words and take the remaining part.

Title of this thread is unusefully offensive, honestly.