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Most Disappointing Library Purchase?

MarcelM

Senior Member
hollywood strings silver. gold/diamond ofcourse are very nice, but the missing dynamic layer in silver was disapointing.
 

kurtvanzo

Capt. Zorro
Really sorry I picked up the 8Dio instant acoustic, even at $18 (or was it $28?). My first purchase that doesn’t get past the first few minutes of playing.

Sounded great in the walkthrough and demos but after playing it just a few minutes I find:

Strum not looping is a huge failure, perhaps it has to do with their engine/programming since the string arppegio is the same way, but really it screws both these libraries from being used much (maybe that’s the point and Troell’s owns he only versions that loop? Brilliant!)

Strums are limited and very mechanical unless your music is very white bread (Ok, maybe it would work for a Honda commercial, but they don’t seem to call me for a gig often ;) )

The solo guitar has a dry settings that could work, but the sound is not as nice as Ilya Efimov Acoustic or Realitone Fingerpick or Indigeous Renagade Acoustic, all of which sell for much less than this at it’s normal price. The other settings are badly designed effected versions of the dry signal. Not much I can use as all of them are a bit odd and need work (eq, outside effects, ect).

Which leads me to believe even the walkthrough video has a bit of outside plugin work going on. Really a shame to find out what comes out of the box is not what’s in the video. And how do they set their list prices? Conducting a company game of “how high can we go?” until someone shouts “that’s way too high!”... then they double it? Crazy. I’m sure it’s only so whan they do a half price sale everyone jumps because they can never normally afford it, yet 8Dio still makes out like bandits.

And no, having even worse instruments at $20 doesn’t help. It only confirms their questionable programming quality. After all they’ve messed up, I’m surprised people still get excited about more new strings from them. Even at $188, what good is it if programming or (yikes) tuning is off. And lets not forget lack of positioning, unwillingness to correct obvious issues (adagio) and no resales. Yet there are still many willing to throw more money at them. Double crazy.

I’d rather paypal money to “n”, sight unseen.... ok, I see my problem now. ;)
 

Funkybot

New Member
For me it's Cinesamples Abbey Road Classic Upright Pianos. There's probably no sample library I want more than these particular pianos (Mrs. Mills and Challen anyway) sampled well, but this isn't it. Problems with the library include:

1. Pianos are out of tune (I understand you don't want these perfectly in tune as the chorusing is part of the effect, but center frequencies are off)

2. Inconsistent sample start times. They kept some of the action noise at the start of each note, but the duration of the noise (pre-note) wildly varies from note to note so it just sounds sloppy and feel terrible to play. My guess? They didn't feel like editing each sample manually, so just loaded the recordings into a batch job, set a single volume threshold, then pressed the "Batch Process" button to automatically trim the samples and left it at that.

3. The biggest sin? The TERRIBLE velocity mapping and sample selection. These were just poorly sampled from the get-go by someone at Abbey Road (Cinesamples support confirmed that they did not make the samples), and Cinesamples put absolutely minimal effort into selecting good samples and mapping them for smooth playback. Every single key has the same number of velocity layers, that are distributed at the exact same velocities, indicating to me that the pianos were just put into some batch mapping program. So not only do you regularly trigger what's a poor sounding sample, they didn't do anything to smooth out the response.

It doesn't have any of the piano-specific features you'd expect to see in a $200 library either.

What does it do well? The pianos are THE exact piano sounds you hear on everything from The Beatles, and Zombies to Elliott Smith, which you just can't get from other libraries. And they offer a few microphone positions. But overall, I would not repurchase it. Wish someone who could do pianos well could work with Abbey Road to make a much better version of these instruments.
 

kurtvanzo

Capt. Zorro
For me it's Cinesamples Abbey Road Classic Upright Pianos. There's probably no sample library I want more than these particular pianos (Mrs. Mills and Challen anyway) sampled well, but this isn't it. Problems with the library include:

1. Pianos are out of tune (I understand you don't want these perfectly in tune as the chorusing is part of the effect, but center frequencies are off)

2. Inconsistent sample start times. They kept some of the action noise at the start of each note, but the duration of the noise (pre-note) wildly varies from note to note so it just sounds sloppy and feel terrible to play. My guess? They didn't feel like editing each sample manually, so just loaded the recordings into a batch job, set a single volume threshold, then pressed the "Batch Process" button to automatically trim the samples and left it at that.

3. The biggest sin? The TERRIBLE velocity mapping and sample selection. These were just poorly sampled from the get-go by someone at Abbey Road (Cinesamples support confirmed that they did not make the samples), and Cinesamples put absolutely minimal effort into selecting good samples and mapping them for smooth playback. Every single key has the same number of velocity layers, that are distributed at the exact same velocities, indicating to me that the pianos were just put into some batch mapping program. So not only do you regularly trigger what's a poor sounding sample, they didn't do anything to smooth out the response.

It doesn't have any of the piano-specific features you'd expect to see in a $200 library either.

What does it do well? The pianos are THE exact piano sounds you hear on everything from The Beatles, and Zombies to Elliott Smith, which you just can't get from other libraries. And they offer a few microphone positions. But overall, I would not repurchase it. Wish someone who could do pianos well could work with Abbey Road to make a much better version of these instruments.

I never got around to buying these, so this is good to know, thanks. Since buying keyscape and having some great sounding uprights in there, I haven’t thought about it. But I know what you mean by “the” Abbey road sound. I wondering if tinkering with the key mapping in kontakt might help. It would take some time but starting at middle C and working your way down then up is usually a good way to go. Even root note tuning is possible. If there is ever a deep discount on it (like 50% or more) I might take a shot at it, but good samples are key. And if I found less than 6 dynamics on some keys it would seriously depress me. ;)
 

Funkybot

New Member
I never got around to buying these, so this is good to know, thanks. Since buying keyscape and having some great sounding uprights in there, I haven’t thought about it. But I know what you mean by “the” Abbey road sound. I wondering if tinkering with the key mapping in kontakt might help. It would take some time but starting at middle C and working your way down then up is usually a good way to go. Even root note tuning is possible. If there is ever a deep discount on it (like 50% or more) I might take a shot at it, but good samples are key. And if I found less than 6 dynamics on some keys it would seriously depress me. ;)

I started editing the sample offset times to just have each sample begin at the transient but only got through 1 piano. It's a huge job due to the number of samples and then you have to add the exact same offset to each of the microphones. Apparently, Kontakt won't let you link the sample offset across different groups even if those groups are linked, which would have made the job go 3 times faster.

If someone wanted to create a custom NKI with improved tuning and mapping, I'd love them forever. Lord knows I gave up on the task. And just to address your last sentence: there are exactly 6 velocity layers per note, but that doesn't mean they're all good ones. :cautious:
 

jesc126

Composeur
Spitfire Solo Strings

Reminds me of the moment when I decided to put my money into the drain

Really? I've been pleased with the new Solo Strings so far. One major complaint though - way too much vibrato on the legato and sustain patches, and it's not a smooth transition from non-vib to vib. It's all or nothing, and the vib is about 1.5x louder than non-vib, so it's not ideal. I use the non-vib sound and if I need a moment of vibrato then it's a lot of tweaking and drawing midi automation until it sounds okay.

The short articulations are great. The long specialty artics are great (harmonics, flautando, etc). The mic position choices give a lot of flexibility in tone, but even the close mics are pretty roomy.

All in all, I see using Solo Strings a lot. Works beautifully for any cue that needs that quartet sound with pizz, harmonics, or soft sustaining chords. Which these days is very common.
 

pderbidge

Senior Member
Really sorry I picked up the 8Dio instant acoustic, even at $18 (or was it $28?). My first purchase that doesn’t get past the first few minutes of playing.

Sounded great in the walkthrough and demos but after playing it just a few minutes I find:

Strum not looping is a huge failure, perhaps it has to do with their engine/programming since the string arppegio is the same way, but really it screws both these libraries from being used much (maybe that’s the point and Troell’s owns he only versions that loop? Brilliant!)
I never understood the non looping thing with this library and arpeggio legato. Seems like If they just took the time to offer a folder with phrases that looped it wouldn't take much time at all and yet improve customer feedback about 8dio immensely, at least regarding these two libraries.
 

star.keys

Senior Member
Really? I've been pleased with the new Solo Strings so far. One major complaint though - way too much vibrato on the legato and sustain patches, and it's not a smooth transition from non-vib to vib. It's all or nothing, and the vib is about 1.5x louder than non-vib, so it's not ideal. I use the non-vib sound and if I need a moment of vibrato then it's a lot of tweaking and drawing midi automation until it sounds okay.

The short articulations are great. The long specialty artics are great (harmonics, flautando, etc). The mic position choices give a lot of flexibility in tone, but even the close mics are pretty roomy.

All in all, I see using Solo Strings a lot. Works beautifully for any cue that needs that quartet sound with pizz, harmonics, or soft sustaining chords. Which these days is very common.

Yes, really crap library to my ears. Have you tried Joshua Bell, CH Solo and Orchestral Tools solo libraries? They are leaps ahead. SPF is only good for texture and I am learning the art of playing chords on solo instruments with endless boring self evolving tone to death, in the name of creativity (or in other words, incompetence)
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Yes, really crap library to my ears. Have you tried Joshua Bell, CH Solo and Orchestral Tools solo libraries? They are leaps ahead. SPF is only good for texture and I am learning the art of playing chords on solo instruments with endless boring self evolving tone to death, in the name of creativity (or in other words, incompetence)

Thus, Spitfire Evos!

I don't want to be too hard on those libraries, because they can help a composer come up with transitions (the non-orchestral parts of SF Albions can be great for that too, EDNA, etc), plus both Evo 2 and 3 been pretty darn handy when I'm brainstorming in general, mostly as rough bases for a rhythm.

More often than not I don't even use strings as rhythmic devices in my music; and even when the composition does call for that I do my final mockups with the EWH.
 
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