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Sordinos are not sordinos

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Niah2, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Light and Sound

    Light and Sound Developer

    Feb 25, 2016
    Just to put it out there, yes playing something like Ravel will require a different feel - however musicians will adapt to playing something like Ravel or Debussy anyway, the normale playing will be appropriate for that piece of music too, not just the sordino sections. Realistically the better approach would be to look for a library that was sampled with the style of music you're looking for (most libraries are sampled with a certain final sound in mind to keep things consistent; ie the light and sound chamber strings were sampled with certain Japanese music in mind, a brief is given to both the engineer and musicians prior to sampling and often play a bit of music to get the sound right first). That way when you have the sordino emulation, you have sordino appropriate to the rest of the library.

    Perhaps this is a vote in favour of multiple string libraries, who knows. Either way, when you're getting to the specifics of an emulated emulation of an emulated piece of music doesn't sound convincing, I think you might be better of with live musicians :D
    Wally Garten and EgM like this.
  2. windshore

    windshore Senior Member

    Aug 27, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I think there is a pretty clear difference between simulated and real sordino. I think that is part of the reason that’s Spitfire has been a big player in the sampled string world. Their Flautando and other artics are performed not emulated And you can hear the difference when you are actually writing for that kind of technique.

    You could argue the same issue about scripted vibrato opposed to performed vibrato. It can be simulated … Certainly if you don’t hear the difference then it’s not worth it for you.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    Nathan Furst and Sears Poncho like this.
  3. Sears Poncho

    Sears Poncho Senior Member

    Apr 23, 2017
    By far, the most important aspect of writing for either real or emulative instruments is understanding how they actually work. The best example is horns: I hear horn parts on mockups that would make a real horn player pass out, or try to maim the composer. ;)
    It's no different for strings. I play music by inexperienced composers and think "What a stupid place to use a mute". As for how this relates to sampling: An aggessive staccato with mute would probably be the sign of a lousy player or a lousy composer. Ditto "Bartok Pizz con Sordino". Ponticello mit Sordino needs a different approach, the player's bow would hit the mute. There are all kinds of real world differences that are technical. Stick a harman mute in a trumpet, the player will play differently. Same with fiddle players.

    Am I nit-picky? Damn right. :) It's why I get hired over and over, I'm good at what I do. And I'm guessing that people who want to be excellent with vsts should know that slapping a high cut on a track and calling it "sordino" is probably not the best approach.
    Ned Bouhalassa and gaskell like this.
  4. GtrString

    GtrString Senior Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    Haha, I dont think you can line it up like that. I probably wouldn't buy the regular library in the first place. I have enough of those.
  5. Gensaii

    Gensaii Member

    Nov 26, 2017
    I suppose it would be fair for the sordino release to cost the same (or bundled with the regular library with a discount as is the case with some libraries), provided the same set of articulations and such are made available in sordino, meaning the same amount of effort went into making it, though considering it's possible to immitate the same effect by simply cutting frequency, one might opt for just that. As mentioned eariler, it might not be quite as convincing if it's heard outside a mix, in which case perhaps some people would actually want the real thing recorded, depending on their needs.

    Then again, making a dedicated library for sordino that doesn't end up selling because people mostly cut frequency and let it be burried in a mix where hardly anyone would notice, would be a waste of resources for developers who expect a return. So I gusss it's up in the air. Perhaps a poll would help?
    Casiquire likes this.
  6. omiroad

    omiroad Senior Member

    Oct 17, 2016
    I think truthfully people expect a sordino library to be less expensive because it's seen as an add-on. Which could be made possible by making it less extensive.
  7. ism

    ism Senior Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    The Light and Sound chamber strings have a remarkably good simulated sordino. One reviewer suggested that it works so well because sordino is easier to simulate on dry samples - anything to this theory?

    Albion one has real sustain sordino, but I'm fairly certain the legato is simulated.
  8. robgb

    robgb I Have Strong Opinions

    Apr 6, 2016
    I have 8Dio's Adagietto strings which has a very nice REAL sordino, but only on the sustain strings. I made copies of all the others—legatos, staccatos, etc.—and simply EQ'd to match and now they all sound pretty much like the real sordino...
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  9. robgb

    robgb I Have Strong Opinions

    Apr 6, 2016
  10. Vardaro

    Vardaro Senior Member

    Feb 16, 2014
    Near Paris, France
    I haven't read all of this, but may I point out that puttng a mute on a violin does not just reduce high frequencies, but shifts some of the main wood resonances downwards. The whole instrument reacts differntly to the bow. I imagine this does not need new samples, just specific body IR's.
    sarobin and omiroad like this.
  11. gaskell

    gaskell Member

    May 2, 2015
    I got the Sacconi Quartet library and find it immensely frustrating that this "deep sampled" and "ultimate" string quartet library didn't have any Sordino versions of samples (or sul pont. or various other frequently used techniques, like pizz. glissandi, open strings for double stopping, etc.).

    We seem to have two opposing camps here - Chris Hein who says that he's done lots of experiments and concluded that the mute is nothing more than a damper that cuts frequencies (around the 1khz mark?) and others that say that actually it is a lot more than that.

    Is anyone aware of scientific research into the difference that mutes make to the sound of the different techniques of playing stringed instruments, so that this can be decided empirically?
  12. watercolours

    watercolours New Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    Real sordinos must be sampled, EQ doesn't do it at all to me or to anybody knowing how it really sounds.I think only a few real sordinos articulations are needed, no need to match all; even having long real sustains is better than having everything false.
  13. robgb

    robgb I Have Strong Opinions

    Apr 6, 2016
    Why do we need scientific research? Why not just use our ears. EQing does not sound exactly the same as real mutes. But the real question is this: is there enough of a difference that it really matters? To some, obviously. But to most who will listen to your work? They don't even know what con sordino is.

    But if you want real sordinos, they're out there. Check out the 8dio libraries. Even the low cost Adagietto has some beautiful sounding sordinos.
    SoNowWhat?, Parsifal666 and JohnG like this.
  14. storyteller

    storyteller Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2015
    If you want to be really precise, you can use Melodyne Studio to match spectral curves, spectral harmonic curves, etc. between sordino and non-sordino samples. It needs to be done on a per-instrument basis, and with Melodyne, it happens in post rather than "real-time." That's the closest emulation I have personally found. I wouldn't be surprised if future libraries emulate the sordino sound more precisely via this type of method and then render out the samples rather than adding a "sordino filter" to their instruments. It would take perhaps a "one shot take" of sordino in the recording sessions for each instrument to have a baseline. Then use that to programmatically apply it to the samples.
    NoamL and jamwerks like this.
  15. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I might check those out. I find that in general the sampled sordinos I have sound different from what I want / hear when it's the real thing, so maybe 8Dio has it.
    robgb likes this.
  16. Vardaro

    Vardaro Senior Member

    Feb 16, 2014
    Near Paris, France
    Just record a real violin with & without mute, and compare the LTAS: some frequencies actually increase on my violins, especially around 1kHz, but decrease from 2kHz upwards: less harsh but more nasal.

    Unlike sul tasto etc, con sordino affects timbre by modifying the violin body formants.
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
    dgburns and jamwerks like this.
  17. enyawg

    enyawg Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2016
    For mockups the con sordinos sound beautiful in the Loegria strings library... I assume they are real.
  18. Ned Bouhalassa

    Ned Bouhalassa Senior Member

    Sep 30, 2004
    So many of us can easily tell the difference between real and fake mutes (but in a mix?) that the technique cannot be replicated by EQ alone (but in a mix?!).
  19. Wally Garten

    Wally Garten Senior Member

    Apr 23, 2018
  20. quantum7

    quantum7 1 more year until I turn 50...then it's all over.

    The Century Strings sordinos are by far the finest I've ever used.

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