Spitfire BBC Symphonic Orchestra vs VSL CUBE Full library Black Friday offer

ism

Senior Member
VSL Strings might not be the best sounding library, to me VSL Strings are the best library as the writing tool because of the versatility and playability.

I write with VSL, then copy the midi to BBC Strings and re-program the CC, layer them together yields beautiful result.
That's an interesting way to frame it.


One of the issues I've had with a library like Tundra is that the sheer sound is so gorgeous in its own right that its trivial to write endless amount of absolutely gorgeous ambient mush. Nothing that a even moderately talented cat couldn't writing by strolling across a keyboard if you were to leave it by a window on a sufficiently sunny afternoon.


Wheres back when I used to work with the VSL SE - with neither an adequate reverb nor the skill to mix it properly - it was the opposite end of the spectrum. You can't just let a note hand in the air and invite the listener to just kind of take in how gorgeous the sound is.

You have the get the musicality working at the level of harmony and rhythm and counterpoint to create a musicality with any chance of being listenable.


Obviously VSL (with MIR and an modicum of competence in mixing) can sound better far better the way I could make, and Tundra even better with actual harmony and counterpoint. So it's entirely a false dichotomy.

But I also think that some of the exciting ways that the genres of film and classical and electronic and popular and neo-classical (whatever that is) music are influencing and bleeding into and expanding each other at the moment lines are finding ways to synthesize these two ends of the spectrum, revealing the falsity of the dichotomy.
 

ism

Senior Member
A lot of those points seem to contradict each other. Perhaps I'm not reading them in the right context?

But what I really want to know is how the saber tooth tiger is responsible for Bach.
I think that the interesting and significant thing about this thread is precisely these seemingly contradictory perceptions.

Granting that that we need to take each other's perceptions of musicality and samples in good faith (ie not resorting to dismissing each other's perceptions as "fanboyism" etc), they we see clearly here that musicality has these immensely rich dimensions of perception - that is beyond mere subjective personal taste.

David Huron's book gives a musicological account specifically of the perceptual dimension of voice leading (and its origins in sabertooth tigers)


By not only arguing basically the "Bach was right about everything all along" thesis (which is something that I've sure we can all agree on in any event), but by rigorously demonstrating, via empirical musicology, that all the modern science of sound perception really just confirms that Bach was right about everything all along.

(I added the specific sabertooth tiger example to his argument myself, but only for clarity).
 

ism

Senior Member
Bach was absolutely not right about everything all along.

You are confusing him with my wife....
Well maybe not everything. Except in voice leading. He was right about everything in voice leading.

(Huron's books make that a remarkably precise scientifically claim).
 

Zero&One

Senior Member
owever, I notice that when I start going down the rabbit hole of researching alternatives to VSL, I always am left feeling overwhelmed, confused, and/or insecure about my own abilities.
Your stuff is one of the main reasons I got into VSL. Always top class, always a good listen and I learn something from them every time. Class act.
Those comments are the reason I left this thread. I expected more, not from their dull uninspiring music, but as a fellow musician.
 

Dear Villain

Active Member
Your stuff is one of the main reasons I got into VSL. Always top class, always a good listen and I learn something from them every time. Class act.
Those comments are the reason I left this thread. I expected more, not from their dull uninspiring music, but as a fellow musician.
Thank you so much for your kind words. This is one of the nicest things I've read and encourages me to keep doing what I'm doing. I hope you are enjoying your experiences using VSL as well.

Cheers!
Dave
 

miket

Boring Member
Your stuff is one of the main reasons I got into VSL. Always top class, always a good listen and I learn something from them every time. Class act.
Those comments are the reason I left this thread. I expected more, not from their dull uninspiring music, but as a fellow musician.
Am I one of those dull and uninspiring composers that more was expected from? So the fact that I find the VSL sound off-putting (as opposed to the spirit of the composers using it) and have only been convinced by it on rare occasions means that I'm fair game for that kind of nasty assessment? That's rather revolting, if so.
 

miket

Boring Member
Reading people saying stuff like, "I've only heard 2 composers that have done good work with VSL", when I've heard literally dozens upon dozens that have, makes me wonder if I'm completely out to lunch.
Hello Dear Villain.

I certainly hope that my lack of enthusiasm for the VSL sound would not have any impact on your own confidence in its continued use, unless you found that it led you to feel differently yourself. We can only go by what our own ears tell us.

I would also like to draw attention to the fact that, while I never said anything about the fundamental quality of the music itself that others have done with VSL, nor the character of those people, yours included, some others in this thread felt the need to make the discussion about that, or about "talking out of one's ass." I see by your "likes" that you seem to endorse this kind of attitude, but I implore you to reconsider the net value to the human endeavour of such crass personal escalations of differences in opinion.
 

Zero&One

Senior Member
Am I one of those dull and uninspiring composers that more was expected from?
Did I mention names? No.
I purposely avoided that.

By the way you are responding, it seems others can't have a opinion on something if it doesn't line up with yours either.
Can I not find something dull and uninspiring?

You see, this type of thread (the way it turned) causes nothing but negativity and self doubt. Fine when it's not yourself feeling it, but when it is... then people get upset.
 

Dear Villain

Active Member
Hello Dear Villain.

I certainly hope that my lack of enthusiasm for the VSL sound would not have any impact on your own confidence in its continued use, unless you found that it led you to feel differently yourself. We can only go by what our own ears tell us.

I would also like to draw attention to the fact that, while I never said anything about the fundamental quality of the music itself that others have done with VSL, nor the character of those people, yours included, some others in this thread felt the need to make the discussion about that, or about "talking out of one's ass." I see by your "likes" that you seem to endorse this kind of attitude, but I implore you to reconsider the net value to the human endeavour of such crass personal escalations of differences in opinion.
Hi Mike,

Thank you for your clarification. I apologize if you felt my "like" of Jimmy Hellfire's post was in some way an attack on your right to like what you like. In general, I've found so many of Jimmy's posts highly informative and I appreciate his views on a lot of issues. That's all that was...of course, it did make me feel better on a personal level to know that others believe there are more than simply a couple of composers making good use of VSL.

I also understand that your comments are specific to the quality/aesthetics of the libraries in question, not the competence of the composers. Thanks for taking the time to clarify your own point of view. I listened to some of your work and can completely understand how the VSL sound might not work for you. You've done great work and I wish you continued success!

Cheers,
Dave
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
On a related note, I am a bit of a recent VSL convert. Another member posted this on another area of the forum, using VSL's 'old' libraries. I think it's rather good....


Thread below....

 

Geoff

New Member
New here as looking to buy a VI package and was very interested in the current big VSL discounts that expire on April 2nd. I was looking at the full Cube.

Read though all this thread which was interesting and informative though not sure I am much further forward! It did introduce me to the intriguing BBCSO though which I was warming to.

One thing that got mentioned only once though was notation software - it is very important to me as using notation software is how I work i.e. Sibelius. VSL has dedicated soundsets whereas the BBCSO does not and though there are ways round this with dedicated commands this is a bit of game changer for me as I really don't want to go down that road and spend many hours just trying to get articulations (and dynamics?) to work. Have I got this right?
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
I‘ve recently switch to doing my notation in Staffpad on an iPad, but before that I was using Noteperformer in Dorico for scoring, so I can’t help there.

However My reason for posting is that there’s a guy selling a full cube in the classifieds at the moment, which could save you some money - if that’s the way you decide to go...
 

muk

Senior Member
@Geoff if you plan on using the audio output of Sibelius only, BBCSO and VSL Cube both are not the right decision in my opinion. Because by far the most important factor why the audio output of a notation program does not sound good/realistic is the static playback. There is no variation in timing, nor in volume. And that sounds robotic, as no human would nor could ever play that way. Buying better sounds will not change anything about that. The sounds play a part as well of course, but the far greater obstacle is the completely lifeless playback of the notation program.

So if you buy BBCSO or VSL Cube, you'd end up having invested around 1000$, and get only marginally better playback from Sibelius.

Instead, I would advise to look into Wallander NotePerformer:


Noteperformer does tackle the lifeless output, as it tries to interpret notation the way that musicians would. It's not as good as a good mockup, but it has the best playback directly from a notation program I have ever heard. And by a large margin. In my opinion, NotePerformer sounds way better than playback from Sibelius with VSL Cube. It's considerably less expensive too. There is a free trial. I would advise to try that and see if you like it before spending a large sum on a sample library.

TL;DR: my advise would be: if you do not want to work with a daw, VSL Cube and BBCSO will not benefit you much. These are great tools for creating mockups. For playback from a notation program - not so much. Instead, look into Wallander NotePerformer. It really increases the quality of notation program playback a lot. Alternatively, Staffpad could be an option if you are into creating scores on a tablet with a touchpen.