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Spitfire Chamber Strings or Vienna Chamber Strings?

Ray

New Member
Everything pretty much in the thread title. If you could provide additional info about why would you choose one over the other, it'd be great.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I have SCS, but this is the first time I've listened to VSL Chamber strings, and I think they're awesome sounding for sure. The big question, well actually two: How much programming do you need afterwards to get them to sound how they sound in the demo, and also, keep in mind that both library demos/walkthroughs were played to the strengths of each library. What you hear on VSL's site is played to the strengths, as is SCS...as it should to sell the library, but just compare YOUR style to that of either developer's demos...which is closest to how you would use the library? That's the one you should go for...price wise, they're relatively the same. both are great...SCS is very playable, can't speak for VSl...but it does sound great! Much more intimate due to the dry space, and slightly smaller than SCS.

I think both are considered chamber...just that SCS is recorded in a very ambient hall, so it sounds larger, and also has violin 2...VSl doesn't, so not sure if that's an issue.
 
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Ben

VSL Support
I hope you don't mind. Just want to add some information:

- We have the VI Chamber Strings I and II (muted) (https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Strings_Complete/Chamber_Strings_Bundle), and also the SYNCHRON-ized Chamber Strings (https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Synchron_Package/Synchron_Chamber_Strings) with remastered and re-edited sample content. The SYNCHRON-ized libraries have included room-placement (panning and reverb through IR or algorithmic reverb) that can be disabled, in case you want to use your own reverb.

- I would also suggest to take a look at the Dimension Strings. The sound is really flexible by using only as many player as you want, and / or combining different articulations at the same time. Available as bundle or in the three pacakges for "normal", muted and sul tasto articulations.

- If you buy any software product / library through our website, you can return everything or just parts of your purchase within 30 days. So feel free to test our libraries!
 

Pixelpoet1985

Active Member
Dimension Strings and Chamber Strings nearly have the same articulations, the latter is only missing a non-vibrato/vibrato option for the legatos and col legnos.

I'm absolutely in love with Dimension Strings, so I recommend these, also for the money. They used to be much more expensive in the past. They need more work, but the time and frustration (while setting them up) is worth it.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, both are VSL's best string libraries.
 

robgb

I was young once
- If you buy any software product / library through our website, you can return everything or just parts of your purchase within 30 days. So feel free to test our libraries!
While I complain about your dongle, I do have to say that this is great and what EVERY developer should be doing, considering the cost involved.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Some additional info: in the VSL Synchronized Chamber Strings, you do get a set of 2nd violins. The sound is not necessarily dry - as this rendition of the library comes with the Synchron Strings IRs, it actually does feature a quite convincing ambience and correct seating (can be turned off). SCS is quite flexible thanks to the mic positions it comes with, and provides various colors and nuances depending on how you balance the mics. It can however never quite get really dry and upfront - even the close mic alone has quite a bit of rich ambience.

The VSL ensemble is actually bigger than the SF ensemble (6-6-4-3-2 vs. 4-3-3-3-3). You can also kind of tell by the sound. SCS has unexpected low end for an ensemble of this size - this is however also due to the massive ambient sound of the library. SCS generally sounds really huge, that's mainly the "AIR effect". Going back to the section sizes: conversely, the high strings in SCS to my ears tend to sound a lot more scratchy and thinner than VSL - more grainy and delicate, which is not necessarily a bad thing. There's something about the sound that's not just "chamber", but also "TV drama", even a bit "rootsy".

The VSL strings sound totally different - a fuller, firm, elegant, consistent, creamy sound, and truly has that chamber aesthetic in the classical sense of the word.

The tuning in VSL Chamber Strings is perfectionist. That's very reliable and sounds like chamber music should sound, but can be perceived as sterile by some. SCS is lively and also a bit "lazy" - that makes for a greater sense of separation and more texture, but can sometimes also be a bit troublesome.

VSL is to me the clearly more nimble library. With SCS, you kinda gotta fight and wrangle it a little bit, depending on how intricate the parts are, and I'm using it less for that kind of thing, but more for its often really enchanting sound. You tend to write to each libraries' strengths, right?

So as said before, these are actually very different libraries with very different strengths. Of course it's not as if you couldn't possibly realize something with one library which the other one is particularly good at, and vice versa, but they definitely have their distinct characteristics.

And, since Dimension Strings were mentioned: definitely worth a very strong consideration too. Perhaps my favorite string library of all. It also basically retired the Chamber Strings for me, as you can set up your own section sizes and the general sound is just even more pristine, transparent, "3D", and the possibilities are manifold.
 
I will listen to the demos tonight but how different are VSL’s Synchronized Camber Strings vs. Dimension strings? We’re these different samples or is Dimension just remastered with additional functionality to add/remove players? Are the sound characteristics different?
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I will listen to the demos tonight but how different are VSL’s Synchronized Camber Strings vs. Dimension strings? We’re these different samples or is Dimension just remastered with additional functionality to add/remove players? Are the sound characteristics different?
I’m fairly certain dimension Strings is a completely different recording. Since it has individual players versus ensembles. So you can create section sizes from solo to 8 players I believe and everything in between.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
It's a completely different library, 100% different samples. It's a way bigger and deeper library (832.908 samples, compared to the 93.342 of Chamber Strings).
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Thanks @jaketanner and @Jimmy Hellfire. What about the sound? Is it extra effort to get a cohesive chamber sound in dimension?
I don't think it is, actually. To me, the library has an intimate, chamber-like sound anyways. It's not that many players, after all, and never really sounds "big" as in "cinema" big. The main thing about being able to control the single players or desks is having much more flexibility for detailed writing, divisi, etc., than you could have from "standard" string libraries. That's the big advantage of the modular ensemble - not so much that it can go from super-small to "full symphony" (which it doesn't).

Of course, there's still a sonic advantage in choosing exactly how many players you want. If I want a chamber sound, I just mute the players that I don't want to use in my pre-configured template and load the "classical" mixer preset. That's a quite good starting point.

The template has every player loaded and ready, so by default, the full ensemble is playing. I wanted to go from 8 first violins to 6, I just mute the outputs of player 7 and 8. It still works exactly the same, it's just less players playing. I don't have to do anything at all in the sequencer, the MIDI track etc. I can turn the players back on whenever I want.

If RAM is an issue, you'd have to delete the players manually, which is quite a bit of clicking around.

VSLs own standard "factory" setup already works like this. I still had to build my own, because I prefer different handling of articulations and have my own workflow. And I will say that it took me DAYS to complete it. THAT was the extra effort ... :eek:
 
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Ben

VSL Support
While I complain about your dongle, I do have to say that this is great and what EVERY developer should be doing, considering the cost involved.
One of the reasons we can provide such a 30 days return policy is the USB copy protection. It also comes with its advantages...
The other reason why we provide this service: We are confident that our products are worth their money.
 
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Ray

Ray

New Member
- If you buy any software product / library through our website, you can return everything or just parts of your purchase within 30 days. So feel free to test our libraries!
This is incredible, definitely other developers should be doing it too!
 
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Ray

Ray

New Member
- I would also suggest to take a look at the Dimension Strings. The sound is really flexible by using only as many player as you want, and / or combining different articulations at the same time. Available as bundle or in the three pacakges for "normal", muted and sul tasto articulations.
Is there a deep walkthrough of Dimension Strings with all the articulations?
 
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Ray

Ray

New Member
price wise, they're relatively the same. both are great...SCS is very playable, can't speak for VSl...but it does sound great! Much more intimate due to the dry space, and slightly smaller than SCS.
Is it me, or does SCS sound squeaky, more rough than any Vienna Library? I absolutely love the wide palette of articulations that SCS offers, but I think they lack the homogenous sound of VSL. I'm looking for a string library that can be both sharp (col legnos, spics, etc) and sweet, homogenous (legatos, of course). Think bipolar, haha.
And with lots of articulations, basically all the articulations Spitfire has.
 

Ben

VSL Support
Here are some videos and audio demos:


VI version walktrough:

Some demos:
 
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