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Strezov Sampling presents AFFLATUS Chapter 1 // 1.2 Update feat. 18GB of new sample content

Strezov

Active Member
BTW, I remember that you could do this internally in Cubase with MIDI transformer (I think):
Won't be in the studio till tomorrow eve Sofia time but let me know if this might help you till we implement it...
 

Saxer

Senior Member
I use breath controller a lot and it's easy to translate CC2 to CC1 or simply change the output of the breath controller to CC1 (what I mostly do). But especially for breath controller it would be useful to have a "to silence" function in the library. It just 'feels' more natural. It's also possible to add an automatic CC11 curve to CC1 or learn the Kontakt main volume to CC1 and set the %-amount in Kontakt's midi automation tab. There are always a lot of ways. But a 'to silence' function would make it easier. It would also rise the possible dynamic range without riding parallel CC11.
 
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The Darris

Senior Member
[edit: I've pulled my review of Afflatus for personal reasons. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause some of you. For those interested in my opinions, I stand by my previous posts in both this thread and the thread at Sample Talk about how much I love this library. Thanks for understanding.]

-C

 
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Mike Fox

Senior Member
So tempted to buy this right now. Even the pads sound really good, and the fact that you can turn off/on the different elements really gives it that extra edge.
 

Thorsten Meyer

Senior Member
AFFLATUS Chapter 1 Boutique Thematic Strings is positioned at a higher price level. As Strezov Sampling is well known for their choir and percussive libraries you get different reactions in forums compared to the "take my money hype" that is seen with another publisher. AFFLATUS is one of the top libraries and I doubt that we do see a drama like earlier this year when a different similar library was released.

One of the best reviews out there is Cory's AFFLATUS Review. Cory has published the first review which does do the library justice and presents the library in a completely reasonable way.

 

re-peat

Senior Member
The two video reviews/overviews/walkthroughs that have appeared thus far — Chris’s and Cory’s — are both a bit too awe-struck and reverential, I find. As if Afflatus is manna from String Library Heaven. A flawless game-changer. Which, in my opinion, is far from the case.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think Afflatus is certainly a great and versatile collection of strings samples, but sadly, locked in uncontrollable patches and limited greatly, in my opinion anyway, by the all-too-overbearing ‘vision’ of its developer.

Moreover, it’s got a peculiar sound which, I’m sure, won’t please all tastes. If, for example, you’re looking for a glossy ‘expensive’ Hollywood-ish stringssound (as they cook it up in a.o. Los Angeles and London), Afflatus — despite being clearly score-oriented in its design (to my mind, annoyingly so) — contains very little to get excited about.

The sound of Afflatus is, to my ears, more the sound of a 70’s or 80’s continental European film orchestra. Noticeably thinner and cheaper sounding than the full, rich, high-end, widescreen L.A./London-sound we’ve come to associate with the contemporary silver screen. It’s the sonic equivalent of the difference between VHS and Blueray. Afflatus, to my ears, is positioned more in the VHS area of that comparison. (In that respect, Afflatus reminds me of many of Sonokinetic’s libraries that also have a slightly dated, not-quite-top-of-the-game, European sound.)

(That somewhat backwards-looking 'movie music'-philosphy behind Afflatus is also apparent in the choice of films its patches reference. It’s nearly all stuff from several decades ago.)

Now, I happen to rather like this quaint, retro-ish sound, so Afflatus’ sonic stamp doesn’t bother me at all, but I do think it’s worth pointing out that it is what it is, to prevent disappointment among those who consider a purchase.

What *does* bother me though, and rather a lot, is the near complete absence of any options to mould the contents of this library to one’s own musical preferences and control its behaviour.
To give just one example: many of the spicc/short patches are programmed in such a way that they have a very narrow dynamic range. (For those who own Afflatus: try, say, the Violins II Spicc patch to hear what I mean.) I suppose the developer must have had good reasons for doing it this way, but for the life of me, I can’t even guess what those reasons might have been, and I find it terribly frustrating. And even more frustrating is the fact that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. There’s no parameter to control the dynamic response, and the patch is locked. And nearly all of the short articulation patches don’t even respond to #11 either, which means that the only control you have over them is ‘volume’. Not quite what you hope to find in a 2018 sample library, I’d say. Especially when the number of velocity layers in many of these patches rarely exceeds 2 (unless my ears deceive me).

Suppose I want to modulate the attack via velocity? Can’t do it. Suppose I want to control the decay of the tenuto’s? Can’t do it. Suppose I want to lower the sustain in the longs, to obtain a more portato-like articulation? Sorry, no can do. Suppose I want to change the level of the half-sections in the combined patches? No. Or suppose I want to write a line for the Chamber Violins spicc without the rest of the ensemble interfering? Again … not possible. And, sadly, there are just way too many of these questions that have been popping up in my head to which the answer is invariably: no, that’s not an option.

That last question, the one about the Chamber Violins spicc’s, brings me to another serious problem, and that is the strong ensemble-oriented concept of Afflatus. While this has a number of advantages and conveniences, there’s one major problem and that is that you’re stuck with how the 4 sections of the string orchestra are spread out over the ensemble. Wouldn’t be a problem if all of the ensemble articulations were also available for the individual sections, but they aren’t. So if you want to play, say, a cello part with the ‘Contemporary Strings’, everytime you venture into basses or violas territory, these two sections will join in as well, no matter whether that is what you want or not. And again: there’s nothing you can do about this.
Especially for those who take their orchestration technique seriously and want to adhere to the established principles of orchestration in their writing, these ‘hard-wired’ ensembles will quicky prove something of a disappointment.

Despite all of the above though, Afflatus is, in my view, a success. It does contain several ‘golden patches’ — things which you’ll look for in vain in other string libraries — and I do remain of the opinion that it is very much worth its considerable price. But … you *really* have to like the way it sounds. If you’re even in the smallest doubt about that, I would cautiously suggest to look elsewhere.

And to the developer: *please* open up the patches. Or, at least, provide open alternatives for a selection of the current patches, particularly the ensembles and section-shorts. That would instantly increase the appeal, power and versatily of Afflatus to no end. And I, for one, would be immensely grateful. Thanks.

_
 
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Strezov

Active Member
Hi re-peat, would you be OK if we talked on Skype/Facebook one of these days? I'd love to hear your opinion of the library, send me a message if you're open to this. We'd definitely address the issues - already our programmer Alex started working on a couple of things (we'll introduce them ASAP, before recording the new material for Q1 2019):
1. trying to make they poly legato work with the sustain pedal (this might introduce issues so we really want it to be perfect, no hanging notes, etc) OR turning sustain when legato or overlap is turned off.
2. CC#11 for short patches
3. niente button
4. adding sordino emulation to other instruments too
5. switch between CC#1 to CC#2
6. adding CC# for microphone positions for those that don't have Komplete Kontrol keyboards (you can tweak all GUI controls from there btw)

Actually having the library unlocked shouldn't be a problem, we just never received a request like that before. We just uploaded what we received from NI.

I would argue about the 'cheap' sound of the European orchestra vs. London/LA; for instance a lot of RC productions go to Syncron stage, in Bulgaria Four For Music recorded The Crown S2, Ripper street, etc. Two Steps From Hell records in Prague/Sofia... So I would argue that the sound is cheap and bad. Different - hell yes. I wouldn't say for instance this wonderful musician Svetlin Roussev: has a cheap and not-quite-of-the-game sound. This is of course a completely different topic, which I'd love to discuss over a beer sometime :)
 

re-peat

Senior Member
No problem talking about this a little further if you like, Mr. Strezov, but I don't do social media — never have and never will — nor Skype. But we can e-mail of course. I'll try and get in touch with you through your company's website. (I don’t do PM’s here either, I’m afraid.) If I had a car and a driver's license, I'd love to drive up to Strezov's Towers
— Belgium>Bulgaria is bridgeable with today's vehicles, I suppose — and have that beer with you which you so kindly offered, but I fear I don't have those either. So, e-mail it must be.

Sorry about the use of the adjective 'cheap', by the way. That's not quite the most exact word for what I wanted to say. (And I certainly never intended to suggest that things sound 'bad'.) Instead of 'cheap', it should have been a word that differentiates between the glossy, multi-million-dollar sound of today’s high-end orchestral recordings, on the one hand, and the warm, somewhat retro-ish sound of Afflatus, on the other. The latter not necessesarily being worse or anything, far from it — and certainly having a character which I really like — but, to my ears, not having that high-fidelity ‘detail deluxe’ which today’s state-of-the-art soundtrack recordings often have.

Thanks in advance for considering to implement some of my suggestions in an update!

_
 

Strezov

Active Member
No problem talking about this a little further if you like, Mr. Strezov, but I don't do social media — never have and never will — nor Skype. But we can e-mail of course. I'll try and get in touch with you through your company's website. (I don’t do PM’s here either, I’m afraid.) If I had a car and a driver's license, I'd love to drive up to Strezov's Towers
— Belgium>Bulgaria is bridgeable with today's vehicles, I suppose — and have that beer with you which you so kindly offered, but I fear I don't have those either. So, e-mail it must be.

Sorry about the use of the adjective 'cheap', by the way. That's not quite the most exact word for what I wanted to say. (And I certainly never intended to suggest that things sound 'bad'.) Instead of 'cheap', it should have been a word that differentiates between the glossy, multi-million-dollar sound of today’s high-end orchestral recordings, on the one hand, and the warm, somewhat retro-ish sound of Afflatus, on the other. The latter not necessesarily being worse or anything, far from it — and certainly having a character which I really like — but, to my ears, not having that high-fidelity ‘detail deluxe’ which today’s state-of-the-art soundtrack recordings often have.

Thanks in advance for considering to implement some of my suggestions in an update!

_
No offense taken. Looking forward to talking more about it! Cheers
 

fiestared

Vintage -but- not obsolete
The two video reviews/overviews/walkthroughs that have appeared thus far — Chris’s and Cory’s — are both a bit too awe-struck and reverential, I find. As if Afflatus is manna from String Library Heaven. A flawless game-changer. Which, in my opinion, is far from the case.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think Afflatus is certainly a great and versatile collection of strings samples, but sadly, locked in uncontrollable patches and limited greatly, in my opinion anyway, by the all-too-overbearing ‘vision’ of its developer.

Moreover, it’s got a peculiar sound which, I’m sure, won’t please all tastes. If, for example, you’re looking for a glossy ‘expensive’ Hollywood-ish stringssound (as they cook it up in a.o. Los Angeles and London), Afflatus — despite being clearly score-oriented in its design (to my mind, annoyingly so) — contains very little to get excited about.

The sound of Afflatus is, to my ears, more the sound of a 70’s or 80’s continental European film orchestra. Noticeably thinner and cheaper sounding than the full, rich, high-end, widescreen L.A./London-sound we’ve come to associate with the contemporary silver screen. It’s the sonic equivalent of the difference between VHS and Blueray. Afflatus, to my ears, is positioned more in the VHS area of that comparison. (In that respect, Afflatus reminds me of many of Sonokinetic’s libraries that also have a slightly dated, not-quite-top-of-the-game, European sound.)

(That somewhat backwards-looking 'movie music'-philosphy behind Afflatus is also apparent in the choice of films its patches reference. It’s nearly all stuff from several decades ago.)

Now, I happen to rather like this quaint, retro-ish sound, so Afflatus’ sonic stamp doesn’t bother me at all, but I do think it’s worth pointing out that it is what it is, to prevent disappointment among those who consider a purchase.

What *does* bother me though, and rather a lot, is the near complete absence of any options to mould the contents of this library to one’s own musical preferences and control its behaviour.
To give just one example: many of the spicc/short patches are programmed in such a way that they have a very narrow dynamic range. (For those who own Afflatus: try, say, the Violins II Spicc patch to hear what I mean.) I suppose the developer must have had good reasons for doing it this way, but for the life of me, I can’t even guess what those reasons might have been, and I find it terribly frustrating. And even more frustrating is the fact that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. There’s no parameter to control the dynamic response, and the patch is locked. And nearly all of the short articulation patches don’t even respond to #11 either, which means that the only control you have over them is ‘volume’. Not quite what you hope to find in a 2018 sample library, I’d say. Especially when the number of velocity layers in many of these patches rarely exceeds 2 (unless my ears deceive me).

Suppose I want to modulate the attack via velocity? Can’t do it. Suppose I want to control the decay of the tenuto’s? Can’t do it. Suppose I want to lower the sustain in the longs, to obtain a more portato-like articulation? Sorry, no can do. Suppose I want to change the level of the half-sections in the combined patches? No. Or suppose I want to write a line for the Chamber Violins spicc without the rest of the ensemble interfering? Again … not possible. And, sadly, there are just way too many of these questions that have been popping up in my head to which the answer is invariably: no, that’s not an option.

That last question, the one about the Chamber Violins spicc’s, brings me to another serious problem, and that is the strong ensemble-oriented concept of Afflatus. While this has a number of advantages and conveniences, there’s one major problem and that is that you’re stuck with how the 4 sections of the string orchestra are spread out over the ensemble. Wouldn’t be a problem if all of the ensemble articulations were also available for the individual sections, but they aren’t. So if you want to play, say, a cello part with the ‘Contemporary Strings’, everytime you venture into basses or violas territory, these two sections will join in as well, no matter whether that is what you want or not. And again: there’s nothing you can do about this.
Especially for those who take their orchestration technique seriously and want to adhere to the established principles of orchestration in their writing, these ‘hard-wired’ ensembles will quicky prove something of a disappointment.

Despite all of the above though, Afflatus is, in my view, a success. It does contain several ‘golden patches’ — things which you’ll look for in vain in other string libraries — and I do remain of the opinion that it is very much worth its considerable price. But … you *really* have to like the way it sounds. If you’re even in the smallest doubt about that, I would cautiously suggest to look elsewhere.

And to the developer: *please* open up the patches. Or, at least, provide open alternatives for a selection of the current patches, particularly the ensembles and section-shorts. That would instantly increase the appeal, power and versatily of Afflatus to no end. And I, for one, would be immensely grateful. Thanks.

_
Where is the review of Chris ? I don't even find it on youtube ???
 

The Darris

Senior Member
Where is the review of Chris ? I don't even find it on youtube ???
I won't go into details but I decided for personal reasons to remove the review as well as shutdown my Samples Spotlight channel indefinitely. Being the commercial thread, I don't want it going off topic so we will leave it at that. And, before the conspiracies start brewing, Strezov Sampling did not ask me to remove the review and had zero effect on my decision to put Samples Spotlight to rest. I do stand by my review for those who watched and honestly love this library.

@re-peat - Haha. I think you miss-characterized my opinions with an unhealthy dose of hyperbole but I will say, based on my opinions as well, that Afflatus is a game changer for me and my workflow given the current work I do. But, again, that's my opinion based on my experience. Like all music software, your mileage may vary.

Cheers,

C
 
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fiestared

Vintage -but- not obsolete
I won't go into details but I decided for personal reasons to remove the review as well as shutdown my Samples Spotlight channel indefinitely. Being the commercial thread, I don't want it going off topic so we will leave it at that. And, before the conspiracies start brewing, Strezov Sampling did not ask me to remove the review and had zero effect on my decision to put Samples Spotlight to rest. I do stand by my review for those who watched and honestly love this library.

@re-peat - Haha. I think you miss-characterized my opinions with an unhealthy dose of hyperbole but I will say, based on my opinions as well, that Afflatus is a game changer for me and my workflow given the current work I do. But, again, that's my opinion based on my experience. Like all music software, your mileage may vary.

Cheers,

C
OK, it's your decision, I respect your choice...
Take care.
 

procreative

Senior Member
Now one thing I really must say George, your approach to criticism and the politeness of your replies is a real breath of fresh air and your willingness to listen and respond stellar.

I hope you keep this up, as there are a few other developers who seem to have lost sight of that.

As someone who works in the creative industries, I know how soul crushing "constructive criticism" can feel especially so soon after you have launched your product.
 

SimonCharlesHanna

Senior Member
Now one thing I really must say George, your approach to criticism and the politeness of your replies is a real breath of fresh air and your willingness to listen and respond stellar.

I hope you keep this up, as there are a few other developers who seem to have lost sight of that.

As someone who works in the creative industries, I know how soul crushing "constructive criticism" can feel especially so soon after you have launched your product.
That's because George is just a fantastic person!
 

NoamL

Winter <3
Anyone who makes a 1 hr video about anything to do with VIs, is doing something generous and positive for the community. Even if you disagree with their opinion.

I hope people just in general keep in mind how hard it is to MAKE STUFF. Shouldn't we all know that as artists? Making walkthroughs, reviews, lessons or master classes takes time and even if there's affiliate links it's not like YouTube is an instant money machine. Making sample libraries takes time, creativity, and a whole lot of money.

I stand by my opinion too. I don't have $800 to throw around at the moment but if I did I can't think of $800 worth of strings product between the release of CSS in 2016 and now in 2018 that has interested me as much as Afflatus does.
 

frank_m

New Member
I like the way George responds to criticism and suggestions! :2thumbs:
George, may I suggest the following: instead of only adding CC2 as an alternative for dynamic control, why not include two knobs or sliders on the GUI: one for control of dynamics and one for expression. These sliders can then be midi-learned to the CC of choice (e.g. for technical reasons I can neither use CC1 nor CC2). Several developpers do that, e.g. Spitfire audio and 8dio. And, maybe you could include that in future updates of all your instruments (as I also have Wotan, Freya etc.:))? Keep on with your good stuff! Best, Frank.
 
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