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Symphony Series - Percussion

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Seycara, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic ɹǝqɯǝW ɹoᴉuǝS

    Oct 19, 2015
    Yes, I think you've identified the difference. I, too, had purchased all three of the other Symphony Series libraries for the $300 crossgrade price, which seems to explain why I was fortunate enough to get the Percussion for $49.
  2. storyteller

    storyteller Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2015
    Just curious David... what are your thoughts on the timpani compared to some of the other libraries?
  3. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic ɹǝqɯǝW ɹoᴉuǝS

    Oct 19, 2015
    As my response, I decided to do a quick comparison render of hard strikes and a crescendo roll of the four timpani that I have available and actually use (I also have timpani in EWQLSO Gold, but I don't think it merits comparison to any of these). In order heard, they are:

    1) NI Symphony Series Percussion
    2) OT Berlin Percussion Exp A
    3) HZ03 (JunkieXL mix)
    4) Kontakt Factory Library

    I added some Valhalla Room to the OT timpani, as it is otherwise significantly more dry than the others. I also did a rough volume match of all four, in order to avoid having volume affect the perception of quality. These examples just use the stereo mix for SSP, and the tree mics for OT and SF.

    Until now I have been using either OT or HZ03 for timpani, and in general I don't see that changing, as they both seem to have more "smack/presence" than the others, with the OT version probably having the best raw sound and the HZ03 version having that terrific ambience which blends so well with all of my other Spitfire libraries. The Kontakt factory library one, in comparison, is very much deep and boomy, and I haven't gone back to it after getting any of these others. The new Symphony Series timpani falls somewhere in between those extremes, I'd say - like much of the rest of SSP, it isn't as "hyped" in the high end as both the OT and SF timpani are, but on some occasions that could be a desirable quality, and in my opinion it is noticeably closer to the OT and SF offerings in overall quality than it is to the factory library one.

    It isn't shown in this example, but the SSP timpani does have a quirk on the release sample of its rolls, mostly when released at a low to mid dynamics level, where it sounds kind of unnatural and like a pasted on semi-hiss rather than the same timpani head ringing. It isn't a problem if you release the roll with the dynamics at a high setting.

    One bad thing about the SF offering is that there are audible transitions in the velocity layers that make it more difficult to get smooth dynamics. Both the OT library and the new SSP library come off better in that regard.

    Unlike the others, the OT timpani doesn't have any semblance of a strike built into the release of the roll ... I could have added one in, but decided to leave it as is in order to show that difference. OT also has fixed length crescendo rolls which sound really great, but I decided to also do the roll with the modulation wheel in order to have it be a fair comparison with these other libraries which lack recorded roll crescendos.

  4. storyteller

    storyteller Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2015
    Thanks for taking the time to post this. :thumbsup: Very, very informative. I've been using Spitfire's Percussion Redux timpani (which I really like), but this opened my eyes up a bit. I didn't realize how bombastic the HZ03 timpani can be and how clear the OT timpani is in comparison. That said - I think the Symphony Series Percussion timpani holds up nicely against them. It sounds more "classical" perhaps. I suppose they all serve completely different uses, but it is great to hear the differences like that. Thanks for posting with it!
    Polarity and WindcryMusic like this.
  5. Polarity

    Polarity Senior Member

    Personally I like SSP Timpanis most. As you wrote it's not hyped and more classical (and SW like :sneaky:) and balanced; I like their tone and resonance.
    I was in love with OT Timpani till now but after this comparison now I find them too much bright/bombastic compared to SSP, EW SO Gold Plus (that I used till now).
    The HZ03 Timpani are not for me at all as tone and yes too bombastic.
    The Kontakt Library Timpanis surprised me: a bit muffled but can be interesting for layering maybe? I didn't even remember they existed! :LOL

    PS: thank you very much for the comparison test! :)
    WindcryMusic and sostenuto like this.
  6. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic ɹǝqɯǝW ɹoᴉuǝS

    Oct 19, 2015
    You're welcome!

    To be fair, both OT Timpani and HZ01 do also have "soft strikes/sticks" options that weren't used in my comparison audio, and which are far more restrained in tone. I like having the flexibility to go either subtle or very hyped. The SSP timpani straddles a middle ground between those extremes, but without really allowing the extremes (mostly the "hyped" extreme) to be reached.
    Polarity likes this.
  7. dgrace

    dgrace Senior Member

    May 10, 2015
    Southeast US
    Same here! We're limited to DSL ...and not that great of speed at that.
  8. zeng

    zeng composer

    Mar 12, 2012
    A vibraphone without vibrato (motors)?? I purchased it but I'm shocked when played vibraphone!
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  9. Hi! I'm curious about your opinions of the cymbal rolls with mod wheel. Are they useful? Do the crescendos get "big"?

    The video only demonstrates a very modest crescendo.

    I'm only interested in mod wheel crescendos, not "timed" roll crescendos. Currently I use EW Symph Orch Mod wheel cymbal roll crescendos almost every day. But I might let that EWCC subscription expire, so I'm looking for alternative packages while the upgrade price for Symph Series is still only $99. I don't have Loops De La Créme cymbal rolls ($49) and was wondering how this compares to either EW or Loops De La Créme.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
  10. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic ɹǝqɯǝW ɹoᴉuǝS

    Oct 19, 2015
    I have the Loops de la Créme cymbal rolls, and think they are really good. I haven't done a direct comparison of them to the mod wheel rolls in SSP, but just from listening to this SSP video, I'd say that one hears the individual cymbal strikes more with LdlC's entry (judgement call whether that is a good thing or not), and that the dynamics with LdlC may be more pronounced. I'll see if I can find some time to create and post a comparison sometime this weekend, if someone else doesn't beat me to it.
    Soundbed likes this.
  11. storyteller

    storyteller Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2015
    I'd just like to give a second thumbs up to LDLC's Cymbal Rolls. It is a great library to have for those purposes.
    Soundbed likes this.
  12. Thanks, I don't think I've read a single bad thing about LdlC's Cymbal Rolls. :2thumbs:

    Still curious about NI's SSP mod wheel rolls though, how they compare, how "big" they can get, how flexible and usable they are.... :grin:
  13. dogdad

    dogdad Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    I just purchased SSP and used it on a new piece. It does have several cymbal rolls in it.

    FIW, I like it. The Timpani is great and the cymbals are nice (as well as the rest of the percussion). I also have LDLC cymbals but have not compared them yet.

    markleake likes this.
  14. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic ɹǝqɯǝW ɹoᴉuǝS

    Oct 19, 2015
    As promised, I've just posted a short comparison sample of mod-wheel-controlled rolls. The 1st and 3rd rolls are from Loops de la Créme Cymbal Rolls, and the 2nd and 4th rolls are from Symphony Series Percussion. All are just using the default mics and the built-in reverbs. I chose one set of larger/deeper cymbals and one set of higher/sizzling type of cymbals for the comparison. I did normalize the volume for a more fair comparison, since the SSP rolls seem to be about 5 to 6 db quieter otherwise.

    After comparing them, I think both libraries have their strengths. Each library offers some colors not found in the other, with the LdlC library offering a wider variety of cymbals overall. The SSP samples are a little less "penetrating/midrangy" than many of the LdlC samples, but either could be suited to specific purposes. I had remembered LdlC as having more of the individual cymbal strikes audible than SSP, but some of the SSP samples have this, too, although I think the SSP cymbals tend to be a bit more inconsistent if you hold them at a single level for very long. To me it feels like the most important difference is that the LdlC samples are programmed to have a more natural falloff as one pulls back on the mod wheel, simulating the ongoing ringing of the cymbal, whereas one has to pull back SSP with some care to avoid having the ringing drop off in a sudden and artificial way (I left examples of this behavior in the file).

    Soundbed, markleake and storyteller like this.
  15. BezO

    BezO The Artisan

    Jun 11, 2018
    Good to come across this as I decide on upgrading from Essentials Collection (less percussion) to the full Series Collection (including percussion). $300 seems reasonable.

    I don't do orchestral music, just use orchestral elements in a lot of my instrumental stuff. I have KK Ultimate and have been getting bye with the cinematic inclusions, occasionally feeling I'm missing an articulation, mic position, level of control, ect. NI's Series Collection seems like a good middle ground as I know the more extensive libraries are overkill for my needs.

    Thanks for the opinions and samples!
  16. Thanks so much for this! I ended my EWCC subscription last night after rendering my last mod wheel cymbal roll from it. :)

    Now Komplete Collector's Edition has the full NI Symphony Series and I'll be deciding among these:

    https://www.native-instruments.com/...dles/komplete-12-ultimate-collectors-edition/ (for the percussion but also everything else)

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