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Synchron-ized Special Edition

BenjaminO

New Member
Would you guys recommend this whole library (all 4 volumes and the corresponding PLUS expansions) to someone who is looking for an all-round versatile orchestral package (not as an upgrade but as a new purchase since I don’t own anything from VSL yet - 995 €)?

This would be my first orchestral library and I am seriously considering buying the whole bundle (for the promotional price) since it contains basically everything in an orchestra plus some other instruments which are great/amazing. I’ve listened to all the demos, watched all the videos and I really like the sound.

I’ve been considering Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra which is very similar (although Amadeus has the amazing full orchestra patch) but when comparing the sound to Synchron-ized SE, I reall prefer the latter. The solo instruments imho also sound much much better.

The second orchestral package I’ve considered is The Orchestra by Sonuscore but I dislike the fact that no solo instruments are included and when comparing the sound I’ve again found VSLs library much more appealing and I feel it sounds more intimate which I like. The Orchestra demos were all pretty much in the “epic” cinematic ballpark which isn’t my primary goal at the moment (maybe some day) and they sounded a little bit distant to me (it might be the mix).

The main issue I have with VSLs library is that the whole bundle isn’t cheap for somene like me but I can afford it. I am just not sure if it is worth the price but from my research so far I think I won’t find any better for my needs. My goal is to have versatile orchestral instruments which I would be able to work with for a longer time (to master them) so I don’t have to constantly buy more libraries (that is also why I am considering the whole bundle which includes all articulations). The other goal is to be able to produce a decent quality sound and I think this particular library doesn’t dissapoint in that area (at least according to the demos and videos). Having solo instruments is also something I really like and some of these really impressed me.

Any comments regarding my doubts and my conclusions regarding this library (described in the previous paragraph) would be very welcome. If anyone else has any better library suggestions (according to my needs described above) it would also be welcome.

Cheers!
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
A bit of a clever marketing trick involved here though right? If I re-package essentially the same samples under a different name, then I can charge an "upgrade" price and even offer a "discount" to those who bought the original version. Makes you feel like you got a great deal! VSL are masters of this kind of thing.
Sure, it's crafty marketing, but as far as pure repackaging goes, other companies are far "worse offenders" than VSL - 8Dio or Spitfire for example. I don't think it's the work of the devil, as it's all optional anyway. In any case, singling VSL out as a particularly "bad case" wouldn't be quite accurate. I can't think of any other sample library developer that consistently stuck with their product line for as long as they did, and this synchronized stuff, after all, does come with new stuff and improvements as well.
 

mikefrommontreal

Active Member
Would you guys recommend this whole library (all 4 volumes and the corresponding PLUS expansions) to someone who is looking for an all-round versatile orchestral package (not as an upgrade but as a new purchase since I don’t own anything from VSL yet - 995 €)?

This would be my first orchestral library and I am seriously considering buying the whole bundle (for the promotional price) since it contains basically everything in an orchestra plus some other instruments which are great/amazing. I’ve listened to all the demos, watched all the videos and I really like the sound.

I’ve been considering Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra which is very similar (although Amadeus has the amazing full orchestra patch) but when comparing the sound to Synchron-ized SE, I reall prefer the latter. The solo instruments imho also sound much much better.

The second orchestral package I’ve considered is The Orchestra by Sonuscore but I dislike the fact that no solo instruments are included and when comparing the sound I’ve again found VSLs library much more appealing and I feel it sounds more intimate which I like. The Orchestra demos were all pretty much in the “epic” cinematic ballpark which isn’t my primary goal at the moment (maybe some day) and they sounded a little bit distant to me (it might be the mix).

The main issue I have with VSLs library is that the whole bundle isn’t cheap for somene like me but I can afford it. I am just not sure if it is worth the price but from my research so far I think I won’t find any better for my needs. My goal is to have versatile orchestral instruments which I would be able to work with for a longer time (to master them) so I don’t have to constantly buy more libraries (that is also why I am considering the whole bundle which includes all articulations). The other goal is to be able to produce a decent quality sound and I think this particular library doesn’t dissapoint in that area (at least according to the demos and videos). Having solo instruments is also something I really like and some of these really impressed me.

Any comments regarding my doubts and my conclusions regarding this library (described in the previous paragraph) would be very welcome. If anyone else has any better library suggestions (according to my needs described above) it would also be welcome.

Cheers!
What kind of music are you looking to make? If it's more 'epic' music, then it can be done with this package, but it's certainly not it's forte. I'd say it's strength is for more 'conventional' orchestral music.
 

Manuel Stumpf

Active Member
What’s the reverb under the preset at the right? Is it an additional send reverb?
Indeed this is an additional algorithmic reverb. The send knob for this is beside the impulse response button.
But I never saw this one active by default in the Special Edition. It is always set to "-inf" (no guarantee on this, maybe there is a patch that has it activated). The Sychronized Special Edition normally uses an AUX channel beside the instrument channel as reverb (as can be seen in the picture).
SynchronPlayer_EQ_Reverb_IR_2.png

By the way the send knob that goes into the reverb channel right next to the instrument (which is an AUX channel) is not visible, it comes to the surface when on the left hand side "AUX" is selected instead of "Basic".
 

Ben

VSL Support
My goal is to have versatile orchestral instruments which I would be able to work with for a longer time (to master them) so I don’t have to constantly buy more libraries
Of course, SE has its limits. After all, it is an entry level orchestra. So there will be situations where you will miss some articulations (for example non-vibrato, harmonics, dynamics), but if you know what this library can and can't do, you can go around a lot of these limitations.
You will spend some time learning how the different parameters like velocity crossfade, expression and the combination of different articulations influence the sound and after some time you will get a good feeling what to do to get the sound from your imagination.

Imo: For 1000€ it is the best you can get with such high quality and this many instruments. Also consider investing ~120€ for a TEC breath controller (or any other that works well) to program the velocity crossfade. This adds a lot to the realism. (alternative you can use a mod-wheel, but it's easier with a breath-controller)
 

Ben

VSL Support
Here is the list of the fx included in the Synchron Palyer: Algorithmic reverb, Delay, Saturator, Cabinet, Compressor, Expander, Limiter, Noise-Gate, EQ, different filter, Auto Gain, Choros + Flanger, Phaser, Rotary, Plate Reverb, Room Reverb, Invert, Power-Pan, Sample-Delay.

So on top of the IR reverb you have 3 different reverbs build-in.
 

Manuel Stumpf

Active Member
Any comments regarding my doubts and my conclusions regarding this library (described in the previous paragraph) would be very welcome. If anyone else has any better library suggestions (according to my needs described above) it would also be welcome.
Every library has its own weaknesses and strengths.
Most important thing is follow your ears, in what you like.

One thing to think about is: if you want the instruments as ensemble patches only or as indiviual sections. I have added a comment on each library below regarding the strings (normally it should also hold up for brass/woodwind).

As for good allround packages regarding orchestral compositions here are some to consider:

Sychronized Special Edition (VSL)
High quality. Lots of content to explore.
It needs a dongle. In contrast to all the others this one can be sold. So if you ever want to get rid of it, you get at least part of the money back.
As far as I know VSL allows upgrading. Thus you can start with the most basic volumes 1 + 2 (or only even Vol 1) and see if you like it before you get all the rest.
Strings available as different sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses).
In case you like the sound going with this product is absolutely fine.

Hollywood Orchestra Gold (East West)
Minimum get Gold version here (the diamond is huge in disk space).
This has just everything you need.
Compared to all others Hollywood Orchestra has the most content for the money.
Regardless of its age, still many many come back to this. Especially for strings/brass.
Strings available as different sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses).

Berlin Orchestra Inspire 1 (Orchestral Tools)
Has mostly ensemble patches, but also some solo instruments like Flute, Horn.
Strings not as individual sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses) but as an ensemble patch.
A very nice allround package.

Orchestral Essentials 1 + 2 (ProjectSAM)
Vol 1 contains the most basic things.
Strings not as individual sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses) but as an ensemble patch.
Vol 2 contains additional patches like Flute, Horn...

Albion One (Spitfire)
Mostly has ensemble patches. Makes it difficult to play melodies when suddenly different instruments kick in/leave. I see this one often recommended, but as a single library personally I would miss something. Is missing almost the complete typical orchestral percussion (okay I can fully understand, Spitfire has the Joby Burgess Percussion product for this purpose).
Strings not as individual sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses) but as an ensemble patch.

Palette Symphonic Sketchpad (Redroom Audio)
Rather new libary, can't comment on this one yet. But looks pretty nice.
Strings not as individual sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses) but as an ensemble patch.
 

gyprock

Member
Indeed this is an additional algorithmic reverb. The send knob for this is beside the impulse response button.
But I never saw this one active by default in the Special Edition. It is always set to "-inf" (no guarantee on this, maybe there is a patch that has it activated). The Sychronized Special Edition normally uses an AUX channel beside the instrument channel as reverb (as can be seen in the picture).
View attachment 20777

By the way the send knob that goes into the reverb channel right next to the instrument (which is an AUX channel) is not visible, it comes to the surface when on the left hand side "AUX" is selected instead of "Basic".
Thanks for this. Do you know how to route the stereo outputs at the bottom of each channel? There are 9 of them if I recall. Will be useful for Synchro percussion presets for the microphones.
 

Manuel Stumpf

Active Member
Thanks for this. Do you know how to route the stereo outputs at the bottom of each channel? There are 9 of them if I recall. Will be useful for Synchro percussion presets for the microphones.
You can just set one of the 9 outputs by clicking the output channel. Default is "1 (Stereo)".
Now you just have to activate the other channels inside your DAW.
What DAW are you using? It is different for each DAW and does not depend on the Vienna Synchron Player itself.
In Cubase there is a button in the Inspector (an arrow pointing to the right) that opens the menu for "Activating outputs".
Afterwards you have them all in your mixer view.
 
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gyprock

Member
You can just set one of the 9 outputs by clicking the output channel. Default is "1 (Stereo)".
Now you just have to activate the other channels inside your DAW.
What DAW are you using? It is different for each DAW and does not depend on the Vienna Synchron Player itself.
In Cubase there is a button in the Inspector (an arrow pointing to the right) that opens the menu for "Activating outputs".
Afterwards you have them all in your mixer view.
I’m using the Synchron player for each channel in VEP7 routed either directly or through a buss to Cubase. This is all working fine. So from the Synchron mixer I can route to one of 9 pairs (1/2 through 17/18). Now it makes sense. I was getting confused because VEP7 explicitly names the pair whereas the Synchron mixer uses a single digit for the pair.
 

BenjaminO

New Member
What kind of music are you looking to make? If it's more 'epic' music, then it can be done with this package, but it's certainly not it's forte. I'd say it's strength is for more 'conventional' orchestral music.
Thank you for your input mikefrommontreal. To answer your question: I'm not particularly interested in "epic" music at the moment (that might change someday but it is definitely not my priority). I'd say I prefer the more 'conventional' orchestral music at the moment which is something I am interested in exploring. I'd like to explore orchestral instruments (individual and ensembles) in other non-typical orchestral compositions. For example I really like what Snarky Puppy and The Metropole Orchestra have done on Snarky Puppy's album Sylva (I do own Komplete 12 which provides me with the other instruments which are typical of a band such as Snarky Puppy). I really love jazz and many of its modern offspring genres (funk, fusion, modern church gospel music, neo-soul, lo-fi hip hop and some big band music as well) and exploring orchestral instruments in such setting is something I'd like to try. Having solo instruments with a decent quality sound is definitely something I'd prefer over something that Albion One offers for example (only ensemble patches) but I don't want to exclude the ensemble instruments either.

Of course, SE has its limits. After all, it is an entry level orchestra. So there will be situations where you will miss some articulations (for example non-vibrato, harmonics, dynamics), but if you know what this library can and can't do, you can go around a lot of these limitations.
You will spend some time learning how the different parameters like velocity crossfade, expression and the combination of different articulations influence the sound and after some time you will get a good feeling what to do to get the sound from your imagination.

Imo: For 1000€ it is the best you can get with such high quality and this many instruments. Also consider investing ~120€ for a TEC breath controller (or any other that works well) to program the velocity crossfade. This adds a lot to the realism. (alternative you can use a mod-wheel, but it's easier with a breath-controller)
Thank you for your input as well, Ben. I know that it might not be everything one needs but one has to start somewhere and I'd like not to start with something I'd regret purchasing (I think I'd regret choosing a library with poor sound quality more than missing some articulations).

Regarding the breath controller sugestion I must admit it does sound intriguing after checking what it does/can do. Thank you for the suggestion.

Every library has its own weaknesses and strengths.
Most important thing is follow your ears, in what you like.

One thing to think about is: if you want the instruments as ensemble patches only or as indiviual sections. I have added a comment on each library below regarding the strings (normally it should also hold up for brass/woodwind).

As for good allround packages regarding orchestral compositions here are some to consider:

Sychronized Special Edition (VSL)
High quality. Lots of content to explore.
It needs a dongle. In contrast to all the others this one can be sold. So if you ever want to get rid of it, you get at least part of the money back.
As far as I know VSL allows upgrading. Thus you can start with the most basic volumes 1 + 2 (or only even Vol 1) and see if you like it before you get all the rest.
Strings available as different sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses).
In case you like the sound going with this product is absolutely fine.

Hollywood Orchestra Gold (East West)
Minimum get Gold version here (the diamond is huge in disk space).
This has just everything you need.
Compared to all others Hollywood Orchestra has the most content for the money.
Regardless of its age, still many many come back to this. Especially for strings/brass.
Strings available as different sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses).

Berlin Orchestra Inspire 1 (Orchestral Tools)
Has mostly ensemble patches, but also some solo instruments like Flute, Horn.
Strings not as individual sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses) but as an ensemble patch.
A very nice allround package.

Orchestral Essentials 1 + 2 (ProjectSAM)
Vol 1 contains the most basic things.
Strings not as individual sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses) but as an ensemble patch.
Vol 2 contains additional patches like Flute, Horn...

Albion One (Spitfire)
Mostly has ensemble patches. Makes it difficult to play melodies when suddenly different instruments kick in/leave. I see this one often recommended, but as a single library personally I would miss something. Is missing almost the complete typical orchestral percussion (okay I can fully understand, Spitfire has the Joby Burgess Percussion product for this purpose).
Strings not as individual sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses) but as an ensemble patch.

Palette Symphonic Sketchpad (Redroom Audio)
Rather new libary, can't comment on this one yet. But looks pretty nice.
Strings not as individual sections (Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses) but as an ensemble patch.
Manuel Stumpf, thank you for taking the time to share these suggestions and your thoughts. I'll definitely check the Hollywood Orchestra which I haven't considered yet. The others don't really seem to fit my needs based on your descriptions.

I think this is worth checking out as well: https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vst/iconica/sections_and_players.html

It has a trial if you want to try it out before you buying.
Hanu_H, thank you very much for your suggestion. I did take some time to listen to a few demos and some of them sound great while one of them did dissapoint me quite a lot with the sound quality (Lands To West of West by Tobias Escher at around the 1 minute mark). Will take the time tomorrow to listen to everything else.

Cheers!
 

Sid Francis

Senior Member
Can anyone using the Synchron player give a hint how to stack sounds? For example a bassoon with an english horn? In the old Vienna Instrument player it was so easy but here I just don´t see it?
 

azeteg

Active Member
There is a small button next to the articulation list name. If you press it, it turns blue. Just press this button.
That's right - this is the "Parallel mode" button, which enables stacked playback of all slots in this dimension. Additionally, each slot offers a "Parallel mode" setting, which offers "Mix" and "XFade". Using "Mix" you will be stacking the slots, while "XFade" will fade between the patches using the assigned dimension controller.
 

Manuel Stumpf

Active Member
That's right - this is the "Parallel mode" button, which enables stacked playback of all slots in this dimension. Additionally, each slot offers a "Parallel mode" setting, which offers "Mix" and "XFade". Using "Mix" you will be stacking the slots, while "XFade" will fade between the patches using the assigned dimension controller.
?
As far as I understand Sid tries to layer two different instruments.
These "Parallel Mode" button let's you mix/xfade slots, but these slots always belong to the same instrument (for example combines sustain and staccato for the marcato articulation).
I have not found a way to load two instruments at the same time. Either it is not possible or I am missing something?

Edit:
Ahh, my bad. One can change to "Patch" in the browser and then indeed load patches from different instruments.
 
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DaddyO

Senior Member
Can anyone using the Synchron player give a hint how to stack sounds? For example a bassoon with an english horn? In the old Vienna Instrument player it was so easy but here I just don´t see it?
Hi Sid!

You can add ANY patch to the final set of slots in the tree.
1. Click the plus sign at the bottom of the set, you will get an "untitled" slot.
2. In the browser pane, select "Patches" instead of "Presets"
3. Drag the instrument patch you want to stack into the untitled slot.
4. Save your revised instrument preset under User Presets.
5. Make sure the "stack" button is activated.

I haven't fully experimented with this yet (just got the product a few days ago), but I did verify it is doable by adding a flute to an Orchestral "All Strings" instrument.

Now that I think of it, you should be able to create a whole new set of slots for layered instruments. Would make it easier to identify and manage.

Hope you are doing well.
 

Sid Francis

Senior Member
Hey Daddy-John...ahhh... John-O!! :whistling:;) Hope you are well too! Thank you. Yes I would create new presets as I did in the old player. Generally I like the modern new look and the orchestral IRs are chosen really well. I would have paid for them alone because they really fit and work. Also the algorithmic reverb really works well on the instruments. I never would have thought that before. In the end I use my "Spaces" but when I preload the instruments to make a selection I get a good immediate impression.
 
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