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Synchron Strings

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
You know there was this gazillion long pages thread during the release time of the synchron strings last year where people having long debates about the pros and cons and I pointed out my own thoughts about the synchron strings too, heck I also tried to be fair because there is something to like about the synchron strings, but overall I decided not to get the library. I listened to a lot of demos there, I even spoke (in private) with a few people, incl. some who are close to the company working for their demo department in order to give them my honest thoughts and what they should consider changing or re-doing for SS because I was asked what the library is missing.

In a nutshell, even the best demos for the library worked out e.g. by Guy Bacos (which I respect a lot) creating very thoughtful music here, I wasn´t convinced about the result, yet the music is beautiful, unfortunately the result ended up sounding very dated and midi-sh for a 2018 major workhorse string library which I was surprised by quite a lot, considering that VSL has done great libraries back then.

For me personally the library lacks of what I call the mojo and liveliness. Probably for some people might think that libraries like CSS has a bit of too much of that: For instance CSS has like a romantic expressivo long note articulation and a fine legato which creates a lot of lively sound and expression as the same I can say of Berlin Strings (which I use for many years). For me the SS sound very flat because it lacks of that quite a lot for all the long articulations and legatos. To mention something what I like, I think the short articulation department in this library is done in a good fashion and it sounds great. Also the sense of room is nice and it gives a very balanced projection. Thats one of VSL strenghts.

Having said that: I would (and I have) recommend to them recording more expressivo long note material, authentic fast runs and articulated legato agile patches because there is a lot what they missed imo to make that library a workhorse for serious composers these days. Now..when you write modern filmmusic, I think even SS will do its job, but do write something else, you know like classic soundtrack where you need a lot of more expression with fluid melodic lines..then I am afraid with SS it will end up sounding not quite what a VSL next generation String library in 2018 should be capable of. Sure its still samples and a string libray, but I have seen amazing results with competitors products which just sound so much better and I am afraid that VSL has missed a big opportunity with this one. And then there are these new policies with them which annoys quite a bunch of people which also scares me a bit away investing into them knowing that I am dependent on such imo outdated "no consumer friendly" policies eating up more money from my pocket when my dongle stops working.
In the end I think VSL had the best intentions with SS wanting to create a very ambitious library but it sounds to me like a very incomplete product. Also there is a point that SS is a pretty hungry library eating up over 500 GB with a full installation of the full library which sounds impressive reading the description but doesn´t sound impressive at all after listening to many examples posted back then.

Just for the sake of information purpose for those who are interested in reading all the 100+ pages old thread:
https://vi-control.net/community/threads/vsl-synchron-strings-i-announced-nov-release.65555/

PS: I have no grudge or even hate against VSL, I appreciate VSL quite a lot, yet they should listen to the many people voiced their opinions and the problems
 
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AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
And not to be the devils advocate but since the release they managed to release quite a bunch of new libraries which are synchronised old libraries and I am curious why they didn´t adress the many requests and problems by the community with SS and just to stick with that release how it is? So the result is that I saw more and more people selling their SS. I would recommend to them that they record new material for SS and release that as update for the existing SS users to make the library more complete. And imo the update should be a free update tbh also to show that they take the community serious in order to get back their reputation because I feel they lost a good amount of trust from people .
 
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muziksculp

Senior Member
imho. VSL are wasting their time synchronizing old libraries.

They should have fixed, and improved Synchron Strings I , and also work on developing the rest of the the orchestra in Synchron Stage.

Does VSL think that 'Synchron Strings I' is a great and successfully developed library ? If they do, they are not listening to their customers. Which is the real problem here.
 

re-peat

Senior Member
I think the much bigger problem is that VSL’s esthetic still seems to be firmly oriented towards the Dead Sound, as it has been since Viennese time immemorial. (Not listening to their customers isn’t really a problem. Most of their customers aren’t worth listening to anyway.)

The Dead Sound’s big advantage, from a developer’s point of view, is that it results in pleasantly bland, obseqious samples that can be assembled quite easily into semi-convincing patches which have a generic versatility, a sort of superficial passe-partout-ness, that is not entirely without value for certain applications. The Dead Sound’s major disadvantage however, from a musician’s perspective, is that it … well, the name says it all really.

_
 

Sovereign

Senior Member
I think the much bigger problem is that VSL’s esthetic still seems to be firmly oriented towards the Dead Sound, as it has been since Viennese time immemorial. (Not listening to their customers isn’t really a problem. Most of their customers aren’t worth listening to anyway.)
It is as if they did not pick up a single clue from their competitors in this regard.
 

FriFlo

Senior Member
Not listening to their customers isn’t really a problem. Most of their customers aren’t worth listening to anyway.
_
Right! Sometimes I sadly realize that this is why democracy doesn’t work out to be fairer or better than monarchy and all kinds of despicable forms of rule we had before!
 

robgb

I was young once
Anyone still consider buy Synchron Strings?
I love VSL strings. I have the original gigastudio/exs versions with the Kontakt updates. Some people hate their absolutely dry sound, but I prefer to create my own rooms, so they (and other older libraries) work great for me. But I'll never update to anything VSL now offers, despite any improvements, because I can't abide by having to deal with a dongle and their pricing policy for lost dongles. Find a different protection scheme and I'm there.
 

novaburst

Senior Member
It is as if they did not pick up a single clue from their competitors in this regard.
I am sure at least you most agree this this is the reason VSL are different than the rest, they don't follow the norm,

Yes yes I know SS this and SS that the fact remains there are some that have noted the potential in the library and that will remain,

To be an innovator you need to separate your self from the rest of the status quo, you cant be the same as every one else, you need to try things different or there is no point, doing things differently will upset those who prefer the normal way of doing things.

There are some that can see and understand what innovation is and I guess those are the ones who want to push the boundary and who are tired of hearing and seeing things done the same old way over and over again.

Yes we have the CSS, the Berlin, the Hollywood, but there is to much of a familiarity about them, ok a lot of users like that, but the question remains why purchase a different library if its going to sound the same as the next one.

To me the SS is a very sweet fresh sound that can really cut through if used correctly, the new player does not and I will repeat it does not do the strings any justice what so ever in fact I would go as far as to say the new player in some ways degrades the strings, the player looks ok and may work for other things but it certainly does not work for SS so the down side if you can call it that is you will need to work with the Vienna instrument and it can take a little time to set up.

I have herd a few mukups and some were ok but I can easy tell what they are not doing with the set up with SS, the only things I would say is scrap the new S player because new users will not and can not appreciate the strings with it, and give us a few more articulations

As for dongle policy its up to each individual to decide weather to purchase or not but it is certainly not up to me to be a spokes man and try my very best to influence you or any one to not purchase from VSL or for that matter any developer, that is very dark and very unfair, and to use a forum to do that is very low, and boarders on the line of stupidity and indirect wickedness.
 

novaburst

Senior Member
That's true. I use their libraries nearly every day. Great stuff. The only thing I don't like is the sound of Synchron Strings. To me it sounds lifeless and in opposite to their other string libraries it's nearly impossible to make convincing agile melodic phrases with that legato.
I am not challenging @Saxer but I have a few of VSL string library's and I do find SS the sweetest sound and tone, but you can put it down to choice.
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
[QUOTE="novaburst, post: 4367628, member: 12149"
To me the SS is a very sweet fresh sound that can really cut through if used correctly, the new player does not and I will repeat it does not do the strings any justice what so ever in fact I would go as far as to say the new player in some ways degrades the strings, the player looks ok and may work for other things but it certainly does not work for SS so the down side if you can call it that is you will need to work with the Vienna instrument and it can take a little time to set up.

[/QUOTE]

As someone who never liked the silent stage VSL libraries and found the old player confusing as hell, I may not be qualified to challenge tyour assessment, but here is my view:

https://www.macprovideo.com/article/new-articles/review-vsl-synchron-player-?afid=HT1U3aQxk1
 

novaburst

Senior Member
[QUOTE="novaburst, post: 4367628, member: 12149"
To me the SS is a very sweet fresh sound that can really cut through if used correctly, the new player does not and I will repeat it does not do the strings any justice what so ever in fact I would go as far as to say the new player in some ways degrades the strings, the player looks ok and may work for other things but it certainly does not work for SS so the down side if you can call it that is you will need to work with the Vienna instrument and it can take a little time to set up.
As someone who never liked the silent stage VSL libraries and found the old player confusing as hell, I may not be qualified to challenge tyour assessment, but here is my view:

https://www.macprovideo.com/article/new-articles/review-vsl-synchron-player-?afid=HT1U3aQxk1[/QUOTE]

Technically you review 100%
 

artomatic

I Compose With My Ears
I was fortunate enough to cancel my preorder. I really did not like the "synthy" (in my opinion) sound that it produces on certain sustain passages.

Not your bread and butter string library but I've been using Afflatus Strings a lot with SCS, Dimension Strings, CSS.

Certainly, if you like the demos from Guy and other SS demos out there then go for it.
Or, as Alexander pointed out, read the user experiences here then decide.

All the best!
 

Eloy

New Member
VSL is like Apple - you love them or you hate them. Why? Because they did everything different. We were waiting on a new string library that reinvented legato. What we got was the HomePod. But we were told that the Synchron strings library is/was fantastic (multiple legatos - I could not tell the difference). We had so much faith in them that many of us put money down on preorders .....and waited....
and when we downloaded the first batch of SS samples we were suspicious ..... when we finally got the last bit of samples we felt like jilted lovers....... especially when we got the new player and the transitions didn’t change .....which then turned into anger (we could not return the product by then). Herb Tucmandl (VSL owner) A) did not listen or B) thought he still new better (like Tim Cook) or C) perhaps he lost his hearing (this one would actually be logical) - I do not know. Alex is right- Guy Bacos made thoughtful beautiful and articulate Synchron Strings music demos - but it sounded bad (those demos would have sounded great with the old VI series). Paul who is not an employee but a rep for the company took the brunt (he once answered a question after Synchron came out stating he loved the pristine quality of the dry stage samples) of the criticism. The Synchron percussion and pianos sound great. But by then we (the older clients) had been pushed aside by rehashes of older libraries being synchronized (with less articulations). They had purchased Synchron studio and need to make use of it (I get it). Now they are at it again -Pre order with their main product VEP Pro 7 (their iPhone). Most composers use this product even if they do not use their libraries. One can only hope that (even though at the time of this post -zero upcoming VEP details have been posted) all will be good with VEP Pro 7. Well - I have to go and plug my 17” MacBook Pro back in for power .... but .....yes at least it has ports..........
 
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Eptesicus

Senior Member
And not to be the devils advocate but since the release they managed to release quite a bunch of new libraries which are synchronised old libraries and I am curious why they didn´t adress the many requests and problems by the community with SS and just to stick with that release how it is? So the result is that I saw more and more people selling their SS. I would recommend to them that they record new material for SS and release that as update for the existing SS users to make the library more complete. And imo the update should be a free update tbh also to show that they take the community serious in order to get back their reputation because I feel they lost a good amount of trust from people .
Totally agree.

It really bemuses me that they haven't gone down this route.

It would build bridges with all the disappointed customers who bought into it initially, and it would also no doubt help sales for the whole of the Synchron range considerably if they make a good job of the brass and wind as well.

As it stands, i don't understand why anyone would opt for the Synchron range as a cohesive orchestra, as the strings just simply aren't good. Its dead on arrival, unless they fix the strings.

They just seem to be incapable of realising that they did a rubbish job though. They needs to swallow their pride and re-record key elements of the library.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
I think the much bigger problem is that VSL’s esthetic still seems to be firmly oriented towards the Dead Sound, as it has been since Viennese time immemorial. (Not listening to their customers isn’t really a problem. Most of their customers aren’t worth listening to anyway.)

The Dead Sound’s big advantage, from a developer’s point of view, is that it results in pleasantly bland, obseqious samples that can be assembled quite easily into semi-convincing patches which have a generic versatility, a sort of superficial passe-partout-ness, that is not entirely without value for certain applications. The Dead Sound’s major disadvantage however, from a musician’s perspective, is that it … well, the name says it all really.
This may be somewhat true for VSL strings - seemingly not their forte - but the majority of their other libraries are great quality, sound just fine and not "dead" at all. Perhaps a bland mind hears things in a bland way.
 

Casiquire

Senior Member
I think the much bigger problem is that VSL’s esthetic still seems to be firmly oriented towards the Dead Sound, as it has been since Viennese time immemorial. (Not listening to their customers isn’t really a problem. Most of their customers aren’t worth listening to anyway.)

The Dead Sound’s big advantage, from a developer’s point of view, is that it results in pleasantly bland, obseqious samples that can be assembled quite easily into semi-convincing patches which have a generic versatility, a sort of superficial passe-partout-ness, that is not entirely without value for certain applications. The Dead Sound’s major disadvantage however, from a musician’s perspective, is that it … well, the name says it all really.

_
Dry and dead are two very different things. I agree with the former but strongly disagree with the latter
 

Salorom

Member
In my opinion Synchron Strings is flawed in many aspects, but VSL’s other strings libraries are not. I find Dimension Strings very versatile and a joy to program.

As to why they didn’t try to fix SS instead of synchronizing older material, that is really beyond me, for all the good reasons aforementioned.
 

re-peat

Senior Member
Dry and dead are two very different things. I agree with the former but strongly disagree with the latter

I never said anything about 'dry', did I? Let alone that I equalled it with 'dead'. I have no issue with dry samples. Some of my favourite samples and sound sources are very dry. (Besides, I work with SPAT, so no amount of dryness in samples or instrument modelling has ever nonplussed me.) And I see some use for the of-methanal-smelling VSL-samples too: cleverly tuck them away in the recesses of your mock orchestra, and their sturdy rigor mortis may well provide a solid foundation to support the more interesting non-VSL material in the foreground.

I am sorry, but I'm simply not a big fan of the VSL sound. I use quite a few VSL-libraries (and own a lot more than I use), but I'm never excited nor inspired by the prospect of having to. And I have *never* heard a mock-up — nor have I been able to create one myself — made exclusively with VSL-samples, that has the quality, power, depth, vibrancy, richness of texture, sonic and spatial coherence, and overal believability of, say, Blaney's or Knorr's best work with the respective libraries that they're committed to.
A good Blaney or Knorr mock-up always sounds 'right' to me. As 'right' as a mock-up can sound anyway. A VSL mock-up, on the other hand, even those made by the company's most gifted and competent devotees, invariably sounds doctored, laboured or hard-won in some way, always a bit flat and one-dimensional too (an unappealing characteristic which is, paradoxically, more often than not accentuated by MIR rather than minimized), frequently not a little bit synthetic, image-wise never quite solid, and exuding a degree of muddled artificiality which happens to spoil my enjoyment of it as a carrier of music.

I quite like a lot of the content in the Synchron Percussion though.

_
 

FriFlo

Senior Member
I second that remark about VSLs code of sampling leading to dead samples. And I want to be fair and bring light to that idea from two ways:
There were times, when I freaked out about these so called living samples. At that time I was totally used to the VSL philosophy and when I improvised for the first time with some of those later libraries, I almost got angry when hearing all kinds of noises individual to some notes! Those "squeaks", hisses and noises were some times great and leaded to the whole thing sounding more naturally, other times - especially when doing repetitive phrases - they made certain musical ideas impossible. That is, what I hated about this kind of approach.
A lot of time has passed since then and a lot of libraries have been bought by me. My mind has changes since them, as I realised, there should not be to much of those squeaks and noises in the samples. Also, by now I own at least two alternatives for every kind of instrument. So, 95% of the time, those slight imperfections help making the music more natural. For the remaining cases, where something gets worse, I can mostly save it by switching library.
What I really wonder is, why did VSL not learn from all of that competition? A functional company should have realized, that the competition has come ahead of them in certain aspects. They could have learned from that while taking it one step further. What I have always missed is combinging the livelyness so a certain degree of imperfections combined with going nuts on RRs. VSL even did RRs on Legato transitions for their trill patches. Maybe, this would have been a rewarding thing to go huge on! All those legato trasnsition certainly weren't and neither were some of the dynamic layers, that could not work within one legato patch.
I am of course not saying, I know how to do it better! I am no developer and some of my ideas could be wrong, either! But it is easy to see for some aspects, what they did wrong, even for me: why waste your time on a generic "shorts" patch, while there are all kinds of individual string techniques of playing those notes? I would have preferred, if they would have done only one (e.g. Spiccato) right for volume 1 ... while these short notes are probably the best thing from Synchron Strings, you can see its flaws even in these ...
 
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