What's new

Synchron Strings

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
imho. VSL are wasting their time synchronizing old libraries.
I agree. I haven't warmed up to the Synchron player (especially because I've been using an iPad to control articulations, etc.). But if they feel they MUST convert all their libraries to keep them marketable, updates to the new player for previous owners should be free, or very low cost. They are really bucking the industry standard with high upgrade prices for content you already own, where the new interface doesn't effectively make that much difference from the old one (and is actually a step backwards in some aspects).
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
There are quite some things VSL could learn from their competitors.

But recording squeals, squieks and noises, and offering stiff and unruly samples that let you do nothing but the one thing they're good at most certainly aren't among them. That's just the other side of the same medal.
 

FriFlo

Senior Member
There are quite some things VSL could learn from their competitors.

But recording squeals, squieks and noises, and offering stiff and unruly samples that let you do nothing but the one thing they're good at most certainly aren't among them. That's just the other side of the same medal.
That is why I clearly said it is very much dependent on the exact amount of noise! You can easily put to much in there, so that certain sequences will sound great, others really bad. I don't want the sample library to dictate what to write!
But on the other hand, trying to make everything very conform can also lead to a "dead sound". Maybe noise is not the perfect word do sum up what I mean ... just one example: VSL always recorded the open strings of each section with vibrato by scordatura. That is understandable by the idea of trying to make everything uniform and playable. But it is also one part of the puzzle of things you can do to steal the identity of the real string section ...
Another example: String players from time to time hit neighboring strings when playing ff ad above. Now, with VSL you will never find a note, where that is the case! I don't know it for a fact, but I could imagine VSL to muting the other strings with tape to achieve that goal! :)
There are occasions, where I might be annoyed by a Cello note having wrong pitches included (especially, it it is to much of that)! But in other circumstances it works much better to get a convincing performance.
From this dilemma, they could have learned! I am not saying they should have intentionally put as much noise in there as possible. They should have exactly calculated the amount of imperfections needed to make it convincing and created RRs for those imperfections to prevent any repetitive playing artificially making the imperfections stand out.
I have not produced a string sample library, so I am not claiming to know everything better, to be clear. I merely use those libraries and can therefore compare what helps certain libraries to work better then others. I can therefore imagine what could be done, but I might be wrong with the methods ...
 

Casiquire

Senior Member
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.

_
Then we simply disagree, and there's not a thing wrong with that. I find their winds and percussion to be extremely inspiring, and same with Dimension Strings. The rest of their strings can sound a bit off to my ears so I don't own them.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
That is why I clearly said it is very much dependent on the exact amount of noise! You can easily put to much in there, so that certain sequences will sound great, others really bad. I don't want the sample library to dictate what to write!
But on the other hand, trying to make everything very conform can also lead to a "dead sound". Maybe noise is not the perfect word do sum up what I mean ... just one example: VSL always recorded the open strings of each section with vibrato by scordatura. That is understandable by the idea of trying to make everything uniform and playable. But it is also one part of the puzzle of things you can do to steal the identity of the real string section ...
Another example: String players from time to time hit neighboring strings when playing ff ad above. Now, with VSL you will never find a note, where that is the case! I don't know it for a fact, but I could imagine VSL to muting the other strings with tape to achieve that goal! :)
String samples IMO do seem to lose something when they're super clean and flawless. That's why I generally prefer more raw-sounding string libraries to those from VSL (CSS, Berlin or SCS - although I could very well live without the numerous tuning and noise flaws of the latter). But as far as the other sections go, I'm quite happy with VSLs clean approach. Lord protect me from tuning flaws or fizzy stuff in brass or woodwinds.

They're obviously not suitable for any given sound aesthetic (which is why I use other stuff like CSB, SSB or SSW too), but on the flipside excel in other situations, and for certain things are arguably even the only serious choice. These old products (also some of the new, in the case of Synchron Perc) have a solid quality that tends to get overlooked in favor of uniform "oh, that's those emotionless samples" rap way too often.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
For me it's a size problem. Big sampled sections doesn't sound as natural and alive as smaller ones. The only bigger section sample libraries I like are HWS and HZ strings. The other big sections like Majestica or Appassionata or SSS or the bespoke Synchrons sound too pad-like for my taste. I like big real string sections but the sound of 14/12/10/8/6 is different to samples of the same section. I don't know what it is but it feels like the difference of air in a forest and air in an inner bicycle tube. One sample is one sample and 14 violins are 14 individuals. Don't know if that makes sense.
 

Salorom

Member
For me it's a size problem. Big sampled sections doesn't sound as natural and alive as smaller ones. The only bigger section sample libraries I like are HWS and HZ strings. The other big sections like Majestica or Appassionata or SSS or the bespoke Synchrons sound too pad-like for my taste. I like big real string sections but the sound of 14/12/10/8/6 is different to samples of the same section. I don't know what it is but it feels like the difference of air in a forest and air in an inner bicycle tube. One sample is one sample and 14 violins are 14 individuals. Don't know if that makes sense.
I think the difference lies in how players perform a single note (or even two when sampling legato transitions) versus an actual piece of music.
You can’t expect the same liveliness in the former. That’s also why strings sound thinner overall, it must be hard to imbue samples with a bit of emotion while keeping them consistent.

In my view Synchron Strings fails precisely in that respect. I don’t feel any effort was made to overcome this ‘dull single note’ issue. On the contrary I’m under the impression the players were specifically required to play in a clean and precise manner, to allow for clean a precise instrument patches. VSL have always taken this approach, too.
 

jamwerks

Senior Member
I don't think any more than the big size of the sections was even part of the problem. The Ark I & II violins are quite numerous (20?), but don't seem to have the same faults. To me it seems to be that playing a group of strings with absolutely no vibrato just sounds plain bad. Even SCS if you turn the vibrato off, sounds bad.
 

muk

Senior Member
To me it seems to be that playing a group of strings with absolutely no vibrato just sounds plain bad.
Tell that to Roger Norrington! I don't really know what is amiss with Synchron Strings. As said, I like their short articulations alright. The long articulations, however, do have a static quality that prevails even if you ride cc1 a lot. The odd thing is that you would think with the amount of dynamic layers they recorded that there would be a good bit of color changes when riding the modwheel. But I don't hear that at all. It is a static sameness that only gets quieter or louder, but does not impart the sensation of a musical direction or performance. It's a pity, from VSL I hoped for more.
 

Marlon Brown

New Member
That is why I clearly said it is very much dependent on the exact amount of noise! You can easily put to much in there, so that certain sequences will sound great, others really bad. I don't want the sample library to dictate what to write!
But on the other hand, trying to make everything very conform can also lead to a "dead sound". Maybe noise is not the perfect word do sum up what I mean ... just one example: VSL always recorded the open strings of each section with vibrato by scordatura. That is understandable by the idea of trying to make everything uniform and playable. But it is also one part of the puzzle of things you can do to steal the identity of the real string section ...
Another example: String players from time to time hit neighboring strings when playing ff ad above. Now, with VSL you will never find a note, where that is the case! I don't know it for a fact, but I could imagine VSL to muting the other strings with tape to achieve that goal! :)
There are occasions, where I might be annoyed by a Cello note having wrong pitches included (especially, it it is to much of that)! But in other circumstances it works much better to get a convincing performance.
From this dilemma, they could have learned! I am not saying they should have intentionally put as much noise in there as possible. They should have exactly calculated the amount of imperfections needed to make it convincing and created RRs for those imperfections to prevent any repetitive playing artificially making the imperfections stand out.
I have not produced a string sample library, so I am not claiming to know everything better, to be clear. I merely use those libraries and can therefore compare what helps certain libraries to work better then others. I can therefore imagine what could be done, but I might be wrong with the methods ...
Did you make your compositions on soundcloud from VSL? They sound beautiful!
 

FriFlo

Senior Member
Did you make your compositions on soundcloud from VSL? They sound beautiful!
Thank you, Marlon. No, almost nothing there is VSL. I mix and match libraries. Most is Berlin Series, some Spitfire, some tracks are recorded with musicians (or parts of it are).
The only one with some VSL is Angelus Mortis, but it is a mix of samples with a recorded string quintet. That track is almost 10 years old - at that time there was only VSL Cube and EWSO plus some smaller libraries. No fair comparison with the tracks fully produced with samples. :)
 

novaburst

Senior Member
The SS can really sing and with expression but a lot of that is how you compose, if you can't compose well all your library's will sound bad and I wish we understand that.

Have you ever tried playing a real life violin what I mean is those who have know clue how to play or make it work and really struggle to even get a sound out of it, in your hands it will sound like a screaming cat but you can't blame the violins for that.

You just simply can't deal with every library the same as your existing one.

The Synchron sound and tone must be a big hit and this is the reason why VSL are developing older library's with the Synchron sound, also many must be given it the thumbs up and this no doubt would be because of Synchron Strings,

There are not many articulations that come with the Synchron Strings but more than enough to work with,

There have been a few senior members on this forum who are well respected and are extremely good composers with sample library's, some of them have said Synchron Strings is a very good library and sounds great, so when you comment that SS is not a good library what your saying is these members don't know what they are talking about.

The library is not your mainstream library and it can trip a few people up, thus so many negative comments.

VSL have been around for many years and it certainly is not because they follow mainstream or any negative comments about them or their library's.
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
The SS can really sing and with expression but a lot of that is how you compose, if you can't compose well all your library's will sound bad and I wish we understand that.
Well, so you don´t think orchestration, programming skill and knowing how to phrase for strings tailored towards sampled strings isn´t more of a discipline which comes here to picture? I have heard bad compositions with great level of production, though I understand what you want to say by that. Though you should imo be a bit more precise with the terms because I have on the other side seen people with great compositional and orchestrational skills who are not great creating mockups of their great compositions. So I can´t agree here that much. Can you point me to an example where the SS can sing? Which leads me later to a point talking about the demos from Guy Bacos.

Have you ever tried playing a real life violin what I mean is those who have know clue how to play or make it work and really struggle to even get a sound out of it, in your hands it will sound like a screaming cat but you can't blame the violins for that.

You just simply can't deal with every library the same as your existing one.
It is a very common thing for people to compare products to each other in order to evaluate the quality of a product. I think nobody expects that every library is the same as ones existing ones. And that wasn´t merely the point of the many comments. If SS for instance handles the workflow in a different way it is fine as long the end result sounds convincing, don´t you think? But yes I know that you think it sounds great.

The Synchron sound and tone must be a big hit and this is the reason why VSL are developing older library's with the Synchron sound, also many must be given it the thumbs up and this no doubt would be because of Synchron Strings,
I believe exactly the opposite. I assume the sales of SS supposely are a way below their expactations as they hoped (thats an assumption of course). In order to break even and to cash in with new customers they probably thought about to re-cycle old VSL libraries with their new player so that both existing customers but also new customers will join. I mean look at the Marketing and mails coming from VSL during the last 12 months..there was many many complains but nothing was yet until this day adressed in SS to overwork the library.

There are not many articulations that come with the Synchron Strings but more than enough to work with,
Many articulations doesn´t automatically result in a great library, sure many articulations are nice read to read as long their are recorded with a musical intention. What I miss on VSLs latest SS is that exactly that is missing. Very noticeable on passages on the longer articulations.

There have been a few senior members on this forum who are well respected and are extremely good composers with sample library's, some of them have said Synchron Strings is a very good library and sounds great, so when you comment that SS is not a good library what your saying is these members don't know what they are talking about.
Lets take an example like the fine Guy Bacos. I was talking with him about SS a while ago and he likes SS. And his demos are great example of very well written material still and you know I can only speak from my perspective how I perceive realism but even his demos didn´t sound that convincing. Though I could hear of course the work he had put into his mockups which tells me that even a fine guy like him doesn´t let the library sound in a way what I expect of a next gen library in 2018. Now I don´t mean the tone of the strings but the expression. Lets take an example from the Tschaikowsky Romeo and Juliet Overture:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vk6ai68ph6qqrg2/Tschaik_edit.mp3?dl=0

I would wish that they incoorporated patches which let you create things like in that short example.
Having said that: Sure people who are affiliated to a company doing demos won´t speak bad about the library where they got an nfr and supporting the company in order to generate sales for them. I mean, nobody said that "they don´t know what they are talking about", but you might accept also that it seems that other maybe not that noticeable members like others and me are not convinced for several noticeable reasons as well without assuming that I degrade any noticeable members saying that they don´t know what they are talking about? But you should not forget: Those opinions on products from famous composers is a part of the marketing also.


The library is not your mainstream library and it can trip a few people up, thus so many negative comments.
VSL have been around for many years and it certainly is not because they follow mainstream or any negative comments about them or their library's.
I think the negative critic isn´t tailored towards the issue that VSL isn´t creating a main stream library. Mainstream isn´t what most people talked imo about. I mean there are older VSL libraries, like dimension strings which sound fairly good in expression.

I hope my comments makes a bit sense and they are meant in a good way of course.

Last but not least: If you enjoy SS that is fine. Nobody here wants to diminish your love towards the SS. At least I don´t.
 
Last edited:

muk

Senior Member
There have been a few senior members on this forum who are well respected and are extremely good composers with sample library's, some of them have said Synchron Strings is a very good library and sounds great, so when you comment that SS is not a good library what your saying is these members don't know what they are talking about.
What utter nonsense! There are a few senior members who like the library. There are many, many more senior members who don't. None of either group is saying the others don't know what they are talking about. They just disagree about the usefulness and quality of the library.

As the threads about Synchron Strings show that most members don't think that it is a great library. Other members do. Make of that what you will.
 

novaburst

Senior Member
@AlexanderSchiborr this mockup is to advanced give anyone the library of their choice i guarantee there will be some that would not know where to start,

The dynamic layers in SS can be unlocked so to speakk and the expression can be heard, but I have not heard it in any mockups so far that tells me that the strings can be difficult to figure out.

And if users continue to use the new player for these strings it will not help and can only complicate matters even worse but this statement is my opinion.

I also know that your

comments are always from a help point of view and are always helpful.

I can slso say hearing the mockups you do and the flavour of your music I would not recommend SS for you to use.

But I guess there is a flip side to every thing
o_O:2thumbs:
 

novaburst

Senior Member
What utter nonsense! There are a few senior members who like the library. There are many, many more senior members who don't. None of either group is saying the others don't know what they are talking about. They just disagree about the usefulness and quality of the library.

As the threads about Synchron Strings show that most members don't think that it is a great library. Other members do. Make of that what you will.
Life does go on thoe
 

Pixelpoet1985

Active Member
The odd thing is that you would think with the amount of dynamic layers they recorded that there would be a good bit of color changes when riding the modwheel. But I don't hear that at all. It is a static sameness that only gets quieter or louder, but does not impart the sensation of a musical direction or performance. It's a pity, from VSL I hoped for more.
Oh, my, here it goes again! I never wanted to talk about this library again. :)

The issue with the dynamic layers is also a big problem for me. I expected a huge timbre change like a flautando-like, whispering pp and a harsher ff with a stronger attack, but it only gets louder, that's true. This doesn't sound real.
 

Sovereign

Senior Member
The SS can really sing and with expression but a lot of that is how you compose, if you can't compose well all your library's will sound bad and I wish we understand that.

Have you ever tried playing a real life violin what I mean is those who have know clue how to play or make it work and really struggle to even get a sound out of it, in your hands it will sound like a screaming cat but you can't blame the violins for that.

You just simply can't deal with every library the same as your existing one.
I've never heard it sing.

The general consensus is that SS is seriously flawed in some aspects. That's as far as I can tell the majority opinion, it's not an even divide as you seem to suggest. In fact, what you are suggesting is that the critics are incompetent buffoons who just can't handle the library and it will sing in the hands of the 'true' professional. That's patently ridiculous. Even a mockup of a great composition sounds comparatively 'bad' with SS. I wish you understood that. With all the talk about how SS supposedly "sings" like angels, by now you must have some excellent examples to show that off. What are you waiting for?
 

novaburst

Senior Member
is that the critics are incompetent buffoons who just can't handle the library and it will sing in the hands of the 'true' professiona
Sorry if that is the thought that came across, let me put it a different way, I believe they are using the string like as regular library and are perhaps satisfied with the results, that could be better in the mock ups that I ha e heard so far no one has made this library sing at its fullest,

It also is perhaps unfair for me to say you need to make the strings work for you and that means finding cheats that perhaps VSL are not aware of,

It is a little much to ask so I can understand why users stop or give up at a certain point in using it

Let me change my language and say there are work arounds, but don't won't to say if you cant make the library work your silly or incompetent, so apologies for that.
 
Top Bottom