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Turkish Violin Sample Recommendation?

Tobias A. Ratka

New Member
Hey there!

I'm currently scoring a documentary. There's one scene in Turkey and it needs a typical turkish folk score.

Can anyone recommend a proper sounding turkish violin VST? In the style of this (beginning):

 

Vik

Scandi Member
This may not be proper, and not even Turkish, but could possibly still be useful (disclaimer: have never tried it, and don't know much about Turkish music!).

 

leogardini

Senior Member
This may not be proper, and not even Turkish, but could possibly still be useful (disclaimer: have never tried it, and don't know much about Turkish music!).

I second that. This library sounds really good and flexible.
I only have Simulation Strings from the company which I like a lot but I would buy this solo string if I needed a solo Turkish violin.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
Hey there!

I'm currently scoring a documentary. There's one scene in Turkey and it needs a typical turkish folk score.

Can anyone recommend a proper sounding turkish violin VST? In the style of this (beginning):

The clarinet is the star of that track. The violin is way in the background (any reasonably limber solo violin VI should do). That style of clarinet playing would be very difficult to do with samples. Lots of intricate bending, and timbre modification.
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
This is a bit confusing, because the video you linked shows someone playing an actual violin, but in a Turkish style. If that's what you want, and the timbre/etc. of a Classical Violin library doesn't cut it, you might look at libraries that focus on Gypsy Violin playing, which will be somewhat similar.

The instrument that some (including Tari in Ancient Persia) refer to as the Turkish Violin, is actually quite different, and is normally referred to as the Kemenche or Kemençe. This is actually what Tari uses in his library as well; it's a small three-stringed instrument:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemenche

The small photo to the lower right is the classical version, and is very close to the picture in the user manual for Ancient Persia, but the picture in the upper right of the Wiki page is the folk version and is what some libraries may have sampled.

There are a large number of kemenche libraries, some of which are phrase-based:

Impact Soundworks KORON -- might be the Persian/folk version (I'll try to check shortly)
Ancient Era Persia -- Turkish Classical
Rast Sound Kemenche -- Turkish Classical
Sonokinetic Kemenche -- Turkish Classical
Native Instruments Middle East
Q-Up Arts Voices of Istanbul -- an ancient library originally for the Akai hardware sampler
Precision Sound Greek Lira-Kemenche -- Greek Folk version; a bit of an oddity
Quantum Leap Silk -- Persian form of the instrument

Those are ranked in descending quality of the sampling, depth, articulations, etc., but of course it's just my opinion. I didn't realize until just now that Tari's is a Kemenche vs. a Classical Violin played in the Turkish style, so I slotted his in at #2 without yet having time to confirm it belongs there.

I'll try to update this later, if I have time to finish detailing which ones have loops/phrases, and the accuracy of classical vs. folk forms of the Kemenche for each library, as well as where Tari's library falls relative to Impact Soundworks (unless it's apple to oranges, which might be apropos given the geographic origins of those two fruits :)).
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
There are a few other specialty libraries for Turkish instruments, that I didn't mention because I hesitated to buy them based on concerns that there are no audio demos and also some indication that they might be quite ancient (and thus small in size) like the one from Q-Up Arts (which was the only choice for many years, and did fill a void at the time).

I'm not going to name them because they've been discussed on this forum over the years, with the same hesitation leading no no-sale, or one or two actual disappointments. But I don't consider it fair to bad-mouth a product I have no direct experience with.
 

Batrawi

Active Member
The clarinet is the star of that track. The violin is way in the background (any reasonably limber solo violin VI should do). That style of clarinet playing would be very difficult to do with samples. Lots of intricate bending, and timbre modification.
As Lee said, what you're mainly hearing is the clarinet and it's very dominant over the poor violin or kemence or whatever it may be... So you actually need to search for a good clarinet (Audio Modeling is good) and layer it with a decent solo violin non vibrato
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
In Turkish music, the "G" clarinet is used. The players in that video all have pro instruments. The folk instruments are made from olive wood, or from metal, depending on the era and what the player can afford. I had Hammerschmidt make me a Grenadilla pro-level G Clarinet a year and a half ago, and it sounds great, sort of in between the timbre of a soprano Bb clarinet and an alto Eb model.

The Turkish, Balkan, and Gypsy styles (all closely related to each other) tend to be very loud and raucous, with a bit of vibrato besides. This is actually what informed early jazz music, as some of those players had crossed over from those styles. Some players -- especially in Greece -- may use a "C" soprano model. But the "G" model, which goes a bit deeper and has a rich and full sound, is by far the most common.

Neocymatics Clarinet Collection includes every clarinet voicing imaginable (not quite true, but it has more than any other library). Expensive though. And Sonokinetic Shahrazad also covers this territory, as does Ancient Era Persia, Tari's earlier Anthology 2 Spiritual Wind from Bela D Media, the ancient Q Up Arts Voices of Istanbul, and of course emulating the timbre using SWAM Clarinets from Audio Modeling.

In the original Bela D lib, the user manual shows a metal clarinet, but it sounds very much like blackwood. The newer Persia lib doesn't have a picture in the manual, but sounds raunchier, either due to the playing, or the material. It too does not sound metal; it could be olive wood, or blackwood with a VERY loose embouchure and super-soft reeds (which is common anyway in that style).

Shahrazad doesn't sound like metal either, but could be olive, the more common wood in Turkey (but not in Greece, Romania, etc.). I don't see a way to control the overdone vibrato, in single-note mode, but the recorded phrases are extremely well done and are idiomatically accurate, and that's the main gist of this library.

Voices of Instanbul is a metal clarinet, but the patch is barely 2 MB in size as this dates back to 1980's Akai hardware samplers, so most of the notes are sample-stretched. It's also gimmicky with delay etc.

Not sure if you were now going to try to cover both instruments, but as some of the same libraries are involved for both, I thought it would help to describe the Turkish Clarinet choices as well.

Remember for all of this, that quarter tones are an important part of the music. They are generally fingered using half-hole techniques, such as one does on Baroque Recorder, rather than "lipped". But pitch bend could be defined to cover the quarter-tone range, if you also define the scale to match. You might be just as well off with well-recorded phrases though, for clarinet and violin.

Again, based on the video you linked, it seems you are aiming for a professional sounding group with quality instruments vs. street musicians with bent-up junkyard relics. :) Hopefully all of the perspective that people have provided here, will help you narrow down the factors that actually matter for your eventual choice.
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
And to reiterate on playing styles, the clarinet tends to use some vibrato, but the violin is generally played very dry in that region and in those styles of music.

I meant to mention this earlier, but slightly further to the west, the orchestral violin is used in Arabic music and is often referred to as Maghreb Violin (the North Coast of Africa is what is referred to as the Maghreb region, strictly referring to the parts bordering the Mediterranean). This is what is included in UVI World Suite, for instance. To confuse matters, the term can also sometimes be used to refer to the Kemenche.
 
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Tobias A. Ratka

New Member
And to reiterate on playing styles, the clarinet tends to use some vibrato, but the clarinet is generally played very dry in that region and in those styles of music.

I meant to mention this earlier, but slightly further to the west, the orchestral violin is used in Arabic music and is often referred to as Maghreb Violin (the North Coast of Africa is what is referred to as the Maghreb region, strictly referring to the parts bordering the Mediterranean). This is what is included in UVI World Suite, for instance. To confuse matters, the term can also sometimes be used to refer to the Kemenche.
Mark, thank you so much! You've really helped me a lot. All of the people up there did :) I appreciate it!
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
I generally don't like for people to quote other posts, because it freezes and duplicates mistakes forever. I'm multi-tasking like crazy and didn't catch my stupid mistake, which is now in your quote and will confuse people even after I make the correction. Not sure if you can correct it at your end. But as you are the OP and weren't confused, maybe it doesn't matter.

Obviously, in that first paragraph, the second half is supposed to say the VIOLIN is played dry, not the clarinet!
 
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Motr3b

Member
i think you might better check sonokinetic sultan strings and shahrzad. they are both phrase based libraries which has its own pros and cons but in your case i think it might work better since you just want it for one scene of the documentary. also you wouldn't need to deal with the quarter notes as you'd do with other libraries since it's all recorded and in the end it might sound more realistic.

i myself dont have them and i cant tell how useful the loops are or not, so check all the demos and videos before you buy anything.

EDIT: forgot to add the links

https://www.sonokinetic.net/products/classical/sultan-strings/

https://www.sonokinetic.net/products/ethnic/shahrazad/
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
I mentioned and recommended Shahrazad earlier for all of those reasons, and do own Sultan Strings (and Sultan Drums, which is excellent but is missing a couple of important drum elements for that region), but ran out of time and energy to make sure it specifically covers solo violin vs. string sections. I'll do that tonight once home.

I normally hate phrase-based stuff, but Sonokinetic got it right. Also, many of their libraries now work with Kontakt Player, but I'll also have to wait until home to verify whether these two specific libraries made the cut; some of the older ones are still Full Kontakt.
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
Ah yes, I think they stopped offering the ones that they didn't buy Kontakt Player licenses for, in that bulk deal that they worked out with Native Instruments.

So my guess is that any of them that aren't now in Kontakt Player format, are no longer available for sale.

I'll try to canvas my full Sonokinetic collection when I get home from work in a few hours.
 
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Tobias A. Ratka

New Member
Thanks! I might check it out, though I'm not a big fan of phrase libraries, since I prefer writing everything on my own :) I appreciate it though!
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
I usually avoid phrase libraries as well. I made an exception last year with some specific latin percussion patterns that involve the entire batterie -- at least until I get more proficient on some of those instruments and rhythms. Specifically, I made use of Cinesamples "Rio! Grooves", and Wavesfactory "Samba Drums". Interestingly, Sonokinetic's "Percussao do Brasil" is mostly single-hits.

My preference is for the idiosyncrasies of playing and phrasing to be presented to the user in an intuitive way, such as is done in Tarilonte's libraries as well as those by Impact Soundworks.
 
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