VSVI Devblog 5: An Orchestra in Threes

One of the most common issues I have with the latest line of “high quality” virtual instrument products is the lack of variety in the libraries they provide. If it is a brass library, they might give you a trombone with every articulation imaginable, but it is still only one trombone, either qualified best for one specific purpose or forcibly rounded out for many.

Thus I suggest a paradigm shift in sampling- in a library of many instruments, such as one of an orchestra, one should offer at least three instruments of each major kind. Out of all the companies one might look at for inspiration of this, it’s Garritan, with its desperately outdated but wonderfully extensive orchestral library. Not one other company can give one so many options for which oboe or clarinet or trombone they wish to use.

One might suggest, in counter to this, that EQ, effects, multi-mic, and the careful usage of the end user should be enough to present a diverse enough tonal palette. However, I care to differ. I point to the market of orchestral harps. If you use harp enough, you can probably point out the EastWest harp slipped hidden in the very back of a track, and if you are perhaps well off, the Spitfire harp as well. Any harpist will tell you, not all orchestral pedal harps sound or feel the same, especially when you come to recording techniques and mic choices. Now doubly think so for all woodwinds and triply for brass, in which two players on the same instrument can sound more different than one player on two.

For VSCO 2, all instruments, whenever possible, will have more than one option. Some settings will lead the composer to desire the timbre and style of one instrument over another, and that is what I hope to provide.

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