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If you just go by tech specs, then certainly VSCO CE, SSO, and VPO are all superior to it. They have more instruments, more articulations, and in many cases more samples per articulation. Of course, a sample library is more than a list of tech specs. I'll wait till I get it and see how it sounds and plays in practice.

Even though they aren't saying it, the main value of this might be as a way to let people try it out before deciding whether to buy the full product. I do appreciate that. Way too many sample libraries expect you to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars without ever having a chance to try out even a subset.
(05-11-2020, 02:18 AM)peastman Wrote: [ -> ]Even though they aren't saying it, the main value of this might be as a way to let people try it out before deciding whether to buy the full product.  I do appreciate that.  Way too many sample libraries expect you to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars without ever having a chance to try out even a subset.

That's very true, although I still don't get why you need to fill out a form and wait two weeks - or pay $50 - in order to get that luxury, when virtually all other manufacturers who provide free demo versions do so freely and openly. You can go download a demo of a $500 plugin right now without even needing to make an account on several highly respected plugin developer sites.
(05-10-2020, 02:49 AM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]I just don't even see a point to this existing at that size. Yeah, the samples sound great on their own, obviously much better recording quality than I could have done for VSCO 2 CE, but the lacking sample density and RR is extremely audible in their demos. It barely even counts as a sketching library given the limits... even something like EWQL SO Gold or Silver seem so much more sane as commercial alternatives, despite being over 15 years old. :/

I'm inclined to agree, though I will wait until I have access to the library before passing final judgment. It's kind of baffling that anyone would release an orchestral sample library in 2020 that doesn't have at least two dynamic layers and 2x RR, and ask 50 bucks for it to boot. If it were a completely free, no strings attached type of thing I wouldn't complain but... seriously? There are 20+ year old libraries like Miroslav and Advanced Orchestra that have more detail than this. And, of course, free libraries like VSCO 2 CE. One would think they could at least have added some lp filters to simulate dynamics, and maybe some randomization to attack times to fake RR's, but nope. I guess their sample player doesn't support anything like that.

Once again when a big developer decides to move into the "beginner" market I find myself asking, how hard can it be to get this right? Are they really that clueless or are these limitations calculated in order to force people to move to a higher product tier?
(05-18-2020, 06:43 AM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Are they really that clueless or are these limitations calculated in order to force people to move to a higher product tier?

Almost certainly the latter.  They know perfectly well what makes a good sample library, and that an orchestral library with no solo instruments and no marcato articulations will be very limiting even for a beginner.  But they're hoping they can get a few people to pay them for it anyway, and when those people find out how limited it is, they'll be more likely to upgrade to the real version of that library rather than some other library.
(05-20-2020, 04:06 PM)peastman Wrote: [ -> ]Almost certainly the latter.  They know perfectly well what makes a good sample library, and that an orchestral library with no solo instruments and no marcato articulations will be very limiting even for a beginner.  But they're hoping they can get a few people to pay them for it anyway, and when those people find out how limited it is, they'll be more likely to upgrade to the real version of that library rather than some other library.

That doesn't really seem like an effective ploy, considering the vast jump in price between versions of BBC SO. Discover is €49 (or "free"). The next step up, Core, is €349 on sale, €449 normally. That's like selling someone a bicycle and when the customer finds it's a limited type of transport, you offer to let them upgrade to a Ferrari. I'm pretty sure people who are dissatisfied with Discover will turn to some developer who offers and intermediately priced library.
(05-21-2020, 03:49 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-20-2020, 04:06 PM)peastman Wrote: [ -> ]Almost certainly the latter.  They know perfectly well what makes a good sample library, and that an orchestral library with no solo instruments and no marcato articulations will be very limiting even for a beginner.  But they're hoping they can get a few people to pay them for it anyway, and when those people find out how limited it is, they'll be more likely to upgrade to the real version of that library rather than some other library.

That doesn't really seem like an effective ploy, considering the vast jump in price between versions of BBC SO. Discover is €49 (or "free"). The next step up, Core, is €349 on sale, €449 normally. That's like selling someone a bicycle and when the customer finds it's a limited type of transport, you offer to let them upgrade to a Ferrari. I'm pretty sure people who are dissatisfied with Discover will turn to some developer who offers and intermediately priced library.

I'm not so sure. "Loss Aversion" is a powerful thing, as is brand loyalty; many people might go "Well, I'm already out $50 on this, I might as well stick with it." I think almost everyone has at some point paid excessive amounts for things that can be had for much less merely because they don't know there's something else. It's sort of like in your analogy, people who buy SUV's of a particular brand because their parents only drove SUV's of that brand and they don't realize that a 2-seater or a sedan would be a better fit for their needs... or perhaps someone who buys the chassis of a car, and then goes on to buy the rest of that model car, even though it is more expensive than a cheaper car, they already had the chassis.
(05-21-2020, 06:40 PM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]I'm not so sure. "Loss Aversion" is a powerful thing, as is brand loyalty; many people might go "Well, I'm already out $50 on this, I might as well stick with it." I think almost everyone has at some point paid excessive amounts for things that can be had for much less merely because they don't know there's something else. It's sort of like in your analogy, people who buy SUV's of a particular brand because their parents only drove SUV's of that brand and they don't realize that a 2-seater or a sedan would be a better fit for their needs... or perhaps someone who buys the chassis of a car, and then goes on to buy the rest of that model car, even though it is more expensive than a cheaper car, they already had the chassis.

Yes, you might very well be right. I'm just speaking from my own point of view, I guess.

Anyway, just got the library. After a first cursory glance, I can say as much:

As a freebie, it's okay. It's basically SSO with better samples.

As a commercial product released in 2020, it's a joke.

I mean sure, the instruments sound fine for what they are, but the lack of dynamic layers and RR's is so glaring I struggle to think what use I could possibly have for it. This makes the retro orchestral template I used for Waters of Redemption look all fancy and advanced by comparison!

If that weren't enough, it's also too wet for my taste -- and I like my orchestras wet! Many instruments have an annoying, ringy reverb tail (particularly noticeable in the staccatissimo trumpets) and when everything's layered together, I have a feeling it's going to be one big mush-fest.

Anyway. I'm not going to write Discover off immedieately. I'll probably try and compose something with it to get a clearer idea of what it lends itself to. But my first impression is not that great. One thing it has going for it though is the interface. For a beginner, having the sections laid out visually like that is fantastic and I wish I'd had something like that when I started out.
Huh. Unless I'm missing something -- and I don't really see how, since the interface is super-simplistic -- this thing's not multitimbral. It has up to 64 outs and a MIDI channel selector, but I can't find any option that lets me select separate instruments on all channels, or which output to route said instruments to. If I select channel 1, pick an instrument, then go to channel 2 to pick a new one, the first instrument is not there when I go back to channel 1. It's the last one I picked.

Wow.
...aaaand, there's no keyswitches. So I am going to need one instance of the plugin for every articulation I want to use? Which amounts to... hold on, let me count... 47 instances.

Thankfully, it seems the instances share sample memory, but still. Again, wow. I got this thing for free and I'm still underwhelmed!

(hopefully I'm wrong about all this and there's some obscure part of the interface that I've managed to miss)
(05-21-2020, 08:55 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Anyway, just got the library

Downloaded mine today too. One of the reasons I wanted it was so that I could compare the sounds of Virtual Playing Orchestra to a professional library.

(05-21-2020, 08:55 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]As a freebie, it's okay. It's basically SSO with better samples.

I agree it's like SSO. I tested the Spitfire BBC Discover orchestra against each Virtual Playing Orchestra instrument and it sounds to me like the sounds are similar in quality. Perhaps I just don't have a good enough ear to hear the difference but if my ear isn't so bad, then that says good things about the quality of Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, VSCO2-CE, No Budget Orchestra and the other sounds that found their way into Virtual Playing Orchestra (or it says bad things about the BBC Discover orchestra Big Grin.)

(05-21-2020, 09:27 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]...aaaand, there's no keyswitches.

Actually there are. They don't seem to show up in the interface but the key switches start at C-1.

EDIT: Found it. You can display the key switches. Just to the left of the keyboard where it shows the expression and pitch bend wheels, there is also an area with a number in it and an up and down arrow. Click the down arrow until you see a -2. The key switches show up in green on the keyboard.
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