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Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Printable Version

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Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Nayrb - 07-02-2016

There don't appear to be many Kontakt users here but for those who are...

I've been using the stock Kontakt VSL woodwinds with SIPS legato and vibrato scripting and getting very nice results; but I feel I could expand the palette a bit. I've been eyeballing the old Westgate Woodwinds libraries for a while and they seem pretty nice. Anyone have any experience with these?

Thanks!


RE: Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Nayrb - 12-22-2019

Thread necromancy!

Well, I finally bit the bullet and shelled out the $50 for one of the Westgate woodwind libraries. I was hoping that Big Fish Audio would have a site-wide sale, but so far their holiday offerings have been of little interest to me. After a little research, I finally just decided to go for it, and I grabbed the solo bass clarinet. I've only just taken it for its first spin, so these are just my first observations and impressions

It comes as a series of Kontakt 2* patches (or Gigastudio), but the samples are unlocked. Though the patches are dated in some respects (the legato patches are separated by dynamic level, and the modwheel controls an attack sample) because they are apparently not locked, you can presumably cut and copy to your heart's content and create your own patches as you like. This is definitely something I'm doing more of lately, so I'm happy to have this option.

I opted for this (and might also buy the contrabassoon) because my existing low woodwind libraries do not feature the full instrument range for either the contrabassoon or the bass clarinet. Currently I'm using the stock Kontakt low winds, and on first listen these samples sound like they are dry enough and similar enough in character to replace the former while gelling decently with the rest of the winds. In my case, they'll probably drop right into my template.

These are definitely old school samples. Whether they are worth the $50 will depend on your needs and preferences. Thus far, I don't hear anything particularly outstanding in terms of their performance or tonal character, but for the most part, that's sort of what I wanted. I just needed something to supplement what I already have. The library as a whole seems like an expansion of what you might expect in decent freeware today: basic sustains and staccatos, but with some additional articulations that might be useful such as crescendo and fortepiano. I would say that $40 apiece would be a bit more attractive a price. Building an entire woodwind ensemble a la carte from the Westgate samples would likely be cost prohibitive and pointless given that a number of better options exist once you reach that price point.

More to come as time permits.


*These will work in any full version of Kontakt from 2 onward. They do not require a serial, but neither will they work in the free Player.


RE: Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Mattias Westlund - 12-23-2019

Interesting. These Westgate libs have been around since forever but I've never heard anyone mention actually using them. I have a few of their freebies from back in the day which are good for what they are, but I can't help but feel that these things are, as you say, indeed a little overpriced. In fact I would say half the asking price would more reasonable given their age and limitations. OTOH, unlocked samples is nothing to sneer at in this day and age so I guess they have that going for them.

Personally I can't think of a single solo instrument that I would consider buying as a separate library though. So your attention to detail and ability to pinpoint weaknesses in your template are commendable Smile


RE: Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Nayrb - 12-23-2019

(12-23-2019, 12:18 AM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: Interesting. These Westgate libs have been around since forever but I've never heard anyone mention actually using them. I have a few of their freebies from back in the day which are good for what they are, but I can't help but feel that these things are, as you say, indeed a little overpriced. In fact I would say half the asking price would more reasonable given their age and limitations. OTOH, unlocked samples is nothing to sneer at in this day and age so I guess they have that going for them.

Personally I can't think of a single solo instrument that I would consider buying as a separate library though. So your attention to detail and ability to pinpoint weaknesses in your template are commendable Smile

Ha! Thank you. I certainly would not go so far as to buy a separate library for a solo instrument in any other circumstance. In fact, I'm about done with spending money in general for as long as I can get away with it... I've been mulling this one over for a couple of years, actually. It finally got to a point where those dead keys after the samples ended just irked me enough to take the chance. I just couldn't find anything else that would scratch that itch that didn't cost a million dollars and seek to replace my already functioning woodwind section entirely.

One thing that is apparently not working out is making my own x-fade patches out of the existing legato ones. I've been tinkering with it for a couple of hours and not really getting anywhere. There's either something I'm missing or something under the hood that the scripting won't let me tweak. I did manage to crash Kontakt somehow, though  Cool I'm sure that with unlocked samples I can eventually achieve my goal with enough time and effort. I suppose I could also just use simulated legato like I normally do and reserve the legato samples for when they might be needed...


RE: Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Mattias Westlund - 12-23-2019

(12-23-2019, 02:31 AM)Nayrb Wrote: Ha! Thank you. I certainly would not go so far as to buy a separate library for a solo instrument in any other circumstance. In fact, I'm about done with spending money in general for as long as I can get away with it...

I've thought the same thing for a number of years now, but I'm at the point where I'm going to have to make the choice of parting with cash and moving into the 21st century or just settling for doing "oldschool VO's" forever. A lot of things have happened in terms of technology over the past decade and I realize the stuff I have won't cut it anymore. That's not to say everything I have is useless, but I need a few upgrades here and there.

(12-23-2019, 02:31 AM)Nayrb Wrote: One thing that is apparently not working out is making my own x-fade patches out of the existing legato ones. I've been tinkering with it for a couple of hours and not really getting anywhere. There's either something I'm missing or something under the hood that the scripting won't  let me tweak. I did manage to crash Kontakt somehow, though  Cool I'm sure that with unlocked samples I can eventually achieve my goal with enough time and effort. I suppose I could also just use simulated legato like I normally do and reserve the legato samples for when they might be needed...

Be thankful that your system at least runs more than a single Kontakt instrument without crapping out completely. I hear this VSCO 2 thing is a lovely library but I have yet to make a single composition using it Wink


RE: Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Nayrb - 12-24-2019

(12-23-2019, 03:52 AM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: I've thought the same thing for a number of years now, but I'm at the point where I'm going to have to make the choice of parting with cash and moving into the 21st century or just settling for doing "oldschool VO's" forever. A lot of things have happened in terms of technology over the past decade and I realize the stuff I have won't cut it anymore. That's not to say everything I have is useless, but I need a few upgrades here and there.

I'm referring to spending money at all on anything, in this case. But I'm not doing too well! Actually, $7 and some change for muted trombone stacs is about as good as free and looking like it might happen...

Quote:Be thankful that your system at least runs more than a single Kontakt instrument without crapping out completely. I hear this VSCO 2 thing is a lovely library but I have yet to make a single composition using it Wink

My template is something like 6 Kontakts and I don't know how many patches... sixteen times six, I guess. Not that all of them are in use all the time or even have samples loaded. Working on streamlining it Tongue

I do hope to hear what you can do with VSCO 2 one of these days. It's pretty much the only commercial all-in-one I recommend to anyone.


RE: Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Nayrb - 12-25-2019

P.S., I picked up the contrabassoon, too. No trills for that library but it has vibrato and non-vibrato patches where the bass clarinet only has non-vibrato (I know, I know, the clarinet is not usually a vibrato instrument). Otherwise very similar first impressions. I've been working on combining articulations into keyswitch patches. I have yet to figure out how to map my own crossfade legato patches, but that will be a project for another day. I'm sticking with synth legato for now.


RE: Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Samulis - 12-27-2019

^ Side-note: there is now a good tutorial on implementing true legato and dynamic crossfading in SFZ format on sfzformat.com, if you are at all interested in SFZ format.


RE: Westgate Woodwinds? (Q for Kontakt users) - Nayrb - 12-27-2019

(12-27-2019, 01:25 AM)Samulis Wrote: ^ Side-note: there is now a good tutorial on implementing true legato and dynamic crossfading in SFZ format on sfzformat.com, if you are at all interested in SFZ format.

Excellent! Thanks for the tip.