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VO = Consumerism and digital slavery? - Printable Version

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RE: VO = Consumerism and digital slavery? - peastman - 05-10-2020

I did say "a lot of" the commercial alternatives. Wink  Undeniably the high end libraries go far beyond anything in the free ones.  But the cheap libraries, where "cheap" means less than a few hundred dollars, are often inferior to what you can get for free.


RE: VO = Consumerism and digital slavery? - Samulis - 05-10-2020

(05-09-2020, 08:50 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote:
(05-06-2020, 08:47 PM)peastman Wrote: We've reached a point where free tools aren't just "good enough".  Often they're better than a lot of the commercial alternatives.   Too many people don't realize that and think if you're using free tools, you can't possibly create anything good.

I wouldn't go as far as to say "often" (assuming we're still talking about sample libraries here), because the commercial offerings are undeniably superior to the free ones in terms of features, articulations, detail, etc. But what the free stuff lacks in the instrument selection/mic positions/dynamic layers/round robins department, it makes up for with forcing you to be creative. You can't just sit back and let the sheer grandeur of your library do the work for you, you nedd to coax it and tweak it and combine it with other stuff, as well as make sure that every note and every harmony has musical meaning. And hey -- suddenly you have music that sounds alive and interesting. Which is more than I can say of the music from some of the proponents of "the more expensive the better" Wink

The tools just make it easier on you, they don't make you any better.  Smile

I've said this a bunch of times, but again for emphasis: I've heard better mock-ups from people using freeware libraries well than some people using $2K in pro libraries poorly. Understanding of the tool is the single thing which separates a good mock-up from a bad one, and often times the best way to understand a tool is to use a painfully simple, manual one, where the actions and the directions are at their clearest. Buying a top-tier 5-axis CNC machine doesn't teach you machining the same way that starting off with a worn-out old manual mill or lathe might. You more often than not end up with a superficial, abridged understanding, or sometimes even one which is fundamentally incorrect.

Every interview you read with famous producers, mastering engineers, etc. when they ask about their workflow or tools, it's always different, it's always some weird, esoteric hardware box made decades ago that you've never heard of and probably will never see in person. Maybe nowadays there exists some tool which blows that box out of the water in every spec: THD+N, linearity, UX, conversion quality, etc. but the engineer or producer knows that device like the palm of their hand, they know how to get what they want out of it.

There of course are tools which are too limiting. Obviously a late-80's hardware sampler is not going to stand up to a modern orchestral library in an equal fight. However, used creatively, that 80's sampler is always capable of creating a score which is just as interesting and compelling.