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Written a couple of years ago. I'm redrafting the score; have used it to try out this VSL starter kit I bought. A right palaver to set up; a bit of a learning curve. I get the feeling I've moved on a little from the beginning but don't seem any nearer the end!

It's muted strings throughout except the cello line near the beginning.

Peaceful I hope - and diatonic. I don't uually write like this!

Any comment would be appreciated. I already sense the DAW/VSL have a latency problem which I'm investigating.



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I get it - there's definitely a yearning 'goodbye' element to this. Some very pleasant melodies and expressive harmony - I like your use of silence too, and the pizzicato elements are quite edifying.

The sounds I'm not really qualified to comment on - apart from to say they're not quite there yet in terms of sounding realistic. Good luck with your experimentation with VSL.


Thank you, Stephen.

The sounds seemed ok through my (Beyer-Dynamic) phones but I suspect the reverb. I'm sure VSL would love me to buy their MIR reverb thingie but I'm really not going to spend more on VSL. Their obsessive paranoia about software protection and this Steinberg key demands a big cost overhead - an insurance plan costing £65 for two years + a spare key.... doesn't say much for their confidence in their system/hardware!! I may have to bite the bullet and go Eastwest. Truth told, VSL doesn't sound that much better than my ancient (but house-trained) sample set. 


But I'll continue experimenting with the mix/reverb. So....thanks for the "good luck" as well. I'll probably need it.


You might(?) have read on other threads that I have experimented with EastWest Composers' Cloud software but am not happy that it works well with Sibelius (even with the aid of Jonathan Loving's sound set project). I do think their sampling is great however, but is probably best suited to work alongside (inside?) a DAW.

I'll keep a watching brief to see how your thinking evolves over time.


Hi Dane,

Enjoyable and evocative music, congrats!  It suits the scenario just fine and your rendering using the tools at your disposal is successful.

I know this is a composer's forum vs. a virtual instrument forum, but as someone that is more interested in composition and the merits of the music vs. the quality of the production, I have forced myself to spend much more time among those that focus more on production, simply because we can become an echo chamber amongst our own kind, which makes it hard to fill in the gaps in our own skill set.  Those on other forums devoted more to the quality of production would have many technical (and non-technical) suggestions both about the samples you're using, as well as how to compare the possibilities of what your current sound is, with what it could be.  

The VSL samples are amongst the most pristine, usable, flexible, and timeless ones yet recorded.  For lyrical, emotional music, samples from Spitfire, Cinesamples, etc. may also be suitable.  But, to be honest, EastWest is not even in the picture of top-tier libraries (yes, the composer cloud is a very good value and worth exploring if budget is a concern).  I just base this information on my own experiences and have come to be much more critical of the overall sound, simply because most non-musicians make their judgments on the music based more on the production than the composition.  This is often hard for composers to accept, because through our learned ears, we can find the merits within a less than convincing production.

An example:  I laugh every time I see a real estate agent suggest how to stage a house.  We once converted a front dining room to a music studio in our home.  It simply had a piano, table, bookshelf, and a few decorative items.  The agent told us, there's no way the house would sell until it was converted back to a dining room because people lack the vision to imagine the space any way other than the way they see it.  This is exactly akin to music production.  When I submitted a midi rendition from Finale to a symphony conductor, he (with his decades of musical training) remained somewhat muted in his response.  A year late, I submitted the same work with a much better mockup (score was available to him from the first instance) and lo and behold, he was blown away and programmed the work for the upcoming season.

Just some food for thought,


Hi Dane, This piece is very sentimental and sounds to me like music from classic cinema; so it would work well given proper placement I think.  The sound is good but again it sounds dated as if from an older recording, we would expect more clarity and presence from modern recordings, but if you prefer this sound that's fine.

I subscribe to the EW cloud library and while I hear some works done with EW that sound good I'm so far not able to get what I want from it for orchestral music. We know that VSL is better than EW, for orchestral music at least, and David's music is a good example but I think with his work ethic and attention to detail he could make any library sound good.  

I look forward to hearing more of your music and your adventures with production.

Enjoyed this very much. The muted strings were nice. It was an agreeable goodbye I would say. Could work in a chick flick (if that's not considered a micro-aggression). You could also work this into a suite of some sort. It's definitely worth preserving.

As to the EW/VSL controversy, I have EWSO Gold as well as Vienna Sp. Ed. 1, plus Cinematic Strings. Also use some sounds from more basic libraries. People like EW because it sounds decent out of the box. But I have to agree, VSL is better. If money were no object and I could spend the 10,000 or so for the whole enchilada, I would use just VSL. Then I wouldn't have the problem of mixing and matching different libraries, with their differing levels of reverb, rooms, seating etc. Of course, you have to work harder to get it to sound good. There's a reason David's stuff sounds so good. He has the goods and he knows how to use them.

For the rest of us, we do the best we can. your sound set is comparable to mine, and is certainly acceptable for sharing your music in places like this.

Thank you all for your kind critique, advice and opinion. Looks like Vienna was the way to go, expensive as it is. 

Interestingly the music did arise from involvement with a local group hoping to make a film. It was doomed from the start - money and inexperience mostly. Even so it inspired some musical ideas. Basically about a young man meeting a slightly older woman on a longish working holiday. So it’s one of those “sweet sorrow” partings and probably the most twee thing I’ve put together.  

About the samples: I’m of the view that any beginner artist should get the best materials they can afford….then any problems are down to the artist’s application, not the materials. That’s what is happening here. Until recently I used a DAW just to make mock-ups with old samples in case a chance to have something played came up. Now, things are changing - Dave’s comment hit home – from experience I doubt the County orchestra’s conductor even looks at new scores so a superior mock-up is a must. The only hope is me being local he might be willing to slip in a five-minute filler in concert.

VSL will take time to “learn”. It’s been a headache so far, so I was disappointed that the software didn’t come with a lifetime supply of aspirin. (Probably needs an e-Aspirin Licenser Key if I could have afforded it.) It’s also forcing me to learn a lot more about midi and CC – but it starts to gel.  


Again, thank you. Much appreciated.



Incidentally, does anyone know why I can't edit my comments within the 15 minutes? I click on the edit icon but it doesn't work? Is it some setting I've missed?

Hi Dane,

I've been having precisely the same problem which I have reported to Gav - he says it may be my computer that's at fault and not the CF site. Perhaps if you send Gav a PM he might get the problem resolved.


I will. Not wanting to divert the topic, I tried it on both my computers, this new one in Windows 10 and its predecessor in Windows 7.


Score? I'm hearing strange things, for instance at 0:10. But I can't tell if that's an artifact of the rendering or my listening equipment.

On the whole this sounds like a really charming salon piece. Nice work!


Many thanks for your appraisal.

I'm not sure what happens at 10". It seems to flow - but I'm listening through headphones. Truth is it was my first attempt to mock something up using VSL (mostly muted strings) and I was a bit disconcerted that the amplitudes didn't come across constant (or seemed not to). They seem to crescendo in. But that could be me. I may have to make volume adjustments per note. I quite liked the basic sound as it's fairly heavily muted. 

I'm hoping to find out how to present scores. I could for this one but it's in one long pdf or jpg. I haven't found a way to create a paginated pdf score without buying a license from adobe... it would mean costing about £30 a score which I'm reluctant to pay! If a continuous pdf would do I'll submit it.


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