There have been some discussions of virtual instrument of late and my latest discovery is of the Chris Hein solo strings. Not entirely happy with my existing options, although both CSS and VSL have a number of strengths, I thought I'd try something different. The Chris Hein approach is fairly novel in the sense of having a strong sample base but the vibrato and a number of other elements are artificially modelled so there something of the aliveness and expressiveness you expect from modelled instruments but without most of the artificiality of sound -- the biggest issue with a good deal of NotePerformer for instance. My string quartet no. 4 dates from 2000 and its unusually tranquil and cheerful nature by my standard and overall fairly classical approach rather suits this library, I think. It's rather a nostalgia trip to happier times as well.... It's also among the longest -- blame the Schubert concept of heavenly length -- but individual movements or sections can be sampled if desired

It can be found on Reelcrafter under chamber works

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  •  I won't pretend I listened to it all, Owen, but about 12 minutes. Pleasant, easy to listen to.

    Whatever strings you were employing were fair enough but I'd still put my lot in with VSL in a midi editor. At times some of the entries seemed a little weak. Whether this is noteperformer or the samples you used only you'd know. Violins sounds a weak in the higher register.

    All the same I admire your ability to put together an extended work like this. My one string quartet in three movements runs for about 16 minutes.

    Cheers, Dane

    • thanks for taking the time to at least dip into this, Dane. I thought that as most of the more serious contributions to this forum seem to be pretty well in classical format, this particular work might not present too many problems to listen to. As for the rendering -- well as it happened someone (who is a serious expert on mock-ups, owns most major libraries and mixes according to requirements -- regarding perhaps the Berlin series as overall strongest for orchestral music) just listened to the work earlier today and declared he was happy with the rendering and declared the acoustic (Altiverb Södra Teatern) pretty well ideal. I'd never dream of using NotePerformer for solo strings as the sound is far too crude. VSL is controversial - many don't like its tone and certainly in this work Chris Hein is more suitable. However, there are pieces where VSL does the job nicely -- there simply isn't yet an ideal solo string library. And even if there were, I doubt I'd have the time or patience to try and get the best out of it.

      Have you ever posted your own quartet? I'd be interested at any rate!

      • I posted my quartet a few years ago just after I joined and when I first started with VSL as the only feasible option at the time.

        The slow movement is the only bit I can find at the mo and I just reposted it, rather than go off-topic here, should you be interested. However, it's rather primitive. I still had a lot to learn!


  • Im listening now.  I am seriously impressed... and this is giving me some nostalgia - This quartet reminds me of my teacher's quartets: Dr. Jon Ward Bauman.

    What a wealth of good stuff you have on this site.  The virtual instruments sound better than anything I have ever used, and I wish I knew more about that.  I am hearing a lot of Lydian sharp 4 in interesting expressions - I use that a lot too!

    Thanl you for sharing!

    • I'd never heard of Bauman but extraordinarily enough, the opening of his 4th quartet does have some striking similarities to my 4th and I'm very grateful you pointed out his stuff for me. My 4th isn't really at all typical of my more recent work (there will be a much more troubled string quintet going up on the site quite soon) but has an important place in my output. By Lydian sharp, you mean the tritone interval or just use of the Lydian mode in general -- this is perfectly possible although totally unconscious (I have very little interest in music theory but do make widespread use of modal scales -- probably a Janáček influence above all).

      Anyway, I greatly appreciate your interest in this work.

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