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I recently purchased VSL Solo Strings and I'm learning to use the free VSL player that comes with that library.  Dane Aubrun has posted some beautiful pieces on Composer's Forum using VSL so I asked him to help me. He has already shown me how to use a cross-fade controller to blend two articulations but I'm hoping that he can show us the basic method of loading and switching between articulations as well. We thought others might be interested or have suggestions so I started this thread.

Here is the short piece in my favorite key that I am learning on. I'm also posting an mp3 that NotePerformer produced from Sibelius for this score. I will send anyone midi or xml files on request since they are not supported on the forum as far as I know.

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Migrating to Vienna Instruments Pro.

If you're still around, Ingo, then have you tried converting a non-Pro reaper project?

If you buy the Pro version you'll be doing so at the right time. Each track/instrument/instance has to be converted separately as far as I can see. It was a right headache getting it started at all. It's why I haven't been listening/commenting this evening.

I thought this new thing would just pick up and draw in all the instances for a reaper project. Oh deary me, no.

Thank The Good Lord that I still have the choice of the free version.....

Aside from the many 'new features' once you get a pro instance going the functions on the free version work just the same. At least there's that.

Thanks for the heads up on that Dane, I'll keep that in mind. Right now I'm trying to convert an older piece to VSL and that's not so hard technically, with your help, (and it's only a string quartet) but hearing real strings is making me question the whole concept of the piece and thinking it might be better to just make a clean break and go forward. But I'll have to look at the new player and think about it.

It's consoling that now the new player is in, it basically works the same way as the freebie but with more features and control (most of which I doubt I'll ever use having got this far without it. But it's things like 16 slots (which lets me create my own organ registrations rather than use their selections). Being able to zone the keyboard for volume and stuff is going to be useful, likewise the advanced patch editing.....This could end up fun...

I haven't yet worked out how to do polyphonic legatos but that's a video for tonight. Also I can't work out a way to get my presets from the freebie to the pro......So I'm using spare time today making new presets that are utterly consistent across all instruments as far as possible. Then I don't keep have to check what I did actually set in the matrix. G# will always be sfz, etc, 

Before, I'd make up a preset inconsistent with what I already had. Some were consistent. G was always legato but when it came to trick articulations like sul pont trem and things,!  You can do that stuff with your solo strings with the freebie.


Hi Dane, I'm assuming that you have the extended library for Solo Strings?  I don't see sul ponti or zigane in my edition. So the Pro player does some humanization functions, have you tried those?  I'm also wondering how useful Violin 2 would be, it would be nice to have some difference in a string quartet. Also I'm wondering about double stops, they don't seem to sound quite right, it sounds more like divisi to me, is there an articulation to help with that?  I'm thinking I should be saving for some brass rather than more string detail, but I'll have to think about this.

The solo strings bundle was the first buy after the special editions 1 set (VSL's bait!). They put it on sale about 50% off and I'd been convinced by the solo sounds in the special editions set so I couldn't resist.

I was putting together a string quartet at that point and did it with the SE soloists (which is a cut down version of the standard solo strings lib).  Vio 2 is a different sound and comes with a shorter list of artics. No muted sounds, no preset trills (though it has the performance trill) no glissandi but all the basic artics are there inc the performance intervals. No sul ponte! It's a good sound. I converted the quartet vio 2 to it as it didn't use any trick effects.

I needed to up the mixer slider as the sound is quieter. (I think this can be done in the matrix list of the pro player which'll make things a lot easier).

I'll report on the humaniser after trying it. Notably it offers almost unlimited control and variation. There are midi controllable sliders for tuning and delay. It would probably work best on VSLs "dimension" bundles. No temptation for me there as my discs haven't enough space.

Worth saying that the pro manual turns out to be more comprehensive with embedded videos although still leaves stuff out. The polyphonic legatos and things still need exploration - more because again there are lots of options.

Here's a shot showing the "advanced" tab for patch editing. There's all that lot to learn though it works ok at these defaults. Down the bottom there're the humanising sliders, next to them the humaniser, each button has variations and you can add to them by moving those dots about on the graph....sheesh!


Hi Ingo,

I tried some double stops that would be ok by me. Quiet ones I just write as the two notes synced at the start. More fierce ones I tend to make a more punchy attack by adding a 'short detaché' or staccato with the slot rack x-fader, balancing it in CC20. I reckon if you're writing a succession of double stops allow a brief gap between each - a real life violinist probably having to change fingers around (unless they're parallel intervals).

Violin 2 is subtly different. I have to put the mixer fader up a bit to balance the volume (on the free player).

Here are two clips. 1) a) quiet and loud double stops - b) a brief phrase using Violin 1 and c) the same thing played with Violin 2. 

The second clip....honestly I HATE to self quote but there are a few double stops in this thing I wrote for solo Violin, including double stop harmonics. Only if you have time. 


SOmething went wrong with the second clip upload. Only half the file appeared!

Here's another try, this violin thing I wronte.


Great sound Dane, is that the stock reverb?  It's sometimes difficult to tell with the trills and tremolo if it is the articulation or if you are writing out the trills? And can the tremolo be done with a midi pitch controller?  The basic library has only a sus vibrato, does the extended library have a sus non vib?  Your string experience counts more than any articulation I think!

Also can you talk about panning, some libraries bake in the panning placement, how do you approach panning?

And you should definitely post that extended track as a solo violin piece on the Music Analysis and Critique thread, it is quite worthy! (Well if you haven't already, my memory is not to be trusted.)

Some most flattering compliments, Ingo. Much appreciated and sincere thanks! 

Panning? Still haven't learned it all. It'll need experiment.

The "power panners" in the (Vien Instruments) Basic view are easy. They're those circular icons like a cheese with a wedge cut out. They come set to full spread (the blue/dark coloured bit). First get the mouse pointer close or on the panner. To adjust the right channel press and hold 'alt' and move the mouse up/down to how much you want. For the left, press and hold 'ctrl'. Or you can get the spread roughly right by adjusting just one side, then pressing and holding the mouse button next to the panner, move it up or down and the whole pan cheese moves to the position you want it.

I usually set the spread to a tad under half the maximum spread.

If that isn't enough or you want to experiment more, click on the View tab at the very top of the Vienna Ensemble panel, then 'mixer' from the dropdown.

You can then adjust the arc by click/holding on the dots on the "stereo pan" arc of the instrument's fader (I haven't tried it with the master fader but as it's one instance...well, it's anyone's guess!) or the slider below it just above M...and S. Done? Click on View again, then Instrument.

I've managed to get extremes of panning and losing the stereo altogether. So it needs a bit of experiment.  

You can pan any instrument anywhere with this player. I often place my Violins 2 to the right of the stage facing the apron.

PS About the reverb. I use the player's 'as is' most times, occasionally upping the wet and reducing the damping just a tiny bit for further back instruments. (I also have some Reaper Reaverb files but haven't been using them on recent pieces).

With the sound files I sent I set the VSL reverb slightly dry to make them clearer. 

Ingo Lee said:

Also can you talk about panning, some libraries bake in the panning placement, how do you approach panning?

Noticed a couple of things today.

When you install Instruments Pro, you seem to lose any custom presets you created in the freebie. I've written to them about this - can I get them back or re-save them in the freebie? I suspect the answer's going to be no.

Which brings us to the other point. Until about a week ago one page or another invited you to email if you needed support (and didn't want to use the forum). That email has gone in favour of an email option in that bot thing at the bottom right. It managed to take what I had to email which was quite long. So let's wait and see.

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