No doubt those members who use VSL products are aware of the move from eLicenser to ilok (dongle or cloud) so what do people think?

Those entirely new to VSL will probably be starting with the ilok so it won't be such a palaver as for the rest of us. Changing over isn't just about a change of license key (or cloud) as much as the risk and the work involved.

The change and the necessary video entertainment(!) is a topic on the VSL site.

The process isn't without problems. I sympathise with professionals who may be more musicians/composers than IT experts; and who may have their work interrupted. I'm still not sure how everything is to be done but as I see it so far:

Create an ilok account (and buy a key at the rip off price of £40 which you registered with your account).

Link your ilok account to your VSL account by way of your ilok user ID.

You'll then get the chance simply to load your licenses onto the ilok with some exceptions where the confusion starts. But part of it is you manually activate anew all your licenses on ilok.

So far that's complicated but light work. Next, you need to download all your libraries and other software again. This is going to take forever and a day for me. The lighter side is that as you attend to projects, they'll automatically save converted to Vienna Instruments Pro. 

Looking through that MISSION COMPLETED thread many problems have arisen. I'm not known for my technical wizardry these days although I did a stint as a programmer using BAL (assembler) long ago. So I'm surely going to make a cockup somewhere. I'd be loathe to delete my eLicenser and downloaded libraries until I'm 100% sure the new system works - which means a couple of new 2TB SSDs (I keep an exact backup copy of the libraries). So that's another £400 on top of the license key plus insurance. Which is a fair bit of money with the risk attached. 

I have yet to decide whether to go ahead. Eventually the eLicenser will die out - no dates given. What it altogether means to me is the huge amount of work getting every VSL-using project up to scratch to produce a damned good rendering, just in case the transition fails. That's going to use up all my music time for a very long time, in the hope of overtaking the demise of the eLicanser. 

I can't see why VSL made it so complicated. Surely it's within the brain capacity of the IT world just to convert eLicanser licenses straight over to the ilok in a suitable format and activate them on the fly, with both keys connected to one's computer? But there it is, as in Brave New World, progress is only progress when something new is more complicated than what exists now.

I begin to regret going down this route. Aside from a couple of "virtual performances" at local insterest groups and the failed dance troupe project, I'm only interested in mock-ups and for those some very old samples are adequate. Needless to say I'm very angry at this upheaval. I won't be buying any more sample libraries or other Fx/VSTi products.

Rant over! 



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  • Hi Dane -  Yes this is a problem.  My reaction is to just ignore it all while they do their "updates" to this mess. We'll see how far I get.  Redownloading is terrible! Don't they have a hard drive purchase option on there somewhere?

    So if I understand correctly they were forced into this because the eLicenser system we now use is owned by Steinberg and is being phased out?

    I could well be wrong but I believe mock ups have a life of their own that will become more important in the future. The popularity of the VI Control forum is evidence of this.  I hope that you don't abandon the process because I know many of us here admire and enjoy your work.  I think attending a live performance of one of your pieces could be better than your mock ups but I question if any recording would be.

    • More or less similar. Apparently we have to wait for an email before starting the transition anyway. \which means that many of such problems as there are would be raised.

      I've never been happy with the slick, rapid videos that they put out. I'd rather have something like an old-fashioned "program spec" with every step written in structured English, like "do whatever it is," imperative mood stuff with every step covered including the conditionals. "if this, then do that...otherwise do whatever." The installation of some music products provide such things. Alas we'll never get that. (Though ok, in some areas like the manuals for the libraries they go into great detail.)

      You're too kind about my efforts, Ingo, but thank you very much for the encouragement. With music software it seems I get within reach of the top of the mountain only to be thrown back and have to start some way afresh. VSL was difficult enough to get by but there's still much more to do; then the notation software - still haven't got far with that yet. And now this VSL transition which, like it or not and whether or not it works, is a heck of a lot of work. 

      If only it was as easy as playing the piano by comparison. LOL

  • Brave new world.. doesnt sound good. Ought to be more complexity handled more elegantly I guess. Although Ive never tried any VSL products still, so im safe for now :) 

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    • Yes, my own feelings are that for people who want to "go ilok", surely the process of transferring and activating could have been achieved by programming. I mean, crikey, it hardly seems out of reach of people who can put the VI player together!

      It's possible that reorganising the administraion of the libraries has to change but likewise I'm suspicious a complete re-download of liraries/software is needed because of the new Vienna Assistant, released at the same time.

      Could a re-download be avoided, again by a dedicated program? I don't know. No doubt there's a rationale behind how things have been done but it's still a heck of a lot of work. 

      I agree about the ilok key. Personally I dislike relying on technology but needs must. The internet and/or cloud can fail. Besides, I sometimes work miles away from any wifi, so the need for the rip-off key.

      Altogether any income from composing is minimal for me so at worst I have to write off a couple of £thousands if it becomes too much of a headache. I'm not enamoured by endless technical administration - getting too old for it....and just thankful of the money I've made on bitcoin to afford what may seem an extravagance!

      .Mine is not to question why.

  • I just got an invitation from VSL to switch over. I will ignore it as long as humanly possible. Just possibly they will find a method in the meantime which allows the transition without redownloading all the libraries though I doubt it. And when I eventually have to do it, it will probably be in little stages. Perhaps before then I can convert all my remaining VI projects in Sibelius to Dorico using Synchron player and finally bid VI farewell -- I don't use it for new projects anyway.

    • I don't want to divert this topic but just to say I've avoided synchron because as I understand, the user has almost no choice about the placement of instruments on the stage. No use for ensemble pieces I write. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

      I have yet to be called about transiting to ilok and I'll resist it until I've done all the work I intend to on my existing VI projects in case something goes wrong, if I decide in favour. To keep my VI samples means buying another 2TB SSD, total cost about £250 with the key. I'm ok about spending the money as long as the result works. 

  • For all that, it went fairly smoothly. I was looking forward to the transition much as I might a decent toothache.

    VSL has fleshed out the stages pretty well and the transfer of licences to the ilok key took about half an hour including activation (having already set up an ilok account. I chose the USB key, not the cloud).

    Dont forget to activate the licences. I did them about 10 at a time though they could probably be done all at once.

    Then came a couple of snags. You use the Vienna Assistant to download and install your libraries all over again.

    Before downloading anything take a copy of your "custom" presets from among the eLicenser content files.

    Then with Vienna Assistant set the preferences. Unless you have a HUGE C drive, be sure to set the "Default content location" to anything other than C. (Mine is on a separate drive) otherwise your system disc will fill up at an alarming rate. When I first used Vienna Assistant it came up with the preference panel but it can be accessed from the left hand margin. 

    So then you can do your bulk download or at a more selective approach.

    While re-downloading your samples, if you use Vienna Instruments (the VI ones as opposed to Synchron) be sure to download BOTH VI players made available. This is to convert any classical VI player projects into the VI pro player format which you now get free. There's no licence attached to it. 

    The system sets up a "custom" presets folder in the downlad (as opposed to content) files. It's empty. So just copy your custom presets from the copy you set aside.

    It took about 18 hours to do all my re-downloads. But like I say it went fairly smoothly. Cost: £65 for the key and insurance; £200 for a 2 TB drive. What I have of VSL comes in just a whisker under 1TB,

  • I find it absurd that VSL can't simply transfer the licenses without necessitating downloading all the software again.I'm going to hold onto my eLicenser until the insurance expires if possible --early next year, I think. In the meantime I have converted all my Sibelius projects into Dorico which includes switching from VI to Synchron. Although it's missing one or two features, I overall prefer the results from Synchron using my Dorico expression maps. So there'll be probably no need to install those VI libraries again and will simply delete them when the time comes. My total VSL (Synchron/ized) investment is a little over 250Gb so not as big as yours.

  • Dane I'm glad you got it done and it went 'ok'.  VSL is throwing out offers to lure people into committing to the transition to iLok and I think the Synchron format also.  Todays's email has a Synchron package at what seems like an attractive price.  Given my struggles with the VI series I'm tempted to leap into iLok and Synchron at the same time.  I see that David likes Synchron but wants to avoid iLok but since iLok is inevitable and Synchron looks like the future for VSL I'm now tempted to commit to the whole package.

    Any thoughts?

    • VSL is fully committed to Synchron although there are still plenty of VI enthusiasts left. Some patch crossfading and similar features from VI Pro, I've never used much anyway. Symphonic Riot have done decent presets for VI but I still prefer my own results with self-written Synchron maps in Dorico with clearer contrasts and more impact than what SR produce. I actually have iLok (for EWQL choirs) but it is only v.1 which is incompatible with VSL and so I'll be going with the cloud option when the inevitable happens.

      As for the new Synchron Prime package (actually it's Synchron light) , it's likely to be a competitive package if you haven't already invested in VSL. How they can leave out trills is a complete mystery, otherwise I imagine it would hold its own against the Synchron-ized Special Edition vol1 complete and may be better though not enough to tempt me, I'd imagine, as I already have 4 SE volumes. As it's so new, it might be worth waiting for more demos and/or reviews but I'd be surprised if it's poor. My first choice for full orchestra tends to be the warmer sound of Cinematic Studio anyway (or the inexpensive when on sale BBC Core for a characterful change) though for chamber works and solo strings, VSL gets used a lot.

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