Here we are dealing with one of the most sensitive areas in Sample Library endless panorama: the Orchestral Ensemble, a Chamber Ensemble in this case. Versilian Studios, to rival the fierce competition, has focused on the title’s scalability (there are 3 versions at increasing organic and price), but mainly on stylistic choices, modern and classic at once.
Let’s check in this new review if the experiment was successful.
Versilian Studios is a small company dedicated to creating unique Sample Library, well-built and affordable for composers. The products line is primarily centered around orchestral instruments, but sometimes the proposed titles also cover ethnic instruments, rare or experimental.
The first directive of the artistic team is: “Without compromise on ‘authenticity, for an immersive playability.” Versilian Studios is in fact committed to creating tools that are naturally sources of inspiration, while maintaining a strong respect for the proper techniques and heritage of the instrument.
With VSCO 2, Versilian Studios remains in the groove to their most usual, and offers us a title dedicated to Chamber Orchestra Ensembles.
The library is available in three versions:
– The STANDARD EDITION, which incorporates all the instruments present in a classical chamber orchestra with the addition of some extra from a real Philarmonic Orchestra;
– The PROFESSIONAL EDITION, which, despite being present anyway as a Chamber Orchestra, ultimately has little to envy to a canonical traditional Orchestra;
– The GO EDITION, which contains the same elements of the Professional version, but has the advantage that it can be delivered directly to the customer’s studio in a practical Flash USB 3.0.
In this review we take care of the Standard Edition.
The title consists of 9.254 audio files, distributed in 128 individual Kontakt Instruments. To turn in your Daw, it requires a minimum version of Kontakt 5.5 Player.
The library is more than 3 GB sized and is available via digital download on Versilian Studios site at a price of $ 99.
First of all, we need to make a quick survey of the Chamber Orchestra historical development, in order to better understand what was the rationale that led Verilian Studio’s team to its basic choices in setting VSCO 2.
Originally, the Chamber Ensemble were hired to play in the homes of the public, with understandably small organic, hence the name “chamber.”
They were exclusive prerogative of noble audience, who could afford a concert in its own home, and, of course, they were private performances.
These ensembles performed compositions for six, seven, eight, nine musical instruments and even more (up to 50), variously combined, that is, with the use of string instruments as well as woodwind instruments (oboes, flutes, clarinets, bassoons, etc.), brass wind instruments (horns, trumpets, trombones and tubas of all shades), usually the piano, until the introduction of rhythmic instruments and percussions (marimba, drums, triangle, bass drum, xylophone, etc.).
Vsco 2 Standard Edition gives us a quite rich sampling content, and, even at this intermediate version, the library covers several needs and very large design solutions.
In addition to being richly equipped in “mandatory” orchestral sections for chamber ensembles (Strings and Winds), the title gives us the opportunity to fish at will between Brass, Woodwind, Mallets, Percussion and also an interesting folder that includes a 4 instruments for the Keys section (Church Organ, French Harpsichord, Grand Piano and Upright Piano), not always present in a Chamber Orchestra.
Therefore, basically the title faithfully respects the tradition of chamber music, but at the same time Versilian Studios editorial line suggests a willingness to blend old and new that gives the library a marked note of originality.
As mentioned above, for this review I decided to focus on the intermediate version, the Standard Edition.
The choice was mainly caused by two reasons: one linked to the desire to be provided with a “streamlined tool” but well equipped simultaneously, and the other due to a mere practical aspect: to be analyzed as they deserve, the contents of the Professional version would have required an amount of time that unfortunately I had not available.
Here is the overview of the extensive content and the main features of the library:
– 6 tools dedicated to the Brass section (Solo Bass Trombone, Solo French Hor I, Solo French Horn III, Solo Tenor Trombone, Solo Trumpe I, Solo Tuba)
– 4 tools dedicated to the Percussion section (Bass Drum, Percussion Ensemble, Small Percussion Ensemble, Timpani), plus additional 4 folders (Cymbals & Gongs, Small Percussion, Solo Snares, Toms) which individually contain other various individual instruments
– 8 folders dedicated to String section for a total of 47 individual instruments (Cello section, Harp, Solo Cello, Solo Contrabas I, Solo Viola, Solo Violin, Viola Section, Violin Section)
– 7 folders dedicated to the Woodwinds section, which in turn contain dozens of individual Kontakt Instruments (Solo Basson, Solo Clarinet I, Solo English Horn I, Solo Flute I, Solo Flute III, Solo OboeI, Solo Piccolo)
– 4 folders dedicated to the Keys section, for a total of 7 different Kontakt Instruments (Church Organ, French Harpsichord, Grand Piano and Upright Piano)
– 3 Kontakt Instruments dedicated to Mallets section (Glockenspiel, Tubular Bells, Xylophone)
– Up to 4 Round Robin configurations for each instrument articulation and up to 8 for percussions
– Tremolo, Legato, trillo, staccato, pizzicato, and more articulations
– Crossfadind Dynamic Modwheel available on all Patches that support it (only Kontakt)
– Faux Legato on all the patches that support it (only Kontakt)
First of all, there is to say that all library’s facilities are equipped with a very complete adjustments and effects compartment.
The types of controls change depending on the type of instrument used, so we will find all (or almost) the indispensable tool for optimum playability and to return in a very realistic style performance practice and the essential articulations of a given instrument.
At the top of the control panel there are a number of common settings to all the instrumental sections, very useful and sensitive, and include:
– Main Volume
– Stereo Width
– Stereo Pan
– High Pass Filter
– Low Pass Filter
In the lower part, however, we find the settings and articulations distinctive of individual patch we have uploaded.
As for the samples’ sound quality, VSCO 2 features defined and extremely clear and expressive sounds. If we are not at the top, we are really very close.
Staccato and Tremolo articulations are really good, plucking of harps sounds celestial, Ottoni Sforzato is very realistic and Woodwinds trill always ringing.
The Percussion have an excellent natural reverb and marked attacks and sustains, both in the case of the Large percussions, than in the Small ones.
The Keys section deserves a special attention: Organs, Harpsichord and Pianos included in this department, for high quality sounds and plenty of timbres and coloristic nuance can almost be a library into the library …
This is truly one of those libraries that you never want to stop playing. When I finished composing the Audio Demo accompanying the review, I would have wanted to put back to work right away with VSCO 2!
RECOMMENDED USES AND DESTINATIONS
The title as a mainstay of use in the composition of orchestral mockups.
The library will ensure an extremely fast and optimized workflow, thanks to its convenience and compactness characteristics.
It will be perfect for sound reinforcement trailers and commercials, especially when the delivery time is short.
However, even with the Standard version, you can certainly focus on more demanding tasks such as soundtracks or symphonic and chamber compositions, although for those types of uses the Professional version is certainly more appropriate.
In short, the uses are open to different solutions, depending on the needs of musicians and composers.
VSCO 2 undoubtedly rests on solid qualitative foundations.
Each section instrument is sampled in a very convincing way, able to reproduce the character and expression specific to each instrument.
I must also say that, during time I tested other far more famous orchestral libraries, but Vsco 2 is second to none.
Available articulations are varied and valuable, and multiple Round Robin and Velocity Layers configurations guarantee executions and playability at the state of the Art.
And this is the just the Standard Edition! If there is a sort of proportional connection, the Professional version could come to something close to sublime.
And all this at a price that, when compared to the competitors, it is almost surprising, if not laughable.
Therefore, to resume the question posed in the introduction, I would say that the experiment was a complete success.
At the risk of sounding partisan, I definitely recommend its purchase.