Jump to content
fret_man

Violin / Fiddle VSTi recommendation?

Recommended Posts

Quick question. I like the idea of a fiddle library, but have no idea how a real fiddle is actually played.

Even with all the articulations and keyswitches, would it still be very hard to get a realistic fiddle technique out of a VSTi?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the sound you want.  Some styles and articulations are difficult/impossible.  I don't use a keyboard for playing, I write straight into the PRV and hand-write the control lanes. I've played in bands with fiddlers, so I know fairly much what to go for.  I'm trying to learn fiddle (for 10 years or so!) and I know what manoeuvres are possible when you go from one string to the next, or for double-stopping, etc. The same goes for all instruments - know what a player can do with them.  I don't play drums, but I have a set of drumsticks here to try out what is possible in terms of getting around the kit, not having a three-handed drummer, etc.

Here's Embertone's Friedlander (plus Addictive Drums, Sonokinetic Accordian and me on guitars and bass, in Cubase) - Ruby Lake Two Step

Another Friedlander - Some Other Stomp

This has East West's Gypsy Violin (plus Kontakt library Uilleann Pipes) - For All The World

Jerry

 

Edited by jerrydf
Correct spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@jerrydf Thank you for posting the tracks. The Gypsy Violin sounds like something I could actually use.  

Is it the East West "QL" Gypsy, with own sample player and articulations? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, jackson white said:

@jerrydf Thank you for posting the tracks. The Gypsy Violin sounds like something I could actually use.  

Is it the East West "QL" Gypsy, with own sample player and articulations? 

Yes. Gypsy Quantum Leap on the EW Play platform.  The library includes quite a few instruments with a number of accordions,  percussion,  etc. The violin is the best of the instruments there.  It's quite a throaty thick sound, not really a fast folky fiddle,  but good at what it does.  However I think the Joshua Bell is way ahead of Gypsy in terms of tone and usability.  Bolder would be my other choice.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having trained for both classical and folk violin/fiddle for the last 8 years with an emphasis on Irish bowing techniques and having heard most of the best vstis out there, I hate to say none of them come close to the traditional Irish folk fiddle sound. OTOH  if it's classical you want to capture it's a much more doable thing. I have the full version Joshua Bell violin and if you program it correctly it's amazing for classical music. It sucks for anything folk fiddle though because the samples simply don't favor that style.

Probably the closest one's I've heard so far are the Taylor Davis violin from Cinesamples. I thought I had a winner with Bolder sounds fiddle and while it can sound pretty good in the right mix with the right programming, takes a lot of work to get it anything similar to a real person playing in those folk styles. Irish folk fiddle is a very 'up front' sort of thing. What most people think of as folk fiddle are those airy new age sounding violins often heard on video game tracks about elves and fairys. A decent engineer could bury the Taylor Davis violin in a theme for a documentary on the Scottish highlands as an instrument that sort of weaves in with a nice little something and it would probably be unnoticed.

If I demoed the track at my local Irish pub those gents would likely laugh out loud dowsing me with beer in the process. It's just a whole different approach and it isn't something that has really been copied using samples with any great success. For anyone who has no knowledge of either the style or the instrument I guess it really doesn't matter if it sounds good in the mix and people like it.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/25/2021 at 5:18 PM, bitflipper said:

What's the difference between an orchestral violin and a bluegrass fiddle? I've always assumed the only difference is playing technique.

i was going to ask this, as i understand it, it's literally the same physical instrument but only called a violin when it's used in orchestral/classical music, otherwise it's called a fiddle?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Tim Smith said:

none of them come close to the traditional Irish folk fiddle sound

my (limited) experience for anything in the "roots" category, and why I've been following this thread

59 minutes ago, Tim Smith said:

folk fiddle is a very 'up front' sort of thing

yep. the issue is at least partly with the engineering of the samples,  but the player and instrument are also key.

1 hour ago, Tim Smith said:

those gents would likely laugh out loud dowsing me with beer

my kind of people  🙂, but that's more of the vibe i'm shooting for 

1 hour ago, Tim Smith said:

It's just a whole different approach and it isn't something that has really been copied using samples with any great success

yep. lost access to my goto player, trying to fill the gap with something that doesn't come across as a pearl in a pig sty. It's often featured as a melody part and at times solo, so "burying it in the mix" is not something I can get away with, (more barn dance than riverdance).

perhaps an opportunity for the "alan lomax collection of back road players recorded at a glorious 7 bits".

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While violin and fiddle are the same basic instrument, there are many variables.

Folk fiddler's sometimes use a different bridge with a flatter arc to play double stops and often use steel strings while some old school classical players might use gut strings. Both also use synthetic strings. Different string arrangements are sometimes used in folk fiddle.

Folk fiddlers tend to spend less on their instruments. While this isn't a given it's pretty common for a weekend player to play an intermediate instrument. Rolling around in bars and under pavilions at picnics in the rain isn't where you want to take a nice instrument or bow. These instruments often use lesser quality construction  and lower quality woods. This can sometimes result in a less refined or tuned sound. Less projection and uneven playing across all strings.  Low end beginner instruments from 200.00 to maybe 600.00. Intermediate instruments from 600 to as high as 5000.00. Classical players are demanded to have only the better instruments for their technique which often involves higher positions on the neck. 2nd, 3rd,4th and 5th positions. Folk fiddlers mostly play in 1st position and sometimes go to higher occasionally. Classical players often live on those higher positions. I practice at 2nd and 3rd positions. For anyone mocking up music for a fiddler this is something to keep in mind. To be accurate I would keep fiddle tunes on 1st and 2nd position. No higher.

Classical players buy violins beginning in the 10,000 dollar range for an instrument with large full time orchestra players 20-30,000 dollars for a violin is not uncommon. Getting above those prices the buyer is often paying for  collector value as opposed to player value or both.

I have 5 violins. I only have one decent violin that cast me 3000 dollars. I have a couple that are in the 1500.00 range too. The 3K violin also has a 400.00 bow. Advantages of the better violins are more responsiveness, better sound, made of better materials,they stay in tune better, they often project a little better with less effort. You can tell a BIG difference between most low end violins and the better ones.

So to answer that question in a nutshell aside from all of the variables I mentioned. Classically trained violinists generally play on much better instruments than the average folk fiddler. You can tell the difference in the sound. Classical players who also play gigs usually have a 2nd instrument for those gigs, probably something closer to mine.

Here's a video of Kevin Burke playing in the Sligo tradition. 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so the low cost gig instrument is a fiddle, and the posh one saved for best is a violin? (eta, thanks for the considered reply :))

Edited by pwalpwal
thx
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, pwalpwal said:

so the low cost gig instrument is a fiddle, and the posh one saved for best is a violin? (eta, thanks for the considered reply :))

Sure! Here in the US that's the way it is generally understood. Classical players on the high end would never utter that F word. It would be blasphemy in pro circles.

Both the expectations and the level of playing are put up on a much higher level than folk fiddle players. Unfortunately I have felt some of the "stuck up id ness" that comes along with those players. Not that they all are that way but it seem to come with the territory with many of them.. As you can see there are very good folk fiddle players too like Kevin Burke, but he has chosen to stay in that realm which is limited compared to classical violin and it's mostly the kind of music I gravitate to over classical music most of the time. For me, the technical part of the music isn't the music. The music is the music. Classical composers are constantly pushing the limits of what people and instruments can do. A pro classical violinist will start at 4 years old, practice at least 4 hours or more a day and have steep competition to get the best jobs. I'll never make that grade nor would I have a desire to.

As a comparison here is a world renowned classical violinist. For anyone who has ever attempted the instrument you know this is actually much harder than it appears to those who know nothing about it. This is all VERY difficult to do with zero mistakes. This is another thought for anyone programming something Like the Joshua Bell violin. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jackson white said:

hard to tell what this really sounds like, way too much fx/"ensemble clutter" in the clips they posted.  kinda like most drum samples...

Their in-depth walkthrough sounds pretty good to me. Sounds like it has all the folksy articulations I'm looking for with easy accessibility. 1/2 price for another 3 days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My suggestion, find a local Irish pub that hosts live music. Open mic nights draw a fair number of players of varying skill levels.

Get acquainted and see if a fiddler can be wheedled into coming over and recording. A modest remuneration shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

Might get someone who'll do it for free for various intangible rewards.

You stand a decent chance at getting a track you'll really be happy with.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing beats a live performer! :)

But many cannot acquire said performer, due to either location or budget!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...