The Vienna Symphonic Library welcomes the New Year with a special concert recording. They’re not playing Johann Strauss at the Wiener Musikverein, but they’re presenting Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition on the virtual stage of the Great Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus, orchestrated by Maurice Ravel and realized with various sample libraries of the Vienna Symphonic Library.
The free “concert” is an excellent example of what the current state-of-the-art is in virtual orchestration. The Great Gate of Kiev gives a taste of the range and quality of sounds possible.
Multiple Impulse Response Convolution
Based upon the principle of multi impulse response convolution, the Vienna Symphonic Library digitizes (“samples”) the characteristics of enclosures like the Great Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus with unprecedented detail and methodology, capturing the great concert stages of the world in their full glory, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, in three dimensions. Due to the close association between the Vienna Symphonic Library samples, the Vienna Instruments’ audio engine, and the MIR reverb engine, the typical directional characteristics of each instrument are taken into consideration when formulating the “correct” sets of impulse responses. For instance, the horns, whose bells are directed to the rear, will be automatically assigned different spatial aspects than the forward blaring trumpets. With the upcoming MIR engine, the user will be put in the position of a conductor, working on stage, thinking in musical terms rather than in technical abstractions.
Detailed information about the VSL’s virtual instruments and sample libraries can be found at the Vienna Symphonic Library site.