On September 27, 2007, Herb Tucmandl, president of the Vienna Symphonic Library, posted a mini-overview of what’s coming with the new Vienna Ensemble which is being offered as a free update on approximately October 25, 2007. The significance of the Vienna Ensemble is that VSL is giving users the option of their virtual mixing board vs. vStack from Steinberg or Forte from Brainspawn. The Vienna Ensemble is completely proprietary. No other instruments can run in it. What you’ll see in these screenshots is the seamless way in which the Vienna Instruments interface with this virtual console.
At the same time, there’s going to be a need for many composers using the Vienna Instruments to determine how they’ll system integrate Vienna and VSTi’s (virtual studio instruments) from other companies. Once Leopard releases in October, the trail should be made clear as to which way to go. But then again, we are talking about technology… .
Vienna Ensemble will run on 32- and 64-bit systems. Windows XP 64 and Vista 64 are scheduled for release on October 25th. The OSX 32-bit version also releases on October 25 and will work on Leopard, the OSX Leopard 64-bit version will be delayed a little.
Vienna Ensemble can be used as standalone, but also used as a plug-in to your host.
To start, plug-in versions are limited to 16 MIDI channels per Vienna Ensemble instance.
When used standalone (on a separate machine), Vienna Ensemble can handle multiple ports (8 ports each 16 MIDI channels). On Mr. Tucmandl’s test system, he set up four MIDI ports using MIDIoverLAN (MOL) allowing for 64 (16 channels x 4 ports) instances.
Mr. Tucmandl is running 8 stereo pairs (16 audio outs) on his test system. This can be set for each instrument individually. Vienna Ensemble is designed to handle 32 stereo outs!
The Vienna Instruments GUI is coded directly into the Vienna Ensemble. You don’t have to open a VSTi plug-in to switch between different instruments. It’s always there without any opening latency. Just click on the desired track on the left panel.
There are two pan modes included. Normal panning is where the volume of left or right channel is lowered. But with the new Power Panning, there’s no loss of stereo information. You get a good overview of the stereo positioning of all Vienna Instruments.
Defining Play Ranges
The Vienna Ensemble lets you set the play range for each instrument individually.
For example, you can stack all string sections (violins, violas, cellos, basses) using four different instances but applying to all the same MIDI channel. This enables you to set up your custom string-all patches using any articulation you like, even performance legato patches.
Mr. Tucmandl posted that features are subject to change during beta testing. So don’t consider what’s been reported here the finis of what’s to be. But do consider it something to look forward to.