Some historyVienna Symphonic Library (VSL) is an Austrian company that, since 2002, is producing highly realistic orchestral instruments. From the beginning, the idea has always been to capture every minute nuance of the sound, reproducing the real instruments in absolute realism and clarity.
One of the strategies was to propose the sounds as dry as possible, by recording in the almost reverb-free Silent Stage recording studio. With the recent purchase of the revamped Synchron Stage studio, equipped with a large recording hall also used for orchestral soundtracks, the underlying philosophy has changed, and the traditional "dry" series known as the Vienna Instruments has been joined by the "wet with reverberation" Synchron series.
In the middle sits the Synchron-ized series, where a convolution reverb is applied to the old dry sounds, adding the same ambience of the Synchron Stage hall. Together with the classic Special Edition collection, the Synchron-ized Special Edition is the cheapest title of the “advanced” VSL series, dedicated to professional musicians or advanced enthusiasts looking for a very flexible tool.
Dry and wet libraries
Since the early days of the pioneering sampled libraries by Petr Siedlaczek and Miroslav Vitous, the world of orchestral sampling has seen a heated debate between supporters of the dry and the wet sounds. The former boasting the greater flexibility of sounds to which any kind of reverberation could be added, while the others exalted the beauty and the immediate evocative power of sound from natural reverberation.
VSL started immediately with dry sounds: not as sterile as if recorded in an anechoic room, but with that minimal amount of ambience, which did not prevent free positioning. In more recent times, London-based Spitfire Audio and Berlin-based Orchestral Tools have preferred to focus on already reverberated sounds, with a well-recognizable factory sound, consisting in the celebrated Lyndhurst Hall (part of Air Studios) in London, and in the Teldex Berlin studio (much beloved by record companies like Deutsche Grammophon, Decca or Sony Classical).
To respond to their younger competitors, the Viennese bought and renovated the best room available in the Austrian capital, a hall with fat and dense reverberation, and a dark but well-defined color.