Violin VSTi for folk/world music

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fretman
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Violin VSTi for folk/world music

Post by fretman » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:32 am

Does anyone have a recommendation for a solo violin / fiddle VSTi suitable for folk/bluegrass/Celtic/world music? I'm not (necessarily) looking for orchestral/classical sounds, but it needs to be convincing. I'm not a keyboard player so not so concerned with how accessible it is for keyboardist to achieve live realism. I'm not afraid of steep learning curves and used to digging into details to fine-tune the articulations, although something easier to get useable sounds is better than harder. This would be used in both supportive and solo roles, so sound quality needs to be quite high.

My must-haves are:
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No iLok

There are so many violins available. I'm having a very hard time knowing what to invest in. Any recommendations?

Thank you! Paul

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Telefunkin
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Re: Violin VSTi for folk/world music

Post by Telefunkin » Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:31 pm

Not a recommendation, but here's a few I found when I was looking for the same thing a while ago...

https://redroomaudio.com/product/travel ... ss-fiddle/
https://redroomaudio.com/product/travel ... ic-fiddle/
https://www.boldersounds.com/index.php? ... cts_id=136

I think you'll also find this comparison video quite revealing...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc8BJTvFVWo

The surprise for me was the Taylor Davis Violin, which came closest to me buying
https://cinesamples.com/product/taylor- ... gJsRPD_BwE

.... but in the end I wasn't confident that I could get a convincing performance from any of them without a lot of hard work (that I wasn't up to), so I didn't buy any :). I think it depends on exactly what you want to achieve, and the video makes that quite clear.
Last edited by Telefunkin on Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jdkotaska
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Re: Violin VSTi for folk/world music

Post by jdkotaska » Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:45 am

The best solo virtual violin I've ever used is the Native Instruments Stradivari Violin. It is very easy to play in the default "Virtuoso" mode, but many articulations are available for perfecting a performance if you want to dig deeper. It should be able to handle all of the playing styles mentioned above, but it might be somewhat trickier to get some of the articulations associated with the fiddle style compared to a couple of the options in the previous post.

The bolder sounds fiddle! mentioned in the previous post seems like a good one, too. I wish I had known about it when I was shopping, but I do think the sound quality is a little inferior to the Stradivari.

The price tag for the Stradivari is $199 USD, which is at least twice that of the other options. However, it can run in the free version of Kontakt, whereas most of the other options do not. The full version of Kontakt comes in at $399, so if you need it and don't have it, that is something to factor in as well.
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... ri-violin/

Oh, I should probably mention the other solo violins I've used that don't quite measure up to this one: the violin from Spitfire Solo Strings and the Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra PRO Violins 1 Leader. I've also used the NI Guarneri Violin from the same NI Cremona Quartet as the Stradivari. It sounds just as good as the Stradivari, but is a bit softer and sweeter so maybe not as good for the non-classical styles you want.

Have fun with your shopping! I'll be watching to see if anyone else suggests anything that I'm not aware of that blows my mind.

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RPaul
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Re: Violin VSTi for folk/world music

Post by RPaul » Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:40 pm

I picked up the Bolder Sounds Fiddle V2 mentioned above about a year ago, specifically with a short-term goal of replacing a fiddle part I'd done with the Garritan Stradivari on a traditional country song to try and make it feel more fiddle-like (and less violin-like). I think the Bolder Sounds instrument (which runs in the full version of KONTAKT) has the ability to get pretty believable, BUT you really have to be willing to do a lot of programming to get it there, and that programming really depends on knowing enough about fiddle techniques to know what you should program. Ultimately, I, at least temporarily, gave up on that particular project (it wouldn't have ended up fitting the album I was working on at the time anyway). I have more recently revisited the Bolder Sounds fiddle for another project but ended up not doing a fiddle on that at all, and really for similar reasons -- I wasn't getting close enough to a believable part of the sort I wanted.

I might add that I had similar issues with the Wavelore Pedal Steel, which has the capability of getting to be very believable, if you know enough about how a pedal steel works to program it correctly.

By contrast, the Garritan Stradivari was a lot easier to play in a semi-intuitive fashion, but it really was more of a classical violin. I have ended up using that (and their Gofriller Cello) on a few projects, though. I probably wouldn't fool anyone who was listening closely, but, in the context of the recordings I made with them, they general did reasonably well, and without a lot of programming.

Mind you, I am a keyboard player (I can also play a wind controller reasonably), so I am strongly preferring virtual instruments I can just play, minimizing the programming, and, especially, minimizing how much I need to know about techniques on the specific instruments being emulated to get expressive results. So my preferences here may end up being opposite of your priorities.

Rick

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Re: Violin VSTi for folk/world music

Post by fretman » Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:54 pm

Telefunkin wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:31 pm
<snip>
The surprise for me was the Taylor Davis Violin, which came closest to me buying
https://cinesamples.com/product/taylor- ... gJsRPD_BwE
<snip>
Thanks for the youtube link! Yes, that Taylor Davis violin sure sounded nice! I liked that one the best of the 4 shown there.

Here are a few others suggested to me:
https://www.embertone.com/instruments/f ... violin.php $99
https://westwoodinstruments.com/instrum ... inuntamed/ $69
https://audiomodeling.com/swam-violin/ $120 (modeled)

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