Synchron Prime Edition

Introduction

Welcome to the Vienna Symphonic Library’s series of Synchron Instruments! The instruments were recorded at Stage A, the main hall of Vienna’s revitalized Synchron Stage Vienna. The recordings were executed using an expansive, phase-controlled multi-microphone set-up, capturing orchestral instruments played in a scoring stage with exceptional acoustics, now ready to be used in your studio. This document will provide you with the information you need to use the Library with our Vienna Synchron Player.

Each of the Library's instruments features Room-Mix samples (distilled from the complex microphone setup of our large collections' recordings) and those of a Close microphone, allowing you to adjust placement and balance of your instruments in the Synchron Player's "Mix" tab.

About Presets

The library offers three basic Preset types for every instrument in their respective folders, marked “Velocity”, “VelXF - MOD”, and “VelXF sus - MOD”. In the regular “Velocity” presets, note volume is controlled by keystroke velocity just like a piano. In “VelXF” Presets, all articulations have velocity crossfading activated so that you can control dynamics with MIDI controller CC1, the modwheel. In “VelXF sus - MOD” Presets, however, velocity crossfading is only activated for long notes, while the dynamics of short notes are controlled by keystroke velocity, thus facilitating phrasing. Velocity crossfading can be enabled or disabled by clicking its on/off symbol in the Synchron Player's Perform tab.

The Presets of each instrument group are subdivided into different articulation categories, including one (provided there are enough articulations) named “Custom” and ready for your own creations. Within these articulation categories, you can select a type, e.g., bold or agile staccato, and for some of the types there are additional options available, such as crossfading between normal and tremolo articulations. If you happen to be short of RAM, you can deactivate Articulations you do not need, and activate them again if necessary.

Switching between an instrument’s playing styles and articulations is generally done via dedicated keys on the keyboard and aptly called “keyswitches”. By default the keyswitches for Articulations are mapped depending on an instrument’s range – starting from C1 (for Middle C = C4) for higher instruments, and C5 for low ones. The Type keyswitches normally start from C2 for high instruments, and from C6 for low ones.

Dimension Controllers offer additional options within some Articulations or Types, most notably that of crossfading between different Patches. The controller function is indicated by the group’s respective caption, as of course it may take on different tasks as needed.

About Mixer Presets

For each instrument, there are a number of Mixer Presets that depict different recording situations. The basic Mixer Presets are Close, Classic, Wide, Distant, and Ambience; others like Lush, Sparkling, or Catchy may be added, which are tailored to the respective instrument.

About Patches

Patches can be used to build your own custom Presets and adapt the Synchron Libraries to your specific requirements. For further information on constructing Presets, please see the Synchron Player manual.

About Pitch

For designating pitch, the Vienna Symphonic Library uses International Pitch Notation (IPN), which was agreed upon internationally under the auspices of the Acoustical Society of America. In this system the international standard of A=440 Hz is called A4 and middle C is C4. All pitches are written as capital letters, their respective octave being indicated by a number next to it. The lowest C on the piano is C1 (the A below that is A0), etc.

The Synchron Player software allows you to set middle C to C3, C4, or C5 according to your preference.

Selecting another setting than C4 will of course also change the play ranges and keyswitches accordingly.

Strings + Harp

Harp

  • Regular and harmonics
  • Range: B0–G#7
  • Articulation switches: A0/A#0

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String ensembles

There are 1st and 2nd violins, violas, cellos, and double basses, as well as two “tutti” presets.

  • Instrument ranges

    • 1st Violins G3–G7
    • 2nd Violins G3–E7
    • Violas C3–F6
    • Cellos C2–A5
    • Double Basses B0–D4
    • Some articulations may not comprise the full range.
  • Articulation switches: violins, viola, cello C1–G1, double basses C5–G5.

Tutti Presets

There are two special Presets containing all string ensembles. These are especially useful for quick layouts and, e.g., for playing an entire string orchestra live. The Presets are a full range and a compressed range version.

  • Strings – Tutti full range. Mapping range: B0–D7
    • Basses B0–B2
    • Cellos C2–B3
    • Violas C3–F#4
    • 2nd violins C4–D7
    • 1st violins G3–D7
  • Strings – Tutti compressed range. Mapping range: C1–D6
    • Basses C1–B2
    • Cellos C2–B3
    • Violas C3–B3
    • 1st and 2nd violins C4–D6

The keyswitches for these tutti Presets are F7–G#7 for types/attack, and B7/C8 for release variants.

Short Notes

  • Staccato bold and agile
  • Bold/Agile: C2/C#2, C6/C#6

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Long Notes

Long notes with normal and soft attack and release, marcato, and with tremolo crossfading.

  • Type switches: C2–D#2, C6–D#6
  • Release normal/soft: F2/F#2, F6/F#6

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XFade tremolo

Use Dim.Ctrl/A (CC3) to crossfade between normal sustains and tremolo.

  • Type switches: C2–D#2, C6–D#6
  • XFade tremolo: Dim.Ctrl/A (CC3)

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Legato

Legato with normal and soft attack and release, as well as with marcato starting notes.

  • Attack switches: C2–D2, C6–D6
  • Release normal/soft: F2/F#2, F6/F#6

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Sforzato

Sforzato, regular and with a tremolo crossfading option.

  • Type switches: C2/C#2, C6/C#6
  • XFade tremolo: Dim.Ctrl/A (CC3)

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Tremolo

Tremolo regular and with marcato attack. Use Dim.Ctrl/B (CC4) to adjust the strength of the marcato attack.

  • Type switches: C2/C#2, C6/C#6
  • Marcato attack: Dim.Ctrl/B (CC4)

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Pizzicato

Pizzicato and snap pizzicato.

  • Type switches: C2/C#2, C6/C#6

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Portamento

Portamento with normal and soft attack and release, as well as with marcato starting notes.

  • Attack switches: C2–D2, C6–D6
  • Release normal/soft: F2/F#2, F6/F#6

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Woodwinds

The woodwinds in this collection have largely the same articulations and therefore very similar layouts. The clarinets and contrabassoon do not offer any vibrato variants.

  • Instrument ranges
    • Piccolo: C5–C8
    • Flute 1: B3–D7
    • Flute 2: B3–C7
    • Oboe 1 and 2: A#3–A6
    • English Horn: E3–C6
    • Clarinet in Bb 1 and 2: D3–G6
    • Bass clarinet: A#1–A5
    • Bassoon 1: A#1–F5
    • Bassoon 2: A#1–D#5
    • Contrabassoon: A#0–C4
  • Articulation switches: C1–E1
  • Type switches: starting at C2 / Bassoons C6.

Short Notes

Staccato and portato bold and agile.

  • Type switches: C2–D#2, C6–D#6

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Long Notes / Legato

Sustained notes / performance legato, without and with vibrato. The clarinets have no vibrato option and therefore no additional keyswitches.

With the vibrato crossfading option, use Dim.Ctrl/C (CC20) to control the vibrato amount.

  • Vibrato options: C2–D2 / C6–D6
  • Vibrato XF: Dim.Ctrl/C (CC20)

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Sforzato

Sforzato and sforzatissimo without and with vibrato.

The piccolo flute does not offer sforzatissimo. The clarinets, bassoon 2, and contrabassoon have no vibrato options.

  • Vibrato/Type switches
    • piccolo: C2–D2
    • flutes, oboes, English horn: C2–F2
    • clarinets: C2/D2
    • bass clarinet, bassoon 2, contrabassoon: C6/D6
    • bassoon 1: C6–F6
  • Vibrato XF: Dim.Ctrl/C (CC20)

Piccolo

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Flutes etc.

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Clarinets etc.

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Brass

Like the woodwinds, the brass instruments share most of their articulations and therefore have very similar layouts.

  • Instrument ranges
    • Trumpet 1 and 2: F#3–D6
    • Trumpet ensemble (4): F#3–D6
    • Horn 1 and 2: C2–F5
    • Horn ensemble-(6): D#2–F5
    • Tenor trombone: E2–A#4
    • Bass trombone: F1–C4
    • Trombone ensemble (4): E2–A#4
    • Bass tuba: C1–G4
  • Articulation switches: C1–E1; bass instruments: C5–E5
  • Type switches: starting at C2 / C6

Tutti Brass

This additional Preset has the three brass sections plus the bass tuba stacked, making it easy to play them in a live setup or use them for quick layouts. Apart from that, the articulations are the same as listed below.

  • Ranges
    • Bass tuba C2–E3
    • Trombones E2–B3
    • Horns F3–B4
    • Trumpets C4–D6
  • Type switches: starting at C7

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Short Notes

Staccato and portato bold and agile. The ensembles have no portato articulations.

  • Type switches: C2–D#2, C6–D#6

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Ensembles

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Long Notes / Legato

Sustained notes / performance legato. Only the solo trumpets offer articulations without and with vibrato, the other instruments have no additional keyswitches or other controllers.

With the vibrato crossfading option, use Dim.Ctrl/C (CC20) to control the vibrato amount.

  • Vibrato options: C2–D2
  • Vibrato XF: Dim.Ctrl/C (CC20)

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Sforzato

Sforzato and sforzatissimo.

  • Type switches: C2–D2, C6/D6

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Percussion

Naturally, the percussion instruments – especially unpitched percussion – have the highest variety in articulations. You will often find these different articulations not distributed over several player slots, but mapped over the keyboard of one slot, with similar articulations mapped to the same keys throughout instruments whenever applicable. The instruments are:

  • Timpani
  • Celesta
  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • Tubular bells
  • Snare drum
  • Bass drum
  • Tambourine
  • Concert toms
  • Taiko
  • Piatti
  • Suspended cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Triangle
  • Woodblocks

The unpitched percussion are also gathered together in an additional Preset called “Unpitched – All”, which can be used for live play (takes some practice, though!) or quick layouts.

Timpani

The Preset contains five stacked timpani sized from 32" to 20" with single strokes, rolls, and octave play.

  • Range

    • single strokes C2–B3 left hand, C4–C6 right hand
    • rolls C2–C4
    • octaves: C2–C3
  • Articulation switches: F1–G1.

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Celesta / Glockenspiel

Single notes, mapped for keyboards with 88 keys (one octave lower than sounding) and loco.

  • Range
    • celesta 88 keys C2–F7, loco C3–F8
    • glockenspiel C4–E7, C5–E8
  • 88 keys/loco: A0–B0

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Xylophone

Single notes.

  • Range: C4–C8

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Tubular Bells

Single notes.

  • Range: F3–F5

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Snare Drum

Single hits offcenter (normal) and rim, press rolls, rimshots, and rolls. The two articulation slots are stacked so that they can be played without keyswitching.

  • Range: C3–C6

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Mapping

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Bass Drum

Single hits normal and with muted release, and rolls with long and muted release. The two articulation slots are stacked so that they can be played without keyswitching.

  • Range: C4–C6

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Mapping

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Tambourine

Single hits center and rim, shaken and thumb tremolos. The two articulation slots are stacked so that they can be played without keyswitching.

  • Range: C4–C6

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Mapping

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Concert Toms

Concert toms of 16", 14", and 10" diameters, with single hits normal and rim, rolls, and rimshots. The instruments and articulation slots are stacked so that they can be played without keyswitching.

  • Range: C3–F#5

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Mapping

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Taiko

A large taiko drum (odaiko) with 53" diameter, played with the traditional bachi on center and rim, and with a soft beater.

  • Range: C4–D5

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Mapping

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Piatti

20" piatti: normal and muted strokes, and strokes with additional release samples.

  • Range: C4–F4

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Mapping

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Suspended Cymbal

The suspended cymbal ist played with sticks and soft mallets.

Sticks: top and edge strokes (regular and with additional release samples), top and edge rolls with long and short release.

  • Soft mallets: single hits and roll
  • Range
    • sticks C4–D#6
    • soft mallets C4–C6
  • Beater switches: C1/D1

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Mapping - sticks

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Mapping - soft mallets

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Tam-tam

Single strokes normal and muted as well as with additional release samples, and rolls with long and short release. The two articulation slots are stacked so that they can be played without keyswitching.

  • Range: C4–C#6

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Mapping

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Triangle

Single strokes open (also with additional release samples) and closed, and rolls with long and short release. The two articulation slots are stacked so that they can be played without keyswitching.

  • Range: C4–C#6

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Mapping

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Woodblocks

Three woodblocks of different sizes, with single hits on center and rim, and rolls. The instruments and articulation slots are stacked so that they can be played without keyswitching.

  • Range: C3–E5

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Mapping

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Unpitched

In this special preset, the unpitched percussion instruments are stacked so that you can access them without keyswitching.

  • Range: C1–C8
  • Bass drum: C1–E1
  • Taiko: F1–B1
  • Concert tom 16": C2–E2
  • Concert tom 14": G2–B2
  • Concert tom 10": C3–E3
  • Snare: F3–B3
  • Tambourine: C4–F4
  • Tam-tam: F#4–B4
  • Cymbal stick: C5–G#5
  • Cymbal mallet: A5–B5
  • Piatti: C6–E6
  • Triangle: F6–B6
  • Woodblock 3: C7–D#7
  • Woodblock 2: F7–G#7
  • Woodblock 1: A7–C8

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Mapping

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