Joshua Bell Library First Impressions

August 20, 2018, 8:02 AM · So I'm playing with the sampled version of the Joshua Bell violin. I decided to use it in a very simple minimal Celtic composition along with harp called " Voices From The Past".

My first impressions of it are Wow!

For those Irish musicians who say there is no such thing as Celtic music I'm going to disagree with you. This is some of it :) Celtic music was played by Celts. It was simple back before the violin, banjo or bouzouki. Enya revived a modern form of it. Irish traditional- Usually fast and intended for dance. Celtic- Often slower and intended for relaxation and meditation.Has old world medieval qualities.

Replies (14)

August 20, 2018, 9:18 AM · What electric are you playing?
Edited: August 20, 2018, 10:35 AM · I have no idea how this work. Can someone enlighten me?

Do you write the notes in a program like Sibelius and have it play it with the "Joshua Bell Lbrary", or you play the piece yourself with the violin and something something then it sounds like Joshua?

August 20, 2018, 10:37 AM · It's a sample library. Pre-recorded bits and pieces (by Joshua Bell).
August 20, 2018, 10:46 AM · But are you actually playing a violin, with maybe MIDI, and producing the results like that?
August 20, 2018, 10:59 AM · Is it correct that one uses a keyboard to produce a piece of music? I understand that this might improve the quality of synthesizer music often used in pop music. But why would I prefer to do that as a violinist?!
August 20, 2018, 11:00 AM · You can use it however you want. I'd imagine Tim is using notation software.

Violin to MIDI would be unnecessarily complicated.

August 20, 2018, 10:31 PM · You can use a keyboard if thats the kowt convenient way to do the data entry into the DAW, but I would think notation software would be easier.
August 20, 2018, 10:44 PM · The reason I asked what electric violin you had, is that the violin in the clip reminded me a bit of the piezo buzz I get out of mine.
Edited: August 21, 2018, 8:13 AM · As a violinist you have an advantage using this in compositions because you know how the violin is supposed to sound, although as David Ford mentioned there are still small articulation things I am working on.This is a new program to me so I'm still getting the hang of it.

This was played using a midi keyboard. The keyboard plays the samples made by Joshua Bell. You can go about this several ways. Many "left brained" composers input midi one note at a time, quantize and add other things to humanize the music such as making one note louder in places than the other.
I work very much the "right brained" way and use midi much like playing a real instrument. I don't add or correct anything after I've played it. If it didn't sound right I either leave it or play it again until I'm happy with it, just like you would do playing an acoustic instrument. The only exception to this is when I import a midi already made which I seldom do...like my Adiago in G Minor here.


In this case you still need to make judgments on the way the music is played and what instruments will play it.. I mix many of my compositions up with real instruments I play. In some cases I only use a small amount of sample based instruments in a composition.

If you notice there are slight timing errors in Voices Of The Past. The left brainer would have probably quantized these to perfection. I did not arpeggiate the harp. This is my playing the harp sample through midi on a keyboard.

The whole idea as I imagine it for a violinst is that you could concieve of compositions yourself and either play to them with your instrument or use something like the Joshua Bell library.....or play it and pretend you're playing Joshua Bell's violin :)

August 22, 2018, 10:44 AM · Can you control the vibrato of each violin? And can you desync them so you can have a whole section of Joshua Bell's playing together?
August 22, 2018, 1:38 PM · Not all violin sample libraries have vibrato. The Joshua Bell violin has vibrato in real time using the mod wheel of a midi controller.The mod wheel also controls the intensity. The character of the tone may be selected as well from darker to brighter.You could have a Joshua Bell sectional playing together, however I would recommend the average user who builds larger sections use a library dedicated for this since the JB violin is mainly intended for solo work and is taxing on most computers if multiple versions of it play at the same time.Thousands of samples are streaming from an SSD in real time. There are several very nice programs out there using multi samples that capture the differences between instruments for sectional work.

August 23, 2018, 11:15 PM · They always say samplers will never replace a real violinist but they certainly do replace a good number of jobs!
August 25, 2018, 1:21 PM · I assume it does double stops? Can it do any impractical or impossible double stops? That would be a neat use of the technology, to write an impossible piece and run it through the machine.
August 27, 2018, 8:20 AM · @Christopher Payne- The ironic thing about this is real players are used to create the libraries which are then used to a great extent for film and video game music. These have replaced many of the jobs that once went to musicians on site.
Unless the film is sponsored by one of the large corporations who might choose to use a real orchestra, the music you hear on everything else is made in this way. Made by music composition majors and computer nerds using huge sample library templates on powerful computers.Even the larger film companies use composers with film library experience who can score productions. A lucrative living if you can gain a foothold in that industry. Not as lucrative for smaller films. Could still be a good side income.
@Jason- Any articulation you can imagine is in the program. If your computer/audio setup has the speed necessary you can probably do it.
The largest issue is large sample libraries in the hands of inexperienced
users with no actual experience playing the instrument. One at least needs a knowledge of how the instrument(s) is supposed to sound.Obviously anyone who has played in an orchestra and has knowledge of composition has an advantage if realism is the goal.
In my most recent purchase Hyperion Strings you can select section position as it relates to the audience in a real concert situation so you hear things coming from right or left depending on their places.
This isn't just done with the instruments used in classical music. I have drum kits like BFD 3. Sampled bass guitars, you name it the samples can be had. Guitars are much like violins though, they are difficult to make sound real on a midi keyboard. The tech is advancing at a rapid rate and most things can be made to sound so real you can't tell the difference.
One flute in particular I use often by Precisionsound called " Celtic Whistles" is so realistic I need to remind myself I'm not playing a flute.

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