So what is the final decision everyone is going to make and why?
I am probably going to go with the gold because of the clarity and the tightness in the sound. I am also looking for a big hollywoood sound to assist my guitar instrumentals so I feel this is the one for me. I may look to GPO maybe after Christmas so I can build some ensembles. I have no urge for anything out of VSL except the Saxes (which I have heard no demos for as of yet)
After carefully considering all of these budget libraries I\'m going to by Xphrase, write a crap hip-hop/techno song, make a bazillion bucks and then buy the London Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall. I\'ll then develop a new MIDI controller that uses cattle prods to coax notes out of the players that only dogs can hear. Next I\'ll create some media scandal by sleeping with the Queen and then write my memoirs while you all try and figure out how much downloaded porn you need to uninstall to make room for your new software.
GPO is good, but not as good as EWQLSO Gold or VSL Opus 1. (Of course there\'s no reason it should be, since they cost four times as much).
There\'s a slight synthy quality I hear occasionally in some of the GPO demos, which may be to do with the looping necessary to make it run in RAM. Don\'t get me wrong, at the price-point its a phenomenal library. But I just don\'t think I\'m interested in investing more at that price point. I already have enough \"decent\" sounds, so I\'d rather spend my money on a few really good ones. There also seems something backward about a soft library that runs in RAM rather than disk streaming, since size of hard disk is precisely what allowed soft samplers to run away from hardware in the first place.
To my ear, EWQLSO is the best of the three in terms of pure sound quality, by a TINY margin over VSL. This may be an unfair comparison, since there is (I think) a clear difference in approach between the two. EWQLSO sounds richer, more lush, more \"Hollywood\". VSL sounds clearer, more raw, more \"classical\" to my ears. But given the sheer quality of VSL, I\'m sure the lushness could be coaxed out of it with approriate use of processing.
There\'s also only one demos available of the VSL Opus 1 so far. And excellent it is, but its not really enough yet to show how much of the quality of the VSL Pro Edition can be got from the Opus 1 Edition.
Then there\'s the issue of whether you want a Giga library, or a VST plugin with its own integrated playback engine. There are pros and cons for both - on balance, I prefer the idea of a Giga library.
Part of this is to do with the product authorisation business. Don\'t get me wrong - from what I gather tha EWQLSO authorisation system works fine and people are having few problems. But in principle, I HATE anything that adds another layer of unknowns to the running of my system, and that is going to make me re-authorise when I change my hard drive or re-install Windows. Its hard enough to keep control over a Windows system without that.
Giga itself needs to be authorised, but at least the samples are raw data that, having bought, I can then do what I like with (within licence restrictions, of course). I might decide next year I want to move over to Kontakt and import them all into it, or whatever. But I don\'t want them tied down to an authorisation to a specific system. I know all the reasons why Nick et al have chosen this model, but its not for me so I avoid it where I can.
I also like the old-fashioned idea of the sampler and the samples being separate, because it gives me more scope for mixing samples from different libraries within one interface.
On the other hand, I\'m keen to see how Kontakt, or Giga 3.0 with its presumed handling of 24 bit samples, will affect future versions of VSL.
So I THINK I\'ll be buying VSL Opus 1 for my quality orchestra foundation. But possibly not immediately.