Feeling a bit talkative today , so I figured I'd ask what is everyone's top 10 favorite libraries? Below are my favorites so far.
#1 Garritan Instant Orchestra (Garritan)
The layering and full ensembles are such a huge benefit of this library and is used very often in my projects, especially LOE. GIO is a must have library for all composers. It has everything you need for a great production and saves you the work of combining and layering!!! My favorite patches are: Organic Horns, Evolving Orchestra, Slow Orchestra, and my favorite harp in the world! GIO is my favorite library of all time!
#2 Sonivox Strings (Bundled With Dimension Pro)
To this day based on demos I have heard the sample libraries I own, there is nothing that spills expression more then when it comes to Sonivox's Expressivo Strings. They are the best for what I do. I prefer them over the vienna strings (even with vienna's excellent portamento), expressivo strings are... deep, warm and haunting they are absolutely amazing when it comes to composing sorrowful pieces, for there is non better. I have listened to some of the top string libraries LASS, Complete Vienna, and 8dio through their demos and on youtube, but... when it comes to melancholy, deep brooding underscores, and just raw emotion... the sound of these strings are what you need.
#3 Shevannai, The Voice of Elves (Best Service)
This is one of my recent purchases but has dramatically leaped to the top of my favorites. I have been longing for a real high quality soloist library for a long time. I have also bought Voice of Gaia - Linda Strawberry... it was a close toss up, but Shevannai has won my heart for best soloist library and fits my music very well with her true legato for all of the common vowels and also comes with over 25 tuned short words to help add more expressiveness to compositions. Shevannai is the best there is when it comes to soloist libraries, but Voice of Gaia is the second best! Both are good!
#4 Vienna Symphonic Library Special Editions (Vienna)
Vienna is a gorgeous library, very expressive and dry (as I like it). The woodwinds are beautiful, mellow and overall well toned. The solo strings are great, warm and have very good legato and portamento. I don't have much experience with portamento sounds because Vienna is the only library I have owned that has it, but I like it! The string section of the special editions are great as well. They can give a nice romantic classical feel. Vienna is definitely on the top of my choices for libraries.
#5 Emotional Piano (Soundiron)
This is a very recent purchase only of a matter of days. I have been looking for an affordable and really deep piano library for a long time. The previous contender was my Black Grand (Sampletekk) which by the way is still am excellent piano library. However, the emotional piano by Soundiron is what it is (Emotional). The way they recorded it fits perfectly into my pieces. Based on all of the testing I have been doing this is the best piano for my type of music. Keep in mind, it is not the brightest sounding piano so it may not work as well as other pianos in other projects. But for what I do it hits the 100% mark.
#6 Garritan Personal Orchestra (Garritan)
GPO is definitely on my top 10 list for many different reasons. Just like the Vienna Instruments GPO shares a nice dry recording which I truly admire. Unlike the Vienna Instruments, GPO loads much faster and is easier to setup in terms of large orchestral pieces with all section. My biggest composition to date, Symphony For an Angel - The First Movement (Save Tara), an arrangement to Save Tara, was created with GPO and GIO. I had over 30 tracks of instruments which all loaded very quickly. Doing this with Vienna would have sucked the life out of my processor and memory. The sound quality if GPO is great, the only thing I wish for GPO is that it had true portamento, other then that GPO is as solid and high class as your going to get, especially for the price.
#7 Voice of Gaia - Linda Strawberry (Soundiron)
Another favorite soloist library of mine. There is no doubt that Voice of Gaia will continue to be used in my projects. She is quite flexible in all genres of music. Linda's voice was captured with two different mic setups allowing for an extremely powerful and effective sound. Another thing I admire about this library are the massive amounts of phrases includes with it. The true legato Ahhs are beautiful as well
#8 Vienna Soprano Choir (Vienna)
When it comes to effective choirs... Vienna sure has that with this library. The OOs are extremely effective in delivering that dry haunting sound. Whenever there is a choir needed you can bet Vienna Soprano Choir is going to be in my composition.
#9 Black Grand Piano (Sampletekk)
The black grand is a beautiful piano, my second favorite to date. The overall tone is great and can be fairly bright. I have used this is some of my solo piano pieces. However, the drawback is that it does take quite bit of time and memory to load.
#10 Olympus Micro Choir
This is also another recent purchase of mine. Unlike the Vienna Soprano Choir, the Olympus Micro Choir comes with both female and male choirs and for a very great price! The quality of the choir is really great and crisp. I have been using this alongside with the Vienna Soprano Choir in my compositions.
*I still love EWQLSO Silver Editions's Various Metal Patch which has that MAGICAL METAL WOOSH!!! (AKA Mark Tree).
Well, that is my current list of favorites!
EDIT: Changed it to top 10 instead of five.