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Topic: Favorite Libraries!

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  1. #1

    Favorite Libraries!

    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.

    Regards,

    Richard

  2. #2

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    Another good thread you've started, Richard.

    Not having GPO on your list is of course the most noticeable thing to us here in the Garritan Community. I can see Vienna Symphonic has replaced GPO for you now.

    EDIT: The above was written before Richard edited his original post so it includes GPO.

    Dimension Pro is an interesting thing to include. It's not actually a Library, it's an SFZ player, like ARIA. It comes with a very large collection of instruments and sounds, and for the most part they're top-notch. But all sorts of additional instruments are available for it, making it an open-ended sample player like ARIA. To have been more accurate, you would either have ARIA also on your list, since Instant Orchestra is at the top of your list and it uses ARIA, or you would have not included Dimension since, as I'm pointing out, it isn't a Library.

    EDIT:
    The above was written before Richard edited his original post so it doesn't list Dimension, but instead lists the string patches from Dim Pro that are in its basic list of instruments, which are still not actually a "library," but are instead just patches.

    I don't own any other actual Libraries other than Garritan. I have a very old, early VST Library which was very popular in its day - "Edirol Orchestral," and I still use it at times to layer with GPO, because it still sounds remarkably good. I most often use EZDrummer when I need drums, and when I need an electric guitar, I use the amazing Real Strat.

    But, bending the rules of your topic a bit, what I'll do is list the Garritan collection of Libraries (and I own all of them) in an order which reflects how heavily I depend on them, and that at least partially entails how much they're my "favorites."

    EDIT: This was written before Richard edited his original post so that 10 things are listed instead of 5.

    1-GPO - It's my orchestra. It's extremely rare for me to produce something without at least some GPO instruments.

    2-Jazz and Big Band - I use it a lot, primarily for the Saxes, but also for the alternate brass and woods to blend with GPO.

    3-Concert and Marching Band - Never used on its own, it's still extremely useful when beefing up the sound in tracks via the Group patches.

    4-Garritan Stradivari*
    - Whenever I have strings in a piece, the good ol' Strad is the "Concertmaster" for the Violin section.

    5-Garritan Gofriller Cello** - Also often used, this incredible Cello leads the Cello section in my GPO pieces.

    6-World Instruments - Love the Library, and often go through, picking out soloists and percussion.

    7-Instant Orchestra - Once in awhile I'll turn to this for layering, but for the most part, I haven't found myself using it much.

    8-Harps - Whenever I need a Harp, this of course replaces the nice but much simpler sounding Harps in GPO.

    9-Garritan Authorized Steinway (Pro) - If I need piano, which isn't all that often anymore, this full version of the Steinway is my piano.

    10-Classic Pipe Organs - Beautiful Library, I just don't have much need for organs.

    * Here's a good demo of the Strad on YouTube.



    ** And these two demos of the Cello are pretty good.

    Cello Demo 1

    Cello Demo 2


    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    Hey Randy. Nice list. The cello and violin demos are impressive it is a shame I never did get the opportunity to get the Cello or Violin before it was discontinued. Think there is any chance they will be released again?

    As much as I do like GPO I have been using Vienna for a lot of my recent stuff. However, I am still using it in my projects. The lush strings still have a sound that I like in certain parts, they are lighter and softer, and Cello #2 is a real beauty. I also use the harps in their as well. GPO is a great full library and offers a lot. For solo brass, I mainly use GPO and sometimes the trumpet from EWQLSO Silver. Percussion is also another thing used with GPO. Full woodwinds sections would also be use with GPO. GPO is far from an obsolete library for me.

    You are correct Randy, my bad. I guess I should have just said Sonivox strings. I'll edit that. Thanks for pointing that out!

    Thanks for sharing the nice list of libraries.

    Regards,

    Richard

  4. #4

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    Also add my choice for:

    1. GPO
    2. Jazz and Big Band.

    I also have 'CoMB' 'World Instruments', 'Harps' and 'Classic Pipe Organs'. I think from these my choices would be:

    3. 'Pipe Organs'
    4. 'Harps'

    'CoMB' and 'World Instruments' are really excellent; it's just that I don't use them that often although the harmonica from 'World Instruments' saved the day for my Christmas CD Volume 7 entry.

    I wouldn't be without any of these libraries.

    Now, what about a Garritan library with steel strung acoustic guitar? Perhaps the forthcoming 'Abbey Road' library may offer this goody .. who knows?
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  5. #5

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    Okay guys! I decided to change this to be the top ten instead of 5... I feel that GPO needs to be in the list, for I do use it and I do admire it a lot, it indeed deserves to be in the list. Below are the reasons why:

    "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."

    I have updated the main thread to reflect upon the changes.

    Regards,

    Richard

  6. #6

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    ...The cello and violin demos are impressive it is a shame I never did get the opportunity to get the Cello or Violin before it (sic - should be "they") was (were) discontinued. Think there is any chance they will be released again?
    There is no chance they'll ever be released again. Nobody really knows the details, but there was apparently a big disagreement between the creators and Gary, so both Libraries had to be removed from circulation only after a year after they were released.

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    ...I decided to change this to be the top ten instead of 5... I feel that GPO needs to be in the list...I have updated the main thread to reflect upon the changes...
    And I've updated my earlier post so it makes sense in light of your re-written thread starter. Sometimes it's hard to keep up and make our posts still make sense!

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    LOL haha, thanks Randy, now your helping me with my grammar. I knew it was suppose to be they! LOL! Must be a bad communication between my fingers and my thoughts lol.

    Hopefully Garry will come out with a new string library with the same features. I would honestly be very interested in a full string library both sections and solos with true portamento. I know there are a lot of different articulations when it comes to strings but portamento is what I am personally interested in.

  8. #8

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    ...Hopefully Garry will come out with a new string library with the same features. I would honestly be very interested in a full string library both sections and solos with true portamento. I know there are a lot of different articulations when it comes to strings but portamento is what I am personally interested in.
    There will be a new Garritan Strings Library - I know it's been a verrrrrry long time coming (years - many years) but I know for sure it's coming. It'll be great, but something you have to understand is that it can't possibly have the same features as the long lost solo violin and cellos Libraries. Those each cost as much, individually, as the entire GPO Library, and were actually each larger in size. That's because they had a huge amount of samples and programming. I'm sure you could hear in those video demos that the legato was incredible - but at the cost of very complex and multi-sampled weight. There's simply no way a complete string Library could have all those features and stay in the cost range of other Garritan Libraries - it would easily be over $1,000, closer to $2,000.

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    The demos that you showed were indeed beautiful ones. I agree it would probably be a costly library with all the work and time that would have to be put into it. Just an idea, maybe even break it down into different purchases like for solos, sections, or even individual instruments that way you wouldn't have to pay the giant 2k all at once.

    I've been library hungry this year, lol. This is the year I purchased the most libraries (GPO, GWO, Vienna SE Strings, Vienna SE, Woodwinds, Voice of Gaia - Linda Strawberry, Olympus Microchoir, Black Grand Piano, Shevannai, Drumcorps, M1 Garand Rifle, and the Emotional Piano). A new Garritan String Library would he a great addition to to the collection!

    I can't wait to see what the new Garritan String Library will sound like! I love strings! The sonivox strings don't have portamento or those extremely detailed features like the full Vienna String library, but they are my favorite to date simply because of the way they were recorded and how deep and rich they sound. I am very interested to see the new Garritan String Library. My attention captured!!!!

    Regards,

    Richard

  10. #10

    Re: Favorite Libraries!

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    ...it would probably be a costly library...maybe even break it down into different purchases like for solos, sections...I can't wait to see what the new Garritan String Library will sound like!...
    A brief history lesson: The original Garritan Orchestral Strings came out in 2002. It was a Giga Library, and nothing quite like it had ever been released. The Library was 8 gigs in size, absolutely enormous and unheard of at the time. Here's a review still up online from when it was first released:

    Sound On Sound review of Garritan Orchestral Strings

    That article lists the price as £899 which is currently $1,446. Whatever the exact price was for GOS here in The States, it was well over $1,000.

    Later when GPO was developed, the strings included were selected and adapted from GOS.

    Now, all these years later, the virtual instrument market has of course exploded way beyond what it was like in 2002. There are all sorts of string libraries available, and one could even say the market is glutted. For a company to release yet another string library, it would have to find its own unique niche.

    This is partly supposition on my part, but I'm rather sure the Garritan mission to produce good and affordable instruments will continue. That's why it's logical to think that a new Garritan string library would be closer in price to the rest of the Garritan line rather than to the high end strings from other companies.

    The idea has been around and talked about for a long time, for the original GOS library to be reformatted for ARIA and adapted in a way to have it be as flexible and complete as possible without ending up being too costly for Garritan users to afford it. I believe that GOS reborn is now more a possibility than it has been before during these years when the Forum kept being tantalized by the possibility of a re-release.

    As for the particular programming that made the solo violin and solo cello libraries so great, "real-time sound shaping" - That technology isn't owned by Garritan, and made for rather large single instruments. It would be impossible to put together a new GOS with instruments like that, with the programming unavailable, and with the resulting library being too large and expensive anyway. Things have developed and changed since those solo instruments were designed, primarily in the sample modeling area. Note that Giorgio Tommasini, the programmer on the solo Garritan instruments, is a major force behind sample modeling. This is new technology which goes beyond what he previously developed with the solo strings, primarily because his new instruments are much smaller and more practical. Without delving in deeper to the subject - you can see that there are conflicts in motion that would make what you're suggesting (quote above) impossible.

    What we can look forward to is a new version of GOS which is powered by ARIA, which doesn't cost an arm and a leg, which has many more articulations than are available in GPO, and which is as sophisticated as possible without ending up in the same price category as things like LA Scoring Strings which costs $1,400 and which isn't aimed at the same market as the home studio musician/composers at whom Garritan has always aimed its products.

    I'm rather sure that a new GOS would be built on the same premise as the original, which was to provide a complete set of orchestral strings. It would be a Library of string sections, not of soloists. I don't see how selling individual patches at a time would be practical - that could be like purchasing a new table, but only buying one leg at a time.

    A reminder - This post includes some theorizing on my part. I am not speaking in any official capacity.

    Other articles of interest:

    Sound on Sound review (lengthy) of the Garritan Stradivari from 2006

    SampleModeling Home page

    Randy

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