Is everyone getting orchestral? For the most part, I write for piano, sometimes adding three or four other instruments, more often overdubbing live instruments or a vocal. I'm not sure I can justify the cost of Orchestral right now, and may never need it.
At one time, I ran across a chart that listed the exact differences between all the versions, but I can't seem to find it, now. (The Tascam pages note some differences, but leave out things, such as the ability to create convolved samples from scratch in Orchestral.) Has anyone seen this chart lately?
Hard to say, Jake. I think you might find some value in the Orchestral package, since you'd get some content in there which I believe might be handy for the kind of stuff you do (based on my assumption from our earlier conversations about piano-centered pop music). You'd get the full bore GigaPulse, the additional orchestral content, and you'd have all the authoring tools. Plus, you'd be on the highest-tier upgrade path for the next version.
I think it probably comes down to the value of GigaPulse.
The content in Orchestral is cool, but you may not use it. Having virtually unlimited voices is great, but unless you do long pedal-down runs and thick percussion, you may not need it.
If you buy piano libraries with embedded impulses, Ensemble may be all you need. You can plug in your favorite VST effects on the back-end to boot.
But if you want to apply a random GigaPulse impulse and put together a complex mic setup, you'll want Orchestra.
The other thing to look at is pricing. How much would it cost to go for Orchestra today? How much to go Ensemble, then upgrade ot Orchestra? If the two hop purchase is significantly more, you might take the big leap. If it's a push, get Ensemble, listen to the GigaPulse demos that we will hear during the coming months, and then decide if you want to take the next step.