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Topic: Best overall orchestral library

  1. #1

    Best overall orchestral library

    Okay, before I start my one request is that we stick with POSITIVE comments only. No, "GPO blows away EWQLSO because.." I would just like to hear why people like GPO or VSL or Miroslav. Why is it your "go to" lib for most musical applications?

    I own a LOT of orchestral libs. In fact, I think I own a bit of everything. Garritan, East/West, Vienna Symphonic Library, Project SAM, Apple, Miroslav, Siedlaczek, etc. I use samples from each one in a tailor made orchestra because I do find it difficult to work with just one. However, if I had to rely on just a single library, I probably would go with East West Gold Pro XP.

    1/ I like the release trails that add ambience (no further mixing of additional FX)
    2/ It has a balanced uniform sound that blends well
    3/ chromatic samples add a good deal of realism
    4/ brass are pretty darn good and the percussion is amazing
    5/ lots of variety in articulations including some modernist techniques that allow for good horror composing and such
    6/ Qlegato I find is a little underrated and in cases like solo brass, it shines.
    7/ repetitive articulations really add in the realism for quick repeating passages

    The only drawback is the Kontakt player allowing up to 8 instruments only. But that looks to have been rectified with the new PLAY engine.

    * note * If my EWQLSO Gold went out the window, I would fall back on Miroslav Philharmonik. I love the ease of its operation combined with some really beautiful samples. The strings are so rich and playable. And creating one's own combi is a snap. Built-in ambience also helps. I don't any full VSL library though and it would stand to chance that I would use Opus 1/2 bundle if I owned that (love those performance legato samples!)

  2. #2

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    Gold XP over Platinum XP?

    Very happy with Platinum XP here.
    "International Award Winning Arabic Fusion"

    2xMac Pro 2.66, OS 10.4.9,Pro Tools 7.4.8,Waves Plat,Altiverb
    4xVisionDaw PC,NI Komplete, All Play 1.2.5 Libraries

  3. #3

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    I would go either for (in that order) one of these (very) expensive but well proven mature libs:

    Vienna Symphonic Library, Symphonic cube (either standard or extended) or the Complete orchestral Package Pro edition. (very nice one. Good realism and sound, but has a steep learning curve for most people. Is very HUGE: between 240GB and 500GB. Needs much adjustments in end mix, like reverb, EQ, panning)

    Sonivox (sonic implants), complete symphonic collection. (very nice strings, good woods and easy to use)

    East West Symphonic Orchestra Platinum (with XP Pro addon)
    (nice hollywood type of sound. Less usable for reverb mixing, cause much present ambience in the samples (release trails). 3 mic positions aviable. Lot's of articulations)

    Opus 1/2 bundle isn't that much exiting. Lot's of looped samples. Also there is something wrong with the oboe. Strings have a slight tuning problem and is records to aggressive played in contradiction to the Cube and Pro libs.
    And not so versatile as the big brother lib packages.

    NOTE: i do not own any of the mentioned libs. But, i have played with some libs on the Frankfurther musik messe once. (also i've listened carefully to demos created by end users, and read much about them on forums like e.g. this one)

  4. #4

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    I own:

    - ProjectSAM True Strike
    - Kirk Hunter SO Emerald
    - Sonivox Symphonic Collection

    Unsurprisingly, I would pick the latter. The recording of each instrument is superb - try listening to a string chord with staccatos for example, it's just...wow. And with the Kontakt2-version it's possible to run things on a small setup (1 x P4 2,8 with 1,5 GB ram)


  5. #5

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    I have EW Gold and Gold xp pro.

    Now first of all, I think that I prefer the original gold to the xp pro version. I just feels... better to my ears. Of course there are some articulations in xp pro that are just great, like the repeatative ones, and sul pont, pizz bartok, and many others, but somehow, normal gold feels... fuller...

    But I need to say also the negative things about EW. Just can't be unbiased and be "just" positive.

    1. Great full sound out of the box! (good)
    2. No need for reverb (good)
    3. Lots of techniques (good)
    4. Sections (good)
    5. chromatice samples (good)
    6. blends very well with itelf or other EW products. (good)
    7. very difficult to have more intimate sound, due to the release trails (bad).
    8. Generally has a "big" sound, for most users, and it is kinda difficult to get a nice quiet sound, or more "classical" sound out of it. (bad).

    That said I think that I did make the right choice, and I did stick with that, as I have 1 1/2 year Gold and no more than 3 months xp pro, which means that I'm a happy customer.

    I think that all the high end packaged (the 3 I can think of + dvz AI later on this year), serve their purpose very well. VSL, is just... VSL. brilliant and but does take knowledge. Platinum + xp pro is again perfect but again it is mostly used for "heavier" sound. (or maybe the users prefer it for this sound... can never be sure). Sonivox (Sonic Implants) is again a brilliant library.

    That said, if I was to sudently get 5-6 new cutting edge computers and money, don't know if I would go for platinum, or VSL. The 3-mic thing has me very much persuaded that it's worth a lot. Especially when mixing, or doing 5.1 Surround works...

    PS. I hope I didn't "break" any rules, as I don't like at all flame wars over thread. That said I find the topic, extremely difficult not to get out of hand... Maybe if we stick to not comment on other peoples post? Just a suggestion

  6. #6

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    I don't have as large a budget to purchase with as I would like, so I have a few of the small to medium range libraries. Like many others, I go to different libraries for different strengths.

    Opus 1 and 2- WOODWINDS ARE FABULOUS!!!!!!! Percussion is very good as well.

    Emerald- Soooooo usable. Strings are very satisfying, brass is great for much of what I need, ensemble woodwinds are pretty good.

    EWQLSO- Silver- Mostly for sketching, of course, but every once in a while a patch comes up that surprises me. A very charming trumpet part came out once that I actually used in my final mix.

    MOTU Symphonic- I like the choral bits, as I don't have the system to run EWQLSO Choir, and it also is very nice to quickly sketch things out with.

    Orchestrally speaking, that's it for me.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Pacific Northwest

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    Can't resist a humorous reply given how these threads so often degenerate...

    Based on a thread of real-life examples of home made instruments in Gary's section of the website some time back, there was very serious interest in a possible new product: GPCO - Garritan Personal Cardboard Orchestra.

    Based on one person's demo of a two string cardboard bass, the sound was absolutely outstanding and if sampled had the potential to blow away and totally obliterate anything EWQL, Sonivox, Vienna, Gary Garritan, Kirk Hunter, Miroslav, or anyone else has yet produced due to its stunning exquisite gorgeous resonant magnificent brilliant unparalleled and urivaled throughout all of human history cardboardiness!!!

    Gary was so amazed that he said he would give it serious consideration sometime after NAMM (of 2107 I think it was)...

    As has often been stated, every library has its strong points, and can be well utilized for creative purposes. That GPO does not sound like Kirk Hunter, or that Sonivox is different from EWQL or Vienna is a good thing. The fact that these tools are available for a wide range of uses in a wide range of price points for people in very different personal financial situations is something to be grateful for. While one may not be able to afford the super mega libraries, the "budget" libraries offer tremendous value and opportunities for producing excellent results.


  8. #8

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    Quote Originally Posted by noldar12

    You haven't gave an answer to the question.

    i will repeat the question for you:
    "Best overall Orchestral Library?"

    The answer you gave, is merely an general thing, the more libs the better the options are. But if one needs to pick 1 lib as the Best overall Orchestral Library, which one would that be and why?

  9. #9

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    I'm wondering what will one do with the answers provided. Cause it appears that it's not for self interest (since the original posted already has gold), and not for the general interest, as the "rule" to stick to 1 library, rarely comes out in the real world...

  10. #10

    Re: Best overall orchestral library

    Best overall library is VSL - no contest.

    - Best sample player
    - Most efficient sample player
    - Most instruments (AI will beat it - but until its out VSL holds the title)
    - Best sounding (again - overall - some might beat it out here and there)
    - Most articulations = largest chance of getting whats in your head.
    - Great customer service/company
    - Always evolving, and staying the top of their game (with releases like Epic Horns and Appasionata Strings to "fix" some of their less stellar instruments)

    That about sums it up...

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