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Topic: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

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  1. #1
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    Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    I was speaking with a colleague and was asked how many orchestral libraries are out there. I thought for a few moments and I realized that there are quite a few. Here are the ones I know of:
    1. Garritan Personal Orchestra
    2. Kirk Hunter Virtuoso Series
    3. Kirk Hunter Symphony Orchestra Emerald
    4. Vienna Symphonic Library Special Edition
    5. Vienna Symphonic Library Symphonic Cube
    6. Vienna Symphonic Library Opus Series
    7. Xsample Kontakt2 Library
    8. Peter Siedlaczek
    9. Miroslav Philharmonik
    10. East West Silver
    11. East West Silver Pro
    12. East West Gold
    13. East West Gold Pro
    14. East West Platinum
    15. East West Platinum PRo
    16. Sonivox Symphonic Collection
    17. Audio Impressions DVZ
    18. MOTU Symphonic Instrument
    19. EMU Modern Orchestra
    20. GigaStudio 3 Orchestra (bundled with GigaStudio)
    21. Apple Garage Band Symphony Orchestra Jam Pack
    22. HALion Symphonic Orchestra
    23. Notion - London Symphony Orchestra Collection
    24. Synful Orchestra
    There may be some I missed and according to the rumor mill there are more under development.

    Then there are a number of orchestral libraries of sections and individual instruments such as Dan Dean (strings, winds, brass), Westgate (woodwinds), DSSoundware (percussion), ProjectSam (brass & percussion), VSL (individual instruments and sections), Halion String Player, First Call Horns, London Solo Strings, WIVI brass, etc. etc. There are even more piano libraries.

    It's a wonderful time to be a musician and great to have so many choices!

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2
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    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    Well, speaking for myself, if you have a couple of good libraries and a good sequencer, and certainly more than a couple of good libraries have been listed above, you can certainly make great music right here, right now... If you're not making music and you have any of the above libraries, you're just not trying hard enough...

  3. #3

    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    There are great libraries on the market. And I had the credit card in hand to buy some Westgate stuff. But I wanted to hear GPOA first, cause I need the controllable flute vibrato besides a juicy legato (what I really like from the new Westgate libraries). And before I spent some money in brass I always need more infos what will be in GPAO. Did I mentioned GPAO??

    Gary, any demos in sight?

  4. #4

    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    It's a wonderful time to be a musician and great to have so many choices!

    Gary Garritan[/QUOTE]

    Yes a lot of great sounding libraries. I would predict that the developer who writes a better interface for these libraries will gain marketshare.

    Unlocking the secrets (those great sounds that come after a lot of tweaking and experimenting) of these wonderful libraries should be a keystroke or two away. I would like to see something that says "hey buddy are you sure you want to play these first violins in this range?, or hey dude that tempo is kinda fast for these why don't you look at these marcato bowings.? I would like to see instruments grouped by the orchestral or ensemble sound that the composer is working in. Perhaps by defining the project the software might gain some 'insight' as to the best instruments for the job. Kind of like having your own personal music contractor - much like Peter Rodder or Sandi Decrescent.

    I suppose I am saying that, for me, there is a LOT of room for improvement in the interface and performance structuring.

    scot stambler

  5. #5

    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    To me, that list doesn't really boil down to a lot when you look at it carefully:

    1) some of the products are very different in approach and technology.

    2) the price levels are extremely varied. You're basically looking at 3 tiers... the low end market (for starving artists like me), the middle range (the most crowded category), and the top range. In each of those ranges, there are only a few competing products, and all of them sound VERY different, so having a bit of choice and competition is important. Everyone has their own idea of what an orchestra should sound like.

    3) many orchestral products are specialized rather than comprehensive. They are unlikely to be used alone, but rather as enhancements to a base library.


    So to answer, no, I do not think it's anywhere near overload level.

  6. #6

    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    Well some of the mentioned libraries are smaller libraries of their brother, etc... I mean if I was to mention libraries I would cut your list to the following (names now, not libraries anymore):

    EW
    VSL
    Kirk Hunter
    Garritan
    etc...

    I mean, yes EW has 6 different versions, but we are in effect talking about Platinum bundle + their degraded, cheaper brothers. Same with VSL, I believe.
    Sonivox is alone there, with no other version (but 4 I believe for the different sections).
    GPO is alone, etc...

    XSample is something special with all those fx, and it's solo nature (which I personally love as a classical composer...)

    Same goes for synful.

    But yes, it stands true, these are exciting times for the composer/musician.

  7. #7

    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    Well. Many orchestral libraries, yet very few choices.

    So to answer your title question: All of those listed can be improved and topped - so my vote goes to "not enough orchestral libraries".

  8. #8

    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    Sonivox is alone there, with no other version (but 4 I believe for the different sections).
    Sonivox has SISS mini.

    And they also have muse which contain some of their orchestral stuff. Not sure how much though...

  9. #9

    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcussen
    All of those listed can be improved and topped
    Actually apart from true legato in all libraries (except the ones that already got it), I fail to see what else to improve really...

    Maybe I'm too used to what I use everyday, but it just sounds fine to me...

    geronimo: sorry mate. Yes 'tis true

  10. #10

    Re: Not Enough Orchestral Libraries? Or Orchestral Overdose?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    Actually apart from true legato in all libraries (except the ones that already got it), I fail to see what else to improve really...

    Maybe I'm too used to what I use everyday, but it just sounds fine to me...

    geronimo: sorry mate. Yes 'tis true
    Yeah. They sound "fine" to me as well

    I use some of those libraries professionally on a daily basis. But they can still be improved. Roland Orchestra sounded "fine" to people at one point as well

    Rather than going through each library and how they can be improved, let me just use VSL as an example which to me tops all the others.

    VSL could improve:
    - Timbre control
    - Vibrato control
    - Amount of velocity layers for legato
    - Legato (its good - but not perfect)
    - Better crossfades
    - More "noise" to improve "humanity" (bows, strings being released etc)
    - More "takes" and control of these.
    ... and so on...

    Add to that all those things which cant be improved with samples, such as transitions from one to another (some kind of synthesis would be needed for VSL to improve on that front).

    Again it sounds fine - hell it sounds more than fine - it sounds great.. I love VSL. But it can still be improved and topped.

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