Joel, the strength of the Dan Dean Strings are the solo patches, especially the solo cello. IMO the solo cello is one of the best patches I have heard. However the ensemble string patches leave something to be desired.
If you need solo instruments, this is a fantastic library. However if you need ensemble strings, you will probably need to get something else. Not that this library becomes useless at all, because you can still layer the solo strings from it on top of other string libraries.
What type of music will be writing? Chamber, concert, theatre? This information will help me answer your questions better.
As for the DDSS, I have them and use them almost all of the time. I like the quality and realism that they provide. The weakness is that they only have one dynamic layer. The reason for this is because they were designed for hardware samplers. When giga came out, Mr. Dean was able to have all the articulations programed together. Of course you can load the articulations individually if you wish. Everything is chormatcially sampled however. I would also strongly suggest buying the x-sample CD volumes to use with Mr. Dean\'s collection. There are three CDs and each price is reasonalble. Go to www.soundsonline.com for prices. I have all of them including the cello vibrato which I use every now and then.
Thanks for your help. I picked up a copy of Dan Dean Strings at sounds online, and I\'m seriously considering a number of the Xsample libraries.
As for the type of music I\'ll be making. Well, that\'s a loaded question, but I\'d describe my style as progressive rock with jazz fusion elements with classical instrumentation and a flair for film score emoting. At least that\'s what it sounds like this week.
What would you guys recommend for low cost/high quality orchestral brass?