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Topic: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

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    The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Part 3 - Orchestral Sample Libraries - Complete Sets
    An insight for beginners and semi professional applications

    This is a continuing discussion for beginners and those wanting up to date information on a PC based Digital Audio Workstation.
    In this series I’ve been discussing the various aspects of what I call the New Standard 64 bit PC DAW.
    These posts are extremely long due to the subject matter.

    Part 1. Hardware Link http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=67241
    Part 2. Software Link http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=67295

    Here in Part 3 we look at Orchestral Sample libraries offered as "complete sets".
    Meaning they represent all 4 sections of the orchestra.
    While these releases work well under a 32 Bit O/S, it's the 64 Bit operating system that this 4 part series is focused on.
    Although XP is favored over Vista, XP is done and no longer supported by Microsoft as well as many sample developers.
    Therefore my focus has been on Vista with a look toward to Windows 7.
    Not all of these releases take advantage of 64 Bits but they will work.

    Most Kontakt version libraries today are bundled with a customized player based on version 2.
    These players do not support 64 bit. The samples however can be imported into Kontakt version 3.5.
    This allows end users to take advantage of 64 Bits and overcome the 4 Gig ceiling (with the 3 Gig switch) offered by a 32 bit O/S.
    One definitely needs Kontakt 3 in a 64 Bit world.

    I have not covered all the orchestral libraries; many fall short in offering today’s high standards.
    I’ve included those that represent the highest quality; many are extremely affordable too.

    Choosing an orchestral sample library is not an easy task.
    There are many variables to consider apart from the obvious one of cost.

    The following are all important considerations-
    • What format should I use?
    • Will it be compatible with my current setup?
    • Does the overall sound suit my application and intended purpose?
    • Can the library take advantage of a 64 bit operating system?
    • Are the samples consistent across all the instrument groups?
    • Are the tonal characteristics consistent?
    • What level of support is there when I run into problems?
    • I’m new to sequencing so is the library easy to use out of box?
    I need to address something here.
    Those who are well versed in traditional music theory and sequencing will no doubt embrace these offerings.
    For the beginner however things are complicated as orchestral libraries demand some respect too.
    They require from you a certain level of proficiency in both traditional orchestration and composition.
    These skills are critical to producing realistic and convincing Midi Mockups.
    Sequencing is yet another necessary talent. It’s not the same as composing with manuscript paper.
    One of the most productive and rewarding things you can do is get to know your sequencer and become a power user.
    It is by far the most important piece of gear in your studio.
    90 % of computer musicians use only 50% of the features in their sequencer.

    For the main library one should look toward what I call a “complete set”.
    This will be your primary go to library.
    It should represent all 4 sections of the orchestra; Strings, Brass, Woodwind and Percussion.
    This way the tonal characteristics are more likely to be consistent across the sections.
    This is due to the recordings taken place in the same hall or studio and produced and engineered by the same people.
    The utilization of the same equipment is also another factor.

    The primary library should first and foremost be sonically pleasing.
    It should best represent the tone and timbre that suits your style and inspires creativity.
    The critical section here would be the strings.
    There would be little point in selecting the EWQLSO bundle if most of your work was classical or soft background music.
    For this Vienna or even the Sonivox collection would be more appropriate.

    However, even with the most expensive libraries it is difficult to get by with just one.
    At least at the semi professional level.

    As your knowledge and confidence grows you will want to explore and create alternate passages and moods.
    You'll want to experiment utilizing a variety of tonal characteristics.
    Having additional samples at your disposal enables us to do exactly that.
    It is much the same with painting.
    Artists would find it impossible with only a single shade of blue or green.
    The same applies to music composition.

    Not all libraries sound the same and hence not all may be suitable for a particular project.
    Many libraries may excel in a certain area but may fall short in another.
    Perhaps there are no ensemble patches to get your ideas down quickly.
    Maybe the library has omitted a harp.
    No library is perfect.

    This is where the necessary supplemental comes in handy.
    It should offer elements that are perhaps missing from your main library.
    It should offer a variation in timbre, color yet still be suitable for blending.
    Blending libraries together is key for variation, realism, long term satisfaction and creative compositions.

    As for the supplemental library there are a number of directions one can take.
    The easiest solution for a supplemental would be to simply purchase another complete set.
    Another developer's offering will produce an alternative palette.
    However there is another option that can bring both positive yet at times challenging circumstances.
    The modular system.
    An example of this would be to purchase individual libraries that focus on single instruments or instrument groups.
    A single flute or a complete brass library.
    There are a number of excellent libraries that are represented in this way. More than with complete sets.
    However it is generally less expensive to buy an alternative complete set.

    As you can see, purchasing sample libraries is not an easy task.
    But with careful consideration and research one can find something to suit their requirements.
    Online forums are the best method for research and discussion with end users.
    For detailed information about these libraries I have provided links to both the developers’ web page and product reviews.
    All of these libraries have demos you can listen to at their websites.

    So, let's look at the quality libraries that are currently available and explore their strengths as well as any negatives.

    East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra (EWQLSO) Play-

    RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
    (GOLD AND PLATINUM VERSIONS)
    2.6 GHz Quad Core or i7. 16 Gigs of RAM.
    64-bit OS and host
    Formats- VST, ASIO, RTAS
    32 Bit stand alone and Plug-in version included

    Available in 4 versions-
    PLATINUM COMPLETE PLUS 24-BIT AND 16-BIT (194GB) $995
    PLATINUM COMPLETE 24-BIT (117GB) $895
    GOLD COMPLETE 16-BIT (33GB) $445
    SILVER COMPLETE 16-BIT (11GB) $195

    Orchestral samples covering ensemble and solo instruments as well as Percussion.

    Web Page & Product Information-
    http://www..com/product.php?productid=EW-177
    http://www.filmmusicmag.com/?p=1265
    Reviews-
    http://www.mixaudio.com/cart/composers.php?composerid=21
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun04/articles/ql.htm
    http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/east-westquantum-leap/apr-06/19248

    This library was first released back in 2004 with its Native Instruments GUI Kompakt player.
    As of 2009 it is being offered in their new proprietary Play format.
    This takes advantage of the 64 bit operating systems and allows accessibility of 128 GB of RAM, technically even more.
    The proprietary “play” software has improvements over the older player both in terms of features and performance.

    Not so long ago the XP (expansion) upgrade bundle was an expensive addition offering additional instruments and articulations. This insured greater realism.
    Today however they come bundled with the all important XP add on.

    Given the new lower price point for the Gold bundle I feel Silver should only be a consideration if you plan on upgrading.
    Silver has far fewer articulations and instruments but does provide many of the essentials.
    Silver is the entry level product designed primarily for use with a laptop.
    Gold has the same instruments and articulations as Platinum but it comes in 16 Bit only and with a single Mic position.
    Platinum is 24 Bit, richer and provides 3 recorded Mic settings.
    There is a definite incremental difference between each of the three versions.
    Naturally Platinum is richer and warmer than both Gold and Silver, not to mention it offers greater flexibility.
    However Gold is a solid compromise and depending on your requirements may be all you need.

    If I was staring out with EWQLSO Gold would be an obvious choice. Besides, one can always upgrade to Platinum.

    The undertaking that East West took to produce this library was massive.
    Even by today’s standards this is still a monumental achievement.
    For the beginner it can be a bit challenging largely due to the necessary skill requirements I mentioned earlier.
    But it is indeed a worthwhile goal.

    This is a library for those wishing to simulate film scores with a BIG epic sound.
    The sweeping, majestic timbre of John Barry's Dances with Wolves comes to mind.
    The product was specifically designed for this purpose and it excels at exactly that.
    Spend time to get to know this library; it will be rewarding.

    Potential drawbacks-
    • Not the best choice for a softer, intimate sound.
    • Platinum needs to reside on at least 2 computers and fast ones at that.
      One would need 2 x 2.5 GHz Quads or i7s with 8 Gigs of RAM. 12 or 16 would be preferable.
    • In addition you need to split the library over 4 independent and dedicated drives.
    • I find the brass section a little too brash at times
    The Benefits of this Library-
    • Specifically designed for epic style scoring with included reverb.
    • The instruments are pre-panned and you don’t need to EQ.
    • Superb sound quality with consistency across all four sections.
    • Many of the patches sound good right “out of the box” as they say meaning no editing is required, just load and play
    For that Hollywood scoring sound this library is an excellent choice.
    It could arguably still be the best choice today for that application.
    And at today’s new low price point it is a tremendous bargain.

    The EWQLSO Play library in either Gold or Platinum is truly a professional product.

    Vienna Symphonic Library:
    Vienna Instruments Special Edition-

    RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
    2.6 GHz Quad Core or i7. 8 Gigs of RAM
    Windows XP/Vista 32 and 64 bit versions
    Formats- VST, RTAS. Available as stand-alone

    Standard Library $470
    Extended Library 595
    Distributed in the US by ILIO www.ilio.com

    81 GB collection of orchestral ensembles, solo instruments, piano, guitars, organs and percussion.

    Web Page & Product Information-
    http://vsl.co.at/en/211/261/314/1605/1277.htm
    Reviews-
    http://www.proaudioreview.com/article/2534
    http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/vienna-symphonic-library/aug-07/30488

    VSL is considered by many the flagship of orchestral and classical sampling and for good reason.
    Vienna instruments are what Ferrari’s are to the auto industry; complex yet stunning.
    When the Vienna Symphonic Library was first released in 2003 it was apparent that this company from Austria was intent on making a solid statement.
    They had a lot to say but my guess is they knew exactly what the response would be. The bar had been raised significantly.

    The selections were offered in both Giga and EXS24 format as the "VI" interface had not yet been developed.
    In 2005 they again set a seemingly impossible goal by raising the bar yet again; exceeding any expectations.
    Enter the Vienna Instruments.

    As with any orchestral library it requires a certain level of skill but the “VI” player is not only easy to learn but extremely advanced.
    It also has a few tricks up its sleeve.
    Features such as auto detection and loading of note transitions.
    Speed detection, repetition detection and RAM optimizer make this interface a dream to work with.
    Make sure you visit the Vienna link above and watch the tour of the special edition which explains the "VI" player in detail.
    There are also some great tutorial videos regarding the use of the Vienna Instruments.

    The Vienna instrument line is available as a complete boxed set or independent releases.
    The Special Edition, Special Edition Plus, Strings 1, chamber strings and Woodwinds 1 are just a few examples.
    There are some 50 releases currently available. Not all being orchestral of course.

    The full independent releases are quite expensive but what the Special Edition does is provide you with the most common instruments and articulations.
    There is an option to add on additional libraries or even download sounds as your needs expand.

    Apart from the samples themselves Vienna has produced some serious software that makes using Vienna an even greater joy.
    Vienna Ensemble 3 for example allows users to send audio and Midi across a network.
    It allows the use of multiple slave machines for dozens of simultaneous instances of instruments.
    VSL were the first to develop an audio network between Macs and PCs using an Ethernet cable so no additional hardware is required.
    It also includes the mixing host.
    You can use it as a plug-in to host up to 16 Vienna Instruments per instance, or as stand-alone software, on your master or slave computers.
    An upcoming version, the Ensemble Pro even allows VST Instruments along side of Vienna.

    My decision to discuss the Special Edition as apposed to the full boxed set is based somewhat on the cost factor.
    This is after all a guide and meant to assist those who are either new to Midi orchestration or perhaps unaware of the current offerings.
    But at a cost of around $460 this is quite possibly the greatest deal in orchestral sampling.

    Potential Drawbacks-
    • None that can be justified considering its price.
    The Benefits of this Library-
    • Superb solo instruments
    • Ability to produce extremely realistic mockups even with a trimmed down set of articulations
    • For those performances tough to sequence like natural sounding legato the SE and other collections from Vienna are the best available
    • State of the art software. Perhaps the most powerful and feature loaded interface available today
    The Vienna Symphonic library in ANY version is a purchase that will reward you with the best of today’s technology and more importantly, inspire to create
    I strongly suggest you head over to the Vienna webpage and take the Special Edition for a test drive.

    Project Sam:
    Symphobia-

    RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
    Core 2 Duo or Higher. 4 Gigs of RAM
    Windows Vista 32 or 64 bit
    Formats- Kontakt
    Kontakt 3.5 is needed to utilize 64 Bit

    Library is $1399.99

    Total 18 GB library. orchestral ensembles with around 9 GB dedicated to special orchestral ‘film scoring’ effects.
    A custom Kontakt 2 player is included.

    Web Page and Product Information-
    http://www.projectsam.com/Products/Symphobia/
    Reviews-
    http://celloroller.com/content/projectsam-symphobia-review
    http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/computers-software/virtual-instruments/symphobia-197871/review

    The secret is out!
    A unique ‘load and play’ library that sounds extraordinarily good out of box without having to spend time editing.
    This is a library that produces very realistic sounding ensembles, some are really quite beautiful but all are impressive.
    The ensembles are made up of Strings, Brass and Woodwinds mapped across the Midi keyboard by individual section.
    Combinations are also available.
    The included manual provides the mapping of each articulation.

    I should mention that the library blends beautifully with VSL and even EWQL as it would with many other releases.

    A distinct advantage of Symphobia is that even without a background in orchestration one can simply load, play and record these ensembles.
    In addition you get all those yummy cinematic effects and clusters that are damn near impossible to produce.
    For dramatic film scores or sections this part of the library is priceless.

    There are also some 120 additional ethnic flute instruments such as the Duduk, Shakuhachi and Native American flute.
    These samples and phrases are gorgeous. Anyone who is not familiar with the Duduk is in for a treat.

    If your orchestral skills are weak, perhaps even non existent, this product is certainly for you.
    The level of realism is quite surprising and it's perfect for applications such as documentary scoring, Game soundtracks and background applications.
    It also works beautifully for fusions of New Age music.

    If you don't wish to spend days editing, mixing and fooling around with hundreds of articulations then THIS IS the savor you are looking for.

    BUT like all libraries it has its drawbacks-
    • It doesn't focus on solo instruments and lacks the ability to edit individual patches such as East West and Vienna.
      For that you will need to find additional libraries or perhaps build one in a modular way.
    • An additional negative to many is its cost.
    Benefits of this library-
    • For those needing the ability to quickly lay down ideas or cues this is a product that has no equal.
    • Superb for background orchestral tracks, Game soundtracks, New age music, Add spots and documentaries.
    • The best Orchestral/Cinematic effects bundle in any library.
    Due to the market this product is focused at there is little to complain about really.
    I personally cannot agree with those that complain about the cost.
    You get what you pay for.
    It does what it is intended to do and better than anything else currently available.

    Hats off to the three wise men from the Netherlands.

    Sonivox: (Previously Sonic Implants)
    Complete Symphonic Collection-

    Product Information-
    http://www.sonivoxmi.com/ProductDetail.asp?Item=CDSymphonicCollection
    Reviews-
    http://emusician.com/libraries/emusic_sonic_implantssymphonic_string/
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Nov02/articles/sonicimplants.asp
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr06/articles/sonicimplants.htm
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb05/articles/sibrasscollection.htm
    The reviews represent each of the four releases

    RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
    Core 2 Duo with 4 Gigs of RAM
    Win XP Vista 32 or 64
    Formats- EXS24 Gigastudio 2/3, Kontakt 2
    Kontakt 3.5 for use with Vista 64 Bit

    Complete set $2995 (available individually)

    Originally Sonic Implants released the four sections as individual libraries.
    The Complete Symphonic Collection boxed set then emerged.
    At the time of this release it made quite a splash, offering superb quality across the board.
    The library was later re programed to accommodate a Kontakt 2 version.

    The 2 outstanding collections here are the strings and woodwinds.
    There's nothing wrong with the Brass and Percussion but there are better options today.
    The strings are a particular standout and are simply superb for that intimate, softer expression.

    This is one of the few libraries that present both first and second strings.
    Unlike EWQLSO that project that epic sound the Sonivox strings are quite subtle.
    They possess beautiful tone and most certainly shine in softer romantic passages.
    Having said that with careful programming and layering this collection can sound big!
    They are also terrific for blending with VSL, as well as many others.

    The included ensemble patches are quite a treat and handy for even those with limited knowledge.
    As far as the Woodwinds go they are universally superb with such natural sonic character.
    The flutes and clarinets to me are the winners.
    It's nice to see so much emphasis on the clarinet, many of today's film music orchestras have ignored this instrument.
    Not surprisingly the Woodwinds are a perfect match for these strings and I would find it difficult to do without them.

    The acoustics of this beautiful wooden hall, The Sonic Temple Studio in Massachusetts are superb.
    Obviously a lot of thought went into how this library would represent this. They found a good balance.
    The musicians (The Boston pops and Boston ballet) also make this library a sonic treat to even the most discriminate ears.

    There is no included software that assists the composer like other releases; it just offers beautiful tone, color and emotion.

    Yes this library is old but if it invokes inspiration (and it does that well) than a product such as this will always be of benefit.

    The demos on the Sonivox web site do not do this release much justice but I still suggest you take a listen.

    If the strings and winds didn’t sound so gorgeous I would have omitted this collection from the list.
    But when something is done right you simply cannot ignore it.
    Even though this collection is available as a complete set I think many will feel the cost is unrealistic by today’s standards.
    To some extent I agree although I assume Jennifer Hruska's views would differ.
    I must admit I respect her decision not to drop prices; obviously she firmly stands behind her product. That is to be admired.
    Jennifer was senior sound designer for Kurzweil Music Systems; she played a huge part in the introduction of the famous K2000, K2500 and K2600 Keyboards.

    Potential Drawbacks-
    • Expensive as either a complete bundle or as individual releases
    • Brass and percussion not quite up to the standard of the strings and Winds.
    • Dated
    • No software to interact with articulations
    The Benefits of this Library-
    • Beautiful Strings. Soft, subtle and perhaps the best available for certain applications.
    • First and second strings represented
    • A perfect blending library and a solid supplemental.
    • Gorgeous woodwinds
    Whilst this is a contender as a primary library I would however put the strings and woodwinds high on a list as a supplemental.

    Garritan:
    Garritan Personal Orchestra V3-

    Product Information-
    http://www.garritan.com/
    Reviews-
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Oct04/articles/garritan.htm
    This is the original review for the Kontakt version.

    RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
    Core 2 Duo 4 Gigs of RAM.
    Win XP / Vista 32 and 64 Bit.
    Formats- VST, RTAS, DXI
    Kontakt Player provided.
    GPO $199

    2 GB of orchestral sounds covering all sections. Ensemble builder.

    There are many libraries that offer high quality samples and a few that offer great after sales service but few offer both.
    Gary Garritan is one of the most respected developers in the industry and justly so.
    His contributions to the sampling world are significant and he has set an example when it comes to continuous support and upgrades.

    Whilst the GPO release is both popular and respected it was the previous ‘Garritan Orchestral Strings” library that first created such a buzz.
    It was a dream come true for string writers. The after sales service was second to none, still is.

    In 2003 the GPO library was released and as of today there have been 3 major upgrades. A 4th is imminent I believe.
    GPO’s intent was to provide an affordable yet high quality library that was easy to use without placing a heavy load on resources.
    It’s a perfect partner for a laptop and many use it in this manner.
    Many however use at as their main DAW software on desktops and the results can be amazing!

    Make sure you take a listen to the demos at the Garritan website.

    The strings were taken directly from the famous GOS library but offered to GPO with fewer articulations.

    GPO is not designed to compete with larger libraries such as VSL or EWQLSO.
    What it does though is provide excellent quality samples, great versatility and unsurpassed support.
    However as I said it is capable of producing outstanding results.

    There’s a lot of detailed tutorials available on the net, many directly at the Garritan site.
    The big news in regard to Garritan however is the upcoming release of GOS 2.
    I am not privy to the specific details but I am confident it will be a huge success.

    Potential Drawbacks-
    • None considering the price
    The Benefits of this Library-
    • Ease of use
    • Outstanding value
    • The best support in the business from Garritan AND end users
    • Consistent quality.
    • Low in system resources
    • Ability to produce realistic Mockups
    This is a product that has a place for everybody. It’s perfect for the beginner as it’s all one would need.
    For the seasoned MIDI guru it also has a place. Personally I love laying down ideas with it, especially when I'm traveling.

    For an asking price of $199 this is one you just have to pick up.

    Kirk Hunter Emerald:

    Web Page & Product Information-
    http://www.kirkhunterstudios.com/index.html
    Reviews-
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar07/articles/emerald.htm

    RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
    Intel Core 2 Duo 4 Gigs of RAM
    XP/Vista 32 or 64
    Formats- Kontakt or EXS24
    Kontakt 3.5 for use with Vista 64 Bit
    Emerald $325 Ships on Hard Drive or $179 as a download.

    25+ GB Symphonic Orchestral library covering all four sections.

    I have not used this library but I put it on the list primarily due to its following and low price point.
    Many swear by its quality too and I have heard from many end users that the strings are simply wonderful.
    The strings as well as other sections can be purchased separately from the web site.
    This would also qualify it as a suitable modular system.

    There are four versions available-
    Diamond, Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire.
    Diamond being the high end library offering 65 Gigs and is available as a download for only $399.

    Kirk Hunter has a reputation for excellent after sales service. I have witnessed this first hand as he frequents these forum pages.
    I have heard many compositions by end users utilizing both Emerald and Ruby and the quality is outstanding; you can also listen to demos on his web page.

    I would have to say from what I’ve heard the Strings are the stand out.
    It seems this would be a great blending library too.

    Steinberg:
    Halion Symphonic Orchestra-

    Web Page & Product Information-
    http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vstinstruments/halionorchestra_product.html
    Reviews-
    http://emusician.com/sftinstruments/steinberg_halion_symphonic_orchestra/
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct06/articles/steinberghalion.htm

    RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
    Core 2 Duo 4 Gigs of RAM
    Windows XP 32 / 64 Bit with version 1.5
    Formats- VST, DXi, ReWire as well as stand alone mode
    HSO is now available in a 64 Bit version.
    Price $499

    27 GB Library containing solo, tutti and ensemble instrument sounds in various playing styles and articulations. Covers all 4 sections of the orchestra. No Harp.

    Halion Symphonic Orchestra is a product that is geared toward the mid level market. Both in terms of cost and quality.
    One of its big advantages is that it’s light on resources (when recording in 16 Bits) allowing one to build quite an impressive number of tracks.
    For greater realism one can mixdown to 24 Bits later. This is actually not so unusual given its age.

    Overall this is a fine library with the strings and flutes being the standout.
    Having revisited this library for this post my first impressions seemed to lean toward its uniqueness.
    It’s softer than most other libraries but perhaps it is closest to the Sonivox Strings (Sonic Implants). For me and many end users this is probably a good thing. It’s a good product for background work such as documentary scores and such.

    Ok, here’s my final thoughts on this library.
    I would not consider it as a primary library, not with the offerings today.
    I would however consider it as a supplemental and I have. It’s a great library for blending.

    However, at $500 I would opt for either the Vienna Special Edition or EWQLSO Gold. But you be the judge.
    It’s still a fine product and a worthy member of the orchestral library family.

    IK Multimedia:
    Miroslav Philharmonik-
    Orchestra & Choir Workstation
    (Originally the Miroslav Vitous Sample library)

    Web Page & Product Information-
    http://www.ikmultimedia.com/philharmonik/features/
    Reviews- http://emusician.com/sftinstruments/emusic_ik_multimedia_miroslav_philharmonik/
    http://www.prorec.com/Articles/tabid/109/EntryId/230/The-Miroslav-Vitous-Symphonic-Orchestra-Samples.aspx

    RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
    Core 2 Duo 4 Gigs of RAM
    Windows XP / Vista or later.
    Formats- VST, RTAS
    $399-

    7+ GB of Orchestral sounds. Ensembles, Solo Instruments and orchestral effects.

    This release is based on the original Miroslav Vitous library that was offered oh so many moons ago.
    Very few libraries can claim to have caused such a stir in the industry.
    When this was released many thought that’s it. This is the pinnacle of sampling. At that point they were correct, it was a monumental achievement.

    Although it truly is showing its age it is still a superb product.
    Especially given the low price point.
    The new user interface provided by IK Multimedia (uses the Sample Tank 2 engine) is both pleasant and productive to work with.

    The Miroslav samples have always excelled in their winds and solo instruments.
    I would go as far to say that some patches hold up to some of today's offerings.
    They really are beautiful. For this reason alone the Miroslav Philharmonik would make an excellent supplemental library but it is indeed worthy as a primary given the right application.

    I still use these samples occasionally and I would be surprised if those that own this product do not.

    When IK Multimedia bought the rights to these samples and re programmed them into their own engine a couple of things happened.
    Firstly the integrity of the original sound was preserved and in some regards improved.
    But the new interface and features not to mention price have made this yet again a remarkable product.
    By today’s standards some may see this as aged and not able to hold up to say a Vienna or EWQLSO.
    There is truth to that but I like to think of this collection as well, matured.
    Either way it is indeed THE classic and always will be.

    In the next chapter I will discuss supplemental libraries and building one by way of the modular method.

    Chalfant-
    Last edited by Chalfant; 07-10-2009 at 12:41 AM. Reason: layout
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  2. #2

    Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Hi Chalfant,
    Thanks so much for the detailed presentation of different Sample libraries.
    I would like to add also Harmony Assistant & Virtual Singer Gold sound base as an useful supplemental library.
    Regards
    Windows XP-SP2, IE7, ARIA GPO4, GPO KP2, Kontakt 3, NOTION 3, Amplitube X-GEAR, Overture 4.1, Harmony Assistant 9.5.1e, Virtual Singer, Gold SoundBase 2, OMeR 2.2, PDF to Music 1.2.1d, Miroslav Philharmonik, Sample Tank 2SE, Audacity, MuseScore 0.9.6

  3. #3

    Question Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexBG View Post
    Hi Chalfant,
    Thanks so much for the detailed presentation of different Sample libraries.
    I would like to add also Harmony Assistant & Virtual Singer Gold sound base as an useful supplemental library.
    Regards
    Alex

    You're welcome. Hope you got some use from it.

    As far as the libraries you mentioned, well this post was strictly on professional orchestral libraries that cover only Strings, Winds, Brass and Percussion.

    Think I mentioned them all.
    The others aren't worth mentioning as they don't hold up. IMHO.

    I'm already working on the supplemental post. There's a lot of libraries for that!

    Cheers
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  4. #4

    Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Hi Chalfant,

    Thats a really good summary that will be very helpful to lots of starters.

    One omission ( excuse me if I missed it), in the area of brass, Project Sam are rightly regarded as some of the best samples also, and blend well. I think these are probably still the best brass sections.

    They've been recently updated also, although I only have experience with the older sets.

  5. #5

    Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by upsider View Post
    Hi Chalfant,

    Thats a really good summary that will be very helpful to lots of starters.

    One omission ( excuse me if I missed it), in the area of brass, Project Sam are rightly regarded as some of the best samples also, and blend well. I think these are probably still the best brass sections.

    They've been recently updated also, although I only have experience with the older sets.
    Thanks.

    This post is for "complete" sets only. The individual libraries will be in my next post and Project Sam brass will be in it.
    They are amazing samples.
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  6. #6

    Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Ah- that makes sense. Your guides seem pretty thorough!

  7. #7

    Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Chalfant,

    Not to take away from your valiant effort.

    Is your review on Sonic Implant's based on actual experience? As it reads like you've haven't ever used it. How exactly is it dated? Is it dated compared to GPO, EW or VSL ...or is it about the same age? Was there some revolutionary advancement in recording since it was recorded making it dated? The Brass along with ProjectSam is considered the best out there. How exactly did you come up with your assessment that comes across as a weak point of the collection?
    Sorry, I don't mean to sound harsh, or even argumentative. But it seems like you're giving it low points based on because you don't have it. Am I wrong?

    Wouldn't a potential con for a beginner with VSL be that they have to learn how to mix orchestra? You can't just wing it out of the box like the others.

  8. #8

    Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Very professional post. You should work for Sound On Sound. I own many of the libraries listed and totally agree with your assessment (as if anyone cares what I think).

    Cheers,
    James

  9. #9

    Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Dirk View Post
    Chalfant,

    Not to take away from your valiant effort.

    Is your review on Sonic Implant's based on actual experience? As it reads like you've haven't ever used it. How exactly is it dated? Is it dated compared to GPO, EW or VSL ...or is it about the same age? Was there some revolutionary advancement in recording since it was recorded making it dated? The Brass along with ProjectSam is considered the best out there. How exactly did you come up with your assessment that comes across as a weak point of the collection?
    Sorry, I don't mean to sound harsh, or even argumentative. But it seems like you're giving it low points based on because you don't have it. Am I wrong?

    Wouldn't a potential con for a beginner with VSL be that they have to learn how to mix orchestra? You can't just wing it out of the box like the others.
    Aaron,

    Thanks for your insight.
    Ok, let me try and explain.
    I LOVE the Sonic Implants collection and yes I still use it but.

    This post is focusing on only complete sets. My next will be on individual libraries.
    I personally think the whole collection is a tough sell for many today, primarily due to the cost and age.
    Look, people are concerned about the age of technology.
    The have a tendancy to focus on what's new.
    Me, I don't care.

    I love the Strings and the Winds best of all.
    Yes the Brass is very well done but it's not as usable as the Strings to me.
    I use EWQLSO also but I don't like their Brass either.

    I prefer Project Sam so my preference would be to grab the Strings and Winds as supplementals.

    I still use Miroslav so no, I am not one concerned about any so called advancements or simply using what's current.
    If something is done right it's usable.
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  10. #10

    Re: The New 64 Bit PC DAW Part 3- Orchestral Sample Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by James Thornton View Post
    Very professional post. You should work for Sound On Sound. I own many of the libraries listed and totally agree with your assessment (as if anyone cares what I think).

    Cheers,
    James
    Thanks James,

    SOS is about the best mag out there so that's a compliment
    I think everyone here cares what one has to say, that's the beauty of forums. We don't have to agree as everyone has a different perspective.

    I just wanted to offer a single page (although very long) insight from an end user's perspective.

    When I started this I guess I didn't realize what an undertaking it was.

    Cheers
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

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