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Topic: Best orchestral samples at any price

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  1. #1

    Best orchestral samples at any price

    What do you consider to be the best full orchestral sample library (or pieced together from smaller sets) available today at any price? IOW, if you could have whatever you want and did not have to pay for it, what would you pick?

    -- Martin
    http://www.starbirthmusic.com

  2. #2

    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    I think it depends what you need them for. To render a classical composition to as realistic as possible? Or to create a modern cinematic sound? It's really up to the music you write. And also how many computers you are using. And do you prefer playability over sound (sample collection vs virtual instrument)

    Take for example DVZ Strings. As I understand, they're designed for multi-computer setup.

    Symphobia sounds really Hollywoodish, but seems to be a collection of patches instead of intelligently programmed instrument, which means it requires requires more work to make it sound believable in certain kind of music.

    EastWest is coming out with Hollywood Strings, which incorporates both lots of techniques and probably good programming too, since they've now seen what the current competitors can do.

    I just bought myself a string library, where I was looking for a good balance between programming AND good sound (and especially sound, that I find to be good for my musical style). It happened, that I found them both in one package when I bought the new LA scoring strings (audiobro.com). This library sounds really good, has a good approach of sound blending (they sampled multiple divisis and you can mix them as you wish to achieve the correct size for your ensemble) and it's also very very playable. Of course it doesn't do EVERYTHING perfectly and it doesn't have all the articulations that for example Hollywood Strings will have, but LASS is also expanding and we'll probably see a complementary LASS 2 to get what the first one doesn't have.

    So I would honestly say that LASS with its current price is REALLY worth the money. I can't comment on the multi-computer libraries and even if LASS need two to perform with all the capabilities it has, I've been using it happily with my MacBook Pro. It also has really convincing solo strings as a side product.

    Of the future products, I would keep my eye on Hollywood Strings and Garritan Orchestral Strings 2.

    My opinion is based on demos and product information of all the products mentioned (except the future products) and personal experience with LASS.
    Film Composer - www.juhanalehtiniemi.com
    My latest project: Our first indie pop -single, produced in Ableton Live, available also on iTunes and Amazon
    Mac Pro 6-core 3.33GHz

  3. #3
    Senior Member Heckler's Avatar
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    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    Quote Originally Posted by mschiff View Post
    What do you consider to be the best full orchestral sample library (or pieced together from smaller sets) available today at any price? IOW, if you could have whatever you want and did not have to pay for it, what would you pick?

    -- Martin

    I guess Vienna is the best out there....doesn't really float my boat though...it needs proper wetness to come alive....The vienna Clarinet however is gorgeous in every way!

    I would give anything to own Symphobia....The Brass is AMAZING!!! the string staccatos and pizzicatos are also amazing....not to mention the pretty woodwinds and all those gorgeous effects... its truly the biggest sound out there and along with True Strike 1 & 2 its practically perfect...

    Alongside that Ive never heard anything more convincing than Broadway Big Band and LASS...
    BBB is for jazz and big band styles....People won't ask you what Sample library you used....they'll ask you who was the players, or how on earth did you manage such a perfect recording...It even fools real players at times Ive heard....

    Then LASS....Short and sweet...the most beautiful strings you'll ever hear....

    Listening to demos of GPO4 im rather impressed with the trombones and trumpets...they truly come alive with some tweaking and reverb...And its really a huge update to GPO3... New engine and all....really affordable

    Then we come to East West....Now they have been around for a long time so they know what they are talking about....I dont know....but those solo strings of theirs are really appealing to me....You can basically do mockups with EWQLSO with a mindset of "the sky is the limit"

    Ive been told that the Kontakt 3 library orchestral instruments are just as good...

    Then we get to a library that to me has alot of Character and style....CHRIS HEIN HORNS....i dont own it..but from listening to the demos, i can hear that i will be able to tweak this library to my liking to get the sound im after...Its one of those libraries which like real instruments, sounds different with each player...

    Hope you find what you are looking for....but if you are really looking for the full works + easier and quicker workflow look nowhere else than Symphobia.


  4. #4

    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    I would also agree that Project SAM libraries seem to be very well made. Symphobia is my go-to library as a starting point even if I'm filling in the music with other libraries.

    LASS is also truly amazing considering what it can do. I also love it.

    I would say for the money, EWQLSO is an excellent library. Considering all the articulations you get, it sounds very good (especially when using notation programs like Sibelius).

    VSL for me is very good but I use only some of it for specific purposes- mostly the performance legato on winds and brass. the dry sound does put me off when writing film scores. For concert pieces, I add a bit of convo 'verb and I'm good to go.

    I will also plug Garritan's GPO4 which for the money is awesome!

  5. #5

    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    Quote Originally Posted by karvasika View Post
    I think it depends what you need them for. To render a classical composition to as realistic as possible? Or to create a modern cinematic sound? It's really up to the music you write. And also how many computers you are using. And do you prefer playability over sound (sample collection vs virtual instrument)
    To render a classical composition as realistic as possible. Number of computers is not an issue. As many as it takes.

    -- Martin
    http://www.starbirthmusic.com

  6. #6

    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    Oh what a question!...

    If money is not interesting then buy all what is on the market!

    But it needs much time to know what a library can do best and what not.
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  7. #7
    Senior Member Heckler's Avatar
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    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    Quote Originally Posted by mschiff View Post
    To render a classical composition as realistic as possible. Number of computers is not an issue. As many as it takes.

    -- Martin

    Big orchestra.....Vienna, LASS + Symphobia <--Thats a must
    Small orchestra....Vienna will do the trick...just get a descent reverb package like Altiverb.

    Only these will get you the desired realism....
    however...they require some skill to work magic with and if you are just a hobbyist, unless you are filthy rich, it would be a waste to buy these without making money using them...

    You're looking at about $10K to $15K here....

  8. #8

    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    Quote Originally Posted by Heckler View Post
    Big orchestra.....Vienna, LASS + Symphobia <--Thats a must
    Small orchestra....Vienna will do the trick...just get a descent reverb package like Altiverb.....
    Oops, I am not sure about this!

    Have you ever played the EW Platinum, Sam brass or the new LASS?

    Peter Siedlaczek`s String Essentials 2 are also fine, and with a little money I would start with just GPO.
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  9. #9

    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    Don't forget VSL MIR ! You need a monster computer but it seems very nice ! (don't have yet but later this year for sure) MIR + Vienna Orchestral Library = wow but $$ too.

    VSL MIR Pro will be able to use any third party VSTi or external audio signal (not sure for the second point but I thing I've read this somewhere).

    Now, don't loose your time on mix !
    Mathieu Laprise
    www.studiosonomax.com

  10. #10

    Re: Best orchestral samples at any price

    Quote Originally Posted by SyQuEsT View Post
    Don't forget VSL MIR ! You need a monster computer but it seems very nice ! (don't have yet but later this year for sure) MIR + Vienna Orchestral Library = wow but $$ too.

    VSL MIR Pro will be able to use any third party VSTi or external audio signal (not sure for the second point but I thing I've read this somewhere).

    Now, don't loose your time on mix !
    But I think MIR is only a compromise. When you know exactly what is needed to make a mix best I am sure that you can do it better with your mixing-experience.

    But, it is interesting!
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

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