I have become fortunate enough to obtain AO Complete Giga @ the amazing discount of 50% off.
I want to dive head first but I am troubled by mixed reviews. I thank all of you in advance for taking the time to reply to the first time I presented the AO questions.
I have read that some feel, AO has the worse strings ever. I have read that there is too far of a leap between ff. and pp. dynamics... I have read that the sustained string samples are not the strong point of this library. ETC.
I have read that the 3 flute section is badly out of tune. (solo flute is out of tune, big time on the prosamples version) and that it was fixed in the Upgrade97 version. (why do we have to pay for the mistake)?
Brass: AO vs. QLB? QLB is high priced so that kind of rules out replacing AO Brass
Percussion: I have Ult. Orch. Perc. Don\'t care about AO percussion
Here is my question:
If you were to avoid AO Complete and build the orchestra independently what would you replace AO with and why? Please keep in mind that I intend to blend what I already own. Or, would you jump at AO Complete for $447.00 ? ? ?
Thanks a million again everyone.
Here is what I currently use:
Ultimate Orchestral Percussion
Extended Classical Choir
Miroslav Vitous Mini
Pure Samples Version of QLB Orchestra.
Pure Samples Version of AO (classical orchestra)
I can\'t advise you as I have none of those libs, but on a semi-tangent note...
Francis, WHERE did you get the AO set at 50% discount? That\'s an amazing price. I was looking into Ultimate Strings, but few were complimentary towards it, so I thought of saving up for the AO set, though it has flaws, it\'s the cheapest alternative for a full set.
And while we\'re on the topic, the full AO set\'s strings, per your quote of others, inferior to Ultimate Strings?
Thanks for the reply. I\'d rather not say too much about the discount. (No flames please )
I really enjoy Ultimate Strings. It is a bit synthe but its very classy and usefull for the price. Is AO strings Giga the same as
AO complete? I mean, are they the same strings from the complete set, or?
Hmm...I wish I could find the place where you\'re getting such a great price, this cash-strapped musician-to-be would indeed welcome that price range. Maybe once you buy it, you can divulge? ...regardless, fair enough.
I\'d like to know the differences between AO set\'s strings and the AO strings as well.
As for UStrings, I agree. I listened to the demo, and personally I liked it, but AO set\'s other orchestral instruments would come in quite handy, especially for someone without any other library, such as myself.
I wish I could be of more help, other than echoing your questions. Heh.
I use the AO strings a lot, but not \"out of the box\". The ff strings are just that, without any variation. So I played with the envelopes and filters and actually came up with a very useful set of strings.
Ditto with the brass. I don\'t use the winds at all for the above reason. I wasn\'t able to get a sound that wasn\'t grating.
It\'s true there is a wide difference between ff and pp. These can be worked around to a degree by fiddling with the envelopes and riding the expression controller.
The giga set of AO has a lot of keyswitching features as well as some crossfading features. You cn use the mod wheel to cross fade between pp and ff samples (actually its a fade up of ff over pp)
I agree that with some filtering and subtle editing/prgoramming work. AO can sound better.
I did some tweaking with Ultimate Strings and really liked what I was getting out of it with a lot of EQ (way too much bow noise sometimes). The marcattos are REALLY tight and aggressive, so much better than AO IMO at the power... BUT since they ARE so powerfull they are easier to recognize as samples in \"repetative\" phrases.
I still htink having AO is a good thing. Whether or not its my first choice of samples anymore.
I think what I am attracted to most are the performance samples or effects found in all families. Stuff that is insane to sequence. (crescendos/glissandos/scrapes/scale runs)
Also the fact that the orchestra, is claimed to be, covered.
I really treat all of this with a sound designers approach. I tend to blend and manipulate / merge / combine. I don\'t compose classical -- more so a synth E blend. Like Randy Edelman.
Gettysburg / Last of the Mohican\'s
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Francis Belardino: Ugh, I had less stress buying my first home <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
No need to be stressed over this. If you have the opportunity to get AO for half price, it\'s probably not an offer that will last forever; so it\'s better to get it now (and if you\'re disappointed, you can rationalize that it only cost half price) rather than kick yourself in the future when you decide you really should have AO and missed the opportunity to get it for half the cost!
But more to the point, AO is a good thing to have. For most instruments, if you have a newer, better library which covers the instrument(s), then AO won\'t be your first choice. However, it does cover quite a bit so it will fill the holes where you don\'t have anything better. Plus, when you are working with ensembles, you can layer your first-choice samples with AO for a bigger sound. Even as you accumulate better libraries it will be nice to have AO around.
Supposedly the tuning problems with the flutes were specific to early versions of the library (such as the Akai version--on which the Prosamples version is likely based) and were improved with later versions (such as the Giga version). In my limited personal experience with this library I haven\'t noticed egregious errors in the flute tuning (though I did find one of the samples--I think it was near A440Hz--in the forte violin sustains to be just terrible), but as always I invite others to correct me if I\'m wrong.
The strings are indeed weak. I should mention that for synthy stuff the \"[AO str] strings soft sustains.gig\" is quite nice. But you can layer AO strings with other strings. Since you already have ultimate strings, that\'s something you can do right away. AO strings are also improved by layering with Dan Dean\'s solo strings (which are beautiful, by the way, though they are limited in use as solo strings by the lack of articulations, so we are eagerly awaiting the next version that Dan has in mind).
You mentioned the Upgrade97 version, which reminds me that the AO harp only includes chords and glissandi. (Harp multisamples were included in the upgrade97.) If you want an inexpensive but very nice harp, you might consider the XSample harp.
I think the difference between the AO strings set and the strings in the complete AO is that the solo strings in the AO strings set lack some of the articulations and all of the phrases that are included for the solo strings in the full set. This isn\'t a huge loss, but I do _not_ recommend buying the AO strings set, as it is not particularly useful on its own--not because of reduced articulations of the solo strings but because the strings just aren\'t that good. Perhaps you should buy a better string library now (unfortunately I haven\'t used Ultimate Strings so I can\'t make specific recommendations) if you just need strings, and then later on if you do get the complete AO you can layer the AO strings with your nicer string library.
I hope these comments have been helpful, but I also welcome disagreement (or agreement ) as I\'m certainly not an expert on these libraries.