It was a good review overall - I think AO is a good workhorse library, but it definitely needs supplementing to make up for its weak spots. And if I ever get *all* its weak spots covered, I\'ll probably have no need for AO any more! But that\'s a long way off.
You\'re asking about the solo cello? Unlike the violin, there\'s no separate \"expressive\" patch for it, and I find the playing pretty lifeless. It\'s ok as long as it\'s not exposed as a solo.
This was my first library! I still use it in conjunction with other sections today.
Here\'s my take on it. Even though there are libararies out there that sound better and are more realistic in every section this is still a very good workhorse. I would like to see the price lowered a little to reflect the changes in the technology but at around $495 it should be a good buy....heck, I paid $999 for mine- and that was on sale!!
In recap....yes, it works very well with other libraries but doesn\'t quite stand on it\'s own anymore....
1. I find it useful to blend AO Strings with Ultimate Strings - it covers some of the deficiencies, bad samples, etc. in AO. (I don\'t like Ultimate Strings at all on its own, except for the violas.) Of course GOS will make this totally unnecessary!
2. Have noticed no problems with hiss, very slight bow noise (not disturbing to my ears). (Some of the Ultimate Strings patches have ridiculous amounts of bow noise IMO.)
3. I would say the ensemble strings give you a range from medium-brittle to medium-warm. Others would probably describe them differently. The solo strings are pretty variable. The violin has a fairly nice expressive patch, the viola is right in the middle, the cello is downright anemic.
4. Haven\'t noticed any problems with the flute tuning. I\'d say the flute is one of the more useful WW patches in this set.
5. The brasses are good for slow passages; it\'s pretty hard to get anything punchy out of them. The trombones are especially sleepy-sounding. The special-purpose patches (mutes etc.) aren\'t very useful at all, IMO.
6. Not quite sure what you mean here - there are a few crescendo patches that I\'ve found good use for; I haven\'t used any of the effects patches.
7. Key switching is a strength of this library; it\'s on most patches. Many use mod wheel to crossfade dynamics etc.
8. The audio quality seems ok to me, not exceptional.
9. Romantic and mournful - yes, it\'s pretty good for that. $895 ouch? Yep. Though I don\'t think there\'s a better value out there if you want a general-purpose orchestral library.
10. I think the solo oboe is very nice. The harp is so limited it doesn\'t belong on the set at all, IMO.
Hope that helps!
[This message has been edited by ursatz (edited 07-29-2001).]