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Topic: Rate these orchestral libraries

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  1. #1

    Rate these orchestral libraries

    So just for fun and research too, I have a question about orchestral libraries today. This is bearing in mind that I am a novice with this end of things and while I get around with basic MIDI inputting and editing, I have very little experience using cc to make for more believable performances.

    Anyway, I am just curious where Garritan Personal Orchestra stands these days, now that so many other libraries are competing to be the King Daddy of virtual symphony?

    I understand that between something like VSL etc and GPO there is a $1000 or more difference......... so GPO is great value for money and it seems unfair to pit it against VSL or what have you. Still, how much difference is there really?

    So.........

    Question 1. How does GPO stand up compared to these. What order would you rate these and where would you put GPO?

    No particular order.......

    LA Scoring Strings

    Garritan Personal Orchestra

    East West Hollywood Strings

    Symphobia

    Vienna Symphonic Library

    East West Symphonic Orchestra

    Feel free to add any I missed


    Also, other than individual sample quality, how many layers there are, how it is mic'd etc etc etc....... performance and technique ability varies from library to library. Some libraries have a Round Robin approach to articulations, slurs, technique etc or another library may have recorded performance differences built in to the patch so as you input the notes it automatically plays it a certain way or maybe articulations and cc messages have to be input manually, mod wheel etc etc

    Question 2. How does GPO stack up in terms of the ease of inputting the notes and CC messages into a DAW for realistic performance, ESPECIALLY with a view to the novice to intermediate user?

    Question 3.How well does GPO work with notation software like Finale or Sibelius, compared to the others.

    Lastly, they all seem to have some proprietary "player". The Aria, PLAY, Kontakt etc etc etc.

    Question 4.How does the Aria player stack up against the others?
    2.66GHz MacPro Quad|6GB RAM|OSX10.6.4| 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro|4GB RAM|OSX 10.6.4|Pro Tools 9 w/CPTK|Digi 002R, Eleven Rack, MBox2 Mini|Garritan-GPO4, J&BB| Reason 4|Spectrasonics-Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian|Drumcore3, Discrete Drums|Toontrack-Superior Drummer, EZ Drummer|Sibelius 6|Izotope-Ozone4, RX2|String Studio|EastWest-Silk, VOP, Symphonic Choirs, RA, Gypsy, Stormdrum2, Fab Four|Reaper|

  2. #2

    Re: Rate these orchestral libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Lister Coleman View Post
    Question 1. How does GPO stand up compared to these. What order would you rate these and where would you put GPO?
    I have not used all of the libraries in your list, and I am adding KH Diamond and the original GOS, but my order would look something like this:

    1) LA Scoring Strings - the quality of the recording appeals to me, I just like it, that's all, and the scripts are amazing!
    2) GOS - again I'd say the quality of the recordings really appeals to me, and with MIDI Maestro and GS it could do some pretty cool tricks.
    3) KH Diamond - probably the biggest motivator for me was the fact that there are three different sizes of ensembles available. I also love the way he recorded the samples. I am still sorting out all the scripting, that part could be a bit friendlier.
    4) Garritan Personal Orchestra - there is just something about the way that this library is built that I still really like. It is simple to use, it works really well, it provides all the basic instruments and articulations, it works well in both sequenced and notated settings, and the price, what's not to like. In fact, I generally advise people that ask to start with GPO.
    5) East West Hollywood Strings - it's pretty, but it isn't a sound that I'd use a lot, and it's a bit of a resource hog. Not a good starter, and probably useful only for folks with large rendering farms.
    6) Vienna Symphonic Library - if they simplified the organization a bit I might be more interested. As it stands I still don't really know what goes with what. Too bad too, as the demos I've heard are glorious.
    7) East West Symphonic Orchestra - the East West and Quantum Leap stuff is a mixed bag. I still use QL Brass a lot, but I have not invested in any of their other libraries yet.
    8) Symphobia - I have not used it.
    [/QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lister Coleman View Post
    Question 2. How does GPO stack up in terms of the ease of inputting the notes and CC messages into a DAW for realistic performance, ESPECIALLY with a view to the novice to intermediate user?
    I think GPO is one of the easiest libraries to use, once you become accustomed to their conventions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lister Coleman View Post
    Question 3.How well does GPO work with notation software like Finale or Sibelius, compared to the others.
    If you limit yourself to the sounds included with Finale it's brilliant. If you are willing to do a little more work Finale works quite well with the entire library, but it is a bit of work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lister Coleman View Post
    Question 4.How does the Aria player stack up against the others?
    I like the Aria player, I like the idea, I like the simplicity, I like the SFZ format. I understand that Garritan the company needed to get out from under the thumb of another developer. I still don't like having to learn and deal with multiple sample players, and getting rid of Kontakt is not an attractive option!

    Hope that helps...
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  3. #3

    Re: Rate these orchestral libraries

    Thanks for the in depth reply Bill. I agree about the loss of Kontakt.

    Can you answer something. I seem to recall that with a single instance of Kontakt, I could load several sounds...say a flute, violin and a horn....assign each one to the same MIDI channel and play the controller and get all 3 sounds.

    I don't seem to be able to do this with Aria. I load the instruments and assign each MIDI channel to 1 say but I can only actuate one at a time. The little white button under each channel button will only stay lit for one channel.

    Is there a way around this? I would love to be able to layer sounds.

    Symphobia seems amazing and it gets raves from everyone from what I see. I think it is more aimed at soundtrack type stuff, which is what I am interested in, rather than serious classical arrangements. Go have a listen to it, Symphobia 1...see what you think. Supposedly users are a little disappointed in Symphobia 2 as it really is an addition to the first one rather than a killer library on it's own...and is also very expensive. So while it is very good, as an extension it is too expensive in some people's books.

    Thanks again. This board seems to have just plummeted as far as frequency of posting. I could be wrong but it used to be way more busy from what I can tell.
    2.66GHz MacPro Quad|6GB RAM|OSX10.6.4| 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro|4GB RAM|OSX 10.6.4|Pro Tools 9 w/CPTK|Digi 002R, Eleven Rack, MBox2 Mini|Garritan-GPO4, J&BB| Reason 4|Spectrasonics-Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian|Drumcore3, Discrete Drums|Toontrack-Superior Drummer, EZ Drummer|Sibelius 6|Izotope-Ozone4, RX2|String Studio|EastWest-Silk, VOP, Symphonic Choirs, RA, Gypsy, Stormdrum2, Fab Four|Reaper|

  4. #4

    Re: Rate these orchestral libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Lister Coleman View Post
    Thanks for the in depth reply Bill. I agree about the loss of Kontakt.

    Can you answer something. I seem to recall that with a single instance of Kontakt, I could load several sounds...say a flute, violin and a horn....assign each one to the same MIDI channel and play the controller and get all 3 sounds.

    I don't seem to be able to do this with Aria. I load the instruments and assign each MIDI channel to 1 say but I can only actuate one at a time. The little white button under each channel button will only stay lit for one channel.

    Is there a way around this? I would love to be able to layer sounds.
    I may be misunderstanding you, or just not thinking clearly, but I think I do that now... can't remember not being able to do that. When I get back to the cave I'll write down the steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lister Coleman View Post
    Symphobia seems amazing and it gets raves from everyone from what I see.<snip>
    The demos I've heard are wonderful, and I'd love to get my hands on it to drive it around the block a bit, but it strikes me as counter-intuitive to me. Mostly, it seems that it is a sound design tool, and I LOVE to do sound design anyway, so that's probably a big part of the reason I haven't chased it down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lister Coleman View Post
    Thanks again. This board seems to have just plummeted as far as frequency of posting. I could be wrong but it used to be way more busy from what I can tell.
    I think that's true, and I think there are lots of good reasons for it...
    - Garritan has not released anything new, nor even threatened to, in quite some time. New products, and the questions that they generate, are the lifeblood of any forum.
    - This is probably the least antagonistic place around, and yet even it falls prey to the internet anonymity problem from time to time, and lately it seems to spring up more frequently. I know there are threads I steer clear of for just that reason.
    - It is very product centric. Now I've been a 'student' of the internet since long before the world wide web, and I've watched communities come and go. I think that making a forum product specific is a double-edged sword, and right now, well, they are on the wrong edge.

    That leaves the budding composer with a difficult challenge, do you go to a forum that is populated with working composers? There is one I know of, and which the moderators will censor if I try to type the name, where there is a reasonable acceptance of newcomers. Others I've visited leave a lot to be desired.

    The recording forums are subject to so much insane nonsense, from personal attacks to outright fiction (I still raise a flag when some idiot suggests defeating safety ground to solve noise problems, but then I get flamed, and I know it, and so I just don't go back<G>!) I still have not been able to figure out why these particular forums are subject to so much fiction!

    And then there are the other product specific forums. There is a list server for Finale that still has a terrific intelligence to noise ratio. The forums for the Cakewalk (wonder if that'll get censored<G>) products tend to be some of the better ones, but about this time of year the majority of the traffic is about the next version... yawn!

    So I don't know what to suggest... the crew hear is talented, knowledgable, and very generous with their time and talent. Ask questions and I think you'll get good answers... eventually<G>...

    Have fun!
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  5. #5

    Re: Rate these orchestral libraries

    I actually have been coming here for a long time and have owned GPO going back to GPO Studio days. I think I was on Pro Tools 4 or 5 then.

    I agree with what you have said about forums. I belong to a very private forum that is so "maintained" by the owners and they are so touchy about anything that might offend anyone, that the threads have become mechanical in a sense. The posts are mundane and boring and there is an obvious move by the mods and create posts to keep it going. Thread after thread with Youtube links to certain players mostly classic stuff.

    But then again the other side of the coin is equally disturbing. There are so many people filled with rage and hatred it seems that is just bubbling under the surface and it does not take much to send them over the edge. Also all the "experts" that hide behind the veil of anonymity that the web provides that spew out such awful advice and information or who tout themselves as having ability they do not.

    A way to put the brakes on these folks is to ask them to post some of their music for everyone to listen to or provide a link to their professional website.

    Anyway, thanks...I will go look up the KH Diamond library. I had not heard of it.
    2.66GHz MacPro Quad|6GB RAM|OSX10.6.4| 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro|4GB RAM|OSX 10.6.4|Pro Tools 9 w/CPTK|Digi 002R, Eleven Rack, MBox2 Mini|Garritan-GPO4, J&BB| Reason 4|Spectrasonics-Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian|Drumcore3, Discrete Drums|Toontrack-Superior Drummer, EZ Drummer|Sibelius 6|Izotope-Ozone4, RX2|String Studio|EastWest-Silk, VOP, Symphonic Choirs, RA, Gypsy, Stormdrum2, Fab Four|Reaper|

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