I don\'t mean that question to be rude or offensive. I\'m starting out as a composer for TV mostly, coming at it from a player\'s perspective. My experience is mostly in live jazz, some recording.
I\'d just like to know what\'s _really_ required to make a living as a sample-based, orchestral composer, for TV at this point, eventually for film. I\'ve heard a lot of music composed and recorded using samples, and frankly, its sonic quality and realism often leave a lot to be desired.
So I\'d really like to know, from those of you who make livings as \'electronic\' composers, what equipment do I need to make world-class, no-excuses sample-based orchestral music that will sell even to the most demanding producers?
I think its possible to do some very amazing work with software and samples. Its all about learning how to work with them. Just having softwre or samples is not enough. I\'ve finally come aroud to focusing on my sequencer and composing skills. One can always compose on paper if you know how, but making it sound right (and one does it) is completely related to \"knowing\" your tools. No one can tell you what software you\'ll need,..however we might be able to help you get specific sounds/mixes/tones you\'re looking for. Or what works for us regarding specific questions.
There isn\'t a single synth, sampler, or library set which would work for every composer.
Everyone\'s idea of \'sampled orchestra\' is also skewed depending on their needs.
At the same time, there are a few pieces of gear which most of us agree are good starting points.
Most of us (naturally) find the Gigasampler\'s \'no ram limitation\' a major plus. If you go with it, dedicate an entire PC to it rather than make it work in the same hardware as the sequencer and audio recorder.
If you don\'t want a softsampler, Emu\'s samplers are pretty much the industry darling - but they aren\'t the cheapest. You\'ll need to maximise your polyphony (forget 64 voices), and ram (at least 128 for orchestral stuff).
If you want to augment the sampler with rom based sample players, I\'ve always been pretty happy with the Roland JV series (1080, 2080, 3080, 5080). Expansion cards like Orchestral 1 and 2 are where the bread and butter is to be found. Emu\'s Proteus 2000 can also be expanded with good cards. Cards aren\'t cheap - but neither are CD roms.
As far as CD rom library goes, the Advanced Orchestra CD set seems to be widely used, although few regard it as being definitive. (In fact, there isn\'t a definitive orchestral library).
Good remarks are also made about the Kirk Hunter strings and Miroslav libraries.
QL Brass gets mostly good raps.
The Steinway B piano CD gets good comments.
DS Sounds Ultimate Orchestral Percussion Library gets raves from all who\'ve bought it.
Drums and Percusson? Horses for courses. There are too many different styles, and well done libraries out there to name just one or two. Keep in mind that Gigastudio\'s \'no ram limit\' has designers reworking their sample layouts to take advantage of a larger sonic pallet. Gigasampler versions of libraries are able to offer more options than their older counterparts. (more simultaneous sounds, more velocity layers, generally more \'realistic\' instruments).
Sequencers? You name it - Cubase, Cakewalk, Logic seem to be the top three. They will all do a professional job.
I almost never finish an \'orchestral\' job with only samplers. You\'d be amazed at how much realism you can lend to a piece by simply getting a couple of live players to lead the sampled ensemble. When money is an issue, this is the only way to go.
I\'ve probably irritated a few fellow members by ignoring some obvious library inclusions, or not mentioning good monitors or whatever, but it\'s 10:45 pm, my ten year old daughter has just broken my wife\'s nose (it\'s her birthday too..), and I\'ve got to get dressed and head off to the medical centre.