I want to share my review of Garritan Instant Orchestra. I have been using it for about a year now and have been loving it since I first purchased it. The main idea of this library is to make the orchestration part of composing easier by grouping different sections of instruments.
I have tried a few sample libraries in my years of composing but Garritan Instant Orchestra has really captured my heart in composing. I use it for everything. The majority of the music created for my game project, Legend of Erthia, uses Garritan Instant Orchestra in the compositions.
The sound quality in my opinions is quite nice. I feel it blends with other libraries quite well and gives that real symphonic orchestra feel.
You get a lot of dynamic control out of this library with the Aria engine. It is very flexible (eqs, reverbs, attack, release, and tons of other controls). I also like the fact that you have a choice to use the different types of expression: mod wheel, controller 11, controller 7, velocity, etc. A lot of the libraries I use don’t use controller 11 which is what I use when I am working with dynamics.
I am not too much of a fan of the piano in this library, for I feel it just seems too non-convincing. The harp on the other hand is absolutely amazing. It is the best harp I have used in any library. NOTE: I am sure the new Garritan Harp library takes lead in this now, but I have not used it.
The brass in GIO are amazing. My favorite patch is the organic brass. It’s so rich, heroic, and powerful. Horns have always been my favorite instrument. GIO has demonstrated quite well with the brass.
The strings are nice as well, rich and warm. They give an old classical feel. I have heard some stuff from demos of higher end string libraries, but my ears like the sound of GIO strings. This is more of a personal thing… I like older sounding things!
The choir is also good, but not quite my favorite. I still like Vienna Symphonic Soprano Choir best. However, GIO choir contains both male and females. If I need to use both, which I have done so in a lot of my Legend of Erthia Compositions, GIO choir makes a great impact.
The wind instruments are okay, but again, I am not a fan of too many wind instruments in any library. So I really can’t place any judgment on the winds. I barely use them in any of my compositions as a section of its own.
Percussion… it is DA stuff! One thing I also really like about Garritan Instant Orchesta is the explosive and powerful percussion in the earth drums and the metal percussion sets. I immediately fell in love with the percussion as soon as I heard it. Real great work here.
The mixed patches are also really great! You get full orchestra and other great orchestral goodies out these. Some of my favorites which drive a good symphonic sound are the slow orchestra patches. I also fancy the evolving orchestra patches.
The effect patches are also a handy addition to GIO. You can create scary, threatening, or just plain weird environments. I have used a few of these in my compositions. They are excellent for atmosphere.
Garritan Instant Orchestra also includes complete ensemble and mood presets which are useful if you are composing for a specific type of setting.
In conclusion, I love Garritan Instant Orchestra and to date it is my favorite library. I use it in all of my projects and including my game, Legend of Erthia which I am still designing. GIO is worth every dollar and will provide you with that nice sounding score. I would recommend this library to pretty much any composer.
My score for Garritan Instant Orchestra is 10/10, although I don’t fancy the piano, the rest of the library makes up for it!
I'd like to also note... I am not an articulation composer. There are libraries specifically for that, but it's not really my interest. GIO handles what I like to do the best and it does a good job at it! Garritan Instant Orchestra is pretty much the heaven of libraries for me. Legend of Erthia has benefited a lot from GIO and will continue to do so.
You are welcome Robert, it really is my pleasure. Thanks for creating an awesome and highly useful sound library. I am looking forward to new products in the future from Garritan, you guys have lived up to your name in quality. I love the Aria engine I feel it is well designed and the copy protection method is very convenient. Thanks for taking an interest in LOE.
NOTE: Sorry for the spelling errors in the review, I tried to go back and edit but for some reason the forum wouldn't let me and it turned up a blank empty reply field.
Alright! I got it spell checked. I was able to paste it in the blank screen again and update it. However, pressing edit initially don't work and still only brought up a blank reply screen with none of the typed text.
Yes, something's wonky with the Forum software - often, not always, but often, when we want to reply with a quote, we're presented with a blank screen. Keep doing the work-arounds, and hopefully it'll be fixed.
Meanwhile, it's great that you're enjoying IO so much Richard. There was a good thing on a recent thread pointing out how well IO and GPO work together - Use IO for those big beds of giant sound, and then use GPO's soloists for the detail work on top. Perfect.
As for the piano, it's listed as "Super Light" - and wasn't really intended as an instrument to be used really. It's there for convenience, like a lot of people noodle ideas for notes first with a piano. This way they have one available without loading another Library or opening another soft synth. The special FX pianos sound cool though, and are usable under the right circumstances.
Woodwinds - Looks like that's another good project for you, Richard. Nothing makes orchestral oriented work soar like some good woodwind action going along with the rest. Well, there's a reason the classical orchestra which we still work with has woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion - there's your full palette.
I'm glad to see IO getting a nice boost, so thanks for posting your thoughts on it, Richard.
Thanks Randy, I am a full supporter of GIO. I am going to be getting the world instruments soon I think I have been planning to for a while, and then after that that new harp library is must. I tested some of GPO through what came with Dimension Pro. I have to admit I like a lot of the solo instruments such a violin, flute, etc... Haven't really played around with the full string though because I generally use the Sonivox ones that come with Dimension Pro.
I watched that video demonstration of GPO and amazing... absolutely amazing. One thing I notice with GPO demos is the music sounds classical and old-like IMO if you know what I mean. I listen to some of the demos of the higher end libraries and I honestly don't like the crispness because it just sounds too modern. Based on the demos GPO sounds like it could be something from an old WWII movie which I like. LOL, I guess it's a personal thing. I create compositions using lo-fi plugins such as Izotope Vinyl. The old feel seems more expressive and emotional to me.
To think about it... I think it was your video and composition of GIO that sold me LOL. The one with the planes in it!
hehehe, um, well what you're describing as "old-like," Richard, is actually just the mellow, controlled sound of a timeless classical orchestra which GPO was designed to be. Pretty much just pure instruments, the way they really sound. No instruments on steroids, no processing.
And that's why I think you'd be best off to get GPO first, ahead of World - which is great for its own use, but to round the basics out in your palette more, I'd go with GPO first.
That is interesting Randy. When you compare two libraries say in my perspective: GIO and EWQLSO - Silver... There is quite the difference in sonar feel. I am not trying to down talk EWQLSO in any regards but I just don't like the sound in most of the instruments.
Pretty much these days I only use that library for the choir in special occasions or the magical metal sounds it came with (it does a real good job there). I also have to note it does come with a good expressive solo violin and I love the double-bow cello. However, again comparing to that old-time classical orchestra... none of it compares to what I have used with GIO.
I went onto LASS site a little while ago, and I wasn't happy with the demos... the Garritan demos sound more... well.. more like you described... natural. I found the demos on the lass site to be empty and hollow with no warmth. I might be talking crazy talk lol, but it really is how I feel, and I think you may have described what I mean to the point: instruments on steroids or processing.
I think you have a good point on the GPO recommendation. However, what inspired me for the world instruments was the Heroes of Might and Magic IV OST. I showed you a video a few months back. The world instruments have a real epic feel when you use them in the way of epic game composing.