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Busdriver
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#1
7th December 2012
Old 7th December 2012
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EWQL/LASS/VSL/first library 1-2k budget

Hey there,

i'm going to purchase my first base library and need your advice.

Until now i had the chance to try Garritan/Miroslav Philarmonik/Symphobia.

I'm looking for a good base library for films/commercials/games scoring.

I looked on LASS-EWQL and VSL and cant really make a choice.

I'm attracted by EWQL complete composer collection.
with

-Symphonic orchestra platinum plus
-Ministry of rock
-Symphonic choirs bundle
-Goliath
-Stormdrum 2
-Silk
-Ra
-Fab four
-Gipsy

All for around 1000$
It looks quite polyvalent and enough to react to a lot of client needs.

Their hollywood series sound amazing too (Strings,brass&woodwinds).
But it's more expensive and i don't know if owning those 3 would be enough as a solid base. 1440$ without VAT

Lass seems quite good too but the budget would be 1000$ for strings only.
Is it worth it? What should i pick to complete it?

And VSL is very expensive and i can't figure what i would need for a solid base in their numerous instruments. Their collection is huge.

Any advice?
#2
8th December 2012
Old 8th December 2012
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Hi there Busdriver.

I think you're looking at all the right kind of libraries. Which are all good and have their own certain merits.

The Hollywood Strings / Woodwind / Brass from East West are amazing and a massive step up from the Symphonic orchestra stuff but as you rightly point out the thing to bear in mind is that you will only end up with straight ahead orchestral sounds (and no percussion either) whereas with the composer collection it gives you a lot of additional flavors with Silk and Ra etc.

Its also worth considering that the Hollywood series is pretty heavy on the CPU and memory side of things, plus they are massive libraries so you need to have pretty big and fast hard drives to play them from. So its probably worth having a look at the system requirements section carefully.

Personally I find the VSL stuff a little too clean and a little emotionless. But they are currently about to release a new set of strings called Dimension Strings which look really promising, plus they are doing an early bird offer at the moment. However I think they have only just completed the violins at the moment and the rest will follow in the new year.

Project Sam do an "orchestral essentials" bundle which is essentially elements taken from their main libraries. I don't have this so I can't completely vouch for it but I do have their main libraries and they are great plus it gives you a full range of orchestral stuff including percussion. The project sam libraries definitely lean towards a very "big sound".

Also another set of sounds that are worth taking a look at are from spitfire audio. In particular the Albion libraries.

What kind of music are you intending to write is it predominantly orchestral based or will you be using other elements as well?
Busdriver
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8th December 2012
Old 8th December 2012
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Hello Stoo,

thanks a lot for your reply.

I'd like to write more orchestral music but it's not the only side i'm asked for.
I need to be able to compose a wide range of music. That's why the Complete composer collection from EWQL is interesting as you stated.
But as you seem to confirm, the hollywood libraries seems far better than SO for orchestral music. I guess that i need the Composer collection to start. It seems to provide the base that i need.
Then i'll add some top notch libraries for orchestral stuff.

If i had to buy those additional libraries right now, i'll go for brass & woodwinds first, they seem to be the worst part in generic symphonic libraries. Would it be a good choice?

Also, i read somewhere that some users had issues with EWQL softwares, anyone has feedback on that?

Spitfire audio sounds good but it seems that they provide a lot of loops which i don't find usefull/rewarding. I don't really get this "new" approach of scoring librarians giving composers premade stuff.
#4
8th December 2012
Old 8th December 2012
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I'd suggest checking out the Hollywood Strings and Brass GOLD editions. I think they are only about $250 each - or thereabouts until the end of the year.
Busdriver
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8th December 2012
Old 8th December 2012
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Hello DrBill,

right, i only checked the platinum or diamond editions.

Has anyone tried and can tell the difference between gold and platinum/diamond?
I mean, does the thing found in plat/diam really miss in gold?
How easy is it to upgrade from gold to better editions?
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8th December 2012
Old 8th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busdriver View Post
Hello DrBill,

right, i only checked the platinum or diamond editions.

Has anyone tried and can tell the difference between gold and platinum/diamond?
I mean, does the thing found in plat/diam really miss in gold?
How easy is it to upgrade from gold to better editions?
Upgrading is easy. I have been told that the gold has all the articulations, but only ONE mic position (probably the one you would use anyway) and is 16bit instead of 24. I've heard it's a decent compromise that won't hold you back. It's smaller size is actually an advantage for me. I have LASS, Symphobia, Cinebrass, some Vienna, and a TON of other libraries and I plan on getting both those Gold editions this year.
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8th December 2012
Old 8th December 2012
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Fun fact:

at the moment purchasing HBG & HSG in bundle= 680€
Purchasing separately= 480€

The more you know....

Anyway, i think it's a good advice, i'll lean toward brass & woodwinds as i said, i seem to find strings sounding better in general and will probably need that extra quality for wdwnds & brass.

Note that the upgrade is very expensive compared to the sales goind on now.
#8
9th December 2012
Old 9th December 2012
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stoo ster uk is offline
The deals on the EW Hollywood libraries at the moment look great. I probably use these libraries the most out of all the others for larger orchestral stuff so in my opinion it's definitely worth taking advantage of those discounted prices!!
Busdriver
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9th December 2012
Old 9th December 2012
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Ah, another question.
Are the solo instruments good in EWQL? Or is it more for massive sections?
#10
10th December 2012
Old 10th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busdriver View Post
Ah, another question.
Are the solo instruments good in EWQL? Or is it more for massive sections?
From a sound quality standpoint, the solo instruments in EWQL are the same as the sections. Generally, I think you have less artics, but don't hold me to that.
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10th December 2012
Old 10th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Generally, I think you have less artics
Than in...? The sections or than in another library?
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10th December 2012
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I would say, it really depends, how much time you wanna invest in the "sound" of your orchestra.
I own Lass, HS Diamond (I bought a whole new computer for HS) Adagio Violins, Spitfire ALbion Loegria and know a good bit about Cinematic Strings.
You can get with all these libs very good results, if you have enough time to invest.

I do most of my stuff at the moment with Albion and Loegria, which are soundwise fantastic and very easy to play (perform) Also Cinematic Strings are good to play, but more heavy on the cpu.
So, if you need to be quick, Spitfire or CS,
if you need lots of detail, then have a look at the big ones.
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10th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busdriver View Post
Than in...? The sections or than in another library?
Than in EWQL
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10th December 2012
Old 10th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosi View Post
I would say, it really depends, how much time you wanna invest in the "sound" of your orchestra.
I own Lass, HS Diamond (I bought a whole new computer for HS) Adagio Violins, Spitfire ALbion Loegria and know a good bit about Cinematic Strings.
You can get with all these libs very good results, if you have enough time to invest.

I do most of my stuff at the moment with Albion and Loegria, which are soundwise fantastic and very easy to play (perform) Also Cinematic Strings are good to play, but more heavy on the cpu.
So, if you need to be quick, Spitfire or CS,
if you need lots of detail, then have a look at the big ones.
I'd like to have something which will sound good quick enough even if there is some work to do. I produce electronic music too and know some things about music engineering, but i prefer spending time composing & arranging than trying to make the libraries sound right.

The most important factor being having enough option in the library i'll choose. I hate composing in the way my library will be efficient with, or composing from my library capacities, instead of composing and using my library to bring my composition to life.

Thanks a lot to you & Jeff.
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13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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for any hollywood string/brass/ww from WW you should read about their PC specs. there is a LOT of people not happy with how much cpu/ram they need and the need to buy a SSD drive to be able to use them w/o crackle and pops. also the amount of negative reviews of PLAY sampler.

i dont like the EW bundle. but i like Ra and silk.

i would look into separate libraries. like from 8dio and soundiron. requiem light is amazing choir.
8dio, soundiron and cinesamples are much better companies.
cinematic strings seems to be gaining trackion and has good reviews of the sound.
LASS is good but expensive. and only strings. it will sound similar to vsl , very dry and upfront. good to add your sfx and make it sound how u want it. take more time though.

project sam is great but expensive imo. their essential bundle is good though.

albion is good as well but its more for filmy side of things. not pop or other styles since its soo nice and smooth sounding.
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13th December 2012
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[QUOTE=gsilbers;8537001]for any hollywood string/brass/ww from WW you should read about their PC specs. there is a LOT of people not happy with how much cpu/ram they need and the need to buy a SSD drive to be able to use them w/o crackle and pops. also the amount of negative reviews of PLAY sampler.

i dont like the EW bundle. but i like Ra and silk.

There is no denying that the Hollywood series runs best on a PC from an SSD. I built one a year ago for app. $1600 including a 256 GB SSD, which I run a 23 GB VE Pro 5 template of HS, HB, and HOW from.

It runs like butter and the sound is glorious.

That said, EWQLSO is still IMHO a great Swiss Army knife of an orchestra library and does not require the kind of relatively powerful hardware that the Hollywood series does.
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#18
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busdriver View Post

Also, i read somewhere that some users had issues with EWQL softwares, anyone has feedback on that?

Spitfire audio sounds good but it seems that they provide a lot of loops which i don't find usefull/rewarding. I don't really get this "new" approach of scoring librarians giving composers premade stuff.
The EastWest sample player has, in the past, been hard to deal with. It was so bad a few years ago that I completely removed it from my Mac Pro and haven't touched it since. I think they are improving on this front.

Spitfire is not the loop oriented composer-in-a-box tool you seem to think it is. They do provide some interesting percussion loop stuff, but the bulk of it is a collection of playable instruments.

You should check out this guy's sample library reviews: Daniel James - YouTube
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13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busdriver View Post
Hello Stoo,


Spitfire audio sounds good but it seems that they provide a lot of loops which i don't find usefull/rewarding. I don't really get this "new" approach of scoring librarians giving composers premade stuff.
oh wow. i missed this.

yes, you should check more about spitfire.

they have custom libraries not available for consumers only pros. about $6k for strings only or something like that.

then they made percussion which is top notch. and they came out with the albion series.
which is similar to symphobia but more lush.

and now they will be making a percussion library with hans zimmer.
like announced today. so you'll be able to sound like HZ

albion has a folder with loops. but not that many. but the few they have are very useful.
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14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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My .02.

Personally, I would strongly think about investing around libraries that use the Kontakt Engine. IMHO, it's just the way to go..., especially if your computer and/or hard drives aren't top tier. I just think you get more options and versatility. Depending on your workflow, you might not even need to buy the full version of Kontakt.

It also depends on how you write. If you want to focus on the orchestral side then you should think about how you tend to work. Do you want a seperate Violins 1, Violins 2, Viola, Cello, Bass set of patches..., or more ensemble based patches. I think this decision is most important when talking about strings. However, the same applies to brass, woodwinds, etc.

If you want easy out of the box, sounds good with minimal fuss and quick to program then I would look at the Spitfire Albion series. Yes, some percussion loops are provided, but the bulk of the libraries are fully playable patches just like you would expect. I have Albion II: Loegria, and I love it. It's a softer sounding library. Not what you go to for big, epic, blazing ostinatos.., but it's amazing for practically everything else IMO!

You might want to also think about getting one library as a base, and then adding to it as you can. IMHO, there are a few top condentors, all in the "affordable" ($400-500ish) range:

Spitfire Albion I (sits on the softer/medium side)
Spitfire Albion II (soft, lush, organic)
Project Sam Orchestral Essentials (heavy, trailer-esque)
Sonokinetic De-Capo (new kid on the block, seems a little vanilla, but that might be good)

If you want individual sections for a $2K budget:

Strings = Cinematic Strings ($500)
Brass = Cinebrass Core ($400)
Woodwinds = Berlin Woodwinds ($590)
Percussion = Spitfire Percussion ($565)

That's $55 over budget, but you end up with a pretty kick ass orchestral template IMHO. You would definately want to add Cinebrass Pro to that setup ASAP though. FWIW, all the libraries I've mentioned here use the FREE version of Kontakt except De-Capo.
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14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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Off the topic, I have few quick questions for you guys.

1) Now that I see real maestros who do real music, could you care to share the choice of your DAW? (Cubase, Sonar, Logic Audio, Pro Tools, etc)

2) Also, is higher clocked Quad-core CPU (overclocked to 4.5GHz) a better choice for the EWQL, LASS and VSL than the lower clocked 8-core Xeon processors (Sandy Bridge-E)?


3) Is it possible to run all the libraries from EWQL on the fastest, latest Macbook Pro Retina without pops, clicks and lags?

Thanks
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14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feelharmonic View Post
Off the topic, I have few quick questions for you guys.

1) Now that I see real maestros who do real music, could you care to share the choice of your DAW? (Cubase, Sonar, Logic Audio, Pro Tools, etc)

2) Also, is higher clocked Quad-core CPU (overclocked to 4.5GHz) a better choice for the EWQL, LASS and VSL than the lower clocked 8-core Xeon processors (Sandy Bridge-E)?


3) Is it possible to run all the libraries from EWQL on the fastest, latest Macbook Pro Retina without pops, clicks and lags?

Thanks
I'm not totally qualified to answer all your questions to a certainty, but :

1. Pro Tools. Delivery is in PT, Post Prod is in PT, Music Edit is in PT, Music Mix is in PT, Music PRoduction / Scoring is in PT. I'm going to write in PT and stay there. Jumping back and forth between DAW's for changes, etc. is not my idea of a good time. PT has some limitations, but aside from one or two small things, I'm much happier with it than I was with DP which is what most of the composers I was working with WERE using.

2. I'm a mac guy, so I can't speak to your PC questions, BUT I will say that of primary importance is : # of voices in your DAW, Amount of RAM (16G min, 24G preferred, 32G good), speed of hard drives. The processors don't seem to ever be the bottleneck these days. Again, from a mac perspective.

3. Re: E/W. Very controversial subject. I was just about to buy HStrings, but after reading, I came to the conclusion that Play is not the greatest, and it's WORSE on a Mac. Pops, Clicks, etc. are it's specialty. So....I'm going to pass even though they have a great deal going on.

Good luck.
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14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I'm not totally qualified to answer all your questions to a certainty, but :

1. Pro Tools. Delivery is in PT, Post Prod is in PT, Music Edit is in PT, Music Mix is in PT, Music PRoduction / Scoring is in PT. I'm going to write in PT and stay there. Jumping back and forth between DAW's for changes, etc. is not my idea of a good time. PT has some limitations, but aside from one or two small things, I'm much happier with it than I was with DP which is what most of the composers I was working with WERE using.

2. I'm a mac guy, so I can't speak to your PC questions, BUT I will say that of primary importance is : # of voices in your DAW, Amount of RAM (16G min, 24G preferred, 32G good), speed of hard drives. The processors don't seem to ever be the bottleneck these days. Again, from a mac perspective.

3. Re: E/W. Very controversial subject. I was just about to buy HStrings, but after reading, I came to the conclusion that Play is not the greatest, and it's WORSE on a Mac. Pops, Clicks, etc. are it's specialty. So....I'm going to pass even though they have a great deal going on.

Good luck.
Hey guys, thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and experiences.

DrBill, i agree that for a very long time PT has been the way to go for professional stuff. It is still in recording post prod etc... But things are moving now.
But it depends a lot on what you are doing. Most people wont use half of PT potential. In those case, PT will be more a holdback because of its complexity.
After using some different DAWs i would personally recomend Cubase. Especially regarding the 7 version which should be released now.

I personally use it and love it. Certainly on PT level by now. very clear and complete, very neutral sounding and efficient. Nothing to add.


Anyway, to come back on the topic, i find myself quite lost again by all your answers.
I will probably buy the EWQL CCC to be my bread and butter library.
It will cover most of my needs in terms of styles variety and it's composed mostly of their ancient library which are not as CPU/RAM hungry as their Hollywood series.
EWQL SO will be my orchestral base and from there i'll buy other libraries, probably some of the ones you presented in this topic.

Thanks again guys!
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14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busdriver View Post
DrBill, i agree that for a very long time PT has been the way to go for professional stuff. It is still in recording post prod etc... But things are moving now.
I'm sure they are in other areas. In the LA Film/TV market though, it's PT, PT, PT, PT all the way. No post production, music editing, dubbing, scoring is being done on cubase no matter NOW great it is. And THAT is the primary reason I use PT. Being 100% in tune and compatible with the industry I work in. Going back and forth is not an option for me anymore with the production schedules I'm forced to keep. Good luck with your library search. For a composer, we are living in Nirvana right now. So much good stuff....
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14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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I'm sure they are in other areas. In the LA Film/TV market though, it's PT, PT, PT, PT all the way. No post production, music editing, dubbing, scoring is being done on cubase no matter NOW great it is. And THAT is the primary reason I use PT. Being 100% in tune and compatible with the industry I work in. Going back and forth is not an option for me anymore with the production schedules I'm forced to keep. Good luck with your library search. For a composer, we are living in Nirvana right now. So much good stuff....
I totaly understand your POV. And you are right. No point in going back and forth on differents DAW with the compatibility issues that may happen.
What i was trying to say is that you don't have to use PT if you are not in the big business like you seem to be. In others areas of music business, the standard seems to change and the learning between Cubase and PT will not be so hard while Cubase may be a smoother DAW to learn at first.

You are right, we are blessed with all the tools we have, may it be for better music!
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15th December 2012
Old 15th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I'm not totally qualified to answer all your questions to a certainty, but :

1. Pro Tools. Delivery is in PT, Post Prod is in PT, Music Edit is in PT, Music Mix is in PT, Music PRoduction / Scoring is in PT. I'm going to write in PT and stay there. Jumping back and forth between DAW's for changes, etc. is not my idea of a good time. PT has some limitations, but aside from one or two small things, I'm much happier with it than I was with DP which is what most of the composers I was working with WERE using.

2. I'm a mac guy, so I can't speak to your PC questions, BUT I will say that of primary importance is : # of voices in your DAW, Amount of RAM (16G min, 24G preferred, 32G good), speed of hard drives. The processors don't seem to ever be the bottleneck these days. Again, from a mac perspective.

3. Re: E/W. Very controversial subject. I was just about to buy HStrings, but after reading, I came to the conclusion that Play is not the greatest, and it's WORSE on a Mac. Pops, Clicks, etc. are it's specialty. So....I'm going to pass even though they have a great deal going on.

Good luck.
Like the OP, I'm thinking about building a DAW consist of EWQL, LASS, VSL, etc. I plan on buying a new PC or Mac that are capable of running these libraries. But some had suggested that I would need some serious computing power. It'd be much easier if the current crop of the notebooks are capable of running all the libraries the OP has mentioned. Otherwise I'd need to build a PC which will be quite expensive.

The delimma is that while I do favor the superior I/O hardwares on Pro tools (compared to the PC counterparts), I was quite impressed with Cubase's 'VST expression' and the 'Chord Builder' which are awesome for orchetral type of works. Although PT does have descent set of MIDI editing tools and the tight hardware integration (eg, Omni, Thunderbolt), I don't know if the price of an admission is really worth for sample based virtual instruments oriented works. I heard that the DSP chips on HDX card is no help of running extra virtual instrument tracks.

DrBill, how many virtual instrument tracks could you max out on your Pro Tools without glitch? You are the first person who would prefer to run EWQL, LASS, VSL on Pro Tools.

Thanks
#27
15th December 2012
Old 15th December 2012
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I'm sure they are in other areas. In the LA Film/TV market though, it's PT, PT, PT, PT all the way. No post production, music editing, dubbing, scoring is being done on cubase no matter NOW great it is. And THAT is the primary reason I use PT. Being 100% in tune and compatible with the industry I work in. Going back and forth is not an option for me anymore with the production schedules I'm forced to keep. Good luck with your library search. For a composer, we are living in Nirvana right now. So much good stuff....
Yes, but for composer, we no longer have to deliver built PT reels. As long as the stems all start at the beginning of the cue and are properly named with SMPTE time, it does not matter what DAW they were composed in.

MIDI manipulation with large sample libraries is still so much stronger in Logic Pro, Cubase, and DP than PT.
#28
15th December 2012
Old 15th December 2012
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Quote:
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I'm sure they are in other areas. In the LA Film/TV market though, it's PT, PT, PT, PT all the way. No post production, music editing, dubbing, scoring is being done on cubase no matter NOW great it is. And THAT is the primary reason I use PT. Being 100% in tune and compatible with the industry I work in. Going back and forth is not an option for me anymore with the production schedules I'm forced to keep. Good luck with your library search. For a composer, we are living in Nirvana right now. So much good stuff....
there must be almost NO pro tools users at all in LA. like brian tyler and some a few others.

most are in DP, logic and cubase.

load pix with vis time code. export wav with tc on the name of the file. 90% of films are done this way. pro tools is not nesesary at all for this side of the biz.

pro tools is 32 bit only app. means that you cant load many plugs/ samples.
VEP will work up to a point. but 64 bit is heaven in comparison. night and day.
i use pro tools a lot. for post. but for composing film scoring no.

you can also compose in logic/dp cubase and bounce to pro tools as a recorder. very common setup with a second computer that way you deliver pt sessions. but most of the time you can export a wav with tc on the file name. either way is very acceptable.
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15th December 2012
Old 15th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Busdriver View Post
Hey guys, thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and experiences.

DrBill, i agree that for a very long time PT has been the way to go for professional stuff. It is still in recording post prod etc... But things are moving now.
But it depends a lot on what you are doing. Most people wont use half of PT potential. In those case, PT will be more a holdback because of its complexity.
After using some different DAWs i would personally recomend Cubase. Especially regarding the 7 version which should be released now.

I personally use it and love it. Certainly on PT level by now. very clear and complete, very neutral sounding and efficient. Nothing to add.


Anyway, to come back on the topic, i find myself quite lost again by all your answers.
I will probably buy the EWQL CCC to be my bread and butter library.
It will cover most of my needs in terms of styles variety and it's composed mostly of their ancient library which are not as CPU/RAM hungry as their Hollywood series.
EWQL SO will be my orchestral base and from there i'll buy other libraries, probably some of the ones you presented in this topic.

Thanks again guys!
just DONT. just DONT get EWQL. like NOT AT all. youd be stepping into 2003 or something like that.
EW HS has a great sound but the PLAY stories are so horrid even i stay away even that i know i like the sound. play 4 comes out and its efficient and stable and i wound buy it in a sec.

Benmrx post above is to me.. the most common setup for todays young film composer. cinematic strings. cinebrass , spit fire perc , albion and cinewinds imo is good. also VSL standard library has good ww.
almost everyone at vi-control . com is what they use.
gearslutz is more oriented to engineering so keep that in mind.
#30
15th December 2012
Old 15th December 2012
  #30
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gsilbers is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastWest Lurker View Post
Yes, but for composer, we no longer have to deliver built PT reels. As long as the stems all start at the beginning of the cue and are properly named with SMPTE time, it does not matter what DAW they were composed in.

MIDI manipulation with large sample libraries is still so much stronger in Logic Pro, Cubase, and DP than PT.
of course.. jay said it better
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