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Best money no object orchestral sounds? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 5 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Best money no object orchestral sounds?

Hi all, i've been digging around for a while trying to determine the best way to achieve quality, in the box orchestral compositions. I've read quite a few reviews and i don't think I've seen one that outright says "this is the best sounding, most complete orchestral sample library available, with more articulations and depth than any other product"
So i was wondering if that's because such a thing does not exist, or because i'm looking in the wrong places

My interest is currently split between in East Wests Hollywood Orchestra + Solo at around £1000, and Native instruments Komplete 12 Collectors Edition at a little bit more. My current understanding is that Hollywood Orc' may have the edge on Komplete for authentic orchestral sounds, but with Komplete you get so much more on top of that. However, i am mainly after the best orchestral sounds i can possibly get, so is Komplete worth it? And are there any other products i should look into?

Please help

P.s, have i posted this in the right section?
Old 5 days ago
  #2
You will probably get good insightful replies if you post in the music for picture forum.
Old 5 days ago
  #3
When I was looking at premium full-orchestral AU libraries (e.g., $1,000-$2,000), I found Orchestral Tools' Metropolis Ark I, II, III series to be the most complete and the best-sounding (although there are many others to choose from which may be equally as good or better). Orchestral Tools also has a set which includes Taiko drums which is cool since I'm always especially interested in good orchestral percussion. If I were to go all ITB, Orchestral Tools and NI's MkII controller would be a very attractive set-up.

[Note: the rest of my post isn't necessarily directed at you, but more general FYI]

ROMplers: Just know from the get-go, that the factory orchestral sounds from any ROMpler (strings, especially) are easily bested by virtually any modern VST/AU. So I kind of took a hybrid approach: ROMplers with third-party libraries for general orchestra and AU libraries for solo instruments.

I decided to go hardware for general orchestral sounds since I already bought a Korg Kronos. The Korg Kronos arguably supports the most realistic-sounding orchestral EXs libraries of any other ROMpler (primarily thanks to its streaming-SSD technology). You get near-VST quality but with all the benefits of a hardware-based system. Interestingly, the $99 add-on library from DCP Productions for the Yamaha Motif also sounds surprisingly good. I plan to get that for my Montage someday soon.

But, for solo instruments (which are more highly scrutinized), I did go the software route and chose the following:

• Chris Hein Solo Cello: Appeared to have the most articulations of any solo-strings AU library (especially hard-attack, short articulations). A bit pricey at $259, but totally worth it—sounds excellent. UI is a bit busy, but has a cool animation of a cellist playing your sounds.
• Tina Guo's Legato Cello: Only $99 bucks and it sounds great. The auto-legato programming seems decent enough, it's easy to play, and it sounds really, really pretty. Very affordable, and also especially stable in an macOS environment (I've had persistent issues with Chris Hein's NKI randomly crashing Logic).

Thankfully, all three libraries (e.g., WavesArt's Cinematic Suite EXs library for Korg Kronos, Chris Hein, Tina Guo) sound similar enough in a mix so that none stands out (in a bad way). They all sound surprisingly similar and fit in the mix together very transparently. Very happy with all three libraries. Interestingly, for timpani, I still rely on my decades-old SRX sample-sets used in my Fantom XR's SRX boards and in my Integra-7's SRX plug-outs.

Though these sound-sets' string and brass samples are now easily bested by modern AU libraries, I still find Roland's SRX sounds useful for various percussion sounds: World Collection has some neat bells and gongs, and Complete Orchestra is where I get my timpani (that I can trigger them in my Fantom XR from a Roland V-Drum mesh-pad using a TMC-6 trigger-to-MIDI converter is another plus):

• Roland SRX-04 Symphonic Strings
• Roland SRX-06 Complete Orchestra
• Roland SRX-09 World Collection
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks, i'll check out the top link, but the bottom one is exactly the problem i've been having, all the reviews are totally based around cheapness, (best you can buy for under this amount or that amount), and at this point i'm not interested in cheapest, i want to know what the absolute best ones you can buy full stop are, and work my way form there.

Thanks again.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
The recommendations aren't based on cheapness though.
The main advice is to buy the best packs for individual orchestral sections, rather than one company's entire library.
Some of the replies mention Spitfire libraries - which are NOT considered 'cheap' in terms of quality.
Like you said, it's about the BEST, whatever the price, and some of the best are affordable.
Old 5 days ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

But isn't consistency from section to section desirable? Or is not that important?
Old 5 days ago
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Exe2479's Avatar
 

Quote:
i want to know what the absolute best ones you can buy full stop are, and work my way form there.
VSL (Vienna Symphonic Library) is a good reference, very good, rather expensive, used by many professionals.

But in line with chrisso's advice; mixing and matching libraries based on needs and taste is generally a good thing. Also libraries tend to have a different approach to sections, solo instruments etc, some are better for a "broad" - "ready to play on keyboard" approach, some work better when each subsection is tended to in detail.

Imo stay away from hardware when it's about symphonic orchestral music.
Old 4 days ago
  #9
Money no object? Hire an orchestra /thread
Old 4 days ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaeground View Post
Money no object? Hire an orchestra /thread
How did i know that was coming lol...
Old 4 days ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gear_up View Post
But isn't consistency from section to section desirable? Or is not that important?
I'm with you, it's one of the reasons i would prefer an all in one option.
Old 4 days ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exe2479 View Post
VSL (Vienna Symphonic Library) is a good reference, very good, rather expensive, used by many professionals.

But in line with chrisso's advice; mixing and matching libraries based on needs and taste is generally a good thing. Also libraries tend to have a different approach to sections, solo instruments etc, some are better for a "broad" - "ready to play on keyboard" approach, some work better when each subsection is tended to in detail.

Imo stay away from hardware when it's about symphonic orchestral music.
Perfect, this is exactly why i asked the question because i'd never heard of this, for all my searching it had never come up. Now i know i said money no object, but had no idea the price could get so high for a sample library!

So please list any more you think are worth consideration, because i definitely can't afford that one
Old 4 days ago
  #13
Gear Head
 
mvrh's Avatar
For choirs, check out Strezov Samplings Wotan, Freya and Arva products. I use the Wotan (man) and Freya (woman) choirs a lot.

I use the Komplete Symphony series and even Kontakt Factory libraries. They are workable, but not that great. They need a lot of work to sound good and get the articulation you want. Only gripe I have is with the trumpet, they're horrible. I use Strezov Sampling Rogue for that.
Old 4 days ago
  #14
Gear Nut
Money no object? Buy Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings, Brass - if you need it - Woodwinds too and Metropolis Ark 1-3, Spitfire Audio Chamber Strings, maybe Cinematic Studio Strings too (I like to have different options). If you need more choir add strezov wotan/freya. Would not recommend VSL, they are expensive but dont sound good, they record their instruments completely dry which sounds very unnatural (to my ears anyway) even with IR-reverb.
The Berlin Series and Chamber Strings have more articulations than the Metropolis stuff which I would rather use as a supplement than as a basis for my compositions, CSS is bread and butter stuff.
EDIT: You should either use a DAW with a „Deactivate Track“ feature like Cubase (I do that because I am too poor for solution 2 and dont like the inflexiblility that comes with it) OR multiple computers with ****loads of RAM and Vienna Ensemble Pro6, esp. for Orchestral Tools products and you want to have a template with all instruments loaded.
Old 4 days ago
  #15
Spitfire - four orchestra groups - best i've heard, and most natural legatos

Berlin Woodwinds

LASS - strings, little more silky and (romance) hollywood. nice complement to spitfire.


if money no object, i'd start with all that. then add specific stuff like choirs, harps, ethnic, acoustic guitars etc. along the way.
Old 4 days ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I would look into the Samplemodeling Trumpet, Trombone, Horn and Tuba. These can be very expressive lead instruments over an ensemble, although you will need to work to have them blend.

I'd also suggest considering adding an Integra-7 to your arsenal, this will take some of the load off of your computer. I don't think the Supernatural harp, mallet percussion and chimes can be beat. You also get very usable orchestral percussion, grand pianos and every Rompler patch Roland ever came up with.

The SRX04 "Symphonique Strings" are great for smoothing out more expensive string sections.
Old 4 days ago
  #17
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lineofcontrol's Avatar
 

All of the Spitfire libraries.
Albion 1 and 2
Metropolis Ark 1 and 2
Old 4 days ago
  #18
Lives for gear
I have the EWQL original symphonic libraries, love them.
Old 4 days ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadmeat25 View Post
Perfect, this is exactly why i asked the question because i'd never heard of this, for all my searching it had never come up. Now i know i said money no object, but had no idea the price could get so high for a sample library!

So please list any more you think are worth consideration, because i definitely can't afford that one
First you say money no object what's the best, then you say you can't afford one. It would help if you stated a clear price range.

Frankly among the leaders (Vienna, East West, Garritan etc) IMO you will notice little diff in quality if any. Of course those geeked out on the stuff will swear X is much better than Y etc etc but I defy anyone to tell the diff in a blind test.
Old 4 days ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
First you say money no object what's the best, then you say you can't afford one. It would help if you stated a clear price range.

Frankly among the leaders (Vienna, East West, Garritan etc) IMO you will notice little diff in quality if any. Of course those geeked out on the stuff will swear X is much better than Y etc etc but I defy anyone to tell the diff in a blind test.
I just wasn't expecting the price to go that high!

I reckon up to 2k is the most i can spend, there, better?

If you're serious when you say there's probably very little audible difference between the examples you gave, i.e, East West and Garritan, i say, you must be joking right?

Garritan sounds like a definite improvement over using Logics built in instruments for example, but that's as far as i'd go. As for creating realistic ITB orchestral compositions, no way, maybe it's ok for some string or piano parts hidden under the layers of a rock song or something, but it does not stand up against the other two on it's own, not even close.

I'm still leaning towards Hollywood Orc', sounds increasingly amazing the more i hear of it, maybe you should actually have a listen to your suggestions again too?

Thanks anyway.
Old 4 days ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 

To all those who suggested the berlin series, WOW! Still checking it out but it sounds beautiful!
Old 4 days ago
  #22
Old 4 days ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

If you're interested in the East/West Hollywood Orchestra libraries you might want to consider the Composer Cloud which lets you "lease" all of them for $19.95 per month. If nothing else this will let you get some insight into composing with these sorts of libraries without risking a lot of capital.
Old 4 days ago
  #24
+1 for Spitfire. I have several libraries and the quality of sound is amazing.
Old 4 days ago
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Techeverlasting View Post
If you're interested in the East/West Hollywood Orchestra libraries you might want to consider the Composer Cloud which lets you "lease" all of them for $19.95 per month. If nothing else this will let you get some insight into composing with these sorts of libraries without risking a lot of capital.
This is awesome thanks. I'm usually a bit anti-subsriciption services but this might just be the answer for now. Do you know if there are any limitations? Like limited articulations, layers or what not, or do you get use of the full packages?

Thanks again
Old 3 days ago
  #26
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Well that's a shame.. Just went through the process of signing up to East Wests ComposerCloud Plus subscription only to find out that you have to buy a $100 HD with the samples on, as they can't allow dl's of over 100gb because of the crappy Amazon server they use, how pro of them, this has pissed me off to the point where i shan't be bothering with East West! They basically sell via DL's and haven't at any point thought that using an appropriately adequate server would be a good idea...? (Many swear words!!!) They don't deserve my money...
Old 3 days ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 

That is poor.

Something else to keep in mind is that some of these require Kontakt as the go-between, and/or also require iLok, in case that's a thing.
Old 3 days ago
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
That is poor.

Something else to keep in mind is that some of these require Kontakt as the go-between, and/or also require iLok, in case that's a thing.
It's ok I've calmed down now after a sleep

A Kontact requirement may not be a bad thing as i believe that would allow the full use of the NI controller, which looks to be one of the best around.
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