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IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik Review
Old 19th December 2009
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IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik Review

Recently got Miroslav Philharmonik and as usual here is my review originally posted at Obi Audio Miroslav Philharmonik Review . I got the Heil Pr-40 up next!

Well the deeper I dig the more I love IK Multimedia. They have wooed me many a times with their great T-Racks and Amplitube releases including Amplitube 2, Fender, Metal and Ampeg SVX. Every time something new comes out I try it out but every time I keep going back to IK Multimedia. It seems like no matter what comes out IK still has the best sounding stuff hands down and at any price! Well recently I started jumping into some of their Workstation products including Sonik Synth 2 and more recently Miroslav Philharmonik. In all reality though Miroslav Philharmonik is famous in its own right. Miroslav Vitous (a Prague composer, bassist virtuoso, and a founding member of the group Weather Report) is the man responsible for the Miroslave Vitous Symphonic Orchestra and Choir sample collections. From these world renown collections, including extra recordings not released in the original collections, comes IK Multimedia's Miroslav Philharmonik.

Now lets start with how and where it was recorded. Growing up I played Clarinet and then moved into Classical Guitar. All through elementary school, Jr. & Sr. High I played for any and every musical group I could. In school I played in the Orchestra, Jazz and after school I played in a few Rock bands. My Senior year 5 out of 8 classes were in music. I loved playing and learning music, but my favorite was when we got to travel. I have always had a fascination with sound and loved to hear how we sounded in different places. Gyms, cafeterias, malls, other schools auditoriums each one sounded great and had a sound uniquely their own. My favorite place to play was our auditorium because it had a nice wood background and floor along with brick sides along the stage and part of the audience section and a bright wall and the end of the auditorium. I always thought the strings and choirs sounded great there. Full and bright with just the right amount of reverb, that was til I went to Abravanel Hall where the Utah Symphony Orchestra play here in Salt Lake. If you haven't heard of Abravanel Hall check it out, it has won many awards for its acoustics and architecture.

Well as this story goes I had a friend who played there with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. He invited me to come hear him one night and I went loving every minute of perfection there. Hearing an Orchestra live is amazing, even more so in an amazing concert hall. It is thick, full, more lively, real, in your face- yet all around you. Some of the best recordings ever recorded have been in concert or church halls for a reason, they sound spectacular! Well the same had been done with IK Multimedia's Miroslav Philharmonik!

When Miroslav Vitous first started making the Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra and Choir Sample collections he was making them as a tool for himself, not as a product, but as a tool to help him compose using newer technology. These recordings are a reflection of the musical genius that is Miroslav Vitous. This collection was the first sample set that became widely accepted as the best of the best and quickly became a main stay all over the world especially in the entertainment industry. Some of the best movies soundtracks were done with IK Multimedia's Miroslav Philharmonic. (After playing through it for a bit it starts to sound familiar, not in a bad way more of a light bulb in your head going off saying "Ahh this is how they do it!") He started recording it in 1993 in the world famous Dvorák Symphony Hall in Prague. Because of the way it was recorded and layed out you get the sense of being there with real musicians layed out just like a real orchestra would! There is a familiarity in the sense of space, warm, full like it is in front of you yet all around you...just like in Abravanel Hall and that is not something that can be recreated with simple reverb and panning.

In IK Multimedia's Miroslav Philharmonik you have this award winning and amazing collection of the best musicians, instruments and choirs at your fingertips in one of the worlds best concert halls. Okay, okay, now I'm getting all the DAW users out there saying "We get it, it sounds good, but how well will it work in my DAW? What about effects and layering?". Well you need not worry about that! Like all of the IK Multimedia workstation series this is based on the SampleTank engine so if you have used it or any of the other workstations there will be a zero learning curve! 16 layer-able parts, each with 4 insert effects, 7 gigs of samples, 3 synth engines with traditional resampling, 20 world class effects including an amazing reverb from IK's own Classik Studio Reverb and it comes in VST, RTAS and AU working on both Mac and PC platforms. From a feature stand point alone this is a amazing deal your getting! The biggest feature to me though is the great and simple layout. In larger sample collections, much like this one, it is really easy to get lost or not know where to find what your looking for, but not here! Everything is laid out so easily you can navigate through it in a breeze! Want violins, cellos or even odd percussion? They are all easy to find with well named patches, you can even load all of these into SampleTank if you want to stick with that!

Now where I was taken off guard was the quality of samples. I know I was just raving on it, and trust me it is justified, BUT the other instruments you don't usually hear about included here are amazing! Now my favorite instrument to play has always been classical guitar and the classical guitar here is AMAZING! I mean, not just amazing for a workstation, I mean amazing as a classical guitar...my jaw dropped. Seriously, no joke I was speechless when I heard it. (Not entirely true. I was at first but then, if my recollection serves me correct, the only word uttered at first was "Really?" followed by "Seriously?" which was then followed by "Oh sh*t this rocks!") The Classical Guitar 2 patch was mellow and full sounding with a certain depth like I was playing a real guitar! Some adjusting of my playing and programming and I might be using this instead of recording in my less than ideal space again! (Compared to Dvorák Symphony Hall that is.) Another sleeper here was the Steinway Concert Piano and the Cathedral Organ which are great, different than what your used to hearing (Again that Dvorák Symphony Hall in action!) in other sample libraries but still very nice. It would depend on the project and sound I wanted to go for in deciding between a few different pianos I have but this is at the top of the list!

Now of course the strings sections, brass, woodwind and choirs were amazing as expected! There is nothing normal or even mediocre about Miroslav Philharmonic. From where and the way it was recorded to how it is laid out, this is a very realistic, full and thick sounding collection that has yet to be surpassed at this or just about any price point. Its so realistic there are even a bunch of patches of musician noises that can be added which included page turning, talking, tuning and warm ups! All that along with amazing IK Multimedia effects like Classik Studio Reverb, EQ's and Compression from T-Racks and Amplitube and of course the 16 layer-able parts, well you would be a fool to not look into IK Multimedia's Miroslav Philharmonik if you are doing any kind of orchestral work! Right now you can get the Miroslav Phllharmonik Classik Edition for just $99 at various places on line!
Old 19th December 2009
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I think its a lovely timbre and nice value generally. Of particular interest are the musical blooming of the long notes which captured the emotional playing of the musicians. It is however based on outdated first generation sampling conventions especially in terms of note connectivity (missing legato and portamento intervals), lack of round robin (alternating short notes scripting), limited velocity dynamics recording in the sample sets themselves and a somewhat substandard sampler engine that does not allow third party script programming.

Many of my friends have ended up resampling this library and programmed it into Native Instruments Kontakt. Its a new standard which employ the use of SIPS legato scripting and with some work, its possible to create new round robin batches based on the original short note set by using Redmatica Keymap in league with deeper sample editing.
Old 20th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saovi View Post
Many of my friends have ended up resampling this library and programmed it into Native Instruments Kontakt. Its a new standard which employ the use of SIPS legato scripting and with some work, its possible to create new round robin batches based on the original short note set by using Redmatica Keymap in league with deeper sample editing.

That's quite interesting. I've wondered if there is a way to update the samples. It sounds like way more time than I would be willing to spend though.
Old 20th December 2009
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Wow thats crazy I had never heard of people re sampling them! Kinda cool to know the sounds are still great after all these years too!
Old 21st December 2009
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This library is actually almost 15 years old ! It was available on Roland samplers (or Akai, i'm not sure) in early 90's , and been converted into IK Multimedia sampler format a couple of years ago..

He's actually coming up with a whole brand new orchestral library in January 2010...
Best Service - Miroslav Vitous Library - String Ensembles - EN
Old 21st December 2009
  #6
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Wow that is great news!
Old 21st December 2009
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That library is very old and many of us arrangers had it in our EIV samplers -- really useful. Noisy samples though but blended into music sounded better than even some/most of the modern offerings out there nowadays.

I'm really interested in seeing what he'll put out next (I've got his Stadivari violin -- great tool) and heard he's working on a new orchestra! heh
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
This library is actually almost 15 years old ! It was available on Roland samplers (or Akai, i'm not sure) in early 90's , and been converted into IK Multimedia sampler format a couple of years ago..

He's actually coming up with a whole brand new orchestral library in January 2010...
Best Service - Miroslav Vitous Library - String Ensembles - EN

This whole "brand new orchestral library" also still isn`t new.

Quote:
Library size
If this library was released in GigaStudio format, it would be between 35-40GB.
Old 21st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coil View Post
This whole "brand new orchestral library" also still isn`t new.
It's new. He's coming out with a new library. What you mean....?
Old 21st December 2009
  #10
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It may be old and out-dated. But that shouldn't be a problem if it still sounds good. Some things are timeless. At least Miroslav still sounds better than the default NI Kontakt Strings and the Propellerhead's Orkestra Sound bank.
Old 21st December 2009
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.T.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miscend View Post
...at least Miroslav still sounds better than the default NI Kontakt Strings and the Propellerhead's Orkestra Sound bank....
Not a Kontakt 4 user eh?

Kontakt 4 has a hugely improved orchestral bank. Night and day in comparison to the one in Kontakt 3.
Old 21st December 2009
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I heard the east west quantum leap symphonic orchestra is great. Possibly better than philharmonik. I have philharmonik and have gotten sick of it lately.
Old 22nd December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .T. View Post
Not a Kontakt 4 user eh?

Kontakt 4 has a hugely improved orchestral bank. Night and day in comparison to the one in Kontakt 3.
I thought the only difference was the addition of solo strings in Kontakt 4.
Old 28th December 2009
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It sounds good but it doesn't feel real, especially the legatos, I have used it before, and I ended up just using the strings on the exs24 sampler instead, cuz it was pretty much the same. THere are others that look pretty promising. the EWQL, LASS, cinematic strings, and probably more that I haven't heard of. BUt too bad require a bigger spec, so I'll stick to logic's for now.
Old 3rd January 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
It's new. He's coming out with a new library. What you mean....?
i mean this library is still old, because it was original made for gigasampler (no more in business) and they cut it down from nearly 40 Gb to 7Gb.

i have no problem with that when it sounds good, but hey, look at the price and see what else you can have for that.
Old 3rd January 2010
  #16
.T.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dino321 View Post
I thought the only difference was the addition of solo strings in Kontakt 4.
The library has been completely revamped, not sure where you're getting your information from...

More details on the NI site for your perusal.
Old 3rd January 2010
  #17
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Also bare in mind that the original Miroslav library for Akai samplers cost over £4,000 for the disks ! ! !

This is a very good library tho if the new re-badging of the original product I'd say that the brass and wood wind don't hold up to the competition - the strings were vere very good for the time tho !

Beer
Old 3rd January 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
Also bare in mind that the original Miroslav library for Akai samplers cost over £4,000 for the disks ! ! !

This is a very good library tho if the new re-badging of the original product I'd say that the brass and wood wind don't hold up to the competition - the strings were vere very good for the time tho !

Beer
shure, my akai sampler also was expensive at that time.
Old 5th April 2010
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I'm wondering whether to get this or not. I mostly produce electronic music but i'm also into some neo classical stuff like Max Richter or Craig Armstrong & movie scores. Also strings would be useful for house music and IDM / ambient. Budget is an issue if were talking £1000s (vienna) but £100s is fine. I also like that this is only 7GB as long as it's comprehensive enough for quality sounding tracks. I really can't be arsed with 300 GB libraries. Looks like a fine contender unless anyone has any serious objections. I've looked at LASS and I do like the way you can easily manipulate automated expressions on velocities but it's quite pricey just for strings and not very compact. I don't find kontakt 3 or GPO library very good BTW.

Old 5th April 2010
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It's the best as far as sound to price ratio. There are definitely aspects that could be better but I'm pretty happy with it. I think the brass is better in eastwest so I flank miroslav with eastwest platinum strings. They have been very complimentary. Its also nice to layer with a different tone.
Old 5th April 2010
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Been reading a review about symphobia and that sounds quite good for my none purist purposes - cinematic, modern and experimental apparently.

Is EW Gold / Platinum far superior to miroslav or is it just marginal preference? Miroslav might be perfect for me as I don't intend to do full blown classical scores just yet ;-) I read the miroslav are quite lush and beautiful, that'd be excellent.
Old 13th April 2010
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Old 19th March 2011
  #23
the wood and metal percussions are very good and very versatil to use in miroslav but the rest sounds cheap compared to eastwest - if u want intimate sounds, go for miroslav but if you want impressing expensive production then eastwest is definetely the one to go for
Old 19th March 2011
  #24
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Question: AudioMIDI is running a $15 sale on the Classik Edition of this product. I'm reluctant to spend any money on this at all as I run a 64bit DAW and fear this is a dead-ended product that will never be updated to x64, hence the sale.

Does anyone know what the difference between the CE version and the full version or whether IK intends to provide an upgrade to x64?
Old 19th March 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lights View Post
Question: AudioMIDI is running a $15 sale on the Classik Edition of this product. I'm reluctant to spend any money on this at all as I run a 64bit DAW and fear this is a dead-ended product that will never be updated to x64, hence the sale.

Does anyone know what the difference between the CE version and the full version or whether IK intends to provide an upgrade to x64?
Save your money...unless you want a orchestral library that's worth all of $15. The noisy samples, poor scripting, cheesy uncontrollable vibrato, poor expression/volumetric control. While the cost is appealing, with this library you'll get exactly what you pay for.

DB
Old 23rd February 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbowman View Post
Save your money...unless you want a orchestral library that's worth all of $15. While the cost is appealing, with this library you'll get exactly what you pay for.
Myself & others disagree. This & the Free SSO makes for some good sounds for the home setup that will not break the bank, AND get some composing under everyone's fingers.

Not everyone can afford to be a sound snob when music needs to be written. A friend a few years back wrote a small 10-12min score that he was pretty happy with. Someone heard it and a locale collage offered to perform it for him in exchange for allowing it to be used on something or other...I think it was a promo for the music department...it has been a few years.

If not for this $15 sounding library this would never have happened.

Use what you can afford & make music folks!
Old 24th February 2013
  #27
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Wow... resurrection... we're coming up on 1 year since this post was updated. Bravo!
Old 23rd February 2016
  #28
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And now I'm resurrecting it again! :D It seems IK have released Miroslav Philharmonik 2! I'm about to dig in and review it and I'll post my findings here if anyone is interested.

Cheers!

- MM
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