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Suggest a hi-end soft synth to replace orchestra? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 5th September 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 
manofsong's Avatar
 

Suggest a hi-end soft synth to replace orchestra?

Hi Slutz:
I'm looking for a soft synth (or maybe I'd do hardware if that was the best solution) that can replicate an orchestra. Now I know there's all sorts of crap out there that tries to emulate a real orchestra, and I already have an 8-gig sample-based orchestra. However I'm looking for something a little more cutting edge. It shouldn't sound acoustic (in fact maybe very electronic), but will do the equivalent relationships between basses, cellos, violas, violins, horns, etc. They would have relationships like their real forefathers do. You would score it the same way as the forefathers. I picture getting an FM plug-in and programming the sounds, but that would take forever. Or has somebody done this superbly already? Is there a turnkey option out there? Sonic quality is important.
Thanks in advance, you nerdy slutz you!

Last edited by manofsong; 5th September 2007 at 03:19 AM.. Reason: wee typo
Old 5th September 2007
  #2
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octatonic's Avatar
VSL is probably the best library around.
Old 5th September 2007
  #3
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

man, there hundreds.

from east west

quantum leap platinum series
quantum leap gold series
quantum leap silver series

from sonic inplats

symphonic orchestra


from vienna

cube and horizon series

kontakt2 will come with small version (11gb i think of samples) of vienna (VSL)

just to name a few.

kontakt 2 might be the best for u.
Old 5th September 2007
  #4
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manofsong's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
VSL is probably the best library around.
Nope, thanks. Have another boo at the post, I do NOT want it to sound like a "real" orchestra!
Old 5th September 2007
  #5
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manofsong's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
man, there hundreds.

from east west

quantum leap platinum series
quantum leap gold series
quantum leap silver series

from sonic inplats

symphonic orchestra


from vienna

cube and horizon series

kontakt2 will come with small version (11gb i think of samples) of vienna (VSL)

just to name a few.

kontakt 2 might be the best for u.

Nope, think SYNTHESIZED, my friends!
Old 5th September 2007
  #6
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by manofsong View Post
Nope, thanks. Have another boo at the post, I do NOT want it to sound like a "real" orchestra!
I read it- I don't really understand what you are looking for then.
You want an orchestra plugin that doesn't sound like an orchestra?

Can you be more specific?
Old 5th September 2007
  #7
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manofsong's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I read it- I don't really understand what you are looking for then.
You want an orchestra plugin that doesn't sound like an orchestra?

Can you be more specific?
Hmpf, perhaps this is why I'm hunting for suggestions.

I'm looking for a synthesized version of various orchestral instruments.

They should sound more electronic rather than acoustic, but you could score it just like you would the acoustic instruments. In my fantasy, the [Virus or something] I would buy would have a "bass section" preset, a "cello section" preset, a "horns section" preset, and so on. The sounds are big and modern, and electronic.

Am I doomed to program?

Last edited by manofsong; 5th September 2007 at 03:29 AM.. Reason: added wordz
Old 5th September 2007
  #8
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by manofsong View Post
Hmpf, perhaps this is why I'm hunting for suggestions.

I'm looking for a synthesized version of various orchestral instruments.

They should sound more electronic rather than acoustic, but you could score it just like you would the acoustic instruments. In my fantasy, the [Virus or something] I would buy would have a "bass section" preset, a "cello section" preset, a "horns section" preset, and so on. The sounds are big and modern, and electronic.

Am I doomed to program?
NI Kore has some meta-management to it and the sounds are certainly synthetic- but not an orchestral device per se.
What you are looking for doesn't really exist.

Sections are complicated to synthesise- usually they are sample based.
Old 5th September 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
I'd look seriously at the CS-80V from Arturia.

You can get there, but you'll have a lot of programming to do (and hopefully a lot of fun getting there).

Think Vangelis: that's the CS-80 sound.
Old 5th September 2007
  #10
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

Try looking for a used Korg triton. I usually spend time trying to eq and getting those Orchestra sounds to sound real, but the presets should set you straight. Fun board too.
Old 6th September 2007
  #11
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manofsong's Avatar
 

CS80V -- thanks. A bit 70s-sounding, just like the original. Not bad though.
Triton -- thanks. Yeah that could be fun, a bit TOO close to original instruments though.

Keep 'em coming. Are you out there, o fantasy soundset?
Old 6th September 2007
  #12
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wildstar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manofsong View Post
CS80V -- thanks. A bit 70s-sounding, just like the original. Not bad though.
Triton -- thanks. Yeah that could be fun, a bit TOO close to original instruments though.

Keep 'em coming. Are you out there, o fantasy soundset?
Hardware: Roland XV-5080 and 5050. Lots of great patches that will do what you want. You'll need to stack patches, decide what works for a particular orchestra section, and play around with MIDI channel assignments, octaves and other tricks to get the voicings to sound right. Whatver "right" happens to be, of course.

This will sound very slick, very Roland, and very modern. I've gotten great results with the XV boxes for industrials and scoring stuff.

Software: USB PlugSound Pro, with the Synth expansion pack. Same techniques as above. This will get you really warm, synth-y sounds. Unslick, very organic. Think Oberheim, Melotron, Moog, Wavestation, and PPG all mixed together as you see fit.

Software: Absynth 4. The sky's the limit... More experimental, deeply textured, and otherworldy, compared to the previous options.


Have fun!
Old 6th September 2007
  #13
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drBill's Avatar
Atmosphere will do some of what you do and sound very modern and synthesized.
Old 6th September 2007
  #14
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Daniel Antix's Avatar
Garrison Personal Orchestra runs on the Native Instrument Kontakt Engine... so it's sample based.

Used it when i recorded a guitar conerto for a mate for his Masters. his lectures at uni couldn't believe how close to an orchestra this program sounded.
Old 6th September 2007
  #15
Gear Nut
 
manofsong's Avatar
 

Roland & Absynth -- Not bad. That's good advice in general about mixing/layering sounds.
Atmosphere -- Maybe! Re-opened my eyes to this package.
Old 6th September 2007
  #16
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u b k's Avatar
 

i think perhaps you should stick to the library you have and turn your attention to the processing itself. reaktor and kyma come to mind, as does max/msp/pluggo and any number of a billion freeware plugs. on the outboard side an h3000 and a ksp8 have a lot to offer. getting a genuine analog vocoder and conjoining it with reaktor, atmosphere, and a few workhorses like the prophet and jup-8 would also be a tasty way to munge the synthetic vibe into your straight-laced samples.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 6th September 2007
  #17
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Energie's Avatar
 

There was a soft synth released a while back called string studio. I believe it tries to emulate the physical properties of real instruments, not sure how much orchestral sounds it has but check it out


http://www.applied-acoustics.com/stringstudio.php



might be a little better then bad synth samples of orchestral stuff.

or you could always run a good orchestral soft synth through some plug to make it more synthy, like TL space or something.
Old 6th September 2007
  #18
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reid's Avatar
 

I'm with ubk - stick with your orchestral sample set and process it. You'll retain all the relationships and sound 'families' that you might be looking for in an orchestra, but be able to mangle to your hearts content.

In terms of processing, I'd be looking at filtering, vocoding, distorting, granulating, and being sure to keep the parameter automation busy on any effects so as to maintain some kind of organic / human feel.

Maybe a bit off topic, but I think it's often the orchestration / arrangement of a piece that makes it 'sound' orchestral as opposed to the sounds used - if that's the case, then just about any set of sounds could be used to replicate your orchestral template. Well, apart from the Emulator dog bark of course....
Old 6th September 2007
  #19
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Lee Knight's Avatar
 

Think Walter/Wendy Carlos...

Those sounds were "handcrafted". Patch by patch. That's the way I would go. I think the idea of mangling samples is interesting as well. Maybe a hybrid approach of home brew patches and mangled samples. but either way, you're still looking at DIY sound design.

It sounds like a great idea. Something you could lose years in... and I mean that in a good way.
Old 6th September 2007
  #20
Maybe this Synful is what you're looking for?
Old 6th September 2007
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feinstrom View Post
Maybe this Synful is what you're looking for?
That Synful looks pretty good £269 ; I like the fact that all the articulations can be automated. I've been using VSL Cube for about 4 years. Sounds lovely (with added Reverb), but the lack of automation is a real drag. And to upgrade costs a fortune.


Oh, back on topic. Didn't really like the XV5050, but it had a cracking chello pizzicato. Didn't EMU have some kind of Proteus orchestral range? - probably sample based though. Clavia Nord instruments can do some good synth brass and strings.
Old 8th September 2007
  #22
Gear Nut
 
manofsong's Avatar
 

ubk / reid:
Yes those are superb suggestions, I've now been investigating granular synthesis in detail, and am also understanding that munging up certain combinations of other sounds with an original sample set could get great results. I'll try and put some stuff together after decisons and experimentation, maybe post something at some point.
Thanks for responses all!
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