If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

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If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by MBantle » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:11 pm

Dear All,
I am in the market for an Orchestra VI and would like to pick your brains. Yes, I know, I know... it is not necessarily about the library but how you use it etc. but anyway, if you had to invest in a new library right now what would you (experienced members) recommend? I kind of like CineSamples (I understand Steve B uses them with great success) as it is a very comprehensive and expandable package and also captures little elements that are difficult to program (e.g. string runs etc.) but you also eventually end up with quite a bill! I have seen that Spitfire is launching their BBC Orchestra at a reasonable price but I am not sure to what extent this will be a 'catch all' solution. If you have any recommendations for someone in the market willing to make an investment, please let me know your thoughts.
Cheers,
Matt

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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by Kolstad » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:50 pm

Yeah well, I need a bigger computer and SSD drive space, but when I get to that next summer, I definitely will get the BBC orchestra. It's very reasonable (and even more so with Spitfire's educational discount) for a full orchestral package that has solo strings, full orchestra as well as plenty brass, ww and percussion. Getting those things seperately will rob you blind, and you will even struggle to blend the different libraries when mixing. BBC is all about natural sound, so I think it will be a great starting point to work with in a daw. Mixing Spitfire libraries with others can be tricky due to their special room sound, but when everything is in one package, that sort of bypasses that problem.

ProjectSam also comes out with their Symphobia 4 this October, but that will probably work the best in tandem with the other 3 Symphobias. Great tone in the Symphobias, though. Other contenders could be Orchestral Sounds Ark series, and the Cinematic Studio Series libraries. It also depends on what type of music you are looking to do, so make sure your purchase fullfill a real need, as any of these VI's will require a lot of work to sound natural, even though the samples sounds great.

But yeah, I would go with Spitfire BBC.

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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by MBantle » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:02 pm

Kolstad wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:50 pm
Yeah well, I need a bigger computer and SSD drive space, but when I get to that next summer, I definitely will get the BBC orchestra. It's very reasonable (and even more so with Spitfire's educational discount) for a full orchestral package that has solo strings, full orchestra as well as plenty brass, ww and percussion. Getting those things seperately will rob you blind, and you will even struggle to blend the different libraries when mixing. BBC is all about natural sound, so I think it will be a great starting point to work with in a daw. Mixing Spitfire libraries with others can be tricky due to their special room sound, but when everything is in one package, that sort of bypasses that problem.

ProjectSam also comes out with their Symphobia 4 this October, but that will probably work the best in tandem with the other 3 Symphobias. Great tone in the Symphobias, though. Other contenders could be Orchestral Sounds Ark series, and the Cinematic Studio Series libraries. It also depends on what type of music you are looking to do, so make sure your purchase fullfill a real need, as any of these VI's will require a lot of work to sound natural, even though the samples sounds great.

But yeah, I would go with Spitfire BBC.
Thanks Kolstad! Really appreciate your thoughts and I'm glad you're putting your thumbs up for Spitfire. I am looking for an all-rounder (and I guess that statement alone qualifies me for being a total ignorant :D ). But honestly I have been doing instrumental tracks for a while now and I increasingly feel the need for having something at my fingertips to bring in orchestral sounds that sound 'legit' (or - coming back to the Taxi mantra - that a qualified user can make sound legit without agonising over it due to a horrible interface/GUI etc....).
Cheers,
Matt

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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by Kolstad » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:29 pm

Yeah, allrounder is an ambitious term. I think the big distinctions to notice with orchestral libraries are

1) does it lean towards a classical sound (clean, neutral, open) or
2) does it lean towards a more epic sound (bold, loud, compressed), and
a) has it room/ reverb baked into the samples or
b) are the samples dry (so you easier can add your own reverb).

I like both types of sounds, but this is usually what you need to research with the libraries you consider. I tend to buy 1b, but that is because I can make it sound like 2a with processing. 2a type libraries tend to sound great “out of the box”, and can be faster to work with for certain types of library music.

So, whether you go for 1b or 2a types of libraries, it depends on what you are looking to do with it, and your ressources (time and skills ect.).

I think the Spitfire BBC is a 1a type of library, so it falls kind of in between. Spitfire is typically a more classical type of sound with room baked into the samples (you can’t get rid of it). The reason I still consider it is because it seems like an all-in-one type of proposition, which I would love if it really can work like that. If you like to blend with many other libraries, there is a risk it will be hard to handle. Also if the sound you are going for is the big trailer type Hollywood sound, the BBC library might not be it. That is more like an East West Hollywood strings, Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark, Symphobia type of sound.

So they all have a use, but one man’s allround may be another man’s never. So make sure you do lots of research before you commit to buying, as you can’t return these things, and read the EULA as you sometimes can’t resell it either.

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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by MBantle » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:08 am

Kolstad wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:29 pm
Yeah, allrounder is an ambitious term. I think the big distinctions to notice with orchestral libraries are

1) does it lean towards a classical sound (clean, neutral, open) or
2) does it lean towards a more epic sound (bold, loud, compressed), and
a) has it room/ reverb baked into the samples or
b) are the samples dry (so you easier can add your own reverb).

I like both types of sounds, but this is usually what you need to research with the libraries you consider. I tend to buy 1b, but that is because I can make it sound like 2a with processing. 2a type libraries tend to sound great “out of the box”, and can be faster to work with for certain types of library music.

So, whether you go for 1b or 2a types of libraries, it depends on what you are looking to do with it, and your ressources (time and skills ect.).

I think the Spitfire BBC is a 1a type of library, so it falls kind of in between. Spitfire is typically a more classical type of sound with room baked into the samples (you can’t get rid of it). The reason I still consider it is because it seems like an all-in-one type of proposition, which I would love if it really can work like that. If you like to blend with many other libraries, there is a risk it will be hard to handle. Also if the sound you are going for is the big trailer type Hollywood sound, the BBC library might not be it. That is more like an East West Hollywood strings, Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark, Symphobia type of sound.

So they all have a use, but one man’s allround may be another man’s never. So make sure you do lots of research before you commit to buying, as you can’t return these things, and read the EULA as you sometimes can’t resell it either.
Hi Kolstad,
Many thanks for your message. Really appreciate it! I am not planning to do any epic orchestral stuff in the near future and therefore used the term "allrounder". I guess what I am really looking for is instant realism i.e. something easy to work with (straightforward user interface). To give you an example: Yesterday one of my publishers said "I hear a lush string section in that instrumental could you please try and add it." Well, I had to go to Fiverr and don't want to do that again moving forward. I guess there is no easy answer to what is the best choice in my case (i.e. having something in the arsenal that is pretty versatile and can be used in various 'standard' instrumental genres - and I assume the 'dryer' libraries would be the better choice). Thanks again! I am still at the beginning of my research.
Cheers,
Matt

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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by Kolstad » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:15 pm


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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by GBall » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:50 pm

MBantle wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:08 am
I guess what I am really looking for is instant realism i.e. something easy to work with (straightforward user interface).
"Instant Realism" is bit of an oxymoron today in my experience :)

But maybe have a look at Steinberg's "Iconic Sections". Maybe watch especially the strings section in the bottom videos to see if that's what you are going for? https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/v ... ayers.html I think that is about as fast and easy to use as there is today.

I think its beatable with EWQL or the new version of VSL let say - but that would be a lot less "instant" with multiple mic positions and more attention to samples and articulations. You pays yer money and takes yer choice maybe? Just my thoughts. Watching a real string player adjust to a passage - how they take into account the notes before and after, decided when to give a little bounce, stop near the frog, or reach way up to the tip of the bow-- it leaves me in awe and a little despair to duplicate.

Greg

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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by MBantle » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:39 am

GBall wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:50 pm
MBantle wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:08 am
I guess what I am really looking for is instant realism i.e. something easy to work with (straightforward user interface).
"Instant Realism" is bit of an oxymoron today in my experience :)

But maybe have a look at Steinberg's "Iconic Sections". Maybe watch especially the strings section in the bottom videos to see if that's what you are going for? https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/v ... ayers.html I think that is about as fast and easy to use as there is today.

I think its beatable with EWQL or the new version of VSL let say - but that would be a lot less "instant" with multiple mic positions and more attention to samples and articulations. You pays yer money and takes yer choice maybe? Just my thoughts. Watching a real string player adjust to a passage - how they take into account the notes before and after, decided when to give a little bounce, stop near the frog, or reach way up to the tip of the bow-- it leaves me in awe and a little despair to duplicate.

Greg
Hi Greg!
Many thanks. I never heard of Iconic Sections and will definitely check it out!
Cheers,
Matt

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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by stevebarden » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:25 pm

Matt,

There is not one single library out there that "does it all". Every library has its strengths and weaknesses. You are correct that I use a lot of the Cinesamples libraries, but I supplement each section with various libraries depending on my needs.

For example, loud and aggressive cues like trailer pieces I will use Metropolis Ark I. When I need more lush strings I will turn to Berlin Strings. If I want really soft strings it will be Spitfire Albion IV. For special effect articulations I might use Metropolis Ark III.

Define what style of music you plan on using the library for. You may find that you need to mix and match different sections - strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion - each from different libraries. If you are just starting out with learning orchestral writing it makes sense to pick something that fits the general needs. Years ago I started with Garritan Personal Orchestra. Later I moved up to EastWest Symphonic Orchestra. Eventually I pieced together all of the Cinesample libraries one section at a time. Now I add instruments as the need arises.

Also, for me it is important to utilize Kontakt's memory-saving features such as sample purging and Vienna Ensemble Pro's disable/enable feature. EastWest's Play engine and Spitfire's new engine do not support the sample purge feature. Besides, Play libraries load very slowly in my opinion. Kontakt supports the workflow that benefits me in my template-based VEPro remote setup.

Obviously, cost is a factor, but you get what you pay for. For the best sounds and features you need to invest not only $$$ but time to learn how to use the instruments.

Best of luck!

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Re: If you were in the market for an Orchestra VI right now

Post by MBantle » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:55 pm

stevebarden wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:25 pm
Matt,

There is not one single library out there that "does it all". Every library has its strengths and weaknesses. You are correct that I use a lot of the Cinesamples libraries, but I supplement each section with various libraries depending on my needs.

For example, loud and aggressive cues like trailer pieces I will use Metropolis Ark I. When I need more lush strings I will turn to Berlin Strings. If I want really soft strings it will be Spitfire Albion IV. For special effect articulations I might use Metropolis Ark III.

Define what style of music you plan on using the library for. You may find that you need to mix and match different sections - strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion - each from different libraries. If you are just starting out with learning orchestral writing it makes sense to pick something that fits the general needs. Years ago I started with Garritan Personal Orchestra. Later I moved up to EastWest Symphonic Orchestra. Eventually I pieced together all of the Cinesample libraries one section at a time. Now I add instruments as the need arises.

Also, for me it is important to utilize Kontakt's memory-saving features such as sample purging and Vienna Ensemble Pro's disable/enable feature. EastWest's Play engine and Spitfire's new engine do not support the sample purge feature. Besides, Play libraries load very slowly in my opinion. Kontakt supports the workflow that benefits me in my template-based VEPro remote setup.

Obviously, cost is a factor, but you get what you pay for. For the best sounds and features you need to invest not only $$$ but time to learn how to use the instruments.

Best of luck!
Hi Steve,
Many thanks for this! I realise with string/orchestral libraries it is going to be a journey (same as with all the other gear I've been using).
Really appreciate your support.
Cheers,
Matt

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