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Topic: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

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  1. #1

    Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    Hi,
    I\'m trying to put together a decent set of samples on a somewhat limited budget. I mostly write big orchestral music and/or simpler folk/medieval/renaissance influenced music.
    So, here\'s what I\'m considering buying:

    Strings: GOS lite. (But, until I can afford that, I\'m thinking about buying prosamples vol.11 -which will give me some strings, woodwinds, and perc. to hold me over for a while).
    Choir Prosamples vol.13 (Eventually, I\'d like to get VOTA, but it won\'t be in my budget for quite some time)
    Brass SAM Horns (already bought them - can\'t wait to get them!), SAM Solo horn, SAM trumpet. Also, I\'m considering prosamples vol.20 (from QLB) to fill out the brass section. (Is there any chance that the DDBE will be sold as separate instruments? If the trombones sound good and are somewhat affordable, I think that I would rather just get them to fill out the brass sect.)
    Percussion SAM Timpani and the percussion on prosamples 11 - until SAM Percussion is out. Also, I\'m considering buying prosamples 4 (percussive loops) and/or prosamples 32 (ethnic adventures). (I think that both of those are from Percussive Adventures).
    Medieval/folk Early Patches (already bought it) and prosamples 31 (from rare instruments). Eventually I hope to buy the full RI.

    Any opinions? Suggestions?
    [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Thank you,
    Dana

  2. #2

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    Don\'t forget woodwinds as you are planning. Flute (including ethnic ones), Clarinet, Double-reeds....etc.

    Depending on your style of writing, you may not need WW sections right away, just solo. OR, perhaps the opposite is true.

    Look at Dan Dean Woods for sure, as you they ARE per instrument.

  3. #3

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    Dan Dean solo strings are quite inexpensive but very classy. They are great for dripping into GOS or probably any other strings for that matter.

    And, of course, you now also have a solo violin, viola and cello for around $35 apiece.
    Tob has a website with a ton of free goodies, and you might want to plead for Thomas\' delightful pan pipes.

    I don\'t own them but Michiel has a couple of harpsichords that sound pretty damn great in MP3 and they seem also quite inexpensive.

  4. #4

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    What type of music are you writing? I ask because you list the folk/early patches stuff which isn\'t normal orchestra as such. Personally I would forget getting a choir (I still don\'t have one) and just orchestrate with the standard orchestra for now. So many composers these days take the easy option of trying to \'fill out\' their orchestrations by throwing some choir in with it. With the Tob and SAM freebies you should be well on you way, except for strings and woodwinds.

    You might want to think about the AO/Prosonus/Roland entire orchestra libaries. They\'re a good cheap way to get the whole thing and even when you get the GOSes and the DDSBs you still find yourself reaching for the patches from stuff like AO or prosonus - or those legendary Roland strings of course. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    DDSB is available in sections so you can buy whichever instruments you need the most. Along with SAM Horns and Trumpets you should have a good brass set. I would reccomend DDSB rather than DDBE \'cos you have ensembles with the SAM stuff. For choral works its best to have solos.

    Well that\'s my thoughts anyway. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    Dana

    This is probably an unfashionable opion but on a limited budget the Advanced Orchestra Set is a great place to start. They might not be
    chromatically sampled or have 8 velocity layers for every note but there are a lot of articulations for each instrument. There are some hidden gems in there you would use whatever libraries you buy. The ensemble flutes, staccato contras and bassoons to name but three. Add to this the free/cheap libraries you mention and you\'re laughing.

    Then you can replace the sections of the orchestra one by one with the more expensive libraries. Start with the one that gets on your nerves the most!!!

    BTW, what is Peter Siedlaczek doing these days?

  6. #6

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    Thank you for the replies...
    Don\'t forget woodwinds as you are planning... I should have mentioned in my original post that I\'m not too concerned with woodwinds at the moment. I don\'t use them a lot, and I have some decent soundfonts that I can get by with for now.
    Dan Dean solo strings are quite inexpensive but very classy... Thank you. I think I\'ll add them to my list.
    What type of music are you writing? Currently I\'m writing music for an amateur gamedev team. It\'s a medieval/fantasy game which calls for music ranging from simple medieval/folk sounding tunes to be played in the taverns to big orchestral battle music (with medieval influences). Actually, there\'s a good chance that I would be writing this type of music even if I was not working on this game.
    You might want to think about the AO/Prosonus/Roland entire orchestra libaries... That\'s two votes for AO... what about the compact edition? Anyone have it? How do you like it? I guess that $650 is a good deal for the full edition, but I really want to get GOS lite. So if I get the AO, then I would feel like a big part of what I\'m paying for is another set of strings. I\'m not ruling it out.. I\'ll have to give it some thought. Also, I\'ll check into prosonus and roland. - thanks.

  7. #7

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    Originally posted by D.DiAnda:
    That\'s two votes for AO... what about the compact edition? Anyone have it? How do you like it? I guess that $650 is a good deal for the full edition.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I have a sneaky feeling that AO will be on sale at www.soundsonline.com for $475 from tomorrow for one week. Contact info@soundsonline.com for more details.

    dr

  8. #8

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    Thanks for the tip! Now the pressure\'s on [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
    Time to make a decision. I\'m seriously leaning toward setting all other choices aside for now so that I can afford AO. (All except, of course, the SAM horns which I\'ve already bought). [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    I\'d have to agree that AO is a good place to start. The average listener would think that it\'s a real orchestra, and it\'s quite useable. There has never been a time when it didn\'t really do what I needed it to do. There were a few times when I didn\'t like certain sounds, but was able to shape them with EQ and other effects to the point where I was satisfied.

    Anyway, as was said before, it\'s a good starting point, and you can replace instruments slowly when you tire of them. With the discount, I think you\'d be making a good investment.

  10. #10

    Re: Looking for advice/ Orchestra on a budget

    Well at that price Dana, you gotta get AO! Even if you had GOS _full_ you would still reach for the AO strings in places. Not the sustains though that\'s for sure! I see now why you need the Folk/Early patches libaries, they sound pretty good from the demos so they should do the job.

    About the woodwinds, I\'ll have to admit I postponed buying any for a while and just used soundfonts. But with AO you should be alright anyway. Its funny that AO is still the best for this price range, there has been so many advances in orchestral sampling but no-one has made any new budget range full orchestral sets.

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