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Topic: What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use

  1. #1

    What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use

    Dear Fellow NorthernSounds member.. I am interested to know which orchestra, strings, woodwinds, brass or in general any Libraries you like to use. Sorry I posted in the 'listening area', but i notice not much activity here.

    I just purchased Garritan Anthony.. (8 of their libraries in one bundle).. While there certainly are plenty of useful patches. I was hoping to find a library, that more or less had all the articulations of a particular instrument. Also Solo Instruments. As I want to listen and learn how to use them.

    I have almost all UVI libraries, but there is not that much in orchestra department. I also have an odd mishmash of old Native Instrument libraries. I don't have a huge budget, but none the less, I would GREATLY APPRECIATE anyone opinions.. I certainly realize we all have our favorites, and each particular library has its strengths, and a lot of composers use a composite of different libraries to get what they want/need.


    Mark Styles

  2. #2
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Canada,winter Mexico

    Re: What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use

    Hello Mark,

    I have recently got Spitfire Strings, got it on special price of 120. I had to wait for the special for a few weeks...
    The sounds to me are considerably better than Garritan, better than East West any, and better than the free Vienna coming with Kontakt. That is for strings only. They have most articulations, and they can be easily called up bu CC numbers to avoid the mess of key-switch notes all over your score. All in all I am happy about it.
    As far as woods and brass, I think Garritan is better (in my budget restrictions) than anything else.
    I am so glad that you are inquiring about this, we may hear from you more orchestrations, as lessons for us from your talents.
    Hope you are healthy and happy...

  3. #3

    Re: What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use

    Thank you Ted

    I appreciate this. Although I like the Garritan instant orchestra and personal orchestra. I was dismayed to find few articulations.. It will still come in very helpful though.

    Which particular library was it. Just checked on line, pricey.... But as my Dad always said 'you get what you pay for' I am looking for libraries with most articulations


  4. #4
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use


    I see East/West Soundsonline has a sale going right now. Their Symphonic Orchestra Gold version has always been pretty decent for the price. I have an older Silver version which doesn’t have many articulations but it’s works for supplementing my other orchestral instrument libraries. I believe the Gold version like the Silver version does have baked in reverb from the recording session. My older Silver version doesn’t use modulation to create expression which makes it faster to work with if that works for you. I think expression was done at the time of the recordings so it’s baked in like the reverb.


  5. #5

    Re: What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use

    Thanks Fastlane

  6. #6

    Re: What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use

    Hi Mark,

    As you know, I've been using the VSL libraries for quite a time now (since 2014) and I'm getting better and better at it. They are not the most simple libraries to use, but they have nearly all the articulations and playing techniques. The last series (Synchron instruments) have a built-in acoustic (Synchron Stages) with a fixed position of all the orchestral instruments. That makes it pretty easy to have an instant result, but at the same time it's a nasty limitation to instrumental freedom and special mixing. I'm not fond of that series and I only use the acoustic environment of the Synchron Stages as the final tail reverb (in the master). The regular instruments don't have any acoustic at all (very dry recordings), so you can manipulate anything as you please and think fit. That's what I prefer anyway.
    A huge drawback is of course the price. VSL is pretty expensive. There was however an action to purchase the Special Edition at a strongly reduced price. The Specials have most of the articulations (commonly used), but only half of the recorded sounds (notes). The other half is being calculated from the recorded ones. And they show some difficulty in layering sounds (for the dynamic layers): they often come with a phasing, because the same layers are put on top of each other... So to avoid that, I rarely use the Velocity Fade-tool, but rather some well chosen compression to create extra volume.

    In short: VSL is extraordinary, rather difficult and expensive, but once you master them, they sound exquisitely, probably the best out there...
    I own some other instruments be used with the Kontakt Player, but I only use them if no equivalent is available in VSL. They are CPU consuming and sometimes hard to tame, with only few articulations.

    Jos Wylin

    http://www.joswyl.be compositions and sampling practices

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use

    I use a combination of the Spitfire Studio Strings and LA Scoring Strings for my string sections.

    Woodwinds are mostly Orchestral Tools Woodwinds with some of the VSL, Chris Hein and Garritan Personal Orchestra libraries. I sometimes use the Sample Modeling instruments but mostly just the clarinet. I have to pick from the various libraries depending on the tone and how the samples work with solo passages.

    Brass is mostly the new AudioBro Modern Scoring Brass for orchestral work. I do use a mixture of many libraries for concert band music including Sample Modeling Brass and Chris Hein Brass.

    Percussion is mostly Orchestral Tools Percussion and LA Drama Drums.

    Harps and Piano are Garritan. I use both the Steinway and CFX grand.

    I've found that none of the libraries cover all the different styles.


  8. #8

    Re: What orchestra libraries do you prefer to use

    Thanx Max and Hadyn. I have a mishmash of older konkat libraries. I can weed thru and get rid of some. I want to get more familiar with the articulations, and figure out what library will work best for me. Retired now, so have to pay attention to $$.

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