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Topic: GPO or KHO Emerald?

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  1. #1

    GPO or KHO Emerald?

    I know this might be a sticky question as both Gary and Kirk frequent this board, but they are both budget great sounding libraries and I am wondering what the members of this board think of them, especially those of you who have used both. What are the apparent differences, strengths and weaknesses.

    I have used Garritan a little but I have not used emerald. I was recently surprised by the GPO and real orchestra comparison that is on garritan.com. Huge props to whoever programmed that.

  2. #2

    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    Quote Originally Posted by n8tron
    I know this might be a sticky question as both Gary and Kirk frequent this board, but they are both budget great sounding libraries and I am wondering what the members of this board think of them, especially those of you who have used both. What are the apparent differences, strengths and weaknesses.

    I have used Garritan a little but I have not used emerald. I was recently surprised by the GPO and real orchestra comparison that is on garritan.com. Huge props to whoever programmed that.
    I have great respect for Gary and his products but IMHO Emerald blows GPO out of the water. And it is not tied to a specific player which is a big plus IMHO.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  3. #3

    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    The two libs use very different approaches. GPO uses a relatively small number of samples, and uses filters for real-time expression. It also provides for ensemble building. Emerald uses the old-school approach of more samples that are selected with key-switches or cross faded.

    Regarding the sound, it's best to listen to the demos and let your own ears be the judge.

  4. #4
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    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    I have both and although you can do a lot of nice things with GPO, the brass are not that powerful... the strings are nice, a lot of the percussion is nice, the piano is nice, the woodwinds are nice and work well in a mix... The harp is also very nice.. Solo strings are also nice... Also, it has a built in player... It has a soft sound, more classically oriented... If you're strictly a composer, it works very well....

    Emerald can be aggressive or lyrical if you want it to... The strings are great, both solo and ensemble... The brass works very well, and the solo brass is great for chamber works... You can get the trumpet sounding like a woodwind... The woodwinds have a raw sound that work well in a mix... It's missing the bass clarinet... The percussion is not full fledged, but it can pack a mean wallop...

    I would say that emerald is more versatile than gpo in that it can be aggressive or mellow, and the strings are top notch... GPO works well in certain situations, but you really can't get very aggressive with it... If you can only get one, get emerald, if not, get both...

  5. #5

    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    Get both. The Brass in GPO might be lacking, but you can combine the strings from GPO and Emerald to create VERY convincing ensembles. I did it a lot of times and it sounds great!
    Greetings from Vienna!
    Peter
    My website: Above the staff.net

  6. #6

    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    My sentiments exactly Tom. :-)
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  7. #7

    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    Thanks for all the good insight.

    I mostly compose in a sequencer, however I do use Sibelius if I know the piece will be recorded with live players. I may look into getting GPO for Sibelius eventually to enhance my mock-ups. Emerald seems like the way to go for my full blown midi orchestrations though. I can always add GPO to my library, its certainly easily attainable at that price.

  8. #8

    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    Emerald's quality is excellent.

    Every time I use the strings or brass, it fits beautifully well in the mix. At over 25GB, there is simply more of everything with KHSO Emerald (compared to the more modest requirements of GPO) and it was recorded masterfully.

    That said, there are so many good things said about GPO it is hard to ignore it.

    I just picked up the EWQLSO Gold XP bundle (upgrade from Silver) for a song (< $800), so along with KHSO Emerald (which is SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive), that is a POWERHOUSE combination. Cool thing about KHSO Emerald is that you need Kontakt 2 to run it (more money to spend, but . . .) - that also gets you the VSL Lite version that comes with the 16GB Kontakt 2 library.

    Mike

  9. #9

    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    karmacomposer:

    I have thought about getting EWQLSO gold, but something has never sat right with me about their libraries. Does the only far mic samples cause some problems if you want a more intimate sound? I would imagine if you want the typical hollywood style orchestra sound they would be good but I get the impression they aren't very versatile.

    I've enjoyed the samples kontakt comes with, but they definitely seem to be a sampler pack more than anything. I mean, the samples themselves sound great but they don't seem put together very well. I often hit into a different velocity layer at the wrong time which honks a clarinet or stifles a flute.

  10. #10

    Re: GPO or KHO Emerald?

    Quote Originally Posted by n8tron
    karmacomposer:

    I have thought about getting EWQLSO gold, but something has never sat right with me about their libraries. Does the only far mic samples cause some problems if you want a more intimate sound? I would imagine if you want the typical hollywood style orchestra sound they would be good but I get the impression they aren't very versatile.

    I've enjoyed the samples kontakt comes with, but they definitely seem to be a sampler pack more than anything. I mean, the samples themselves sound great but they don't seem put together very well. I often hit into a different velocity layer at the wrong time which honks a clarinet or stifles a flute.
    EWQLSO Gold (and XP Pro) are actually stage mic samples (EW calls them Full). And since it sounds like you have Kontakt, you have a lot of control over shaping the sound. You can remove release samples and reshape the fade, to create a drier sound - later adding convolution reverb.

    I think you can get good results, and mix well with other libraries. Producing a more intimate sound will ultimately depend on your mixing skills and judicious use of the library (avoid the high velocities).

    When you want that BIG sound, I think it's tough to beat.

    I use the GPO woodwinds pretty much to the exclusion of anything else, due to their expressiveness. (I don't have and Westgate modules, so I can't comment on those). I also find some GPO percussion to be quite good with the right reverb. Strings - with ensemble building - can be very nice.

    I do not have KH Emerald, so I can't really comment on that. But I am intrigued from others posts on it.

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