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Can't decide on Orchestral VST #2967932
01/09/19 02:22 PM
01/09/19 02:22 PM
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Aperkeys Offline OP
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I'm looking to purchase a Pack\plugin for Orchestral stuff, in use for "Orchestrations" and all sorts of stuff mainly for my main band that plays Prog, and for all sorts of rock\pop stints in the future. It seems the diversity of options is colossal, and so are the pricings of the packs.
After hearing many stuff, my two faves are EastWest's outputs (Especially Hollywood Orchestra) and everything Orchestral Tools basically did. Love that Berlin Hall Sound.
Problem is - Pricey and I'm the rookiest of the noobs in terms of orchestration and Symphonic Composing. They feel like an overkill a bit.
My main goal is to orchestrate stuff for an upcoming album with my Prog band. What will feet my needs at the right budget?


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys] #2967952
01/09/19 03:23 PM
01/09/19 03:23 PM
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Steve Nathan Offline
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I have been pleased with everything I've used from East/West, but it is pricey. At the lower end, you might like
https://sonivoxmi.com/products/details/film-score-companion


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Steve Nathan] #2967956
01/09/19 04:01 PM
01/09/19 04:01 PM
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johnchop Offline
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"After hearing many stuff, ..."

What did you rule out?

Also, what do you already own?

Do you already have Kontakt? If so, have you tried orchestrations with the sample orchestral content in the factory library? That's a great place to start!

Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: johnchop] #2967959
01/09/19 04:07 PM
01/09/19 04:07 PM
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Stokely Offline
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Interested in seeing what you find.

I don't do a ton of orchestral stuff, but would like to explore doing so. Logic Pro added strings and horns, with all the cool articulations that you can play/automate, but I'm guessing they aren't going to compete with the big libraries.

My choices in plugins are influenced by the companies and things like copy protection. So saying, I'm a fan of the Garritan company and I know they have some orchestral stuff.

I just got Komplete Select with the aim of upgrading to Komplete this year, and a prime mover in that decision was Kontakt. I'm sure there's some great instruments out there, NI has some as mentioned.

Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys] #2967962
01/09/19 04:19 PM
01/09/19 04:19 PM
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Sam CA Offline
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Originally Posted By: Aperkeys
I'm looking to purchase a Pack\plugin for Orchestral stuff, in use for "Orchestrations" and all sorts of stuff mainly for my main band that plays Prog, and for all sorts of rock\pop stints in the future. It seems the diversity of options is colossal, and so are the pricings of the packs.
After hearing many stuff, my two faves are EastWest's outputs (Especially Hollywood Orchestra) and everything Orchestral Tools basically did. Love that Berlin Hall Sound.
Problem is - Pricey and I'm the rookiest of the noobs in terms of orchestration and Symphonic Composing. They feel like an overkill a bit.
My main goal is to orchestrate stuff for an upcoming album with my Prog band. What will feet my needs at the right budget?


They're not entry level orchestral libraries but why don't you try EW's subscription based service? You'll have access to a lot of libraries, and you can try them for yourself.

Last edited by Sam CA; 01/09/19 04:23 PM.
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Stokely] #2967963
01/09/19 04:22 PM
01/09/19 04:22 PM
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johnchop Offline
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A potential exercise for learning your way around a library: try recreating a brief snippet of a favorite orchestral piece, including something like a movie score.

A while ago I was asked to recreate the score under the "get to the choppa!" scene from "Predator" (yes, really). That turned into a fun mixing and sound selection exercise. Learned a ton about libraries I already had.

Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: johnchop] #2967984
01/09/19 05:36 PM
01/09/19 05:36 PM
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Randelph Offline
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And how about the IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonic 2? I got this as part of a package with the iRig Keys I/O, the CE version (not the full package). For around $100 it covers alot of bases.


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Randelph] #2967985
01/09/19 05:47 PM
01/09/19 05:47 PM
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Sam CA Offline
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Originally Posted By: Randelph
And how about the IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonic 2? I got this as part of a package with the iRig Keys I/O, the CE version (not the full package). For around $100 it covers alot of bases.


Yeah, it's a good entry level package that you can experiment with.

Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA] #2967986
01/09/19 05:48 PM
01/09/19 05:48 PM
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+1


I make software noises.
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: johnchop] #2968003
01/09/19 07:19 PM
01/09/19 07:19 PM
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Geoff Grace Offline
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Originally Posted By: Aperkeys
I'm looking to purchase a Pack\plugin for Orchestral stuff, in use for "Orchestrations" and all sorts of stuff mainly for my main band that plays Prog, and for all sorts of rock\pop stints in the future. It seems the diversity of options is colossal, and so are the pricings of the packs.
After hearing many stuff, my two faves are EastWest's outputs (Especially Hollywood Orchestra) and everything Orchestral Tools basically did. Love that Berlin Hall Sound.
Problem is - Pricey and I'm the rookiest of the noobs in terms of orchestration and Symphonic Composing. They feel like an overkill a bit.
My main goal is to orchestrate stuff for an upcoming album with my Prog band. What will feet my needs at the right budget?

Fitting your needs is the most important factor. How important is playability? Are you planning to play these orchestrations live during and after the recording process?

With some work, most libraries today can be sequenced and programmed to get a satisfactory sound. However, not all of them sound great when played live—especially when playing long notes rather than short ones. Scripting can make all the difference for playing satisfactory legato lines, for example. True legato includes the sampling of transitions from note-to-note. Any library created before that feature was invented—EWQLSO and the Miroslav releases, for example—will not have true legato as a feature. The ability to script those transitions so that the correct ones are triggered properly while playing is a difficult task, and the feature introduces its own latency because the transition samples can't be triggered until the next note is played. Libraries written for Kontakt seem to handle that ability the best; but even on that platform, there are as many misses as hits.

Unfortunately, you just missed the holiday sales, so the price of most libraries has returned to normal. If money were no object and I could only pick one manufacturer, it would be Orchestral Tools. If I were looking for the best bang for the buck, I would subscribe to East West's Composer Cloud and wait to buy their products until they go on sale (which in East West's case is very often—at least 3-4 times per year).

That said, there are a lot of other great orchestral products. I would check out the offerings from Spitfire Audio, Cinematic Studio Series, ProjectSam, Cinesamples, AudioBro, Embertone, and several other manufacturers before making my choice. I also recommend visiting VI-Control, as this subject dominates that site.

Here are some products that are almost universally praised, both for their sound and playability:

Joshua Bell Violin

Spitfire Chamber Strings

Cinematic Studio Brass

Last, but not least, you might find this video helpful:



Best,

Geoff


Enthusiasm powers the world.

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace] #2968010
01/09/19 07:31 PM
01/09/19 07:31 PM
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Mark Schmieder Offline
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I've been hesitant to respond as there were no responses from anyone else yet when I first saw this thread, and as the two listed are ones that I strongly dislike as they don't meet my need for articulations and sample layers as well as relatively dry recording space.

So I'm curious for the O.P. whether much time has yet been put into producing with O.T. and EWQL, as my personal experience is that it is quite difficult to get other stuff to blend with either due to the strong sonic signature that is baked in. This is also true of some of Spitfire's stuff, but not their more recent Studio series or their world instruments and mallet percussion.

I keep coming back to VSL (Vienna Symphonic Library) for almost any genre, with a few isolated exceptions, but am broadening a bit (other stuff historically has never made it past the mock-up stage and gets replaced by VSL during final production). But it can be hard to find the right mixture of starter elements in that expensive library. Having said that, I tend to mostly sue the more basic articulations that don't require the extended licenses.

There are other options, depending on how you intend to orchestrate. Quite a few affordable new "orchestras" have come on board in the past year alone, but there are too many to list without knowing more detailed requirements. Even Session Strings Pro (and especially the new version 2) from Native Instruments can be guided towards usefulness in a number of pop/rock genres, but I recently replaced even that usage with yet more VSL.

My guess for Prog Rock is that you're going to need realistic swells and diminuendos, and those are quite rare outside of libraries like VSL.


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace] #2968011
01/09/19 07:34 PM
01/09/19 07:34 PM
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Sam CA Offline
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Originally Posted By: Geoff Grace
...Any library created before that feature was invented—EWQLSO and the Miroslav releases, for example—will not have true legato as a feature....
Geoff


I think some EW libraries do have True Legato scripting as a feature.

Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2968013
01/09/19 07:39 PM
01/09/19 07:39 PM
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Mark Schmieder Offline
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Miroslav is probably the most complete of the entry-level packages (those priced under $500 that include every basic instrument and section in one package).

There are several versions, some of them out of print and not all from IK Multimedia, but the current one includes the previous one from IK which has patches that are set up for Wind Controller and Breath Controller. Some prefer those to the newer library, but it's a two-for-one anyway.

Another cheaper source that USED to be easy to use is Xsample Chamber Orchestra, but I haven't yet wrapped my head around the re-do from a couple of years back (actually, a bit more recent than that) and it's no longer as cheap as it used to be. They even include extra stuff like Steel Drum, and have a good Marimba. You might find the previous version (a Kontakt Player instrument; no Kontakt license required) on sale at Best Service now and then.

UVI's reworking of MOTU Symphonic Instrument is pretty cheap and comes with a free UVI Workstation player. I got mine really cheap on loyalty discount but have never used it. One strength it has is that it includes historic instruments like harpsichord, and also has a classical guitar, which is left out of so many libraries.

I have far too many, so I can find the time, it might turn out I could hand over one for dirty cheap, but I'd have to check individual resale policies and that can be very time-consuming (time is my biggest limiting factor in life as I wear a lot of hats and all of them are hard).


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2968014
01/09/19 07:42 PM
01/09/19 07:42 PM
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Mark Schmieder Offline
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Legato can be important, as mentioned, but don't assume you need it (or at least need it as a defining factor). I tend to write music that is highly staccato in nature (an exaggeration, but the point is that I avoid Hollywood-ish writing and am not very influenced by the Romantic period of classical music either in terms of 80% of what I write).

Far more libraries fall down flat on dealing with note endings than with issues of legato (note overlap). This is also true of piano libraries. And given how much libraries differ in their strengths, it is advisable to get a sense of what kinds of phrasing you tend to go for the most, as well as section sizes and your tendency to split voices vs. write like an organ player and use a lot of large section block chord type arrangements.


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA] #2968016
01/09/19 08:11 PM
01/09/19 08:11 PM
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Geoff Grace Offline
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Originally Posted By: Sam CA
Originally Posted By: Geoff Grace
...Any library created before that feature was invented—EWQLSO and the Miroslav releases, for example—will not have true legato as a feature....
Geoff


I think some EW libraries do have True Legato scripting as a feature.

Yes, the newer ones that were created within the last decade—like Hollywood Orchestra—do. However, I don't think that EastWest's Play host implements the feature as well as Kontakt can.

Best,

Geoff


Enthusiasm powers the world.

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2968017
01/09/19 08:14 PM
01/09/19 08:14 PM
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Geoff Grace Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder
Legato can be important, as mentioned, but don't assume you need it (or at least need it as a defining factor). I tend to write music that is highly staccato in nature (an exaggeration, but the point is that I avoid Hollywood-ish writing and am not very influenced by the Romantic period of classical music either in terms of 80% of what I write).

Far more libraries fall down flat on dealing with note endings than with issues of legato (note overlap). This is also true of piano libraries. And given how much libraries differ in their strengths, it is advisable to get a sense of what kinds of phrasing you tend to go for the most, as well as section sizes and your tendency to split voices vs. write like an organ player and use a lot of large section block chord type arrangements.

Thanks for adding this, Mark. I didn't mean to suggest that legato was the only feature that can affect playability, but it may have come across that way.

Best,

Geoff


Enthusiasm powers the world.

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace] #2968022
01/09/19 08:34 PM
01/09/19 08:34 PM
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I love DSK Brass and Strings and Virtuoso, VSCO2, Sonatina VST, Sound Canvas VA, Dexed, and Synth1 for orchestral (last 2 I love to use for strings and brass).
Plus the first 5 I mentioned are free, same with Dexed and Synth1. I don’t mind sawtooth brass and strings and square and pulse woodwinds orchestrations from Synth1.
DSK, Sonatina and VSCO2 are the most realistic for me. Same with Sound Canvas VA.

Last edited by Music Bird; 01/09/19 08:35 PM.

Yamaha MX49, Casio SK1/WK-7600, Korg Minilogue, Alesis SR-16, Casio CT-X3000, FL Studio, many VSTs, percussion, woodwinds, strings, and sound effects.
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace] #2968029
01/09/19 09:13 PM
01/09/19 09:13 PM
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Sam CA Offline
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Originally Posted By: Geoff Grace
Originally Posted By: Sam CA
Originally Posted By: Geoff Grace
...Any library created before that feature was invented—EWQLSO and the Miroslav releases, for example—will not have true legato as a feature....
Geoff


I think some EW libraries do have True Legato scripting as a feature.

Yes, the newer ones that were created within the last decade—like Hollywood Orchestra—do. However, I don't think that EastWest's Play host implements the feature as well as Kontakt can.

Best,

Geoff


I haven't had a problem with that, I have experienced other problems with their Play engine. They should've just used Kontakt instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA] #2968049
01/09/19 10:45 PM
01/09/19 10:45 PM
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Mark Schmieder Offline
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Oh I know you didn't mean that Geoff, but as the vi-control forum was mentioned, and the overwhelming majority of people on that forum are exceedingly narrow in their coverage as well as their knowledge (or basic web search skills), I'm generally cautioujs in recommending that forum to newbies as they could easily get steered in a direction that is wrong for them personally (but not for others) and be out a lot of money.

I'm as guilty as anybody, of buying products I "should" like and never getting on with them. Especially when it's something that can't be resold, such as EWQL products. So a month of Composer Cloud is a MUCH safer way to try out those products (this option wasn't available years ago, and most of us were insulted by having to pay twice or more, for the Kompakt versions then the Play transfers that weren't even that well-done).


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2968073
01/10/19 03:17 AM
01/10/19 03:17 AM
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Although not as well known as some of the others, the Chris Hein stuff is quite good and somewhat similar to VSL, but much cheaper. It goes on sale frequently and will probably be on sale again this FEB (at least via Best Service). It's one of the rare dry libraries out there, but also comes with excellent convolutions if you want to record it wet. Not enough articulations or I'd switch a lot of material to that suite. But more than a lot of others.


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2968077
01/10/19 05:13 AM
01/10/19 05:13 AM
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hardware Offline
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You’re going to start your journey of the rabbit hole.
There is no single entry level VST to cut Prog Rock.
You could start with Solid State Symphony just to decide what others you will use like to layer onto that.
Horns Winds Percussions and Strings are easy to cut through on Dnce Music, but Prog Rock requires layering instruments.
Many folks disagree with me but I like the biggest in you ur fave sound you can get, I even layer Epianos and Pianos, Guitar, Horns, etc.

Everything becus I deal with powerful guitar and drums.

East/West is a good idea, Hollywood Brass is very good.
But I started with Kontakt developer LASS for Strings and Hollywood Brass.
Layered those with Solid State and just keep adding as necessity calls for.

But Solid State really gives you a big bottom end that helps especially with winds and strings, Hollywood Brass is fine by itself as they record instrument trees really well.

LASS is realistically harsh but once SState layers with it it gets BIG.

I use this in an ELO Tribute that was so well liked the bandleader bought a rig just so whoever he hires has the sounds he wants.
The Cellos overwhelm the Bassist.


Magnus C350 + FMR RNP + Realistic Unisphere Mic
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: hardware] #2968184
01/10/19 05:11 PM
01/10/19 05:11 PM
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LASS is one I never got around to buying -- I think it was the first to offer distinct 1st and 2nd violins. They either are releasing soon, or already have, a similarly done brass library, that has been getting good reviews. I don't think I've heard demos of that one yet, and I don't recall them tackling woodwinds yet.


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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2968187
01/10/19 05:24 PM
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I would not recommend a specialized String only library for someone who just wants to get started...unless it's something like a subscription service that you can cancel. It'll be too confusing and too expensive to go that route.

Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA] #2968192
01/10/19 05:34 PM
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I think your needs would be met by using an ensemble library. Unless you plan to mock up full orchestrations with individual instruments, you should could use ensemble patches for the prog/rock band stuff. It will be more playable and usable. Look at Cinesamples Lite, Orchestral Tools, Berlin Inspire, Spitfire Albion One, or any of the smaller libraries. Also suggest checking our Project Sam Orchestra Tools 1 & 2.

It also seems like you could do everything you need using Omnisphere. It has some very nice string ensemble patches.

The EW Hollywood strings, etc. series has some nice stuff, but it is requires a lot more tweaking than a good ensemble library. Also, decide if you want a library that has a lot of baked in room sound (e.g., reverb) or that is dry sounding. Cinematic Studio Strings is an awesome library, but it has a very obvious cinematic sound baked in.

Last edited by DOhm; 01/10/19 05:38 PM.

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Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: DOhm] #2968197
01/10/19 06:27 PM
01/10/19 06:27 PM
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OP, does it have to be a VST format?

If you are using your Kronos in a live band, here is discussion about a nice string library that is available.

KApro Strings http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/2956318/Searchpage/1/Main/194622/Words/%2Bkronos+%2Bstrings+%2Bkapro/Search/true/Re_State_of_the_art_strings#Post2956318

Last edited by LennyTunes; 01/10/19 06:29 PM.

Lenny
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: LennyTunes] #2968205
01/10/19 07:16 PM
01/10/19 07:16 PM
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Aperkeys Offline OP
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Tel Aviv
Woah guys, can't decide to whom reply first.
I read all the posts here, and I'll have to say - our first album was recorded without me (Wasn't member of the band), but I know from hearing and seeing the stuff in the studio that the strings were some legacy EastWest lib's (Ra and Ultimate Strings, I think).
I'm too picky about the sounds and many libraries sound not worth to me even on a budget and maybe it'll be a great gift to my studio mates to buy a series library.
I love the EastWest sound, I grew up on it. Nothing can take that away.
In my Prog Rock, situation, the "Orchestrations" are not as deep as needed for movie\theater scoring. I'm getting really hooked on the Orchestral Tool stuff. Great ensemble with "Berlin Hall" sounds, and run on Kontakt. My main concern with the new East-West stuff are the Play engine. A resource hog that might not be justified as in the mix there are drums, guitar, bass, Hammonds etc.
The whole Orchestral sound to my ears in this kind of mix, needs to be rather "Hollywoodish" then a Symphonic one.
As far as for my Kronos - I have 2 libraries of Kurt Ader, a master sound engineer as far as I'm concerned. My live Orchestral sound was hightened a few levels, although - It won't be enough for the studio. It will sit properly as a layer for fat and cutting sound, like Jordan Rudess layered his KaPro libraries on real orchestra recording in Dream Theater's "The Astonishing".
Thank you all, once again.


My Gear: Korg Kronos X 73, Nord Stage EX Compact, Kurzweil PC3K6 (For rehearsals mainly).
My Band: Aperco.
https://www.youtube.com/user/apercoband
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys] #2968269
01/11/19 01:09 AM
01/11/19 01:09 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,242
UNITED STATES
Sundown Offline
Platinum Member
Sundown  Offline
Platinum Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,242
UNITED STATES
If you’re going to be using the sounds in a prog rock context, you might be looking in the wrong spot. Some of the high-end orchestral libraries won’t cut through in a rock setting, or won’t sit well with other sounds. The high-end libraries have tons of detail and lots of articulations and key switching, but if those details get lost against a drum kit, guitars, etc., it’s all for naught.

Though not a VST, you might consider a used Kurzweil. I got my mint PC361 for less than a grand, and the quality and playability of the orchestral sounds is very good. They may not have the detail that a high-end library has, but the playability makes up for it, and the sounds blend quite well with other instruments. The winds and reeds are particularly good, the string sections are decent, as is the orchestral percussion. And should you need a pipe organ, there are some great tones in their as well.


Sundown

Just Finished: Condensation; Two Button Press
Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Fishing in Kingsbury
Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361
DAW Platform: Cubase
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys] #2968270
01/11/19 01:11 AM
01/11/19 01:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,745
Nevada
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hardware Offline
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hardware  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,745
Nevada
PLAY is easy on a laptop if you use their 16 bit versions.
Unless you need dozens of articulations, you can just use MIDI CCs on the ADSR section and get plenty of variety I.e. short, bowed, long and slow sustains, etc.

Try the 16bit version and upgrade accordingly.
I’ve got Diamond for recording since 24 Bit is easier to master with.

LASS also has 16 bit NCW samples that take up very little RAM.


Magnus C350 + FMR RNP + Realistic Unisphere Mic
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: hardware] #2968280
01/11/19 01:42 AM
01/11/19 01:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,533
San Francisco Bay Area
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Mark Schmieder  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,533
San Francisco Bay Area
The growing trend for those wanting "orchestral" sounds in a rock (or even cinematic) setting is what is being referred to as "hybrid" libraries, which means there are sampled acoustic sounds layered with light background synth pads and the like.

This would be more akin to a Kurzweil keyboard approach, except larger sample pools obviously (not that that always helps).

I personally cringe when I hear those kinds of sounds, but as many sample-only libraries sound like synths to be anyway, my tastes are probably more traditional and picky than most. For instance, that's what EWQL sounds like to me, even in the best of hands, but you love their stuff.

Anyway, some of the newest libraries released over the past few months, take the hybrid approach and might be your cup of tea, sound-wise as well as ease of use. Neocymatics has a couple of products along those lines too, as does VirHarmonic, but strings-only at the moment. A few other vendors have done this as well; I think including your preferred vendor OT?


Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager
Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2968299
01/11/19 09:19 AM
01/11/19 09:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,745
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hardware Offline
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Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,745
Nevada
The guy who makes my Favorite Brass and Reed Section Instruments just released this.
I absolutely love the way you customize articulations in his instruments,


https://youtu.be/xqz5k0sUc8g


Magnus C350 + FMR RNP + Realistic Unisphere Mic
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