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#2967932 - 01/09/19 09:22 AM Can't decide on Orchestral VST
Aperkeys Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/06/17
Posts: 37
Loc: Tel Aviv
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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#2967952 - 01/09/19 10:23 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys]
Steve Nathan Offline
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Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 3137
Loc: Nashville, TN
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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#2967956 - 01/09/19 11:01 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Steve Nathan]
johnchop Offline
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Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 2276
Loc: Georgia, US
"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!

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#2967959 - 01/09/19 11:07 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: johnchop]
Stokely Offline
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Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 2142
Loc: Florida
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.

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#2967962 - 01/09/19 11:19 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys]
Sam CA Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/05/18
Posts: 248
Loc: Los Angeles
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.


Edited by Sam CA (01/09/19 11:23 AM)
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#2967963 - 01/09/19 11:22 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Stokely]
johnchop Offline
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Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 2276
Loc: Georgia, US
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.

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#2967984 - 01/09/19 12:36 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: johnchop]
Randelph Offline
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Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 622
Loc: San Francisco, CA
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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#2967985 - 01/09/19 12:47 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Randelph]
Sam CA Offline
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Registered: 12/05/18
Posts: 248
Loc: Los Angeles
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.
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#2967986 - 01/09/19 12:48 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA]
johnchop Offline
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Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 2276
Loc: Georgia, US
+1
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#2968003 - 01/09/19 02:19 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: johnchop]
Geoff Grace Offline
Senior Trade Show Overseer
10k Club

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 11247
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
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#2968010 - 01/09/19 02:31 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
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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#2968011 - 01/09/19 02:34 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace]
Sam CA Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/05/18
Posts: 248
Loc: Los Angeles
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.
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#2968013 - 01/09/19 02:39 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
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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#2968014 - 01/09/19 02:42 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
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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#2968016 - 01/09/19 03:11 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA]
Geoff Grace Offline
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Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 11247
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
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#2968017 - 01/09/19 03:14 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Geoff Grace Offline
Senior Trade Show Overseer
10k Club

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 11247
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
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#2968022 - 01/09/19 03:34 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace]
Music Bird Offline
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Registered: 08/30/16
Posts: 271
Loc: Alexandria, Virginia
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.


Edited by Music Bird (01/09/19 03:35 PM)
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#2968029 - 01/09/19 04:13 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace]
Sam CA Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/05/18
Posts: 248
Loc: Los Angeles
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.
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#2968049 - 01/09/19 05:45 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
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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#2968073 - 01/09/19 10:17 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
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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#2968077 - 01/10/19 12:13 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder]
hardware Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 1640
Loc: Nevada
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.
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#2968184 - 01/10/19 12:11 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: hardware]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
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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#2968187 - 01/10/19 12:24 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Sam CA Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/05/18
Posts: 248
Loc: Los Angeles
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.
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#2968192 - 01/10/19 12:34 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA]
DOhm Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/06/14
Posts: 282
Loc: Colorado
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.


Edited by DOhm (01/10/19 12:38 PM)
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#2968197 - 01/10/19 01:27 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: DOhm]
LennyTunes Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/15/01
Posts: 77
Loc: Live Music Capital ofthe World
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


Edited by LennyTunes (01/10/19 01:29 PM)
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#2968205 - 01/10/19 02:16 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: LennyTunes]
Aperkeys Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/06/17
Posts: 37
Loc: 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.
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#2968269 - 01/10/19 08:09 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys]
Sundown Offline
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Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 1210
Loc: 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.
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#2968270 - 01/10/19 08:11 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys]
hardware Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 1640
Loc: 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.
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#2968280 - 01/10/19 08:42 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: hardware]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: 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?
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#2968299 - 01/11/19 04:19 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder]
hardware Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 1640
Loc: 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
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#2968353 - 01/11/19 10:34 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: hardware]
DOhm Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/06/14
Posts: 282
Loc: Colorado
Sorry...I meant to say Project Sam Orchestral Essentials (OE1 and OE2). Awesome libraries!
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#2968375 - 01/11/19 12:42 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: DOhm]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Due to a just-received discount coupon, I was just reminded of one that I meant to mention earlier, that is low-risk due to cost, and yet is pretty high quality compared to most under-$200 string libraries:

https://www.kontakthub.com/product/hyper..._eid=899febbe2f

I've barely used it since it came out so don't remember how it sounds. Usually I'm not a fan of Soundiron as they go for Hollywood type sounds, which is 180 degrees from my preference for super-high-articulateness and small-scale intimacy. But I seem to recall the Hyperion teaser (a larger library is on the way, and this one will qualify for loyalty discounts), being a bit more intimate than their usual bombastic fare. Warmer too.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (01/11/19 12:42 PM)
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#2968455 - 01/12/19 07:01 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Mark Schmieder]
hardware Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 1640
Loc: Nevada
That’s a steal of a price. Like the Preview video, 3rd one down.
Strings without being bathed in FX or buried in some “Epic” sounding snore snippet.
If I were OP I’d jump on this.

Don’t let these Demos fool you either.
Try and find the sound in a walk through.
If they’re proud of it you’ll hear it as they walk through their interface.
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#2968593 - 01/12/19 11:05 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: hardware]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I finally tried Native Instruments String Ensemble tonight, on a project where I had forgotten I was still using Session Strings Pro (I've been converting most of those to Vienna Symphonic Library), and I was pleasantly surprised by the timbre and the recording quality, once I turned off the reverb.

This library was done by Audiobro, who also did LASS (L.A. Scoring Strings), so now I guess I have a slight feel for that library.

I would say this one is a bit on the dark side, which I prefer. Very articulate and warm. I feel like the mic choices really brought out the wood and the rosin in just the right amounts.
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#2968620 - 01/13/19 05:39 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Sam CA]
Bosendorphen Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 1311
Loc: Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: Sam CA
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.

+1 - I got the original MP back in 2005 and immediately started using it for a low budget sci-fi feature. Got up and running quickly and it turned out great and gave the video a higher-budget feel. I did upgrade to 2 a few years ago.
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#2968621 - 01/13/19 05:47 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: hardware]
EricBarker Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 07/25/18
Posts: 329
If you're doing classic prog, your first stop, really, should be a mellotron or string machine. I'm a prog guy, and that's often the thing I reach for first. In some ways, more realistic isn't the best approach. I love big symphonic stuff, but often times the best is with instruments that provide the same epic flavor, but while being decidedly keyboard. Don't get me wrong, I use EWQL and many Kontakt "realistic" instruments, but they come at a cost, you cease to be a keyboard player, and more a producer, a behind the scenes arranger. Classic prog used all these wonderfully unrealistic symphonic sounds, and they feel comfortable because they don't feel like they're trying to copy anyone else.

I use G-Force Mellotrons whenever I can get away with it. You play them like a keyboard, and they can fill the role of symphonic instruments while still screaming "I'm a keyboard!" It's taken me a while to really latch onto that (of all things, it was a guitarist buddy who really sold me on the idea), but I've really come around.

Now, I also do mockups and arranging for actual symphonic work (TV themes and beds for commercials), if I'm not playing live or working with a group as a band member, I'll use anything.
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#2968652 - 01/13/19 10:03 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: EricBarker]
Fleer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/21/17
Posts: 182
Loc: Boston/Cambridge
Lots of orchestral libs here, but if you're indeed the rookiest of the noobs in terms of orchestration, maybe even Miroslav 2 could be daunting. Same goes for EastWest and VSL. If you're looking for entrance strings packages, that Soundiron Hyperion Micro is sound (and cheap) advice. Same goes for Embertone's strings.
But for starters, have a look at Garritan's Personal Orchestra 5 (and also their Instant Orchestra) to get to grips with orchestration. Some very sweet sounds in there, as GPO5 has been upgraded last year or so with lots of goodies.

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#2969639 - 01/17/19 05:22 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: hardware]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9364
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
There's also Peter Siedlaczek Complete Orchestral Collection, a Kontakt Player instrument from Best Service, which I've just put up for sale (for "cost of transfer" only), as it is redundant given my huge collection of libraries and my focus on primarily working with Vienna Symphonic Library.

As I state in the ad (here in the forum), this library has some characteristics in common with Miroslav Philharmonik, which probably should come as no surprise as it too is an Eastern European orchestra.

The few times I used it, I was impressed, especially given its price, as it felt very much like a mid-tiered product, and of course was priced as such when it first came out. But it has held up well over time, and has some unique features that I don't recall at the moment but which help avoid the immediate need for more detailed add-ons. Maybe choirs, runs, or aleatoric content? Or possibly smart phrase-context-based interpretation and auto-switching of articulations? Check the specs at my link.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (01/17/19 05:24 PM)
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#2970012 - 01/19/19 11:34 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: EricBarker]
Aperkeys Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/06/17
Posts: 37
Loc: Tel Aviv
Actually we do a "Modern-Classic" Prog which does not rely mostly on Mellotrons, we're more a Symphonic-eclectic-Prog smile
Our first album that was done before I got my place in the band pretty relied on Symphonic sound, so I'm kinda obligated to that. With great love of course, so that's what I'm looking for in our second album.
I have to update that my budget has lifted, so I'm in the point of deciding between Albion One to Berlin Orchestra Inspire 1. I'm sure that there is no point for libraries with solo instruments, as we're surrounded friends and colleagues that play violin, cello, trumpet and so on very well. The big epic mockups are the ones are needed, as we can't afford a session with the local Philharmonic...
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#2970025 - 01/19/19 12:19 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Aperkeys]
Geoff Grace Offline
Senior Trade Show Overseer
10k Club

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 11247
Originally Posted By: Aperkeys
Actually we do a "Modern-Classic" Prog which does not rely mostly on Mellotrons, we're more a Symphonic-eclectic-Prog smile
Our first album that was done before I got my place in the band pretty relied on Symphonic sound, so I'm kinda obligated to that. With great love of course, so that's what I'm looking for in our second album.
I have to update that my budget has lifted, so I'm in the point of deciding between Albion One to Berlin Orchestra Inspire 1. I'm sure that there is no point for libraries with solo instruments, as we're surrounded friends and colleagues that play violin, cello, trumpet and so on very well. The big epic mockups are the ones are needed, as we can't afford a session with the local Philharmonic...

Between Albion One to Berlin Orchestra Inspire 1, I think most users would agree that Albion One is the more epic sounding of the two. Of course, Inspire has the Teldex sound that you mentioned you loved in the opening post; but if you want that sound in an epic orchestra, then Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark 1 may be a better bet. You won't find any dynamic lower than mf in Ark 1, but it will give you that powerful, epic sound. Combine it with Metropolis Ark 2, if you want to add a dark, quiet contrast to your palette.

Best,

Geoff
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#2970139 - 01/19/19 10:05 PM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: EricBarker]
davedoerfler Offline
KCFF League Champion 2017
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 8355
Loc: the swamp
Originally Posted By: EricBarker

I use G-Force Mellotrons whenever I can get away with it.


M Tron-Pro is dope. puff

Next best thing to owning the real deal, for guys like me who can't afford an actual mellotron
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#2970154 - 01/20/19 02:02 AM Re: Can't decide on Orchestral VST [Re: Geoff Grace]
Aperkeys Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/06/17
Posts: 37
Loc: Tel Aviv
The Metropolis Ark I is amazing but I do think that it's preferred to have ranges below Fm so I'm more leaning towards Inspire. The Albion One sounds far better than most libraries like EastWest etc, but I really like that Teldex sound indeed. Though I'm a bit fearing it's too wet for a band mix and it can be problematic. Time will tell.
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