All in one libraries under $400. Best choices 2019.

Best all in one under €400

  • Total voters



Planning to upgrade from CineSymphony Lite (that i've been using for about a year). Want a more detailed library, but still an all-in-one, for a maximum of €400.

Not really interested in mic positions, fully separate sections, or super hyped epic trailer sound. Basically just want a beautiful bread and butter orchestra, preferably with some solo instruments, and perhaps even a harp / piano as well.

Albion – no piano / harp / choir. lots of loops. some seem to dislike strings. a bit outdated?

Nucleus – more modern. seem to have great legatos and solo instruments. choir. perhaps too modern / epic sounding?

Metropolis Arc– highly loved and recommended. perhaps also too epic sounding? is that even an issue?

Berlin Inspire – seem more classical. has solo instruments + piano + harp. Not as great legatos perhaps?

Opinions? Strengths / weaknesses? Other contenders?



ppp to fff thinker
albion, like albion one? or some other albion? (there are a few)
Same for Metropolis ARK (4 volumes)
Inspire, has two volumes.. which one are you liking more?


Senior Member
Here's how I imagine I'd rate them in order of Most @Daniel James -esque:

Met Ark 1
Albion One
Berlin Inspire

And here's how I imagine I'd rate them in order of Most @ism -esque:

Berlin Inspire
Albion One
Met Ark 1

All good choices though :)

Manuel Stumpf

Senior Member
Indeed all good choices.

Metropolis Ark1:
The most epic sounding of the ones you mentioned. That's what it was made for.
For allround packages I'd look at the others.

Berlin Inspire:
Sounds more classical. A very nice allround package. Also has piano and harp.
The piano is ok for orchestral context, for solo piano music you might want to have a dedicated piano library. I have found this to be true for all pianos included in any orchestral packages so far.
NI has a very good priced Berlin Inspire 1+2 bundle deal at the moment!
Or single volumes too.

It comes with 2 mix mics: Modern Mix and Classic Mix.
The classic mix is not too epic sounding.
One has to be carefull with the modwheel. In the upper ranges the brass really has some bite and sizzle.
Has no piano and harp.

Albion One:
Don't know what is important for you.
Albion One for example misses the complete classic orchestral percussion instruments.

Palette Symphonic Sketchpad:
Another all-in-one library. Contains full ensemble patches, no single sections.
Not sure if this is such a big upgrade compared to CineSympony Lite though.
Right now on sale at APD for $99.
Given from pure sound and overall content I think Nucleus and Berlin Inspire are superior, but also more expensive.

From what you have written Berlin Inspire or Nucleus could be what you are looking for.


Active Member
I've seen EW Hollywood Orchestra diamond on sale for $400. It's hard to find something more bread-and-butter for the price, in my opinion.

I don't think their solo strings are included, but the brass and woodwind libraries include most things in solo.


Senior Member
You should at least take a look at Indiginus/Sonic Scores Amadeus, which IMHO is fantastic bang for buck at $149. You get easy to use ensemble patches, but it also covers an entire symphony orchestra so you can get as detailed as you wish. One of the happier library purchases I have ever made. I really like the sound, the simplicity and the low resource footprint. Scripted legato, and most of the usual standard articulations, even if not the most extensive:



Senior Member
I’d recommend watching Daniel James first look at Nucleus. However, intro pricing is ending very very soon. I think that it’s the best one for the money this year - the next one “up” will probably be the BBC one.

Nucleus classic mix is the recorded mix. Nucleus modern has been modestly processed to be more ... epic-y.

And unless you need a piano or harp solo, it’s not hard to add those on the cheap, or even free, from elsewhere.


Thanks guys! I think I’m closing in on either Nucleus or Berlin Inspire 1+2.

Which would be your favorite among these two and why?


I just hang around pretending I know something
I didn't think Albion was that great, at least not One - I do like Tundra. But then I watched Homay from Spitfire's walkthrough on how to write a piece using One. She showed how she worked the modulation and dynamics and used the various parts to make it work. I was impressed with how it sounded. Alex Niedt did a similar walkthrough for Inspire that showed how it could be used. I haven't tried Sketchpad yet.

I'm afraid to watch DJ's walkthrough of Nucleus, because really, I don't need it. The Inspire bundle is only interesting because it has low RAM, which my laptop needs.

It really depends on how you want to use it. I would say HWO Diamond or even Gold on sale may be the best deal. But if you don't want to deal with a lot of articulations, something like Albion or the Inspire bundle might be better.
I do agree with most of what's been said before. Although Nucleus seems like a really good starter with essential shorts and longs and would be my first recommendation if it's supposed to sound orchestral.
If it's supposed to sound epic directly out of the box, then nothing can beat MA1 I guess.


Active Member
I would recommend The Orchestra Complete - for me it seems to cover all important orchestral sounds and instruments plus some cool bonus features like choir or fx string clusters.

And there is this cool engine which makes it so easy to sketch my ideas quickly - seems to be the best starter for me.