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Are orchestral libraries ever used professionaly?

resound

Senior Member
I recently did some orchestration for a big budget film and the composer used a lot of Symphobia multi patches. The multis were eventually recorded by live players, but the samples were mixed in as well for maximum punch.

I often see Symphobia FX patches mixed in with the final score as well.
 
OP
thousandfold

thousandfold

Member
Yeh, I did catch that the multi's are very well received by Symphobia, but you did describe one of the situations I ment exactly!

If you're not too big yet and sample libraries don't come flying in your hands like nothing it would be a no go for me to spend hundres for just.. in this case.. multi's. As far as i know for Symphobia it seems fine and jut the legato's seem a minus for it.
 

resound

Senior Member
It depends on what kind of music you are writing. The multi patches can come in very handy when you need to write big, bombastic action music and you are limited on time. That's what they are essentially built to do.
 
OP
thousandfold

thousandfold

Member
But what about the rest?

Thats what i wanna find out. I've read hundreds of posts of people from all walks in the industry that say they like a certain particulair part of this ensemble orchestra, and another part of that ensemble orchestra. That's not the topic I wanna start again, because there's enough already that talk about the strenghts and weaknesses of Albion, Symphobia, Metropolis and whichever else there are.

What caught my eye was that i see more people using certain parts of those ensemble libraries, but I almos tnever see someone saying they lov eto use almost all of it in their production.

Like the multi one. Why buy Symphobia just for multi's? They're good and they're hard to make yourself for sure, but you still spend a lot for just that. Or why so many people use Albion just for sketching, but end up using other sample libraries to fill out everything used by Albion.

The way I see it is that if I were to ask: ''Who uses Albion, Symphobia, Metropolis for more than half of the composition in your tracks and use it as your go to in many of your projects IN the finished tracks?'' I wouldn't see any hands
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
But what about the rest?

Thats what i wanna find out. I've read hundreds of posts of people from all walks in the industry that say they like a certain particulair part of this ensemble orchestra, and another part of that ensemble orchestra. That's not the topic I wanna start again, because there's enough already that talk about the strenghts and weaknesses of Albion, Symphobia, Metropolis and whichever else there are.

What caught my eye was that i see more people using certain parts of those ensemble libraries, but I almos tnever see someone saying they lov eto use almost all of it in their production.

Like the multi one. Why buy Symphobia just for multi's? They're good and they're hard to make yourself for sure, but you still spend a lot for just that. Or why so many people use Albion just for sketching, but end up using other sample libraries to fill out everything used by Albion.

The way I see it is that if I were to ask: ''Who uses Albion, Symphobia, Metropolis for more than half of the composition in your tracks and use it as your go to in many of your projects IN the finished tracks?'' I wouldn't see any hands
Well that's pretty specific :)

I use Albions II to IV pretty baldly in final mixes, where Albion One and Legacy (though as mentioned, primarily excellent-sounding sketch libraries) I often use to layer with the East West Hollywood in the final mock up.

I'm pretty sure the only Albion One instrument I've used sans layering in final mockups is their eminently useful spiccato/staccato patch. I've gotten terrific results with that one, both for fast and lower-paced projects.
 

resound

Senior Member
That's because there is no "one size fits all" orchestral library. Each library has its own strengths and weaknesses, and typically work well in one or two specific styles. But it would be impossible to create one library that will work for every situation, every style of music, every workflow. It seems more and more sample libraries are focusing on putting out products that are geared towards a specific thing, and does that one thing very well. I think that's actually beneficial for us as composers because we can pick and choose products based on the type of music we write, and how we like to work. If we want to be diverse as composers, we just have to have all of these different tools at our disposal. That's the reality of it.
 
OP
thousandfold

thousandfold

Member
Well that's pretty specific :)

I use Albions II to IV pretty baldly in final mixes, where Albion One and Legacy (though as mentioned, primarily excellent-sounding sketch libraries) I often use to layer with the East West Hollywood in the final mock up.

I'm pretty sure the only Albion One instrument I've used sans layering in final mockups is their eminently useful spiccato/staccato patch. I've gotten terrific results with that one, both for fast and lower-paced projects.
Did you know this before hand that you would never end up using a lot of the library in final mockups before you bought Albion?
 
OP
thousandfold

thousandfold

Member
That's because there is no "one size fits all" orchestral library. Each library has its own strengths and weaknesses, and typically work well in one or two specific styles. But it would be impossible to create one library that will work for every situation, every style of music, every workflow. It seems more and more sample libraries are focusing on putting out products that are geared towards a specific thing, and does that one thing very well. I think that's actually beneficial for us as composers because we can pick and choose products based on the type of music we write, and how we like to work. If we want to be diverse as composers, we just have to have all of these different tools at our disposal. That's the reality of it.
I know, that's what I said. That's not what i'm questioning. It will require other sample libraries aswell. I'm just questioning that after you bought one of those orchestral libraries and end up using so little of it or just a specific part, or not at all and it's just a sketch library. That's what i'm interested about.
 

resound

Senior Member
I know, that's what I said. That's not what i'm questioning. It will require other sample libraries aswell. I'm just questioning that after you bought one of those orchestral libraries and end up using so little of it or just a specific part, or not at all and it's just a sketch library. That's what i'm interested about.
I bought Symphobia knowing it would be a sketch library, but I learned that from reading posts/reviews here on the forum. For me, and many others, it is worth the price just in the time that it saves. But I think that's the value in a forum like this, it helps you to research libraries before you buy them so you know what you are getting.
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Did you know this before hand that you would never end up using a lot of the library in final mockups before you bought Albion?
Albion One, yes I expected that. I expect less of most ensemble-recorded sample libraries, because for me East West Hollywood is the one to beat. Especially for people who know something about engineering.

That said, I have used EWH extensively with Albion One and Legacy layered, and gotten what was for me very satisfying final mockups. There seems to be a somewhat complementary timbre to each library (for example, the more airy and roomy Albion One just seems to work in certain contexts over a dry EWH instrument/ensemble).

Please know this in the context of my own music and what works for my own, very personal vision.
 
OP
thousandfold

thousandfold

Member
I regard everyone's opinions here as their own, but that doens't take away my curiousity. For me the reason to ask this, is because I can sink money in it, but only for a few carefully picked libraries. So, much of Albion or Symphobia for example will end up in the final mock up as I can only get so many other instruments to complement it like Cinematic Strings.
 

ctsai89

Poem of Ecstasy
Some film composers (actually most of the famous ones) have their own customized sample libraries that are superior to the ones out in the market. My professor once invited James Newton Howard to come speak at a seminar and he said a lot of instruments he used in tracks he made for film actually weren't actually recorded
 
OP
thousandfold

thousandfold

Member
Yes, JunkieXL was the first for me when he started his first composing adventures that he recorded and gotten a lot of samples he made himself or were specially crafted, but that's for another topic.
 
I often see Symphobia FX patches mixed in with the final score as well.
Or on their own, honestly. I've heard those goddamn trombone slides from Symphobia 1 way too often in TV and game scores. There's also one sound from the full orchestral rips patch that gets used all the time in horror stuff.
 

ctsai89

Poem of Ecstasy
Yes, JunkieXL was the first for me when he started his first composing adventures that he recorded and gotten a lot of samples he made himself or were specially crafted, but that's for another topic.
he actually still uses cinematic strings.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
As far as I know (some experience assisting various composers):

Television scores are mostly virtual. There are exceptions like Family Guy, and LOST back in the day. VI scores are sometimes sweetened by recording soloists in the composer's studio or remotely. There's a lot of live cello in Game Of Thrones in front of what I'm fairly confident are VI strings (except in the big setpieces, those sound like a medium sized Eastern European orchestra). But the score is generally "in the box" and the bounce out of the composer's DAW is what goes in the show.

Commercials go through multiple rounds of approvals and revisions (sometimes a surprisingly high number) and then go to recording sessions. Often the sessions are pretty small "sweetening" sessions, like 12 strings, that then get layered with the VI. Brass, percussion, winds, and choir don't get called for commercials quite as often, unless it's a really big production.

Videogames, I'm not sure as I haven't assisted any VG composers, but it seems that recording genuine sized orchestras is catching on for flagship videogames on the PS4, the One etc and the biggest PC games like Civ V.

Film has to go through presentations, which means a mockup stage. But most composers seek to re-record as much as possible of the score. Custom samples sometimes stay in, but generic orchestral samples usually don't, the only exception I can think of is when the VIs are better at doing "impossible" writing. Something like Don Davis's Matrix scores where the brass samples add punch and definition to the crazy action cues. I'd be surprised if there were any VI strings at all in Junkie's final mix of Fury Road. It's all just for mockups, the real strings are a million times better.

WRT "are libraries worth it?" - any library is worth it if it helps you "win over" the director in a presentation. The director doesn't know or care if it's Symphobia or Berlin Strings. Composers go with the sounds that get close to what they have in their heads.
 
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Svyato

Member
Yes, 100%. Many movie, TV, game, and trailer pieces use orchestral samples. Many of them also have live players, but people might be surprised to know just how many all-electronic pieces (or 90%) are both successful (used in movies or advertising) and even quite popular on iTunes and elsewhere.
I'd agree with you. Skyrim's score (composed by Jeremy Soule) is 95% made with VI (Jeremy Soule's statement on Fb)
 
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