sevensuns

New Member
I'm getting back into composing, mostly just as a hobby atm. I need a good all in one orchestral library for Kontakt Player.
I have looked at more or less all of the all in one libraries but I decided to narrow it down to these 2.

I like that BOI is optimised to run on PCs with 8GB RAM (and I have 8GB RAM and an older PC cant really upgrade atm) and I do love the sound of Teldex Studio. The samples sound clean and high quality as I would expect from OT.

Symphonic Sketchpad is cheaper, and still has a good amount of instruments and seems to be drier overall. It still sounds pretty good to me when it comes to the samples.

Now I haven't seen too many review videos on these 2 libraries, but from the few I checked out they both seem like very good libraries for the money.
NOTE: I can use an EDU discount on either of the 2 libraries. This would make BOI 299 EUR and Symphonic Sketchpad around 225 USD (around 200 EUR I guess).

If anyone has 1 or even better both of these and could tell me their experiences with using them as a main library for an orchestral composition, that would be great :)

And yes I am aware of the limitation of all-in-one libraries in comparison to something like EW Hollywood Orchestra/EW CC or other libraries with individual instruments. I just want something that is fast and intuitive to use and not too intensive on resources.
 

dsblais

Active Member
I'm getting back into composing, mostly just as a hobby atm. I need a good all in one orchestral library for Kontakt Player.
I have looked at more or less all of the all in one libraries but I decided to narrow it down to these 2.

I like that BOI is optimised to run on PCs with 8GB RAM (and I have 8GB RAM and an older PC cant really upgrade atm) and I do love the sound of Teldex Studio. The samples sound clean and high quality as I would expect from OT.

Symphonic Sketchpad is cheaper, and still has a good amount of instruments and seems to be drier overall. It still sounds pretty good to me when it comes to the samples.

Now I haven't seen too many review videos on these 2 libraries, but from the few I checked out they both seem like very good libraries for the money.
NOTE: I can use an EDU discount on either of the 2 libraries. This would make BOI 299 EUR and Symphonic Sketchpad around 225 USD (around 200 EUR I guess).

If anyone has 1 or even better both of these and could tell me their experiences with using them as a main library for an orchestral composition, that would be great :)

And yes I am aware of the limitation of all-in-one libraries in comparison to something like EW Hollywood Orchestra/EW CC or other libraries with individual instruments. I just want something that is fast and intuitive to use and not too intensive on resources.
The main problem with OT Inspire is having to work almost entirely with ensembles. As such, it’s more of a great sounding sketching tool than a lightweight orchestration library, in my opinion. There are some other alternatives you might want to consider if you’re looking for orchestration on a budget for lighter systems, including The Orchestra and ProjectSAM stuff. Part of what you might want to consider is whether sound or articulation variety is more important to you, and whether you want an upgrade path towards something you know you’ll like later.
 
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sevensuns

New Member
The main problem with OT Inspire is having to work almost entirely with ensembles. As such, it’s more of a great sounding sketching tool than a lightweight orchestration library, in my opinion. There are some other alternatives you might want to consider if you’re looking for orchestration on a budget for lighter systems, including The Orchestra and ProjectSAM stuff. Part of what you might want to consider is whether sound or articulation variety is more important to you, and whether you want an upgrade path towards something you know you’ll like later.
Would you say Sonuscore The Orchestra is a library that is more versatile than Inspire or Palette? I saw it has a lot of content for easy rhythms and arpeggios etc and I'm not too into that a whple lot, but if it is a nice option for a core all in one library I will reconsider
 

dsblais

Active Member
Would you say Sonuscore The Orchestra is a library that is more versatile than Inspire or Palette? I saw it has a lot of content for easy rhythms and arpeggios etc and I'm not too into that a whple lot, but if it is a nice option for a core all in one library I will reconsider
I'm not familiar with Palette, but that's definitely the case compared to Inspire. Inspire is like Spitfire's Masse: an ensemble focused sketching tool for figuring out your big chordal ideas with something more realistic than a piano. The hope is that you'll take those big double handed figures and orchestrate them with their flagship products.

With the expansion that just came out (The Orchestra Complete), there's a good set of articulations in TOC for strings, woodwinds, and brass, plus some extra treats such as percussion, harp, and choir.

An option that doesn't get mentioned much here but which is very affordable, sounds halfway decent, and has tons of articulations is HALion Symphonic Orchestra. It's an excellent deal for what it is, as long as you don't expect it to turn out extremely realistic mockups.
 

Manuel Stumpf

Senior Member
You have to decide if you want each instrument layed out as single patch or if mainly ensemble patches are ok for you.
Of course in every of the products we can search long enough and find something missing.

For "Ensemble" all around libraries I'd consider:

a) BOI
Has mainly ensemble patches. But things like Violin I+II, or Strings First Chairs, which can make up some of the missing single patches, especially for putting melodies on top. Includes some solo instruments too :): Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trumpet
Typical Teldex-Sound.
No mic options.
Misses choir, Xylophone and Marimba are combined.

b) Palette Symphonic Sketchpad:
Has mainly ensemble patches. Does not include solo instruments.
If you go for Palette you want to be interested in Palette Melodics too (here are things like octaved Violins, some solo instruments like Flute, Oboe, Trumpet, Horn).
3 Mic options, but to me they have very little difference compared to each other (especially the hall mic).
Includes some synth stuff as bonus too.
Sound is more dry out of the box than with BOI.

c) Orchestral Essentials I
Ensembles patches and orchestrated patches. It has that typical ProjectSAM "Symphobia" sound out of the box.
Downside: All single instruments are in Orchestral Essentials II, getting both is not cheap compared to the other options.

d) CineSymphony Lite
Ensemble patches for Brass, WW and Strings. Nice thing about this one is, you can change the range for each of the instruments like Violin/Viola/Cello/Bass and thus for example make your own Violas patch. This makes it very flexible.
Downside: It misses things like Choir, Harp, Piano. Therefore you need something else in combination.


If you want single patches for each instrument:

1) The Orchestra
Has this arpeggiator feature.
Also all instruments as single patches. They should do better marketing on this, it is often missed.
The thing I am missing here is a string ensemble patch having all string sections mapped to the keyboard. For quickly sketching something this is very convenient. Maybe I am missing something here.

2) East West Symphonic Orchestra or Hollywood Orchestra
East Wests Play Engine, not everyones favorite GUI. Lot's of amount for the money though:).
But it's also a downside that the strings alone have many many patches you have to choose from :rolleyes:.

3) VSL Special Edition
Classical orchestra sound. Needs a dongle. Instruments are distributed over different volumes.

Regarding ensemble libraries you already have narrowed it down to the two being most complete:
BOI and Palette (+Melodics).
For single instruments the three mentioned above are options to consider.

Listen to some demos and what sound/workflow appeals more to you and the style of music you are planning to go for.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I'm not familiar with Palette, but that's definitely the case compared to Inspire. Inspire is like Spitfire's Masse: an ensemble focused sketching tool for figuring out your big chordal ideas with something more realistic than a piano. The hope is that you'll take those big double handed figures and orchestrate them with their flagship products.

With the expansion that just came out (The Orchestra Complete), there's a good set of articulations in TOC for strings, woodwinds, and brass, plus some extra treats such as percussion, harp, and choir.

An option that doesn't get mentioned much here but which is very affordable, sounds halfway decent, and has tons of articulations is HALion Symphonic Orchestra. It's an excellent deal for what it is, as long as you don't expect it to turn out extremely realistic mockups.
I think don’t think the comparison of Inspire to Masse is a good one. Masse isn’t even an option if you don’t already own SSO, so it’s hardly there to up-sell you to SSO. Something like the Bernard Herrmann Composer Toolkit would be a better comparison or maybe Albion One. In any case both Inspires have solo patches and the two libraries together do in fact yield a low RAM and relatively complete orchestra. They do lack for mic options and the focus is not on individual instruments and sections. The Orchestra is only sections, no soloists, so it’s hard to see how it’s a better solution for this. The ProjectSam stuff is closer to Inspire—a mix of soloists, sections, and ensembles—with a bit more control over mics. (I’ve only worked with the 3 Symphobias not with the Essentials.) The Palette stuff looks interesting but I haven’t used it. I would definitely think about the melodics along with the sketchpad. Also you can try out the sound with the “primary colors.”
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
inspire sounds pretty phenomenal tbh. o don't own it - but it's already mixed and ready tone wise, and I heard a few tremendously impressive mockups using it.
 

dsblais

Active Member
I think don’t think the comparison of Inspire to Masse is a good one. Masse isn’t even an option if you don’t already own SSO, so it’s hardly there to up-sell you to SSO. Something like the Bernard Herrmann Composer Toolkit would be a better comparison or maybe Albion One. In any case both Inspires have solo patches and the two libraries together do in fact yield a low RAM and relatively complete orchestra. They do lack for mic options and the focus is not on individual instruments and sections. The Orchestra is only sections, no soloists, so it’s hard to see how it’s a better solution for this. The ProjectSam stuff is closer to Inspire—a mix of soloists, sections, and ensembles—with a bit more control over mics. (I’ve only worked with the 3 Symphobias not with the Essentials.) The Palette stuff looks interesting but I haven’t used it. I would definitely think about the melodics along with the sketchpad. Also you can try out the sound with the “primary colors.”
Just a couple points of fact: Masse used to be bundled with SSO, but is now purchasable separately: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/masse/

TOC now has a very large collection of sections and articulations: https://www.sonuscore.com/guests/downloads/Articulation_Comparison.pdf

Not a lot of solo options, but those are generally going to be more rare with the smaller collections.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Just a couple points of fact: Masse used to be bundled with SSO, but is now purchasable separately: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/masse/
Huh. Missed when SF made this conversion. In any case I still don't think it's a good comparison to the Inspires, which are useful general libraries in the way Masse is not (even though I use patches from Masse as part of my broad sketching library). TO has always had a lot of articulation, but they still lack in soloists in a way the Inspires and ProjectSam do not. Palette with Melodics also has soloists, though just the sketchpad seems more limited than TO, since none of the patches in the Sketchpad have legato.
 
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sevensuns

New Member
I'm not familiar with Palette, but that's definitely the case compared to Inspire. Inspire is like Spitfire's Masse: an ensemble focused sketching tool for figuring out your big chordal ideas with something more realistic than a piano. The hope is that you'll take those big double handed figures and orchestrate them with their flagship products.

With the expansion that just came out (The Orchestra Complete), there's a good set of articulations in TOC for strings, woodwinds, and brass, plus some extra treats such as percussion, harp, and choir.

An option that doesn't get mentioned much here but which is very affordable, sounds halfway decent, and has tons of articulations is HALion Symphonic Orchestra. It's an excellent deal for what it is, as long as you don't expect it to turn out extremely realistic mockups.
The thing is I've seen a lot of people who bought The Orchestra mention it is not great as a core all in one library but rather as an addition to libraries they already own.
I'm not sure why that is, since to me it looks to be pretty complete.
 

Fry777

Active Member
Berlin Inspire is a great lib, really love the sound of it. However you need to study the articulation/instrument list to know if it can work for you, or if you would miss something, like an individual instrument for example.

Another option not mentioned a lot is Iconica Opus, also recorded by Orchestral Tools, and running on Halion. Here's an example of what it can do in the hands of the very talented Sascha Knorr :
 
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sevensuns

New Member
Berlin Inspire is a great lib, really love the sound of it. However you need to study the articulation/instrument list to know if it can work for you, or if you would miss something, like an individual instrument for example.

Another option not mentioned a lot is Iconica Opus, also recorded by Orchestral Tools, and running on Halion. Here's an example of what it can do in the hands of the very talented Sascha Knorr :
Iconica Opus and Iconica Sections & Players are both way out of my budget (799 and 999). The Ensembles alone is 299 though, not bad. Still, probably leaning towards Inspire
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
Damn, these demos just keep impressing me more and more. And mostly raw demos as well (no extra reverb, eq, etc. added). Sounds really good! Highly considering going with Inspire!
ive been holding off for a while, it seems dumb buying inspire when I have almost every single berlin series library + expansion, and don't even have a laptop... but I've considered using it as a writing tool and then just using the berlin series to flesh it out section by section. Like I said, the tone is absolutely killer for most OT stuff anyways - which is quite apparent given they do unprocessed walkthroughs and it always just sounds killer.