Does anyone actually like or use phrase based orchestral libraries?

Sibelius19

Music is just color and rhythm --Debussy
Actually....when video games get pretty realistic with physics and such, they can help someone get good at the real thing. Racing simulations, flight simulations, etc, etc.
 

Phillip Dixon

Air on a shoestring
it was a purely personal opinion...i dont purport to to play every instrument or to be a great orchestrater... its all about discovery for me...good or bad, sometimes more luck than judgement... i certainly dont decry anyone who finds these phrases helpfull
just not for me
 

Peter Williams

New Member
it was a purely personal opinion...i dont purport to to play every instrument or to be a great orchestrater... its all about discovery for me...good or bad, sometimes more luck than judgement... i certainly dont decry anyone who finds these phrases helpfull
just not for me
I don't either. The only Sonokinetik library I've settled on to date is Espressivo. Most other "aleatoric" or dissonant products seem determined to shake, shock and scare, although there's a fair amount of that kind of material in Espressivo. I find that by laying out my keyboard with "compatible" phrases and changing pitch and other parameters I can perform really interesting and beautiful passages with the thing. I even layer instances of Espressivo (lite version), alter pitch in Kontakt and so on to get some unheard of sounds that would be impossible to produce with sample libraries. I've invested many hours in this, and I don't expect anyone to "like" what I've come up with, but it's a really enjoyable fools errand. But I'm partial to folks like Stravinsky and his many subsequent followers of the last 100 years. I like to use the results as a base, then add additional harmonies and melodic lines. It's a lot like using a heavily programmed drum machine, then adding your rhythm section and soloists in a pop setting.
 

Shiirai

Avian Member
I find the Sonokinetic libraries I bought to be extremely helpful and very useful for very specific things. For one, they sound fantastic (unlike Emotive Strings, for example) and as a starting orchestrator (not songwriter, got more than enough experience at that) it's really helping me experiment faster than I otherwise could.

Basically, while I write my 'real' pieces at a piano, I like to, at times, experiment with progressions, ostinatos and textures with libraries like Sotto. When you get the hang of it, it works really fast.

Now in a professional capacity, I can see these libraries return at least their investment in released libary-music though that may mostly be because I'm hard-headed and *will* try to recoup my investments that way. I can see myself use these libraries to provide ideas and textures for a couple of albums worth of library tracks. The samples are *really* good and provide much more variation than you might expect.

So no. I won't be using Capriccio to write my Opus. But I'll definitely use it for that time I have no inspiration for that one track for that one scene where folks are sailing and there's a pretty horizon over there in the distance etc.
 

Sibelius19

Music is just color and rhythm --Debussy
Yeah, there are lots of tools in our modern age which have allowed people to do many things they can't do in reality. Piano players can now play guitar, acoustic drums, violin, flute, oboe, french horn, etc. Piano is actually one of the easiest to pick up (though one of the hardest to master?), but French Horn? Oboe? Man, the level of mouth skills for those instruments.
 

gpax

Senior Member
Might I point to the obvious here?

I think the OP might rethink how the thread title is being framed, since the real intention is to garner advice about specific products and potential purchases.

The short answer to the question is: Yes.

Yes. There are people who exist, who actually like (some) phrase based orchestral libraries; there are people who actually use them.

There is also a disparity of opinions about their effectiveness, or their non-effectiveness, as there are varied opinions about which phrase libraries sound good, and which ones do not. Some even feel it’s their place in life to question legitimacy of tools another might actually find use for.

There is no shame in asking about specific phrase-based libraries. But there are those who, when asked: “does anyone actually like or use this stuff?” will let you know what they honestly think, lol.
 

Raphioli

Active Member
I haven't read through the whole thread, but are "evos" and "Albion IV" by Spitfire considered as "phrase"?

I guess it'll depend if one considers something like, "a sustain transitioning in to a trill" a "phrase".
Some patches in Albion IV sound like they're more closer to "phrases" (they're even pre-orchestrated for you).

And if the above are considered as "phrases", I guess I'm interested in using "phrase" libraries.
Because I have some interest in Albion IV.
 

SAM CA

Member
I don't like phrase based libraries at all. For drum and percussion loops? I get it but for pitched instruments, it's just a bad idea.
 

GtrString

Active Member
When I use phrases, I like the most generic ones, so I have a layer I can build something on top of, or use as a supporting track. Bread and butter stuff.

If the phrases try to be more than that, it becomes useless to me, because then I feel it is infringing on my copyright. This may not matter if you are working in-house and so, but for an indie like me it is just not viable.

So I dont like phrase libraries with actual melodies, or melody parts, if it is baked-in. Pitched rhythm parts though, Im all over it.
 

Bluemount Score

Senior Member
I don't like phrase based libraries at all. For drum and percussion loops? I get it but for pitched instruments, it's just a bad idea.
Agreed. I used loops from Action Strikes in the past. Overall, I like to use the solo instrument's on their own.
I enjoy the sound of Action Strings and Emotive Strings. But I would only us them as an experiment, maybe to play around with some new mixing settings, but not in an actual bigger project.

The more complex a sample sounds, like a small song in itself, the less I like using it, generally speaking.

This also counts for a lot of stuff in Albion ONE and Evolve (from Heavyoycity).

If these libaries weren't included in Komplete, I would not consider buying them. Inspiration yes, orginiality no. And I like originality!
 

ScoreFace

Active Member
I like using phase-based libs, because I like the live performances. I always try not to use the obvious stuff, because I don't want to use someone else's melodies or ideas, bit I think this is not difficult if you are not lazy;)..

I use Minimal from Sonokinetic mostly for orchestral backgrounds, it works great and sounds nice. And I love to use NI's Action Strings for the live feel of their basic rhythms, for example the 16th repetitions with accents, not recognizable in a complex arrangement, but it adds power and realism to my mix. Themes like Alien Attack are very useful to me as well, because they are not too dominant, they just add live feel. There is a Tutorial on Youtube which shows how good this can sound and how individually you can work with the Lib, however most composers seem to just chose a melodic theme like "Last heroes" and press one single note for 8 bars :D

I use Action Strikes all the time, it is fantastic to get a big huge epic feeling and the percussion sounds really great! Most important, I can combine the loops with single hits and single articulations, so I'm not feeling limited in any way.

The Orchestra from Sonuscore was mentioned, this one for me is not really a phrase based lib, as it contains all instruments as single nkis. The phrases/arrangements are helpful to sketch, but not the most important thing for me. I love the mixed colors, I use them in the same way as I used Symphobia patches before. For action music, I often start the track using TO's basic string rhythms: it is a whole grooving string ensemble that I can easily play with my right hand and it is working great for me! I can easily get a quick sketch and later I polish and adjust things, I love working like this:).
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
This discussion has got me using some in my latest experiment. It is actually fun to try to figure out what works with what. My only complaint is that I will hear a phrase and realize I just want to change one note in it. this is where Sonokinetic's drag and drop can come in handy.
 

SAM CA

Member
...

If these libaries weren't included in Komplete, I would not consider buying them. Inspiration yes, orginiality no. And I like originality!
And that's what music is all about! Phrase based libraries get easily abused and those who depend on such content never actually develop real writing/arranging skills. None of this matters if one is just having fun with ideas of course.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
And that's what music is all about! Phrase based libraries get easily abused and those who depend on such content never actually develop real writing/arranging skills. None of this matters if one is just having fun with ideas of course.
I don't necessarily agree with that. I think loop libraries don't help much. The phrase libraries from SK and even things like Action Strings give you the sheet music on what you are hearing. If you use it, it can be a great learning tool on how to program that sort of sound. Especially SK because you also get drag and drop midi.

I think it really depends on how you plan to use it.
 

Bluemount Score

Senior Member
The phrase libraries from SK and even things like Action Strings give you the sheet music on what you are hearing. If you use it, it can be a great learning tool on how to program that sort of sound.
Good idea. Still not worth $300 for me, though. But as mentioned, I don't mind them in Komplete, why should I. It's like those libraries were made to be part of Komplete.
 
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givemenoughrope

Senior Member
Does anyone use these phrase libraries along with something like Melodyne? It seems like even a basic bunch of string figures or ostinatos could be greatly expanded just by shifting notes and rhythms in audio. I have EVO3 and Agitato OST(?). Maybe it’s worth a try.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
Good idea. Still not worth $300 for me, though. But as mentioned, I don't mind them in Komplete, why should I. It's like those libraries were made to be part of Komplete.
LOL! I always wait for the sale. And I got all the Ostinato's from SK for free (thank you SK!) But I'm also just a hobbyist. I think you have to look at stuff differently if you are making a living out of this.