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Looking for NI Symphony Series compositions

Meetyhtan

Noise Maker
Owning the full collection from KU-CE 12, I would like to give it a try and see what‘s actually possible.
Barely used it before but everything should be put to a test under fair conditions.

I‘m curious what you already got out of the strings, brass and woodwinds, as I could only find very few compositions so far.
Any track submissions?
 

a113jackson

aspiring composer
I don't own or have any compositions with the NI SS, but I don't plan to ever use it. Legatos are unconvincing and the trills are horrid. I've heard that the percussion is decent, though.
 
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Meetyhtan

Meetyhtan

Noise Maker
I don't own or have any compositions with the NI SS
...lots of people out there do own the series as Komplete is so popular. In this case I would be happy about anybody who extensivly tried it to give proper feedback. Watching demos and a couple of YouTube videos never comes close to actually owning and using something for yourself.
I know the downsides many people pointed out in this forum before (I agree with many) but the collection sure has it‘s strong aspects as well which I think come too short. I was hoping for a couple of decent tracks by forum members, but it seems they are a myth.
 

Shiirai

Resident Crow
I second this request, I have it too but haven't gotten around to putting it into use yet. I kinda like the sound but am still getting used to composing using Palette.

I don't own or have any compositions with the NI SS, but I don't plan to ever use it. Legatos are unconvincing and the trills are horrid. I've heard that the percussion is decent, though.
... So everything you've said is hearsay. I'm not sure what to make of this.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
@Cory Pelizzari: Knowing that you reviewed at least a part of the series, can you share or recommend some more demo tracks that aren't already covered in the official demos or your reviews?


I don't own or have any compositions with the NI SS, but I don't plan to ever use it. Legatos are unconvincing and the trills are horrid. I've heard that the percussion is decent, though.
It'll be up to taste and writing style what you dislike most about the libraries. Imho legato isn't even in the top problems it has. I've replaced the brass pretty much entirely with MetArk 1 brass, which doesn't even have brass legato except on one horn section.
I use the perc and don't feel a need to look for a replacement. Same with the woodwinds but I am so inexperienced with woodwinds in general that I might change my opinion on those in the future. People seem to be rather split on them. Some think it's the best of the series, some think it is the worst.
The strings have better QA than MetArk1 imho, but they are lacking a lot of articulations that I would use in every piece.

 
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Meetyhtan

Meetyhtan

Noise Maker
@MartinH.
Hard to leave any space for other ff+, non-section based brass libraries if you own the Ark ;) Also used it more than NISS Brass because of the sound. Legato isn‘t needed in many cases when blasting the hell outta those trombones and tubas. Not a huge fan of the MA1 strings though.
My biggest downside of the NISS Strings is that you can basically only choose between portamento legato and bow change legato without any acceptable workaround.
The NISS percussion is my go-to however (mainly untuned). Whereever it‘s not enough, Action Strikes and the Kontakt Factory Library offer enough support for the most part.
 
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MartinH.

Senior Member
Not a huge fan of the MA1 strings though.
Yeah, they definitely have some issues and weren't able to replace NI SS SE for me. I'm using both now and tried to make them sound as close to the same as I could get them.

My biggest downside of the NISS Strings is that you can basically only choose between portamento legato and bow change legato without any acceptable workaround.
You might have tried this already, but just in case:

TL;DW: set to portamento and turn up (or automate) the speed dial.
 
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Meetyhtan

Meetyhtan

Noise Maker
@MartinH. Yes, I tried that workaround and it's the technique I would use most of the time. Still not great at all. Portamento sounds beautiful, but can't be used throughout a whole piece, especially in faster passages.

I should try layering NISS Strings with a decent Legato strings library like CSS. The tone of these two is pretty different though. CS2 or Spitfire Symphony Strings might be easier to match.
 

Cory Pelizzari

(Solonoid Studio)
@Cory Pelizzari: Knowing that you reviewed at least a part of the series, can you share or recommend some more demo tracks that aren't already covered in the official demos or your reviews?



It'll be up to taste and writing style what you dislike most about the libraries. Imho legato isn't even in the top problems it has. I've replaced the brass pretty much entirely with MetArk 1 brass, which doesn't even have brass legato except on one horn section.
I use the perc and don't feel a need to look for a replacement. Same with the woodwinds but I am so inexperienced with woodwinds in general that I might change my opinion on those in the future. People seem to be rather split on them. Some think it's the best of the series, some think it is the worst.
The strings have better QA than MetArk1 imho, but they are lacking a lot of articulations that I would use in every piece.
I could throw a couple examples together if you want, it'd just take a little while as I'm in the middle of making 3 videos at the moment. Are you looking for examples of each section or everything together? Btw I don't have the percussion volume, so it'd be just brass, strings and woodwinds.

As far as personal thoughts on the series goes, I like the brass but the woodwinds are too wet for my taste. The strings have some nice sustains and shorts but the legato is lacking. Overall I think the series as a whole is very inconsistent because you have three different recording locations and three different devs working on it - also the price for the full libraries is ludicrous for what I'd consider a mid-tier collection. At that price range any composer would be better off with the Cinematic Studio Series or Albion One and Iceni.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Owning the full collection from KU-CE 12, I would like to give it a try and see what‘s actually possible.
Barely used it before but everything should be put to a test under fair conditions.

I‘m curious what you already got out of the strings, brass and woodwinds, as I could only find very few compositions so far.
Any track submissions?
I can say this...the sound of the Strings is great...and that's where it ends unfortunately. I've tried to write with it, and had a slew of bugs that Audiobro was very helpful and responsive to address, but in the end, it's just not on par with any quality library. The legato is really bad...what I do love however, is the divisi. The sound between the different divisi is excellent, but terribly buggy in Pro Tools, and again, the legato transitions are really bad...such a shame too, because the sound is unique...haven't come across any other library that sounds quite like the NI Strings do.

NOW...the other series are NOT made by Audiobro, they are Soundiron, and to em they're horrible. I just dislike anything this developer does outside of the hybrid stuff...but anything that is acoustic and supposed to be real sounding, I think they fail.

Hope this helps.

I second what Cory said about the price..I got the upgrade to the Symphony Series Strings at 50% off, and it came already with Kontakt Ultimate but I would never have bought this library outright...the price is insane.

Also, these are probably the best you can hope to expect from this series... her is the link to the official demos. https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/cinematic/symphony-series-collection/
 
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Meetyhtan

Meetyhtan

Noise Maker
I can say this...the sound of the Strings is great...and that's where it ends unfortunately. I've tried to write with it, and had a slew of bugs that Audiobro was very helpful and responsive to address, but in the end, it's just not on par with any quality library. The legato is really bad...what I do love however, is the divisi. The sound between the different divisi is excellent, but terribly buggy in Pro Tools, and again, the legato transitions are really bad...such a shame too, because the sound is unique...haven't come across any other library that sounds quite like the NI Strings do.

NOW...the other series are NOT made by Audiobro, they are Soundiron, and to em they're horrible. I just dislike anything this developer does outside of the hybrid stuff...but anything that is acoustic and supposed to be real sounding, I think they fail.

Hope this helps.

I second what Cory said about the price..I got the upgrade to the Symphony Series Strings at 50% off, and it came already with Kontakt Ultimate but I would never have bought this library outright...the price is insane.

Also, these are probably the best you can hope to expect from this series... her is the link to the official demos. https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/cinematic/symphony-series-collection/
Roasted :) It kinda sucks to mostly agree on what you say. Having a throughout great / very usable orchestral setup in Komplete would make the bundle what it's named for... complete.
And yes the idea of calling something a series isn't cool when you think of the fact that it was produced by 3 different developers inside 3 completely different environments.
I still don't get why there are so few tracks to be found. I know the official demos, but I was wondering what an experienced, non-developer composer could make out of what NI gave us here.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
I could throw a couple examples together if you want, it'd just take a little while as I'm in the middle of making 3 videos at the moment. Are you looking for examples of each section or everything together? Btw I don't have the percussion volume, so it'd be just brass, strings and woodwinds.
Since I already have the full series I don't need anything specific, just thought if there's anyone here who knows of other demos that we might have missed, it would be you. Thanks a lot for the offer though!


Overall I think the series as a whole is very inconsistent because you have three different recording locations and three different devs working on it - also the price for the full libraries is ludicrous for what I'd consider a mid-tier collection. At that price range any composer would be better off with the Cinematic Studio Series or Albion One and Iceni.
Agreed. I got the full series as a crossgrade for 300€ I think, and for that I don't have too much buyers remorse. Buying it at full price imho makes no sense given the competition.

Honestly I think there are so few demos of it, because almost no one is really using it for "serious work". The pros already had better or equal libraries when it came out and the beginners often don't write full tracks that they want to present to the world. I'm in that camp too. Wouldn't be surprised if the libraries are mostly used by practicing beginners and EDM/etc. producers who got it together with komplete and want to add a string or brass part to their tracks every now and then.

I also could see it get some use as a lightweight sketching library for laptop use. Using multiple instances of the ensemble patches in one kontakt instance per instrument group, you can write a lot of voices with fairly small RAM footprint I think.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Roasted :) It kinda sucks to mostly agree on what you say. Having a throughout great / very usable orchestral setup in Komplete would make the bundle what it's named for... complete.
And yes the idea of calling something a series isn't cool when you think of the fact that it was produced by 3 different developers inside 3 completely different environments.
I still don't get why there are so few tracks to be found. I know the official demos, but I was wondering what an experienced, non-developer composer could make out of what NI gave us here.
I don't think that it's totally unusable as a whole...but the Strings I think are their best library in that series. I do not think that pros would waste their time in the libraries first: because they're not scripted very well, and second because they are limited in articulations...however, they can make for good sketch pads if that's what you have at the moment. It's certainly enough to get ideas down...
 
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Meetyhtan

Meetyhtan

Noise Maker
I don't think that it's totally unusable as a whole...but the Strings I think are their best library in that series. I do not think that pros would waste their time in the libraries first: because they're not scripted very well, and second because they are limited in articulations...however, they can make for good sketch pads if that's what you have at the moment. It's certainly enough to get ideas down...
That being said, the Essentials should get the job done just as good as the full series. Even better, due to the lower footprint.
I don't buy sketching libraries. I buy libraries if they seem good enough to be used in full compositions, if not I don't buy them.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
That being said, the Essentials should get the job done just as good as the full series. Even better, due to the lower footprint.
I don't buy sketching libraries. I buy libraries if they seem good enough to be used in full compositions, if not I don't buy them.
the essentials, without the divisi and other features are not great at all.. The string library is ONLY as good as it is now because of the full features, otherwise it would not be useable either. IF you want them as your main libraries, I'd look elsewhere for sure. There're not at the pro level at all...not compared to what's out there for a lot less money.
 

Shiirai

Resident Crow
I've said it elsewhere, NISS is alright if you're starting out and don't have much else to work with. KU-12 CE is ridiculous value for money, especially if bought during the summer sale like I did.

You already have it. I honestly don't see a reason not to use it, if only so you can learn for yourself what you want out of your sound. You can *certainly* get it to work. Are there better libraries out there? For sure. But if those are not what you currently have, at least go figure out why you'd want them.

I deleted my Aria Strings Ensemble VST because at some point I found it was worse than NISS. That may not mean much, but it meant something to me.
 
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Meetyhtan

Meetyhtan

Noise Maker
You already have it. I honestly don't see a reason not to use it, if only so you can learn for yourself what you want out of your sound. You can *certainly* get it to work.
I‘m definitely planning to write a bigger NISS-only composition to give it a fair chance before making any final statements. Will share it when it‘s done, but other stuff has to be done before :)
 

Cory Pelizzari

(Solonoid Studio)
I've said it elsewhere, NISS is alright if you're starting out and don't have much else to work with. KU-12 CE is ridiculous value for money, especially if bought during the summer sale like I did.

You already have it. I honestly don't see a reason not to use it, if only so you can learn for yourself what you want out of your sound. You can *certainly* get it to work. Are there better libraries out there? For sure. But if those are not what you currently have, at least go figure out why you'd want them.

I deleted my Aria Strings Ensemble VST because at some point I found it was worse than NISS. That may not mean much, but it meant something to me.
I grabbed the Aria London Symphonic Strings in a cheap bundle and was thoroughly disappointed with how amateur it was recorded and presented. Definitely an avoid-at-all-costs library for anyone curious.
 
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