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Looking for 'playable' orchestra

JohnG

Senior Member
why not try East West's subscription? That way you get a very low priced introduction to a more lively sound, without committing too much money. If you're a student or professor you get a discount.

I do like Spitfire and have heard some great things from Berlin, but the Hollywood series would address some of the issues you've found wanting in Vienna. The only shortcoming would be that, if I understand it, you only get one set of microphone positions with the subscription, which is too bad because that's the real advantage of that series.

Still, though, a lot more "room" in the samples than Vienna's silent stage approach and, consequently, less to fiddle with.


[note: I have received free products from East West]
 

bigcat1969

Senior Member
Just an aside if you haven't thought about it, consider the various copy protection schemes and dongles required and what they do to your machine. I used my machine for gaming, VR, writing, research, creating instruments and silly lists of free instruments, and many other things and am unwilling to deed over to invasive protection schemes too much power, control or use dongles just to make musc.
 
If you have SE 1+2 go for the upgrade to the synchronized versions. It cost you almost nothing, you get an orchestra ready to use with reverb and panning + a great piano. And if you don't like the library you have 30 days to return it and get your money back.

Agreed, this is the best advice. The upgrades to Synchronized are about 35 euros, and would address your main problem (out-of-box playability) while keeping you on a path towards a serious and comprehensive sound set. Lots of walkthroughs and demos here:

https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Starter_Editions/Synchronized_Special_Edition_Bundle#!Video_Demos
 

dsblais

Member
The Orchestra was originally designed and recorded with rhythmic arpeggiation in mind. Perhaps it isn't too surprising that the shorts often sound better than the longs when exposed. It's reasonably versatile, but definitely feels more oriented towards andante or faster work to me.

YMMV, but Albion One's pads just aren't that playable in my opinion. Both OT Inspire and SF Masse seem much better if you're trying to lay down some realistic ensemble backgrounds.

I actually think VSL makes the most playable VIs out there, generally speaking. Once you're used to their performance legato and articulation switching, it's a really fantastic platform for performance and can create very realistic sounding results, at least to my tin ears. Personally, I think VI Pro is better than the Synchron Player, but not without MIR or MIRx.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
YMMV, but Albion One's pads just aren't that playable in my opinion. Both OT Inspire and SF Masse seem much better if you're trying to lay down some realistic ensemble backgrounds.
I have used Masse occasionally but find it much less workable as a sketching library than Albion One. I find the woodwinds in Albion One to be excellent as ensemble patches (longs, shorts, and legato). The brass I'm less happy with and I will use Masse occasionally if I want the full ensemble in a single patch. But for the most part I don't like the sound of Masse as just a basic brass or winds patch.
 
OP
Ron Snijders

Ron Snijders

Active Member
Lots of great input, many thanks people! In the mean time, I made use of the VSL upgrade offer and I have to say the Synchron-ized versions of the SE instruments indeed feel much more 'alive'.

Lots of great input, many thanks people! In the mean time, I made use of the VSL upgrade offer and I have to say the Synchron-ized versions of the SE instruments indeed feel much more
You could also check out Berlin Inspire; similar price range and top notch quality. Albion is attractive though because you get some great synth patches. What sort of music do you like to write?
As far as what I like to write, that's a very good question. I honestly have very little clue. I like most styles of music and would be as happy writing a bluegrass song as a symphony. At the moment I gravitate towards the cinematic 'epic' style. You probably never heard anyone say he likes Two Steps from Hell's stuff :) That also fits in nicely with, for instance, the orchestra-enhanced Symphony X-style prog metal.
 

dzilizzi

I know nothing
The Orchestra was originally designed and recorded with rhythmic arpeggiation in mind. Perhaps it isn't too surprising that the shorts often sound better than the longs when exposed. It's reasonably versatile, but definitely feels more oriented towards andante or faster work to me.

YMMV, but Albion One's pads just aren't that playable in my opinion. Both OT Inspire and SF Masse seem much better if you're trying to lay down some realistic ensemble backgrounds.

I actually think VSL makes the most playable VIs out there, generally speaking. Once you're used to their performance legato and articulation switching, it's a really fantastic platform for performance and can create very realistic sounding results, at least to my tin ears. Personally, I think VI Pro is better than the Synchron Player, but not without MIR or MIRx.
You can't get Masse without buying the whole SSO which is out of the price range of the OP.

The problem I find with ensemble patches, especially for strings, is that it is very easy to make them sound synthy. I find Albion One's strings very synth sounding. Others may disagree.


If you are happy with the new VSL stuff, I would stick with that. At least until something is on sale. Most of these orchestras go down to sometimes 50% off (or more in the case of EW) and you can get some great deals if you keep an eye out. Also gives you more time to look through some walk-throughs. None of them are perfect. But you might be able to get a couple good ones for your $500 that together are almost perfect.
 

dsblais

Member
You can't get Masse without buying the whole SSO which is out of the price range of the OP.

The problem I find with ensemble patches, especially for strings, is that it is very easy to make them sound synthy. I find Albion One's strings very synth sounding. Others may disagree.


If you are happy with the new VSL stuff, I would stick with that. At least until something is on sale. Most of these orchestras go down to sometimes 50% off (or more in the case of EW) and you can get some great deals if you keep an eye out. Also gives you more time to look through some walk-throughs. None of them are perfect. But you might be able to get a couple good ones for your $500 that together are almost perfect.
Wow, you're totally right about Masse. I've been mistaken about this because I saw it already logged in, but seeing it without being logged in now I see it still is unavailable. My apologies, jbuhler, about being wrong about that in a different post.
 

Hanu_H

Senior Member
For playble orchestral libraries, you should definitely check out Musical Sampling and Performance Samples. For epic cinematic music, Trailer Strings and Brass are really good. Caspian Brass is another option and Oceania is a great sounding playble choir library.
 

Daniel

Active Member
For playble orchestral libraries, you should definitely check out Musical Sampling and Performance Samples. For epic cinematic music, Trailer Strings and Brass are really good. Caspian Brass is another option and Oceania is a great sounding playble choir library.
I agree with Hanu_H
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
As far as what I like to write, that's a very good question. I honestly have very little clue. I like most styles of music and would be as happy writing a bluegrass song as a symphony. At the moment I gravitate towards the cinematic 'epic' style. You probably never heard anyone say he likes Two Steps from Hell's stuff :)
Then you would love the EW stuff, Nick Phoenix (from EW) is one of the founders of TSFH.
 

sevensuns

New Member
Maybe look at Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra. It's what I'm considering getting. Costs 150, but sounds very nice and consistent from what I heard.
It also has "Symphony" patches which are kind of all in one whole orchestra or orchestra+ choir, etc. patches mapped out throughout the keyboard.
No true legato is the only con I think off, I have honestly not seen any cons outside of that being mentioned for this library.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Wow, you're totally right about Masse. I've been mistaken about this because I saw it already logged in, but seeing it without being logged in now I see it still is unavailable. My apologies, jbuhler, about being wrong about that in a different post.
Well, it's weird to attach a price to it if it is only available as a free add-on. When I looked at the SF site after you mentioned this, I also thought that SF must have changed policy.
 

Quasar

Senior Member
Maybe look at Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra. It's what I'm considering getting. Costs 150, but sounds very nice and consistent from what I heard.
It also has "Symphony" patches which are kind of all in one whole orchestra or orchestra+ choir, etc. patches mapped out throughout the keyboard.
No true legato is the only con I think off, I have honestly not seen any cons outside of that being mentioned for this library.
Wonderful library, and perfect for learning how to orchestrate with VI. But it's pretty much the opposite of what the OP is asking for.

Problem is, you can't have it both ways. If you get a sketch library like Albion One or Symphobia, you gain "playability" but lose the fine-tune control over each instrument and voicing, which is inherently limiting. With a fully formed virtual orchestra you gain control over all of the individual instruments, but lose the instant gratification playability aspect.

If this were me right now, I'd probably either look at Red Room Audio or take advantage of NI's Project Sam sale. Or even Garritan's GIO, which is inexpensive and has some decent sounding prefab orchestral moods setup to play. Depending on what one wishes to do, this might be enough.
 

dzilizzi

I know nothing
Well, it's weird to attach a price to it if it is only available as a free add-on. When I looked at the SF site after you mentioned this, I also thought that SF must have changed policy.
This! I had it on my WishList and got upset they didn't give me a coupon code for it. That's when I found out you need SSO and it is Free with SSO. So why they put a price tag on it makes no sense.
 

EgM

Game music!
Stick with your VSL SE (with Synchron update). While all the other options are indeed playable, I don't think you will get instant gratification from anything if you're not at ease with VSL SE since (in my opinion) it is the most playable and fast loading library I know of.

For legatos, make use of the velocity crossfade (Vel xFade, make sure it's ON) using CC1 also known as modwheel, in VSL it is set to CC2 by default for whatever stupid reason so change it to CC1 and ride your modwheel as you play just as a flute player would control his dynamics and you'll have it sounding nice in no time.
 
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