Not epic sample library addition to NI KU11

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by bebbo, Dec 5, 2018 at 7:23 AM.

  1. bebbo

    bebbo Member


    I own Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate 11 so this is my starting point. I want to buy a new orchestral library to expand my setup.
    I do not write epic big orchestral scores and I much prefer a minimal sounding and quite dry sample library. I am starting to explore orchestration and I like to write parts for instruments, so my main goal is not to buy a huge orchestra with huge sections or with pre-made phrases.
    I do not need the best sounding strings or the best sounding woods, i much prefer to have almost all ground covered with good sounding libraries.
    I have a powerful windows setup and I would prefer to keep using kontakt (this is not a must).
    My budget is around 350Eur.
    At the moment the Orchetral Tools Inspire Bundle seems a great solution and price but I am worried that is not flexible enough.


    Edited: I specified the version of Komplete
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 8:30 AM
  2. BezO

    BezO The Artisan

    Jun 11, 2018
    Which level of 11 do you have?

    Either way, if they would suffice, checked your upgrade prices to either Symphony Series or Symphony Series Essentials. If the sections are too big...

    ...check Session Strings Pro & Session Horns Pro(no sections per se). These are made for what most here would call pop songs.

    I only mention these as you may get decent upgrade pricing depending on what level of 11 you're starting with. Other suggestions will likely direct you to more quality sounding instruments.
  3. Shiirai

    Shiirai Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2018
    Heh. I was in your exact position (with the same requirements) and, after extensive research, went with Palette:

    I also just bought Amadeus for reasons (very good sample sounds, so. many. instruments, awesome symphony engine and currently on launch-sale for $100,-). Without the reverb the samples are very dry.

    Safe to say, I'm extremely happy with my purchases and would recommend looking into these.

    Also, use Action Strings, Action Strikes and Damage. They are magnificent.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 8:38 AM
  4. OP

    bebbo Member

    Hi, I have Komplete Ultimate so I have Session Strings and Horns Pro (I like them), I have also Symphony Essential (I find them too wet, but as far as I know in the "real" version you can choose a closer mic)
  5. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2016
    I would start with the factory library that came with Kontakt. What do you like and dislike working with them? You said you found the Symphony Essentials too wet. That tells you something to look for as you are assessing other libraries. There are a number of decent starting orchestra sets available. Palette and Amadeus mentioned by @Shiirai seem like good bets. There are long threads about both of them in the Forum.
  6. OP

    bebbo Member

    Hey, thanks for the advices.

    Does Palette has some solo instruments as well?

    Amadeus seems amazing for the price! How the sounds compare the standard kontakt factory library? is it an upgrade?
  7. Shiirai

    Shiirai Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2018
    I certainly feel it's an upgrade. It really has no business sounding as good as it does considering the price.

    The basic Palette doesn't feature the solo instruments you're likely talking about. It does feature quite a lot of percussion and contains timpani, glockenspiel, trailer tools, piano, harp and a choir among other things.

    The melodics 'brush pack' I also got does feature a few very nice solo intstruments.

    I basically got Amadeus to round everything out and fill up the voids. Together with the Symphony Series Essentials I imagine I have all I need for a while.
    sostenuto likes this.
  8. poetd

    poetd Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2018
    As you mention solo instruments, should maybe look into VSL Woodwinds SE1.
    On sale for 49eur. Unbelievable quality for that price, I was blown away by what I got for that much money.

    The Brass is also on sale for the same price, but I have no experience with that and found the Brass NI Symphony Essentials mostly good enough for what I use Brass.

    Strings are a nightmare.
    Everyone has their own favourites, none of them do everything, and it always seems like "just one more" string library will be the one that fills the missing gaps (hint - it won't).

    Best is invest some time looking into the ones you like. Try and find "walkthrough" videos where you can - these are better than demos as often the walkthrough is just the patches being played with no effects or eq or post-processing (which can make mediocre libraries sound amazing in the right hands).
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 11:31 AM
  9. Zee

    Zee Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2018
    Not as popular as other options but I believe Versilian Chamber Orchestra might suit your needs it offers a huge variety of instruments and there's a free version of it that you can try out first before committing.
  10. Olivier1024

    Olivier1024 Senior Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    The Kontakt factory library doesn't have crossfading between dynamic layers. It's not convenient to use.

    Sonic Scores - Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra is a comprehensive, coherent library and very cheap. It's not wet.

    Versilian Studios - Chamber Orchestra 2 PRO is different. It's not uniform. As an example Solo trumpet 1 KS patch has 5 microphones, but the scripted legato has 1 microphone and it's a different from the 5 microphones. It's the same with the articulations, its not constant between instruments. There is a good amount of solo instruments not so usual. Percussion are good. It's not wet.
    It could be a good complement to Amadeus.

    Have a look at to help you to manage articulation with Kontakt (using CC instead of KeySwith and keep articulations coherent between the different patchs).
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 3:23 PM
  11. pderbidge

    pderbidge Senior Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    You may have tried this but I always disable the reverb in Symphony Essentials and find it to dry enough for most tasks so I can just add my own reverb to taste. If you haven't tried that I would suggest try that first and see how you get along with what you have.
    I own LASS Lite and the Full version which are fairly dry. Some say that LASS is bone dry but actually it still has just enough room baked in to make it easy, IMHO, to blend in with any reverb of choice. Fore "bone Dry" Chris Hein is the clear winner here (for Kontakt, and VSL for non kontakt) which may make it harder to work with if you're not used to blending in reverb, however that is a task I feel everyone should learn so I wouldn't let that sway you and you'll be all the better for getting a handle on your reverb mixing skills. I don't own any of the Chris Hein Strings but they are on my "future buy" list and many users love them.

    I'm not sure how dry Red Room Audio is, although I do have their freebie but I'm not at my music PC to listen to it again but I do remember it having a great sound.
    Other Dry Kontakt libs I'm sure you might have heard of (which I am not an owner of so I can't speak to them personally) are:

    Spitfire Studio Strings
    8Dio Century Strings - can get fairly dry with the close mics (from listening to the walk through videos)
    Light and Sound Chamber Strings.

    There may be a few others, I just remember these ones as standouts to me as someone who doesn't own them.
  12. BezO

    BezO The Artisan

    Jun 11, 2018
    This was going to be my next suggestion as it's what I did when I only had Essentials. I've since upgraded to the full Series for the extra features.

    I'm one of the few if not the only here that seems to like Symphony Series, maybe because I don't write orchestral music. I use Symphony Series and a few other NI plugs only to add a cinematic flavor to otherwise pop tunes. They do the job. My only knock on the Symphony Series is the lack of some articulations and lack of solo strings. This thread reminds me to check the factory content for what I'm "missing".
  13. OP

    bebbo Member

    I think I am sold on Amadeus. Palette sounds good but at the moment is not discounted and maybe I will wait for a future discount.

    That discounted price is actually great but I like the idea of staying tied to a single environment, in my case kontakt.
    Yeah walkthrough are actually much better than mastered over the top demos.

    The price of VSCO2 is actually great, there are a ton of instruments that are almost overwhelming for me, I am a bit concerned that they have to cut some corners somewhere.
    Amadeus seems more appropriate for me as a fill the void library. Cheaper and with everything I need.
    Do you have VCSO2? How is your experience with it?

    I like some of the stuff on Kontakt Factory Library but a lot of the instruments sounds too artificial.
    A comprehensive and coherent library is exactly what I am looking for! + 1 for Amadeus :)
    That script seems great to build an easy to use and fast orchestral template! Thanks.

    Symphony Essentials even with Reverb off is too wet for my taste.
    I really like LASS, but it is over my budget unfortunately. I used CH in the past and I like it but it's over my budget as well. Thanks.

    What do you think about Amadeus + Berlin Inspire 1&2 (Both discounted at the moment)?
    Olivier1024 likes this.
  14. Shiirai

    Shiirai Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2018
    I really wanted those, but went with Amadeus instead anyway. They sound awesome but are quite limited in articulations and patches.

    That said, I already had Palette so I really didn't need Inspire, which was a vital part of the decision. It might actually be a really good move for you to get them. There's bound to be someone else with actual hands-on experience with BOI who can give you a better picture.
  15. Meetyhtan

    Meetyhtan Member

    What about Metropolis Ark 2? It's still on sale, however just slightly above your budget I think. Also it's on you if you would consider it to epic

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