Orchestral library for 1000€

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by lutzek, May 18, 2019.

  1. Dex

    Dex Member

    Nov 21, 2017
    It's already been said but I want to reinforce this idea: Never ever ever pay full price for an instrument (or other plugin). You can get most things for 50-90% off if you're patient.
    Desire Inspires likes this.
  2. Michael Antrum

    Michael Antrum Only the good die young....

    Steinberg’s Iconica Sections & Players has been mentioned already a couple of times here. It was made in partnership with orchestral tools, so it comes from good parentage. However, there are a couple of things that push it up the list in my opinion as a great value entry point for someone just starting out.

    1). There is a 30 day trial available.
    2). Unlike virtually everything else you can sell it if you decide this hobby is not for you.
    3). All the sections levels are balanced to each other. This is a biggie when you are just starting - getting the relative levels balanced takes experience and makes your work sound much more realistic.
    4) if you use Cubase the Expression Maps are self generating (articulation management).
    5) Sounds great right out of the box.

    However, it does require the use of a dongle (elicneser) which some people have a pathological hatred of.

    The other good thing is that Steinberg is having a 30th anniversary sale. Currently Iconica Ensembles is on sale for 30% off (ends today) Now this is not the product you are needing as it is, as it’s name suggests, only ensembles, but it is expected that Iconica Sections and Players will go on the same offer this month, which would bring it in at around £400 or so (depending on where you are) which would be insane value.

    You can pick up an Elicenser for a s little as £16.00, so if I were you I’d be getting that trial downloaded (150gb !!!)

    Otherwise I’d be going with East West composer cloud until Black Friday....
    dsblais likes this.
  3. NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    I like the Amadeus idea. Start small with a decent sounding library with Big Bang for the buck.
  4. GtrString

    GtrString Active Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    EW composer cloud to develop a taste for what you like. Then after a while, look to buy individual libraries.
    thevisi0nary, Henu and MartinH. like this.
  5. OP

    lutzek New Member

    May 18, 2019
    Hoooolly Cow, I didn’t expect to see so many replies :o. So first of all thank you for all your answers :)

    I’m sorry for late response – yesterday we had Eurovision and that’s a big deal in Europe :D.

    So maybe I’ll start from these questions:

    Ad 1. At the end of the day I would like to write some kind of symphonic… psychedelic… rock :o. I’d like to combine more “classical” sound with rough old guitars, but… There is a long and winding road to do this, so I’d like to be focused on learning for first 8-12. My plan is to try to recreate some movie soundtracks to understand how it works.

    Ad 2. My only knowledge from orchestration is what I read in “Principles of Orchestration” by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (by the way – great book… for me).

    Ad 3. Yes I can read and write music. I have 24 years of experience in playing on piano.

    Ad 4. I’m using Reaper on Win 10. Additional information about my computer: Intel I7 8 gen, 6 cores, 32GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, SSD + HDD

    I definitely agree with this. First thing is to learn how to lead the part of each section.

    Thank you, I’m happy too . Thank you for a lot of useful information.

    That’s a good idea. So while going through all the posts I came up with a plan to try EastWest first, because it can be subscribed and meanwhile do a deeper research and wait for possible sales.

    Thank you – I didn’t know about that.

    It sounds really reasonable.

    That’s right – for first few months no more additional instruments.

    Thank you – that is really helpful

    I didn’t think about it before, I have to check it.

    Also thank you - a lot of interesting and useful information :)
  6. Syneast

    Syneast Active Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Sometimes the strings are too close miced for my taste, especially the spiccatos. I like a bit of blur on my spiccatos when writing fast lines. You can get them to sound more distant by cranking up the Attack, thus eliminating the transient and leaving the room sound, but that trick will not work on sustains, so the strings will not sound consistent if you do that.
  7. Sarah Mancuso

    Sarah Mancuso Esselfortium

    Apr 9, 2019
    If you're looking at getting an orchestral library and getting full Kontakt, your best bet is probably to get the library first, and then later on get a crossgrade price to full Kontakt from that. The crossgrade generally goes on sale once or a couple times per year, too, which all in all means you can potentially pay something like $130 for Kontakt instead of $500.
  8. ed buller

    ed buller Senior Member

    well I would suggest getting Dorico or Sibeluis with noteperformer to start with. Easy to write quickly and hear it back. Noteperformer is perfectly good enough to get a handle on how things will sound. Then for the Sample Libraries i'd recommend spitfire symphonic strings. The new studio woodwind and brass are great too but very dry. I prefer this for a lot of things but Still use Cinebrass a lot ( both libraries ) for full on Hollywood. Their perc is great too.

    for studying Hollywood orchestration get the omnimusic scores( https://omnimusicpublishing.com/ ) and just pick a few cues and enter them in your Scoring software . Then save as a midi file. Import the WAV from the soundtrack CD...and try and copy it in the DAW with good samples. You'll learn heaps !


    beyd770 and newman like this.
  9. Mike Fox

    Mike Fox Senior Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    Hollywood Orchestra is still the best library for the price. Quality, quantity, and affordability are all there. Play is the only hangup for some.
    James H, jbuhler and handz like this.
  10. muk

    muk Senior Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    That's true, but with its complicated setup and inconsistent programming it is not a good choice for beginners. It's complicated and difficult to use well. The Cinematic Studio Series have a much more beginner friendly learning curve.
    Mike Fox and jbuhler like this.
  11. Mike Fox

    Mike Fox Senior Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    There's certanly a learning curve, but there's a learning curve with any software (the legato in CSS is a nightmare to learn, which is probably why they include a basic version?). I just wouldn't let that stop a beginner from using it, escpecially now that there's a ton of youtube tutorials now. After a couple of hours, i think someone could have Play figured out pretty well, no?

    EWQLSO was actually my first real orchestral library, and the only real difficult thing i remember was the installation, "WARNING! Your software is out of date". Anyone who purchased the boxed versions back in the day will know what im talking about! :roflmao:
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    James H and muk like this.
  12. Uiroo

    Uiroo New Member

    Nov 6, 2018
    Until you decided what to buy i can recommend the free Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra.
    It's not great, but it's a full orchestra with sustain, staccato and pizzicato articulations. I used it before i had any money and i'm extremy grateful it exists :)
  13. Illico

    Illico Samuel Le Tonquèze

    +1, It's also my main orchestral library. Like all complete libraries, there is a learning curve...all instruments are present. The only negative point of EWQLSO remains the absence of legato / portamento. For Strings, I usually put an 8Dio Adagietto overlay.
    Mike Fox and Manuel Stumpf like this.
  14. muk

    muk Senior Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    @Mike Fox the problem I see for beginners is not with Play, but with the Hollywood Orchestra libraries. The problem with Play is that it's horribly rigid and inflexible to set up (custom keyswitching not possible without external software...). But that could be overcome.

    The layout of the libraries however, with their wealth of patches to choose from, will certainly be overwhelming for any beginner. You need a very good understanding of all the instruments and their playing techniques to understand what half of these patches are doing (the nonsensical naming doesn't make it any easier). Even if you got that it's an arduous task to try each of these and decide on which ones you want to use in your template. Add the inconsistent programming (why the heck are dynamics sometimes controlled by cc11, and sometimes by cc1?) and you get the very ingredients for a complete overload of anybody who is not already very firm with samplers, sample libraries, daws, and orchestration.

    Setting up and controlling Cinematic Studio Series - even with the legato lag - is a breeze in comparison.
    rudi and Mike Fox like this.
  15. handz

    handz Senior Member

    Hollywood Orchestra is for the money definitely the best option - nothing complicated about it, you load a patch, you write/play. Same as any other standard lib. And I would start with gold which is super cheap - listen to some demos ppl did with it, it can still sound really good! The only thing that sucks is, that it uses PLAY, but if you do not have Kontakt, then it is actually plus, as many libs need full Kontakt which cost like the library itself.

    I would definitely not go for any ensemble libs like Albion as my only library.
    James H likes this.
  16. handz

    handz Senior Member

    Sorry but that's absolutely not true. It is as easy to use as any other library. Most of the libs out there which were released during a longer period of time have some small inconsistencies. And BTW I hate the way CSS is made, that you need to load ALL articulations section and then KS between them instead of having the option for loading specific arts separately. Also, CSS has super limited articulation option. The sound of the library is very nice, but I won't be buying it as my only String lib.
    Mike Fox likes this.
  17. kessel

    kessel Member

    Nov 25, 2018
    That's exactly what I did this weekend but took the 1 year subscription for 19$ a month, I think I will need at least one year to get used to some of the instruments I want to learn and after that decide if they're worth the purchase or stay in subscription mode or even look other libraries around in the case I find out these don't give me what I need.

    I like subscription plans when they're not the only choice for users.
    Manuel Stumpf likes this.
  18. muk

    muk Senior Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Erm, no.

    That's personal preference and has nothing to do with the ease of use.

    Actually you can do that. Load all the articulations, then deactivate all but one. You can now set it up with individual patches just like Hollywood Orchestra.

    For a beginner that is a good thing. It has all the necessary articulations to get you going. But good luck finding the right patch in Hollywood Strings if you don't know exactly what you are looking for.

    If you are not sure about the difference between portato and portamento, with Hollywood Strings you are completely lost. And we are not even talking the difference between '1st Violins Leg Slur + Port RR LT 12 Ni', '1st Violins Sus 13 RR KSFP Ni', '1st Violins NV NV VB MV RR Ni', and '1st Violins Marc Sus 9 RR 4th pos Ni'.

    If you are a power user it is great to have all these options. If you are just starting, they are unnecessarily confusing. A beginner will not know how fingerings on string instruments work, nor will they know what effect they have. Thus they don't need all these patches.

    Compare that to 'Sustain', 'Staccato', 'Tremolo', etc. of Cinematic Studio Strings. Are very precise, all very simple to learn. So yes, it's a quite obvious fact that Cinematic Studio Strings are much easier to learn than Hollywood Strings, and thus, in my opinion, a better choice for any beginner.
    rudi and ism like this.
  19. ism

    ism Senior Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Very often, yes. But I'd argue that the breadth of articulations in SCS, or SStS would, in retrospect, have be best for myself as a beginner, given the type of music I want to write, and given how much I struggled in getting the right sound.

    Libraries like Light and Sound and CSS gives you a fairly basic, and highly consistent palette, which is great if that's what you're looking for. But libraries like SCS and SStS (maybe hollywood string? ), let you hit the ground running and compose in a more painterly fashion from a broader palette.

    Traditionally, I think learning to write starts with being restricted to what ever ensemble/ spaces is available to perform your work. Or, more realistically, writing within a simple palette since it's more likely that your student works will never be performed. So it makes sense that a traditional approach is maybe a bit less painterly, and on a somewhat more neutral palette.

    But here's another place where modern libraries let us challenge some of the assumptions of how to learn composition.

    And modern libraries give you the option of starting with a broader pallet and a more painterly approach. Which is a perfectly reasonably (also, really fun) place to start also.
    muk likes this.
  20. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2016
    Yes. The same line of argument can be used to suggest why ensemble libraries can be so helpful when getting started, with individual instruments being drawn in initially for detail. Personally I came to VIs with lots of training and experience with live players and traditional orchestration and I found ensemble libraries initially much easier to work with once I got my head around what they were doing. Eventually I had to move away from ensemble libraries to gain more control (though I still find them exceptionally useful for sketching and if I need to work fast). Undoubtedly some of this, probably even a lot of it, is personal preference.
    rudi and muk like this.

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