Orchestral library for 1000€

ism

Senior Member
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.

This makes sense.

Coming to samples without already knowing how to write orchestral music, I found that a lot of I was coming up with via ensemble libraries was at best kind of bland, and at worst, derivative mush. (Admittedly this might not be entirely the fault to the ensemble libraries themselves :) ).

If solo instruments were good enough (and a few of them are starting to be, though they're can be prohibitively expensive to a beginner) I would advocate starting with learning how to compositions around detailed individual solo lines, and building from there.


But lacking adequately expressive solo instruments, I think that something like SStS has enough expressiveness, on a broad enough palette that learning I link learning how to craft individual lines.

I would distinguish this from 'texture' libraries - Tundra or OACE being the ultimate examples. Which are fantastic for a particular 'painterly' approach. But unless you're writing ambient music, I'd argue this should be coupled with a library that lets you write in some finer detail.



Undoubtedly personal preference though. I'm sure the whatever the pedagogical theory implicit in the Albion One "Start writing film music *now*" is is perfectly valid also.
 
Last edited:

handz

Senior Member
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.


If you start to compose, limiting yourself from doing what you really want just because your library cant do it is the most frustrating thing ever. I remember the times when writing some passages with runs and fast legatos was almost impossible because there was no library capable of it. And I hated it. Having as most options as possible is a good thing. You always have the option not to use them at once but you still have them.
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
@muk Maybe it all comes down to personal preference? I never found SO, HO to be complicated (even when i was starting out). I just had issues with the engine itself. Also, I LOVED having a ton of articulations. It was actually a really good way to learn about the multitude of different arts! It was also a ton of fun trying to incorporate that stuff into my compositions.

Anyway, we (thankfully) live in a world where just about every library sounds good, so it will be hard for the OP to go wrong with any of the suggestions offered in this thread. :)
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
If you're just getting started with orchestral arrangements, I STRONGLY suggest you consider getting Sonic Scores's AMADEUS SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA, which has all the basics at a price ($150) that is far, far lower than it should be, considering what you get. It also sounds damn good and was scripted by Tracy Collins of Indiginus.

I have just about every effing orchestral library out there, but i'm tempted to buy this, lol! The library seems like a freakin no brainer if you're just starting out. It seems to be flooding with options! Part of me wishes i could just return everything ive purchased over the years and just bought something simple like this and could use it for decades to come.
 

Dex

Member
I have just about every effing orchestral library out there, but i'm tempted to buy this, lol! The library seems like a freakin no brainer if you're just starting out. It seems to be flooding with options! Part of me wishes i could just return everything ive purchased over the years and just bought something simple like this and could use it for decades to come.
I have Amadeus. After listening to demos I think The Orchestra (for $199) blows Amadeus (at $149) out of the water.
 

handz

Senior Member
@muk Maybe it all comes down to personal preference? I never found SO, HO to be complicated (even when i was starting out). I just had issues with the engine itself. Also, I LOVED having a ton of articulations. It was actually a really good way to learn about the multitude of different arts! It was also a ton of fun trying to incorporate that stuff into my compositions.

Anyway, we (thankfully) live in a world where just about every library sounds good, so it will be hard for the OP to go wrong with any of the suggestions offered in this thread. :)

Same here.

It would, but the budget is obviously an issue here. You can get the whole Orchestra for like USD 600? Then he has another 400 to spare for buying stuff like a choir or maybe Albion or...
 

robgb

I was young once
I have Amadeus. After listening to demos I think The Orchestra (for $199) blows Amadeus (at $149) out of the water.
I disagree. A friend has The Orchestra and I got a chance to play with it a bit. I much prefer Amadeus.
 

Dex

Member
I disagree. A friend has The Orchestra and I got a chance to play with it a bit. I much prefer Amadeus.
Why? Like I said I was just basing my opinion on The Orchestra off of demos (which in my case was an hour and a half of youtube videos).
 

robgb

I was young once
Why? Like I said I was just basing my opinion on The Orchestra off of demos (which in my case was an hour and a half of youtube videos).
It's been awhile, but it The Orchestra sounded a little vanilla to me. I'm sure it's just a matter of personal preference.
 

TigerTheFrog

Froganthropist
I've had Amadeus since it came out and I've had The Orchestra a few days. They are two totally different kinds of libraries and very unique. I don't think it's possible to compare them head-to-head.

The Orchestra does not offer any solo instruments at all, while Amadeus has 2 flutes, 4 different French Horns, 3 trumpets, etc. Amadeus has many instruments not found in The Orchestra at all, including 2 guitars, a piano, pipe organ, harpsichord, celesta, tubular bells, etc. Amadeus also has a cool feature called Symphony, similar to Indiginus' Solid State Symphony ($59),

The selling point of The Orchestra is its arp engine, which is amazing, fun, and to me, very inspiring. If you want that, then there's nothing to discuss. No orchestral library has anything like it at any price. $200 is a very good price, the lowest to date, and I don't think it will ever sell for less.

It depends on what you want. How much you like the sound of the orchestral instruments should certainly factor into that decision.

If what a beginner composer wants to do is learn how to compose with ALL the main instruments in a full orchestra, they have what they need to get started in Amadeus. They simply don't with The Orchestra or lots of other fine libraries like the Albions, Inspire, and the Palette series, that lack all solo instruments.
 
Last edited:

kessel

wagakki-electro-otaku
I've had Amadeus since it came out and I've had The Orchestra a few days. They are two totally different kinds of libraries and very unique. I don't think it's possible to compare them head-to-head.

The Orchestra does not offer any solo instruments at all, while Amadeus has 2 flutes, 4 different French Horns, 3 trumpets, etc. Amadeus has many, many instruments not found in The Orchestra at all, including 2 guitars, a piano, pipe organ, harpsichord, celesta, tubular bells, etc. Amadeus also has a cool feature called Symphony, similar to Indiginus' Solid State Symphony ($59),

The selling point of The Orchestra is its arp engine, which is amazing, fun, and to me, very inspiring. If you want that, then there's nothing to discuss. No orchestral library has anything like it at any price. $200 is a very good price, the lowest to date, and I don't think it will ever sell for less.

It depends on what you want. How much you like the sound of the orchestral instruments should certainly factor into that decision.

If what a beginner composer wants to do is learn how to compose with ALL the main instruments in a full orchestra, they have what they need to get started in Amadeus. They simply don't with The Orchestra or lots of other fine libraries like the Albions, Inspire, and the Palette series, that lack all solo instruments.
That's good to know, I actually like the sound of the orchestra way more than Amadeus as well but not having any single instrument is really a point down for that library. I guess I'll keep buying dedicated libraries for now.
 

thevisi0nary

Active Member
There are people here who are far better than me who know a great deal more. But the most important thing is knowing what kind of composer YOU are and what YOU like to use.

I don’t have it, but I would get EW composer cloud for $30 a month until you’ve written enough songs to know exactly what you want out of a library and how they play into your song writing style.

You could easily spend several hundred $$ on any of the proven libraries mentioned here and you’ll most likely have a good time. But you could also get something and realize it is not optimal for the style you want to go with. Better in my opinion to go with something that is cheap, refundable, comes with excellent libraries, and then branch out as you have a better understanding of sample libraries.
 

ScoreFace

Active Member
That's good to know, I actually like the sound of the orchestra way more than Amadeus as well but not having any single instrument is really a point down for that library. I guess I'll keep buying dedicated libraries for now.
Just one thing for clarification: in The Orchestra, there are tons of single nkis with lots of different articulations. You can play these without the engine and use the whole lbrary like a normal orchestral sample lib.

There is one nki "The Orchestra.nki", which works with the engine and contains all instruments in slots - I would say this is the "special" thing about TO.

But aside, you'll find folders with all sections (Strings, Brass, Wood, Percussion, Choir), containing all instruments as "normal" single nkis.

To be honest, I work very often with the "all articulations" single nkis. With these I can change articulations via keyswitch and even assign several articulations at the same time. When I play French Horn motifs, I chose stacc, marc and sustain at the same time to get a really punching sound:).

What TO doesn't have, are SOLO instruments - they don't offer 4 single French Horns, for example, and they don't have a solo violins. Maybe in a future update? I'd like that:).
 

Harzmusic

Active Member
What TO doesn't have, are SOLO instruments - they don't offer 4 single French Horns, for example, and they don't have a solo violins.
Actually the woodwinds are solo instruments - in return there are no recorded ensembles for the woodwinds though.
 
Last edited:

ScoreFace

Active Member
Actually the woodwinds are solo instruments - in return there are no recorded ensembles for the woodwinds though.
Really? Wow, I didn't notice - but you seem to be right :D

Makes sense in a way, as orchestrators sometimes advice to not double woodwinds too often in unisono...
 

Hanu_H

Senior Member
I don't have The Orchestra or Amadeus, but when listening the demos, The Orchestra sounds a lot better to me. With that sale price it's pretty hard to beat... It is just unbelievable that you can get with such a little money these days. When I started out and bought EWQLSO the price was totally in a different league. It's happy days for those who are just starting out, so many great tools available with such a low price.
 

kessel

wagakki-electro-otaku
I started a subscription plan on EastWest, mainly because of choirs and RA, but I've seen they have both orchestra and solo libraries included in the subscription plan as well, that might be an affordable option as well, and it sounds pretty good in my opinion too:

 

MarcusD

Active Member
Personally I'd start with Hollywood Orchestra. It litterally has everything you need to cover all bases and then some. Very generous amount of patches and some of the FX patches are incredible (noteably brass) + it's on offer ATM until the end this month. Sure it's not as quick to work with as some other libraries and takes a little time to set up, but well worth every penny.
  • Dimond Edition RRP $932 Sale price $466
  • Gold Edition RRP $665 Sale price $332
Link: http://www.soundsonline.com/hollywood-orchestra

Then with the spare $ left over you can wait for the other sales and pick up anything else you need. Like choirs, solo instruments or epic cinematic perc stuff... Or you could just use composer cloud (like others have mentioned) and use everything East West have.