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Orchestral library for Film/game music (BBCSO Vs ?)

dao_man

New Member
I'd like to buy my first orchestral library this BF or Christmas.
I'm interested in writing music for games/film.
Regarding my tastes at the moment:
John Williams - Hedwig's Theme
Howard Shore - Old Friends
David Arnold - Opening Titles (BBC series Sherlock)
Jeremy Soule - Reign of the Septims
Ramin Djawadi - Game of Thrones (Main theme)

I'm just at the beginning of that path and would like to spend some money now and be able to learn/work with the tools for a few years.
So far I have: Studio One 5 Pro and ordered MacBook Pro M1Max 64GB RAM, 2TB.
I've been reading the forum for a while and considering these options, as they are recommended quite often. I've listened to some demos on YouTube and like either.

1) BBCSO Pro
2) Cinematic Studio Series (if the price will be low enough)
3) Nucleus + buying Cinematic Studio volumes over time

As I understand, options 2 and 3 require buying a percussion library (e.g. Damage 2).

Would you please share your opinions what would be the best choose for my criteria? Maybe you know a better option? Feel free to share you thoughts.
 

from_theashes

Senior Member
I would go with East West Hollywood Orchestra Opus. You can buy it on sale atm or you can subscribe to Composer Cloud. You could also test it via Composer Cloud for one month and buy afterwards.
It’s a complete package of strings, woodwinds, brass, percussions, solo violin & cello with that classic „Hollywood Sound“.
Highly recommended!

 

ed buller

Senior Member
I much prefer BBC as a total orchestra sound to EAST WEST HOLLYWOOD. The studio they use is smaller and tighter than BBC Delaware rd. And the programing is over 10 years old. Spitfire BBC has issues but they are small and the sound is fantastic. For some situations the Brass ( particularly the horns ) might need augmentation with other libraries . But everything else works well, and for the price it's a no brainer.

If you are going modular, then VSLSynchron Strings and Brass are extraordinary . I'd supplement that with BERLIN WW whish is still hard to beat.


best

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odod

Faluna studio
I would go with East West Hollywood Orchestra Opus. You can buy it on sale atm or you can subscribe to Composer Cloud. You could also test it via Composer Cloud for one month and buy afterwards.
It’s a complete package of strings, woodwinds, brass, percussions, solo violin & cello with that classic „Hollywood Sound“.
Highly recommended!


agree, since OPUS is an advance software now, it will make the workflow easier
 

from_theashes

Senior Member
I much prefer BBC as a total orchestra sound to EAST WEST HOLLYWOOD. The studio they use is smaller and tighter than BBC Delaware rd. And the programing is over 10 years old. Spitfire BBC has issues but they are small and the sound is fantastic. For some situations the Brass ( particularly the horns ) might need augmentation with other libraries . But everything else works well, and for the price it's a no brainer.

If you are going modular, then VSLSynchron Strings and Brass are extraordinary . I'd supplement that with BERLIN WW whish is still hard to beat.


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They reworked all clunky parts with the new Opus Engine. And the tighter sound is more flexible and controllable. You can add your own reverb (like EW Spaces) to make it sound bigger. And you don’t need another brass library to compensate that weak brass in BBCSO.
 

ed buller

Senior Member
They reworked all clunky parts with the new Opus Engine. And the tighter sound is more flexible and controllable. You can add your own reverb (like EW Spaces) to make it sound bigger. And you don’t need another brass library to compensate that weak brass in BBCSO.
All true...but it doesn't sound anything Like as good as BBC IMHO ( French horns notwithstanding )

best

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doctoremmet

Senior Member
All true...but it doesn't sound anything Like as good as BBC IMHO ( French horns notwithstanding )

best

e
Hmmm. HOPUS still sounds as good as ever to be honest. The recordings may be way older than BBCSO’s, which sounds good as well, but I can’t say I’d agree with there being such a difference in ‘objectifiable quality’ if there even was such a thing. Now, there is taste of course hehe ;)

This is a pretty cool and useful comparison video, which led me to the conclusion all of the tested candidates have particular sweet spots that I like better than others. But I wouldn’t say OPUS is an outlier here (in a negative sense)…



Disclaimer: I DID just upgrade EWHO Gold to HOPUS Diamond ;)
 
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from_theashes

Senior Member
These things are dreadfully subjective

That’s what I was trying to point out. Arguing, that Opus wouldn’t „sound anything as good as BBCSO“ in a beginner-thread might be misleading. They sound different, yes. But there is not one being superior.
And I just wanted to bring another option to the table which might be more affordable, but still top notch.
 

RogiervG

can be grumpy
Since we're talking about film/game music.. the term hollywood sound cannot be ignored:

HO is good for present sound (meaning more focussed: sound more modern hollywood sound/movie sound: leaning to epic), BBC shines in the classical sound (less focussed), giving you a feel of a classical live performance stage hollywood/movie sound (like the older scores from the golden hollywood age).

It depends on what type you want to, which one "shines" out of the box (or with little tweaking).

Cinematic studio series are studio sound, focussed, so to have them roomy, you need additional reverbs, however, they are very detailed for what they are (the articulations it includes are very nicely done and between libraries of the series it's very consistent in workflow). The brass is could use some more room information (it can sound boxy in some applications), however it has very good legato :)
Infact the whole cinematic studio series forté is the legato.

Berlin series are more classical in nature, as are the VSL offerings, so it's in the bbc ballpark of where they shine mostly. Although the quality of OT and VSL is higher than BBC in general, it's also way more expensive (not taking into account the slimmed down Special editions and Berlin by Berklee orchestra).

SSO (spitfire symphonic orchestra, with or without the chamber strings) is also worth taking a look at, it sits in between the modern hollywood (focussed when using close mics) and the classical (roomy with the rest of the mics: less focussed), it sounds very nice too.

Less focused doesn't equal blurry/fuzzy/unclear. it means it has more room presence, not like they are close to your ears.
 
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Michaelt

Boring Member
Based on the three options you've listed and the five examples you're into, BBCSO. There's nothing else that will be notably better without introducing new issues. Get that, find your way, reassess in a year or so if needed.
 

hayvel

Member
You should have a look at the VSL Synchron line. VSL allow resale and you can return products within 14 days, which is exceptional. You need a eLicenser dongle though until they have transitioned to iLok with optional cloud verification.

I would check out Synchron Strings Pro (bigger ensembles), Elite Strings (smaller ensembles), Brass and Percussion. There is a sale on Percussion right now, I think.

For woodwinds you can compliment with the synchron-ized Woodwinds or the BBO woodwinds until the full Synchron product is released.

I believe you can also start with the BBO Brass, Strings, Woodwinds and Percussion and upgrade to the standard or full synchron versions later on for an upgrade price.

There should be a 4 for 3 voucher sale soon and in combination with regular sales, you should be able to save a good fraction of the regular price.
 
OP
D

dao_man

New Member
Thread starter
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Thank you very much for the explanation and the answers. I forgot to mention in the initial post, that I don't like the idea of a usb licenser. That's why I haven't listed VSL and Opus.

I wonder if AROOF + Audio Imperia Solo (or another library for solo instruments) should be considered?
 
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handz

Senior Member
BBCSO i nice but too soft, EWHO Opus is now super cheap and I believe better suited for movie music.

Cinematic Studio Series - these are great but no percussion and price is way higher
 

mybadmemory

Senior Member
If you’re just starting out I wouldn’t spend as much as BBCSO pro, or the full Cinematic Studio Series + a percussion library for your first purchase. Since you can’t be sure the one you pick will be right for you, going all in from the start can be an expensive mistake.

I would prefer dipping my toes first, with something like BBCSO Core or Nucleus, partly because of the cheaper entry point, but also because both of them are still more than enough to handle if you’re just starting out, and any bigger package might just feel overwhelming.

From the references you mention I would say BBCSO sounds closer to them than Nucleus which has a more modern / epic / hybrid sound signature. I also think BBCSO is better value in terms of how many instruments and articulations you get for the price.

Other options that could fit the sound you’re after could be HOOPUS, or CineSamples, but then we’re getting into more expensive territory again. So I would still start with BBC Core, and then build from that. Either upgrade to Pro at some point in the future, or potentially add something like CineBrass or CSB eventually.

Abbey Road + Solo would give you ensembles and soloists but still not all individual sections, section legatos, or even a harp, so not really a complete package even if combined. :)
 

Trash Panda

Clueless nitwit
Thank you very much for the explanation and the answers. I forgot to mention in the initial post, that I don't like the idea of a usb licenser or the one which requires the connected internet, which is bad when you fly often and would like to use a library on board. That's why I haven't listed VSL and Opus.

I wonder if AROOF + Audio Imperia Solo (or another library for solo instruments) should be considered?
Aside from Trumpets, Horns and Percussion, AROOF does not have individual sections. SOLO only provides a very specific type of solo instrument for lyrical passages with lots of baked in vibrato. You'd be extremely limited compared to the pieces you've cited above.

I've spent way too much on various libraries, dipping in the virtual toes here and there to find my sonic preferences, so hopefully this can help you avoid falling down that same rabbit hole.

If you want the fewest compromises in what you can do with your orchestral libraries, Cinematic Studio Series + Percussion (I'd recommend CinePerc for that) is going to give you the most potential. You're probably looking at $1200 for the CSS full series with a Black Friday and loyalty discount + $325-$375 for CinePerc.

You won't get that Hollywood sound right out of the box with the CSS series as it leans a bit more to the classical side with a heavy mid range, but with the right EQ knowledge or getting into @ricoderks Project Colossus template, you can get the CSS libraries that huge sound. It's an investment for sure, but unless you turn into a library junkie like so many of us here, you'll probably never feel the need to buy another sample library for a very, very long time.

BBCSO will be fine if you don't need powerful brass or tight rhythmic shorts. It's extremely comprehensive in instrument selection, articulations and microphone options (in the pro version). Unfortunately, it falls on its face if you try to push it into the bombastic sonic territory or rely on precision in your shorts, as it's just not recorded for that. It will do the first half of Hedwig's theme beautifully, but you'll grow frustrated, especially with the brass, when you get to the louder half. Venture into God of War 1-3 or Star Wars overture territory and you'll likely be very annoyed with the results.

Nucleus is a decent starting point, but the soloists are limited compared to CSS or BBCSO in that they're purely for lyrical lines. Nucleus overall has a limited amount of articulations (sustains and staccatissimo/spiccato for all sections with a few instruments having legato or trills), but if you stack the shorts and sustains you can get a lot of mileage out of it. You won't get more than the mixed microphone options, but if you're just starting out, you probably won't go down that rabbit hole for awhile. Despite what my esteemed buddy @mybadmemory says, the Classic mix in Nucleus can do just fine for non-modern sound profiles.
 
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Loerpert

Active Member
I'd like to buy my first orchestral library this BF or Christmas.
I'm interested in writing music for games/film.
Regarding my tastes at the moment:
John Williams - Hedwig's Theme
Howard Shore - Old Friends
David Arnold - Opening Titles (BBC series Sherlock)
Jeremy Soule - Reign of the Septims
Ramin Djawadi - Game of Thrones (Main theme)

I'm just at the beginning of that path and would like to spend some money now and be able to learn/work with the tools for a few years.
So far I have: Studio One 5 Pro and ordered MacBook Pro M1Max 64GB RAM, 2TB.
I've been reading the forum for a while and considering these options, as they are recommended quite often. I've listened to some demos on YouTube and like either.

1) BBCSO Pro
2) Cinematic Studio Series (if the price will be low enough)
3) Nucleus + buying Cinematic Studio volumes over time

As I understand, options 2 and 3 require buying a percussion library (e.g. Damage 2).

Would you please share your opinions what would be the best choose for my criteria? Maybe you know a better option? Feel free to share you thoughts.

1. CSS
2. BBCSO

That would be my choice. Own both and use both :)
 
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