This is great, thanks. Can you comment on the performance aspect of the Arks? I know from experience that Inspire is really lightweight and efficient - while Berlin has a reputation for being resource heavy. Wondering if Ark maybe fits in the sweet spot between those two collections.Inspire is way the heck more interesting than NI symphonic stuff, in the sense that the OT patches are inherently quite expressive if not positively dramatic. There's just no comparison and very little overlap even on the plainer patches like the string sections which in the Ark series embody several very distinctively different sounds.
The Arks really aren't a headbanger trailer instrument, although they could do that sort of stuff if asked. There are no exaggerated rise+hits, for instance. I think it will get a lot of use from me over say Hollywood Orchestra and EWSO which I have used quite a bit, which is the opposite of what I thought until I actually started looking at the OT patches. The OT stuff is very expressive, but in a somewhat understated way, if that makes any sense. They evoke a somewhat minimalist modern sensibility, neo-classic if you like. I think they're perfect for cinematic work and with the Arks in particular it's possible to put together really excellent cues to cover an entire feature without using anything else.
FWIW the Arks cover a much bigger ground than the Inspires, if you need to buy just one, it's worth making a stretch for the Arks IMHO. There is quite a bit of overlap between the Inspires and the Arks, although they each have somewhat distinctive personalities. The Arks are kind of the Inspires on steroids, or somethin...
edit...OT's marketing has given the Arks a very dark personification which I feel misrepresents them and in my case kept me from even looking closely at them. Maybe there is a slightly dark bias there, but they're versatile enough to be just about anything you would care make of them. Given the choice between Arks 1 + 2 and NI Symphonic, I'd take the Arks in a heartbeat.