What full orchestral package do you think is the absolute cream of the crop for general use?

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Coriolis, May 24, 2019.

  1. Coriolis

    Coriolis New Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    I’d be more into something that sounds less “movie trailer” and more like a traditional symphonic orchestra (so more laid back, open, and mellow). Not considering money, which full orchestral VST do you think is the cream of the crop, as a general use orchestra (something sounds great on its own, and isn’t designed for scoring movies & games)?

    I got plenty of instruments to play with and learn from, but sometimes I like window shopping at stores for stuff I can’t afford and don’t absolutely need, but would like to get...eventually.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  2. GtrString

    GtrString Active Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    I might kick-off with the suggestion that what you describe (open/mellow laid back classical not in-your-face epic/trailer sound) is something like VSL libraries with MiR reverb on.
    dsblais, Ben and Québ like this.
  3. miket

    miket Team Dany

    May 17, 2016
    New York
    I think there's an argument to be made for either SSO or the OT stuff as the definitive symphonic collections.

    The Cinematic Studio series might be able to sound more traditional and classical, but... "cinematic" is right there in the name, so it might not be the most sensible choice, great as it seems to be.
    Goldie Zwecker likes this.
  4. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

    May 1, 2014
    Berlin Strings + Expansions.
    Berlin Winds Legacy
    Walker 1955 Piano
    Sample Modeling brass
    Cinematic Studio Brass
    Infinite Brass
    Cinesamples Percussion
    Spitfire Chamber Strings

    These I use all together to get that more traditional orchestral sound.
  5. mikefrommontreal

    mikefrommontreal Active Member

    Jan 6, 2015
    I would consider SSO to be more "cinematic" than the Cinematic series. I think the "Cinematic" name does a disservice to the flexibility of the library.
    constaneum likes this.
  6. miket

    miket Team Dany

    May 17, 2016
    New York
    I guess it's a matter of what someone considers "cinematic" or "classical."

    For me, the ambience of SSO, and the relatively restrained style of playing, seem to embody the sound of classical recordings that I love, whereas the tighter sound and more overtly expressive performance of the CS stuff fits more with the sound of symphonic film music at the peak of its popularity.

    I can easily see how someone could feel exactly the opposite, though.
  7. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2016
    I have SSO and it sounds very symphonic (as opposed to cinematic) when I write for it in that way. Still to my ears the Berlin series with OT has a more traditional symphonic sound. Still personally I’d opt for SSO as the basis for a post-1900 symphonic sound.
    miket likes this.
  8. muk

    muk Senior Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    For symphonic music you'll need not only a certain kind of sound, but also a comprehensive list of articulations. As much as I like Cinematic Studio Strings, it offers neither of those.

    In my opinion you'll be best of to pick and choose for each section. Strings are the hardest.
    Spitifre Chamber Strings (maybe with Light & Sound Chamber Strings for an additionsl color. A great library, but without enough articulations articulations to be a real workhorse). Or Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings. Both can work in a symphonic context, albeit not a large one. Both can sound like symphonic strings around 10 to 12 first, 8 or 9 second etc.
    For large symphonic strings (16 first violins etc.) I would probably choose Hollywood Strings. They don't sound like symphonic strings per se, but withthe rightuse of eq and reverb you can come close. Spitfire Symphonic Strings are ab optionbut I think it got mixed reviews. L. A. Scoring Strings can work too if you know your way around programming - actually a prerequisite for all libraries - and mixing. Other than that, smaller strings sections seem to work better in sample land than bigger ones. No idea why that is the case.

    For woodwinds either VSL Woodwinds (even the Special Edition Woodwinds with the SE+ expansion may be enough), or orchestral Tools Berlin Woodwinds.

    For Brass Sample Modeling Brass or Modern Scoring Brass.

    Lots of options for Percussion. In addition to the above mentioned companies offerings, Rhapsody Percussion comes to mind. Also Synchron Percussion.
  9. ProfoundSilence

    ProfoundSilence Active Member

    Dec 10, 2018
    If I wanted classical I'd probably opt for SSS+SCS for divisi combined with the tone, and I'd probably go with SSW again for tone.

    Brass I'd probably go MSB - for tone, and it's just the best library for that kind of stuff.

    perc is kind of a tough one, probably spitfire - or rhapsody.

    One of the things to keep in mind, is that all you need is a nice couple of church IR's to blend those(air's basically a church) and it would have likely been played in a similar venue(and thus kind of evokes that emotion)

    the OT berlin series would be absolutely undefeatable for baroque at this point - with it's smaller string size and clean-ness, it lends itself to less muddy/cleaner smaller ensemble stuff. Honestly you could do some serious work with just OT inspire
    beyd770 likes this.
  10. OP

    Coriolis New Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    How does VSL compare, these days? I got a couple starter packs and I've been enjoying it a lot. There are occasional sales and pretty substantial student discounts on the Symphonic Cube. But Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra is also on my radar.
  11. Jimmy Hellfire

    Jimmy Hellfire Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2015
    Especially for the more traditional, not too "epic/trailer" stuff, definitely worth condsidering. When I'm after a more natural sound - which is often - I mostly rely on the Dimension Strings (incredible library), VSL Woodwinds (which I think are still the best) and Synchron Percussion. Don't have a lot of VSL Brass, so I can't really say anything about it.
  12. Morning Coffee

    Morning Coffee Active Member

    Mar 17, 2017
    Great Southern Land
    Probably not the creme of the crop, but I like Kirk Hunter Diamond orchestra. It reminds me of listening to classical music on a simple, mono speaker, AM radio. It reminds me of when I was younger, perhaps a more vintage sound?
    kitekrazy likes this.
  13. Dunshield

    Dunshield New Member

    Sep 27, 2018
    All those Acronyms, it took me a while to figure out what you guys are talking about:

    SSO = Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra
    VSL = Vienna Symphonic Library
    SSS = Spitfire Symphonic Strings
    SStS = Spitfire Studio Strings
    SSW = Spitfire Symphonic Woodwinds
    MSB = Modern Scoring Brass
    CSB = Cinematic Studio Brass
    SCS = Spitfire Chamber Strings
    OT = Orchestral Tools
    CS = CineSamples

    * with thanks to Manuel Stumpf for completing the missing ones!
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  14. Manuel Stumpf

    Manuel Stumpf Member

    Sep 30, 2018
    SSS = Spitfire Symphonic Strings
    SSW = Spitfire Symphonic Woodwinds
    both part of Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra.
    Dunshield likes this.
  15. Manuel Stumpf

    Manuel Stumpf Member

    Sep 30, 2018
    Spitfire Studio Strings are most often referred as "SStS".
    Dunshield likes this.
  16. MexicanBreed

    MexicanBreed New Member

    Jan 14, 2019
    Bless your heart! Sometimes it is very difficult to read the threads and not knowing what all these acronyms mean.
    Alexandre and kitekrazy like this.
  17. Geoff Grace

    Geoff Grace Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2009
  18. Alexandre

    Alexandre New Member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Brilliant...so helpful!!
    Dunshield likes this.
  19. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

    Feb 4, 2019
    Concord CA
    I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but VSL to me is the most generally applicable on the whole. I use the flute for jazz projects and even my flutist friends are impressed! It has a few weaknesses here and there, but those probably reflect on my own abilities more than anything else.

    My answer gets a bit different and more nuanced, if you are getting into section-specific questions, but you did ask for overall orchestral library as a single recommendation vs. breaking it down into different section choices.

    I am getting better at making the most of Spitfire's stuff lately, but I still do not feel it is quite as versatile as VSL. Yet sometimes it has exactly what I need and/or is faster to work with. Not quite as consistent across the range as VSL though. For instance, the new Studio Woodwinds sound to me like they're in a different acoustical space than the brass or the strings from that series. I was about to post something about this or check for some other comments. VSL's woodwinds still rule the roost in my view.
    dsblais likes this.
  20. Ben

    Ben Active Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    VSL is still one of the best libraries imo. You get consistence (quality, volume, playablility; not only within an articulation but also when using different articulations and instruments) that is missing with a lot of libraries. They are recorded dry, so you can mix them for solo, chamber, orchestral or epic. And you get a lot of articulations that are missing in other libraries.

    If you own the starter libraries you will get additional 30% discount on top of your regular upgrade discount this month.
    dsblais likes this.

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