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


I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
These days one could just go all out on Composer Cloud, especially with the ever estimable Hollywood Stgs and Brass and of course Orchestra. However, the above can be daunting for beginners, as it takes at least a modicum of engineering know how to make those samples work good in a mockup. If you've got the cash I say go OT Arks 1 and 2; if you don't then there's nothing wrong with Albion One (though I wouldn't recommend that last for people whom already have lots of experience both composing and using sample libraries). I personally think wet libraries can work best for beginners because the out of the box sound might be grounds for great inspiration to write, and to me that's what's really important, beginner or not. Not endlessly testing and/or criticizing legato or some other unhappy peccadilloe...because EVERY library has those. Bank on something you're positive will get you writing, and I sure as hell don't mean a bunch of eight bar loops. Aw heck, what am I saying? Nothing wrong with doing whattevah you want with your library.. I'm hypocritically being a stickler for using tools for what they're meant for, and being a composer (especially one whom, besides my small pro commissions has one big toe firmly in the avante garde) I shouldn't be. Go do your thing, folks, I hope you can still salvage something useful out of all this hot air lol.
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I was young once
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).
VSL. The dry stuff. I have the old Opus 1 Kontakt instruments and they're still pretty amazing. So I imagine the modern version is even better.

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
I know, off topic, and old thread. But I have to ask, what brass libraries do you use (and like) instead? Cheers
Cinematic Studio Brass, Spitfire Symphonic Brass.

I'd love to get VSL Dimension Brass too, because to my ears it sounds more natural and un-cinematic than other libraries, but since it's not a cheap library and I've got the brass covered quite well already, it still kinda hasn't happened.


New Member
You can make exceptional mockups with the East West Hollywood series...if you know how to use them. I have every major string library known to man except the Berlin series (not particularly interested in another "wet" string library) and I always come back to Hollywood Strings. Nothing quite like the sound for classic film work. I've even used it in quite a few pop productions with excellent results. It's quite an extraordinary library in its versatility.

That said the Hollywood woodwinds are pretty ho-hum; the legato bump is atrocious. I mostly use HS, a combination of Spitfire brass and Hollywood brass, and Spitfire woodwinds. The Spitfire symphonic strings are not good for anything above mf. They're not nearly as expressive as HS. Love the adaptive legato though.


Steinberg Iconica fits the description.

Here's a video walkthrough. Just listen to the track at the beginning and see for yourself:

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