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RogiervG

Senior Member
I am seeking for a refreshment of orchestra libraries.. A new start so to speak.
Current libs, is a frankstein of all kinds.. and i want to make it a bit more less frankenstein.

Before you say: but The bbc so options written below are considered a frankenstein setup, it kind of is.. but i limited it to max two additional libs, to enhance the weaker parts of bbs co (for in need).
Not saying bbc so i my top preference (the whole list below are serious contenders), just that i find the brass and woodwinds are not very suitable for lyrical lines (according to what i heard from demos)

Since all these options are give or take the same in price (might be a few hundred difference here and there)
What would you pick? and more importantly what is the motivation?
Just think, the choice you pick, is all you can use for the upcoming months. No other libraries permitted, in orchestral context.

1) SSO complete + Chamber (both non pro version) + Solo violin
2) BBC SO pro upgrade + Orchestral tools soliosts bundle + SM brass
3) BBC SO pro upgrade + Orchestral tools soloists bundle + CSB
4) BBC SO pro uprade + Orchestral tools soloists bundle + Cinebrass (core and pro)
5) Completing cinematic studio series (CSSS, CSB, CSW) + JB percussion (which i have)
6) The Cinesamples discounted libraries: Davis violin, Tina Guo vol 2, Cinepiano, cineharps, solo cinestrings, cineperc, runs cinestrings, cinebrass core, cinebrass pro, cinewinds, cinestrings.
cinewinds pro is not needed: i have that one. it seems to make it essentially cinesymphony.
7) VSL symphonic cube standard (not sure how the articulations compare to other options above) + VI pro player + mirx rooms
8) Other combinations, that makes it a complete orchestra (SStO?)

Music i like, and create are in the vain of Goldsmith, Williams, Barry, Silvestri, and the likes. The more classical hollywood-ish sound (you mostly heard in the nineties and earlier). Not the pompous epic overprocessed sound many currently have.
 
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Frederick

Senior Member
When I started out last year, my first purchases were SSO complete, SCS and their solo strings. I would describe my musical tastes exactly like yours.

BBC SO Pro upgrade is good. I have no opinion about the libraries you propose to add (don't have them), except CineBrass but I haven't tried that myself with BBC SO. If I was trying to limit myself to say under 1500 Euros I would pick EW HO Opus and CinePiano to go with BBC SO Pro.

CineSamples: It's a choice and I have them myself, but strings and woodwinds core are relatively weak. Especially considering the price. If only you could time travel and get their stuff through the combined Native Instrument bundles they had this year and last year.

I don't like the sound of CSS - great legato and tight shorts, but too dark and sounds like you're listening from under a blanket.

VSL symphonic cube standard doesn't seem like a good idea to me - too many articulations are only in the full library. I also prefer recorded room sound with plenty of mic options over adding a room to a dry close mic recording, although VSL is very capable of doing that as their Synchon-ized libraries prove. I do love the VSL Synchron stage stuff, but unless BBO is detailed enough for you, it would going to cost you.
 
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RogiervG

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@Frederick:
Thank you for you input on the matter.

As for SSO + chamber + solo, you started with that, but i cannot read if you liked it, or not?
How does it compare to e.g. the others in the list? do you still use the libs (often)?

As for your suggestion of HO Opus, in combination of BBC SO Pro.. well. I have HOD (play version), but i don't like the sound and play itself. (barely using it therefor), that's why i had other options written down. I guess the opus version is not much different in tone (and most patches), that is the feeling i get when quickly listening to some patch walkthroughs in a youtube video.

Cinesamples: i only have cinewinds pro (because of the special winds included), it sounds not bad at all. But the core seems the weaker one you say.. In what way is it weaker? and compared to what?
Strings, i read in some reviews about scratchy sounding strings, but in demos i heard, i cannot hear this. What is according to you the weak part(s) of that library?

CSS and the whole series can sound lighter with applied EQ, so i heard in user demos. But it's correct, that it is a bit darker in tone by default.

VSL i have doubts about aswell, though it is highly praised, especially woodwinds and strings (any library of them, including the old vi versions), so therefor i had put it on the list.
 
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Frederick

Senior Member
I meant to say (but didn't) that I love the SSO. The Hall at AIR Studios is my favorite room. I've upgraded to SSO Pro complete myself last month. At the moment I'm contemplating adding Hans Zimmer Collection and Albion IV Uist to my collection. I have two go-to orchestras: SSO and VSL Synchron libraries. (I have separate orchestral templates organized by recording venue.)

The CineWinds core have similar instruments as other libraries, but there's some sizzle on top of the sound that just doesn't sound right to my ears. My favorite winds are VSL Sychron-ized Woodwinds, SSW and Berlin WoodWinds.

CineStrings has been denoised but there are still samples where you can hear a bass or cello dropping on the floor. Compared to most libraries that I have they are lacking articulations. I do like the overall sound of them, but you'd have to mix with their solo strings to make it sound smaller. There's no SCS so to speak. I have Berlin Strings and Berlin WoodWinds to fill in for what's missing in CineStrings Core and CineWinds Core.

If you don't like HO orchestra with Play I guess you're not going to like it with Opus either. Things have improved, but not enough to change the sound THAT much. Then again, there's that Andrew Barraclough guy who does insanely good mockups of LOTR and Star Wars with just EW HO Diamond... Those are the reason I decided to get EW HO.
 
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RogiervG

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So... reading your last detailed response, you would go for 1. the SSO path with scs + solo :) (correct me if wrong)

VSL cube extended is too much out of my financial reach with the current price. So i guess i skip on the VSL side of things for now (a synchron and synchron-ized orchestra would be even more expensive).

Cinesamples, i guess i have to dig some deeper into the strings and woodwinds core.

I know about Andrew HOD renders, they are good. But i bet he did all kind of trickery (read: addtional processing etc) on them. His renders where also a factor for me to purchase HOD. But under my hands.. out of the box.. it sounds flat-ish/sterile/humanless, gives me no inspiration at all (and then those horrible patch naming conventions). compare it with BBC So Core and CSS, those don't sound flat-ish, out of the box.
I guess SSO and SCS won't sound flat too... Cinesamples, neither (from walkthroughs, and based on cinewinds pro).

It's a bit like the Andy B demos for spitfire. Allmost impossible to achieve/mimic, without the clever trickery (magic sauce) utilizing the libs to their max. ;) they both are wizards in virtual ochestral mockups.
 
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Sovereign

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I have 80% of the libraries you mention. I recently deleted BBCSO Pro, just can't give me the amount of detail and expression I desire. Cinesamples, brass and WW are decent to good but, strings not so much IMO (poor scripting, uninspired legatos, the shorts are nice though). VSL symphonic cube, meh, you'd be better off with the BBO series in that case.

There's hardly an escape from doing some 'Frankenstein-ing', but I'd still recommend completing the CS series first which provides more than a decent basis. You can go from there.
 
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RogiervG

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@Sovereign, thank you for your response.

Oh? that's a first i heard about BBC SO (pro) being deleted.. To be honest, i don't use core much at the moment, because i recon i need the extra mics, to make it a bit less muddy (custom mic setups to resolve that). Core gets muddy quickly, loosing clarity overall. The sound itself is authentic and nice, of each instrument or section. Not sure if SSO is better though (authentic quality). SSO has a different character and all, and has multiple mics too.

Cinesamples: you mention poorer scripting, is this even with the latest update? And can you provide an example of a poor scripted element? And for the uninspired legato's, i guess i'll have to look into that deeper. Demos sound not bad, especially the celli and violas. Violins are in many demos hard to hear properly (they are pushed aside because of brass pushing them aside: dynamics and volume)

Yes, i get the impression i should not look at VSL now. BBO well, it's mostly ensemles, no solo's and just a few sections as i understood.
I like control, i don't do ensembles libraries. Sections and soloists are more my way of working.


I don't mind a tiny bit of frankenstein-ing, as you can see with my suggested bbc so options.
I just don't want a "gazillion" different developers and libraries from different rooms etc..in one setup.
That is hard to work with, because you need to shift mindset often. Each library works differently (how it handles CC's, in terms of sensitivity, how sensitive velocity is etc)

CS series is indeed a very good library set (Alex, where is percussion? ;) ). It's on my radar, hence it's on the list. But i have a hard time choosing, SSO sounds great, i think bbc so adds value because of mics, CS is great as mentioned, Cinesamples has that typical sound (like SSO, a famous recording venue sound).. etc etc...

Choice is a b*tch... :grin:
 

chibear

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I have a feeling this lies outside the OP parameters, but I have just finished a similar exercise. My choice was the Chris Hein Orchestra with Cineperc. So far delighted with the choices.

Why? The interfaces a virtually identical so you learn one you learn them all. Except for Cineperc they were all recorded dry in the same studio. Cineperc is a bit of a challenge to blend, being pretty wet. Finally the programming options are very deep meaning I can pretty much reproduce what is in my head.
 
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RogiervG

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I have a feeling this lies outside the OP parameters, but I have just finished a similar exercise. My choice was the Chris Hein Orchestra with Cineperc. So far delighted with the choices.

Why? The interfaces a virtually identical so you learn one you learn them all. Except for Cineperc they were all recorded dry in the same studio. Cineperc is a bit of a challenge to blend, being pretty wet. Finally the programming options are very deep meaning I can pretty much reproduce what is in my head.
I do have chris hein orchestra in the extended version, however i don't like the sound.
It's sounds squashed, mono like. it has lots of options for "performing" though.
unfortunately, even with additional processing i cannot get it to sound how i want it to sound.
Thanks for reacting nonetheless :)
 

John R Wilson

Senior Member
I am seeking for a refreshment of orchestra libraries.. A new start so to speak.
Current libs, is a frankstein of all kinds.. and i want to make it a bit more less frankenstein.

Before you say: but The bbc so options written below are considered a frankenstein setup, it kind of is.. but i limited it to max two additional libs, to enhance the weaker parts of bbs co (for in need).
Not saying bbc so i my top preference (the whole list below are serious contenders), just that i find the brass and woodwinds are not very suitable for lyrical lines (according to what i heard from demos)

Since all these options are give or take the same in price (might be a few hundred difference here and there)
What would you pick? and more importantly what is the motivation?
Just think, the choice you pick, is all you can use for the upcoming months. No other libraries permitted, in orchestral context.

1) SSO complete + Chamber (both non pro version) + Solo violin
2) BBC SO pro upgrade + Orchestral tools soliosts bundle + SM brass
3) BBC SO pro upgrade + Orchestral tools soloists bundle + CSB
4) BBC SO pro uprade + Orchestral tools soloists bundle + Cinebrass (core and pro)
5) Completing cinematic studio series (CSSS, CSB, CSW) + JB percussion (which i have)
6) The Cinesamples discounted libraries: Davis violin, Tina Guo vol 2, Cinepiano, cineharps, solo cinestrings, cineperc, runs cinestrings, cinebrass core, cinebrass pro, cinewinds, cinestrings.
cinewinds pro is not needed: i have that one. it seems to make it essentially cinesymphony.
7) VSL symphonic cube standard (not sure how the articulations compare to other options above) + VI pro player + mirx rooms
8) Other combinations, that makes it a complete orchestra (SStO?)

Music i like, and create are in the vain of Goldsmith, Williams, Barry, Silvestri, and the likes. The more classical hollywood-ish sound (you mostly heard in the nineties and earlier). Not the pompous epic overprocessed sound many currently have.
What other libraries do you have?

I'd definitely go with the BBCSO Pro upgrade. Then I'd just add an extra brass library for those higher dynamics.

CSB, SM Brass and Cinebrass (core and pro) would all be pretty decent choices for the extra brass. I'd probably go with Cinebrass out of those options. I also have Infinite Brass which is very nice for playing expressive lines in.

BBCSO woodwinds are already quite nice. Do you have any other woodwinds libraries or Brass libraries?
 

Trash Panda

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5) Completing cinematic studio series (CSSS, CSB, CSW) + JB percussion (which i have)

Music i like, and create are in the vain of Goldsmith, Williams, Barry, Silvestri, and the likes. The more classical hollywood-ish sound (you mostly heard in the nineties and earlier). Not the pompous epic overprocessed sound many currently have.
#5 based on your goal below.

I originally had plans to figure out a budget to pick up BBCSO Pro until I made myself use all the libraries I picked up on Black Friday. BBCSO was originally my choice for the non-modern/hybrid orchestra for me, with HWO asa potential other route, but CS Series has relegated both of those to the backup hard drive.

The consistency of articulations and UI, consistency of sound quality, levels and UX across libraries is on par with Audio Imperia and miles ahead of Spitfire and HWO. It handles detailed work and agile runs effortlessly, which are essential for Williams-esque pieces.

I still prefer Audio Imperia for symphonic metal, or hybrid orchestra, but you can’t go wrong with CS Series for the rest. It pairs nicely with CinePerc for me.

If I ever need an instrument outside of the standard sets included, there’s always Infinite Brass and Woodwinds, which blend nicely with CS Series.

Just working on some budget to pick up CS2 for when I want something a little brighter unless I can figure out some of those fancy mixing tricks for CSSS, like an exciter + Soothe or some other spectral/dynamic eq.
 
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