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Phazma
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25 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Postby Phazma; Fri May 25, 2018 4:55 am Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Hello,

recently I had the idea to get into composing and producing orchestral music with the goal to make different types of pieces just ITB that sound very close to being played by a real orchestra. I had some more in-depth musical education (like Harmony, Ear Training and so on) but not in composing for orchestra (like for example knowing all the playing techniques of instruments) so to get into it I thought I would just get the scores for some orchestral pieces, analyse them and try to recreate them in MIDI with NI Kontakt's factory library following the indications on the score.

I found the score for Gustav Holst's "Mars, The Bringer of War" which is a piece that I like a lot and has a nice recording on Youtube to use as reference so I decided to start with that. However already on the first page it says that the strings should be played "col legno" and Kontakt's strings don't have that type of articulation. After some messing I just thought to get started working seriously (and motivate me to keep learing) I will buy a serious library or bundle that has all instruments I could need so the only barrier towards a realistic sound is my skill.

There are however so many libraries and stuff out there that I don't know what is the best choice for doing what I want to do. Basically I just want in one purchase to buy a library (or more of them) that features top quality samples of all orchestral instruments and allows to do all kinds of playing styles. Of course "all" can't be taken too literally because people continuously invent new instruments and new ways to play instruments but it should allow me to take almost any orchestral score up to the early 20th century and re-create it. Ideally it would also have some solo instruments if I want to make something less "filmscore-ish" and more pop/band-oriented. But I guess there I would have to buy single libraries for every instrument, which would cost a lot and take up a lot of space.

After some research I have found the Eastwest - Hollywood Orchestra Diamond Bundle, which would have me covered pretty much (has Strings, Brass, Woodwinds and Percussion). The only things that I can recall that are missing are Piano and Choir. I found Eastwest libraries for them too but they cost a lot, specially the Choir (which however seems to be able to sing custom vocals which is very cool).

Do you think when buying the Eastwest - Hollywood Orchestra Diamond Bundle and in future maybe the Quantum Leap Pianos and Hollywood Choirs I would have everything that I need. Or would you recommend additional purchases? Or you know different better sounding or more complete libraries?

I guess some orchestra composers or filmscore makers could give advice and tell me what they use, or at least I hope so :) Thanks in advance!
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wagtunes
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11748 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Fri May 25, 2018 5:08 am

I actually own the EWQL Hollywood Orchestra Diamond library and all their libraries for that matter. Compared to the other top names out there, like Vienna, EWQL is one of the cheapest and it's excellent. However, don't get the piano and violin. Even though I have them, there are better out there.

Piano - Pianoteq hands down the best
Violin - Chris Hein. Nothing else comes close. I recommend the cello too.

The EWQL Choir is okay but believe me, it's not worth what they charge for it. But if you need a choir, there's will do.
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Vortifex
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727 posts since 1 Sep, 2016

Postby Vortifex; Fri May 25, 2018 5:32 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Right now you won't get a better deal than Hollywood Orchestra Gold for 60% off https://vstbuzz.com/deals/60-off-hollyw ... st-sounds/

I'd say that unless you're composing/producing professionally you won't really need to pay the extra for the Diamond version. You do get all the extra mic positions, but it comes with a hefty hard drive space requirement. If money's not a concern and you'd rather just start with the best version get Diamond. Just know that Hollywood Orchestra comes with a lot of articulations and isn't particularly beginner friendly. Spitfire do some great libraries, but they're either very expensive or themed ensembles.

If you want a good choir check out Soundiron https://soundiron.com/collections/choirs Olympus Elements is relatively cheap but sounds great, If you want a choir that can sing phrases check out Requiem Light. Don't worry too much about paying for a choir that allows you to make it sing whatever you type - it sounds like a cool idea in theory but in practice it's overrated. Standard vowel/consonant/Latin articulations will do the job 99% of the time.
Phazma
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25 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Postby Phazma; Fri May 25, 2018 9:44 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

@Vortifex: wow thanks for pointing that deal out! I think I will go for it. So the only thing the Diamond has that the Gold doesn't have are the different Mic positions? I think I can live without them, guess I can recreate that with reverb and eq to a sufficiently realistic degree. Important is that there are a lot of articulations so I can recreate all kinds of scores and when my knowledge is more advanced use that to my advantage when composing some more modern pieces of orchestral music. Thanks also for the choir advice, I will check those out!

@wagtunes: thank you too, I'll definitely check those out. Isn't the Pianoteq physical modelling however? How realistic can it sound? Regarding the choir I think I will stay away from the EWQL one and decide between some of the ones Vortifex pointed out.
focusrite
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118 posts since 19 Aug, 2010

Postby focusrite; Fri May 25, 2018 9:51 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

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fmr
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7137 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Fri May 25, 2018 9:55 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Phazma wrote: @wagtunes: thank you too, I'll definitely check those out. Isn't the Pianoteq physical modelling however? How realistic can it sound?

Precisely because it is physical modeling it sounds more realistic than any sampled one. The grand piano is an extremely complex instrument with tons of different timbral variations, depending on the way it is played. No sample library, no matter what size, will even be able to reproduce all of that. That's why Pianoteq excels. And it no longer sounds artificial as it did in the beginning, It sounds much more realistic now.

Regarding the orchestral libraries. If you are into classical music, the East West Hollywood is not the best option, IMO. It was recorded with the big/epic Hollywood scores in mind. For classical work, the EWQL Symphonic Orchestra, although older, may be better.

But you may get a better option to start with the VSCO Pro - http://vis.versilstudios.net/vsco-pro.html

It isn't the best orchestra out there, but it has a vast list of instruments (including many that don't exist in much bigger libraries) and will compliment nicely future buys.

The best option for classical music, IMO, would be the VSL Special Editions: https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Special_Editio ... ete_Bundle

You may start with Vol. 1 and grow from there.
Last edited by fmr on Fri May 25, 2018 10:11 am, edited 5 times in total.
Fernando (FMR)
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fmr
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7137 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Fri May 25, 2018 9:58 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

focusrite wrote:Buyers guide;

https://orchestralvst.wordpress.com

A Buyer's Guide with no mention to any VSL library whatsoever? :lol: This is a joke. :dog:
Fernando (FMR)
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wagtunes
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11748 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Fri May 25, 2018 10:38 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Phazma wrote:@Vortifex: wow thanks for pointing that deal out! I think I will go for it. So the only thing the Diamond has that the Gold doesn't have are the different Mic positions? I think I can live without them, guess I can recreate that with reverb and eq to a sufficiently realistic degree. Important is that there are a lot of articulations so I can recreate all kinds of scores and when my knowledge is more advanced use that to my advantage when composing some more modern pieces of orchestral music. Thanks also for the choir advice, I will check those out!

@wagtunes: thank you too, I'll definitely check those out. Isn't the Pianoteq physical modelling however? How realistic can it sound? Regarding the choir I think I will stay away from the EWQL one and decide between some of the ones Vortifex pointed out.


The problem with the EWQL Gold is that it doesn't have the close mic samples. It's one thing to make something sound more far away by using reverb. It's another to make something far away sound close. It can't be done. And you'll find with the EWQL Gold the strings are not going to work for close and/or divisi. In fact, they almost sound like they have reverb built in. They don't. But because of the mic position they sound that way.

Now, if you can live with that, fine. But as someone who had Gold and upgraded to Diamond, I would never go back. The difference is night and day as far as realism.

As for Pianoteq, the question was answered above better than I could. It blows sampled pianos out of the water. No comparison.
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jancivil
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14453 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Fri May 25, 2018 11:31 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

One vendor and one bundle for all styles isn't going to happen.

I could never recommend EWQL because the Play engine is so lame. One would hope Play 5 has changed dramatically, but I doubt it.

It depends how serious you're going to become. There are several libraries using Kontakt that have very nice interfaces created for their features. Soundiron for Native Instruments is one of them IME.

The most useful interface for a large set of articulations (we're getting into the "serious" aspect here) is VSL's Vienna Instrument Pro 2.
It organizes articulations first in cells (patches basically) in horizontal and then vertical rows; and it's very easy to choose what switches from cell to cell. Most typical is keyswitch for horizontal and a CC for vertical (you'd have a vertically, or a number of vertically-accessed new horizontal row chiefly for when you have an H. row that's too long. or you just like the visual.) Or if it's a faster articulation (trills), speed of playing is the switch. THEN, this setup is a Matrix. Multiple matrices = a Preset.
I've only ever seen Berlin Woodwinds try to copy a little bit of this but it was buggy. It was two rows of articulations, equal to a single matrix. But it was not nearly as handy.

Were I to recommend the "Scoring Pack", 1500 bucks, it would have both the more classical strings and the more Hollywood Appassionata Strings but the brass is not going to cut it for jazz. None of the 'orchestra' libraries are suitable for jazz, or really pop horns. And here is why NI has 'Session Strings', for that disco sound popular with the kids today. :D

So, you're going to spend all your money trying to suss 'every style' and quality is not going to come cheap. :)
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jancivil
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14453 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Fri May 25, 2018 11:34 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

wagtunes wrote:It's one thing to make something sound more far away by using reverb. It's another to make something far away sound close. It can't be done.

True statement.
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jancivil
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14453 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Fri May 25, 2018 11:52 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

I would recommend taking a step back from 'complete bundle' and look around a while. And build the orchestral from sections. :idea:

One thing we run up against is 'tutti'-organized libraries where soloists or even small chamber groups just doesn't happen. One size does not fit all.
husker37
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64 posts since 23 Dec, 2016

Postby husker37; Fri May 25, 2018 8:25 pm Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

JanCivil, what are your favorite Sound iron libraries? I ask because I have EW Gold, and their solo strings and Harp. I also have the old Kurt Hunter Diamond, as well as whatever Symphony Essentials that came with Komplete. I have been thinking about rounding it out with the Sound iron Omega Bundle, the Vsl special edition complete, or the Spitfire Symphony orchestra.
Phazma
KVRer
 
25 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Postby Phazma; Sat May 26, 2018 12:24 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Wow seems like there are a lot of options and all suited for parts of what I would like to do. I guess being covered for all kinds of instrumental/orchestral scoring after one initial purchase isn't going to happen (if the budget isn't very high). I will do some research on the ones posted here in the nex few days but if there is nothing that convinces me totally I think I will still go with EWQL Gold just to get strated because there is that very convenient offer and I guess it will let me start with some large orchestral stuff in filmscorish as well as (with some more clever mixing) in classical music. And later on I can still upgrade to Diamond if I feel like I am missing some near instrument sounds or get some solo libraries to complement it or to write more pop/band stuff. Regarding the Gold, am I right that if I already have a SSD with more than 100GB of free space I can use it from there right after the download?

I also checked out the Pianoteq, the playability and response to MIDI seems awsome! It only seems to sound a bit clean and rounded off in the upper harmonics if playing forte and somehow has a bit of a large and dull stereo in the lower mids but I guess again with some clever MS-eqing and putting it into the right space it will sound just fine and compared to sample libraries it offers tweaks inside the synth to shape the sound towards everyones specific idea of "the piano sound". Probably well-tweaked and mixed and in combination with other instruments + fed the right MIDI it will be difficult to tell from a real piano.
Armagibbon
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636 posts since 20 Apr, 2017

Postby Armagibbon; Sat May 26, 2018 6:20 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

What I see all the sample mockup pro cats do is mix n match but they all kinda use the same shit. Got a list here I made a couple years back when I was doin this research. I can share it if you want. Cant really go wrong with the ewql hollywood kit but imo got some kinda weak winds and perc. Maybe doesnt matter?

You def want your orchestra samples on ssd. Check the size of the libs and add 10% more to that. Thats how much space on ssds you gonna need.
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wagtunes
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11748 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Sat May 26, 2018 6:25 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Armagibbon wrote:What I see all the sample mockup pro cats do is mix n match but they all kinda use the same shit. Got a list here I made a couple years back when I was doin this research. I can share it if you want. Cant really go wrong with the ewql hollywood kit but imo got some kinda weak winds and perc. Maybe doesnt matter?

You def want your orchestra samples on ssd. Check the size of the libs and add 10% more to that. Thats how much space on ssds you gonna need.


The Hollywood Percussion IS pretty bad. But the Symphonic Orchestra Percussion is excellent, especially the timpani and cymbals. And yes, the woodwinds are pretty meh. Brass and Strings are their best.
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