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jancivil
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15089 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Sun May 27, 2018 7:26 pm Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Yeah, no, I exaggerated on purpose just to reflect some 'tude back. I'd respect more getting direct with a person and what they actually said that is 'very, very poor' than this "generally..." and 'Don't look for orch. advice at KVR, it's all synths' bidness.
noiseboyuk
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2390 posts since 25 Jan, 2007

Postby noiseboyuk; Mon May 28, 2018 12:20 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Dammit, I’m back yet again. Because this is KVR.

My point, if this wasn’t abundantly clear after saying it twice, is that the general advice that the OP got here would have been very different if they had asked in forums whose membership is more focused on orchestral music. This isn’t even the sample section of KVR, so it’s not surprising to me that the quality of the general advice isn’t so great. Glad to see the OP has registered at VI-C - it’s a great place for advice on orchestral VIs. It can get pretty heated with some passionate defenders of particular libraries, but overall it’s a huge wealth of experience.

I stand by every word in my posts on this thread. People are very welcome to look for bias in them. On VSL specifically - I own a fair few VSL libraries and get a ton of use out of them. As I already said, they are simply in a class of their own for legato in their silent stage libraries, particularly remarkable as some are approaching 15 years old and never bettered. But their ranges are not without issues, and it is most definitely a fallacy to think that orchestral VI users in general consider them better than all others in general as a blanket statement. You’d likely meet more people in the real world saying that of Spitifre Audio. I wouldn’t agree with them there either, but just introducing that wider perspective. My experience is that half a dozen big companies all make some fantastic products and nearly always a few that are less good, and then tons of small developers are also well worth seeking out. It’s not as simple as X is the best.

My only interest has been to be even-handed and answer the specific question in the OP, looking for a complete bundle on a budget. OK everyone, strip away all the nuance, do the KVR thing and pile on.
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Gamma-UT
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4250 posts since 8 Jun, 2009, from UK

Postby Gamma-UT; Mon May 28, 2018 1:14 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

VI-Control has a strong media-composer contingent, which can lead to equally poor advice for someone in the OP's position - who said they want to compose orchestral music in a traditional style. That's a different requirement to the "stuff that sounds good in a trailer" that gets a lot of people on VI-Control fired up, as evidenced by a thread there that's trying to compare EWHO with Symphobia. To be fair to the person who asked at VI-C, they do have trailer-music requirements so it's not quite as daft a comparison as it looks at first, but for someone with different desires, the outcome is going to be equally different.
noiseboyuk
KVRAF
 
2390 posts since 25 Jan, 2007

Postby noiseboyuk; Mon May 28, 2018 1:35 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Gamma-UT wrote:VI-Control has a strong media-composer contingent, which can lead to equally poor advice for someone in the OP's position - who said they want to compose orchestral music in a traditional style. That's a different requirement to the "stuff that sounds good in a trailer" that gets a lot of people on VI-Control fired up, as evidenced by a thread there that's trying to compare EWHO with Symphobia. To be fair to the person who asked at VI-C, they do have trailer-music requirements so it's not quite as daft a comparison as it looks at first, but for someone with different desires, the outcome is going to be equally different.


You're right that the obsession for trailer music is a bit of a curse of the age, and agreed that that particular comparison is fine if you're making trailer music, and wanting to explore two totally different philosophies of how you might get there.

I don't actually visit VI-C too much these days but if you're suggesting that KVR would be a better gauge of concert music vs film music... well I couldn't agree with you there. Just mention it in the OP, just as Phazma has here.
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wagtunes
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12883 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon May 28, 2018 2:46 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

noiseboyuk wrote:Dammit, I’m back yet again. Because this is KVR.

My point, if this wasn’t abundantly clear after saying it twice, is that the general advice that the OP got here would have been very different if they had asked in forums whose membership is more focused on orchestral music. This isn’t even the sample section of KVR, so it’s not surprising to me that the quality of the general advice isn’t so great. Glad to see the OP has registered at VI-C - it’s a great place for advice on orchestral VIs. It can get pretty heated with some passionate defenders of particular libraries, but overall it’s a huge wealth of experience.

I stand by every word in my posts on this thread. People are very welcome to look for bias in them. On VSL specifically - I own a fair few VSL libraries and get a ton of use out of them. As I already said, they are simply in a class of their own for legato in their silent stage libraries, particularly remarkable as some are approaching 15 years old and never bettered. But their ranges are not without issues, and it is most definitely a fallacy to think that orchestral VI users in general consider them better than all others in general as a blanket statement. You’d likely meet more people in the real world saying that of Spitifre Audio. I wouldn’t agree with them there either, but just introducing that wider perspective. My experience is that half a dozen big companies all make some fantastic products and nearly always a few that are less good, and then tons of small developers are also well worth seeking out. It’s not as simple as X is the best.

My only interest has been to be even-handed and answer the specific question in the OP, looking for a complete bundle on a budget. OK everyone, strip away all the nuance, do the KVR thing and pile on.


Agreed. And not my argument. Quality wise, I doubt the average listener can tell the difference. But somebody who grew up listening to classical symphonies, trust me, NONE of these libraries are going to fool them to thinking they're the real thing.

But the issue that I have is that working with the Play engine is going to drive the OP crazy and eventually, especially if he "settles" for HO Gold which doesn't even have close mic positions, he's going to get fed up with the whole thing, as in trying to make it sound as real as possible, and move onto something else. This is inevitable unless he just doesn't care.

From there it comes down to one question. Does he or doesn't he care that he spent money on something that someday he will no longer use? In my case, I regret buying EWQL stuff knowing what I know today. Maybe he won't feel that way. I can't answer that. Either can he for that matter because he's not going to know until he actually experiences using Play and all the frustrations that go along with it.

But NONE of these sound like the New York Philharmonic. Let's be perfectly clear on that.
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Gamma-UT
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4250 posts since 8 Jun, 2009, from UK

Postby Gamma-UT; Mon May 28, 2018 2:56 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

wagtunes wrote:...especially if he "settles" for HO Gold which doesn't even have close mic positions, he's going to get fed up with the whole thing, as in trying to make it sound as real as possible, and move onto something else. This is inevitable unless he just doesn't care.


Wait, what? The mics are mid-tree as in normal concert mic position for a Decca-tree configuration. Close mics just means you're getting a barrelfull of rosin and scratches for when you want something a bit more claustrophobic. The EWHO Gold samples sound pretty dry overall and match up with a reverb pretty well - and a number of convolutions are in the plugin itself.

The lack of a divisi on strings may be an issue but that's a more subtle issue.
noiseboyuk
KVRAF
 
2390 posts since 25 Jan, 2007

Postby noiseboyuk; Mon May 28, 2018 3:10 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Your experiences are quite different to mine, Wags. When I first got SO 10 years ago I wanted to bomb EWQL HQ because of Play. It was truly, maddeningly dreadful. Slowly things improved though. For me Play 5 was a much bigger leap from 4 than it was for you, essentially it gives me zero problems now and is actually pretty damn efficient. As I said before, the main issue I have is the really clunky patch organisation which does feel quite prehistoric.

Zero buyers remorse though, and although HS and HB are not usually my first call for bread and butter, I do often use them and they work very well. So I definitely wouldn't see 200 euros now as wasted cash later, far from it. Again, I'm still using patches from SO a decade later. Old doesn't mean outdated necessarily.

And no, nothing sounds like the New York Phiharmonic. Concert music is also in general more demanding than film music. But how close you get will depend more on your skill level more than whether or not you went for VSL, Orchestral Tools, Spitifre or EWQL imo, which is one reason why I'm a strong advocate for not over-buying anything. With all those other companies and more besides, a complete orchestra will be many thousands, there isn't really a competitor for HO price-wise that is worth having (again, just because I say skill is more important doesn't mean that there aren't terrible libraries out there, there are, but HO isn't one of them).

All this is why my advice to the OP is to get HO and begin to learn the craft. It's not a bottom tier library, far from it. Perhaps not the most instant-gratification, but that's not the same thing.

Oh, and yes I'm with Gamma-UT on the close mics thing, as I think I already mentioned the HO series is in a pretty dry hall and the Decca mics work perfectly well for most uses, including concert music.
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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
12883 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon May 28, 2018 3:44 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

noiseboyuk wrote:Your experiences are quite different to mine, Wags. When I first got SO 10 years ago I wanted to bomb EWQL HQ because of Play. It was truly, maddeningly dreadful. Slowly things improved though. For me Play 5 was a much bigger leap from 4 than it was for you, essentially it gives me zero problems now and is actually pretty damn efficient. As I said before, the main issue I have is the really clunky patch organisation which does feel quite prehistoric.

Zero buyers remorse though, and although HS and HB are not usually my first call for bread and butter, I do often use them and they work very well. So I definitely wouldn't see 200 euros now as wasted cash later, far from it. Again, I'm still using patches from SO a decade later. Old doesn't mean outdated necessarily.

And no, nothing sounds like the New York Phiharmonic. Concert music is also in general more demanding than film music. But how close you get will depend more on your skill level more than whether or not you went for VSL, Orchestral Tools, Spitifre or EWQL imo, which is one reason why I'm a strong advocate for not over-buying anything. With all those other companies and more besides, a complete orchestra will be many thousands, there isn't really a competitor for HO price-wise that is worth having (again, just because I say skill is more important doesn't mean that there aren't terrible libraries out there, there are, but HO isn't one of them).

All this is why my advice to the OP is to get HO and begin to learn the craft. It's not a bottom tier library, far from it. Perhaps not the most instant-gratification, but that's not the same thing.

Oh, and yes I'm with Gamma-UT on the close mics thing, as I think I already mentioned the HO series is in a pretty dry hall and the Decca mics work perfectly well for most uses, including concert music.


Well, my compromise would be to go with HO Diamond. At least it has the close mics and divisi. Play aside, I am very pleased with the sound from Diamond which I wish I bought in the first place if I wasn't going to go with Vienna. Now granted, the upgrade from Gold to Diamond was cheap so it's not like I lost money. But all those years of not having the best that EWQL offered was just stupid, IMO. So if he's going to go with EWQL then at least go with Diamond. He'll be a lot happier.
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Gamma-UT
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4250 posts since 8 Jun, 2009, from UK

Postby Gamma-UT; Mon May 28, 2018 4:06 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

It's double the money; it needs a lot more disk space. And I mean a lot. Ideally, you'd have it on an SSD. Making way for 200GB more of samples on an SSD just to get mic positions that you're probably not messing with at an early stage does not look like a great tradeoff. The pattern of this sale indicates that an upgrade to Diamond would be discounted and, given the frequency of EW sales, you wouldn't have to wait long. Personally, I would stick with Gold and then work out where the gaps are as your ability to orchestrate with samples improves.
Phazma
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26 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Postby Phazma; Mon May 28, 2018 5:18 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

wagtunes wrote:From there it comes down to one question. Does he or doesn't he care that he spent money on something that someday he will no longer use? In my case, I regret buying EWQL stuff knowing what I know today. Maybe he won't feel that way. I can't answer that. Either can he for that matter because he's not going to know until he actually experiences using Play and all the frustrations that go along with it.


I am looking for something that I can afford now and that will give me everything I need to START learning to compose orchestral music (convincing sounds, enough articulations and some basic "usability"). I know that I won't get everything I'll ever need for a few hundred bucks and I will for sure feel the urge to upgrade later on or even replace what I get now. But if the HO Gold for 200€ serves me just for a year or even only half a year so that I can practise with it and slowly find out what skills I need to develop, get an idea on what kind of libraries I could desire later on and eventually get an acceptable mockup out of it or at least be able to accept a few simpler orchestral requests like making a trailer soundtrack with convincing orchestral instruments, then I think the 200€ are well worth it against the risk to spend 1000+ on something else that might be everything one could need, just to find out that I am not able to use it seriously or generally to teach myself orchestral composing.

I think getting Gold for that special price is wiser than Diamond, because I can probably always upgrade once I need more Mics and so and I can download it directly onto my SSD and don't need to spend extra for now also to get a further SSD just to fit the Diamond samples. And also if I really can't work with PLAY I threw out less than half the money.
Also I wouldn't spend like 500€ for something specific like a String library that needs many more libraries in the same price range to complement it (and time until I save up for them) until I am able to start actually making the music. Especially not now that I don't know exactly what are the best specific libraries for my needs and if I will be able to appreciate the differences between 200$ libraries and 500$ libraries.

As said the only thing that would frustrate me if I get EWQl is if PLAY really is so difficult for a beginner that I can't even do more basic things I would like. I wouldn't mind a lot if because of missing keyswitches I need to use more tracks for different articulations (if my computer can handle it, I have a 2,6 GHz i7 Late 2012 Mac Mini with 16GB of RAM, using Logic) or stuff like that, but if I can't find a way to select instruments or groups of instruments I need, if it keeps crashing all the time, if I can't load enough instances to cover an orchestra and so on that I am forced to give up on doing anything useful then of course even the 200€ would be thrown out, which I guess nobody would like.
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topaz
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4176 posts since 14 Jul, 2001, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, U.K

Postby topaz; Mon May 28, 2018 6:15 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Its actually not 200 more like 270 260 depending on where you are in the EU.

Phazma wrote:
wagtunes wrote:From there it comes down to one question. Does he or doesn't he care that he spent money on something that someday he will no longer use? In my case, I regret buying EWQL stuff knowing what I know today. Maybe he won't feel that way. I can't answer that. Either can he for that matter because he's not going to know until he actually experiences using Play and all the frustrations that go along with it.


I am looking for something that I can afford now and that will give me everything I need to START learning to compose orchestral music (convincing sounds, enough articulations and some basic "usability"). I know that I won't get everything I'll ever need for a few hundred bucks and I will for sure feel the urge to upgrade later on or even replace what I get now. But if the HO Gold for 200€ serves me just for a year or even only half a year so that I can practise with it and slowly find out what skills I need to develop, get an idea on what kind of libraries I could desire later on and eventually get an acceptable mockup out of it or at least be able to accept a few simpler orchestral requests like making a trailer soundtrack with convincing orchestral instruments, then I think the 200€ are well worth it against the risk to spend 1000+ on something else that might be everything one could need, just to find out that I am not able to use it seriously or generally to teach myself orchestral composing.

I think getting Gold for that special price is wiser than Diamond, because I can probably always upgrade once I need more Mics and so and I can download it directly onto my SSD and don't need to spend extra for now also to get a further SSD just to fit the Diamond samples. And also if I really can't work with PLAY I threw out less than half the money.
Also I wouldn't spend like 500€ for something specific like a String library that needs many more libraries in the same price range to complement it (and time until I save up for them) until I am able to start actually making the music. Especially not now that I don't know exactly what are the best specific libraries for my needs and if I will be able to appreciate the differences between 200$ libraries and 500$ libraries.

As said the only thing that would frustrate me if I get EWQl is if PLAY really is so difficult for a beginner that I can't even do more basic things I would like. I wouldn't mind a lot if because of missing keyswitches I need to use more tracks for different articulations (if my computer can handle it, I have a 2,6 GHz i7 Late 2012 Mac Mini with 16GB of RAM, using Logic) or stuff like that, but if I can't find a way to select instruments or groups of instruments I need, if it keeps crashing all the time, if I can't load enough instances to cover an orchestra and so on that I am forced to give up on doing anything useful then of course even the 200€ would be thrown out, which I guess nobody would like.
Ah_Dziz
KVRAF
 
2329 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Postby Ah_Dziz; Mon May 28, 2018 8:41 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

I'd recommend VSL for wide ranges of articulations. It will also give you useful mixing skills having to place the instruments.
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tappert
KVRist
 
97 posts since 27 Apr, 2012

Postby tappert; Mon May 28, 2018 10:46 am Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

If I had to begin today, I would start trying the EW ComposerCloud for 1 or 2 months ($30/month) and see if it works for you. They always have sales so don't pull the trigger right now.
Don't forget that you're not allowed to resell EW products if you don't like them.

I also don't like Play 5. VSL is not perfect, it seems the best way to go for classical stuff but it comes at a price. Vienna Instruments Pro is really nice. They have a lot of tutorials on their website to get an idea of the workflow
Phazma
KVRer
 
26 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Postby Phazma; Mon May 28, 2018 1:40 pm Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

So in the end I decided to get the EWQL HO Gold for the reasons outlined before (and yes, it did cost me 270€ in the end) and out of curiosity I already tested some random sounds from all libraries just very quickly.

My first impression is that the PLAY software indeed is not something to like but I have the feeling that I can find a way to work with it. Loading times are not the fastest but fast enough for me and so far it seems pretty stable. The patch organisation is indeed pretty confusing for a beginner and it is difficult to understand the meaning of the patch-names. But I guess there will be some information online as to how to interpret those names. And the number of patches is finite so I guess also with just trying through them and using them a lot I will sooner or later remember which are the right ones when I need them. It is a pity that each articulation seems to be a different patch so I have to load a new instance of PLAY onto a new track when I want to change articulation, but I think that is no big problem should it still run smoothly on my computer. Of course I am also already missing some sounds (like Harps for example) but I think for now those sounds can be complemented with NI's library until I make up my mind what I miss most and plan my next purchase. Btw, no clue yet how to use that big chart in the middle of the plugin.

Right now out of the box I am not able to use HO how I described that I want to but I also didn't try yet. However I think if I read up a bit, watch tutorials about it and try around, eventually I will be able to do some of what I want. And if not, if it remains like now that I just click onto a random patch that sounds more or less like what I have in mind, it is still a sonic upgrade to all the orchestral NI libraries I have and all those Hollywood libraries have more articulations than NI.

So was it thrown out cash? I don't think so. Even if I shouldn't be able to do what I am planning I still got at least a sonic upgrade for almost all orchestral instruments, that can find use in many ways. Will I regret it? Could be, but I don't think either.
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wagtunes
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12883 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon May 28, 2018 3:18 pm Re: Best complete bundle for orchestral composing

Phazma wrote:So in the end I decided to get the EWQL HO Gold for the reasons outlined before (and yes, it did cost me 270€ in the end) and out of curiosity I already tested some random sounds from all libraries just very quickly.

My first impression is that the PLAY software indeed is not something to like but I have the feeling that I can find a way to work with it. Loading times are not the fastest but fast enough for me and so far it seems pretty stable. The patch organisation is indeed pretty confusing for a beginner and it is difficult to understand the meaning of the patch-names. But I guess there will be some information online as to how to interpret those names. And the number of patches is finite so I guess also with just trying through them and using them a lot I will sooner or later remember which are the right ones when I need them. It is a pity that each articulation seems to be a different patch so I have to load a new instance of PLAY onto a new track when I want to change articulation, but I think that is no big problem should it still run smoothly on my computer. Of course I am also already missing some sounds (like Harps for example) but I think for now those sounds can be complemented with NI's library until I make up my mind what I miss most and plan my next purchase. Btw, no clue yet how to use that big chart in the middle of the plugin.

Right now out of the box I am not able to use HO how I described that I want to but I also didn't try yet. However I think if I read up a bit, watch tutorials about it and try around, eventually I will be able to do some of what I want. And if not, if it remains like now that I just click onto a random patch that sounds more or less like what I have in mind, it is still a sonic upgrade to all the orchestral NI libraries I have and all those Hollywood libraries have more articulations than NI.

So was it thrown out cash? I don't think so. Even if I shouldn't be able to do what I am planning I still got at least a sonic upgrade for almost all orchestral instruments, that can find use in many ways. Will I regret it? Could be, but I don't think either.


For each of the instruments, there is a patch called keyswitch. If you load that one, you won't have to use as many patches. You just punch in the appropriate keyswitch when you want the sound to change.

The problem with the keyswitches is that they're documented poorly so your best bet is to just try to remember where on the keyboard each keyswitch is and what it does.

User friendly it's not but it does save you tracks.
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