Symphonic Orchestra Silver has an average user rating of 3.50 from 4 reviews
I bought Gold version last year so it is Play edition. I cannot use samples in Kontakt but I really do not need to use it there. Quality of samples is good, key switches works correctly. Interface of Play is nice, easy to use and config, sends (midi map) works correctly as multis. Time of load a library is fast. I use the library (VST) in FL Studio (DAW). I can easly automate parameters and config outs to mixer. What is, I believe, the most important thing - I am using the library in my projects.
I did not have problems with instalation and activation to ILOK. In my opinion it is good choise when East West (Soundsonline) gives promotion.Read more
OK - giving this product an 8 for the quality of the samples, but a 1 for its terrible and outdated installation process, the use of a cumbersome iLok dongle system for copy protection which you'll have to pay $50 on top of the regular cost, and some bugs and issues with the product itself.
A bit of detail; I bought the Silver edition. It comes in a giant, mostly empty box with two DVDs inside, which were pressed in 2008-2009, as well as a sheet of paper saying essentially "STOP: the installation on this disc does not work - please view the videos at the following two URLs for the correct installation procedure."
After you tediously type the long URLs into your browser, you'll get two large ZIP files (no kidding) with videos in them - I guess we're in 1995 before web video - which, on unzipping, contain complicated instructions explaining things to download off their website, things to uninstall, etc. (it's not clear what order you're supposed to follow them).
Following the videos won't work, however. You'll uninstall what the disc installed, and install the updated version, but still be missing the actual sample library. After a call to tech support, I learned that apparently you have to shut off all of Windows 7's security features and antivirus, reinstall, and then go onto the disc and copy all the instruments and samples to their appropriate folders manually, as that part of the installer is broken. You'll also have to download and set up new software from the iLok vendor.
In my case, on top of the rest, the $50 iLok will only work in one particular USB port (despite being recognized by the computer on all of them - apparently it needs a "strong" USB port, but nothing in the error message will lead you in the right direction). And if you use a wacom / tablet mouse like I do, you won't be able to click any of the menus or controls in the Play application - only the pen stylus or a separate mouse works.
So yeah, not a pleasant experience for something I shelled out $300 for, with no return policy once you open the box - I wish EastWest would trade a few hours of developer time on the installation and product, it'd save thousands of combined hours of their customers' time.Read more
Latest 4 reviews from a total of 4
You mention that you bought the Silver edition and spent $300. Did you mean the Gold Edition? The silver Edition is currently selling for less than $100 (Cyber Week sales). And though I was already aware of the "negative" points you stated - IMO all of which are valid - personally I'm willing to jump through some hoops to save 50% off on a great library.
(The sale goes on through the end of the year, so I plan to pick up either Gold or Platinum before then). :)
Hey flugel - I made the brilliant choice to buy it about a week before the EastWest sale :). Hate to see EastWest get any more business but I can imagine 50% off is tempting.
EastWest has some bizarre issue with the concept of mixing instruments and software. They never, ever seem to get the software part right, nor do they seem to care (though I hear good things about the instrument part). I avoid them like the plague.
Same experience I have had. Eastwest BLOWS when it comes to they way they have their installation and support stuff setup. Just god-awful really. The play software sucks as well.
I've had my issues with EastWest over the years, but I think a little balance is needed here.
On the Play engine -- it certainly is different from Kontakt, but in some ways its relatively simplicity is refreshing and quicker. Certainly moving sample libraries around your disks is much more straightforward with Play than with Kontakt. I also have found Play to be pretty darn stable on my Mac Pro. And I like many of the aspects of the GUI relative to Kontakt -- some of Kontakt still betrays the old NI "Reaktor" school of inscrutable under-the-hood stuff.
EWQLSO is kind of showing its age, but it is still a superb sounding library. But I think the criticism of EastWest would miss the point that their more recent products are absolutely incredible sounding. Hollywood Strings and Hollywood Brass is an AWFUL lot to give up if you've adopted an "avoid EastWest" policy. They're amazing. Now, again, EastWest is a bit quirky -- to get the hard disc (diamond) versions, you have to live with an internal SATA drive (which really makes sense when you consider the size of these libraries) and many will find that a pain in the ass. Although with Thunderbolt and external drive enclosures its really not that bad. (I've gotten an internal SSD for these libraries and I could never live without it now).
Another great EastWest product you'd be missing is the QL Pianos. The best sampled Piano library I've heard anywhere.
Plus when you actually call EastWest they have good and helpful people there.
So yes, EastWest has its issues and isn't always the most "user friendly" company. But I wouldn't totally give up on them, you're missing out on some stunning-sounding products that really have no equal.
I couldn't disagree more wankwinkel. The reason libraries running on Kontakt sound so much better isn't just the quality of recording - it's the tools / scripting available in Kontakt for the developers. It is generations beyond what East West is using with the Play Engine, making libraries from LASS, 8Dio etc. much more versatile and sophisticated. (more on this below).
Kontakt is also far more user friendly. It allows multiple manufacturer's libraries within the same interface. For example, I have all my Project Sam, Audiobro, Old East West libraries, 8Dio, Native Instruments, Cinesamples all availabe in the same Kontakt library window - all accessible at the same time. This is a HUGE plus. Combined with the fact that Kontakt allows the user to completely detach each individual instance of an instrument from each other - running multiple buses with endless scripting, effects, automation, routing - all in one GUI just makes Play seem like an application from the 1980s.
I'm not sure why you think Play has a better Library reallocation than Kontakt. That is absolutely NOT the case. Try reinstalling OS from scratch. 1) Download iLok driver. 2) Download iLok client. 3) Download Play. 4) Install Play and choose which libraries you bought so it can install the right interfaces for each. 5) Hope that this actually worked, which it rarely does on the first attempt - and hopefully you didn't forget to add a library, cause redoing the install will cause problems with other libraries that you did install. 6) Right click on "favorites" to add each library path - which is pointless cause you pick anywhere on your harddrive and it has no idea if it's the right path or not.
Whereas with Kontakt: 1) Download Kontakt latest version. 2) Install it and authorize through the Service Center simultaneously. 3) Open Kontakt 4) Add library, point to folder & simultaneously authorize through your online account. No dongle, no drivers, no hassles. 10x easier. And moving a library is as simple as removing it, adding it and pointing it to the new location. What's so difficult about that?
East West made a massive mistake ditching Kontakt - and an even larger mistake going with iLok (can't believe that company is still in business). It would have been fine had the Play Engine been a great application that could compete with Kontakt. But it really is a dud, sitting well below the competition.
I'll agree with you though - East West has some great sounding libraries. I'm a big fan of Silk & Ra. But I actually avoid Silk like the plague cause of the Play engine and still use the dated "Ra" cause I have the original version that still loads into Kontakt. :)
A little "easter egg" - on the quieter (low-velocity) layer of C3 in "4 trombones mute sustained" you hear the recording engineer saying "good.".
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