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Scoring on a budget? Check out these orchestral libraries

Scoring on a budget? Check out these orchestral libraries

By The Article Master on

Looking to take the plunge into becoming a media composer? Or simply expand your library without breaking the bank? Here's a list of some great tools for orchestral music production and scoring for the budget conscious.

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Composer Cloud Plus One Year

ComposerCloud+ from EastWest is an excellent value proposition for those not wanting to skimp on articulations and instruments without shelling out thousands for a detailed, full orchestral library. With ComposerCloud+, you get access to all EastWest instruments, plus all mic positions for all orchestral/choir/piano libraries and every new addition for a monthly or annual fee, including strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, world instruments, guitars, drums, piano, synths, and much more. This is a great option for any composer wanting to learn the ropes before investing in their own instrument library.


  • Instant access to the entire EastWest ComposerCloud Diamond/Platinum collection of 42,000+ virtual instruments.
  • Automatic access to all future ComposerCloud Diamond/Platinum products and exclusive content.
  • Over 40,000 award-winning instruments including 3 million samples, phrases, and FX.
  • 67 full collections including the new Hollywood Backup Singers, Cyclop, Aparillo Cinematic Synth, Hollywood Pop Brass, Voices of Opera, plus access to all new releases.
  • No iLok key required, you now have the option of electronic licenses placed on your computer.
  • New Instrument Search allows you to find any instrument from all products in seconds.
  • Instruments for every music style: orchestral, keyboards, rock/pop, vocals, ethnic, urban, edm.
  • No streaming from the cloud required, download the instruments to your own computer.

BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover

In partnership with BBC Studios and the world-famous BBC Symphony Orchestra, Spitfire Audio has captured the musical synergy of a family of astoundingly accomplished players with a 90-year heritage of performances and recordings, recorded at London's famous Maida Vale Studios, home of the BBCSO, and host to The Beatles, Hendrix and Bowie. BBCSO Discover provides an entry point for even the most meager of budget - it's free. The free download requires filling out a questionnaire and a 14-day waiting period, but this can be expedited for the price of $49. This also provides an upgrade path to it's bigger brothers, BBC Symphonic Orchestra Core (our 2021 Readers' Choice award winner for ''Favourite Orchestral VI') and BBC Symphonic Orchestra Professional.

Each edition is fully interchangeable through Spitfire's innovative mode switching technology, making it easier than ever to share and collaborate with fellow composers, regardless of which edition they own. This makes Discover an extremely useful tool for composers of all levels writing on the go, or with the most basic technical setup, who can then go on to complete their compositions in Core or Professional.


  • 33 Instruments included
  • 47 articulations or techniques
  • Single mic signal.
  • 200mb library size

The Orchestra Essentials

Best Service and Sonuscore's 'The Orchestra Essentials' comes with a carefully selected curation of instruments from The Orchestra, Strings of Winter, and Horns of Hell and is powered by the ensemble-engine. Take your first orchestral steps and create amazing music in no time.

Play Your Own Melodies with 'The Colours Presets' - Orchestral Colours are practical combinations of instruments that can be played live on your keyboard. Use them to freely play your melodies with a section of instruments. Create pulsating rhythms and inspiring full arrangements from any combination of notes. All of this without relying on pre-recorded phrases – you have the full control. It will work, no matter what chord or note you play. The Orchestra Essentials provides you with a broad symphonic palette with 38 string, 12 brass and 12 wind articulations, rounded up with playable percussion and choir.

Key Features:

  • Breakthrough Ensemble Engine.
  • Play freely or create stunning orchestral colours with simple chords.
  • Carefully selected curation of instruments from The Orchestra Family.
  • True Legato Interval Sampling.
  • 99 Inspirational Ensemble Presets.
  • 38 String-, 12 Brass- and 12 Wind-articulations, plus playable Percussion and Choir.
  • 5.72GB of Data
  • Fast Loading Times.
  • Free Kontakt Player Version 6.6.0 and higher, or Kontakt version 6.6.0 and higher.

Nucleus Lite Edition

Nucleus Lite Edition is a powerful orchestral virtual instrument for Native Instruments Kontakt Player with full NKS integration. Both Nucleus Lite Edition and the full version of Nucleus share the same rich cinematic sound and ease-of-use interface and provide you with different options depending on your feature and your budget requirements. Nucleus Lite Edition provides you with all the tools you need to get started without breaking the bank and an easy upgrade path to the full version when you are ready for it. If you are looking to dip your toes into the vast world of orchestral sample libraries, this is a great option.

Key Features:

  • Carefully selected essentials from Nucleus Full Edition.
  • Crisp & smooth cinematic orchestral sound.
  • Two highly versatile microphone mixes: Classic & Modern.
  • Full Ensembles for Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Choir.
  • Essential Tonal & Atonal Percussion.
  • Essential Sound Design.
  • Multi and Single Articulation Patches.
  • Performance Patches, for instant playability.
  • Very small footprint and low resource consumption.
  • Approximately 5 GB installed (NCW format).
  • Made for the free Kontakt Player, Version 6.4 or higher.
  • NKS ready.

Smart Orchestra

Create large orchestrations on the fly, without worrying about balancing and fine-tuning the instrumentation. Get creative with experimental FX presets for hybrid soundscapes and organic textures.

With pre-configured presets, you can either play the entire orchestra with full dynamics on your keyboard, adjust the balance of the main sections (strings, woodwinds, brass, mallets, drums and percussion) in the mixer, or play these sections separately. What's more, you may add selected solo instruments, such as flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, trumpet or an ensemble of first violins over the accompanying ensemble played with your left hand.

Customized layers such as subtle pianissimo string pads or fortissimo brass break-outs make it easy to find the right tone in a split second. The "marcato control" feature enables you to play everything from smooth legato lines to aggressive ostinatos in just one patch by simply moving a pre-configured fader.

All sections and solo instruments are expertly placed at Synchron Stage Vienna, one of the best-sounding scoring stages on the planet, using Vienna MIR Pro technology integrated right into the multi-channel mixer of the Vienna Synchron Player.


  • The entire orchestra at your fingertips.
  • Quick sketching and scoring.
  • Instant inspiration powered by Vienna Synchron Player.
  • Crossgrade Price from VI or SYNCHRON-ized Special Edition Vol. 1: €125.
  • Symphonic and experimental FX presets.
  • VSO Expansion Pack adds more instruments.
  • NKS ready.

Berlin Orchestra Inspire 1

Inspire 1 gives you a full complement of strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion, plus harp, grand piano, and more—in a carefully streamlined package. This collection is optimized to provide maximum creative scope with a minimal footprint. Perfect for small setups, composing on the move, or capturing ideas quickly.

Derived from the acclaimed Berlin Series, all instruments were recorded with Berlin's finest musicians at the Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin. Inspire 1 runs on SINE, and you can purchase single instruments making it a great option for the budget conscious and allowing you to expand your selection of instruments as needed.

All Berlin Orchestra Inspire instruments are recorded in their natural seating positions, with all instruments in perfect equilibrium with one another. This is the key to creating a sonic impression in which all the instruments blend together naturally.

Full symphony orchestra:

  • Strings: Whole Ensemble, First Chairs, High Strings 8va, Low Strings 8va, Violins I + II.
  • Woodwinds: Whole Ensemble, Flutes + Clarinets 8va, Bassoons + Clarinets 8va, Solo Flute, Solo Clarinet.
  • Brass: Whole Ensemble, Muted Whole Ensemble, Trumpets + Horns 8va, Trombones + Tuba 8va, Solo Horn, Solo Trumpet.
  • Percussion: Essential Percussion Patch, Timpani, Marimba + Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Grand Piano, Symphonic Harp.


  • SINE version: Works with Orchestral Tools' SINE Player.
  • Kontakt version: Works with Kontakt 5.8.1 (full version) or higher or the free Kontakt Player.
  • 18 GB of samples (7.1 GB SINEarc compressed/9.3 GB NCW compressed).
  • Please note: Kontakt versions bought after June 9, 2020 can be upgraded to SINE for a €39,90 support fee.
  • 24-bit / 48 kHz Patches.
  • System requirements SINE:
  • Mac OS 10.13, i5, 4 GB RAM (16+ GB recommended).
  • Windows 10, Intel Core i5 or similar (Windows 7 is not officially supported).
  • Interfaces: VST, AU.

Miroslav Philharmonik 2 CE

Miroslav Philharmonik 2 CE is an affordable entry into legendary jazz bassist and sampling visionary Miroslav Vitous' lush new world of near-cinematic orchestral musical realism. It includes a 10GB library with 733 instruments spread out across all the instrument categories provided in the full version of Miroslav Philharmonik 2.


  • Over 10GB of 16-bit / 44.1kHz samples.
  • Recorded and produced by jazz legend Miroslav Vitous.
  • Over 700 instruments that represent the full spectrum of Miroslav Philharmonik 2's emotionally expressive orchestral library.
  • Multiple articulations per instrument with articulation switching.
  • Comes with ConvoRoom convolution reverb with 3D GUI.
  • 34 high-quality studio effects from SampleTank 3.
  • 4 professional-grade mastering processors from T-RackS.
  • Multi-channel mixer-like Mix interface with 16 channels and 4 insert effects per channel, 4 stereo effect returns (with 5 insert effects each) and a master channel with 5 insert effects.
  • Access to the powerful instrument Edit page with 3 sample engines (including formant preserving pitch-shifting and time-stretching engines), 10 filter types and 8 macro controls per instrument for quick multi-parameter editing.
  • Based on SampleTank 3's powerful 64-bit engine.
  • Recorded at CNSO Studios in Prague.
  • Standalone workstation, DAW plug-in or add-on Instrument collection for SampleTank 3

Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra

Covering all the essentials of the orchestra, Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra sample library includes– strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, keyboards, guitars and more. Everything you need for creating quick sketches, orchestra, film, and game scores, is at your fingertips. The library has carefully been engineered to load fast and provide authentic sounding instruments, allowing you to create realistic scores.


  • Clean, powerful, easy to use interface.
  • Impressive, robust features for the price.
  • Great sound.

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