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Snowster
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I would like to hear your opinion of some symphonic sample libraries. I'm thinking about a sub 500$ investment, and am planning to use it with both notation and sequencer software. I currently have the possibility to test the following: Garritan Personal Orchestra, Eastwest Silver ProXP, MOTU Symphonic instrument. Also if you can reccomend something else, it would be great!

Thanks,

-Snowster

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Garitan is crap, so is MOTU. Buy East West, and I hope you computer is stacked so you can load more then a single flute.

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I have Garritan and it is just SO BAD!!! I Cannot stress this enough, it is useless except for like two sounds. THe harp and celeste sound decent. Don't get it!

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Halion has something like a 30GB library doesn't it? What about Miroslav philharmonik, anyone got that?? So basically many of you say NO to GPO? I'm actually at the same time evaluating orchestra libraries for my personal use, but also for classroom use at the university I'm working at. We currently have NI Bandstand in our classroom. We replaced the old Roland SC-88 modules with that. Basically I'm looking for some better orchestral sounds for our Logic and Cubase users and propably also for Finale etc. Oh, which reminds me, do you know if there are any differences between the standalone GPO and Finale GPO libraries (other than the fact that you can use it with other hosts)?

-Snowster

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Nothing beats Zimmers anything midi. That man is the champ. He must also use a ton of compression and eq, i would love to peek at his presets. His taikos sound as if they have low pass filters on them. Anyone know more detail?

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EastWest or Kontakt 2 (comes with Vienna Symphonic Library and is a full sampler) with Overture 4 as a sheet music/sequencer. Its also a full VST host that allows you to compose normally to switch between sample types (as in staccato samples vs long samples, etc.)

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Nothing beats Zimmers anything midi. That man is the champ.  He must also use a ton of compression and eq, i would love to peek at his presets.  His taikos sound as if they have low pass filters on them. Anyone know more detail?

Zimmer uses primarily custom libraries. Those string and brass samples you hear in, for example Crimson Tide, are the LSO. And they have been used a million times since, including Survivor and 24.

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The sounds in the Vienna Symphonic Library are fantastic, but do remember that they are all recorded in an acoustically dead environment with absolutely no acoustic modelling. This means that you'll have to do a lot of tweaking (usually) to get the samples sounding natural, as if recorded in a given environment (usually a concert hall). And to be honest, you'll probably never get the samples to sound as good as samples already recorded in a large hall.

I think East West is the only other realistic alternative. Generally their samples are good - although I must admit, the quality of some of the samples are poor. However, all the EWQL samples are recorded in a large hall, which means you don't really have to do *much* work to get the orchestra sounding fairly natural.

I haven't personally used Garritan. I've heard good and bad things about the library, but I've heard the strings are pretty good. I've also been meaning to test out Advanced Orchestra, which is very affordable.

I'd also recommend buying Kontakt 2 as you get a nice set of VSL samples, and Kontakt 2.1 is by far the best sampling engine in my humble opinion. :P

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If you cant afford a giga PC, get kontakt. It will do the best job, unless you use logic of course.

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Are sample libraries separate from the actual notation program? Could I use say Sibelius and a totally separate brandname sample library and incorporate them together, or will there be compatibility issues?

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I use all the 8 Cd roms Advanced Orchestra with some Vitous Brass and Woods Sections + Dan Dean Solo strings Piano for Prosample, it works pretty well !!!

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