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Need some advice on entry level Orchestral libraries! EWQL gold, or Vienna Special Edition?


SamsMochi
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Hi guys,

I just needed some advice on a few orchestral libraries. I'm a pretty inexperienced composer in terms of software, and I'm looking to upgrade to a slightly more full package.

I've been working with Native Instruments for the most part of the last 2 years, and only really bought bits and pieces here and there. I bought a piano plug in, and the Native Instruments sample package.

I write primarily for piano and strings, but I am looking to expand to a full orchestra, but at an entry level for budget.

I've been researching Vienna Symphonic Special Edition, and East West Quantum Leap symphonic Gold. The Vienna comes in at around £316, and East West have a promotion on for 50% off a lot of their libraries until the end of December. (This sounds tempting.)

A friend highly recommends the East West Gold package. It really does sound tempting, but I'm not entirely convinced by the strings. On initial opinion, they sound a bit fake, especially the legato strings.

I've heard samples from both, and Vienna strings in my opinion, has the more convincing string sounds. I've heard Vienna has a pretty steep learning curve, and many have said that as a package, East West is the way to go as it can be easily accessed straight from the box.

What are your opinions on both of these packages in particular? If you have experience with either, I'd love to know!

Thanks a lot!

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I only own EWQL, and the thing to be aware of is the samples are drenched in hall reverb. Try using them in a context other than big orchestral and they can sound really weird and disconnected.

OTOH, if you like that big recording space sound, you have it available with no work.

Vienna is dry, so while you'll want a good reverb, you can tweak exactly how much depth to give the sounds.

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Well, you can adjust the release of the sounds, which helps somewhat, but the reverb is baked into the samples so they'll always have the big hall sound.

Alternately, if you buy the Platinum version you get the close mic samples.

And re Vienna, just tweak the verb to taste. If you don't have a good one, Valhalla Room is the easy and obvious choice.

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ok cool, thanks for your advice!

Sounds like you prefer EWQL out of the 2? To be honest, I might give it a try, it seems like a very good deal especially with the 50% promotion they have going on.

There's something about Vienna I do like though, but it does look like it has a steep learning curve.

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Yeah I got kontakt. I got the kontakt sample library package (the one where you get a little bit of everything) The strings are vienna, it's just a single string ensemble, but I do like the sound. Like you say it's a bit dry, but with reverb it sounds a lot more convincing. I used it for that video i posted

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Yeah I got kontakt. I got the kontakt sample library package (the one where you get a little bit of everything) The strings are vienna, it's just a single string ensemble, but I do like the sound. Like you say it's a bit dry, but with reverb it sounds a lot more convincing. I used it for that video i posted

The actual Kontakt Factory Library (43 GB) gives you more than just a string ensemble.

Here's what it hands you in just the string section:

-Violin Ensemble

-Violin Solo

-Viola Ensemble

-Viola Solo

-Cello Ensemble

-Cello Solo

-Double Bass Ensemble

-Double Bass Solo

-Harp

-String Ensemble

In brass, you get french horn e+s, trumpet e+s, trombone e+s, tuba s, brass ensemble.

Woodwinds (really good, btw) give you bass clarinet, bassoon (and bassoon combi), clarinet (and clarinet combi), contrabassoon, english horn, flute, french oboe, oboe, and piccolo.

You also get some nice pianos, organs and a harpsichord.

And you get Kontakt Choirs, which sound pretty sweet in slower contexts.

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I was thinking about EWQLSO gold, the price can't be beat right now, but I also didn't want drenched sound. NI had their big Thanksgiving sale so I instead bought Session Strings Pro from them. I like it quite a bit. The sounds are dry, and recorded close and intimate. There are 29 articulations that you can keyswitch, and there's this animator thing I haven't even touched yet. I just really like the sounds. NI still has their $30 coupon until the 31st I think.

Oh and Joe, you're not an idiot when it comes to anything. Stop saying crap like that!!! :-)

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I might be branching off a bit, but I'm wondering - EWQL has that composer's pack, where you can choose 7 sample packs for under $1000. Does anyone know if that deal is also 50% off, or only the individual samples? I always said if I bought anything from EWQL, I would just save up and buy the composer pack, but that might change if it's going to leap to $2000 on January 1st...

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So the samples that come with Komplete 8 are actually the Vienna samples? I've been using them a little bit and haven't liked them very much so far, BUT I am an idiot when it comes to sequencing (hence most of my mixes being live).

They are VERY old Vienna samples--the stuff you buy from Vienna now are not the same samples--I believe the Kontakt stuff is from their First Edition--which is from 2003.

With that said, EWQLSO is from 2005-ish.

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I might be branching off a bit, but I'm wondering - EWQL has that composer's pack, where you can choose 7 sample packs for under $1000. Does anyone know if that deal is also 50% off, or only the individual samples? I always said if I bought anything from EWQL, I would just save up and buy the composer pack, but that might change if it's going to leap to $2000 on January 1st...

Looks like that deal is actually 75% off. $899 now, $3,513 come January 1st. But I'm told they have massive sales like four times per year. I'm holding off on their stuff for now.

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Actually, if you have EWQL Gold, you now have to upgrade to Platinum to get the close mic samples. They did away with selling just the close mic samples earlier this year due to bugs they couldn't fix with them. I for one experienced those bugs and EW pretty much refused to fix them completely.

If you want to invest in orchestral samples, I strongly suggest going the route of Vienna Symphonic instead of EastWest. First of all, EW's support is terrible and I refuse to give them another cent after how I was treated. Vienna's libraries are all close mic samples which lets you add whatever reverb sound you'd like to them. If you strictly want the big Hollywood string sound, EW does have that nailed out of the box but you can achieve that sound with Vienna if you need to.

Yes, Vienna is more expensive but I have felt it to be worth it for my needs. I started off with the Special Edition Vol1 and I'll probably get Vol2 down the road. The other option is getting the full version of Kontakt if you don't already have that. It comes with a half decent version of the Vienna samples as well as other libraries. Kontakt is pretty much the standard in sample players these days and it's worth having in your arsenal.

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Actually, if you have EWQL Gold, you now have to upgrade to Platinum to get the close mic samples. They did away with selling just the close mic samples earlier this year due to bugs they couldn't fix with them. I for one experienced those bugs and EW pretty much refused to fix them completely.

If you want to invest in orchestral samples, I strongly suggest going the route of Vienna Symphonic instead of EastWest. First of all, EW's support is terrible and I refuse to give them another cent after how I was treated. Vienna's libraries are all close mic samples which lets you add whatever reverb sound you'd like to them. If you strictly want the big Hollywood string sound, EW does have that nailed out of the box but you can achieve that sound with Vienna if you need to.

Yes, Vienna is more expensive but I have felt it to be worth it for my needs. I started off with the Special Edition Vol1 and I'll probably get Vol2 down the road. The other option is getting the full version of Kontakt if you don't already have that. It comes with a half decent version of the Vienna samples as well as other libraries. Kontakt is pretty much the standard in sample players these days and it's worth having in your arsenal.

Well, that's too bad about the Gold Close samples.

I'm one of the lucky few who invested in EW before they switched to PLAY. But I still believe that for a usable out-of-the-box sound, for an orchestra that has EVERYTHING and can sound GREAT out-of-the-box--East West is still the best impact for your buck.

I don't mean to offend the fine people at Vienna, but their brass sound like poop.

You can't record brass on a quiet sound stage and expect to be able to add reverb enough to simulate the acoustics that occur in a natural, live playing scenario.

I have the driest, coolest brass samples out there, and I have the best room simulation plug-ins and it still NEVER beats the sound of samples recorded in a GREAT reflective space.

The technology just isn't there.

Now, if we're NOT talking about trying to keep this cheap--I can make recommendations that are neither VSL nor EW.

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Looks like that deal is actually 75% off. $899 now, $3,513 come January 1st. But I'm told they have massive sales like four times per year. I'm holding off on their stuff for now.

People really need to do some research before spreading misinformation.

The Composer's Collection is not a 75% off sale of its own price. It's 75% off of the whole sum of the products were you to buy them separately.

Composer's Collection never ever goes on sale for more than 5%; its base price is pretty consistently, more or less, $900-$1000, and doesn't really change. Ever.

So no, it's not $3,513 come Jan 1st. That's preposterous; there would be no point in buying the bundle instead of buying them separately (other than it comes in one box).

The whole "OMG GET IT FOR 75% OFF" is just fancy marketing and a way to grab your attention, because it technically IS 75% off the total sum of its products; but the truth is, it's never NOT 75% (or a few % around there) off.

It's like saying Komplete 8 is over 80% off. It technically is, since the sum of the products' prices is $3,633. But it never changes from its $500.

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I'm also willing to consider Kontakt 5 as well, I bought the Komplete elements but there just aren't enough sounds.

Can anyone recommend kontakt 5? I think It's a tie between Kontakt 5 and EWQL...even though I do love the sound of the strings for Vienna

Kontakt VSL is only good for slower passages, where sample attack times are not as harmful. If you try to do fast sections or high energy articulation, it'll sound like it's bleeding. It also does not have a big sound to it. EWQL has tons more articulations, but at the same time, you run on the PLAY Engine. So only do that if you have a decent computer.

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Kontakt VSL doesn't have ensemble woodwinds or as many articulations as EWQL. Doesn't have as much percussion either. Also the brass is kind of wimpy.

On the other hand, Kontakt is the nexus for loads of third party libraries, so it's definitely useful to have. And there are times when dry orchestral sounds fit in a mix much better.

My honest opinion, I say get them both. They complement each other nicely.

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