Symphonic Orchestra Gold Pro XP Edition
This Symphonic Orchestra library contains all the sections of a symphony orchestra – Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Orchestral Percussion. It comes in three editions. The Platinum version costs three times as much as the Gold, but gives you 24-bit files with alternative microphone positions, with and without reverb. The Silver edition costs a third of the price of Gold, but has a much smaller set of instruments.
The samples in the 16-bit Gold library include ambience and release trails (the sound of the instrument note decaying after the musician stops playing) that can be adjusted for very natural-sounding results. This makes these sampled instruments instantly useable, however, you are stuck with the reverb recorded with the samples.
The Gold Pro XP library provides 21GB of instruments and articulations to add to the Gold library. The expanded library then includes all the instruments and articulations that were in the original Gold Edition plus those from the Platinum Edition that were not in the Gold Edition.
Most of the legato patches from the original package have been replaced with new samples and programs that let the user create much more realistic legato passages. The Strings section has been significantly expanded and now includes solo viola and double bass. The Woodwind and Brass sections are similarly comprehensive. I was impressed to find a set of three Wagnerian Tubas and two sets of solo English Horns. Orchestral Percussion has also been expanded with additional Timpani crescendos, rolls and hits,
and a Steinway Grand Piano.
You can use MIDI notes below the range of the instrument as key switches to switch articulations, such as legato to staccato, within a single track. A short key-switch note is placed into the MIDI track just before the first note that’s to be heard, to choose the correct articulation. Another is placed immediately before the first staccato note to switch it.
Native Instruments Kompakt sample player is used for both plug-in and standalone versions. You can also import the library into Native Instruments Kontakt 2, which offers much more flexibility.
In action, the lyrical solo flute immediately did justice to Debussy’s Syrinx, while the large, 70-piece string ensemble instantly sounded wonderful on a soundtrack. The instant gratification is partly due to the appropriate and attractive-sounding ambience and release trails. The expanded library competes favourably with the VSL Opus libraries and is easier to get useable results with, fast.