Symphonic Orchestra Gold Edition
This sample library, created by Doug Rogers from EastWest and Nick Phoenix from Quantum Leap, contains all the sections of a symphony orchestra – strings, woodwinds, brass and orchestral percussion. Recorded in a top concert hall, all the instruments were chromatically sampled with multiple dynamics and expressive articulations and are supplied as 16-bit stereo files in the Gold Edition.
The Gold Edition library includes reverb-release trails recorded with the samples. This makes the samples instantly sound pretty good without you having to choose and apply effects. The downside is that you’re stuck with the reverb that’s recorded with the samples – you don’t get the option of working with dry versions.
Special versions of Native Instruments Kompakt sample player are used for both the plug-in and standalone versions. You can also import the library into Native Instruments Kontakt software, which offers much more flexibility than the Kompakt player and lets you create programs. The Kompakt player lets you use up to eight instruments at once, and you can save or load sets of these as Multi instruments. If you need more, simply load multiple instances of the plug-in – although you’re stuck if using the standalone version.
Kompakt processes the sounds using typical synth controls including filter and amplifier, volume, filter and free envelopes, and LFO controls for volume, panning, tuning and filtering. You can also add reverb, chorus, delay and filtering. The reverb is basic – fine to use with the standalone version, but you should have better quality reverbs in your audio/MIDI sequencer. The chorus and delay effects are also basic, but can liven-up most sounds effectively. The Master Filter is a global EQ. You can use this to boost or attenuate frequencies of interest. Low-pass, high-pass and band-pass filters are provided, and a switch is provided to change these into a three-band parametric EQ.
The library is almost, but not quite, as good as the VSL Opus 1’s. The strings include groupings of nine double basses and ten violas along with solo violin and cello – but no solo viola or double bass. Woodwind and brass are similarly comprehensive, with no major omissions, and the percussion has lots of useful sounds. You don’t get all the articulations that some composers need, but it has most of the stuff you need to score a typical Hollywood movie straight out of the box.