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Best Sample Libraries?

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AndrewRG
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Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-06 02:50:45 Reply

Hey guys,

I've been wondering what libraries/synths you guys use and like the most. I'm asking generally - for whatever genres, programs, and plugins you use.

I'm looking to strengthen my library, so what are the staples? I'm especially interested in getting ahold of any libraries where there is general consensus that they are (or are among) the best.

I write mostly orchestra pieces (but am branching into other genres) in both Finale 2010 and FL Studio 10 on a Windows Vista 64 bit system. I recently acquired East West gold, and plan to get some stuff from Native Instruments. Again, I'm curious about everything - orchestral, drums, bass, samples and synth, etc. etc. - of all flavors. So what are the "must-haves"?


- Andrew

HalcyonicFalconX
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-06 04:42:54 Reply

At 5/6/13 02:50 AM, AndrewRG wrote: I write mostly orchestra pieces.... I recently acquired East West gold...

If you're going with East West stuff, I think it's almost generally agreed upon amongst East West users that their Gypsy library is worth every penny.

KatMaestro
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-06 05:37:44 Reply

Not the best, but what I have collected

Free:
Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra
DSK Overture
DSK AkoustiK GuitarZ
http://slib.soundex.co.uk/
Own group libraries

- Free library samples are pretty much really good. In fact for hobbyist musicians, free libraries are good enough. However if you are looking for cinematic or better sound design libraries, look for paid ones.

Paid
EWQL Symphonic Orchestra
EWQL RA
EWQL Stormdrum
EWQL Colossus
EWQL Ministry of Rock.
Miroslav Philharmonik
Tonehammer Liberis
Tonehammer Requiem
Cinesamples VOXOS
BigFishAudio Celtic Instruments
BigFishAudio The Legend of China

- Most people would like to point out EastWest QuantumLeap (EWQL), because they are quite economical products. Professional sound design, plus decent prices. The only downside is its VSTi, a CPU eating monster. Miroslav Philharmonik is another economical product, it has all orchestra instruments plus choirs, for just less than $200. Sound design and effect are decent. EWQL and MP is probably the best choice ever. BigFishAudio are cheap, and their samples pretty good too. For choir libraries, I choose Cinesamples VOXOS over Tonehammer Requiem and Liberis.

Step
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-06 06:00:00 Reply

East/West has a lot of other great libraries. Gypsy, from what I've heard, sounds really good, so I agree that it's definitely a library to consider. Other great East/West VSTs include Pianos, Ra, Stormdrum 2, Silk and Symphonic Choirs. Others (Goliath, Fab Four, Voices of Passion, Ministry of Rock [2], etc) I've heard bad stuff about, especially Voices of Passion. I haven't heard anything about The Dark Side or Spaces Reverb. Oh, and the Hollywood Strings/Brass/Woodwinds are glorious in both sound... and price.

East/West aside, Omnisphere is a brilliant VST. I consider it the best plugin I've ever worked with. It has 8000 sounds, ranging from guitars to choirs to mallets to pads to lead synths to arps to everything in between (except a cowbell - yes I've checked), and some excellent synthesis features. It's so deep I've barely scratched the surface and I've had it for something like half a year now, and it's child's play to integrate it in orchestral songs, or use it for basically any other genre. However, at $500, it doesn't come cheap. Other VSTs from Spectrasonics like Trillian are great too, and cheaper.

If you want something from Native Instruments, I'd highly suggest getting Komplete 9. From the looks of it, it's simply not worth getting a Native Instruments plugin if it's not from Komplete 9. ONE Native Instruments plugin can cost hundreds of dollars, especially if it's a big one like Kontakt. Then, to get THIRTY-THREE of their instruments, it costs 650 dollars. Basically if you buy two of their best products separately then you've already reached more than it would cost to buy those two and thirty-one other products. Komplete 9 comes with loads of fantastic plugins such as Massive, Absynth, Guitar Rig and Kontakt.

Then there are some great free ones that Elitistinen did a good job of pointing out. Let me add that these guitar/drum samples are just excellent (listen to the audio demos!) and they're entirely free if you have Kontakt. Monster Staccatos is also an awesome free library with some wonderfully meaty string staccatos, but again, you can only get those if you have Kontakt.

If you're into soundfonts, this is a great place to start, although they probably won't be that useful for you if you have East/West. If you're on a strict budget, Magnus Choir is decent and much cheaper than the big names like Symphonic Choirs and VOXOS, but obviously not nearly as good.

Finally, I'd like to give a shout-out to the mda Piano or mda ePiano, both pretty darn good free VSTs if mixed tastefully (especially the latter), and the MiniDiZi and MiniErHu, two beautiful-sounding chinese instruments that are entirely free. I don't think you can install these on a Mac though because as usual Apple like being awkward and different from everyone else and have this stupid Audio Units thing which makes it impossible to download VSTs that don't need an installation (i.e. just dll files), and being small and light, the last four I've mentioned just come as individual dll files as far as I know.

I hope I've helped!


Review Request Club | CHECK THIS OUT | Formerly Supersteph54 | I'm an Audio Moderator. PM me for Audio Portal help.

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BeProf
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-07 10:32:15 Reply

For the price, I really like the Garritan Personal Orchestra collection. Really. I mean that. It's cheap and it's pretty good.

Being a tone-wheel organ nerd, however, it really doesn't get any better in my book than Native's B4.

KyyninenPeikko
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-07 10:51:10 Reply

I use MIDI libraries, free.

Bad-Man-Incorporated
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-07 11:15:58 Reply

At 5/6/13 02:50 AM, AndrewRG wrote: Hey guys,

I've been wondering what libraries/synths you guys use and like the most. I'm asking generally - for whatever genres, programs, and plugins you use.

I'm looking to strengthen my library, so what are the staples? I'm especially interested in getting ahold of any libraries where there is general consensus that they are (or are among) the best.

I write mostly orchestra pieces (but am branching into other genres) in both Finale 2010 and FL Studio 10 on a Windows Vista 64 bit system. I recently acquired East West gold, and plan to get some stuff from Native Instruments. Again, I'm curious about everything - orchestral, drums, bass, samples and synth, etc. etc. - of all flavors. So what are the "must-haves"?

For free, and don't sound too bad:

http://www.dskmusic.com/

A lot of stuff there. I use them. I tweak them a little ...but for the most part, some of them, I'm using to score an actual movie.


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JosephAS1
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-07 21:41:15 Reply

Well, I use and HIGHLY recommend these libraries for orchestral & acoustic stuff:

Orange Tree Samples Stuff
L.A. Scoring Strings 2
Cinematic Strings 2
Orchestral Tools Berlin Woodwinds
Cinesamples CineBrass CORE & PRO
Soundiron Olympus
Proyect Sam Symphobia 1&2
Sample Modeling Stuff
Spitfire Percussion

Those libraries cover the "Basic Orchestral Setup" (technically, all what you need)

Hope I was Helpful!

Btw, you should be aware of Spitfire Audio's products, they're making some real nice stuff this days, and I mean REAL NICE STUFF!


Plinkydinkydonk

DavidOrr
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-07 22:49:29 Reply

Lots of great suggestions in here alread. Didn't have time to read them all completely, or to post a long drawn out list, but:

I would put Kontakt 5 at, or nearly at the top of my priority list. Not because the included sample content is so great (it ranges from pretty good to meh), but it allows you access to so many other libraries. It does have a bit of everything in there, to help you fill out the holes.

Next up, I'd either go Omnisphere, LASS, or Hollywood Brass, depending on what you think your genre priorities will be when writing. If you've got a lot of cash to spend, and favor quick writing over tweaking small details, something like symphobia would be worth considering as well.

As a side note, the Komplete bundles offer tremendous bang-for-your-buck, and have a bit of everything (including Kontakt 5). I'd definitely consider that as a great supplement to EWQL Symphonic Orchestra gold.


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MockOff
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-07 23:47:33 Reply

Nexus is pretty good, I use that for a lot of my sounds.

TheBenjerman
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Response to Best Sample Libraries? 2013-05-08 04:44:53 Reply

Everone else said good stuff, here's my 2 cents:

I don't know what your budget is, but EWQLSO Gold and a Komplete bundle is a great place to start off. I was basically only using those 2 for about a year. I've expanded my sample library considerably since then, but I still fall back on EWQLSO for a number of things, and Komplete still has a ton of necessities.

In my opinion, if you want a sample library that stands alone (I tend to mix libraries a lot, i.e. if I have a string section I'll often use LASS and East West Hollywood Strings at the same time) I would go for the following:

Strings: East West Hollywood Strings

Brass: Cinebrass

Percussion: Hard to say, I've heard wonderful things about Cineperc, but I've got a bizarre collection of 8dio, Soundiron, EastWest, and Cinesamples stuff. Listen around and pick which instruments you like.

Synths: All the Native Instruments stuff

Sampling: Kontakt, and Battery for really easy stuff


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