Orchestra Score Music Options

This forum is for discussing Propellerhead's music software. Questions, answers, ideas, and opinions... all apply.
djs
Posts: 39
Joined: 29 Jan 2018

Post 15 Oct 2018

I've been searching for an all-in-one strings/brass/woodwinds/percussion orchestra sample kit to use with Reason 10.2

The reason rack extensions ProjectSam, Orkester, and stock reason sounds are not to my liking so i've been looking at Native Instruments Symphony Collections which is included in Komplete Collector's Edition as well as Spitfire Audio - Albion One. I've looked at Miroslav Gold, but it seems quite outdated. What other options would you suggest?

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NekujaK
Posts: 370
Joined: 09 Oct 2016
Location: USA

Post 16 Oct 2018

Except for Miroslav Gold, I don't own any major orchestral libraries yet, but plan to by the end of the year. In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of research and information gathering, so I'll share what I've discovered so far...

The kind of library you choose depends on what type of orchestral writing you want to do. Some libraries are grouped by ensemble sections only. These are easy to work with if all you need is an overall orchestral sound with generalized orchestral voicings. But if you want to compose detailed scores using traditional orchestration methods, you'll need to look at more advanced libraries that give you access to each orchestral section plus solo instruments.

For my purposes, I'm okay with the generalized orchestration approach, so libraries like Albion One, Metropolis Ark, and Sonuscore The Orchestra are high on my list. For more traditional orchestration, there are many good libraries to choose from. Check out this site for a good list of recommended libraries with pros & cons of each: https://orchestralvst.wordpress.com/

Keep in mind that for now, it's impossible for Reason to transmit MIDI on multiple channels to an instrument track. This is an important consideration, because with some libraries, different articulations are accessed thru different MIDI channels, which isn't possible in Reason. To make it work, you would have to load up each articulation in a separate instance of Kontakt, and that will quickly bring Reason to its knees. So look for libraries where articulations are selected by key switches or the mod wheel. But hopefully, we'll see MIDI messaging between tracks appear in Reason sooner than later.

Good luck!
wreaking havoc with :reason: since 2.5

djs
Posts: 39
Joined: 29 Jan 2018

Post 16 Oct 2018

Thanks for the link and info! Could you elaborate more on how Kontakt works with Reason? Are you saying its only possible to use one instance of Kontakt instrument on one reason VST device? If i want to use mutiple sounds in Kontakt, i would need a separate reason vst device for each sound?

For example, Albion One has strings, brass, percussion, and other sounds. I will need to create a separate vst track for each instrument therefore causing reason to be unstable?

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NekujaK
Posts: 370
Joined: 09 Oct 2016
Location: USA

Post 16 Oct 2018

djs wrote:
16 Oct 2018
Thanks for the link and info! Could you elaborate more on how Kontakt works with Reason? Are you saying its only possible to use one instance of Kontakt instrument on one reason VST device? If i want to use mutiple sounds in Kontakt, i would need a separate reason vst device for each sound?

For example, Albion One has strings, brass, percussion, and other sounds. I will need to create a separate vst track for each instrument therefore causing reason to be unstable?
In other DAWs, you can open one instance of Kontakt, load up multiple instruments into that instance, assign different MIDI channels to each instrument, and then have different sequencer tracks send MIDI data on individual channels to Kontakt, triggering specific instruments. Everything works the same in Reason except for that last part. In Reason, MIDI data can only come from the sequencer track that Kontakt is assigned to, and only on MIDI channel 1 (apparently, there are complicated MIDI workarounds using third-party MIDI interfaces to get around this, but I've never tried them. Search this forum to find out more about that).

So in Reason, you would need to create a separate instance of Kontakt (and a separate Reason track) for each instrument you want to load. In general, this is not a problem and it's a perfectly acceptable workaround. However, Reason has known performance issues with VSTs, and multiple instances of Kontakt will have a noticeable impact on performance.

That's the situation today. The Props are addressing VST performance, and are supposed to roll out a solution by the end of the year, so hopefully, VST performance will cease to be a big problem. Also, a top feature request from many Reason users has been multi-channel MIDI communication between tracks, so it's conceivable this will be implemented in the near future - but we have no confirmation yet.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by NekujaK on 17 Oct 2018, edited 1 time in total.
wreaking havoc with :reason: since 2.5

Przemyslaw
Posts: 28
Joined: 05 Jan 2018

Post 16 Oct 2018

I have also been looking for sensible banks of orchestras recently. So far, EastWest Hollywood Orchestra and Spitfire have interested me. But the Spitfire does not have a classic division into sections in its volumes just because of the articulation, mood, composition of musicians ...?
Thanks for the links.

If anyone is dealing with advanced orchestras in vst then please share the information :)

djs
Posts: 39
Joined: 29 Jan 2018

Post 16 Oct 2018

NekujaK wrote:
16 Oct 2018
djs wrote:
16 Oct 2018
Thanks for the link and info! Could you elaborate more on how Kontakt works with Reason? Are you saying its only possible to use one instance of Kontakt instrument on one reason VST device? If i want to use mutiple sounds in Kontakt, i would need a separate reason vst device for each sound?

For example, Albion One has strings, brass, percussion, and other sounds. I will need to create a separate vst track for each instrument therefore causing reason to be unstable?
In other DAWs, you can open one instance of Kontakt, load up multiple instruments into that instance, assign different MIDI channels to each instance, and then have different sequencer tracks send MIDI data on individual channels to Kontakt, triggering specific instruments. Everything works the same in Reason except for that last part. In Reason, MIDI data can only come from the sequencer track that Kontakt is assigned to, and only on MIDI channel 1 (apparently, there are complicated MIDI workarounds using third-party MIDI interfaces to get around this, but I've never tried them. Search this forum to find out more about that).

So in Reason, you would need to create a separate instance of Kontakt (and a separate Reason track) for each instrument you want to load. In general, this is not a problem and it's a perfectly acceptable workaround. However, Reason has known performance issues with VSTs, and multiple instances of Kontakt will have a noticeable impact on performance.

That's the situation today. The Props are addressing VST performance, and are supposed to roll out a solution by the end of the year, so hopefully, VST performance will cease to be a big problem. Also, a top feature request from many Reason users has been multi-channel MIDI communication between tracks, so it's conceivable this will be implemented in the near future - but we have no confirmation yet.

Hope that helps.
Thanks for the explanation. Would you suggest to hold off on VSTs and continue use of rack extensions until a fix?

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esselfortium
Posts: 1025
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 16 Oct 2018

Though I haven't used them myself, I've heard a lot of good things about Cinematic Studio Strings and Cinematic Studio Solo Strings. Also, they use keyswitches for articulations, so you shouldn't need to worry about midi channels.
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Breach The Sky
Posts: 147
Joined: 14 Jul 2015
Location: Sweden

Post 17 Oct 2018

I own Berlin Orchestra Inspire, and I think it's quite good. It's a scaled down version off their Berlin series so it might not be good enough for "professional" use idk. It DO contain the whole orchestra in one package tough. Other than that i also heard good things about the Cinematic Studio series.

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sonicbyte
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Argentina

Post 17 Oct 2018

Cinematic Studio Strings is GREAT

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NekujaK
Posts: 370
Joined: 09 Oct 2016
Location: USA

Post 17 Oct 2018

djs wrote:
16 Oct 2018
Thanks for the explanation. Would you suggest to hold off on VSTs and continue use of rack extensions until a fix?
That's really up to you and your specific needs. If you're writing orchestral pieces for clients or other professional purposes, then waiting probably doesn't make sense. But if you're in no rush, then as with most technology-related items, waiting to see what's coming down the road is often the more prudent approach... but less fun :)

BTW a great resource for composers/producers is the VI Control forums: https://vi-control.net/community/

In particular, check out the "SAMPLE Talk" forum, where they are constantly discussing and comparing different orchestral sample libraries. There's a lot of great info to be found in those forums.
wreaking havoc with :reason: since 2.5

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darkmode
Posts: 178
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 17 Oct 2018

It's not clear exactly what kind of music you wish to create. If it is full orchestral classical and/or film music please read on.

If you are going to go the Kontakt/VST route, the most important thing before investing in expensive software is computer power. Lots of Ram (64gig +) and powerful CPU. SSD drives for the libraries also helps. I'm afraid it is pointless, regardless of what DAW you are using, to try and create full blown orchestral music without a powerful PC/MAC. It will just freeze.

I have just started writing with Kontakt and orchestral libraries, (Spitfire and the like) in Reason 10.2. (I create film score type music), having been using Miroslav and Reason for years. If I am careful I can create good tracks without busting out the DSP. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what Props can do with VST performance in the near future.
I have recently bought Cubase Pro but having been using Reason since 2.5, I'm finding the DAW transition difficult much preferring Reasons workflow even though Cubase can handle a hell of a lot of tracks without any problem on my PC. That aside, I did a lot of research on setting up templates in Cubase and found it to be better to have pretty much 1 instance of Kontakt per articulation even though, as stated above, you can have several separate MIDI channels. This ended with about 200 tracks in my template grouped into separate instrument folders, (and took a very, very long time to complete!). This works best for me, others may prefer the MIDI outs option.

I regards to 'all-in-one' VST libraries, 8DIO Majestica, the Orchestral Tools METROPOLIS ARKs 1, 2 & 3, Spitfire Audio Albion ONE and MASSE are great but as with all libraries, have plus and minus points. It depends on what style and level of control you want. Some of the older libraries can be good starting points, ProjectSAM Symphobia for example however it is still expensive considering its age and the newer libraries are much better now.

You can find numerous forums with people arguing over which libraries are best but in the end it is personal choice to which best suit the type and style of music you are creating. There are loads of reviews on YouTube that allows you to hear the libraries before spending you hard earned cash. Be aware of course, that the YouTube channels by the particular library companies are trying to sell their product. That being said, Spitfire Audio for example have some great vids showing tips and tutorials.

Whatever you do, I wish you the very best and look forward to hearing your compositions. :-)

kitekrazy
Posts: 659
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 19 Oct 2018

If it were me I would use a different DAW like Reaper. If I were a Mac user I'd do orchestra in Logic. I suggest Reaper because it's affordable and uses less resources. I have FL and Live and could care less to ever use them for orchestra. Cubase is one of the better ones suited for it but that's more cost.

djs
Posts: 39
Joined: 29 Jan 2018

Post 20 Oct 2018

Thank you for your thoughts. I was able to run 3 separate VST's without performance issues. Although I experienced some crackling with the audio.

aegisninja
Posts: 16
Joined: 22 Sep 2018

Post 20 Oct 2018

Spitfire Albion One was the first orchestral library I bought and is still the one I use the most, highly recommend it. ProjectSam Symphobia 3 Lumina is also a ton of fun though, and I don't really think any of the Symphobia stuff is outdated to anyone not involved in orchestral music production. Also, I recommend checking out Spitfire Audio's LABS, it's free and has some really good stuff.

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kuhliloach
Posts: 551
Joined: 09 Dec 2015

Post 21 Oct 2018

Two videos I'd like to show you - your post reminded me of this phenomenal content. A demo, and a tutorial. Hope this helps:




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