NI soundbank alternatives: orchestral, r&b, soul

Need some fresh sounds? Want to show off your sound design skills? Here's the place!
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syncanonymous
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Post 09 Feb 2021

***EDIT
Many members at Reasontalk bought Softphonics. I originally posted a reply to a thread from 2015 which had 6 pages of other members singing the praises before I got involved. which is here:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7373569
***end edit

The Softphonics scam was a surprise to me which I just learned of in the last few days.

I don't find any official word about closure on the matter. I was duped too. I need samples going forward: orchestral (strings, winds, perc), old school R&B and Soul (horns). I have Chambre, Embouchre and Epic. Seems the only real option is to delete those and purchase some facsimile of Kontact/ Komplete. That's 400 currency units for basic entry and a lot more to get strings, horns and perc. Those costs aren't a huge issue for me. I certainly don't need any guitar stuff from NI!

Anyone willing to talk about this or is the matter taboo? I learned about Softphonic on Reasontalk, not in the phead shop.

I am happy to be told to not talk about it. I just wonder what others who bought into Softphonics are doing. Is the ethical thing to give NI some (more) business? or just forget it and walk away deleting the Softphonics? I mean, I'm lucky in that I can write the cost off...and I already did for Softphonic purchases. Fact is, I have music to make right now and would like to use samples to produce that music. I'm far too ethical to use any Softphonics stuff going forward and willing to go back to old jobs with legit soundbanks to replace and remove the Softphonics parts.

I wonder where other users stand.
Last edited by syncanonymous on 09 Feb 2021, edited 4 times in total.
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chaosroyale
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Post 09 Feb 2021

there are some sample libraries that work with the free "Kontakt Player", and ANYTHING will sound better than the lazy shovelware that sofphonics put out. Even ignoring the scam part, his libraries did not have proper articulations, round robins, or velocity layers, often included artifacts. Any free Spitfire library will be much better for you, both sonically and ethically.
syncanonymous wrote:
09 Feb 2021
The Softphonics scam was a surprise to me which I just learned of in the last few days.

I don't find any official word about closure on the matter. I was duped too. I need orchestral samples going forward. I have Chambre, Embouchre and Epic. Seems the only real option is to delete those and purchase some facsimile of Kontact/ Komplete. That's 400 currency units for basic entry and a lot more to get strings, horns and perc. I certainly don't need any guitar stuff from NI!

Anyone willing to talk about this or is the matter taboo? I learned about Softphonic on Reasontalk, not in the phead shop.

I am happy to be told to not talk about it. I just wonder what others who bought into Softphonics are doing. Is the ethical thing to give NI some (more) business? or just forget it and walk away deleting the Softphonics? I mean, I'm lucky in that I can write the cost off...and I already did for Softphonic purchases. Fact is, I have music to make right now and would like to use samples to produce that music. I'm far too ethical to use any Softphonics stuff going forward and willing to go back to old jobs with legit soundbanks to replace and remove the Softphonics parts.

I wonder where other users stand.

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syncanonymous
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Post 09 Feb 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
09 Feb 2021
there are some sample libraries that work with the free "Kontakt Player", and ANYTHING will sound better than the lazy shovelware that sofphonics put out. Even ignoring the scam part, his libraries did not have proper articulations, round robins, or velocity layers, often included artifacts. Any free Spitfire library will be much better for you, both sonically and ethically.
thanks, I'll have a look...doesn't have to be free :-)
How about suggestions that aren't free? Or is Spitfire the path you took?

chaosroyale
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Post 09 Feb 2021

My case is a little weird: the answer would be "I use anything and everything" depending on whether it is personal, or for a corporate client, or on a tight schedule, etc.

For Kontakt, "Strezov Sampling" are generally very good, and a reasonable price for the quality. Or If you don't mind using the "Best Service" sample player, libraries by Eduardo Tarilonte are good for a smaller scale ethnic sound. The Best Service sampler is free when you buy a Library, if I recall correctly.

Honestly - check out Spitfire first, they have a bunch of FREE and GOOD instruments, you can't argue with that combination. I think you will get a lot more from having 3 or 4 really nice instruments that you like, maybe some of them free, than by risking 500 bucks on a single mega-library that you hope can do everything.

EDIT: in case anyone reads this without context - Softphonics libraries were lazy shit and anything from a reputable maker will be better. I feel bad for everyone who bought them.

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esselfortium
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Post 09 Feb 2021

If you're in the market for orchestral libraries and you're on a budget, be sure to do a bit of searching around for previous sale prices. It's not unusual to see deep discounts on pricey libraries for summer sales, spring sales, Christmas sales, black friday sales, etc.

The most cost-effective option these days is probably the Core edition of Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra, which is normally $449 but goes to 40% off during their spring sale (around May I think?) and Christmas sale, and is discounted by an additional $50 if you've got BBC Discover (which you can get for free by filling out a survey), making the price around $220 if I've done my math correctly. That'll get you a complete orchestra recorded comprehensively in a great-sounding space.

If you just need some basic strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, etc. groups and don't care about having separated instruments, their affordable Spitfire Originals series is also worth checking into.

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Karim
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Post 09 Feb 2021

Not bad. Sometimes I prefer miroslav.
I alternate them and often use them together in orchestral songs
Yonatan wrote:
16 Apr 2015

https://shop.propellerheads.se/product/chambre/

Any experts on string-libraries? 

I have heard a lot about Miroslav. 

What are your thoughts about this one?
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Karim
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Post 09 Feb 2021

Karim wrote:
09 Feb 2021
Not bad. Sometimes I prefer miroslav.
I alternate them and often use them together in orchestral songs

(Oh my God. I only realized now that I'm replying to a post from 2015. How did it come to your mind to continue it just now? :D )
Yonatan wrote:
16 Apr 2015

https://shop.propellerheads.se/product/chambre/

Any experts on string-libraries? 

I have heard a lot about Miroslav. 

What are your thoughts about this one?
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syncanonymous
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Post 09 Feb 2021

Karim wrote:
09 Feb 2021
Not bad. Sometimes I prefer miroslav.
I alternate them and often use them together in orchestral songs
I do have Miroslav Gold and do use it

the outdated-ness can be effective

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syncanonymous
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Post 09 Feb 2021

esselfortium wrote:
09 Feb 2021
If you're in the market for orchestral libraries and you're on a budget, be sure to do a bit of searching around for previous sale prices. It's not unusual to see deep discounts on pricey libraries for summer sales, spring sales, Christmas sales, black friday sales, etc.

The most cost-effective option these days is probably the Core edition of Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra, which is normally $449 but goes to 40% off during their spring sale (around May I think?) and Christmas sale, and is discounted by an additional $50 if you've got BBC Discover (which you can get for free by filling out a survey), making the price around $220 if I've done my math correctly. That'll get you a complete orchestra recorded comprehensively in a great-sounding space.

If you just need some basic strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, etc. groups and don't care about having separated instruments, their affordable Spitfire Originals series is also worth checking into.
budget is always in the mix, sadly
I mean, tube amps and OTT power conditioner are very high on the priority list
anyhow, that's a digression

highest priority for me right now is horns; r&b or jazzy rather than symphonic

then Latin Perc; loopmasters seems alright and hot costly

strings, I use more in my personal stuff and I'm looking for something really good

client films inevitably equal MOR POP or old school R&B/ Soul etc; which always need bass and horns

Thanks for your advice :-)

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syncanonymous
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Post 09 Feb 2021

@joeyluck
well, that's thrown out the context completely; which was not what I had in mind

now it just looks like I was the only person who bought Softphonics. By removing the thread from 2015, all the other members who were excited about Softphonics before me in a 7 page thread can no longer be back-tracked. At least post a link to the 2015 thread!

I do not want to be implicated as "the member who bought Softphonics". This thread deletion is was not well thought out. Are other members who bought Softphonics afraid to be outed? Many of the reasontalk members bought them. Please put it back the way it was!

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diminished
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Post 09 Feb 2021

Free options for orchestral needs these days are:

Spitfire LABS (VST) https://labs.spitfireaudio.com/
Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover (VST, you have to wait 2 weeks for a license) https://www.spitfireaudio.com/bbc-so-di ... ion/login/
Virtual Playing Orchestra (Sforzando) http://virtualplaying.com/virtual-playing-orchestra/
VSCO 2 (multiple formats, including VST and Sforzando) https://vis.versilstudios.com/vsco-comm ... l#versions
Orchestral Tools (SINE Player) Layers https://www.orchestraltools.com/store/collections/45
The Free Orchestra (for Kontakt Player, also free) https://projectsam.com/libraries/the-free-orchestra/
Vienna Symphonic Library Big Bang Orchesta Free https://www.vsl.co.at/en/BBO_Map/BBO (needs an eLicenser/ViennaKey, so probably only interesting for Cubase users)
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joeyluck
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Post 09 Feb 2021

syncanonymous wrote:
09 Feb 2021
@joeyluck
well, that's thrown out the context completely; which was not what I had in mind

now it just looks like I was the only person who bought Softphonics. By removing the thread from 2015, all the other members who were excited about Softphonics before me in a 7 page thread can no longer be back-tracked. At least post a link to the 2015 thread!

I do not want to be implicated as "the member who bought Softphonics". This thread deletion is was not well thought out. Are other members who bought Softphonics afraid to be outed? Many of the reasontalk members bought them. Please put it back the way it was!
Sorry for any confusion. You are misunderstanding. First off, the thread was not deleted, I split the topic into a new one. What is completely out of context and confusing for users is when a thread is brought back from the dead, and spending time in the new posts, announcing a 'new string ReFill'...

In regards to Softphonics, you can read other threads about it here:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7507209
viewtopic.php?t=7511272
viewtopic.php?t=7507158

Yes, it has been talked about a lot here. There is nothing wrong about talking about it if you want. There is nothing wrong with retitling your thread to something like, "Life after Softphonics: need new recommendations" or whatever you like. It is merely about an old thread and its existing title being confusing and the wrong context.

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syncanonymous
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Post 09 Feb 2021

joeyluck wrote:
09 Feb 2021
syncanonymous wrote:
09 Feb 2021
@joeyluck
well, that's thrown out the context completely; which was not what I had in mind

now it just looks like I was the only person who bought Softphonics. By removing the thread from 2015, all the other members who were excited about Softphonics before me in a 7 page thread can no longer be back-tracked. At least post a link to the 2015 thread!

I do not want to be implicated as "the member who bought Softphonics". This thread deletion is was not well thought out. Are other members who bought Softphonics afraid to be outed? Many of the reasontalk members bought them. Please put it back the way it was!
Sorry for any confusion. You are misunderstanding. First off, the thread was not deleted, I split the topic into a new one. What is completely out of context and confusing for users is when a thread is brought back from the dead, and spending time in the new posts, announcing a 'new string ReFill'...

In regards to Softphonics, you can read other threads about it here:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7507209
viewtopic.php?t=7511272
viewtopic.php?t=7507158

Yes, it has been talked about a lot here. There is nothing wrong about talking about it if you want. There is nothing wrong with retitling your thread to something like, "Life after Softphonics: need new recommendations" or whatever you like. It is merely about an old thread and its existing title being confusing and the wrong context.
ok, thanks for the clarification. I wasn't going for clickbait; just context
without the the other 7 pages of users gushing over Softphonics from the old thread, context is lost

thread re-titled as my interest is not specifically "orchestral"...it's more related to the NI sounds
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syncanonymous
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Post 08 Mar 2021

OK, thanks to y'all who made suggestions. After a lot of research and listening at Loopmasters, Big Fish, VSL and NI I've gone with NI.
I need horns for my current soundalike so just purchased Session Horns Pro mainly due to this discussion:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-c ... aries.html

I looked into Spitfire, but my goodness that web site is soooo clunky... their audio player throws js errors and needs to be reloaded just too often...I literally was not able to stream a single example from their site.

Likely I'll go with NI when I need strings....but will research first

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syncanonymous
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Post 08 Mar 2021

wow! Faceplant at the first hurdle

Native Access doing nothing when searching online to update itself...go to NI forum
dual monitors are the issue??!! totally ridiculous
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syncanonymous
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Post 09 Mar 2021

syncanonymous wrote:
08 Mar 2021
wow! Faceplant at the first hurdle

Native Access doing nothing when searching online to update itself...go to NI forum
dual monitors are the issue??!! totally ridiculous
yeah, so, essentially Native Access won't update to the latest version if your firewall is on (Win 10 Pro 1909). Eventually (2hrs later for me) I found NI's help wizard which sent me thru a few wild goose chases until you just have to disable FW and it worked. Once the DLs are functioning, seems the user can reinstate FW, at least that's how it's working for me so far...
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syncanonymous
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Post 12 Mar 2021

So, Session Horns Pro took me 4 full days and nights to download. I can't say I know how to use Kontact at all; so there's that.
Does sound pretty nice and NI seems to have done an awful lot of work to make it easy on the user...straight outta the box a lot of ground is covered...there's plenty of a learning curve, tho with Kontact

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syncanonymous
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Post 15 Mar 2021

ok, a couple days on and Session Horns Pro is pretty darn good
there are quite a few "animations" (loops) which are quality IMO. I haven't actually programmed/ recorded anything yet, just getting to know the instrument. The great thing about this set is it sounds like pop, R&B, funk etc and not like orchestral (thank goodness)
I would love to find some really jazzy/ funky flute and reed articulations too...still looking for that

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QVprod
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Post 15 Mar 2021

If you like Session Horns Pro. Sessions Strings 2 Pro has a very similar vibe. Programming is about the same in being useful for small section Pop and R&B. I use them quite often.

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