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  • Albion Spitfire, Orchestral Essentials, or SE+ (Standard)


    I've own and been using VSL's SE (Full) the last couple years. So far it's been great, and VSL has been the prominent sample library used in my work - perhaps 90% of the time. But I've come to the point, where I am looking to expand my collection of sample libraries, and have narrowed it down to 3 simiarly priced products, but I am undecisive as to which to get. Any opinions on the matter, would be great and much appreciated.

    Sure I could get all 3...but unfortunately I can't afford it!

    IMHO, there are pros and cons to each.


    Albion Spitfire

    Pros - Heard it blends well with VSL. Ensemble patchs and multis increase workflow speed. Not much overlap instrument-wise. 30% educational discount, which makes it the least expensive of the three!

    Cons - Strengths lie in the soft and underscore setting...which VSL SE already does a good job (?).

    Orchestral Essentials

    Pros - Great sounding demos. Relatively easy to achieve epic cinematic sound. Ensemble patches and multis increase workflow speed. Great sounding brass and percussion - which I have had difficutly making sound great with VSL SE. Weakness in woodwinds is no problem because of VSL's woodwinds!

    Cons - A lot of instrument overlap with VSL SE in percussion/piano/harp/organ (there might be more velocity layers in OE though?). However heard somewhere other patches only have one velocity layer (could be mistaken). No legato patches except for one (but VSL can cover that). Although great sounding brass, not many patches/articulations in OE.

    Special Edition PLUS (Standard)

    Pros - Tried it briefly at a store, and REALLY liked the spiccato patches. For fast short notes, have been using staccato patches, but have difficulty getting them to sound/blend well (string staccato patches have this harsh tone imo). Adds even more customization to VSL instruments. Blends easily with existing VSL sample library.

    Cons - I haven't been a big fan of the brass and percussion in VSL SE (perhaps I need to learn how use them better!). Purchasing SE+ would not solve that problem. Comparitively no workflow speed increase. Also although new articulations, no new instruments/sounds/colors to add to the palette. Lastly is there a "upgrade" discount? I see that the Standard bundle has a discount.


    So if you were in my shoes, which library would you get next? Or for the budget, perhaps you would choose a completely different option? Also there might be some pros/cons I haven't even considered?

    Thanks!...and thanks for taking the time to read this post :)

  • Don't know Orchetral Essentials but have Albion and VSL SE+. I would add Symphobia 1 and/or 2 to your list. Albion and Symphobia would give you a much more ambient - live in the room feel which sits very well under VSL. You need ot think of VSL SE as sounding really great with anyting that would sound good close miked. SE + is of course just more of the same. It's good but the others would give you a different dimension rather than just more choice. Good luck.  

  • Appreciate the input flashman!

  • I think it really depends what kind of music you are making and what you need. I don't think those 3 libraries are comparable.

    - If you are doing a lot of classical music and you need more articulations than the ones you already have in your SE bundle than you have to go with SE Plus. Albion and Orchestral Essentials won't give you any new articulations.

    - If you are fine with your articulations and you want to layer your VSL instruments with a new sound than you have to go with Albion or OE. As you said there is a certain overlap with Orchestral Essentials and the VSL Special Edition. So I would go with Albion in that case.

    I own SE Plus and Albion and like them both a lot, for what they are. I don't own Orchestral Essentials.



  • I see. My music is more geared towards scoring, rather than just classical music.

    Thanks Sabine!

  • If you are wanting to fill brass and perc, perhaps a bit at a time. Have you looked at Cinebrass? Check out Cinesamples, and even 8dio or Soundiron for more precussion. They've all got some extensive stuff. In the long run it would be more expensive, but that's the path I'm going. I have VSL SE, and I'm after Requiem and then Cinebrass next. Though I still want some of the VSL downloadable instruments, and a string upgrade when I can. A bit at a time. And with Cinebrass Pro you get some really cool effects too.

  • A bit at a time is sound advice. I've heard of those developers, but haven't looked into Cinebrass much yet.

    Thanks for the suggestions Swidhelm!

  • No prob. The newly release Cinebrass Pro (best with the Cinebrass Core) has a 12 horn section. 12! Huge sound.