Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
ansiaaa
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Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by ansiaaa » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:42 am

I was mainly interested in the Strings and Woodwinds, but they are worth it I guess I could buy the whole collection...

does anyone have got them? how would you rate them? is there a good selection of sounds? how much can you tweak them?

theophilus
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by theophilus » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:21 pm

do you have EIC2? the orchestral stuff in there is taken directly from OIC, so you can get an idea of how it sounds & works.
i think it sounds good but is not that easy to play (especially compared to something like
kirk hunter's smart legato) and too expensive. there are probably better libraries out there for the money... ewqlso has deals all the time (platinum was like $300 a couple
weeks ago), VSL SE with the basic has come down, kirk hunter has some cheaper strings, WIVI Band is amazing for the woods/brass
in it for $150, and then if you have komplete there's enough in kontakt 4 to get you started as well (you can find komplete 6
for ~$330 or less if you look around...)

ansiaaa
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by ansiaaa » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:32 pm

I should receive my boxed Suite8 soon, I don't know if there are any instruments of those included in the Collection to try and fiddle with them on Live. I'll have a look on the website later.

thanks and I'll be sure to listen the others you suggested!

btw, if anyone else have some different opinion or some suggestion I'll be happy to read it.

theophilus
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by theophilus » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:37 pm

ansiaaa wrote:I should receive my boxed Suite8 soon, I don't know if there are any instruments of those included in the Collection to try and fiddle with them on Live. I'll have a look on the website later.
yes, check the ableton OIC page (http://www.ableton.com/oic); in the lists of instruments, anything with a * by it is included in EIC2 (in your boxed suite). The samples are all included, the patches are not exactly the same because oic includes more articulations (so the whole 'changing articulations with the mod wheel' only exists on ensemble patches for EIC, but on everything in OIC) but are comparable AFAIK.

ansiaaa
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by ansiaaa » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:17 pm

I've just read your answer. I've actually received my box today, I'm installing them right now!

merges
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by merges » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:50 pm

I'd be really curious for your review(s) as you proceed using the OIC, should you be willing to share those thoughts here!

Jahoo
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by Jahoo » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:23 pm

I have EIC2 and I it is quite nice in terms of quality and ease of use (after all it is nicely integrated into Live).
The EIC2 lacks many instuments tho so I'm guessing, OIC should be good. Although I have seen cheaper collections out there...

Saxer
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by Saxer » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:51 am

if you hurry you get this for 15$ only:

http://www.audiomidi.com/cust_search/Mi ... 15655.aspx

i have a lot of the "big" orchestral libraries (vsl, lass, eastwest...) and the are good because of the new advanced articulation possibilities (legato/portamento-scripting, round robin etc). the ableton instrument have none of these possibilities. the sound might be good, but you won´t get them soundig "alive" like the newer and more expensive ones.

the miroslav orchestra sounds good, they are cheap because of the same missing articulation possibilities. and it should be the price for the ableton orchestral instruments too...

ansiaaa
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by ansiaaa » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:14 pm

I guess I see your points guys.
if I got it right, the bottom line is that even if they are good, there are better ones with more articulations at cheaper prices, right?
merges wrote:I'd be really curious for your review(s) as you proceed using the OIC, should you be willing to share those thoughts here!
I'm installing the EIC2 content right now, but I don't know how much my opinion would be worth it since I'm not an expert at all in the field of these kind of instruments. I've only lately started to use them more intensively in my music and I still have to try many of the good third parties orchestral packs!
I guess the answers of the other users here in this thread would be way more helpful than mine!

kanuck
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by kanuck » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:44 pm

theophilus wrote:do you have EIC2? the orchestral stuff in there is taken directly from OIC, so you can get an idea of how it sounds & works.
i think it sounds good but is not that easy to play (especially compared to something like
kirk hunter's smart legato) and too expensive. there are probably better libraries out there for the money... ewqlso has deals all the time (platinum was like $300 a couple
weeks ago), VSL SE with the basic has come down, kirk hunter has some cheaper strings, WIVI Band is amazing for the woods/brass
in it for $150, and then if you have komplete there's enough in kontakt 4 to get you started as well (you can find komplete 6
for ~$330 or less if you look around...)
slightly off topic but how would you review Kontakt's orchestral samples? good for the price, etc.?

theophilus
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by theophilus » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:59 pm

kanuck wrote: slightly off topic but how would you review Kontakt's orchestral samples? good for the price, etc.?
yes, they are worth it. The total size of the VSL stuff is almost exactly the same size as the combined VSL SE libraries. I have heard that the kontakt stuff is an older version of the library but it still sounds good. The scripting is probably not quite as good as the real thing. But they sound good, they are pretty playable, and have a useful range of articulations (for strings, you get legato, accent, sforzando, spiccato, pizzicato, and tremelo IIRC, for example).

i have a few of them, and i just discovered the mod wheel again, so I need to try out some of my CE instruments (like garritan pocket and miroslav CE) again before I comment too much. The playability of the kontakt libraries is very good IMHO; you can play a legato line and it's usable. Kirk Hunter has very good playability too for someone like me without a heavy-duty orchestral background. Some of other cheaper ones I found very choppy to play; you could probably get them sounding smooth with some work, and the raw samples in pretty much everything I've tried are actually not bad, but the kontakt orchestra stuff and KH strings, you can just play 'normally' and it sounds good.

one cool feature i really discovered while using the harp... most of the kontakt VSL and band insruments have the equivalent of the ableton 'scale' object in it, WITH other tunings... so you can set the harp to C#m7 chord (or anything), and then all the white notes correspond to that key/chord.... when you do the glissandos, it's possible because you're just gliding down the white keys... beautiful....

ansiaaa
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by ansiaaa » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:39 am

thanks for the feedback! I'm using these days to try the various demo versions I've got lately

Cezband
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by Cezband » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:49 am

I use the strings from the EIC quite a bit and I think they sound pretty good, albeit with a bit of tweaking. Not to try to pimp my own material, but I use the strings and glockenspiel sounds on this little track that I made (it was an experiment in using an audio source to send midi, as such all the strings and glock are being activated by the clean guitar notes I'm playing). I've done very little processing aside from reverb and delay, so the strings and glock are pretty much "as is" on this. So it might help someone get a feel for them.

http://soundcloud.com/cezband/cez-for-her-hope-to-bury
Live 7.0.18 | Axiom 61 | Launchpad | Homous | Nanokontrol | Saffire 6 | Ibanez Jazzmaster Bass | Biscuits
Soundcloud (solo stuff) | One Gear Go (my band)

Rabalder
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by Rabalder » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:10 pm

Cezband wrote:I use the strings from the EIC quite a bit and I think they sound pretty good, albeit with a bit of tweaking. Not to try to pimp my own material, but I use the strings and glockenspiel sounds on this little track that I made (it was an experiment in using an audio source to send midi, as such all the strings and glock are being activated by the clean guitar notes I'm playing). I've done very little processing aside from reverb and delay, so the strings and glock are pretty much "as is" on this. So it might help someone get a feel for them.

http://soundcloud.com/cezband/cez-for-her-hope-to-bury
Thats quite impressive. Sounds very good.

theophilus
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Re: Ableton Orchestal Instrument Collection - are they any good?

Post by theophilus » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:24 pm

well, just an update if anyone cares :) I've been playing with the solo cellos in the 6 different ones I have, 4 of which are free/reduced versions (though, for the reduced versions, they appear to be full patches, just fewer of them). First time, I was using a keyboard (my remote sl)... this time I programmed a short 2 bar loop to see how they responded. It felt different that way... for one, the garritan pocket orchestra sounds a lot better once you get it into a real context. Not bad for the $5 or so it is going for nowadays! (it comes with dimension LE).

And the deficiencies in the basic Kontakt object are starting to show too... I still think it sounds good, but there is some unevenness and inconsistency in the volumes between the patches, and even the tone in some cases, making certain transitions a bit jarring. Also, the velocity switching in a couple of layers is audible some of the time. The sound of the kontakt samples tends to be a lot brighter in the higher velocities than some of the other libraries - it almost sounds like there is some built-in accent when you use high velocities, which could be very useful in a pop context. Still think it sounds good, but something to keep in mind. To be fair, the patches in Kontakt seem to be designed more for casual users, and there is a lot larger tonal range just from changing velocity than any of the others, so it kind of comes with the territory i guess. Kind of a middle of the road between a 'woody' vintage sound and a 'sheeny' hollywood film sound too.

Kirk Hunter strings sound great, and there are no weird inconsistencies - whatever you do, it is smooth. It's a 10GB library just for strings, compared to about 2GB for the kontakt stuff though (and smaller for the others), so this is expected. Was an awesome deal at $125 in the group buy, still a decent deal at $250 for just strings. Tends a little more towards the 'woody' side than the kontakt stuff IMHO. Can't decide if they were my favorite sounding, but they were by far the easiest to work with.

Miroslav CE - my opinion of this library went way up once I just used it in that simple 1-bar loop. When playing from the keyboard, it felt a little choppy; but this seems to go away once it's sequenced, weirdly. Maybe it was different patches. It tends a little more towards the 'sheeny' side, and felt very consistent when playing it - no drastic tonal changes when going up/down the keyboard or up and down in velocity on the same note. I thought this might use the modwheel for some tonal changes, but it doesn't. This is enough to think that maybe the full miroslav at the current $99 might be worth getting, even with the other stuff I have, though I probably won't because I already have good strings (above) and woods/brass I'd rather have wivi for. But I think if you didn't have anything, this would definitely be something to look at.

Garritan Pocket Orchestra (dimension LE) - OK, don't really expect much from this, it's only 660 megs for the whole library. And it does have a few issues, but i'd probably recommend picking it up. It is definitely towards the woodier side, perhaps more than any of these libraries. It actually sounds very good for what it is. It is a little choppy when playing it with a keyboard, it really sounded bad, but when sequenced again it was much better, not perfect but usable. There is some inconsistency in tonality when going up and down the keyboard or velocities. It felt like less inconsistency than Kontakt in the line I chose, but a different note sequence might be difference. Anyways, it's $5 right now (it's usually $20 i think, still worth it), it's usable as it, but is also great for layering underneath other libraries - it goes great with the miroslav library above. It's in sfz format too, so you can use it in alchemy if you're into that.

Ableton EIC/OIC - I've always liked these, but once throwing it into a sequenced context, it just didn't hold up as well as I'd hoped. The sound was a little duller than the others, and had the same sort of inconsistencies as kontakt and garritan. On the plus side, it sounds a little more intimate, if that makes any sense, which is weird because it also kind of sounds more distant - maybe where miroslav sounds like it's recorded in a large hall (but still pretty dry), this sounds like a small room, but maybe you're just outside the door?. It's not a bad sound, just not as good as the others. I was surprised to find I even preferred the little GPO to it. Hard to describe the sound - it was just different than the rest. You can hear it in the clip that cezband posted though.

EastWest Quantum Orchestra Free - This is a reduced version of Silver that was available for a while. It doesn't have a legato cello but has 'sus vib hard'. This one is very different from the others, and has a very sheeny 'hollywood' sound. If I wanted a 'high strings pad' sound, this is what I would want. Consistent sound, without the inconsistencies of some other libraries. Sadly you can't get this anymore, but it was more or less a demo for the full one anyways. Seems like it would usable in completely different contexts from the others actually, because it sounds so much different.

Now, these are just my amateur opinions, and based only on the solo cello patches (i love the cello!) But hopefully they are useful to somebody. Each library sounds a little different, so when they are cheap, it's good to have them anyways for layering, it's like having 6 different cellos that 6 different people are playing. If I get time I'll freeze the tracks and post up some samples of each one, it won't be a good example of an orchestral piece :) but maybe enough to demo the different character of each library.

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