If you can afford it, I’d recommend Diamond. The bow change legato is worth it in HS alone, and the close mics make a big difference on the short patches for all instruments (giving them a bit more “bite”). If you’re doing broadcast work you’ll generally need to send a 24-bit master along, so it is very nice to have that as well. Just keep in mind that extra mics/24-bit samples are significantly more resource-intensive, and you’ll want to stream them off an SSD with at least 16 GB RAM (I’d ignore the EW recommendation of at least 8 GB, as I have 32 GB and occasionally still run out).
Does anyone uses an external HDD connected with usb 3.0 for storing their sample libraries? I’ve heard it can be beneficial.
I use this buffalo drive that came with the East/West CCC2 Pro collection:http://www.buffalotech.com/products/desktop-hard-drives/drivestation/drivestation-ddr
It works beautifully—I’ve been very impressed with the “SSD-level performance” that it claims. Excellent product for fast reads in particular.
Glad to see Envato making a wonderful, very positive change. Thank you very much for taking the time to implement this—those of us who sell exclusively here are much more willing to stay with this policy in place.
Thank you again!
We’re talking about Symphonic Orchestra, right?
If so, I agree completely—a lot of these patches are outdated (which is to be expected given that they were released in, what, 2003?) Even EW has moved on with the Hollywood Series, which is quite superior, and has a lot of features like true legato, portamento, etc. that are missing in EWQLSO simply due to its age.
Having said that, I’m not sure you’ve gotten the hang of how to use some of these patches—for example, are you making good use of the DXF patches that use modulation as a volume controller? Particularly in the brass, you can get a really good sound out of these if you work your dynamics correctly. Likewise, keep in mind that there are a lot of variations in patch intention, and a lot of them are designed for very specific use cases, and can sound odd or mechanical outside those specific contexts. I’ve found that being careful about violin patches in particular (using the 18/11 violin patches for violin 1+2 specifically) really helps.
It took me years to really figure out how to use SO properly, so hopefully there’s some stuff you can discover in the library that will make you regret your purchase less.
I can speak to the incredible value in the close mic samples in particular, although as I mentioned earlier, even here the Hollywood series is vastly superior due mostly to the fact that they are newer, far more deeply sampled sounds.
Again, newer libraries generally offer a lot of new features that simply didn’t exist when SO was released—I noticed you mentioned 8dio/cinestrings, which are both excellent modern libraries—but as you’ve already found out, there are a lot of really valuable, relevant patches in EWQLSO, mostly in the percussion section (even then there are better/more organic versions in newer libraries like Stormdrum 3/Spitfire)
TL;DR: SO is old, but there is a surprising amount of life in it if you can figure out specific use cases for instruments/articulations that you like. It isn’t going to trump modern libraries like LASS/Cinestrings/8dio/Hollywood though.
1. Do the Hollywood series run OK on a Macbook? I have a 2011 2.2Ghz i7 with 8gb RAM and would be running the samples from a 7200rpm firewire 800 external HDD. If so are they all a significant upgrade from EWQLO platinum? I’ve heard the Woodwind isn’t so hot.
A 7200rpm drive will work, although it may struggle with some of the larger patches. I run my HS Diamond off of an internal 7200rpm drive and it works fine for a standard string section, but it can easily get overwhelmed by having too many articulations loaded. Since you’re looking at the Gold editions, this might not be as much of an issue (as they lack the alternate mic positions which can double or even triple the size of the patches). You might want to look into the Buffalo drive that EW puts the CCC2 Pro samples on—it has a huge cache and seems to function much better—I’m able to have HB and HW running off of it with no artifacts or other loading issues.
One thing you might want to look into is a RAM upgrade. I have 32GB in my iMac, and I run out when using the giant HS patches that have things like Marc/Slur/Port/Legato/Dynamics, especially when combining mic positions. I have the high-end i7 and don’t run into any issues with convolution reverb or anything.
2. Does anyone have any experience with RA and Silk? Which would you recommend to someone who has no specific need (as of yet) for ethnic/world samples but would probably enjoy using them. I’ve heard the sampling in RA isn’t as good but is a nice broad spectrum of instruments (but how many are useful?) whereas SILK is very China/Eastern focused but much higher quality. (NB I’m definitely getting Gypsy)
I went ahead and got both RA and Silk when I grabbed the bundle, and they seem to pretty well cover the gamut of ethnic/world samples. RA has some great samples in it, but both of these libraries are showing their age a bit. Useful to mix in with newer, more modern samples like the Hollywood series or newer stuff from Kontakt-based libraries from folks like 8Dio.
Any help or advice would be great Thanks P.s. I’m not affiliated with EW at all, was just an offer that has put some stuff in my financial reach that I didn’t think was possible so wanted to share
EW makes a solid set of really nice products that fit a good niche. Not by any means the only libraries I own, but for what they’re designed to do, they work really well. I see a lot of people saying they don’t like them because the patch load times are long, but that’s simply because they are deeply, beautifully sampled, and you can really hear the difference. Likewise, I personally prefer the PLAY engine to Kontakt even though it really does put a strain on my system, because I feel like I get some really great sounds out of it.
Just my 2 centidollars.
Double check that you have to buy the iLok. They recently overhauled the iLok system and I now use a desktop app to manage my new EW licenses—only my older ones are actually on the dongle anymore.
Worth an email to their support line though to be sure the library you’re looking at will work with the desktop app.
I pretty much exclusively use Hollywood Strings, and, aside from a few weird quirks I’ve been genuinely happy with it. I find that its strengths are mostly in the spiccato/staccatisimo arena, but the legato patches can be absolutely gorgeous in most situations.
HS has great range of articulations and ensembles—divisi versions of every section are provided, and the depth of effects like measured tremelo and trills is really useful.
It is missing a Harp, which I find bizarre, but overall I think its definitely worth it.
I have an old college friend who works on the CineStrings library as well, and I’ve heard some truly amazing demos from him using that library. I’m thinking it will be my next big string library purchase.