Note: I am looking for feedback to help me decide if I should replace my primary sample set. I am not looking to recommend or sell anything.
I have been using the Cinesamples orchestra along with Miroslav instruments and other instruments I have purchased to use with Kontakt. I can never get the strings, for example to sound as realistic as I think they should be - especially for legato. Now there may be ways of 'tweaking' them/their sound but I don't have the 'midi patience' :) to do that.
So I was thinking about for years moving to EWQL Hollywood Orchestra. I am much more interested in a single purchase than a recurring 'cloud' fee. So with that in mind (your subjective opinions):
1. How does the EWQL sound, especially legato and in particular the strings, compare to other comparable sets like Cinesamples. Could I get a more realistic sound without doing complex midi settings?
2. Can EWQL and its sampler 'mix' with other instruments that for example, require Kontakt.
3. I compose with Sibelius. Anyone use it with Sibelius? Is this an issue? I currently use the 64-bit version. Is it's samples called "Play" compatible with the 64-bit version (Windows).
Now would be a good time for me to try out things since I am not going anywhere for a few months :) and the purchase price of $586 (for 'diamond' with solo instruments). They are currently running a 60% off sale.
Below was my 'chat' with their techies:
P.S. - My professional composer mentor does not use EWQL but rather recommends Spitfire (which uses Kontakt) and of course VSL. So how would spitfire which is a bit more expensive compare to EWQL?
Michael Tue, 04/07/20 02:56:51 pm America/Chicago
Hello. How may I help you?
Joel Irwin 02:57:34 pm
thinking of moving to orchestra. i'm currently use Cinesamples orchestra. How will sound be different?
Michael 02:58:07 pm
We have two different orchestras - Symphonic Orchestra is our older, but most awarded, Orchestra library. It was recorded in a Concert Hall by a recording engineer known for Orchestra Recording. Symphonic Orchestra Platinum contains 24-bit samples and three mic positions. It also includes Solo Strings instrument patches.Hollywood Orchestra is our newest orchestra library. It was recorded in our largest studio here at East West by an engineer known for film orchestra recording.
Hollywood Orchestra Diamond contains 24-bit samples, and 5 mic positions, including divisi instruments, as well as true-recorded legato samples. Hollywood Orchestra has a separate Solo Violin, Solo Cello, and Harp (they aren't included in the HW Orchestra).
So much for a more generic description. The main difference from a working aspect is that the Symphonic Orchestra already has reverb pre-added to it. It's more "out-of-the-box" and can be used directly without much further editing.
In contrast, the Hollywood Orchestra is very dry. This does allow for a lot more leeway in creating and editing your tracks to get the sound you're aiming for. Our libraries, and especially the Hollywood series, rely heavily on MIDI CC data. CC 1, CC 7 and CC 11 are used extensively to shape the sounds for more expression etc.
compared to cinesamples, there are a lot more detailed articulations so you can make more adjustments
Joel Irwin 02:59:04 pm
is there a place to shape the convolution? in play?
Michael 03:00:12 pm
The CC data isn't editable from inside the Play engine - it responds to that from your DAW though - there is a convolution reverb and you can edit that from within Play's FX (as well as there being a full SSL Suite in our engine)
Joel Irwin 03:00:57 pm
i work with sibelius 7. will I be limited? see play is only 32-bit.
Michael 03:01:20 pm
Play 5 and above are only 64-bit... we're on Play 6/.1.7 currently
Joel Irwin 03:01:49 pm
confused. chart says play requires sibelius 32-bit
Michael 03:02:26 pm
sibelius 6 and under require a 32-bit plugin, but with Sibelius 7 or higher you can use the latest version of Play
Joel Irwin 03:02:55 pm
what is the diff between hold and diamond?
Michael 03:03:12 pm
Gold is 16-bit samples with 1 mic position, Diamond is 24-bit samples with 5 mic positions and the HW Strings Diamond has extra bow change legato articulations and divisi strings
Joel Irwin 03:03:52 pm
can play be used the same time with kontakt for other instruments (in Sibelius)?
Michael 03:04:17 pm
Certainly - you'd just have instances of both the Play plugin and Kontakt in your 'Active Devices' under your playback configuration
Joel Irwin 03:04:33 pm
I do that already
Michael 03:04:49 pm
Joel Irwin 03:05:06 pm
is there a competitive upgrade option/process from cinesamples?
Michael 03:06:01 pm
No - just our current 60% off discount currently running
Joel Irwin 03:06:53 pm
i've scored 30 files with cinesamples and miroslav. anything else I should know?
30 filmsany other 'integration' options / opportunities to help in the notation in Sibelius to minimize my use of midi cc's?
Michael 03:08:57 pm
The Play engine samples, especially the Diamond versions, do take more CPU/RAM than cinesamples
You definitely would still need to record in Midi CCs for the HW series - or export your Midi to a DAW separate from Sibelius and edit it there. I know some people like this graphical interface - http://www.santiagobarx.com/gmt/ - for Midi in sibelius.
Joel Irwin 03:09:56 pm
my primary machine is a Xeon desktop with 32 GB
Michael 03:10:41 pm
Joel Irwin 03:10:46 pm
well thanks for the info. stay safe.