Today I’m checking out another product from TimeSpace.com
One of the questions I get asked, at least 1 or 2 times a week is “what instrument is good for strings and orchestral stuff?”
Now, we know there are tons of huge orchestral libraries available, but I have a feeling that many aren’t really looking for something that deep…or expensive.
Enter Garritan Personal Orchestra.
Garritan has been around for quite a while, I had some garritan libraries back in the akai sampler days, and it’s always been a huge bang for the buck.
Being able to deliver a complete orchestral library for a size and price that works for pretty much anyone, is a task in itself.
So let’s check this one out
What is Garritan Personal Orchestra 4?
In short, this is a complete orchestral library that can easily run on your laptop/computer without bringing it to it’s knees.
It includes every major instrument of an orchestra like brass, strings, percussion, keyboards, and woodwinds.
It let’s you build your own ensembles as well as has some preset ensembles for quick creation.
The idea is for you to have access to all the parts/instruments you need to make a complete orchestration (or add any part of an orchestra to your productions), without needing to go anywhere else.
- content: over 200 instruments, 3.5gb of content
- format: vst, au, rtas
- price: $149
How does it sound?
This is really all that matters and to my ears this orchestra delivers. I’ve had the opportunity to play with and use multiple orchestral libraries, some of the largest ones around, some that cost a pretty penny, but I wasn’t even the slightest bit let down when playing this library.
Sure some of the larger libraries offer a little more in terms of various forms of articulation instruments, etc, but that comes with a cost of size and loading time.
This library has plenty of articulation and real time control build in using midi cc, sustain pedals, and key switching.
For me a great orchestral library has to have good sounding strings, solo and section, as well as some nice brass and woodwinds.
I know these aren’t the only sounds in the orchestra, but if these sounds aren’t useful then an orchestral library fails in my opinion.
That said, all 3 of these categories are very useful in GPO4, and with the addition of the ambiance/reverb effect engine you can really dial in the sound you’re looking for.
I like how they give you different individual players in the sections so that when building your own ensembles you get a realistic sound.
While the GPO brass on it’s own has a great sound, the addition of some addition brass instruments from Project SAM gives you another level of sound and feel to add to your projects.
I thought the solo violins were pretty good and definitely on-par with some of the dedicated solo string libraries I’ve come across in terms of initial sound and tone.
So what’s the bottom line?
For many, this may be all the orchestra you need. The sounds definitely have a realistic feel to them, and I’ve had many who tell me some of the larger libraries sound almost too “perfect” for use in their productions.
So while many larger libraries are aimed at film and media users, GPO4 seems to be aimed at anyone who wants a realistic orchestral library, from film to pop music.
The sounds “fit” in a lot better than some of my larger libraries, so I find myself going to it more in most production settings.
The fact that the instruments load as fast as they do is also a huge plus.
I give this instrument 4.5 out of 5 subs, it’s really a useful library. The pricing keeps a quality orchestra library within the reach of anyone from pro to hobbyist, without sacrificing sound quality.
The ARIA interface is nice, and it seems like you would be able to use their other libraries right from the same interface which is plus as well.
The ease of mixing your own sections, adding reverb, and tweaking each part quickly makes it very easy to use.
Definitely check out the demos and videos at Garritan’s website: Garritan Personal Orchestra
And check timespace for pricing, a lot of the times you can find a great deal, especially if you don’t have to pay VAT GPO4 at timespace
They are also having a Christmas deal where you can get GPO4 and Jazz and Big Band for around $217 (no VAT) check that out too Garritan Christmas Bundle
leave a comment below and let me know what you think, I definitely think this is worth a look for anyone who wants some quality orchestral instruments without the huge price tag.