Anyone else using Vienna Smart Orchestra?

I finally gave up the battle with trying to make a full orchestra template with GPO. It’s a good sounding plugin and I’ll continue to use it, but it was designed a long time ago and requires too many instances.

I started looking for inexpensive alternatives (I just do this for fun) and was surprised to find that Vienna, known for their quality high end libraries, had a simple $200 offering. The demos sound good and I like the UI design for the vst. Apparently it’s a manual process for doing licenses so I won’t have it until tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to it. They also seem to be very Cubase friendly and their license lives happily on the Steinberg eLicenser, so that was nice.

In the meantime they also have a free Big Bang Orchestra that uses the same Synchron vst, so I used that as an opportunity to see how easy the install was. Nothing to it, came right up and looks easy to work with.

Just curious if anyone else has been using it. Seems like a nice offering for guys like me.

That’s the thing with GPO - if you’re shooting for a full orchestra with individual players, you have to make a whole lot instances of the Aria player. Then you’d probably want to make a Cubase preset for each instance.

If you use GPO’s sections, then you can get away with less instruments. The problem’s is if section goes divisi. According to SOS, there 12 first violins, and 10 second violins. You really can’t use another duplicate section for these w/o doubling the apparent number of players. So if you’re a nitpicker, you have to resort to individual players.

Me? I just do hobby stuff - so it’s not an issue.

I’m a big fan of GPO. It’s an excellent bang for the buck. Years ago when Gary was still running the farm I ran an Internet radio station for him called the Composer Channel to feature the work of GPO users. Sometimes people would render their GPO version of a classical piece and then do an inter-cut mix with an actual orchestra whose performance they modeled. I’m sure the pros doing the million dollar film scores could point out countless differences, but to a layman it sounded pretty darned close to me.

So, I really worked hard from every angle to make GPO work in a “grab it and go” template setup but that’s just not the way it’s designed. However, I’ll still continue to use it in various scenarios, probably for the individual players in small ensembles or to accompany the other rock / whatever stuff that I do, so all the vst presets I set up along the way will come in handy.

Vienna Smart Orchestra is nicely done, and of course sounds good as well. They’ve gone to some effort to make it easy to play it live with a layout that allows sections and pads with the left hand and solo instruments with the right. That will be convenient for sketching ideas and playing around. I bought their expansion pack as well, which added some additional solo instruments. Without it, the latter is where VSO is a bit light but I think with the pack it should round out nicely. There are a number of articulations as well, and from the videos it looks like the volume is velocity sensitive where GPO is controlled by CC 1.

I’m looking forward to playing with it this weekend. It will also be interesting to see if I can include GPO instruments in a mix without it being conspicuous. I may not need it but I’m curious either way.