Steinberg VSTi + Nuendo + Atmos... Suggestions?

Okay, so Ive been on Nuendo for about 20yrs now, working as a pro engineer and just occasionally dabbling in beatmaking and composing here and there when Im paid to or when Im just in the mood and have the time. Currently we run Nuendo12 w/ WL Pro and SL Pro as well because I love how they combine like Voltron into a super-DAW lol, but I never added Steinberg instruments/expansions or even upgraded any of the stock plugins until today.

Well, HOLY $#!+!!! I somehow never realized until last week that I could combine plugins via insert routing to basically create immersive plugins (I don’t have 11 of any particular analog tool lol). I’ve been using the mixer channelstrip a lot until now.

Anyway, I bought Iconic Ensemble today on sale and it sounds great. Actually a lot like Vienna. I wanted Vienna in order to have a 7.1.4 orchestral plugin, so I thought it was a missed opportunity. Then it occurred to me I could use the 16 outputs, multiple Halion SE tracks, multiple MIDI lanes and a little creativity to sort of accomplish the same outcome. I checked to see if Halion7 was 7.1.2+ yet. Its not BUT I think I could actually EXCEED the capabilities of a 7.1.4 orchestral plugin with the ability to make the outputs up to 6-channel each if I upgrade. Great. I’ll get on that very soon.

That’s all just tips and getting you up to speed on where Im at with this. Here’s where I’m looking for help:
Anyone use the Steinberg plugins a lot? Anyone for immersive compositions? What should I look into upgrading and expanding?
If I suck it up and buy Opus down the road, does that include the mid-tier instrument banks or would I need to buy both for a fully featured orchestral setup?
My one complaint about Ensemble is that, for a 50GB soundbank, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of options. What’s there sounds great, but I thought 50GB of “compressed” sounds would have a ton of choices to choose from. Is the library dramatically bigger in Opus and the $799 version?

What other else do you recommend?
Upgrade the drum VSTi? Expansions that are great for it?
What about the other ones?
I might be able to create a pretty nice immersive drum kit using the individual outputs on the drum VSTi (I forgot its name, but you know what its called Im sure), so that could be worth investing in, since replacing bad drums in a mix is a pretty regular thing nowadays
What about that Choir plugin? I was thinking about going back to EastWest (I tried a 1yr subscription to see if it was worth buying and its phenomenal… but really expensive to buy everything outright). I know it won’t come anywhere near EastWest where you can type in the lyrics along with the MIDI to create a believable choir and backup singer, BUT EastWest is only stereo out. If I can create several instances with slightly different tonality through several output, like Halion7, it could allow me to create immersive choirs IF it sounds realistic and has a good selection of voicing.

Yes, Im aware that I could find out everything I need to know online if I search the site, YouTube, etc. but that could take days and still wouldn’t give me quality feedback from someone who uses Nuendo and cares enough to read all this.

Thanks ahead of time for your help amd hopefully the first portion of this helps someone who didn’t realize they had such powerful tools for Atmos in their DAW already

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