I am extremely undecided between SYNCHRON-ized SPECIAL EDITION Volume 1 and BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CORE. Both have as well known expression maps ready for use in Dorico. SYNCHRON-ized SPECIAL EDITION Volume 1 occupies 63.6 GB installed while BBCSO occupies 28.2 GB. I have some doubts because SYNCHRON-ized SPECIAL EDITION Volume 1 costs “only” € 295 while BBCO costs € 449. However, BBCO has a great variety of articulations, unlike the other product, which are sold separately as SYNCHRON-ized SPECIAL EDITION Volume 1 PLUS and cost another € 285. Considering their use exclusively in Dorico what would you recommend?

I have and use both libraries. The BBC gives an automatic €50 discount if you get the free version of the BBC Discover (you need to wait two weeks for it). If you can wait even longer until the Back Friday sales then it will likely be even cheaper. With VSL, if you only get the vol1 without the PLUS then your articulations are relatively limited but, as you say, including the PLUS costs more. VSL has more instruments including a very nice piano and solo strings.

As for quality, they are completely different in character. The BBC has a warmer and more involving sound if you want a bit of character and for a full romantic orchestra, I would often prefer it. On the other hand, the BBC with a somewhat shallower sample depth does have perhaps more rough edges. VSL has a purer sound which to me works better with more classical or chamber arrangements. In the end, it’s best to decide according to your tastes and specific articulation/instrument needs.

For the best quality, I would recommend the Cinematic Studio libraries but they cost around twice as much but still much less and requiring fewer resources than the top libraries from VSL or Orchestral Tools for instance.

In terms of Dorico programming, VSL is fairly straightforward and there are a number of Expression Maps available including VSL’s own. John Barron has done a good job with the BBC templates but there is still a bit of a learning curve – for instance the standard “long” patch is of limited use in the strings in particular and you need to learn how to combine the two dynamic controllers and the use of velocity properly

Thank you for your kindness and for the detailed answer :grinning:! Since you have both of them in your opinion which is the most suitable for writing epic / cinematic themes? I know that there are definitely more suitable libraries, such as Metropolis Ark 1, but in addition to the cost to use them with Dorico I imagine they must be programmed from scratch and also takes a lot of space and Ram to be used at their best. There is also The Orchestra by Sonus score which seems very interesting, but it seems to me more oriented towards orchestral patches …

there are of course quite a lot of libraries orientated towards ensemble patches but they are of no interest to me so I don’t know much about them (VSL’s own Big Bang orchestra goes in this direction). For epic/cinematic music, I suspect you’ll be better with the BBC Core orchestra. The price is reasonable for the standard and if you like the sound after trying out a few demos then I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy. Once you grasp a few basics, there are no major issues using the library in Dorico. For best performance in Dorico, I’d recommend using it from within Vienna Ensemble Pro although J. Barron’s playback templates are designed around stand-alone.

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If it makes a difference, the last few years VSL has done a buy 3 get 1 free deal on their vouchers around Black Friday, so you get €400 worth of vouchers for €300. It’s a way to save a bit if you aren’t considering an immediate purchase, plus they have a 25% student or teacher discount on libraries too, and usually some decent Black Friday deals too.

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and VSL have a discount on something every month though it’s not so often the Special Editions.

Thanx again. Another quick question. I see that Vienna Ensemble Pro is a mixing host … it seems truly remarkable …the full cost is € 195, it’s certainly better to keep an eye on the discounts :sweat_smile:. BBCSO in your experience it works well or at least in an acceptable way even only with Dorico’s mixer?

VE Pro is quite often reduced by €50 or so – quite likely to be again around Black Friday time. One great thing with using it to host the BBC is that you get away from the annoying feature of Core being just monotimbral so you get a much better overview of your instruments if you want to check or change anything.