Layers from OrchstralTools

wow, i just saw a video of Layers from OrchstralTools, besides BigBang this one has a brilliant sound too. Cant wait to install and play with it … :grimacing::grimacing:


Very nice sound! Although limited in articulations and such of course, as all free tools. But put together all free libraries on the market now actually are very capable. I think I will do a video compiling what’s out there on the “free libraries and plugins” for orchestral music! :slight_smile:

That would be great, you know i like freebies, and have a bunch of them.
I still can’t purchase big libraries as long i am not able to sell my music :slight_smile:

I know, many people get their feet wet with the free tools. The reason I haven’t used them is simple. I collected so many plugins and libraries over my 20+ years of making music haha. Also, the other reason is that free stuff used to, well, suck to be honest. :stuck_out_tongue:

The recent free stuff has been amazing. It’s like Spitfire set a trend with their LABS range. Now many other developers jumped on that train. Which is great for all of us! :wink:

I started very easy with LMMS and free Soundfonts. Now, one year later i bought Reaper and some Spitfire stuff. The string soundfonts i used had around 100KB and Epic Strings from Spitfire already 1,2 GB. And thats exactly the difference of how it sounds at the end :stuck_out_tongue:

LABS is amazing, also their “Original” stuff. I miss a bit a free choir or solo voice. I dont like the Labs choir so much, but for free its genious.
And i really like that more and more companies implement their own players, like the sine player here or spitfire. So you dont need NI :wink: anymore.

But i know what u mean.

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Speaking of the LABS choir (and regarding your sound design thread), Spitfire held a NASA themed competition where you were only allowed to use that one instrument. I did some aggressive sound design stuff; mostly “live” through (lots of) plugins, though for Celestial Fireworks, I threw some snippets into VPS Avenger.

#labschoir Celestial Lightsabers

#labschoir Celestial Fireworks

#labschoir Bubble Nebula

I could share the project files somewhere, but the depend on Cubase and a bunch of plugins, obviously, so I’m not sure how useful that would be. Some standardized way of visualizing plugin “rigs” for documentation, education etc, would be handy…


jeeeeez :flushed:
thats awesome! :+1:
how did u make these male “Ta” Sounds in Bubble Nebula?

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Thanks! :slight_smile:

All “noisy” sounds, including the “t” consonants, were created from big, dissonant “chords” that were then EQ’d to taste and modulated as needed using fader automation. There’s a lot of breath noise in those choir samples, so I basically just extracted that - a pretty backwards approach, but perfectly viable if you can’t use other sound sources.

A lot of work :slight_smile: But the result was worth it!

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After my first look:

Sound is brilliant. I really like the smooth fades between Strings, Winds, and Brass depening on how much expression u give. Well Done.

As Layers comes as an “accord” istrument it is very hard to program and play it, because u have to switch between major and minor chors with c#1 :confused:

Also, there is only 1 octave u can play. They use the whole keyboard to play the inversions of the chord. If u need it, it could be helpful, but u cant play this instruments as normal :wink:

I think i will only use it at the beginning and the end of my tracks with very looooong notes, so there is no need to switch between the articulations.

Its much easier to do this with my spitfire instruments.

But in fact i like the sound and i try to use it my next track.

Best Regards


I just downloaded Layers, because I thought the strings and woodwinds sounded so lovely. Although I only have experience in the digital music-making world recording my choir and mixing the vocal tracks, still, I love the sound of a real orchestra–I loathe electronic imitations of instruments.
I was impressed by the Poly option among the articulations that can be controlled with a mod wheel…however, I only have an electric MIDI keyboard that has no mod wheel. I have noticed that other free libraries have mod wheel controls as well. Since I am not able to buy an external mod controller right now, does anyone know if I can control this in Logic Pro X with automation? If so, how would I do it?

Thank you in advance for any advice!


Hello Mary (should I call you that?), allow me to first welcome you to this community as I see this is your first post! :slight_smile:

Yes, the MOD-wheel is standard for controlling dynamics for orchestral instruments. It is very important to breath life and humanity into a performance of music. You do it on all tracks and parts for any sustained notes and chords.

But, you can actually draw this into the automation track of your MIDI recording. Go into the piano roll, then click “A”, to open up automation. To the left you will see the current automaton track. Default will be note velocity, but if you click it you can change it to “modulation”. And then you can use the pencil tool to “draw” the MOD-wheel automation = dynamics curves.

Thank you so much! I have been having such trouble finding the answer to this question.
Since you are so considerate to ask, I am a Dominican Sister, so I prefer to be called Sister Mary. I have been following your content for over a year and a half now, ever since the project of recording our chapel choir for a fundraiser album fell in my lap, as well as Logic Pro X–when I didn’t really know that the word “audio” was a noun rather than an adjective. :slightly_smiling_face: I have found your videos on how to use Logic so very helpful because of their clarity, usefulness, and brevity. Thank you for so generously making it free for all.
-Sister Mary

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I am glad to hear that my videos on Logic have been helpful to you Sister Mary. And even though I may have 20 years of experience now, I still remember the frustrations when starting out in the world of music. And honestly, new frustrations can arise still to this day. But overcoming obstacles is part of the journey.

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