As some of you know, I have recently taken the pain and spent the money on a lot of Berlin libraries. I now have their strings, winds, and brass basic libraries (I don’t have any of the additional stuff, like brass mutes–but I have my eye on it).
I have been calling Berlin “the elite of the elite.” These libraries are clearly the best of anything I have in my collection, and they’ve kicked most of my other libraries to the curb. You get what you pay for. If you’ve heard my work, I’m a very classical-type composer, and I don’t do a lot of hybrid stuff. Not much in the way of electronic elements in my work, and I don’t lean heavily on the rhythm track. So I need the really well-done proliferation of articulations that Berlin gives. I’m also very melodic, and less textural than a lot of modern composers, so again, articulations are at a premium. Berlin gives you that many times over, and the sound quality surpasses everything else out there–although all the top libraries sound great.
Now, for the downside. It’s a double-edged sword. Because you CAN get more realism with Berlin–because you CAN get the phrasing more like what you’re hearing in your head…you spend the extra time to get there. So while you think Berlin is going to save you time, it really doesn’t. You spend just as much or more time on each instrument, simply because you’re getting somewhere with the time you spend. With other libraries, I might spend less time, but settle, because I can tell that I’m getting diminishing returns with additional time spend contouring and phrasing. “Eh,” I tell myself, “maybe I’ll hire a real player to make that sound right later.”
With Berlin, I can get so close to what a real player would sound like that I go ahead and bother to do it. So it’s not saving me time.
But I think my mock-ups are sounding better than ever. And the time I spend mocking up is more fun, because I’m hearing what I want to hear, rather than hearing some so-so facsimile of it, and hoping that real players will come in for the save later.
This project I’m working on will still end up having lots of live players on it: as great at Berlin is, we are still decades away from making live players irrelevant, if we EVER do. But it’s so much more fun to work now.
For those who want to hear what I’m talking about, I’m probably going to enter the piece I’m working on in Mikael’s action music contest this month. So give me a few more days, and you’ll hear it. I’m now using about 95% Berlin. (Percussion is mostly Cinesamples, though.)