Which orchestral sample library should I buy?

Hi friends!
I’m new in the forum, so I apologise if this was already answered.

I’m planning to update my Pc and my main symphony orchestral library next year (after I finished some projects I’m working in).

I’m doing a very deep research in order to find a replacement for my orchestral library. This research is due to some of the options I’m handling are quite expensive and once I bought it there’s no going back. So, it would be very helpful if you could give me your point of view.

I’m currently using EWQL Symphony Orchestra Platinum. I think it’s a very good library and it sounds very good. But, I’m talking about a nearly 15 years old library. That’s why I’m thinking about replacing it (unless you sugest me to keep using it).

As I want something similar to the EWQL SO, I mean, at least 3 mic possitions and strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion all in one, I’m aiming to these kind of products (although not all of them offer all sections all in one, such as Albion One, which as far as I know it doesn’t come with the percussion seccion).

So, my currently options are:

  1. Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra
  2. Spitfire Albion One
  3. Spitfire Symphony Orchestra
  4. EWQL Hollywood Orchestra Diamond

What would you sugest?
Is there any other library I should take a look at?

Thanks in advance!


as regard spitifre albion, it is a very good library but i am not sure that you have all individual instrument in solo with all major articulation
spitfire symphony orchestra will be a great choice but you had to buy the string, the woodwind, the brass, the percussion and at least the price is higher than the last BBC symphony

for me the spitfire BBC symphony orchestra will be a great choice , sound amazing, take a huge space (about 700 Gb) and need a very good computer with a lot of memory if you have only 16 Gb of memory forget it if you wish to build big template

if you have a great PC spitfire BBC is the best in your list

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Hi @Emiliano_Mosto,

as @florent83 Said, if you have 64GB of RAM, go for BBC. If you have only 16 GB, then go for AlbionOne.

I think Symphony is something in between but has a different sound. EW is outdated as you said yourself. Their player had issues with Kontakt in same sessions.

I love Albion One, it has never disappointed me and has so much to offer, insane package. The downside is only that you don’t have solo instruments. This is the only question you need to answer yourself. Do you really need it? Depends what kind of music you make of course.

Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:


Does Albion have sections like only Strings high and low etc? I find that woodwinds suffer the most from section presets, it simply sounds bad. Strings and Brass can work in section type writing, but I always go for solo flutes, solo oboe etc. for woodwinds.

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Yeah, you have tons of options in sections and using them.

Let me say this: we are at the point, where samples are superb, for almost any kind of music, however, the option in shaping the sound by the human being is even more diverse than let’s say 30000 samples from a library point of view. The mindset should be as follows: I have this idea, how can I achieve it? If your sample doesn’t give you enough realism, simple don’t use it. Treat your samples like „real“ instruments, like new instruments which were invented. With this in mind your productions should I’m improve instantly!


Yes indeed, human performance is similar to the difference between analog and digital. Analog as unlimited variation, whereas digital is “sliced up” in bits and samples. For example, a real performance by human can go from PPP to FFF and includes infinite dynamic variations in between. A sample library can often only have like 3 dynamics recorded which then are cross-faded. I really really hope this will change with more algorithmic modeling and AI in the future. Because I still feel very limited by what sample libraries can do in terms of dynamics and expression.

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Hi @jlx_music
Well, the idea is to update everything: Pc + libraries.
Right now I have a 2012 Pc (or 2013, don’t remember exactly) with Intel Core I3 and 16 Gb RAM.
I was thinking about buying an Intel I7 with at least 32 Gb RAM. I don’t know the actual Pc prices, if I can afford I could go for a 64 Gb RAM Pc.
Regarding on BBC SO, I couldn’t find in its web site something related to RAM requirement. Even in the user manual. For Mac the RAM requirement is 16 Gb. But nothing says about Pc systems.

As for Spitfire Albion One, is a shame it doesn’t come with solo instrument. Sometimes they are useful. I do mostly symphonic music and it’s common to use solo instruments.



Look, this is why they do have different libraries which concentrate on different genres / themes. You can’t have it all in one. All in one is when you buy everything from them. They do have solo instruments in another bundle, if you really need, get it. Albion is more orientated in making this big epic kind of thing, never “chamber” quartet kind of sound.

You don’t need to check out the PDFs. They have tons of Youtube Walk-Throughts where you clearly see every .nki eating more than a GB of RAM. We already discussed this in another post. Check out the forum, you will definitely find a lot of great information here :wink:

RAMs are by far cheaper than SSDs, so just go for your max. you won’t regret it. I have 48GBs and a couple of libraries, and my last project had around 100 patches and I literally ran out of RAM. Albion alone can easily take 20 GBs. The more RAM you have, the less headache you will get later. Your libraries should be always orientated on your PC power. What benefits do you get if you drive a Ferrari when you can go max. 30 miles per hour? Sure, you can have a lot of fun starting the engine, however, you won’t make any progress if you still can go 30 miles. Another car which are way cheaper can do it too. :wink:

Buy what you really need, and not what other say to you “Oh, I can’t live without it!”
You can! You have probably 10 things at your home you didn’t use the last 5 years. Do you really miss them? You don’t even know they exist. That’s the truth!

You will become a better composer, because you know how to use the stuff right, not because you have the best stuff out there!

Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:

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I made this video with focus on performance on PC

Basically, if you load all the sounds in BBCSO with the default microphone position (mix) your RAM usage will be at around 35 GB. It could oscillate because the BBC player is a little bit weird when it comes to memory footprint.

But as others have mentioned, do not go for it unless you have at least 32 GB of ram, but 64 GB is highly recommended if you plan on layering it with other libraries.


now all great library takes a lot of memory 64 Gb is really recommanded if you want to use or build big orchestral template (all instrument with a lot of articulations) , SSD is recommanded to load sample faster, the processor is used mainly with plugin and virtual synth like zebra, arturia analog lab and so on
if you have the opportunity to find a server with 128Gb you can in this case build a network configuration with vienna ensemble pro, all you library is loaded on the server, and your DAW pc is the slave and you don’t need to have more than 32 Gb in this case

if you intend to change or upgrade your computer your priority is the memory , SSD and processor

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Very nice review!
Looking at what you have loaded into the project, I believe you could have saved RAM space if you wouldn’t have loaded all articulations, right?
I mean, I think articulations uses a lot of RAM too. So, if I only load the articulations I’m going to use I will save a lot of RAM space and I will be able to use one or two more mics.
By the way, I’ve been taking a look to the Spitfire Symphony Orchestra. Can you give me your point of view?
As I could see it doens’t come with the percussion section. And, I’m not sure but I coulnd’t find any solo instrument, can anyone comfirm this?

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The “missing” pieces of Spitfire Symphony Orchestra (which does have solo woodwinds and brass, but not strings) would be Spitfire Solo Strings, and Spitfire Percussion (Joby Burgess). You may also want Spitfire Chamber Strings to go with that, for smaller strings sections or divisi. All of these were recorded in the same space, and go well together out of the box.

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I believe you could have saved RAM space if you wouldn’t have loaded all articulations, right?

This is true. The project in the video was definitely an experiment where I just loaded a bunch of stuff to test it out, but it is possible to save your own preset with one or a couple of articulations at a time.

Another good thing I discovered later, Spitfire has released their own Cubase and Logic templates for BBCSO, which is a great starting point for what they call “one orchestra” template.

By the way, I’ve been taking a look to the Spitfire Symphony Orchestra. Can you give me your point of view?

Unfortunately I don’t own SSO, so I can’t be much of help there, although, I believe BBC SO kind of replaces the need for SSO because it comes with both percussion and solo (section leader) patches.