Let's get into some juicy sample library talk, shall we?
I'd like to share with you a list of orchestral sample libraries that I personally recommend. As there are tons of libraries out there, these are only a few of the biggest and best ones that I personally find very good.
Most of them are quite standard in the industry, and most composers know and use them in their everyday work. They are perfect for both beginning and professional composers.
I won't go too in-depth in each and every one of these libraries – I just want to let you know some of the main features and properties of them. Let me know if you like something particular that I haven't brought up here – would be great to try out new sample libraries! Keep in mind that I am mainly aiming this towards beginning and intermediate composers looking for some new samples for their music creation.
The absolute perfect starting point for any composer is to go with all-in-one libraries. These contain all the standard sections of the orchestra, and have the most basic and fundamental articulations that you need:
With the occasional, but frequent:
This is what you mostly use as an orchestral composer anyways, so these all-in-one libraries are highly useful. Some of the full orchestral libraries have more articulations, and some less. Once you buy the section-specific libraries, you'll get more bespoke articulations for those sections, because the sample developers have spent a lot more time on that specific section.
Apart from the orchestral sections, in several ones of these you also get extra content like organs, synths, ethnic percussion, and more.
Here are some of my favorite all-in-one libraries:
While I have missed a lot of great libraries out there, I am mainly focusing on some of the big ones that I have used and keep on using. Having these will let you have an incredible amount of orchestral patches ready to be composed with.
The Power Of All-In-One's
The all-in-one libraries are the ones I recommend the most for beginners who need a hefty amount of samples and patches to write music with. The newer ones are even great for the seasoned professionals in the industry.
To give you an example of how powerful these all-in-one libraries are, I wrote one of the official demos for Albion ONE, and I composed it in under one hour using only Albion ONE!