My 'cheap' collection of symphonic libraries for Kontakt Player (and some freebies) - Gadget Victims

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My 'cheap' collection of symphonic libraries for Kontakt Player (and some freebies)

When it comes to sound libraries, having instruments that deliver a convincing and satisfying result matters as much for hobbyists than professionals.

I'm part of the first category, so coughing up 500+ bucks for a orchestral library is not reasonable. For anyone willing to go pro, that could be seen as an investment for the future, but that's not my case.

I recently purchased 2 cheap libraries (compared to the pro standards) that, put together, provide a cost-effective mix of articulations and sound quality. They both run on the free Kontakt Player, are reasonably gentle on the CPU and storage, and cost less than 150$ each.

Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra (149$)

Sonic Scores is in the notation software business but they also sell a little gem called Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra. To quote them, this lightweight (~10GB) sample library is Everything you need for creating quick sketches, orchestra, film, and game scores.

It would be liekly snobbed by the professionals as "too light and not expensive enough". It may not be beefy enough for a professional production but it's well convincing enough for the purpose of learning symphonic composition. It offers a generous orchestra with strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, keyboards, guitars, choir and more. It is also the cheapest library to include so many articulations. The legato is artificially processed, but it's still better than no legato!

About 10GB in size
Made for the free Kontakt Player
Very complete set of instruments, voices and articulations
Various and much needed hits and rolls in the percussion section
Nice accoustic guitar with slide effect

While realistic, some instruments lack punch and presence
Artificial/processed legato

Alternative if you're willing to spend a bit more: You should not overlook the excellent, but more expensive, Redroom Audio Palette - Symphonic Sketchpad. Also compatible with the free Kontakt Player, it offers a very complete set of ensemble and articulations for 299$. The solo instruments are sold separately for an additional 199$, as well as "Runs & Arps", and "Orchestral FX" (199$ each but with increasing discount on each additional purchase).
As the name implies, it is also aimed at sketching, but provides richer and deeper sounds with a total library size about 68GB. Check it out through this video from Guy Michelmore below.

Audio Imperia Nucleus Lite Edition (99$)

...Add a pinch of punchy brass and better strings

This is actually the very first VST library that I purchased (after hesitating a long time with Realivox Blue).

As its name suggests, Nucleus Lite Edition is a scaled-down version of their full product Nucleus, The Orchestra Core (449$).

This library gives you just a couple of articulations per sample (like Sustained and Spiccato for Strings) and far smaller choice of instruments... but with a higher resolution.
The amazing brass ensemble alone justifies the purchase of this library but all instruments are very nicely recorded and the interface is simple and clever. The choir also comes with some nice phrasing.

Crossgrade is available: So playing with the Lite edition gives you time to spare a further 350$ for the full Nucleus (if purchased through the website). 

Less than 5GB
Made for the free Kontakt Player
Crossgrade discount if buying the full version later

Feels like a paid demo 99$ of The Orchestra Core, and that's what it is...

Altogether these libraries complete each other nicely, the variety of instruments and articulations of Amadeus with the added power of the strings and brass from Nucleus, and while staying within a reasonable budget.

Some freebies...

Freebies for the free Kontakt player are rare enough to be mentionned. The ones below are valuable additions to the ones presented above:

Project SAM is a free selection of cinematic sounds taken directly from Project SAM’s libraries. It holds on 1GB and offer a great demo of their quality standard.

Embertone Arcane was my very first library loaded with the free Kontakt Player and I must say that getting familiar with Kontakt through their Arcane's interactive Ouija board can be a WTF experience for a beginner.

However, they found an entertaining to showcase their sounds. Included with some wierdies are a portion of their Friedlander violin with true legato and a georgous legato alto voice.
What more, this is a qualifying product to buy Kontakt 6 at crossgrade price!

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