Symphony series, how does it compare

Discussion in 'KONTAKT' started by BIF, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. BIF

    BIF NI Product Owner

    1,070 other orchestral packages?

    I'm especially interested in comparisons or experience that people have with this product and anything from East West such as Hollywood Orchestra or other instruments from EW.

    A few years ago, East West went to a subscription model with their Composer Cloud X product. I still have their old orchestral packages and other instruments, but I'm convinced that one day they will remove support for that and then I'll stop getting updates. And I refuse to go to their expensive subscription model, so I will soon be looking for an alternative
  2. apteros

    apteros New Member

    I've listened to samples of other orchestra VSTs but can only compare Symphony Essential with Halion Symphonic Orchestra (by Steinberg) if we're talking about direct experience. First of all, I bought SSE in Komplete 11 Ultimate on sale, so it was actually more affordable than buying the pack per se, but it's more fair if we compare the products at full price (we're talking a 400$ (399) percussions included for NISE and 100$ (99) for SHSO).

    The only thing in which NISE is inferior to SHSO is the lack of solo strings - which I expect will come up anytime soon, at a price range around 100 - 150$ for the Essential version if my intuition is correct). The instrument realism, balance and tweaking options are much, much better in NISE. Although I like the somewhat "woodish" feel of the strings' pizzicato in SHSO as opposed to the volume drop between legato and pizzicato in NISE, I must admit that NISSE has a much better management of legato, a wider selection of articulation and a better round-robin sampling method. I'm still rather fresh in NISSE but the resulting sound is much more professional and I'm planning to convert the older project from SHSO to NISE.

    I got "good enough" results by using the technique showcased by this guy (the video is about Spitfire Audio libraries, but the principles still apply).

    However, if you're going pro and want to aim to actual Symphony Series, with its whopping 1000$ (999) total, strings solo excluded, you may want to also consider a Spitfire Audio library (probably the Symphonic bundle) for a more complete alternative. My feel is that Symphony Series has a more "cinematic - neutral" sound, while Spitfire Audio tends to feel more "strictly classical". It costs way more (1700+ $), but is also much more complete and feels like a definitive tool, where Symphony Series seems to sticks to the "20 / 80" rule (the 20% articulations that 80% of composers will use).