Native Instruments Komplete 11
The Native Instruments Komplete 11 is the best orchestral vst for those who want all the audio samples and instruments you could possibly need for any music production. This is the most comprehensive library of orchestral sounds, effects, and instruments.MORE INFO
For those of you who have messed around with producing any sort of audio, you have likely used a digital audio workstation such as Logic Pro, Abelton, Cubase, or FL Studio. With music production software, you need VSTs or Virtual Studio Technology to basically import keyboards, musical instruments, drum machines, and effect racks into your software.
There are a lot of instruments and sounds emulated via VST plugins. In this review, we will focus orchestral sounds. While these VST plugins can be free, the best orchestral VSTs are purchased online and include thousands of samples and instruments.
The key thing to note is that VST plugins usually run within a DAW framework, although there are a few standalone VSTs. They usually include some sort of software simulation of well known synthesizers, samplers, and instruments. In many cases, the VST software inside of your music production software will have a graphical interface that looks just like the instrument itself.
The VST plugin will usually receive notes through MIDI signal and later output it via digital audio. Many graphical orchestral VST plugins have effects built into the instruments such that you can modulate the audio. Also, there is VST chaining that will output the audio signal into another VST.
There are numerous VSTs available on the market for making orchestral sounds. Nevertheless, we have spent a lot of time figuring out the best sounding and most realistic orchestral VSTs. In general, we evaluated various orchestral VSTs based on the amount of samples in the library, the ease of use of the graphical interface, the amount of different instruments offered, and the various types of VST effects in any package.
Also, you should try to go with a known brand name as they have great customer service. Finally, look into the value of the particular VST plugin for orchestral sounds. Maybe you won’t even touch a good 90% of the sounds and instruments, so keep this in mind when shopping around as well.
Best Orchestral VST
- Native Instruments Komplete 11
- Garritan Personal Orchestra 5
- Miroslav Philharmonik Classic
- MagicScore Maestro
- ProjectSAM Orchestral Essentials
Native Instruments Komplete 11
While the Native Instruments Komplete 11 certainly isn’t an exclusive vst for orchestral sounds, it certainly comes loaded with all sorts of orchestral sounds, instruments, and effects. We think it is the best orchestral vst if you have a huge budget and don’t mind getting other sounds too.
The idea behind the Komplete 11 is that it comes with over 155 GB of audio recordings with all sorts of different synths, instruments, and effects. This means you can just buy one VST plugin package and don’t have to worry about downloading another sound in your life. This library and instrument collection is absolutely massive!
Depending on the version of Komplete 11 you get, you can have over 500 GB of audio samples consisting of over 18,000 unique sounds. In terms of the emulation of orchestral instruments, the Komplete 11 has quite a package. There is the string ensemble, which emulates a 60 piece string ensemble. Also, you have a percussion, woodwind, and brass ensemble, which do the same thing but with different instruments. Finally, each ensemble has plenty of effects and articulations that you can toggle to get your desired sound.
While Komplete 11 can be daunting to figure out at first, once you understand it, you won’t need to purchase another VST again. This is the best orchestral VST used by all music production pros.
– Loaded with all sorts of sounds
– Over 155 GB of audio
– Many orchestral instruments and effects
Garritan Personal Orchestra 5
The Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 is the best orchestral vst if you want incredibly realistic sounds. Version 5 is the biggest update to the Garritan Personal Orchestra series and is definitely a crowd pleaser. This VST consists of over 500 instruments to choose from including but not limited to strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, and keyboards. Also, you get a tone of new articulations, effects, and reverbs with each instrument type.
Perhaps the best feature of this orchestral VST is its incredibly realistic and authentic sounds. The sounds are way better than other VSTs and the interface is incredibly easy to learn on. With this vst for orchestral sounds, you can build a full orchestra one instrument at a time.
We also like the incredible detailed selection of 500 instruments. With this sort of library, you can build and create any orchestral sound you desire. Additionally, we really like the articulations and effects. They are very easy to learn and manipulate.
Overall, the Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 should be your go to VST for all sorts of orchestral sounds. With this vst plugin, you can select from some pre configured instrument combos or select your own. Hopefully you can find a combo of instruments that will inspire you to creat great music.
– Over 500 instruments
– Very realistic and authentic sounds
– Good articulations and effects
– Easy to learn
Miroslav Philharmonik Classic
The Miroslav Philharmonik Classic is the best orchestral vst if you want to focus on classical sounds. The selling point of this vst software is that it features samples from the legendary Miroslav Orchestra and Choir. This vst set comes with 1.5 GB of audio samples with 250 sounds and 3 synth engines. There are 20 built in DSP effects and 4 inset and send effects per part.
Perhaps the biggest selling point is that it works as a standalone app as well as a plugin. This makes it very easy to compose sounds with the need to purchase a DAW such as logic or reason. With the Miroslav Philharmonik, you can choose between a wide variety of orchestral instruments. There are strings, ensembles, solo violins, violas, cellos, guitars, bass, brass instruments, woodwinds, chromatic, piano, and more.
Furthermore, we really like this orchestral vst for its sound and playability. The audio samples really capture depth and beauty as well as the emotions of the players who played these instruments. These sounds really sound very natural and definitely no synthetic. Additionally, the samples were recorded in a symphony hall in Prague, which turns out to be one of the best in the world. The sounds produced in this hall have superior acoustic quality that can be heard in these audio samples.
– 1.5 GB of audio
– Standalone or plugin
– Wide variety of orchestral instruments
– Recorded in symphony hall
While the MagicScore Maestro isn’t exactly a VST, it pretty much does what any orchestral vst will do for you. The great part about this software is that it is completely standalone and doesn’t require a separate DAW to operate. The core of the MagicScore Maestro is its ability to transpose musical ideas into final compositions. Additionally, you can play notes on a MIDI keyboard or draw them out. It supports all sorts of music notations.
After you have your notes mapped out, it is time to pick an instrument and sound. Luckily Magic Score Maestro comes with a wide variety of orchestral instruments and sounds. You can further tweak the sound with added effects and envelope filters. Additionally, you can even import 3rd part sounds and instruments. One thing it lacks is that it doesn’t have prearranged ensembles with two or more orchestral instruments. You can certainly create this sound but you would have to mix it yourself.
If you prefer to do all of your work in a DAW environment, this may not be the right software for you. It definitely does not integrate into any DAW. You have to create the audio into mp3 format and then import the audio into your DAW. This is definitely not hard but it could be a dealbreaker for some people.
– Standalone software
– Does not work in a DAW
– Can import 3rd party sounds and instruments
– Great value
ProjectSAM Orchestral Essentials
If you are looking for the best orchestral vst with full orchestra articulations, you should definitely try out the ProjectSAM Orchestral Essentials. This package runs on the kontakt player, which is a free download. We really like how comprehensive this package is and includes multiple versions of orchestral instruments as well as ensembles. Additionally, you can choose between strings, brass, and woodwinds as well as authentic blends of instruments.
The Project SAM orchestral essentials should give you the perfect amount of ammo to start any music production project. We like the fact that each orchestral section has its unique list of articulations, expressive legatos, and effects. Also, you can find the concert harp, church organ, and unique blends of orchestral sounds. We highly recommend this vst plugin for anyone who is serious about music production.
– Strings, brass, and woodwind sounds
– Multiple ensembles
– Unique articulations and effects
– Runs of Kontakt