A spherical view of the Baltimore Symphony, by Zach Stern.

Ableton announced that they’d be doing an orchestral sample library — called, logically enough, the Orchestral Instrument Collection — way back when Live Suite came out last year. But Orchestral Instruments actually didn’t ship then. As of this week, it is shipping.

You can buy the whole library for US$599, or you can pick up sections a la carte for $189 (or, oddly, $159 for Orchestral Percussion). Like the Essential Instruments Collection, the samples come from SONiVOX, with high-fidelity and low-fidelity (read: lightweight for performance) versions. There’s also something new called "SmartPriming" for system resources. I haven’t yet gotten my hands on this, so I can’t comment yet; obviously, it comes down to how important Live integration is to you, or whether you’d prefer a third-party orchestral library.

The a la carte sections, though, makes me think of Garrison Keillor’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra skit. (It’s Classical Music humor. My apologies.) One way to choose sections: think about which God would want you to buy. Excerpt:

But for a Lutheran who feels led to play in an orchestra, the first question must be: are you kidding? An orchestra? Are you sure this is what you want? Do you know what you are getting into? Opera. Is that anyplace for a Christian? Don Juan and Mephistopheles and Wagner and all his pagan goddesses hooting and hollering, and the immorality — I mean, is anybody in opera married?

Not to give away the punchline, but not surprisingly harps and percussion (think about the patience required to be an orchestral percussionist) win out, so that could theoretically guide your purchase decision here. Just remember:

The French Horn takes too much of a person’s life. French horn players hardly have time to marry and have children. The French horn is practically a religion all by itself.

Software is different, of course. A Young Lutheran’s Guide to Music Software, anyone?

  • velocipede

    Garrison Keillor on CDM? I must have woken up in an alternate reality.

    My daughter's music teacher at her Lutheran Montessori school plays guitar, ukulele, mandolin and clarinet at last count. I'll ask her about french horn next time I see her. Maybe she won't be wearing a train engineer's cap then.

  • I wouldn't have expected this from Ableton.

    A traditional package. Not for me.

  • Well, it is a traditional package — but it's also integrated with Ableton Live. So, you can still do non-traditional things / Ableton-like things with it. It'll be interesting to see what the response is; certainly the user base of Live has diversified in many ways. But it's optional, so you can also just ignore it.

    Oh, yeah, and I have spent many hours listening to Garrison Keillor. 😉

  • Peter,

    you always surprise me! Here in Europe we did not take notice of Garrison Keillor until the remarkable Altman Movie. But since then, I not only read his books, but religousely download the recent podcasts as well as listen to the remarkable collection of previousely released Audio CD recordings of his show.

    (ok, I am an old-fashioned radio guy, mabye this is why…)

  • john z

    so who won?

    garrison keillor or laurie anderson?

  • @Peter: totally agree.

  • Empaxiasmussy

    vybkzdstckcwvvmiwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how's life? hope it's introduce branch 😉

  • Esol Esek

    Why would a musician use classical instruments as well as modern ones? Why would someone who uses electronic experimentation want to use software that could help them get across to the classical music community as well as film score work? Gee, I wonder why?

    Not for you, huh? Wow, I'm so glad you told me that.