NAMM was host to a bevy of new virtual orchestra products. Here's a quick summary:

  • Garritan Personal Orchestra (Windows/Mac) now comes in three versions adding more sounds and articulations:
    the Second Edition update adds various enhancements and patch
    additions, while a new Advanced (US$499) version includes more
    instruments and articulations like harmonics and a Lite (US$149) is
    aimed at students and educators. New libraries were released that focus
    on band and violin solo; nothing on the Garritan site so see the MacCentral story. Powered by NI Kontakt.
  • Miroslav Orchestral Library from IK Multimedia (Windows/Mac) is an entirely-new orchestral sample library; see our separate article; also US$499. Powered by SampleTank technology.
  • MOTU's Symphonic Instrument (Windows/Mac, every format) is another library, but has some twists that make it worth considering: 8GB for just US$299, built-in convolution reverb, and editable in MOTU's MachFive sampler (none of the others here can be directly edited). Powered by MachFive.
  • Synful (Windows only) was the most unique offering: instead of just being a sample library, it actually intelligently generates phrasing and articulations. Amazingly, a whole orchestra fits in just 32M of RAM. (How . . . I don't know.) US$479.

There's a free trial of at least the Synful; big test is how it sounds
and whether it fits into the way you work. Let us know if you've found
a favorite!