Whether you’re an actual composer or merely a musician who wants to extend their pallet of sounds, regardless of genre, grabbing a few of the best orchestral VST and having them in your back pocket can never do you wrong. In our opinion this is a VST instrument that really transcends types of music and can fit into the mold of any mood, feel or direction you’re going. We’ll be honest however, a lot of these are some of the more expensive types of VST instruments, considering a few in here are made for literal professional cinema soundtrack composers. There are quite a few gems out there in the orchestral VST world, so let’s get down to it below.
Our Orchestra VST Picks
- Spitfire Albion 1
- Metropolis Ark 1
- Garritan Personal Orchestra
- Cinematic Studio Strings
- UVI Orchestral Suite
- Native Instruments Cinematic
- 8dio Studio Quarter Series
- Vienna Symphonic Library
- EastWest Hollywood Orchestra
- Miroslav Philharmonik Orchestra
The Best Orchestral Instrument Plugins
Spitfire Albion 1
Spitfire’s Albion One comes with a Kontakt player included and is compatible with Native Instruments hardware, and in our opinion is one of the best orchestral VST plug-ins available due it’s simple overall sound quality and amount of power we get here. While it requires a substantial amount of disk space to download, the user has access to a comprehensive music sample library that can bring life to any movie soundtrack, genre of song and more. Albion One contains more than 45,000 samples from a 109-piece orchestra recorded at the critically acclaimed Hall at AIR studies, renowned for its outstanding acoustics.
Featuring high-quality dynamics and being flexible enough to adapt to any genre, Albion One has a sizable range of articulations, allowing the user better control of the completed product. By being able to select one of four mic positions when using the samples on Albion One, the user can create a variety of effects to suit their needs. One of Albion One’s most significant features is its strong percussion sampling, which adds the dramatic flair any soundtrack needs.
Metropolis Ark 1
The creators of Metropolis Ark 1 credit Fritz Lang’s 1927 hit, Metropolis as its inspiration. Ideal for the composition of epic orchestral music, this product has cemented a place in the market as one of the best orchestral VST options you can buy. Recorded at the Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin, complete with the musical stylings of some of the best instrumentalists of their generation, it’s no wonder Metropolis Ark 1 gives the user access to everything they could possibly need to compose their opus magnum.
The VST offers 18 sections/instruments, including woodwinds, strings, brass, electric guitars and bass, and percussion. The choir selection features both male and female voices. Metropolis 1 is ideal for users who want to arrange their orchestrations from scratch instead of relying on premixed pieces. This VST runs in SINE, which the user can download for free when making their Metropolis 1 purchase.
Garritan Personal Orchestra
With a wide selection of more than 500 instruments, there’s no doubt this product will suit the user’s needs. The high standard of sound engineering, variety of articulations, and the pure realism it delivers will lend a sense of authenticity to a music track that few other orchestral VSTs can. Instruments such as strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, and keyboards can be added one at a time to build the perfect orchestra for the desired effect.
By utilizing this feature, the user can consider each individual instrument’s character before using it, thereby allowing instruments to interact organically and with great expressive effect. Powered by the ARIA Player, Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 users don’t need to buy a separate sampler to use it. When the user opts for Garritan Personal Orchestra 5, they access one of the best orchestral VST packages money can buy.
Cinematic Studio Strings
Users of Kontakt Player will find the inclusion of Cinematic Audio Strings conveniently easy and be blown away by what the product offers. Regarded by many as the best orchestral plug-ins available, Cinematic Audio Strings provides composers with the instrumental elements they need to create original and memorable soundtracks. Recorded by renowned professionals at one of Australia’s best scoring stages and featuring prominent Australian musicians, this orchestral strings library is versatile.
It provides an impressive range of dynamics and just beautiful sounds. The user interface provides users with a quality experience without being complicated and challenging to learn. The realism and human instrumentalist effect that Cinematic Studio Strings brings into a recording, together with its distinctive vibrato are additional features users find effective in their compositions. Whether working in the film, TV, or video game industries, composers or merely all types of musicians will find the correct string selection when using Cinematic Studio Strings.
UVI Orchestral Suite
UVI Orchestral Suite’s sample footprint is less than 5GB, which is welcome news for users with limited memory space and in need of a fast loading plug-in. Orchestral Suite offers brass, string, and woodwind ensembles, in addition to a variety of individual instruments for solo use. Other instrument categories featured on the plug-in are percussion instruments, an organ, classical guitar, and harp. The user will also access choirs on UVI Orchestral Suite, featuring children, male, female, and mixed samples.
Highly rated among users, both famous professionals, amateurs, and everyone in between, UVI Orchestral Suite has a well-deserved spot on the best orchestral VST instruments options list. Its mid-range price offers the user great value for money. Featuring more than 60 instruments, 15,000 samples, and 80 presets, all with stellar sound recording quality, this comprehensive orchestral experience for anyone looking to add instrumental flavor to their recordings.
Native Instruments Cinematic
Native Instruments Cinematic is a collection of packages no composer should be without if they intend to record an epic movie soundtrack. Among the different bundles, the user can select Kontakt 6, regarded as an industry standard. Pharlight, Straylight, Thrill, and Mallet Flux offer options for enriching the tones of a movie music score. The Symphony Series is a collection of professional-grade instruments played by world-renowned musicians, while Symphony Essentials delivers a more streamlined, basic package.
Each instrument can be bought separately with the full version of Symphony Series costing more but offering extras compared to Symphony Essentials. Packages include Percussion, Woodwind, Brass, and Strings. Other strings and percussion packages include Action Strikes, Damage, Rise & Hit, Kinetic Metal, Emotive Strings, and Action Strings. Evolve offers the composer unique sounds and effects, and the Mutations versions go even further in creating a modern sound.
8dio Studio Quarter Series
This orchestral VST’s selection of products can be bought at competitive prices in bundles that feature different instruments and playing styles. String instruments featured include the deep solo cello, deep solo violin, and emotional guitars. Other bundles feature the 12-string, electric, dobro, acoustic, ukulele, mandolin, and steel-string guitars. These are just a few of the products 8Dio offers, a tiny sample of the company’s hundreds of options.
8Dio offers a comprehensive range of bundles for any instrument type, be it strings, percussion, piano, keyboard, brass, or woodwinds. There are also packages for composers wanting to use different elements in their music, including ethnic, epic, ambiance, and vintage. The choral options are also worth mentioning as they feature high-quality recordings that will complement any composition.
Vienna Symphonic Library
More than six million samples are included in the Vienna Symphonic Library! We have pretty much an unlimited number of choices for combinations and unique compositions. Award-winning composer Danny Elfman says that VSL is a central part of his sample library, which is high praise from such an accomplished musical giant.
Fortunately, for the user who cannot afford to buy the VSL sample library in one purchase, it is broken down into components, each of which can be purchased separately. The user can also choose between buying a standard or full library, with the former being less expensive. Additionally, there are starter pack options that give great value for money for those wanting to try VSL before committing to a full purchase. The Vienna Symphonic Library might have a big price tag attached to it, but considering what it offers, it is money well-spent and viewed by many as the best orchestral VST package money can buy.
EastWest Hollywood Orchestra
With Grammy, Academy, BAFTA, and Emmy Award-winning Shawn Murphy at the helm of this project’s sound engineering, it’s little wonder that Hollywood Orchestra is on top of most orchestra VST lists. This comprehensive database features Hollywood Strings, Hollywood Brass, Hollywood Orchestral Woodwinds, and Hollywood Orchestral Percussion. Recent additions include Hollywood Solo Cello, Hollywood Harp, and Hollywood Solo Violin.
While the user can purchase each one separately, they also have the option to subscribe to EastWest’s Composer Cloud, allowing them access to these instruments, at a highly competitive monthly fee. As the place where so many of the best film and TV soundtracks were recorded, EastWest Studio 1 in Hollywood is a revered location and precisely where the recordings on Hollywood Orchestra were made. The product has won several industry awards amid favorable reviews from music publications around the world.
Miroslav Philharmonik Orchestra
For lovers of symphony orchestra music, Miroslav Philharmonik 2 is an outstanding choice and one of the best orchestra instrument plugins products a composer or musician should have. With Philharmonik 2, the user has access to music that is pitch-perfect while still offering the human emotional element that so many recordings lack. Each instrument offers multiple articulations, and the user chooses between an ensemble or solo performance.
The Philharmonik 2 has a user-friendly interface with old school charm and but highly modern quality. With so many editable features, the workstation allows the user to adjust and fine tune sounds for the perfect results, including tone, dynamics, modulation, reverb, and delay. Its 34 top quality effects and over 2,700 instruments covering the range of symphony orchestral music instruments were recorded with such meticulous attention to detail that every note brings something special to a music piece.