The 4 Best Orchestral VST’s — Reviews 2023

Best Orchestral VST

Photo by Marco Raaphorst / CC BY

We live in a time where digital technology rules the audio business in many ways, and a vast array of options brought upon us by this sonic expansion can be a tad intimidating. What is the best digital audio software to us? What’s the best VST? What’s the best DAW?

Questions like this keep piling up on the web, and although there are indeed some genuine stinkers on the market, many digital tools deliver equal quality to analog technology, or even surpass it in some aspects. We decided to sift through all the products out there and bring you the best orchestral VST on today’s market.

Garritan Instant Orchestra

As one of the most versatile products of its niche, the Garritan Instant Orchestra has a very self-explanatory name – it’s an instant orchestra available in a convenient digital package.

Apart from an on-board ARIA instrument, and OS X , VST, and RTAS, audio units, the device features a truly vast array of instruments, including super-lush strings, bombastic brass sections, slivery choirs, low-octave rumblings, ethereal textures, spooky wind textures, mega-hits, wild overlays, light glassy harps, chaotic whirls, rises, chord clusters, glissandi, and much more

The GIO is commonly hailed as a must-have library for any music aficionado focused on the orchestral vibe. The quality of sounds it offers is truly top-notch and authentic, as even the most trained ears of classical musicians typically can’t spot a difference between these sounds and analog recordings.

The integrated ARIA Player means that there is no need for you to buy a separate sample player, while the mix also includes a portion of special orchestral effects featured in many movies, so if film scores are your thing, this is the best orchestral VST on this list.

Garritan: Instant Orchestra

Native Instrument Komplete 11

Picking it up a notch, we’d like to kindly draw your attention to a killer product and possibly the best orchestral VST pack out there, the Native Instrument Komplete 11. This collection offers an immensely vast library of sounds, including the classical goodies, and they are all nothing short of high end.

We’re talking about over 155 GB of audio recordings, a pack of 45 products rounding up a whopping library of over 13,000 various sounds, instruments and effects. Overall, these babies will have your back covered for anything between electronic dance music to cinematic scores to sound design. Needless to say, the classical sphere is also very well covered.

The package (see full specs) features the expressive new synth known as Rounds, along with the hybrid drum sampler called DrumLab. Also included in the mix is wide specter of Komplete technology instruments, including Kountour and Session Horn.

Overall, the Komplete 11 contains more or even way more sounds than you could ever need in your entire life, and that can be a tad daunting. So if you’re considering buying this product, be prepared to invest a proper amount of time and energy into it. You wanted stuff from pro producers, better start acting like one.

Discover KOMPLETE 11 | Native Instruments

IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik Orchestra & Choir Workstation

Another fine orchestral VST is brought to us by none other than the iconic Czech bassist Miroslav Vitous of Weather Report. This set is a 55 GB audio library featuring music and sounds performed by the Czech Philharmonik Orchestra in the Dvorak Symphony Hall and recorded by Mr. Vitous himself. It’s a 16-part multi-timbral sample-based orchestral workstation featuring brass, string, and wind instruments recorded in top-notch surrounding and in a wide range of articulations.

Focused purely on classical music, this package is quite user friendly, offering a set of 34 classic DSP effects, along with, four insert effects per instrument, four master effects with separate sends and a hi-quality master reverb derived from CSR. The Miroslav Philharmonik can work as a stand-alone product or as a VST.

In terms of audio quality, this product is fairly similar to the Garritan Instant Orchestra. They are both top-notch items, and it is advised to give them both a spin and test all the minute details to see which product better suits your needs.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for good deals with this bad boy. While not cheap (unless you’re loaded), once you consider how much you’re getting, this IK Multimedia kit is a heck of a bargain.

SAMPLETANK Miroslav Philharmonik 2 The Strings Section Demo for iPad

Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos

We’d like to round things up with a little something piano-oriented – the Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos software package. Compact and concise, this tool provides you with some of the finest piano sounds the world has to offer.

Additionally, the device (see full specs) packs up to 18 velocity levels per each of the pianos, along with a sympathetic string resonance, the half pedaling function, pedal noise feature, a lid position, timbre shifting and parametric EQ options, a set of tuning tables, and brand new synth layers.

The software also boasts a brand new engine to further raise work efficiency and audio quality. Upon release, it was met with massive praise from music aficionados across the globe as a top-notch tool, and it stands out as one of the best items of its niche to this day.

So if your orchestra-related needs are more piano-driven, we highly recommend checking out the Ivory II pack.

Ivory II - Grand Pianos: What makes it different? Part 1

“What should I look for in the best orchestral VST’s?”

First and foremost, a good orchestral VST needs to have amazing samples. It’s as simple as that. Therefore, you must take a good listen and keep your ears peeled for quality recordings at all times.

The second step is to look for a fast software engine and a user-friendly interface. Convenience can go a long way in fueling your creativity by making the sounds available at your disposal with a mere click of a button.

Essentially, we recommend checking out free online demos to test if the given product suits your needs. Once you’re there, all we can say is get one of these bad boys and start cracking out some amazing music. Get inspired, get working!

Written and Reviewed By

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

  • Marko is the senior editor and writer on Ultimate Guitar, the No. 1 guitar spot on the web, since early 2013. His work was also featured on a variety of other notable gear spots such as Guitar Fella, Consordini, and, of course, Song Simian. His musical journey began at a very young age, and he finally opted to pick up an instrument in his early teenage years. A fan of King Crimson. A travel enthusiast.

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