Garritan’s Personal Orchestra software instrument has gained quite a following since it was first introduced to music producers and composers around ten years ago in Kontakt format.
Now in its fifth reincarnation, and powered by the Garritan ARIA Player, this multi-award-winning software places an entire symphony orchestra at your fingertips at a very affordable price.
Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 was released last year with a vastly expanded collection of instruments as well as new techniques, performance spaces and reverbs, and instrument body resonances. Here, we take a look at what the music production press think of this latest version…
“GPO 5 builds on the legacy: it’s a versatile, musically solid collection with something to offer both budding orchestrators and experienced professionals, and, as ever, it’s very reasonably priced.” – Sound on Sound
“GPO5 ups the ante somewhat with a 12.5GB sample bank and just over 500 instruments, including everything in GPO4 and new additions across all categories except woodwind. There have also been a few improvements to Aria Player, which has a new look, drag-and-drop patch loading, and improved dynamic transitioning between sample layers (a system dubbed Sonic Morphing).
There’s also a new Convolution reverb with 27 sampled spaces, including six concert halls, and various chapels, ballrooms and scoring studios. This shares Aria Player’s one auxiliary send with the existing Ambience algorithmic reverb, which also gains proper high- and low- frequency EQ and Damping. Although both reverbs are of good quality, the single send and basic Mixer features (Level, Pan, Mute, Solo and Send) are GPO5’s one major weak spot.
“It’s amazing what a hundred quid will get you these days – GPO5 is packed with big, impressive orchestral sounds and lacking only in the mixing department.” – Computer Music
“Due to the original Garritan philosophy of providing an affordable full orchestral library with a light footprint, string articulations were kept to a minimum in previous versions. But with today’s computers, resource management is less of an issue, and GPO5 now has more bowing techniques than some of the higher end dedicated string libraries.
Apart from common articulations like Sustain, Pizzicato, Staccato and Marcato, the large section contains Heavy Vibrato, Grand Detache, Martele, Potato, Col Legno, Sautille and Sul Tasto.
It’s packed with every orchestral instrument any composer, arranger or student might need to write classical music, whether for large or small ensembles… and is probably the most complete library of its type”. – 9/10 Music Tech
“It is impossible not to be impressed by this package, and it is sure to be a valuable tool for the educator and student alike. Learners at all levels will find the ARIA Player accessible, making it easy to negotiate through all the samples/instruments provided. Bulletproof – there were no problems or glitches during the duration of this review therefore I feel confident it will integrate seamlessly into the learning environment with no negative issues.” – Music Education Resources
“All in all, I think this is a great orchestral collection for the price. Plus there are some extra added instruments like organs and keyboards which really help as well when building up orchestral templates.” – AskAudio
“A compact and budget-friendly orchestral library, but a lot more complete and flexible than many much larger and more expensive libraries. It’s an excellent orchestra for the bedroom producer who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money and disk space on orchestra samples. It’s also perfect for academic use, and a powerful tool for the serious orchestral music producer who already owns multiple virtual orchestras and always wants more.” – Bedroom Producers Blog