Garritan - Personal Orchestra 5 - Computer Music - July 2016
Garritan Personal Orchestra (AAX/VST/AU/standalone) is an all-in-one orchestral library aimed at those wanting to program convincing symphonic parts on a budget.
Version 4 included a 2GB sample set (piano, woodwind, harp, percussion, pipe organ, brass and strings), around 300 instrument presets, and 28 ensemble presets.
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.
GPO5 is a solid if not earth-shattering update, and although the mixer could be more powerful, at this price, that´s by no means a deal-breaker. The dynamic transitioning in GPO4 was already good, and the improvements to it are subtle but welcome.
Overall, version 5 continues the software´s tradition of value and flexibility, and is a superb option for the thrifty producer looking for quality orchestral sounds in a flexible, easy-to-use package.