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ProjectSAM Orchestral Essentials review

  • £359
  • $99
Orchestral Essentials is a great starter-pack for creating soundtracks.

Our Verdict

Whether you're dabbling in sweeping film scores or straight-up music production, this is a great package.


  • Excellent range; handy interface.


  • Nothing, really.

This 12GB Kontakt instrument is derived from other ProjectSAM libraries, such as the renowned (and rather pricey) Symphobia 1 & 2.

The intention is to cover more ground, albeit in a less detailed manner. The interface is easy, with handy controls like attack/decay and reverb level.

Read more: QU-Bit Scanned

You get patches covering full orchestra articulations (eg, Action uses short stabs); strings, brass and woodwind sections represented in a similar fashion; and even patches containing complete phrases such as orchestra FX and fantastic ethnic flute lines. Just playing around with these instantly inspires you with a grand, cinematic sound - it's all very, er, Jurassic Park.

Elsewhere, you get a church organ, concert harp, and two OE exclusives: a slightly noisy but characterful grand piano and a funky, zingy harpsichord. Lots of percussion and some superb 'sound design' patches (risers, drones, etc) top things off.

There's everything you need here to create bombastic, expensive-sounding scores for film, TV or games, making it a fantastic and affordable "way in" for aspiring Hans Zimmers. It's awesome for music production too, we might add.