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June 2017 Giveaway

MOTU Symphonic Instrument Reviews

3.5 stars based on 8 customer reviews
Questions about the MOTU Symphonic Instrument?

Questions about the MOTU Symphonic Instrument?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

Sweetwater Advice

  • Dennis Konicki

    Between the great sounds, fantastic interface, and full control, MOTU has another winner with Symphonic Instrument! This became a regularly used part of my studio almost instantly!

  • Kenny Bergle

    Finally! A virtual synth for the orchestra! And the whole orchestra too, not just solo instruments. The really cool thing I've discovered about Symphonic Instruments is that the whole plug-in is engineered to sound like a complete orchestra . The EQ , mix, and timbre of the plug-in all meshes completely and sounds as if they (the orchestral players) have been rehearsing your piece for some time! In other symphonic plug-ins, I have to EQ and compress and mix to make it sound that way. In Symphonic Instruments, it sounds like a coherent orchestra from the get-go! Finally!

  • Melvin Riley
    from West haven November 9, 2009Music Background:

    The best

    Just Try it' you will not believe how awesome the sound are....

  • J. Hackney
    from Chapel Hill, NC February 21, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, HIP HOP Beatsmith

    WOW -A Pleasant Surprise

    For this price I have to admit that I was expecting a few cheesy keyboard samples but it sounds like a symphony is in my control room. This plug in is a must have and it runs flawlessly with protools as a RTAS plug in controlled by the M-Audio Axiom49. It is too easy(am I dreaming)

  • Nathanael Davenport
    from Rexburg, ID May 31, 2007Music Background:
    Hammond Organist, Recording Engineer - Rock House Recording

    Great value, but some glitches.

    This is a wonderful tool given it's price. The samples were recorded well, there is a good variety, and for light use it augments the composer/project studio setup very nicely. It is very CPU efficient, and running dozens of instances on my MacBook Pro goes without a hitch.

    However, for serious usage, there are some kinks that still need to be worked out. Absence of legato articulations is the biggest one, which matters more on strings than anything, and is what is responsible for it sounding "synthesized" in delicate string parts. That's somewhat acceptable given the price and the overhead that legato inherently costs on the CPU.

    What I do think is unacceptable was the sloppiness that some "lesser-used" instruments like bass clarinet, Contra Bassoon, and others (which typically are small in RAM and disk overhead), were put together - poorly. For example, I was just trying to play a pianissimo descending line on the bass clarinet sustained patch, only to have a note jump out at me at full, blaring velocity. In other words, someone forgot to include the softer samples for those notes in the programming. Other times a sour note will come out in a contrabassoon patch. It's little things like that that appear out of nowhere that can ruin a demo without some tedious work on your part.

    All this has still been left unfixed as of the most current version (1.1.3). I'm going to complain to MOTU to fix these problems - until an update comes out, just be on your guard.

    So, in summation: it is a great tool to supplement most pop recordings. No problems there. But if you are doing a full symphonic score and are serious about a quality demo, you may as well look to higher-end tools like the Vienna Symphonic Library or the East-West Platinum Orchestral collection. But if MOTU fixes the small glitches mentioned, it will be a great STARTER tool for those wanting to get into scoring their orchestral compositions using their DAW. It's low CPU/Disk overhead makes it a viable alternative for those on laptops or less powerful machines.

  • BEAR
    rock/clasical/ music for the ethers and love...composing


    LIKE WHAT IT IS CAPABLE OF TOO MUCH INSANITY TO GET STARTED//// GOOD SAMPLES BUT ALOT OF WORK OUT THE BOX TOO MANY STEPS I PURCHASED BECAUSE I THOUGHT WOULD BE A GOOD MATCH/ WITH DP8/9 i really love MOTU . too much frustration eventually will get used to it....i really like omnisphere and how easy to use in my composing but the sounds in it are good/ a lot of work to make it happen O PS MATT IS A GREAT EMPLOYEE OF THE SWEETWATER TEAM HE IS GREAT AS I AM SURE ALL ARE.....GIVE THEM A RAISE.......THANK YOU SWEETWATER O

  • Anonymous
    from Ohio May 5, 2010Music Background:
    Composer for film


    Ok, so it's not entirely junk. It's just not as great as everyone is talking about. This is coming from someone who has spent days on end with it. The only real good sounds are the viola forte, it does decent contra bass 5ths....(actually, come to speak of it, some of the lower notes of the contra have a weird "pumping" sound in them...like someone bumped their bow mid recording), some of the percussion is good, and the pianissimo horns are decent...but that's it. The pianos are crap...they have NO playability to them. It's either really soft or really loud.

    In a nutshell, it's a good starter program for someone who needs something. But honestly, for a little bit more you can get a LOT more.

  • Rich Sackett
    from Warren, IN August 6, 2009Music Background:

    High School Orchestra

    Just not good. Pianos are really excellent. All the wind samples sound like second chair high school players. Where in the world did they get these samples? Some are slightly out of tune, some have late attacks. Actually, the whole instrument fires sluggishly compared to all other VIs I have. Often, I have to advance the MSI-generated tracks. The strings are fair to uneven to bad. They really don't work on their own and need to be mixed with other samples or hardware sounds - not something I buy a library for. I've have this thing about four years and it still consistently disappoints in new ways. Clarinet is unusable. Double reeds aren't very good. I'd give it one star, but I use the four pianos quite often. Other than that, I wish I had never ever bought this thing.

  • Jim Bates
    from August 1, 2005

    MOTU Symphonic Instrument

    This is quite an impressive set of orchestral sounds, including instruments like the whole range of saxs, not normally part of a symphonic orchestra. This sounds better 'straight out of the box' than many sample sets do with a lot of tweaking-so much so that I have spent the last day just auditioning the instruments without tweaking any of the advanced settings. It loads very much faster than comparable sounding samplers and has a much lower cpu overhead. If it cost $1,000 more, it would still be a good deal. At it's current price, it's a steal.

  • Customer
    June 1, 2005

    Great sounding orchestra!

    This is a gem. For those that have heard GOS you will never pick it up again. This make GOS sound like a toy. Highly rec.

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