Music VSTs

10 Best Orchestral VST Libraries (2024)

Want to know the best Orchestral VSTs? Look no further! Check out our list to learn about great string VSTs.

New Free E-Book: 15 Best Orchestral VSTs

10 Best Orchestral VST Libraries

Welcome Composers and Arrangers! Are you researching the best Orchestral String VSTs for your piece?

Here is my list of the top choices for your next string library (in no particular order):

  1. Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings
  2. Orchestral Tools Berlin Symphonic Strings
  3. Spitfire Symphonic Strings
  4. Spitfire Chamber Strings
  5. Native Instruments Session Strings 2
  6. 8dio Anthology Strings
  7. Spitfire BBC Symphony Pro
  8. Cremona Quartet
  9. EastWest Symphonic Orchestra
  10. Audiobro LA Scoring Strings 3

These are ten of the most popular orchestral VSTs that are currently on the market. Most of them include violins, violas, cellos and basses. You’ll want to listen to examples of each VST online to see which sound fits your music goals the best.

Choosing A VST

With so many orchestral VSTs available on the market, it can be challenging to choose the best one for your needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best orchestral VST:

  1. Sound Quality

The most critical factor to consider when choosing an orchestral VST is the sound quality. The VST should sound as realistic as possible, with convincing instrument samples that capture the nuances of real instruments. The sound quality of the VST is often determined by the quality of the samples used, as well as the sampling and recording process.

  1. Articulations and Playing Styles

Orchestral music often requires different articulations and playing styles, such as legato, staccato, pizzicato, and more. A good orchestral VST should include a range of articulations and playing styles for each instrument, allowing composers to create dynamic and expressive performances.

  1. User Interface and Controls

The user interface and controls of an orchestral VST are essential for ease of use and workflow. A good VST should have an intuitive interface that allows users to quickly access different sounds and settings. It should also include various controls for adjusting the sound, such as volume, pan, and reverb.

  1. Compatibility and System Requirements

The orchestral VST you choose should be compatible with your DAW and operating system. It’s also essential to consider the system requirements of the VST, as some VSTs require a powerful computer and a significant amount of RAM to run smoothly.

  1. Price

The price of an orchestral VST is also a significant consideration. While there are some free orchestral VSTs available, they often have limitations in terms of sound quality and features. Premium orchestral VSTs can cost several hundred dollars, but they often include more advanced features and higher-quality samples.

Best Orchestral VST

History Of Orchestral VSTs

Introduction To VSTs

Orchestral virtual instruments, commonly referred to as VSTs (Virtual Studio Technology), have revolutionized the way composers and music producers create realistic and immersive orchestral compositions. These powerful software tools allow musicians and producers to access a vast array of orchestral sounds and performances, from strings and brass to woodwinds and percussion, without the need for physical instruments or recording sessions with live musicians.

First Uses of VSTs

The use of virtual instruments in music production dates back to the 1980s, with the advent of digital synthesizers and samplers. However, it was not until the 1990s and early 2000s that orchestral VSTs started gaining traction as viable tools for creating realistic orchestral compositions. During this time, advancements in computer processing power, sample recording technology, and software development allowed for the creation of more sophisticated and detailed virtual instruments.

The first generation of orchestral VSTs were basic, with limited articulations, dynamics, and expression options. However, with each passing year, virtual instruments became more sophisticated and realistic, offering musicians and producers an unprecedented level of control and realism in their compositions. Today, orchestral VSTs have become an essential part of many music production workflows, enabling composers to create professional-quality orchestral arrangements with ease and convenience.

Features of Orchestral VSTs

Modern orchestral VSTs offer a wide range of features that allow musicians and producers to create authentic and expressive orchestral compositions. Some of the common features of orchestral VSTs include:

Multi-sampled Instruments

Orchestral VSTs typically include meticulously recorded samples of real instruments, capturing multiple articulations, playing techniques, and dynamic layers. These samples are then mapped to the MIDI keyboard, allowing musicians to trigger different articulations and techniques with different velocities, creating a realistic and expressive performance.

Articulation and Expression Controls

Orchestral VSTs often include a variety of articulation and expression controls, such as legato, staccato, pizzicato, spiccato, tremolo, and more. These controls allow musicians to shape the sound and performance of the virtual instruments to match the desired musical expression.

Dynamic Controls

Orchestral VSTs also typically include dynamic controls, such as velocity and modulation controls, allowing musicians to control the volume, attack, and release of the virtual instruments in real-time, replicating the nuances of live performances.

Mixer and Effects Controls

Many orchestral VSTs come with built-in mixer and effects controls, allowing musicians to shape the sound of the virtual instruments with EQ, reverb, delay, and other effects. These controls provide flexibility in sound design and allow for seamless integration with other instruments and sounds in a music production.

Performance Modes

Orchestral VSTs often include various performance modes, such as legato, portamento, and glissando, allowing musicians to create realistic transitions between notes and create expressive performances.

Ensemble and Section Options

Orchestral VSTs typically offer a variety of ensemble and section options, allowing musicians to create realistic orchestral arrangements by combining different instruments, sections, and playing styles. This enables composers to create complex and dynamic orchestrations with full control over the ensemble’s sound and performance.

MIDI Mapping and Automation

Orchestral VSTs allow musicians to map MIDI controllers and automate various parameters, providing flexibility and customization in performance and sound design.

Playability and Realism

Modern VSTs are designed to be highly playable offering musicians a realistic and expressive experience when performing virtual instruments. They often feature advanced algorithms for legato, portamento, and other playing techniques, allowing for smooth and natural transitions between notes.

Additionally, most VSTs incorporate real-time performance features, such as dynamic response to velocity and modulation, and responsive envelope controls, making the virtual instruments respond like real instruments to the nuances of the performance.

Sample Quality and Detail

Orchestral VSTs rely on high-quality samples to capture the nuances and subtleties of real instruments. These samples are recorded at various dynamic layers and articulations, ensuring that the virtual instruments sound authentic and natural. The samples are often recorded by professional musicians and recorded in world-class recording studios using high-end microphones and equipment, resulting in a realistic and detailed sound.

Flexibility and Customization

Orchestral VSTs offer a high degree of flexibility and customization, allowing musicians and producers to create unique and personalized orchestral compositions. With the wide range of articulation, expression, and dynamic controls, musicians can shape the sound of the virtual instruments to match their musical vision. Additionally, the ability to combine different instruments, sections, and playing styles allows for endless creative possibilities in orchestrations.

Convenience and Cost-Effectiveness

One of the biggest benefits of using orchestral VSTs is the convenience and cost-effectiveness they offer. Unlike traditional orchestral recordings, which require hiring live musicians, booking recording studios, and managing complex recording sessions, orchestral VSTs can be used in the comfort of a home or studio setup. This eliminates the need for costly recording sessions and allows musicians and producers to have complete control over the recording process. Additionally, orchestral VSTs are often more cost-effective compared to hiring live musicians, making them accessible to a wider range of musicians and producers.

Realistic Mockups and Demos

Orchestral VSTs are widely used in the music industry for creating realistic mockups and demos. Many composers and music producers use orchestral VSTs to create demos of their compositions, which can be shared with clients, collaborators, or for pitching to music supervisors, filmmakers, and other industry professionals. These realistic mockups allow composers and producers to present their compositions in a polished and professional manner, even if they do not have access to live musicians or a full orchestra.

Educational and Learning Tools

Orchestral VSTs are also valuable educational and learning tools for aspiring composers and music producers. They provide an opportunity to study and understand the intricacies of orchestral music, including different playing techniques, articulations, dynamics, and ensemble arrangements. Many orchestral VSTs come with comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and educational resources that can help musicians and producers improve their skills and knowledge in orchestration and composition.

Orchestral VSTs have become an essential tool for modern composers and music producers, offering realistic and expressive virtual instruments that can be used in a wide range of musical genres. With their high-quality samples, advanced scripting options, and intuitive interfaces, orchestral VSTs provide a convenient and cost-effective way to create professional-quality orchestral compositions in the comfort of a home or studio setup. Whether for creating demos, mockups, or full-fledged compositions, orchestral VSTs offer a powerful and flexible solution for bringing the magic of the orchestra into the digital realm.


Ultimately, the best orchestral VST will depend on your personal preferences and requirements. It’s important to try out different VSTs and read reviews from other users to find the one that works best for you. Additionally, some VSTs offer free trial versions or demos, allowing you to test them out before committing to a purchase.

Investing in a high-quality orchestral VST can greatly enhance the quality of your compositions and productions, and can save you time and money in the long run by eliminating the need for live musicians. By carefully considering your options and choosing the best orchestral VST for your needs, you can create realistic and expressive orchestral music in your DAW

Additional Reading

Do you know how to collect all of your music royalties? If not, check out our article about SoundExchange vs SongTrust to learn what they do.

Looking for ways to build upon your orchestral VSTs? Read our article about the 10 of the top Woodwind VSTs.

Breve Music Studios publishes music to Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and more. Follow our pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube.

Listen to our ensembles: Breve Orchestra, Breve Music Ensemble, Breve Low Brass Ensemble, Breve Woodwind Ensemble, and Jermaine Harris on Spotify.

Breve Music Studios publishes music for Breve Orchestra, Breve Low Brass Ensemble, Breve Music Ensemble, and Breve Woodwind Ensemble.
Breve Music Studios publishes music for Breve Orchestra, Breve Low Brass Ensemble, Breve Music Ensemble, and Breve Woodwind Ensemble.

15 replies on “10 Best Orchestral VST Libraries (2024)”