Garritan Personal Orchestra Reviews

Sound on Sound Review

Sound On Sound Feb 2017

“In my view Garritan Personal Orchestra has always been a great resource. Its complete instrumentation and super-fast loading are a boon for mock-ups, and though it can’t rival today’s big orchestral collections for sonic depth, some of its instruments are superb. 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.”

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.”

Read Dave Stewart’s  full review from the February 2017 issue.

MusicTech Review and 9/10 Rating


“Garritan’s Personal Orchestra has always been a great value-for-money, highly efficient orchestral library with a fast workflow and respectable sampled instruments. Version 5 is even better, with improved sounds and a helluva lot more of them.”

“This is a brilliant orchestral library.”

“… 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.”

Read Keith Gemmell’s full review from the June 2016 issue.

Computer Music Review, 9/10, Performance Award, Value Award

ComputerMusic Cover July 16“The biggest addition, though, is a significant chunk of the original Garritan Orchestral Strings library, comprising a vast array of sonically consistent articulations, both as individual and key-switched patches, and ranging from solo instrument and small sections (two to six players), to much bigger ensembles and a full orchestral string section. Throw in first and second violins and you have the sort of sonic flexibility that’s often lacking in string libraries at this price point. What’s more, with quick loading (the whole Garritan orchestral Strings bank is a nimble 4GB), string programming feels even more achievable and fun.”

“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.”

See the full review from the July 2016 issue.

Music instrument Professional Review

MI PRO Review 2“For many bedroom producers and small studio set-ups, being able to obtain a truly great orchestral sound has always come at a price – spending serious money on orchestral samples that eat into valuable disk space being a main issue.

Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 delivers a fantastic orchestral ensemble, which is more than flexible enough to meet the demands of producers and academics who are looking for the sound of more expensive libraries but without paying the cost associated with them.”

“In general, GPO5 is the ultimate orchestral solution for any budding producer or academic on a budget, without compromising on sound quality or flexibility. If you’re looking for a comprehensive orchestral library that can be customised to individual tastes, then look no further…”

Reviewed May 9th 2016. Read the entire article.

Bedroom Producers Blog Review, 92% Brilliant Score

Bedroom Producers Blog 2“Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 is 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.”

Reviewed by D Smolken on April 4, 2016. See the full post

Urban Sound Studio Review

Todd Urban Reviews GPO 5Todd Urban of Urban Sound Studio leads a virtual tour/review of the new features of Garritan Personal Orchestra 5. He demonstrates how to use multi-timbral mode, load instruments with the new browsers, and demonstrates some of the new sounds, patch navigator, and key switches.

“With all you get here, it’s a best value.” – Todd Urban, 2016 Review

Sound on Sound Review


“…GPO offers everything you need to get started with computer-based orchestration straight right out of the box….A thoroughly comprehensive orchestral library which omits no instruments of note, and throws in some rare ones…. despite its modest price, this library features some of the best sampled woodwinds I have heard…. its samples are well chosen, versatile and expressive.”

“…this intelligent orchestral package may well buck that trend; its affordable price, comprehensive nature and user-friendly attitude are sure to attract many musicians…For composers and arrangers chasing deadlines, and musicians who like to get fast results, GPO could be the perfect solution…buy it now, before someone puts the price up.”
Reviewed by Dave Stewart & Mark Wherry in October 2004 issue

SCREENTALK Review “GPO & The Magic Bullet”

ScreentalkMay2004Screentalk is one of the world’s leading and renowned screenwriting magazine.

“Thanks to sample master Gary Garritan, you too can have a complete (and I mean complete) orchestral sample library for the low, low price of $249. Yes, that’s right. $249. Garritan has turned the sample world on its head by offering us the Garritan Personal Orchestra, a superbly recorded and, better yet, superbly programmed library. In my opinion it’s so good that every musician and moviemaker should immediately put down this magazine and buy a copy. Don’t believe me? Head on over to Garritan’s website and listen to the dozens of user demos available…And prepare to be amazed…”

“I suppose it’s unbecoming of a reviewer to gush over a product. But screw ‘em. I simply love GPO.”
Reviewed by Rob Gregory-Browne in May/June 2004 issue

Recording Musician Review

RecordingFrance“GPO is great. There will be great success for this compact symphonic orchestra, it is well conceived and easy to use. It’s a complete solution with an unbeatable price.”

“A new vision of the orchestra : Gary is a pioneer…. he didn’t hesitate to rethink the orchestra. GPO is decidedly for everyone and complete. It’s a new way, closer to real music than a program. The long-awaited human dimension benefits many musicians and shows what technology can do. This is a tool for the apprentice composer as well as professional… In this perspective, the simple way it is laid out, the savings, service and clearly-defined objectives are worth the successes GPO deserves.”
Reviewed by Pierre Estéve in October 2004 issue

Keyboard Player Review

keyboardplayermagKeyboard Player is the longest running keyboard magazine in the U.K.

“Now, as far as the quality is concerned, I can sum it up in one word. Awesome! ‘Nuff said! I think that GPO is brilliant! ”

It’s more than proved its worth to me already….You get superb quality sounds with a user-friendly interface, and plenty of help on tap to boot. What’s more, you get all of this at a very reasonable price… If you need quality orchestral sounds, you can’t go wrong with this one…It’s a ‘must-have’ product that will get an awful lot of use. If words don’t convince you, by the way, just try downloading some of the demos on the Garritan website. You’ll be as impressed as I am.”
Reviewed by Andrew Gilbert in August 2004 issue

TraXmusic Review 

trax“Finally, the barriers have been broken with the introduction of Garritan Personal Orchestra…Gary has really gone the extra mile…””What I did find very pleasant was the library was very usable with a little effort…. What’s distinctive about GPO is how instantly effective it is compared to some other orchestral libraries….Garritan has been a man of firsts with each release. He brought us the first gorgeous harp library… our first multi gigabyte collection of orchestral strings…. Now, we are presented with the first more affordable all-in-one orchestra that gives even someone with absolutely nothing a place to start….”
Reviewed by Devon Brent in May 2004 issue

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EQ Magazine Review


“This is the orchestral library for the rest of us inexpensive, great sounds, awesome usability, and plenty of support…”

“… the orchestral library equivalent of a compact car – but one with leather bucket seats, a hi-fi sound system, and surprising acceleration.”
Review by Craig Anderton in August 2004 issue

Cakewalk.NET Review

cakewalknetThis is perhaps the Longest Sample Library Review ever written. is one of the leading resources for Cakewalk users.

“Would you mind very much if I skip ahead to the verdict right here? I know it’s customary to save conclusions for the end so as not to ruin any surprises. I suppose there is the risk some of you won’t read any further because you don’t much care about details and were just planning to skip to the end anyway, and now that I’m giving you a shortcut you might not even accidentally notice any of the details. I’ll take my chances, though. Here goes: Garritan Personal Orchestra raises the bar for affordable, realistic, playable, and just plain fun orchestral simulations. There, I’ve done it.”

“If you’re a musician who has been frustrated by past attempts to realistically and musically emulate orchestral instruments using sample players and/or synthesizers, GPO may just be what you’ve been searching for.”
Reviewed by Rick Paul in July 2004

Tape Op Review

TapeOpTape Op is a leading magazine in the professional recording community.

“Garritan managed to create an affordable orchestral program…”

“For me, the program does exactly what I had hoped (yes, I bought it)….Download some of the demos at and hear for yourself. GPO is the exception that proves the rule – sometimes you do get much more than you paid for.”
Reviewed by Mike Jasper in May/June 2004 issue

Pro Sound News 

prosoundnews-2007March“Without the Garritan Personal Orchestra we wouldn’t have had musicians in the Orchestra pit” explained Julie Whittaker, executive director of the LA Ballet…  It’s the first time the Musican’s Union has permitted the us use of pre-programmed tracks in this way..When they realized that they were going to use the technology to provide work for musicians….”
LA Ballet Opens Inaugural Season with Live and Virtual Players Using Garritan Personal Orchestra, article in March 2007

Musician’s Magazine (Musikermagasinet – Sweden) Review

Musikermagasinet“With GPO I could sit on the train and compose with a full orchestra in session using just a laptop and pair of headphones…it’s a good illustration of how convenient and easy this is to use. Those who prefer traditional composing can use GPO as a reliable reference when composing in Finale or Sibelius, and those who prefer composing with a sequencer can use the plug-in version of GPO. The results are impressive, surprisingly so, especially when the various performance controllers are used during recording or editing.”

“GPO is, simply put, a revolution. John Williams had better watch out, the competition is about to get serious!”
Reviewed by Jack Winge in April 2004 issue

The Guide To MIDI Orchestration 3rd Edition Review


“The quality of sounds range from very good to excellent….The strings have the ability to produce beautiful and lyrical lines…as well as powerful and forceful articulations….The library’s solo strings are well presented…The keyboard instruments are particularly good and frankly probably worth the cost of the library by themselves….One of the most powerful features of GPO is its ensemble assembly functionality….As far as I know, GPO is the only library that offers this type of flexibility and control….”

“GPO is without a doubt one of if not the best value I have seen in the world of MIDI orchestration…Bravo to Gary for another well thought-out, well-executed product.” Reviewed by Paul Gilreath in 2004

Keyboard Magazine “How To” Featu

KeyboardFeb2005“Having a great-sounding virtual orchestra automatically realize a computer notation score is the dream of ant computer-based composer or arranger…We’ve taken the popular Garritan Personal Orchestra (GPO) and paired it with notation applications Sibelius and Finale, an ideal setup for producing slick demos from your chamber music or full orchestral scores.” The author writes about ensemble building “Assemble Your Ensemble”, then there’s a section on “Know Your Controllers” which discusses the various MIDI controls used in GPO. There’s a section on “Configuring Your Software” which shows how to set up GPO with notation software and how to record it to audio using GPO Studio.
Have Your Own Orchestra-in-Residence. Turning your orchestral scores into demos with Garritan Personal Orchestra, by Peter Kirn, February 2005 issue

Showreel Magazine – Magazine for Independent Filmakers


In a comparison between GPO and a library costing four times as much, GPO fared very favorably.

“It’s hard to ignore the price of the GPO and the way in which you feel more involved in the playing via the expression controls and sculpting of the orchestral sounds. The solo instruments are very good and, as a solution for temping and low-budget soundtrack orchestral replacement, it works very well. ”
Test of Logic 7 with the Garritan Personal Orchestra and The East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra (Gold), Review by Clive Collier Showreel, Spring 2005 issue

Macworld Review

macworld“…an affordable symphony orchestra library for the rest of us.”

“With big, professional libraries, you will end up spending lots of time wading through long lists of patches hunting for the right instrument, and prices are well outside the reach of most musicians. So – time for simplicity, sanity and affordability in the form of the Personal Orchestra.”
Reviewed by Mike Collins

“Macworld’s Buying Advice: There can be no doubt about it – the Garritan Personal Orchestra does exactly what Gary Garritan claims, and is great value for money. It has everything you need to get started making orchestral music…” …I can recommend this package to anyone who wants to get started with orchestral composition on the Mac at a very affordable price.”

Muzikus (Czech Republic) Review

muzikus“…GPO represents the most effective solution for the professional music production today…With the GPO, users get not only an excellent orchestral library, but – at the same time – a complete software package for immediate work. And, this all for just a fraction of cost compared to the competitive products.”

“…Although GPO is a virtual orchestra, it is amazing, how much realism has Garritan put in-there: like with the real orchestra… Garritan’s sense for detail gets even beyond that – one can play with such a things like bowing, breathing, tuning… to obtain the ultimate realism. Most of the control aspects are flexible and musical; that way, it is really up to the mastery of the user to achieve great results with GPO….”
Reviewed in May 2004 issue

Computer Music Review


“It’s possible to make this sound like a sample bank that should come with a four-figure price tag.”

” What excites us most about GPO is the way it uses real-time MIDI controllers … undeniably high levels of realism – you can truly breathe life into your compositions….lush, natural, realistic…Fantastic value for money….Pretty impressive.”

CM2 (Computer Music – Italy) Review

CM2Italy “One of the best features of this library, and that renders it truly only of a kind, are the solo instruments sampled from the best classical instruments made between the XVII and the XVIII century, as the Stradivari, the Gagliano and Guarnieri for the strings, which can be combined to make string sections made by single instruments…”

“The GPO has an excellent quality/price ratio, and it was conceived to make everything very easy and intuitive rather than just programming music. It is particularly playable, so you can use it for every kind of music. I too am using it in some professional pop-productions… you can gain similar results as libraries costing ten times as much.” “The expression in GPO is amazing. … the ensemble maker gives to GPO an advantage over other libraries, not to mention the high quality of the sampled instruments.”  Reviewed in April 2004 issue

Game Developer Review


“With the need for high quality orchestral software packages growing every day, the Garritan Personal Orchestra is a worthy contender, especially considering what you get for the paltry price tag…. it is the quality of the instruments that drives this package. Each instrument is perfectly represented, a true feat when compared to the price tag most MIDI instrument packages of this quality carry….”

Music4Games Review

music4gamesMusic4Games is one of the leading resources for music in the gaming industry.

“… Garritan Personal Orchestra library a complete all-in-one sample based instrument orchestra library and software package, is not only revolutionary, but also the most significant sample-based instrument library ever to be produced.”

“GPO has brought the affordable symphonic orchestra to the masses and their laptops, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the music world for years to come. Perhaps the next modern day Mozart is right now loading his or her laptop with GPO and preparing to write their first note of music…. GPO is a high quality product. With GPO, we may be witnessing history.”
Reviewed in October 2004 Issue

Sound on Sound – Garritan Orchestration Competition

SOSjuly2005Garritan’s first annual Garritan Personal Orchestra Orchestration Competition has come to an end. Nearly 200 entrants submitted pieces of music created using GPO, all aiming for the grand prize of having their work performed by the Czech Republic’s Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra. Gary Garritan said, “The winning entries were masterful on all fronts–superb composition, extremely well-orchestrated, well-produced and made excellent use of Personal Orchestra. The entries were outstanding.” Article in July 2005 issue

Keyboard Magazine – From Software to Symphony Hall GPO Orchestration Competition


“Replace an Orchestra with software?” asks Gary Garritan, creator of the Garritan Personal Orchestra. No way. I want my software to inspire composers to write music that’s good enough to be played by a real orchestra.”

“To that end, Garritan created the GPO Orchestration Competition Contest in which over 200 entrants submitted orchestral compositions created entirely using their audio/MIDI sequencer or notation program and GPO. Co-sponsored by Keyboard the constest culminated this past March in a gala performance by the Moravian Philharmonic in the Czech Republic.”
Article in July 2005 issue

MacUser Review 

MacUser“GPO is a keenly priced, extensive collection of great-sounding orchestral samples… a positive boon to most musicians’ Macs. If you need further persuasion, the MP3 demos on the Garritan website illustrate GPO’s strengths very effectively.”

“Being able to perform each instrument individually, rather than applying a blanket ‘string quartet’ preset, results in a richer sound.”
Reviewed by Jonathan Wilson in August 2004 issue

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