In case you happen to think that SSO is the only free and open orchestral sample library on the market, think again. This year has seen the release of no less than three (!) free orchestral libraries, which must be some kind of a record.
VSCO 2 Community Edition is a cut down CC-licensed version of Versilian Studios’ professional VSCO 2 lib. But don’t let that “cut down” thing fool you: it has everything you might need for a basic orchestral setup and sounds absolutely marvellous.
No Budget Orchestra by Jeff Glatt is akin to SSO insofar that it was created from open sources. It may not have the same detail as the other libs mentioned here, but it’s a very lean and for its size surprisingly convincing-sounding library.
Virtual Playing Orchestra created by Paul Battersby is kind of like the handsome bastard child of all of the above; it features bits from both SSO, VSCO 2 CE and NBO and brings these together in a very comprehensive, easy to use SFZ library.
Seeing this gives me a warm feeling. I created SSO out of pure frustration with the state of the free/open scene around 2009-2010 or so, with good virtual orchestration libraries being exclusive to people who were willing and able to part with large amounts of money. It took a few years, but now we see the democratization process beginning to happen for real. Hopefully these releases will lead to a free library arms race!
Awesome work all you guys!