Review: The Berlin Series on SINE by Orchestral Tools


Orchestral Tools’ completely re-designed Berlin Series is finally SINE compatible and better than ever. The newly refined library boasts a polished sound, a ton of content, and SINE’s powerful sample engine which makes this so much more than just another update.

Jump to the Videos of The Berlin Series on SINE by Orchestral Tools

Jump to the Demos of The Berlin Series on SINE by Orchestral Tools


Review: The Berlin Series on SINE by Orchestral Tools

This major overhaul from Orchestral Tools brings their flagship Berlin Series into the future. It takes what made the original libraries great and brings them to the SINE player with added functionality, a revived sampled content, and a fresh approach. In short, it’s a huge collection of first-rate instruments, designed for producing detailed orchestral mock-ups and at a bundle price.

Berlin Series SINE – Woodwinds

The Berlin Series on SINE normally sells for €1899.00 from Orchestral Tools


For those who are unaware, the Berlin Series began almost a decade ago with the release of Berlin Woodwinds in 2012. The initial industry response made it a breakout success and Orchestral Tools went on to become one of the foremost developers in the business adding Berlin Strings, Brass, and Percussion to their orchestral line. Now, OT has decided to completely revive their preeminent series and update the collections to take advantage of their powerful SINE player. The result is the perfect symbiosis between a timeless library and a modern sample engine which makes the creating professional mock-ups infinitely more rewarding, realistic and fun.

At just under 1TB of sampled content, the Berlin Series offers the most comprehensive orchestral toolkit for composers in a single package and at an incredible value. The bundle is made up of 114 individual instruments and ensembles across their Berlin Strings, Brass, Woodwinds, and Percussion libraries. Much of the great, original sampled content has remained but with an immense amount of work put into re-editing the libraries in an effort to give them a more polished sound, playback, and general user experience. Everything downloads and installs directly from SINE smoothly, and surprisingly quickly, compared to other developer downloader apps.

Berlin Series SINE – Extensive Articulation List

Orchestral Tools opted to utilize smaller section sizes as well as soloists to capture the full orchestra separately. It is really a luxury to have a full divisi line-up in contrast to other libraries in the market which are mostly sections only.

The woodwinds and brass in particular make good use of this as they were designed for arranging complex part-writing and orchestrations. It is staggering to see the sheer amount of included content this bundle has to offer for the price. OT has put forth some truly pioneering techniques and articulations that focus on different attacks in both longs and shorts. Unlike many other orchestral libraries, Orchestral Tools set out to develop a library with several types of attacks for different long and short notes. Some of these include soft attacks for longer notes, immediate attacks, accented attacks, etc. There are also several types of shorts with multiple marcato and portato articulations. A brief glance at the First Violins alone will reveal more than 40 unique articulations at your disposal and illustrate the massive amount of included content. The modernized adaptive legato system is a big step forward from previous iterations as it adjusts its style and length depending on the speed of a particular performance. It handles slow emotional passages and agile runs or phrases equally well while no longer necessitating the need for tireless key-switching. In turn, this gives a much more realistic representation of actual, nuanced musician performances and gives composers more sound options at their disposal.

The update also includes some added content in the brass with an all-new FFF layer for each instrument. Having this extra, top-end dynamic is great for more aggressive passages and was something sincerely lacking from the original Berlin Brass release. It is loud, brash, and has a ton of ‘bite’ which suits modern epic or trailer music requiring a larger-than-life timbre. SINE also gives composers the option to mute or solo specific dynamic layers independently. This added level of control is a great tool that helps further control the instrument’s output and SINE will actually automatically adjust the remaining layers to compensate.

Berlin Series SINE – Performance Page

Perhaps the most significant upgrade compared to the older Kontakt version, however, is SINE’s capabilities when it comes to shaping your sounds and playability into almost custom instruments that match your workflow. Like with most other Orchestral Tools libraries, the Berlin Series takes advantage of the custom-built platform and benefits from some truly innovative features like quick-load instruments, articulation manager, customizable legato performance, dynamic layer selection, mic merge and so much more. The Polymap on the Performance page is particularly useful and allows composers to combine, stack, merge and crossfade different patches into a single custom instrument. This is hugely practical for live playback as well as opening an entirely new world of sound potential with a novel and diverse sonic palette.

Berlin Series SINE – Instrument Control

In addition to the new functionality, OT has methodically gone through and properly edited each sample set in order to obtain a clean and perfectly balanced sound. The Berlin Series’ high-quality recordings have always been a major selling point of the libraries and thankfully, it is something that still shines through many years later. The entire collection was recorded at the Teldex Scoring Stage which is typified by its pristine, first-rate early reflections. Though dry, the baked-in room reverb is still very present which is helpful for achieving an ultra-realistic mock-up while also making it flexible. All performers were also meticulously recorded in their actual stage seating position and with their natural gain level to retain the true-to-life sound. Naturally, the inner dynamics across all sections respond much like an actual orchestra would and lend themselves well for composing more complex works with a greater level of detail. Moreover, the developer has gone through the process of painstakingly pre-balancing the entire collection into a polished ‘instant orchestra’ that is helpful for newbies to get a professional sound in seconds and for veterans who can now save time without the need for a ton of extra processing.

Berlin Series SINE – Mixer Page

Almost every instrument has several mic positions available, such as Spot 1/2, Tree, Surround, AB, ORTF, etc. which are crucial for accurately dialing in your desired sound. As one might assume, the Berlin Series blends seamlessly with most other Orchestral Tools libraries and is also great for layering with other libraries to add a whole new level of clarity to your tracks. The Mixer page displays all audio channels in a single window and can be adjusted manually or via your midi controller via CC7. Composers can click on the expanded channel view to see a full view of the different channel strips like volume, pan, etc. The Mic Merge function is yet another fantastic feature that comes standard with SINE. It allows composers to combine several mic positions into a single channel, thus reducing the need for expending valuable computer resources. On larger orchestral templates, this tool is vital to safeguard against massive RAM usage. In some cases, this can even reduce some instrument sizes by half which is substantial. All to say, it is this new functionality, great sampled content, and deeply edited libraries that make this transition to SINE hard to pass up.

Berlin Series SINE – Percussion

With all of that said, there are several, minor bugs that will hopefully be addressed in a future update. Some of the issues consist of noticeable dynamic cross-fading, legato playback glitches with fast, large jumps, doubled samples, and some rare tuning issues, among some other problems. Also, the Berlin Series can surely be quite taxing on your RAM when fully loaded into your template which may be too much for some smaller workstations. In fact, it would be great to have a proper purge option for unused instruments to reduce its usage. While the mic merge does help, it would still be nice to have both to minimize large templates even further. Nevertheless, these kinks are somewhat to be expected with such a large transition and are easily fixable for the most part. It would be wise to follow Orchestral Tools for some news and possible updates regarding these issues in the coming weeks or months.

Berlin Series SINE – Strings Articulation

At the end of the day, the new and improved Berlin Series is so much more than just being ‘SINE compatible’. The flagship orchestral line from OT features a massive upgrade with revamped samples, pre-balanced sections, versatile playability, and a ton of new functionality. In reality, it’s a fully renovated library that brings together everything people loved in the original series with better ease of use and at an unbeatable bundle price. Its incredible sound and comprehensive instrument list offer everything you need to produce ultra-realistic mock-ups while also branding them as the only choice for authentic symphonic writing.
For users looking to get a better idea of the libraries’ overall character and approach, it is highly recommended to take a look at the many developer videos and demos. OT recently released a whole set of walk-through videos that are in-depth and quite helpful while giving a very good example of what the Berlin Series is capable of. As well, there are a few older videos that discuss the SINE player, its different capabilities, tools, and how to properly use them in addition to explaining a lot of tips and tricks to get the most of the powerful sample engine. It is good to note that owners of the Berlin Series on Kontakt will be able to upgrade to the SINE version for free as long as they were purchased before the migration. Furthermore, each instrument is now available on its own since SINE gives the option to purchase everything individually for a fraction of the price of the whole library.

Berlin Series SINE – Options Page


The Berlin Series is a 389.5 GB download and contains 114 individual instruments split across Berlin Strings, Brass, Woodwinds and Percussion. It requires the free SINE Player which can be downloaded at and used in standalone mode or as a plug-in in your sequencer.

The Berlin Series is available for €1899.00 from Orchestral Tools

The Berlin Series on SINE normally sells for €1899.00 from Orchestral Tools


Demos of The Berlin Series on SINE by Orchestral Tools

Videos of The Berlin Series on SINE by Orchestral Tools

Contributor BenG reviews The Berlin Series on SINE by Orchestral Tools
Orchestral Tools’ completely re-designed Berlin Series is finally SINE compatible and better than ever. The newly refined library boasts a polished sound, a ton of content, and SINE’s powerful sample engine which makes this so much more than just another update.”