--oh wow, I installed all the DVD content but now I am in UPDATE DOWNLOAD HELL.
I then internet-window-shopped for Kontakt instruments. There's an interesting-looking modeled trumpet, although it also looks like a high learning curve and I'm not convinced that I can't do what I need to with VSE. Plus I want to listen to more demos and contemplate the option, and I avoid doing too-screwy things with my browser while there's a big install going in case something hangs. :-] That being said, I have definitely bookmarked it as a possibility, and I have also wishlisted a pedal doodad on Amazon because I want one anyway; I used to have one with my digital piano but it was the default sucky one AND it's AWOL, and the thought of being able to use pedal for MIDI expression data is really nice.
While I am internet-window-shopping, I also have to think about a keyboard upgrade, which is going to suck. Right now I am suboptimally getting by with the digital piano, which I use with an Uno MIDI USB thing, but unfortunately it has no pitch bend or mod wheels and no other controller whatevers. The WSA1 has pitch bend and mod...but is 61? keys, which screws me over for keyswitching in the lower octaves. (I mean, I might want to keyswitch a piccolo!) Now, you can manually draw in keyswitches but this gets ridiculous. At some point I'm going to have to put the digital piano into storage *sob* (space issue) and swap it out for a USB MIDI controller, 88 keys, semi-weighted because I am too cheap to get fully weighted keys, etc. etc., and I'm probably also too cheap to go for anything but the minimum pitch bend and mod and pedal inputs. Even though a few programmable knobs &c. would be useful. :-/ Okay, off to research controllers.
(Uh, if anyone has reqs for 88-key semi-weighted MIDI controllers with pitch bend and mod and pedal input, other stuff probably optional, please tell me. Yes, I know it will cost.)
(God, why am I not in a nice cheap hobby like writing. Oh wait.)
Anyway, when I finally get to see what the heck is in the default Kontakt 8 (not Ultimate, I was too cheap) library, I will prioritize inventory of any orchestral sounds. I used to do this sort of thing in a text file HA HA HA HA HA but I think I'm going to join the somethingth century and switch to Excel. Basically, name of patch/whatever, brief description of timbre (which doesn't have to make sense to anyone but me), possible uses/genres, that kind of thing. Then update and back up the sucker RELIGIOUSLY.
I have high hopes of being productive with "Talon March" this week! If nothing else, I can take breaks with inventory to work up some flourishes to the intro, and print out a copy of the VSE basic percussion keymap or however that goes.
I'm also hoping I can re-find the stretched music box I was using for one of the pieces that got obliterated when my MBP died (taking my Logic 8 Pro install with it), although I expect I could use a high-sustain pad off some synth in place of it if it came to that.
First world problems, but OTOH the whole point of shelling out for music software was to be able to do this as well as I am able.