Berlin Woodwinds is the first sample library to offer a complete orchestral woodwind section allowing the composer to write for up to woodwinds in 2s (meaning 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets and 2 bassoons), with doubles (Piccolo and English horn). There’s also a third flute. BWW is different from other libraries where at most 2 flutes or 2 oboes might have been recorded, but not multiple players to create a complete symphonic section. Previously, if you wanted two of anything, you would either have to use the transposition trick with one instrument to create the second, or use the same instrument from a different library and hoped they matched in stage position and room sound.
BWW’s approach eliminates this time consuming action.
From a writing/production perspective, it’s not just that you have multiple players per woodwind family, it’s that you have totally different players within each woodwind family. As you play though each family (flutes, oboes, clarinet, bassoon) you hear how different one player sounds from another on the same instrument! And for me, this is a good thing because if you’re doing a piece with one just one flute, for example, you can now “audition” to see which player “performs” the part the best for overall sound and for blending with whatever string and brass libraries you’re now using.
There are three flutes allowing for an expanded section, plus piccolo.
There two oboes plus English horn.
There are two clarinets, three clarinets recorded in unison, but no bass clarinet.
There are two independent bassoons, but no contrabassoon.
Therefore, to complete the BWW woodwind section, a bass clarinet (usually doubled by Clarinet 2) and contrabassoon (usually doubled by Bassoon 2) are needed. My understanding is that these two instruments are being recorded in September 2012. Meanwhile, if you have the full version of Kontakt, you’ll find a lite version of a bass clarinet and contrabassoon in the Factory Library.
That said, in terms of orchestral writing, what’s been recorded is more than adequate for most writing situations. Woodwind sections do expand to woods in 3s (Wagner, John Williams) and 4s (Mahler). If extras are needed, one can use the transpose trick (for oboe, clarinet or bassoon), reinsert a BWW instrument for the third part, or use an instrument from another library.