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Spitfire Audio announces all-new Solo Strings
Old 13th June 2018
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Spitfire Audio announces all-new Solo Strings


Spitfire Audio announces all-new solo accompaniment to namesake chamber and symphonic strings ranges with soon-to-be-released revisit

LONDON, UK: Spitfire Audio is proud to announce upcoming availability of SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS — a soon-to-be- released revisit of the essential instruments it first released as SOLO STRINGS some six years ago as one of its first ever libraries, this time as an all-new accompaniment to its similarly self-explanatory SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS namesakes, featuring first-call London virtuoso single players performing in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, the acoustic luxury of which was captured on rich-sounding 2-inch tape to ultimately become the latest in a long line of outstanding sample-based virtual instruments for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform, also adhering to the NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) extended plug-in format for full compatibility with NI hardware.

It is six years since Spitfire Audio released SOLO STRINGS featuring virtuoso violinist Andrew Haveron, viola virtuoso Bruce White, and widely-recorded British cellist Caroline Dale — duly name-checked in its accompanying artwork. According to the age-old adage: time flies when you’re having fun. For Spitfire Audio has collectively clocked up over 2,500 hours of sampling time and associated awareness since then — time to revisit those essential instruments, in other words. With the resultant SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS, adding individuality and definition to big string writing as well as capturing soaring solos — whether for film, games, or pop music — is both an absolute joy to behold and actively engage with. With that in mind, think of the solo violin in John Williams’ wonderful score for Schindler’s List, Fratres by Arvo Pärt, John Corigliano’s Red Violin, or the cello carrying the Game of Thrones theme. Truly anything is possible... with the right combination of talent and technology.

That said, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS sees Spitfire Audio in the privileged position of working with a group of internationally-acclaimed musicians with a goldmine of experience as first-call soloists whose work can be heard all over major Hollywood feature films. Featuring the individual articulations of Jack Liebeck’s VIOLIN (VIRTUOSO), Clio Gould’s VIOLIN (1ST DESK), Thomas Gould’s VIOLIN (PROGRESSIVE), Max Baillie’s VIOLA, Richard Harwood’s CELLO, and Leon Bosch’s (double) BASS — all with an equal attention to detail and depth of sampling, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS serves up an exceptionally versatile toolset that can capably create anything from a single, searing cello line to multiple parts added to larger string sections, perfectly providing added definition and personality by bringing together an exceedingly unique sextet of players with unprecedented control and malleability.

Musically speaking, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is a no-compromise library in reality, recorded in an exceptionally resonant space. Spitfire Audio returned to the the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios to record SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS. Scores such as Dunkirk, Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, and Paddington 2 were recently recorded there, as well as classics like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Dark Knight, and Gladiator, so SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is in good company, clearly. Indeed, it was recorded by award-winning engineers, who capably captured each soloist using world- class equipment — namely, Neve ‘Montserrat’ preamps paired with priceless ribbon and valve mics through the world’s largest Neve 88R large-format console onto pristine 2-inch tape before being converted with top-of-their-class Prism A/D (Analogue-to-Digital) convertors at 96kHz (to ultimately have technology transform them into another extraordinary-sounding sample-based virtual instrument for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform). After all, there’s a reason why Lyndhurst Hall has been the recording venue of choice for Hollywood directors for so many years.

Yet capturing all those supremely-talented soloists’ phenomenal performances on a recording duly destined to flexibly form the musical backbone of SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS presented unique challenges. This time Spitfire Audio needed to reach beyond expectation, making each instrument versatile enough to match the emotional temperature of its ultimate users’ music by offering a broad range of mic positions and articulations to blend perfectly with its SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS siblings. So in keeping with that, the new solo violin central to SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS was created courtesy of working with three distinctly different players, presented in the finished product as three distinct modes, each containing not only their own range of articulations but also a range of recording locations within AIR Studios’ Lyndhurst Hall, as well as different performance styles: VIOLIN (VIRTUOSO), with a standing player, perfectly captures the sound of a sonata (or featured performance); VIOLIN (1ST DESK) was captured on the front desk of the first violins, perfectly placed for adding individuality and definition to a string line — while still able to blend in with the string section — with the performer playing ‘out’ to lead the orchestra; the VIOLIN (PROGRESSIVE) player was recorded further away from the conductor, designed to fit into larger string sections, or offer up solo passages in a more contemporary vernacular, opening the door to a modern, filmic sound of extended techniques, including Short Mandolin Pizzicato and Tremolo Whispers.

When all is said and done, quite simply, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is designed to stand out, but also fit in. Indeed, this all-new sample library sits perfectly alongside Spitfire Audio’s acclaimed orchestral ranges, utilising the same location, peerless signal chain, mic positions, and range of articulations that make up the DNA of its high-quality orchestral packages. Put this way: “They lock together nicely — within the stereo image field, as well as the sound of the instruments. So, when you’re using these to compose as one unit, they fit really well with each other, but also within the context of SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS as well — everything designed to work out of the box, exactly as you need it to work.” So says Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson. And as a working composer himself, he should surely know!


Spitfire Audio is already accepting pre-orders on SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS at a time-limited introductory promo price of £299.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$339.00 USD/€339.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until July 26, 2018 — rising thereafter to an RRP of
£349.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$399.00 USD/€399.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: Spitfire Audio — Spitfire Solo Strings (Customers who purchased the original SOLO STRINGS before the fire sale started on March 15, 2018 are eligible to crossgrade to SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS by simply logging in to their Spitfire Audio account and adding it to their cart, which will intelligently calculate a discounted price.)

SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS needs Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.6.8 or higher) — included in the purchase — to run as a fully NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) supporting plug-in instrument for Mac (OS X 10.10, 10.11, or macOS 10.12 — latest update) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 — latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.

For more in-depth information, including some superb-sounding audio demos from Spitfire Audio Directors Paul Thomson and Christian Henson, please visit the dedicated SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS webpage here: Spitfire Audio — Spitfire Solo Strings

Watch Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson’s ‘traditional’ video walkthrough of SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS here: YouTube

Watch Spitfire Audio’s artful trailer video for SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS here: YouTube
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Old 4 weeks ago
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SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS update with newly-added SOLO CELLO Total Performance patch

Originally released last year to widespread critical acclaim, Spitfire Audio is proud to announce availability of a free update to SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS — itself featuring first-call London virtuoso single players performing in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, the acoustic luxury of which was captured on rich- sounding 2-inch tape to join a long line of outstanding sample-based virtual instrument libraries for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform, also adhering to the NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) extended plug-in format for full compatibility with NI hardware, and now including the sound-specialising British music technology company’s SOLO CELLO Total Performance patch alongside its highly-intuitive SOLO VIOLIN (virtuoso) one — as of October 17…

Not only are those highly-intuitive SOLO VIOLIN (virtuoso) and newly-added SOLO CELLO Total Performance patches included in SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS, so effectively available for free to existing owners of this superlative-sounding sample-based virtual instrument library that is designed to stand out and also sit perfectly alongside Spitfire Audio’s other orchestral ranges, they are also available to purchase as separate sample-based virtual instrument libraries — namely, SPITFIRE SOLO CELLO and SPITFIRE SOLO VIOLIN — for the KONTAKT PLAYER platform. Either way, though, they represent the sound-specialising British music technology company’s most detailed and advanced solo violin and solo cello to date, performed by world-renowned virtuoso concert violinist Jack Liebeck and concert cellist Richard Harwood, respectively, in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios. These Total Performance patches (or separate instruments) include all of the techniques needed to create a realistic solo performance, putting five different types of true legato — fingered legato, bowed legato, and performance legato, plus runs and arpeggios — at anyone’s fingertips. Further features such as spiccato, staccato, tremolo, trills, molto vibrato, progressive vibrato, and non vibrato (as well as pizzicato and Bartok pizzicato for cello) can be combined together to enable musical phrasing without the need for key-switching, all programmed to react to playing speed and touch. Truly easy to play and highly intuitive, these Total Performance patches (or separate instruments) allow anyone to focus on their composition, without the need to ‘stitch’ together performances.

Paul Thomson, Spitfire Audio co-founder and composer — certainly no slouch when it comes to finding his way around a keyboard, had the following to say while walking through SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS’ newly-added SOLO CELLO Total Performance patch, proficiently performing between engaging explanations: “The Dynamics controller takes you from a whisper-quiet pp all the way through to lovely, strong fortissimo. The other controller is the Vibrato control. This does a number of different things; at the very bottom, you get a beautiful pizzicato, and if you hit the keyboard hard, you get that fantastic snap — also called Bartok pizzicato. If you move the slider up a little bit, you’ve got a very dynamically-controllable tremolo; as the controller moves up, you move smoothly through from non vibrato through a gentle vibrato to a molto vibrato; and then as you move the controller towards the top, you can increase the intensity and speed of that vibrato, which gives you a real extra dimension to perform with. I’ve been alternating what I’m doing on the actual legato transitions by playing with a certain velocity on the keyboard. So if I play the second note very softly, then I get a portamento between the notes. Now as I increase the velocity that I’m playing with — how hard I’m hitting the keyboard, I go through a fingered transition, which is just placing the finger onto the neck to change notes, but then also a bowed transition, so it’s an actual bow change. And at the absolute top of the range — when you’re really hitting it hard, you get that kind of characteristic string bouncing sound that you get when the cello is really playing very loud indeed.”

Inspirational, indeed, Paul Thomson tellingly continued: “One of the things you can do with the patch is play very fast, and also play trills, and these generate different transitions again. When you play short notes, you get a genuine nice, crisp spiccato. When you are playing with the trems, and you play short notes, you get a staccato — slightly longer staccato note. You can also play arpeggiated figures.”

Finally, Paul Thomson thoughtfully summed up Spitfire Audio’s Total Performance patch concept, as applied to its inspirational SOLO CELLO addition to SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS, thusly: “The idea is that it takes the minimum of controllers to actually get a kind of really interesting musical performance from this patch. All you really have to do is look at the Dynamics — how loud you’re playing, then the Vibrato slider controls pretty much everything else, and then your fingers on the keyboard, and the velocity that you’re playing with, controls those last things, like the transitions between the notes and also the dynamic of any short notes that you play.”

Putting all that into (performance) practice, then, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS really represents a solid investment as one of Spitfire Audio’s most celebrated sample-based virtual instrument libraries, one which the sound-specialising British music technology company is intent on clearly keeping up to date with while improving upon for the musical benefit of all.


As part of Spitfire Audio’s October Highlight, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS — now including the highly-intuitive SOLO VIOLIN (virtuoso) and newly-added SOLO CELLO Total Performance patches — is available at an attractive 30%-discounted promo price of £244.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$279.00 USD/ €279.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until October 31, 2019 — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of £349.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/ $399.00 USD/€399.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a...-solo-strings/ (Note that existing owners of SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS can upgrade to the latest version for free.)

SPITFIRE SOLO CELLO is also available to purchase as a separate sample-based virtual instrument library for £99.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/ $99.00 USD/€99.00 EUR (inc. VAT) from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a...re-solo-cello/

SPITFIRE SOLO VIOLIN is also available to purchase as a separate sample-based virtual instrument library for £99.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/ $99.00 USD/€99.00 EUR (inc. VAT) from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a...e-solo-violin/

SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS, SPITFIRE SOLO CELLO, and SPITFIRE SOLO VIOLIN all need Native Instruments’ KONTAKT PLAYER (5.6.8 or higher) — a free version of the KONTAKT sample playback engine (included in their purchase) — to respectively run as fully NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) supporting plug-in instruments for Mac (OS X 10.10 or later) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 — latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.

For more in-depth information, including some superb-sounding audio demos from fellow Spitfire Audio co-founders and composers Christian Henson and Paul Thomson, as well as ‘Jack In The Box’ — film score composer Andy Blaney’s breathtaking SOLO VIOLIN (virtuoso) Total Performance patch-based piece, please visit the dedicated SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS webpage here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a...-solo-strings/



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