Featured Spitfire Audio Symphony Orchestra by Synth Guru
Product: Symphony Orchestra
Developer: Spitfire Audio
Formats: Native Kontrol Standard (NKS)
Disk Space Required: 510.2 GB (During install), 255.1 GB (Disk space Required), 385.9 GB (Uncompressed .Wav)
DRM: Free Kontakt player included
Demo: Not available
Spitfire Audio unveils Symphony Orchestra, an epic collection of woodwinds, brass, and string sample based libraries. These impressive, ready to use cinematic quality orchestral samples were recorded at the highly renowned Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London. In addition to the woodwinds, brass, and string libraries, Symphony Orchestra comes fully loaded with Masse, a high-class set of ready-built orchestral patches. These sound libraries have been years in the making and encompass the skills of the finest British orchestral players in the world. All the samples were recorded with meticulous precision, with some of the very best studio equipment available, to bring you unsurpassed realism and superior quality.
After listening and playing the samples, I became fascinated with the superior quality and I wanted to learn more about their origin. I did a little research on the internet regarding Air Studios. The studio resides inside what looks like a cathedral! It’s a church, Lyndhurst Road Congregational Church built in 1884. It’s enormous in size and features five studios, one of them being Lyndhurst Hall which is the largest and can easily accommodate a full symphony orchestra comprised of more than ninety musicians. In addition, Lyndhurst Hall is capable of hosting large choirs in the raised galleries. Air Studios is also renowned for its recording of soundtracks for film and television. It’s the perfect environment for producing exceptional film scoring and mixing. One of the reasons why Spitfire Symphony Orchestra sounds pristine and beautiful is due to the tremendous acoustic properties of Lyndhurst Hall. Pls see below for additional pics of Lyndhurst Hall.
Symphonic Woodwinds libraries features the following presets-articulations
• Alto Flute
• Bass Clarinet
• Bass Flute
• Bassoon A2
• Bassoon Solo
• Clarinet Solo
• Clarinets A2
• Contrabass Clarinet
• Cor Anglais
• Flute Solo
• Flutes A2
• Oboe Solo
• Oboes A2
• Piccolo Flute
There are defined articulations for each of the woodwind instruments including Legato, Long, Long Flutter, Short Tenuto, Trills, Short Marcato, and the list continues extensively, to give you a multitude of options for composing your unique musical scores.
Symphonic Strings libraries features the following presets-articulations
• Violins 1
• Violins 2
For each category of instruments there are dozens of exquisite articulations down to the finest of details. There are Long Sul Pont, Long Rachmaninoff Molti Vib, Short Bartok Pizz, Tremolo Sul Pont, just to name a few. All the samples were recorded with Close, Tree, and Ambient mics and these can be toggled within the user interface. Expansion pack microphone sets will be available for Symphonic Strings in the latter part of 2017. Some of the mics will include Outrigger, Close Ribbon, Gallery, Stereo Broad, Medium and Fine Stereo Mixes. The libraries are further catalogued by All Banks, Core patches, Individual articulations, Legato techniques, Other patches, and Performance techniques.
Please see my previous review and description for this library at:
Masse is a collection of a high-class set of ready-built orchestral patches. It features all three components of the Spitfire Symphony Orchestra, strings, brass, and woodwinds. It also features 37 presets, reverb effects, Multiple Round Robins, and an orchestra of over 100 unique players layered to give up to 300+ musicians in a single patch just to name a few. The magic of Masse, is that it can significantly cut down on production time so that deadlines can be met with ease and allow time for other projects.
Masse libraries features the following presets-articulations
• Mics & Mixes
Symphony Orchestra requires Native Instruments Kontakt to run. It also ships with the free Kontakt player if one doesn’t have the full version. Symphony Orchestra is configured with the NKS standard and all the parameters can be controlled automatically via the Komplete Kontrol S series keyboard. The lightguide is extremely useful for some of the samples as they are mapped directly across a specified section of the keyboard. The controls are similar across the libraries and include a set of controllers that adjust the Dynamics, Release, Tightness, Variation, and Expression for the specified sample being played. There’s also an articulations panel and the Close or Far distance slider are found. There’s an automatic “help” bubble that pops up every time the user selects a function. This feature is quite helpful in explaining the parameters when navigating through the interface and can be turned off after the user becomes familiar with the interface.
The advanced parameter panel is accessed via the wrench icon. There’s a microphone mixer that has a Close mic, tree mic, and an ambient mic. These can be used in tandem or individually and their corresponding sensitivity can be further adjusted.
There’s a series of presets that offer normal, power, shorts, longs, legato, and decorative settings. There’s also Transpose, CC mapped velocity, fp hall trigger, and sync to Tempo. In addition, Round Robins can be layered with no skips, +2, and -2 transpose.
A very unique feature that’s available is the Ostinatum, which is a type of Arpegiator/Sequencer. Individual notes can be sustained while other notes are added to the sequence or they can be triggered individually. Some very interesting results can be achieved depending on which mode is being used, i.e. control & solo keyswitches, or chord mode. There are up to 8 layers that can be utilized. This is an exclusive and creative feature that sets Symphony Orchestra apart from the competition.
Spitfire Audio has additional information regarding each one of the products contained in Symphony Orchestra as well as a series of demo and tutorials to get you up and running. Unlike in the past, there are now user manuals for each of the products available from the manufacturer’s website.
Sound Quality – The sound quality is extraordinary! After learning where the sounds of Spitfire Symphony Orchestra where recorded, it’s perfectly clear why they sound so good! Layered instruments complement each other very nicely. The arp-like sequences from the Ostinatum feature can add a special touch to your mixes. There’s a stunning 273,758 samples contained in Symphony Orchestra. All I can say is, prepare to enter the Renaissance of Sound!
Ease of Use – The user interface is straight forward and concise. Most of the controls can be seen at a glance and there are no complicated screens. The info provided by the automatic “help” bubbles is quite useful as one gets acquainted with the interface and can be turned off when not needed. I knocked off a point from the overall score due to the size of the user interface. It works fine, however on my high resolution wide screen monitor, it looks a bit tiny. I have to get up close and personal to read the labels. It would be nice to see a re-sizable version of the interface to give users the ideal size that they prefer to use.
Features – Symphony Orchestra is loaded with useful features, a full set of articulations for each of the instruments, superb control over Dynamics, Variation, and Expression. NKS implementation for Native Instrument products, an outstanding and versatile mic mixer, a very useful set of presets, Round Robins, layering, CC mapped velocity and much more.
Bang for buck – Huge savings! If you buy all the components of this suite separately, it will cost $707 above the cost of the suite. For the high definition quality of the sound libraries, which were recorded at Air Studios, it’s definitely a super deal! When you go out to a high-class restaurant, the ambiance and food make the perfect setting. As a comparison, this is what you’re getting with Spitfire Symphony Orchestra.
Overall – I have several orchestral programs in my arsenal of cinematic scoring tools and I must say I’m overly captivated with Spitfire Symphony Orchestra making it one of the best tools I have had the pleasure to use. Masse, makes arranging your compositions easily and effectively. This is a definite “must have” application if you produce for film or television. Highly recommended for cinematic producers, musicians who want to apply orchestral overtones in their tracks, or someone who wants to learn about the myriad of articulations that these instruments can produce.