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5 mins comparison of Nucleus, Albion One, SStO & Iconica

Akarin

digitalcomposing.com
Hey all. I've made a quick video to compare the tone of 4 different all-in-one orchestral libraries. Nucleus, Albion One, Spitfire Studio Orchestra, Steinberg Iconica:


Performance adapted for each library, no mixing nor external reverb used, only a maximizer to bring everything to the same level.

00:02 - Audio Imperia Nucleus
01:14 - Spitfire Albion ONE
02:26 - Spitfire Studio Orchestra
03:38 - Steinberg Iconica
 

dsblais

Active Member
Hey all. I've made a quick video to compare the tone of 4 different all-in-one orchestral libraries. Nucleus, Albion One, Spitfire Studio Orchestra, Steinberg Iconica:


Performance adapted for each library, no mixing nor external reverb used, only a maximizer to bring everything to the same level.

00:02 - Audio Imperia Nucleus
01:14 - Spitfire Albion ONE
02:26 - Spitfire Studio Orchestra
03:38 - Steinberg Iconica
Thank you for doing this. I think Nucleus has the edge in this comparison. When you composed this, were you using Nucleus as you went? It seems like the sound levels are more coordinated in that version.
 
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Akarin

Akarin

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Thank you for doing this. I think Nucleus has the edge in this comparison. When you composed this, were you using Nucleus as you went? It seems like the sound levels are more coordinated in that version.

Nope. I extracted the part from a longer track that I've written using dedicated libraries. I haven't changed the volumes in Nucleus. It's out of the box, using classic mix with the built in reverb (adjusted the predelay for each section, though). You'll also notice that I don't use the Nucleus legatos in the strings. I've opted for the sustain patch as the legato transitions are bumpy and not pleasing to my ear, even with the vibrato set to the max and the sample start at 200ms.
 

dsblais

Active Member
Nope. I extracted the part from a longer track that I've written using dedicated libraries. I haven't changed the volumes in Nucleus. It's out of the box, using classic mix with the built in reverb (adjusted the predelay for each section, though). You'll also notice that I don't use the Nucleus legatos in the strings. I've opted for the sustain patch as the legato transitions are bumpy and not pleasing to my ear, even with the vibrato set to the max and the sample start at 200ms.

Interesting. Thank you.
 

Vik

With all due respect – it would easer to compare these examples if the balance between the instruments were more equal between the libraries. Using the above to compare Albion and SSO, for instance, will create a very different impression than the impression I have of the same libraries via walkthroughs, demos etc I've heard earlier.
 

ism

Senior Member
Albion one by far sounds the best to me. Which is strange, as its easily my least favourite and least used of all the Spitfire libraries I have,


SStO - I have the strings and really like them (a lot more than Albion One actually). Yet SStO is clearly the worst sounding here.


Possibly because it's the hardest to get to sound good out of the box. The winds in particular think just can't cut through the mix without the additional mics of the pro version (which is why I passed on the core version). I suppose in general I would never use winds without close mics, which is perhaps just a matter of taste.


Nucleus sound very good also ... but just somehow lacking some kind of ... depth of field or something. Or maybe that Audio Imperia sound just isn't my cup of tea. Excellent quality library though.

Kind of indifferent to Iconica.


Fun comparison!
 
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Akarin

Akarin

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With all due respect – it would easer to compare these examples if the balance between the instruments were more equal between the libraries. Using the above to compare Albion and SSO, for instance, will create a very different impression than the impression I have of the same libraries via walkthroughs, demos etc I've heard earlier.

The volumes of each patch is taken as-is out of the box. I made it so because one of the key point for me of using an all-in-one is to have a balanced orchestra ready to go. Or did you mean the balance between each lib? Because that would be a tad difficult, considering that the amount of players are not the same, Nucleus and SStO you can't control the mic positions, etc.
 
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Akarin

Akarin

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Albion one by far sounds the best to me. Which is strange, as its easily my least favourite and least used of all the Spitfire libraries I have,


SStO - I have the strings and really like them (a lot more than Albion One actually). Yet SStO is clearly the worst sounding here.


Possibly because it's the hardest to get to sound good out of the box. The winds in particular think just can't cut through the mix without the additional mics of the pro version (which is why I passed on the core version). I suppose in general I would never use winds without close mics, which is perhaps just a matter of taste.


Nucleus sound very good also ... but just somehow lacking some kind of ... depth of field or something. Or maybe that Audio Imperia sound just isn't my cup of tea. Excellent quality library though.

Kind of indifferent to Iconica.


Fun comparison!

Different strokes :) Iconica is my favorite and of all the Spitfire libs that I have, Albion One seems to be creeping in nearly every cues that I make.
 

pawelmorytko

Senior Member
Agree with Albion One sounding best, just something about that hall, and lushness, makes all the instruments sound very cohesive, despite the legato not being the greatest.
 
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Akarin

Akarin

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Agree with Albion One sounding best, just something about that hall, and lushness, makes all the instruments sound very cohesive, despite the legato not being the greatest.

I haven't used any legato patch in both the Albion and Nucleus versions :) And to give a bit of tail, I've dialed in a bit of the ambient mic on Albion and some surround mic on Iconica (the screenshots in the video are the settings used).
 

dsblais

Active Member
The volumes of each patch is taken as-is out of the box. I made it so because one of the key point for me of using an all-in-one is to have a balanced orchestra ready to go. Or did you mean the balance between each lib? Because that would be a tad difficult, considering that the amount of players are not the same, Nucleus and SStO you can't control the mic positions, etc.
I suspect there may be another consideration here in that how each recorded instrument responds to volume control is going to vary quite a bit from instrument to instrument and library to library. I've noticed this with Spitfire products, for example, like that you have to play with considerable velocity to get staccatos to have much bite when compared to many other libraries.

There is no one true curve for this stuff other than the higher signal the louder (etc) the note should become. Nor do all players have the same idea of what e.g. fortissimo means -- nor does it always mean the same thing to the same player given varying section sizes.

This is part of why it's often necessary to play things in using the library you want or adjust everything carefully after the fact. Nucleus sounds better, in my opinion, because the levels feel quite balanced compared to the others. It's an interesting experiment in any case, these are just a few considerations.
 
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Akarin

Akarin

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I suspect there may be another consideration here in that how each recorded instrument responds to volume control is going to vary quite a bit from instrument to instrument and library to library. I've noticed this with Spitfire products, for example, like that you have to play with considerable velocity to get staccatos to have much bite when compared to many other libraries.

There is no one true curve for this stuff other than the higher signal the louder (etc) the note should become. Nor do all players have the same idea of what e.g. fortissimo means -- nor does it always mean the same thing to the same player given varying section sizes.

This is part of why it's often necessary to play things in using the library you want or adjust everything carefully after the fact. Nucleus sounds better, in my opinion, because the levels feel quite balanced compared to the others. It's an interesting experiment in any case, these are just a few considerations.

That, I'm aware of. That's why I adjusted the performance for each lib :)
 

KallumS

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SStO sounded best to me, but with that said I'm surprised by how good Iconica sounds!

It'd be good to hear these libraries in context with OT Berlin Inspire 1 + 2.
 
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Akarin

Akarin

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SStO sounded best to me, but with that said I'm surprised by how good Iconica sounds!

It'd be good to hear these libraries in context with OT Berlin Inspire 1 + 2.

I think that since I'm using Iconica, it's the comment I hear the most. How surprisingly good it is. Well, it's recorded by OT so that explains a lot. Unfortunately, not a good marketing. It's a really, really good package.

As for Inspire, I don't have them so can't render it.
 
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