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Big Spitfire Purchase Feedback

Evan

New Member
Hi there - I came across these forums the other day and have been lurking hardcore since. Firstly, thank you all for documenting the nuances of the various sample libraries and comparing them thoroughly - it has been tremendously helpful.

Before dropping a decent amount of cash, I would really appreciate feedback on my selection. This will be primarily used for film and game, my hope is to have a relatively comprehensive set of libraries for both flexibility on group size (chamber up to massive orchestra) and enough highly complimentary (mostly) wet libraries for easy layering/fast workflow.

The Libraries:

SCS (Chamber Strings)

SSS (Symphonic Strings)

SSW (Symphonic Woodwinds)

SSB (Symphonic Brass)

HZS (Zimmer Strings)

HZ Percussion Pro

HZP (Zimmer Piano)

KO (Kepler)

EWC (Eric Whitacre Choir)

Phobos​

These will be used alongside Komplete 12 Ultimate.

Questions:
  1. Am I going to have any noticeable gaps with this selection/am I missing anything/would you pick something else/are there better libraries?
  2. I’ve seen a posts on this forum mentioning that HZS had issues with some of its legato patches, but it seems they released an update recently that fixed them? Can someone provide some insight into this with the latest version?
  3. Seems like there was a big Spitfire sale in May that I unfortunately missed - how often does that happen? Should I get in touch with their sales to see if there’s other options?
  4. Since you can never have too many, what libraries should I look at next?

Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts!

- Evan
 

Kurosawa

Member
Regarding 3., Spitfire usually has a 25% sale on Black Friday and 40% sales on christmas and in spring.
Otherwise there are the 30% EDU discount, a 40% EDU sale in late summer,
sale if you are eligible for it.
 

jimmy3189

New Member
Your probably going to want a normal orchestral percussion library, for tuned stuff, and normal metals etc.....

Is there a particular reason you've gone for entirely spitfire stuff? Homogenous family of sound? Less fiddly mixing?
 

VinRice

... i am a robot ...
SCS - absolutely
SSS - Yes
SSW & SSB - 50/50, I have them and they are comprehensive, but there are alternatives.
HZS - hate it, worst purchase ever.
HZPerc - absolutely, but you will need a traditional orchestral library as well. The Spitfire one is perfectly acceptable.
HZ Piano - yes, I love it but it's ridiculously large lib for the one sound you will use it for. There are a hundred piano alternatives.
Kepler - absolutely
EWC - not a traditional choir so you would need others as well.
Phobos - have it, never gets used. Too hard to integrate. I think more 'traditional' soft synths are more versatile in any genre - Omnisphere, Diva, Zebra, Serum etc.

You should also consider The Studio Orchestra series and the Bernard Hermann. Also, don't get too hung up on the whole 'matching recorded ambience' thing. You'll be adding reverb whatever.

My totally unbiased and definitive opinion which will suite absolutely everybody and every situation without exception :)
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Would definitely pick up a different woodwinds library, also piano. I would also get some different string library to complement SCS. And a standard orchestral percussion library.
Some suggestions:

VSL Woodwinds
Berlin Woodwinds
Embertone Steinway
Soundiron Emotional Piano
Cinematic Studio Strings
Cinematic Studio Brass
VSL Synchron Percussion
Berlin Percussion
Omnisphere
 
OP
Evan

Evan

New Member
Thanks everyone for your thoughts, replies:

Regarding 3., Spitfire usually has a 25% sale on Black Friday and 40% sales on christmas and in spring.
Otherwise there are the 30% EDU discount, a 40% EDU sale in late summer,
sale if you are eligible for it.
Got it, thanks!

Your probably going to want a normal orchestral percussion library, for tuned stuff, and normal metals etc.....

Is there a particular reason you've gone for entirely spitfire stuff? Homogenous family of sound? Less fiddly mixing?
I was under the impression the HZ perc library was standard but this thread is showing me that's not the case - thanks for the heads up!

The focus on Spitfire is due to that being all I've experienced in the past and yes less mixing work. I'm not married to it though if something's better.

SCS - absolutely
SSS - Yes
SSW & SSB - 50/50, I have them and they are comprehensive, but there are alternatives.
HZS - hate it, worst purchase ever.
HZPerc - absolutely, but you will need a traditional orchestral library as well. The Spitfire one is perfectly acceptable.
HZ Piano - yes, I love it but it's ridiculously large lib for the one sound you will use it for. There are a hundred piano alternatives.
Kepler - absolutely
EWC - not a traditional choir so you would need others as well.
Phobos - have it, never gets used. Too hard to integrate. I think more 'traditional' soft synths are more versatile in any genre - Omnisphere, Diva, Zebra, Serum etc.

You should also consider The Studio Orchestra series and the Bernard Hermann. Also, don't get too hung up on the whole 'matching recorded ambience' thing. You'll be adding reverb whatever.

My totally unbiased and definitive opinion which will suite absolutely everybody and every situation without exception :)
Appreciate the feedback and good point on the wet/dry. Surprised about HZS as that's the one I was most excited about - do you mind sharing what about HZS was so disappointing for you?

Did more research, I'm leaning towards Omni over Phobos now.

Would definitely pick up a different woodwinds library, also piano. I would also get some different string library to complement SCS. And a standard orchestral percussion library.
Some suggestions:

VSL Woodwinds
Berlin Woodwinds
Embertone Steinway
Soundiron Emotional Piano
Cinematic Studio Strings
Cinematic Studio Brass
VSL Synchron Percussion
Berlin Percussion
Omnisphere
On Brass, Woodwinds & Perc - per your suggestion I researched VSL and Berlin's offerings. Holy moly they both sound fantastic. Would you have a recommendation between the two as initial libraries? Having trouble finding pros/cons besides VSL being much more memory efficient.

On Strings - Is your suggestion to move away from HZS and SSS to better compliment SCS or rather to purchase something in addition for layering?

On Piano - Understood.
 

VinRice

... i am a robot ...
Appreciate the feedback and good point on the wet/dry. Surprised about HZS as that's the one I was most excited about - do you mind sharing what about HZS was so disappointing for you?
The user interface is very pretty but very annoying. Also a CPU hog. The sounds are initially impressive but so singular that they are hard to integrate except as a sort of effect. There are no usable short notes. The Metropolis Arks are much more useable for that epic huge orchestra sound. Berlin Woods are beautiful but mastered at a just ridiculously low (theoretically real-life) level. That may be useful if you are trying to recreate a symphony orchestra in a concert hall but for any sort of media-related work its a pain in the ass (arse). Cinematic Strings and Brass should also be seriously considered. A big favourite with the working composers here and in media-land.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Appreciate the feedback and good point on the wet/dry. Surprised about HZS as that's the one I was most excited about - do you mind sharing what about HZS was so disappointing for you?
I picked up HZS as part of the spring sale because SF had a ridiculous deal on it if you got it as part of one of their bundles. I've actually quite liked it, but oddly, given the size of the ensemble, it seems more suited to subdued, atmospheric things. The original legato came in for a lot of criticism, but I find the new version of the legato to be credible, though a bit sluggish. The library also does not have a wide variety of shorts.
 

brandowalk

New Member
Are you buying this all at once?

Personally, I would start off with one or two string libraries and get to know their strengths / weakenesses for the style you are going to use for. There is a learning curve to making these libraries work and there is no need to get overwhelmed with too many options. Once you get something working, then expand to add more colours/brushes to your toolkit.

Cinematic Studio Strings is an excellent bread and butter library to get going on. Maybe add a solo strings library with it to start since you mentioned chamber music (or for "first chairs").

I'm also a big fan of SSS/SSW/SSB/Spitfire Percussion. Oh yeah, don't forget their Harp and possibly Orchestral Grand (piano as part of the orchestra) to have a full band.

There are of course better options for piano for featuring of it and many threads abound on this topic - enough to make your head spin!

I'm not familiar with choir libraries as of yet.

Good luck!

Brandon
www.musicbybrandonwalker.com
 
OP
Evan

Evan

New Member
The user interface is very pretty but very annoying. Also a CPU hog. The sounds are initially impressive but so singular that they are hard to integrate except as a sort of effect. There are no usable short notes. The Metropolis Arks are much more useable for that epic huge orchestra sound. Berlin Woods are beautiful but mastered at a just ridiculously low (theoretically real-life) level. That may be useful if you are trying to recreate a symphony orchestra in a concert hall but for any sort of media-related work its a pain in the ass (arse). Cinematic Strings and Brass should also be seriously considered. A big favourite with the working composers here and in media-land.
Just took a glance at Metropolis Arks, they seem super interesting! Seems like 1 & 3 could be exactly what I am looking for. I definitely need to research these a lot more - the choir bits in particular seem really slick too.

One of the main reasons HZS is appealing to me is its experimental nature that leads to neat effects and interesting articulations, particularly on the soft side. Just given sheer ensemble size for anything beyond soft stuff it seems like the kind of library you'd need to adapt your workflow around - I can definitely see why that wouldn't be a lot of peoples' cup of tea.

I think my takeaway from this is HZS is less Pirates of the Caribbean and more Dark Knight/Inception - which is something I am quite fond of.

Cinematic Strings & Brass have fantastic UIs and their ease of use seems great. Maybe it's just personal preference, but the sound of Berlin/VSL Brass is a lot more appealing to me, at least based on the demos I've heard. However, their strings are a top contender for me, esp if I have SCS for the greater vocabulary of less common articulations. In your view, how does Cinematic Strings stack up against SSS?

To make sure I understand your comment around the mastering of Berlin Woods, is the main pain around the noise floor when cranked up and wetness?

I picked up HZS as part of the spring sale because SF had a ridiculous deal on it if you got it as part of one of their bundles. I've actually quite liked it, but oddly, given the size of the ensemble, it seems more suited to subdued, atmospheric things. The original legato came in for a lot of criticism, but I find the new version of the legato to be credible, though a bit sluggish. The library also does not have a wide variety of shorts.
Good to know, thanks for chiming in! The sluggishness makes sense to me given the ensemble size. I am going to explore other options for that epic cinematic sound in addition to HZS.

Are you buying this all at once?

Personally, I would start off with one or two string libraries and get to know their strengths / weakenesses for the style you are going to use for. There is a learning curve to making these libraries work and there is no need to get overwhelmed with too many options. Once you get something working, then expand to add more colours/brushes to your toolkit.

Cinematic Studio Strings is an excellent bread and butter library to get going on. Maybe add a solo strings library with it to start since you mentioned chamber music (or for "first chairs").

I'm also a big fan of SSS/SSW/SSB/Spitfire Percussion. Oh yeah, don't forget their Harp and possibly Orchestral Grand (piano as part of the orchestra) to have a full band.

There are of course better options for piano for featuring of it and many threads abound on this topic - enough to make your head spin!

I'm not familiar with choir libraries as of yet.

Good luck!

Brandon
You're absolutely right, it's silly to get all of this at once for many reasons. But that is my intent - I don't mind being overwhelmed by a ton of stuff, that's actually the main attraction to buying them all at once. Certainly not the most efficient or practical way of approaching this, but that's fine for my creative process. It's not my first time using Spitfire libraries, but it's been a long time. :)

CSS is a top contender against SSS for me currently. Hard to pick between so many great options, just as you mentioned about piano!

If you have Komplete Ultimate then I'd skip a piano library, the kontakt ones are actually very good and varied, half the time I use one of those over other pianos I have.
Very good point. I am definitely considering not purchasing Omni or a piano library until I can't get what I want out of Komplete.
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
OT Berlin series is quite the ram hog, but extremely comprehensive.

in the future the new sampler might solve the ram issue somewhat by allowing you to create your own mic blends. I've got 128gb of ram and still wish I had room for more.


what is stopping you from just getting something like metropolis ark 1 and seeing how it goes? buying a zillion libraries at once might be paralyzing
 

667

Senior Member
Just get SCS and Albion ONE and call it a day.

Buying too much stuff in one go usually results in under using all of them. SCS + Albion gives you 90% of what you've asked for. Now that last 10% sometimes delivers great results, I'm not saying never add to it and it's all you'll ever need, not at all; but it will let you focus on the important thing (writing great music) and less on the samples.

With Komplete, upgrade to Ultimate for 50% discount in the current deal, between those synths and Albion and SCS (for when more nuanced strings / more articulations are needed) you will be drowning in content as it is.

Put everything else on your wish list for end of year :)

This is not really about saving money btw it's about saving time, it's a massive time sink to try to learn too much at once. All libraries need to be learned because what they can and can't do, what they do well, the little gems in the corners, you will miss all that and just end up with 10 libraries that you think basically do the same thing but don't really-- it's just that you're using them all in the same way.

I will also say that in general the results from the latest performance (not loops!) libraries bring a lot to the table for music that is not being re-recorded or supplemented by live players. So in Spitfire world these are the EVOs and Kepler. I think adding one of the Evos (probably OA Chamber) is a good idea, Kepler if the sounds from the demos sound like how you would also like to write.

I would also get SF Percussion (Joey Burgess) before HZ Perc unless you are sure you will never need those.

I know it seems fun to have 'too much stuff'. It isn't. It's a very inefficient use of your time and that's the biggest crime here. You want to waste your money that's fine but you never get the time wasted back. Spending too much time learning your tools instead of using them is a massive black hole and in this competitive world you do not have time to be fiddling around with your DAW for forever.

Write!
 

Meetyhtan

Noise Maker
As said above, I would recommend you to start with very few, maybe only 1 or 2 versatile libraries. Metropolis Ark or Albion ONE are a good choice. I own them both and they are more than just a beginner library to learn from. If you like the sound, go for it, see what you can get out of it (Spoiler: A lot!)
I'm a fan of Komplete as well though. More than you could ever try out, lot's of fun stuff :) The Kontakt Factory Library alone has many gems... Upgraded to KU12 Collector's Edition just yesterday.
 

Manaberry

Active Member
SSS (Symphonic Strings) is very nice, it's my main strings library (I do use Jaeger's legato violin in addition and Studio Strings Pro for close mics details). It seems CSS is also a must have in terms of legato and versatility.

HZ Percussion Pro is very nice but I'm not using that much the professional features (add mics are cool but it's mostly signature mixing patches.) Get the regular version then upgrade later if needed.

I've recently bought Percussion (Joey Burgess) and this library has what HZ Percussion doesn't have. Consider getting this one as well if you want to get the full palette.

For the Piano, I do use Embertone Walker 1955. it sounds absolutely fantastic!

For the Brass, I'm using ARK, Studio Brass and Symphonic Brass. They are all different, so it's just a matter of personal taste.

and yeah... wait for the next sales! Maybe this summer or black friday.
 
I'm going to join the chorus of voices advising you to slow down a bit.

Spitfire has been doing a pairs sale in July or August. Chances are at least two of the instruments you listed will be paired together at a discount. I'd sit tight with KU12 until then at least.

The OT Arks are a great series that I use all the time with Spitfire instruments (of the ones you mentioned, I own SCS, HZS, and EWC). I would highly recommend the series, but OT is also on the verge of releasing a new player and new options to buy their instruments so there too I would sit tight.

Other wet Spitfire libraries you should consider, particularly if they do the Pairs sale again, are Solo Strings, Olafur Arnalds Chamber Evo, Tundra, Symphonic Strings Evo, and the Spitfire Percussion library.

For me, Solo Strings and Olafur Arnalds Chamber Evo typically go hand in hand with SCS usage.

Tundra may scratch the HZS itch for you if you're looking for experimental and softer. It also comes with some unique brass and woodwinds sections, among other things. I personally own both and have no regrets about that, but I didn't buy them at the same time.

There are a lot of other great developers out there too besides Spitfire and OT, not to mention software synths, but that could turn into a never ending post. Much of this turns on personal preferences in workflow and sound. I think you'll get a better feel for your own preferences in these areas if you build your library piece by piece.
 

thereus

Active Member
Get the studio orch instead of HZS.
Get a proper synth instead of Phobos (Omnisphere, Diva, Zebra, Arturia’s in that order)
Get Pianoteq and Sonic Couture Hammersmith instead of HZP or even get Keyscape alongside Omnisphere.
Get Bernard Herman.
Get the orch percussion
Get solo strings (or another alternative)
I am no fan of sampled choirs, not even this one.

(The Spitfire harp is lovely)
You might want a decent drum kit app. (SD3?)
Some scoring guitars? (Not Spitfire’s)

Then you’re set.

Wait for the sales... That is how this works.







Hi there - I came across these forums the other day and have been lurking hardcore since. Firstly, thank you all for documenting the nuances of the various sample libraries and comparing them thoroughly - it has been tremendously helpful.

Before dropping a decent amount of cash, I would really appreciate feedback on my selection. This will be primarily used for film and game, my hope is to have a relatively comprehensive set of libraries for both flexibility on group size (chamber up to massive orchestra) and enough highly complimentary (mostly) wet libraries for easy layering/fast workflow.

The Libraries:

SCS (Chamber Strings)

SSS (Symphonic Strings)

SSW (Symphonic Woodwinds)

SSB (Symphonic Brass)

HZS (Zimmer Strings)

HZ Percussion Pro

HZP (Zimmer Piano)

KO (Kepler)

EWC (Eric Whitacre Choir)

Phobos​

These will be used alongside Komplete 12 Ultimate.

Questions:
  1. Am I going to have any noticeable gaps with this selection/am I missing anything/would you pick something else/are there better libraries?
  2. I’ve seen a posts on this forum mentioning that HZS had issues with some of its legato patches, but it seems they released an update recently that fixed them? Can someone provide some insight into this with the latest version?
  3. Seems like there was a big Spitfire sale in May that I unfortunately missed - how often does that happen? Should I get in touch with their sales to see if there’s other options?
  4. Since you can never have too many, what libraries should I look at next?

Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts!

- Evan
 

thereus

Active Member
Get the studio orch instead of HZS.
Get a proper synth instead of Phobos (Omnisphere, Diva, Zebra, Arturia’s in that order)
Get Pianoteq and Sonic Couture Hammersmith instead of HZP or even get Keyscape alongside Omnisphere.
Get Bernard Herman.
Get the orch percussion
Get solo strings (or another alternative)
I am no fan of sampled choirs, not even this one.

(The Spitfire harp is lovely)
You might want a decent drum kit app. (SD3?)
Some scoring guitars? (Not Spitfire’s)

Then you’re set.

Wait for the sales... That is how this works.







Hi there - I came across these forums the other day and have been lurking hardcore since. Firstly, thank you all for documenting the nuances of the various sample libraries and comparing them thoroughly - it has been tremendously helpful.

Before dropping a decent amount of cash, I would really appreciate feedback on my selection. This will be primarily used for film and game, my hope is to have a relatively comprehensive set of libraries for both flexibility on group size (chamber up to massive orchestra) and enough highly complimentary (mostly) wet libraries for easy layering/fast workflow.

The Libraries:

SCS (Chamber Strings)

SSS (Symphonic Strings)

SSW (Symphonic Woodwinds)

SSB (Symphonic Brass)

HZS (Zimmer Strings)

HZ Percussion Pro

HZP (Zimmer Piano)

KO (Kepler)

EWC (Eric Whitacre Choir)

Phobos​

These will be used alongside Komplete 12 Ultimate.

Questions:
  1. Am I going to have any noticeable gaps with this selection/am I missing anything/would you pick something else/are there better libraries?
  2. I’ve seen a posts on this forum mentioning that HZS had issues with some of its legato patches, but it seems they released an update recently that fixed them? Can someone provide some insight into this with the latest version?
  3. Seems like there was a big Spitfire sale in May that I unfortunately missed - how often does that happen? Should I get in touch with their sales to see if there’s other options?
  4. Since you can never have too many, what libraries should I look at next?

Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts!

- Evan
 

kgdrum

Senior Member
I agree with what most people are saying,one important detail that you haven't mentioned is your rig.What type of computer,ram ssd's etc........The wish list you are talking about requires a decent computer set up, besides the learning curve all of these libraries require to utilize correctly.
I agree as others have mentioned start with a smaller initial splurge & see what you like,as you get your footing you can always add with sales.

With that being said:
SCS is amazing! maybe pair it w/Bernard Herrmann
I'll also recommend Ark 1,2 and 3
Dedicated Woodwind and Brass libraries I'm not well versed with, others will have better recommendations.
CinePerc is a very good Percussion library that would cover most needs.
Strezov Wotan and Freyja for choirs is also a nice way to go
Omni & or Zebra would be great for synths.
IMO this would give you many options to work with,learn and see what works for you........
 
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