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Is the Albion bundle redundant if i have Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra and Komplete11?

Goldie Zwecker

Active Member
I recently got more into composing with orchestral stuff. Not as a profession but more because i love it, love playing with those sounds and textures and fascinated and having fun learning how to "mock up" orchestral stuff. I usually make music with my analog synths, but working with samples is also great. Besides orchestral they are also great addition for indie and pop music.

Anyway, i recently got the new Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra which includes the symphonic strings, symphonic brass, symphonic woodwinds and Masse - and i also got the spitfire chamber strings library which sounds just awesome!
They are excellent libraries that give me individual sections and solo instruments (apart from the string libraries, that is), and masse gives a touch of some orchestral combinations.
But, as detailed as these libraries are it seems they are less for "sparking" ideas and giving you cues to start with - and more for serious and meticulous orchestral work.

Before i bought this bundle i listened A LOT to all the demos of the 5 Albion volumes and each sounds great!! It seems these two bundles will work great together because they were recorded in the same place, have similar GUI etc. And no, i can't point on a specific Albion library that i think is better than the others. Tundra is as special as Albion one -Albion iceni is also special etc. It makes sense as a bundle.

What they can give me in addition to the BML orchestral stuff is percussion, loops, textures, cues, and in the orchestral department - some unique articulations and techniques the BML doesn't have, as well as unisons and octaves. Seems to work the other way around as well. You can't do everything just with the Albions.

So why i hesitate? Because i also own:
1. Omnisphere 2
2. Komplete Ultimate 11

Omnisphere also goes for an approach of mangling samples in a synth engine, taking it thru filters, fx, granular etc etc. It also has lots of loops and arppegiated stuff.
I don't know if this makes the brunnel loops and eDNA redundant.

As for Komplete Ultimate 11 - it has lots of cinematic stuff. For example Action strikes with all its orchestral percussion loops, HIT & RISE with its swells and hits, Damage - which also gives cinematic rhythmic loops, Evolution, Evolution mutations, Evolution mutations 2, Action strings, Emotive strings, Kinetic metal etc etc.

And on the other hand - each time i listen to the Albion walkthru's - i'm impressed.

So my questions is do you find it excessive and overkill to have the BML range, and Komplete Ultimate 11, and Omnisphere 2 and add the Albions?
 

JohnG

Senior Member
Not as a profession but more because i love it

...in other words, you're doomed!

Only some of the Albion series is redundant; I'm not sure what the percentage is. I have Albion III, IV, and V and I am struggling to think of things that are exactly the same. Certainly there are some concepts, like low strings, that are the same, but they don't sound exactly the same to me.

For full disclosure, I really like to have a huge palette of string sounds, so perhaps I am too much of a gourmand to be objective.

I don't have Komplete ultimate but I have quite a few Kontakt instruments and Omni and, to answer your question, I don't find it too much.
 
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Goldie Zwecker

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Absolutely not redundant.

Albion bundle has many stuff you don't have on SSO (Especially III, IV, V).
I'm sure compared to Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra, Albions have a lot to offer when it comes to percussion, pads, loops etc. That's why i also asked how do the Albions stack up to my combination of Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra - and Omnisphere 2 and Komplete Ultimate 11 (with all the percussion and cinematic stuff).
 

JohnG

Senior Member
Hi Goldie -- I think Gabriel is broadly correct but it is a serious investment, not only of money but of time to learn the libraries, disk space, working up familiarity or including in one's template -- all that. So I sympathise with your desire for more information.

The most accurate way to satisfy yourself on this point is to look to the specific patch lists on Spitfire's website. You can see there that the Albion series includes combinations of instruments -- such as Albion III low woodwinds, for example, that are not available (completely anyway) in the normal symphonic library or in a typical symphony orchestra for that matter, unless you have a heck of a large budget.

Synths

As far as synths, honestly with what you already have there is not a lot you can't produce, if you know how to use them in detail and have the time / patience to really get under the hood with Absynth, Reactor -- all that comes with the NI world and Omni of course, which is its own almost endless playground.

Albion Appeal

For me, the allure of the Albions is much more on the orchestral / "natural sounds" side, even though I do like some of the crunchy synthetic stuff as well. Although theoretically you could reproduce some of what is in the Albions with the orchestral samples, it would be quite a challenge in many cases, and in other cases, impossible. To stay with the example above -- Albion III low winds -- they are not performed the same way as in the symphonic samples. It's a larger ensemble doing something musically very different from simply sounding a pitch. The result is that, even if you had individual samples of each instrument in that group, it wouldn't have the same sonic effect.

Homework

If you are going to spend that much money, you owe it to yourself to make a pot of tea or coffee or something and sit through the "walkthrough" videos of each library. It's a big effort to get one's arms around that much material.

Good luck either way.

Kind regards,

John
 

Gabriel Oliveira

Senior Member
That's why i also asked how do the Albions stack up to my combination of Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra - and Omnisphere 2 and Komplete Ultimate 11 (with all the percussion and cinematic stuff).

Yea, still not redundant.

Omni and Komplete doesn't have 38 wide violins (V), 24 cellos (III) or 2 tubas+2 cimbassi+2 contra bass bones+3 bass bones (III).

And much more.
 

jacobthestupendous

not that stupendous
You have a very decent start already, and like John said, there's not too much you can't accomplish with what you've already got. There are a few distinct advantages to adding the Albions to your war chest though:
  • Action Strikes and Damage is a good start to a cinematic percussion collection, but layering often is the name of the game, and it's always better to have lots of additional options
  • The sections recorded such as they are in the Albions can make a handy shortcut to decently orchestrated sections that otherwise would take a fair bit of effort to execute with individual sections. Even if you don't need the orchestration help, layering is often the name of the game, and adding layers, particularly with strings, can often add sweetness and fullness to your recording
  • I'd probably say that the Albions' synth content is my least frequently used, buy your mileage may vary. You probably could accomplish a lot with what you have to what's on offer here, but unless you're a synthesis ninja, it would take a tremendous effort
  • I've not heard anything else out there like Albion IV or V
 
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Goldie Zwecker

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If you are going to spend that much money, you owe it to yourself to make a pot of tea or coffee or something and sit through the "walkthrough" videos of each library. It's a big effort to get one's arms around that much material.

That's exactly what i've been doing in the last couple of weeks - which is why i'm hooked ;)
When i was debating whther to go for the Albions or the SSO - people said it's far better going for the SSO since if i'd want to really compose with individual sections i won't be able to do that with the Albions. Now i see it also works the other way around...
Clever guys over there in Sptifire.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
There's lots of material in the Albions, but I think you should really take the time to get familiar with the content.
Personally, I would probably prefer looking into Albion IV and V separately. Those two are truly unique and offer material that you couldn't put together yourself with other libraries. The other question is whether you actually need these types of sounds.

The other three Albions IMO are more redundant if you already have a full, high quality orchestra like SSO. Sure, there's things here and there that aren't part of a traditional orchestra (sackbuts), some interesting combinations (low woods in Albion ONE), all the sound design content (that personally I don't use much) etc., but the question is: does it really matter? To me, a lot of it is just nuance. Which is great to have, but the answer to the question whether it justifies a large investment is an individual one.
 
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Goldie Zwecker

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There's lots of material in the Albions, but I think you should really take the time to get familiar with the content.
Personally, I would probably prefer looking into Albion IV and V separately. Those two are truly unique and offer material that you couldn't put together yourself with other libraries. The other question is whether you actually need these types of sounds.

The other three Albions IMO are more redundant if you already have a full, high quality orchestra like SSO. Sure, there's things here and there that aren't part of a traditional orchestra (sackbuts), some interesting combinations (low woods in Albion ONE), all the sound design content (that personally I don't use much) etc., but the question is: does it really matter? To me, a lot of it is just nuance. Which is great to have, but the answer to the question whether it justifies a large investment is an individual one.
Question is not only about those special or esoteric articulations - but also about the "regular' ones.
For example if i want to play a melodic line with some octave spread strings containing basses, cellos, violas etc - right now to achieve that i need to open a few instances of Kontakt or create a multi, load the individual sections, duplicate the midi files, adjust the mic positions for all instances etc - while with albion you just load up a "strings lo" or "strings hi" which are not overdubbed recordings but a recording of this actual ensemble.
On the other hand if i want the freedom of having only the basses and cellos doing some spicatto melodic line and want to add violas doing some tremolo while the string section is playing a legato line - that's where a fully featured orchestral collection such as Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra come in handy.
 

Ron Kords

Active Member
Hi,

I recently got SSO but am still drawn in to using Albion when I'm in a hurry - i.e. 'can you get us a demo in 2 hours type request'....(rarely ends well but that's another story) :)

The pre-mixed sections are really useful and a great time saver - particularly where it's not a prominent part.

Masse (you should have this if you have full SSO) does a similar thing but doesn't cover as much and is more about large scale orchestration....
 

Vastman

we make the future
I own all the albions and a variety of other libraries... To ME the real question is... what else beyond Spitfire might you find useful? Project Sam's Symphobia/OE 1&2, OT's Arks, and many others are out there and you are talking about a lot of duckets...For that kind of investment I'd consider all my options and spend a chunk of time looking into them. Each has a unique flavor and is worthy of consideration.

Then again, if you are well healed with a boatload of bucks, are enamored with Spitfire's GUI and want a consistent settup, go for it! You can always add others later. I know... I'm hooked!
 
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Goldie Zwecker

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I own all the albions and a variety of other libraries... To ME the real question is... what else beyond Spitfire might you find useful? Project Sam's Symphobia/OE 1&2, OT's Arks, and many others are out there and you are talking about a lot of duckets...For that kind of investment I'd consider all my options and spend a chunk of time looking into them. Each has a unique flavor and is worthy of consideration.

Then again, if you are well healed with a boatload of bucks, are enamored with Spitfire's GUI and want a consistent settup, go for it! You can always add others later. I know... I'm hooked!

I looked into the Symphobias and had a couple of hours with them. They sound lovely - but are too specific. The ARK I & II is a good question. Ark I is definitely more aggressive than any of the albions will ever be, and now with volume II out it also covers the more "quite" side of things, plus it has some important stuff none of the Albions have such as choirs. It doesn't have an equivalent of Brunnel loops etc but that's ok since with Omni II and other stuff i have i'm covered. On the other hand is stuff on the Albions that's unique, such as volume 4, the stuff you could find on Tundra, plus the basic tone of, say, Albion One is sweeter than Ark's. On the other hand this isn't an Albion vs Ark comparison. It's more of an: "If i have the complete Orchestral library of Spitfire plus chamber strings - which would be more different/needed? Albion or Ark"?
Also, ARK gives a different flavor which is a good thing. On the other hand - Albion is more consistent in terms of recording environment and GUI...
 

Vastman

we make the future
Yes, Goldie... all good points... which is why I have them all!!!

Have forsaken many a beers, wines, coffees, bar stops, meals out, and other $$$$ sucks but I'm much happier and healthier!

Best of luck deciding... Oh, and don't forget ewql hollywood orchestra, which is a killer deal during their frequent sales... I haven't sprung for it, but a few folks around here love it; my reluctance was due to a F'd up "play" engine but that has been rectified. Still, I have enough, or at least will, once I finish upgrading to the full spitfire orchestra (I have strings only at the moment)
 

robgb

Inspiration is for amateurs
So why i hesitate? Because i also own:
1. Omnisphere 2
2. Komplete Ultimate 11
You own these plus SSO? Then you don't really need anything else. Seriously. If you can't make amazing music with these, spending another grand or so will not make a difference. Unless, of course, you're rich. If so, you might as well buy them all. Plus Berlin. Plus 8dio.

Seriously, there comes a point where you just need to sit down a learn to best utilize the libraries you have.
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
You own these plus SSO? Then you don't really need anything else. Seriously. If you can't make amazing music with these, spending another grand or so will not make a difference. Unless, of course, you're rich. If so, you might as well buy them all. Plus Berlin. Plus 8dio.

Seriously, there comes a point where you just need to sit down a learn to best utilize the libraries you have.
+1 to this. You (the OP) have plenty of good stuff.

I would say there are still good reasons for getting the various Albions in addition to what you have, but you need to be very sure of those reasons.

For me, I sum up the Albions as:
- Easier sketching of ideas, with the added benefit that the quality of the libraries means the patches can be left in in the final product
- Various tonal colours & orchestral effects you don't get with the likes of SSO, and can't reproduce
- Some very beautiful patches & instruments, and particular focus on a 'sound' that no other library has
- No fuss -- it just works out of the box with all the other Spitfire stuff

I think you will find there are many people who have the various Albions and use them regularly with the other Spitfire products like the BML / SSO ranges.
 
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Goldie Zwecker

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You own these plus SSO? Then you don't really need anything else. Seriously. If you can't make amazing music with these, spending another grand or so will not make a difference. Unless, of course, you're rich. If so, you might as well buy them all. Plus Berlin. Plus 8dio.

Seriously, there comes a point where you just need to sit down a learn to best utilize the libraries you have.
You own these plus SSO? Then you don't really need anything else. Seriously. If you can't make amazing music with these, spending another grand or so will not make a difference.

I'm not interested in the Albions or additional stuff because i think i can't make amazing music with what i already have - but because there's stuff that SSO doesn't have.
For example, i may sit for 10 years, making the most out of SSO - but it still won't miraculously "grow" a choir or harp sounds (which are in the ARK collections) simply because Spitfire's concept of a complete Orchestra doesn't include a choir.
Sitting 10 years with SSO still won't make it have sackbutts or recorders, or the a-tonal phrases that are in Albion Uist, nor will it - how ever hard you may try - reach ffff dynamics like on ARK I. You also won't have the bass-celli combos you have in Albion iceni - nor will you have the hyper toms and other booms and sub thuds that you don't have on SSO - nor are they in Komplete 11.
I agree that as for synth loops and atmospheric pads, the Albions are redundant in my case. Omnisphere 2 has plenty of those.

There's no argument that i could make amazing stuff with what i already have. I'd say that's true to most of us most of the time. I also come from electronic music, and there you see people have a moog synth, along with a korg arp, se boomstar, dreadbox erebus, and a bunch of other stuff. Theoretically they should be fine with just one or two monosynths, one poly and that's that. Yet you see them buy different synths that give them different sound colors and different options.
 
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