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On the Fence About Spitfire Studio Woodwinds

Land of Missing Parts

flibbertigibbet
Here's a bit of SStW Core in action. I figured I'd try it on the opening of Nocturnes.
[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/debussy-nocturnes-v01-mp3.20026/][/AUDIOPLUS]

Also BWW Legacy for English Horn and CSS/CSB filling in the strings and brass.

EDIT: Here is my completed version of Nocturnes, mvt. 1

Along with more thoughts about how Spitfire Studio Winds fared with it in this post. Long story short, overall it did well. (Quibbles are that it is a bit thin and, at times, I wish it was more expressive.)
 

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jaketanner

Senior Member
Here is a very short test I did for another member to see how SStW blends with CSS. Tried to balance it so things were heard clearly, but it's more for the color combination.

Piccolo, Flutes a3, Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet and Contrabassoon
All string sections separated CB is doing pizz.

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/ww-css-test_3-mp3.20028/][/AUDIOPLUS]
 

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Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Here is a very short test I did for another member to see how SStW blends with CSS. Tried to balance it so things were heard clearly, but it's more for the color combination.

Piccolo, Flutes a3, Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet and Contrabassoon
All string sections separated CB is doing pizz.

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/ww-css-test_3-mp3.20028/][/AUDIOPLUS]
Heyyy, nice job mixing the libs! Only flaw I detect (which quite likely is just personal taste) is perhaps a wee bit heavy on the reverb....oh wait, I think you mentioned using the Decca mic alone.

I'm totally cuckoo about SStWW, so the examples always interest me. Thanks, Jake.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Heyyy, nice job mixing the libs! Only flaw I detect (which quite likely is just personal taste) is perhaps a wee bit heavy on the reverb....oh wait, I think you mentioned using the Decca mic alone.

I'm totally cuckoo about SStWW, so the examples always interest me. Thanks, Jake.
Actually, I may have used a bit too much verb. originally I had a different mic setup...I since changed it to post, but left the reverb the same. I made a custom mic set up, since I have the pro, and used mostly ambient and outriggers...I also then redid the mic setup in CSS to match closer that of the winds...so you're probably right about the reverb, Just sounded cool. LOL :)
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Just sounded cool. LOL :)
That it does. There are some reverbs that I find it too easy to overdo, such as Valhalla (though I so love their effects). And sometimes I find getting too heavyhanded with the predelay can be disastrous, especially on the bus. Not that I think you did any of that, just sayn'.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I used VRS24 from Relab...it's a clone of the TC6000...excellent reverb! but I also didn't spend a whole lot of time dialing in the reverb, as it was a test for how they blend together. I might develop this idea into something...then I will mix it properly.. LOL. Thanks for liking it!
 

The Darris

Senior Member
@Cory Pelizzari - Great video on the StWW. Can you do me a favor? If you haven't already, can you send a support ticket to Spitfire about how unbalanced those articulations are concerning volume and dynamic equivalents between instrument?

I also noticed, in your demonstration of your custom multis, that the patches that utilized either the ostinatum or some arpeggiator script seemed to lack in confident timing. This leads me to believe that the samples don't have very good start times causing a few round robins to stick out as out of time. This was a major issue I had with Studio Strings. Subtle variations in the starting point of those samples is okay for natural humanization but there is a fine line where it goes from sounding like a professional group playing in time to an average high school or middle school group trying to play in time. Couple that issue with any latency you may already have and it just exacerbates a sequencing and programming issue when doing mock ups.

Anyway, those were just some of the issues with StWW I noticed in your review. You mentioned how unbalanced the dynamic range and volume is between the shorts and longs which, honestly, should be something the devs fix versus you having to spend time on it but the community appreciates it. Spitfire should certainly pay you back for that time, especially if you bought the library.

As for the other issue I mentioned, you didn't seem to draw any attention to it with your voice over so I don't know if it's something you felt was an issue. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts after spending some time writing some up tempo (140bpm+) Eighth note phrases with the shorts that mix in some 1/16 note patterns as well and lock them to the grid to test out how tight the samples sound. I'm really curious.

Cheers,

Chris
 

Cory Pelizzari

(Solonoid Studio)
@Cory Pelizzari - Great video on the StWW. Can you do me a favor? If you haven't already, can you send a support ticket to Spitfire about how unbalanced those articulations are concerning volume and dynamic equivalents between instrument?

I also noticed, in your demonstration of your custom multis, that the patches that utilized either the ostinatum or some arpeggiator script seemed to lack in confident timing. This leads me to believe that the samples don't have very good start times causing a few round robins to stick out as out of time. This was a major issue I had with Studio Strings. Subtle variations in the starting point of those samples is okay for natural humanization but there is a fine line where it goes from sounding like a professional group playing in time to an average high school or middle school group trying to play in time. Couple that issue with any latency you may already have and it just exacerbates a sequencing and programming issue when doing mock ups.

Anyway, those were just some of the issues with StWW I noticed in your review. You mentioned how unbalanced the dynamic range and volume is between the shorts and longs which, honestly, should be something the devs fix versus you having to spend time on it but the community appreciates it. Spitfire should certainly pay you back for that time, especially if you bought the library.

As for the other issue I mentioned, you didn't seem to draw any attention to it with your voice over so I don't know if it's something you felt was an issue. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts after spending some time writing some up tempo (140bpm+) Eighth note phrases with the shorts that mix in some 1/16 note patterns as well and lock them to the grid to test out how tight the samples sound. I'm really curious.

Cheers,

Chris
This is a problem that many composers who rely on super tight timing have with Spitfire libraries (and some others) in general. The reason is Spitfire goes for more stylised classical takes rather than super disciplined efficient takes. It does add to the sense of character and realism for the most part but when it comes to fast repeated phrases it sticks out like a sore thumb.

This is something that ultra-clean edited samples can combat, but on the other hand it sucks a little of the life and character out of the samples, so it's always a win/lose situation.

I've been planning to make a handy tips video covering various things one can do with orchestral sounds and layering - one of those things is to layer a synth over the woodwinds to get the tight timing without sacrificing the exposed woodwinds' character, or cut into the sample timing. I'll get around to that eventually.

In the case of creating complex or fast classical orchestrations, it comes down to what players are capable of live as opposed to how they play when being sampled. Essentially what a developer needs to do to get around the tightness issue is to record repetition samples and splice them into re-tongue staccatissimos with round robins. I'm almost 100% sure Alex Wallbank will be doing this for CSW so that may just solve a lot of problems.
 

The Darris

Senior Member
This is a problem that many composers who rely on super tight timing have with Spitfire libraries (and some others) in general. The reason is Spitfire goes for more stylised classical takes rather than super disciplined efficient takes. It does add to the sense of character and realism for the most part but when it comes to fast repeated phrases it sticks out like a sore thumb.

This is something that ultra-clean edited samples can combat, but on the other hand it sucks a little of the life and character out of the samples, so it's always a win/lose situation.

I've been planning to make a handy tips video covering various things one can do with orchestral sounds and layering - one of those things is to layer a synth over the woodwinds to get the tight timing without sacrificing the exposed woodwinds' character, or cut into the sample timing. I'll get around to that eventually.

In the case of creating complex or fast classical orchestrations, it comes down to what players are capable of live as opposed to how they play when being sampled. Essentially what a developer needs to do to get around the tightness issue is to record repetition samples and splice them into re-tongue staccatissimos with round robins. I'm almost 100% sure Alex Wallbank will be doing this for CSW so that may just solve a lot of problems.
I understand that which is why I mentioned that there is a happy medium concerning how to approach that issue. Chamber Strings by Spitfire is a good example of that happy medium. You can write a 1/16 note phrase at a tempo faster than 140 and it still sound tight whilst retaining that natural feel. On the other hand, the newer Studio Strings doesn't quite hold up, even at 120 bpm. Your patches illustrate this issue pretty clearly. I don't know about you but those arpeggiated patches sound like the samples just can't keep up with the pattern you've set. There is either something wrong with your playback or the samples were just cut poorly. Knowing you and the type of videos you do, this suggests its the samples.

I've had people suggest that I use the "tightness" slider. Well, after having tested that slider on the issue I'm describing on the Studio Strings, it did nothing. All of your positive points are valid and I totally agree with many of the things you've outlined in your review. With that said, I think there are some things I heard in this review that are concerning surrounding the dynamic balance and the way the short articulations have been cut, resulting is timing issues.

Best,

C
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I hate to resurrect another issue..but this is more of an observation/question than a complaint. Looking for those that have O.T. and SSW...particularly the Bassoon and Contrabassoon. So in the video below, the sound of the bassoon is incredible. Full, thick, warm. I opened up the SStW "pro" and tried to match the sound...not even close. Lacked the body and low warmth...granted NOT a fair comparison here...but wanted to see just how far off the sound was.

Now the question: is this strictly due to the room, or the way SF sampled it? So if anyone has those two libraries, and can try and do an a/b against the video to see if they are closer due to the room, I'd appreciate it.

BTW...8Dio's Claire Bassoon came very very close in sound...more natural.

To be clear, this is not a complaint...I do like the Studio series a lot, and will get use, and I understand that it's also recorded in a smaller hall, and many wind instruments thrive best when in the right environment...but wanted to ask if this seems to be the case here.

These videos are very telling just how close or far our sample libraries get to the real sound of the instrument. The series is great!

 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Full, thick, warm. I opened up the SStW "pro" and tried to match the sound...not even close. Lacked the body and low warmth...granted NOT a fair comparison here...but wanted to see just how far off the sound was.

Now the question: is this strictly due to the room, or the way SF sampled it? So if anyone has those two libraries, and can try and do an a/b against the video to see if they are closer due to the room, I'd appreciate it.
I too consider the bassoon in SStWWs one of the weak points, and always substitute it with the excellent EWHWW version (the Hein is great too, just less warm...messing with EQ is a big part of dealing with Hein instruments anyway).

I'm not sure why that bassoon is so thin, though I've had success adding a tiny bit of delay and judicious EQ. As mentioned earlier though, it's best to simply substitute that instrument with another dry library.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I'm not sure why that bassoon is so thin
I am starting to really see the importance of the recording space. Never gave it much thought before, and just assumed it was an engineering issue...I've recorded countless instruments in the past, but rarely any orchestral...so I have no comparison. But judging from these videos, and really comparing libraries against each other, I see that the rooms make the sound. I mean, they are all recorded by top engineers...so what's the difference? The space.

I did confirm though that 8Dio's Clair winds sound as natural to the real thing as I've heard yet. Just wish they had more articulations, but that's not what the library is about...but I can't wait for their Century Winds to be released...I think 8Dio really has a great technique and space to record them in.
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
I am starting to really see the importance of the recording space. Never gave it much thought before, and just assumed it was an engineering issue...I've recorded countless instruments in the past, but rarely any orchestral...so I have no comparison. But judging from these videos, and really comparing libraries against each other, I see that the rooms make the sound. I mean, they are all recorded by top engineers...so what's the difference? The space.

I did confirm though that 8Dio's Clair winds sound as natural to the real thing as I've heard yet. Just wish they had more articulations, but that's not what the library is about...but I can't wait for their Century Winds to be released...I think 8Dio really has a great technique and space to record them in.
Sounds to me like you have your substitute.

I've never owned a single library where I didn't have to substitute at least one instrument; which (as I think ism mentioned before) is part of the "good" side of having more than one dry and wet libraries. Just my opinion.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Sounds to me like you have your substitute.

I've never owned a single library where I didn't have to substitute at least one instrument; which (as I think ism mentioned before) is part of the "good" side of having more than one dry and wet libraries. Just my opinion.
The Claire are only solo...mostly for exposed work...not really for ensemble. But between the 4 wind libraries I have (2 are low-end), I can make something work...LOL Maybe CSB is going to be the winner...but when I got word that might be released at the end of the year, I didn't feel I could wait that long.
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
The Claire are only solo...mostly for exposed work...not really for ensemble. But between the 4 wind libraries I have (2 are low-end), I can make something work...LOL Maybe CSB is going to be the winner...but when I got word that might be released at the end of the year, I didn't feel I could wait that long.
Oh, I thought you had EWHWWs. Then I should mention: if you want to pick up a really good library for not much, EWHWWs is the one. Granted, a couple of the instruments are daff...so it's no different than any other library right? lol

EWHWWs has got some seriously strong points (right off the bat the bassoon and legato clarinet)...for a dry library it's a ridiculous steal at the price. Either try it out for cheap via Composer Cloud or buy the whole damn thing for cheap whilst you wait for CSB.

Trust me Jake, you will not regret getting the EW.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Oh, I thought you had EWHWWs. Then I should mention: if you want to pick up a really good library for not much, EWHWWs is the one. Granted, a couple of the instruments are daff...so it's no different than any other library right? lol

EWHWWs has got some seriously strong points (right off the bat the bassoon and legato clarinet)...for a dry library it's a ridiculous steal at the price. Either try it out for cheap via Composer Cloud or buy the whole damn thing for cheap whilst you wait for CSB.

Trust me Jake, you will not regret getting the EW.
I have the sub from time to time. I considered just using that when I needed to and wait until CSW comes out. Bit went against it. Never got along with the EW samples and for sure don’t wanna deal with Play. I like Kontakts convenience and relatively small CPU footprint.
 
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