Rounding out Albion One

CATDAD

New Member
Sup VI nerds,

Albion One has been a fantastic introduction to orchestral library power! Now I'm looking for my next step. I've been looking around, listening to lots of different examples and reviews. I am looking for something with more control over my instruments now. I already have Spitfire Percussion (Joby) and Spitfire Solo Strings as well. I have my eye on Nucleus because it seems like it is incredible value for the cost, and sounds great. I would be primarily after its smaller sections, solos for instruments other than strings, and its choir. Currently, I have a budget at about $500 (CAD!) and have access to student discounts. It seems like it would run on my weaker laptop as well. My intention with these libraries has been for video game soundtrack stuff, and for flavour in dance music production. Versatility and ease-of-use are the name of the game here for me. I'm NOT looking for something focusing on epic sound, but something that has a bit of punch when called for.

Questions:
How challenging would it be to blend Nucleus and Albion One together? With Albion being used generally to pump up Nucleus when called for.
Is this a smart move, or should I continue to save for, say, BBCSO or something?
Other similar libraries that have particular reason for consideration? (keeping in mind potential student discounts for pricing)


Thank you for your time and experience on the matter.
 

BassClef

Active Member
I think Nucleus is a good choice for your situation and it should be very easy to blend it with the sections from Albion One. The big question is... will you be satisfied with the fairly limited number of instrument articulations.
 
I am looking for something with more control over my instruments now

I already have Spitfire Percussion (Joby) and Spitfire Solo Strings as well

incredible value for the cost, and sounds great.

I would be primarily after its smaller sections, solos for instruments other than strings, and its choir.

budget

run on my weaker laptop


for video game soundtrack stuff

something that has a bit of punch when called for.
I mark some of your points and these recall me a review:

Check Cory's channel and watch this review until the end, you may find this library suits your need very well but at a low price. And Cory's review videos are very helpful for those who make the first step in the VI's world in choosing libraries.

I found that the solo strings will be Amadeus's weak point, since you already have Spitfire Solo Strings it won't be a problem.
 
OP
C

CATDAD

New Member
Thank you for your responses!

Good call on the articulations @BassClef, I did give it some thought and decided I can still make due with less artix for now. This would be most impactful for me with chamber-size strings, and likely a case for upgrading later on. It was something I didn't think upon immediately because my other libraries do have decent articulation coverage by comparison, so thanks for that.

@mohsohsenshi that review was surprising and solid. I am already familiar with Cory's channel, and quite enjoy his straightforward and thorough review style. That being said, Amadeus' sound just wasn't inspiring to me. The extra bits and bobs it has are things I already have covered or don't have need for.

In the end I did go with Nucleus. A decent foundation with a sound that seems flexible in application. When I need some additional mics/articulations for specific instruments badly enough, I'll purchase those specific libraries when the time comes (likely chamber-sized strings, specialized choir, or a library with more specific flavour) so I can save cash for those, instead of BBCSO. It is fast to work with and runs well on my laptop, so it'll always make a good sketching/support library down the line (especially given its total size).


Cheers, keep them creative juices flowing!
 

THW

New Member
Thank you for your responses!

Good call on the articulations @BassClef, I did give it some thought and decided I can still make due with less artix for now. This would be most impactful for me with chamber-size strings, and likely a case for upgrading later on. It was something I didn't think upon immediately because my other libraries do have decent articulation coverage by comparison, so thanks for that.

@mohsohsenshi that review was surprising and solid. I am already familiar with Cory's channel, and quite enjoy his straightforward and thorough review style. That being said, Amadeus' sound just wasn't inspiring to me. The extra bits and bobs it has are things I already have covered or don't have need for.

In the end I did go with Nucleus. A decent foundation with a sound that seems flexible in application. When I need some additional mics/articulations for specific instruments badly enough, I'll purchase those specific libraries when the time comes (likely chamber-sized strings, specialized choir, or a library with more specific flavour) so I can save cash for those, instead of BBCSO. It is fast to work with and runs well on my laptop, so it'll always make a good sketching/support library down the line (especially given its total size).


Cheers, keep them creative juices flowing!
Greetings — How is nucleus working for you? I’m considering this same combination (currently using albion one.)
 
OP
C

CATDAD

New Member
Hey @THW !

It has been working a treat for me! Having control of the smaller sections and soloists is really nice coming from Albion One, and it truly feels like a versatile core to branch from in the future.

One feature that I enjoy that I didn't originally really take in to account, is the ability to set the starting point of the samples by an exact millisecond value! You can essentially chop off the attack of each instrument so it plays instantly while sketching stuff out, and then move them ahead again when you're done so it plays out the full sample again. Then you can shift your whole midi channel the same amount of milliseconds as the sample start and everything plays on time with your other virtual instruments. You can also use this to make certain parts hit a little bit tighter as a sound design option, though it obviously sounds a little less natural.

(so if you decide to get it, it will feel like the instruments are delayed when you play them but they're not, you just need to change the sample starting point to tighten them up from the default -125ms)

It has actually really made me appreciate more of the hybrid tools Albion One has now as well! The sound design options in Nucleus are pretty weak comparatively, so they work well together in that way. And if you don't have any other percussion libraries, it comes with some standard orchestral stuff which compliments very nicely Albion One's huge cinematic hits. If you want to blend them together, a light touch of extra reverb goes a long way.

Downsides: If you need/want some deep emotive articulation options, it is a sore point and I would look elsewhere. No mic options, so if you want to simulate that, you're gonna need to do a little processing in the mix. The Choir is useful, but if you want it to sound big it WILL require some creative processing work. It is truly a jack-of-all-trades library that makes some sacrifices to be what it is at the cost.

All-in-all, it was worth it for me, exactly what I was hoping for, and has helped me get to grips with programming individual sections while having a surprisingly rich sound and quite a small footprint! I will definitely end up looking for more specialized libraries down the line, but this allows me to fill in the gaps in the meantime and sketch fast, with Albion One being able to give some serious cinematic oomph when needed.
 

THW

New Member
Hey @THW !

It has been working a treat for me! Having control of the smaller sections and soloists is really nice coming from Albion One, and it truly feels like a versatile core to branch from in the future.

One feature that I enjoy that I didn't originally really take in to account, is the ability to set the starting point of the samples by an exact millisecond value! You can essentially chop off the attack of each instrument so it plays instantly while sketching stuff out, and then move them ahead again when you're done so it plays out the full sample again. Then you can shift your whole midi channel the same amount of milliseconds as the sample start and everything plays on time with your other virtual instruments. You can also use this to make certain parts hit a little bit tighter as a sound design option, though it obviously sounds a little less natural.

(so if you decide to get it, it will feel like the instruments are delayed when you play them but they're not, you just need to change the sample starting point to tighten them up from the default -125ms)

It has actually really made me appreciate more of the hybrid tools Albion One has now as well! The sound design options in Nucleus are pretty weak comparatively, so they work well together in that way. And if you don't have any other percussion libraries, it comes with some standard orchestral stuff which compliments very nicely Albion One's huge cinematic hits. If you want to blend them together, a light touch of extra reverb goes a long way.

Downsides: If you need/want some deep emotive articulation options, it is a sore point and I would look elsewhere. No mic options, so if you want to simulate that, you're gonna need to do a little processing in the mix. The Choir is useful, but if you want it to sound big it WILL require some creative processing work. It is truly a jack-of-all-trades library that makes some sacrifices to be what it is at the cost.

All-in-all, it was worth it for me, exactly what I was hoping for, and has helped me get to grips with programming individual sections while having a surprisingly rich sound and quite a small footprint! I will definitely end up looking for more specialized libraries down the line, but this allows me to fill in the gaps in the meantime and sketch fast, with Albion One being able to give some serious cinematic oomph when needed.
Hey thank you for the comprehensive reply! I appreciate you including the downside as well. Articulations are certainly a concern, but at this point in my development having smaller sections and soloists is exactly what I'm looking for. Lately I've been using instruments from the Kontakt Factory library, and it just isn't doing it for me anymore.

It's interesting you mention the hybrid tools in Albion. I am continually amazed at the sounds I can get out of Albion, so am happy to hear that Nucleus will complement them well with a little processing.

This seems a much better purchase for me than saving up for the BBCSO. I'll follow up once I purchase and play around with it. Also thank you for the tip on the sample start. You summarized it very well, I think that will take a bit getting used to when using nucleus with other libraries. I know my DAW (studio one) can change the start.

I'm also looking into purchasing Notion 6 -- I've been focused on writing everything on paper to improve my theory/composition skills, then transferring to DAW. This is a long workflow, but certainly learning a ton in the process and my music is more musical than it was (although I do love playing straight into the DAW).

Thanks again!