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Spitfire Audio “This is London Calling” - BBC Symphony Orchestra

widekeys

New Member
Was it mentioned anywhere which dynamics were recorded? For USD 999 I was wondering where corners were cut.
If you watch the voice count in the walk through videos, right at the start of a phrase that he plays, you can see the number of layers used for the patch. The long brass patches have a voice count of 3 plus the cuivre makes 4 dynamic layers which should be good to capture the various timbral changes.
For the strings it will be harder to estimate the layers since the instruments have vibrato control. If we assume a recorded nonvibrato and vibrato per layer we may estimate the dynamic layer count by simply dividing by 2. Of course the staccato attacks add to the voice count so I'd use the sustain showcase for this instead of the legato patches. However since string sections do have a pretty homogeneous timbre across dynamic layers I'd be ok with 3.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
Was it mentioned anywhere which dynamics were recorded? For USD 999 I was wondering where corners were cut.
I kind of got the impression that the BBC SO was maybe subsidizing a bit of this? They said it was a collaboration?

I could be wrong, of course.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
I kind of got the impression that the BBC SO was maybe subsidizing a bit of this? They said it was a collaboration?

I could be wrong, of course.
It's something along the lines of a joint venture. Both the BBC (commercial) and Spitfire have put money into the pot to pay for the studio, musicians etc. Presumably the profits are split too.
 

tadam

Active Member
If you watch the voice count in the walk through videos, right at the start of a phrase that he plays, you can see the number of layers used for the patch. The long brass patches have a voice count of 3 plus the cuivre makes 4 dynamic layers which should be good to capture the various timbral changes.
For the strings it will be harder to estimate the layers since the instruments have vibrato control. If we assume a recorded nonvibrato and vibrato per layer we may estimate the dynamic layer count by simply dividing by 2. Of course the staccato attacks add to the voice count so I'd use the sustain showcase for this instead of the legato patches. However since string sections do have a pretty homogeneous timbre across dynamic layers I'd be ok with 3.
Great observation!

So for example, here is only one note and the value of the voice counter is 6


On that given note there is the portamento sample at the beginning, 1 non-vib, 1 vib layer, 1 release so there are only 2 dynamic layers on the legato patches?

Or the plugin is able to respond so quickly to unused layers that it takes out of memory?
Maybe I misunderstand it, I don't know.

It would be great a comment from Spitfire about dynamic layers of legato, long, staccato, spiccato, at least.
 

widekeys

New Member
Great observation!

So for example, here is only one note and the value of the voice counter is 6


On that given note there is the portamento sample at the beginning, 1 non-vib, 1 vib layer, 1 release so there are only 2 dynamic layers on the legato patches?

Or the plugin is able to respond so quickly to unused layers that it takes out of memory?
Maybe I misunderstand it, I don't know.

It would be great a comment from Spitfire about dynamic layers of legato, long, staccato, spiccato, at least.
I'm just assuming they trigger the sustain samples for a played note all at the same time and release or legato when necessary, not taking into account the current relevant CC value which is how East West seem to do it. At ~50 seconds it shows 5 voices. So maybe 3 dynamic layers and 2 of them have crossfadeable vibrato?
 
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tadam

Active Member
I'm just assuming they trigger the sustain samples for a played note all at the same time, not taking into account the current relevant CC value which is how East West seem to do it. At ~50 seconds it shows 5 voices. So maybe 3 dynamic layers and 2 of them have crossfadeable vibrato?
When Paul starts to play the normal long, he plays a triad if I can see well and the counter shows 12 voices. The number of layers of dynamics from this is not clear to me. But yes, it makes sense: "So maybe 3 dynamic layers and 2 of them have crossfadeable vibrato?"
 
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muk

Senior Member
Listening through the videos once more, it sure sounds like the number of velocity layers is on the low side throughout. Timbrally the strings go from piano to forte, but not above or below. That is audible not only in the legato demo, but in the spiccato demo as well I am afraid. In the brass video, it was the same. Some very beautiful sounds in the piano range that will be great to have. But the lowest and the highest dynamics seemed to be missing. To my ears the cuivré articulation didn’t help, as it, curiously, didn’t go above forte either. I can’t double check until the video is re-uploaded though.
So far, I am most taken by the bits of the woodwinds that we heard, and the timpani as well. These sounded fantastic. Some of the brass was beautiful. So, it looks to me like there will be plenty of gorgeous material in this library. However, going by the walkthroughs, they did not capture enough dynamic layers and short articulations for me personally. Mind you, the amount that is included is still stunning, especially considering the price. What’s there sounds top notch too. However, if it was the only library I had, I feel that its limitations would be frustrating to me.
If the woodwinds and percussion are all that they promise to be by the bits I heard so far, I might get the library just for those sections, plus some of the brass.
 

tadam

Active Member
Listening through the videos once more, it sure sounds like the number of velocity layers is on the low side throughout. Timbrally the strings go from piano to forte, but not above or below. That is audible not only in the legato demo, but in the spiccato demo as well I am afraid. In the brass video, it was the same. Some very beautiful sounds in the piano range that will be great to have. But the lowest and the highest dynamics seemed to be missing. To my ears the cuivré articulation didn’t help, as it, curiously, didn’t go above forte either. I can’t double check until the video is re-uploaded though.
So far, I am most taken by the bits of the woodwinds that we heard, and the timpani as well. These sounded fantastic. Some of the brass was beautiful. So, it looks to me like there will be plenty of gorgeous material in this library. However, going by the walkthroughs, they did not capture enough dynamic layers and short articulations for me personally. Mind you, the amount that is included is still stunning, especially considering the price. What’s there sounds top notch too. However, if it was the only library I had, I feel that its limitations would be frustrating to me.
If the woodwinds and percussion are all that they promise to be by the bits I heard so far, I might get the library just for those sections, plus some of the brass.
Brass walktrough is online again.
 

Zedcars

Klaatu barada nikto
Listening through the videos once more, it sure sounds like the number of velocity layers is on the low side throughout. Timbrally the strings go from piano to forte, but not above or below. That is audible not only in the legato demo, but in the spiccato demo as well I am afraid. In the brass video, it was the same. Some very beautiful sounds in the piano range that will be great to have. But the lowest and the highest dynamics seemed to be missing. To my ears the cuivré articulation didn’t help, as it, curiously, didn’t go above forte either. I can’t double check until the video is re-uploaded though.
So far, I am most taken by the bits of the woodwinds that we heard, and the timpani as well. These sounded fantastic. Some of the brass was beautiful. So, it looks to me like there will be plenty of gorgeous material in this library. However, going by the walkthroughs, they did not capture enough dynamic layers and short articulations for me personally. Mind you, the amount that is included is still stunning, especially considering the price. What’s there sounds top notch too. However, if it was the only library I had, I feel that its limitations would be frustrating to me.
If the woodwinds and percussion are all that they promise to be by the bits I heard so far, I might get the library just for those sections, plus some of the brass.
BBCSO Pro? 🤞

Although that might hurt the collaborative approach. I would definitely be interested in either an expanded Pro version, or future Expantions. I think it sounds great, but I really need extremes of dynamics. I do have other libraries that could compensate but was looking forward to the plug and play approach of this library.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
I don't believe making the "ultimate mockup tool" has been Spitfire's goal for some time now and the BBSO seems to be following that approach with the emphasis on mics etc.

And actually, I think Spitfire are right to do so. I'm only making an assumption but I bet most "real world" use cases for orchestral libraries right now is in some sort of media project, mixed with other sounds and musical styles. There must be a vanishingly small number of users who actually need to create ultra realistic mockups on a daily basis.

Whilst my daily driver is library music, when I do get to score a short film and require orchestral sounds, there's never the time or need to break out every voice and fettle 8 dynamic layers. That's why stuff like Albion ONE is so popular. I think that's the area where this library is aimed: Composers who want an easy to use orchestra on hand when a project requires some orchestra juice, hence the emphasis on common articulations, mics and surround rather than 13 dynamic layers and 47 round robins.

That said, in the right hands (Andy Blaney) this library is capable of some devastatingly good "pure orchestra" music. I reckon BBCSO is going to hit the sweet spot for an enormous amount of people. That Spitfire rabble know what they're doing.
 
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Sovereign

Senior Member
For me the absence of FF would be significant, it's not a dynamic which is rarely used and it has nothing to do with modern scores either. And the lack of it would - to me - defeat the purpose of the library as a "universal starting point". If BBCSO averages around 3 layers, we would hardly need 8 (or 13) layers to get FF, Alex. No one is asking for that. Imagine telling a composer you can't write for very loud. Albion should hardly be the measure here, I doubt Albion is popular precisely because it has a tough time doing loud stuff.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
For me the absence of FF would be significant, it's not a dynamic which is rarely used and it has nothing to do with modern scores either. And the lack of it would - to me - defeat the purpose of the library as a "universal starting point". If BBCSO averages around 3 layers, we would hardly need 8 (or 13) layers to get FF, Alex. No one is asking for that. Imagine telling a composer you can't write for very loud. Albion should hardly be the measure here, I doubt Albion is popular precisely because it has a tough time doing loud stuff.
When I say 13 layers, I'm being facetious - hopefully that was clear. ;)

I don't wish to start pin-pointing what BBCSO can (or can't do) - I haven't listened deeply enough to the videos to know either way. The wider point I'm trying to make is that the library probably won't cover every dynamic base and articulation by design. As always, it's up to the user to decide if his or her bases are covered. I'm sure VI control is ready and waiting to pick apart all the details. ;)
 

Sovereign

Senior Member
When I say 13 layers, I'm being facetious - hopefully that was clear. ;)
Obviously, but let us be honest here, it is one extra dynamic they would need. Just one! I'd rather have a few less articulations (to hell with the bartok pizz or the sul tastos) and better dynamics. The whole cuivre articulation as a separate patch is also weird.

I don't wish to start pin-pointing what BBCSO can (or can't do) - I haven't listened deeply enough to the videos to know either way. The wider point I'm trying to make is that the library probably won't cover every dynamic base and articulation by design. As always, it's up to the user to decide if his or her bases are covered. I'm sure VI control is ready and waiting to pick apart all the details. ;)
I'm still getting it as it sounds great, but at this day and age not having ff in a modern library would be a sin as far as I am concerned. Covering all the most-used dynamics is a necessity. Owning BBCSO should not make me need to use other libraries! Wasn't that the whole point? I'm guessing this is also the reason the SFA guys are sidestepping the issue of clearing up which dynamics were recorded.
 
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