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Spitfire Bespoke private range libraries

prodigalson

Senior Member
I personally know a ton of people who would drop the cash on them right now.
I find it hard to believe that ANYONE would pay 12 grand in todays market for any library, let alone one from 8 years ago. That is just absolutely bonkers. What exactly is the Bespoke Chamber Strings going to give you that is different from Spitfire Chamber Strings recorded with more experience in the same hall by the same people and available at a fraction of the price.

This whole thread is loony tunes bonkers. You have people who actually own the libraries saying theyre not much to write home about compared to the current market and you still think they should make them available for 12K and ANYONE would buy them????
 

JohnG

Senior Member
This whole thread is loony tunes bonkers
I agree. It's a mix of fantasy and hearsay.

Nothing today is stopping anyone with a few thousand dollars from writing really great-sounding music -- definitely not the absence of this library.

[edit: the sound of the bespoke library is excellent; not taking anything away from it. Paul was kind enough to give me a demo when it was still available and it definitely offered an engaging, musical sound.]
 
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givemenoughrope

Senior Member
Didn’t re-peat do some examples with these a while back? It sounded BML-esque with some clicks and pops. I think I remember the consensus being something along the lines of: if you have Sable, etc. youre not missing much.
 

Simon Ravn

Senior Member
The myth around these things is definitely a big part of the interest. As another example, I'd love to hear more about that private library that a group of composers did with the Utah Symphony a number of years back, which was supposedly another "exclusive secret weapon." I think someone mentioned it on here recently.
That one didnt turn out so good. I Think only some of the effects and the trombone staccs still have a chance of getting pulled out here.
 

Simon Ravn

Senior Member
I find it hard to believe that ANYONE would pay 12 grand in todays market for any library, let alone one from 8 years ago. That is just absolutely bonkers. What exactly is the Bespoke Chamber Strings going to give you that is different from Spitfire Chamber Strings recorded with more experience in the same hall by the same people and available at a fraction of the price.
How about a silky smooth sound. Probably the best sordino strings recorded, the best pizzicatos and some very nice, intimate 1st violins vibrato. And there are some cool effects too, although limited in variation. It sounds nothing like the commercial Chamber Strings library, as already mentioned. Section sizes more like a big, full size divisi.

It has a lot of limitations of course. No legato recorded etc. so it falls short in many departments. But the sound of some of it (I only own the strings so can't comment on the woods/brass) is still in many ways better than most commercial offerings.
 
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barteredbride

Hello and hola...a Brit in Spain
I'm sure it was fantastic for the time, no doubt.

But by what people are saying, it sounds like this whole discussion is like chasing the end of a rainbow.
 

Guffy

Senior Member
I had a dream once.


T'was the night before christmas. I'd wandered off into snooze-land after a tad too much malbec, but quickly came to consciousness after hearing this loud and odd rattle downstairs.
I jumped out of bed and made my way down to investigate. I encountered this foul stench of urine and spilled beer. I was certain it must had been one of those hoboes down the street by the bridge.
As nothing unusual could be seen (other than the smell) i made sure everything was locked before i found my way back to bed. A few hours go by before i hear the exact same sound. Slighly longer, slightly louder.
This time i'm not joking around, i grab my baseball bat from under the bed and sneak downstairs again. The same stench, but stronger, is yet again present.
This time, i see a large window left open. Whoever was there must have fled the scene.
The stench was fading, slowly turning into what can only be described as a heavenly delicious scent of coffee.
I slowly turn around towards the kitchen.
I see a large golden cup with steamy hot delicious coffee, surrounded by a small, gold-plated present looking like it's been delivered by the gods themselves.

As my tastebuds rejoiced while enjoying the angelic coffee, i slowly unwrap the present.
I peek inside before fully unwrapping it and i can hear angels sing quietly from the distance.
Eager to find out more, i TEAR open the box.
I feel a strange, powerful force running through my veins.
It's an external SSD - 2TB. :eek:
I RUN to my studio to fire up the computer. *Come on, come on! Boot damnit!*
Finally, I gently insert the SSD into my favourite USB port.
Breath gets heavier..
I'm staring at the most beautiful folder structure i've ever seen.

One folder says Spitfire Bespoke Range..
Another says Project Prague One and Two
.. VI-Pro o
n another.
And, Hans Zimmer's Personal Library
Finally..Thomas Bergersen's entire catalogue of private samples

I'm absolutely floored by excitement, and suddenly pass out as a result.

Suddenly i find myself awake in my bed. Of course it was all a dream. It was too good to be true.
There was no piss-reeking-gift-bearing barista after all.
Oh well. Guess i'll have to make do with my "shitty" commercial samples :)
 
OP
valexnerfarious

valexnerfarious

Active Member
How about a silky smooth sound. Probably the best sordino strings recorded, the best pizzicatos and some very nice, intimate 1st violins vibrato. And there are some cool effects too, although limited in variation. It sounds nothing like the commercial Chamber Strings library, as already mentioned. Section sizes more like a big, full size divisi.

It has a lot of limitations of course. No legato recorded etc. so it falls short in many departments. But the sound of some of it (I only own the strings so can't comment on the woods/brass) is still in many ways better than most commercial offerings.
This is what I have been saying lol
 

prodigalson

Senior Member
How about a silky smooth sound. Probably the best sordino strings recorded, the best pizzicatos and some very nice, intimate 1st violins vibrato. And there are some cool effects too, although limited in variation. It sounds nothing like the commercial Chamber Strings library, as already mentioned. Section sizes more like a big, full size divisi.

But the sound of some of it (I only own the strings so can't comment on the woods/brass) is still in many ways better than most commercial offerings.
My point is for the price? Should a human being pay 12k for this in today's market?

The sound of SOME of A LOT of libraries is in many ways better than MOST commercial offerings.
 
OP
valexnerfarious

valexnerfarious

Active Member
My point is for the price? Should a human being pay 12k for this in today's market?

The sound of SOME of A LOT of libraries is in many ways better than MOST commercial offerings.
Judging in comparison the articulations between all 4 volumes of Sable and the Bespoke strings,Sable has more articulations and content.I know there were alot of better players in those private samples but other than than Im just curious how the price is so different.Not dissing intended just overall curious.
 

Simon Ravn

Senior Member
Judging in comparison the articulations between all 4 volumes of Sable and the Bespoke strings,Sable has more articulations and content.I know there were alot of better players in those private samples but other than than Im just curious how the price is so different.Not dissing intended just overall curious.
The price was higher because it was only sold in a limited number. And probably the musicians got a higher "buyout fee". Not sure about the latter, but the first part makes total sense. I only bought the strings - so "only" 4.500 quid total. I still consider that money well spent. Would I buy into something like this today? Depends, it would surely have to offer something the 400-pound libraries don't.
 
OP
valexnerfarious

valexnerfarious

Active Member
The price was higher because it was only sold in a limited number. And probably the musicians got a higher "buyout fee". Not sure about the latter, but the first part makes total sense. I only bought the strings - so "only" 4.500 quid total. I still consider that money well spent. Would I buy into something like this today? Depends, it would surely have to offer something the 400-pound libraries don't.
Just sent you a PM Sir
 

re-peat

Senior Member
I always considered part of the price to be a gesture of support, a vote of confidence for what was, at the time, a fairly young company who were doing remarkable, unique things in the field of orchestral sampling.

I don’t regret one penny of the purchase either, even if (1) I no longer use the symphonic half of the library all that much and (2) I always felt that the price ought to have granted us a bit more input in how the library was taking shape and being improved. And (3) it being abandonned in the unfinished state that it was, had me raise my eyebrows too, I must confess.

Still, I like to think that our purchase helped, indirectly, in the creation of three or four orchestral libraries which I consider wither-proof classics and for the existence of which I am eternally grateful.

I’d do it again today. In a heartbeat. If some people told me they we were working on, say, a woodwinds library AND I was convinced they were doing it in a way I think it should be done, I’d happily pay a Bespoke-sized price for just two or three instruments. But it would have to be impeccable work from the first recording to the final line of code in the software, and I would have to have a say in all user-related aspects of the development.

_
 
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OP
valexnerfarious

valexnerfarious

Active Member
I always considered part of the price to be a gesture of support, a vote of confidence for what was, at the time, a fairly young company who were doing remarkable, unique things in the field of orchestral sampling.

I don’t regret one penny of the purchase either, even if (1) I no longer use the symphonic half of the library all that much and (2) I always felt that the price ought to have granted us a bit more input in how the library was taking shape and being improved. And (3) it being abandonned in the unfinished state that it was, had me raise my eyebrows too, I must confess.

Still, I like to think that our purchase helped, indirectly, in the creation of three or four orchestral libraries which I consider whither-proof classics and for the existence of which I am eternally grateful.

I’d do it again today. In a heartbeat. If some people told me they we were working on, say, a woodwinds library AND I was convinced they were doing it in a way I think it should be done, I’d happily pay a Bespoke-sized price for just two or three instruments. But it would have to be impeccable work from the first recording to the final line of code in the software, and I would have to have a say in all user-related aspects of the development.

_
Shoot me a PM.
 

artinro

Active Member
Spitfire's Bespoke Strings is not "the mythical, super-deluxe elite library that sounds better than, or is superior to everything else". It is pretty good, unquestionably, and some of it is timbrally still more to my liking than what came later, but if they were to release these strings today — which would require quite a bit of extra work because development of the library was abandonned long before it was finished — I'm pretty sure that most people would be rather underwhelmed. As in: "Is that all it is?".

The Bespokes, when looked at today, are more of a portfolio of first, second and third drafts for greater things to come. A sort of laboratory if you like, which allowed the Spitfire team to fine-tune their craft, and experiment with various techniques regarding recording, editing, implementing legato and crossfading and such. Which is why, like Chris already mentioned, these strings do indeed have their share of little annoyances and crudité. (And yes, the fact that the patches are locked is a bit of a downer as well, especially given the fact that most of the roughness would be very easy to correct if only one had access to the patches’ insides.)

But the library also has that invaluable vibe of passion, vision and complete dedication on the part of its makers, which is something I don’t hear at all in, say, the recent Studio Series. Makes a big difference when it comes to making music with samples.

As I said, it's a pretty good library — not the final word in string libraries, definitely not, but pretty good —, containing plenty of great timbres and some truly excellent ones (still the best pizzicati in existence by some serious distance, as far as I'm concerned, and the Chamber Strings will forever remain a fixture in my mock-orchestrations as well), but if released today, even if it were finished, no one in his/her right mind would consider these strings the equal of, let alone superior to the benchmark libraries of today.

And to confirm: Sable (which was turned into SCS) doesn’t share a single sample with the Bespoke Chamber Strings. To-tal-ly different sound. And neither does Mural (which became SSS) have anything in common, sample-wise, with the Bespoke Symphonic Strings.
(Why they ever went from the poetically beautiful and musically very aptly chosen ‘Sable’ and ‘Mural’ names to the uninspired and accountant-esque SCS and SSS, is beyond my understanding.)

_
As someone who has the whole bespoke range plus Spitfire’s later, commercial releases, this is 100% perfectly articulated. There are some absolute gems which remain in my template (thought not a huge number any longer), but Spitfire used the vast knowledge they acquired from creating this range to hone and develop their skills and talents and push forward with future releases. I'd say that's worked out quite well for them. On another note, it's highly unlikely the bespokes will be made available commercially. That was the understanding we all had at the time and was part of the reason we justified the large investment. Frankly, I think many people lusting after this range today would be somewhat disappointed even if they were able to purchase right now. They wouldn't have been when the libraries were first out, but given what’s available today, I think many things have been surpassed in tangible ways (save for a few gems mostly having to do with, as Piet says, personal preference for tone). Spitfire learned a tremendous amount from their work on this and went on to really stellar things. I respect the hell out of them.
 
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thereus

Active Member
Is there still a big market for private samples? Are these companies doing lots of private jobs behind the scenes or has the quality of the commercial libraries killed that business?
 
Thanks for the kind comments and interest!

When we made the bespoke series - never originally intended to go beyond some Chamber Strings (its thanks to John Powell that the rest of the range exists - his gentle encouragement!) - and it was a non profit endeavour. Just a way to make some great tools and pay the costs associated. The Brass and WW were more limited in release than the Strings, that is the reason the per license cost was higher.

The samples will never be commercially released - that was the agreement with the players and with the licensees.

We did a lot of experimental stuff beyond the 'vanilla' patches. I designed some playable fx as I was sick of hearing the same old orch fx in every TV show! We really went deep into things like measured trems and found ways to make them playable.

Some things didn't work out so well. But as a whole the library is still pretty amazing sounding. I used it extensively in LBP2 - quite a lot of which has been uploaded to Youtube - if you are interested enough to chase some stuff down to listen to. Quite a few composers I know still use it in their templates.

We fell into becoming a commercial endeavour totally by accident when we had spent a lot of money making a percussion library (Joby) and discovered that all our A listers weren't interested as they preferred to use their own private percussion! Joby was up for it and we crept into the world of commercial sample development hoping to make back our costs.

I often refer to the creation of the bespoke line as the most extraordinary (and expensive) private orchestration tutorial ever - I learnt an incredible amount recording and talking to all those incredible musicians over days and days of focussed listening!

The one thing that I'd like to pick up is the 'unfinished' thing.. The libraries were finished (in terms of everything we promised to deliver). Some things didn't quite work as planned, and some areas of the library wouldn't stand up as commercial releases, but you can work around them as private projects. We were obviously restricted budget wise so we couldn't go on forever without going bankrupt.

We actually added a ton of material that had never been planned. Legato patches for the Symphonic Strings, and areas of the Brass and WW. We re-edited the multitracks for some of the Brass to create early 'multi mic' versions of some of the instruments. Added extra solo instruments to the Brass.

We created a whole 'massive low trombones' addition to the Brass library called 'Monster Bones' that was obviously .. ahem .. "influential"... haha

But yes - the library as planned and sold had no legatos (this was back in 2008-2011 ish) and was very carefully spec'd and planned out, programmed (by myself) and delivered. We made a load of additional material above and beyond the initial spec which Andy B and Blake came on board to help program, at no additional charge to the bespoke licensees, in fact it was paid for by our income from selling the commercial libraries. There obviously came a point at which we had to close the cash hose. Remember, it was entirely not for profit.

I do believe we've surpassed the bespoke libs with commercial libraries we've done since, obviously the more you do something the better you get at it ;) but of course we still love some of the great sounds in the old libraries. And for its time - there was nothing that sounded as good, I'm fairly confident to be able to say that having heard what people did with it beyond just our team!!

Happy days. And of course - grateful for the group of composers who believed in us enough to buy a license. We always 'leapt before we looked' and paid for sessions with the belief that we were doing something great and the audience would appear.

Anyway I've rambled enough!

Cheers!

Paul
 
OP
valexnerfarious

valexnerfarious

Active Member
Thanks for the kind comments and interest!

When we made the bespoke series - never originally intended to go beyond some Chamber Strings (its thanks to John Powell that the rest of the range exists - his gentle encouragement!) - and it was a non profit endeavour. Just a way to make some great tools and pay the costs associated. The Brass and WW were more limited in release than the Strings, that is the reason the per license cost was higher.

The samples will never be commercially released - that was the agreement with the players and with the licensees.

We did a lot of experimental stuff beyond the 'vanilla' patches. I designed some playable fx as I was sick of hearing the same old orch fx in every TV show! We really went deep into things like measured trems and found ways to make them playable.

Some things didn't work out so well. But as a whole the library is still pretty amazing sounding. I used it extensively in LBP2 - quite a lot of which has been uploaded to Youtube - if you are interested enough to chase some stuff down to listen to. Quite a few composers I know still use it in their templates.

We fell into becoming a commercial endeavour totally by accident when we had spent a lot of money making a percussion library (Joby) and discovered that all our A listers weren't interested as they preferred to use their own private percussion! Joby was up for it and we crept into the world of commercial sample development hoping to make back our costs.

I often refer to the creation of the bespoke line as the most extraordinary (and expensive) private orchestration tutorial ever - I learnt an incredible amount recording and talking to all those incredible musicians over days and days of focussed listening!

The one thing that I'd like to pick up is the 'unfinished' thing.. The libraries were finished (in terms of everything we promised to deliver). Some things didn't quite work as planned, and some areas of the library wouldn't stand up as commercial releases, but you can work around them as private projects. We were obviously restricted budget wise so we couldn't go on forever without going bankrupt.

We actually added a ton of material that had never been planned. Legato patches for the Symphonic Strings, and areas of the Brass and WW. We re-edited the multitracks for some of the Brass to create early 'multi mic' versions of some of the instruments. Added extra solo instruments to the Brass.

We created a whole 'massive low trombones' addition to the Brass library called 'Monster Bones' that was obviously .. ahem .. "influential"... haha

But yes - the library as planned and sold had no legatos (this was back in 2008-2011 ish) and was very carefully spec'd and planned out, programmed (by myself) and delivered. We made a load of additional material above and beyond the initial spec which Andy B and Blake came on board to help program, at no additional charge to the bespoke licensees, in fact it was paid for by our income from selling the commercial libraries. There obviously came a point at which we had to close the cash hose. Remember, it was entirely not for profit.

I do believe we've surpassed the bespoke libs with commercial libraries we've done since, obviously the more you do something the better you get at it ;) but of course we still love some of the great sounds in the old libraries. And for its time - there was nothing that sounded as good, I'm fairly confident to be able to say that having heard what people did with it beyond just our team!!

Happy days. And of course - grateful for the group of composers who believed in us enough to buy a license. We always 'leapt before we looked' and paid for sessions with the belief that we were doing something great and the audience would appear.

Anyway I've rambled enough!

Cheers!

Paul
How did your approach change from Bespoke to the Albion sessions as far as recording and editing the samples? The bespoke stuff seemed to have a lot more energy and life than Albion.(Bespoke sounded like it was less edited and less noise reduced why I feel made it better because of the imperfections that were left in it
 
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