Spitfire Studio Brass

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Zee, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    Yes, I read that post :D And I can understand that this might sound a bit bitter. You know..not to make the same quote..but whenever I write my music or mockup things from repertoire I feel so much the same, you know. But I tweak a lot, customize patches, work with scripts..and many many more things to have something which is going a bit more musical but its insane work..and it feels like that I say: Oh man..I wish the developers would do that and this..you know..they record for instance like gazillions of short articulations but often like 1-2 like longs..or legato..the intervalls don´t correspond to quiter dynamics..and then you hear how bumpy the shit starts to sound..then you have to draw lines and do alter attack times, and man I get headdache..often. or you start to do other weird things.. of desperation, just to create one very simple expressive "musical line with intention". But..one thing: I am still very grateful for all the tools that we have these days. I don´t want to complain too much. Because in one point I totally disagree with Piet: We are way behind the 90s sample library sounds though I guess it was a hyperbole occuring out of frustration..:rofl:
     
  2. Lcas

    Lcas New Member

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    Alright, I am good with studio brass, going to take the shallow-end plunge for pro. If I was more sure of myself and whether I could live with core for a few months, I would have taken the issues re-peat provided, along with the information I was here for about reverb, and known it is just how things work.

    I feel a little silly for bumping this, the bit of drama it led to, getting scared off the library altogether, and now changing my mind again. Regardless of my decision, thanks for helping re-peat.

    Not my place to say as a newcomer, and it's way late besides, but we should just be nicer. Don't hold back critique but maybe avoid complete condemnation. It is a part of the internet unfortunately where we forget real people and livelihoods are behind things.

    And why Spitfire Studio Brass Pro and not CSB or something else? Too many instruments and articulations for less money than anything else. The really helpful and interesting videos Spitfire puts on YouTube doesn't hurt my preference either.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  3. paulthomson

    paulthomson New Member

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    All the best to you as well Piet, we can't all agree on everything. I do seem to remember you describing our musicians in 2013 as an "unenthusiastic, uninterested, untalented, undisciplined high-school band" so I guess these feelings from you do come and go! ;)

    Probably a more measured conclusion would be that everyone doesn't like everything, and thats ok.

    Peace
     
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  4. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

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    Isn't the underlying "problem," the size of the company and the need to shift to a larger customer base? SF needs all the libraries to provide the income to keep the lights on, meet payroll, etc. Maintenance and support earn them nothing except goodwill that will keep us buying their libraries, but if they are not producing more libraries then support earns them... They could sell fewer libraries at higher prices, but that would likely decrease revenues rather substantially, since far fewer of us could afford them, and the firm would almost certainly need to be smaller and Paul and Christian would need to be more heavily involved (and probably give up aspirations to do anything but SF).

    Personally, I think the concerns expressed about the situation are valid. The business end is putting pressures on the quality of the libraries (this has always been to some extent true). The market is putting a lot of pressure on the libraries to hit certain price points, and the larger market SF needs to reach to remain viable is much more sensitive to price points than the market they were aiming with when they started out. No doubt that change also affects the response of some.

    I just don't think the situation is all that dire, and I see many advantages to the lower prices, far wider access, and just the general democratization of the process. Is there a danger of a race to the bottom? Yes. Should we continue to be honest about shortcomings in libraries? Definitely. Should we work to demonstrate how the libraries can be useful even with their shortcomings? I think so. Should we seek to assess libraries on the value they might bring at the cost of the library? Here again, I think this is useful information for those trying to make decisions about what to buy. Many are buying libraries with limited resources. And I think hyperbolically running down libraries confuses such buying decisions.

    I'll add that SF's approach to marketing is also causing significant problems. HZ Strings, for instance, is a perfectly reasonable library if you think of it as "Dunkirk" Strings. But the marketing on the library isn't especially honest in that respect, and I understand completely why people felt they got a product that wasn't what was advertised (even if the demos make clear where the strengths of this library lie).

    I think many of the issues of the Studio line likewise stem from SF marketing not fully acknowledging that these libraries are designed to be a comprehensive orchestra at a significantly lower price point than SSO, that is, as a kind of budget line of libraries rather than the luxury line. Then we could be discussing whether SF made reasonable choices for that audience. But here again, the marketing hasn't been particularly forthcoming about these aims (if these are indeed SF's aims—I've reverse engineered a kind of business plan that would make sense of the situation but it is all speculative). And I wonder how these libraries would have been received had SF been clear that they are aimed at the budget conscious composer or as a different entry point into the SF line than Albion One. Alternatively, they might have focused on the libraries as a way to add detail and more standard configurations to BHCT (though I'm not sure how well the Studio line would work for that, since I don't have BHCT).
     
  5. Paul Cardon

    Paul Cardon Ninja Otter Music

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    It seems a regular thing for Spitfire to make minimal effort to outline the specific purpose of their libraries, and I doubt that's by mistake.
    First off, I REALLY doubt there was any intent for the Studio series to be a "budget library" when they thought it up. But regardless, it is priced lower and maybe that's something they thought about as the library came together.
    From a sales perspective, sure, pigeon-holing an entire product line as a "budget library" immediately steers away a big chunk of the consumer base.
    BUT from a potential use perspective, a library that could be very useful to non-budget-constrained users is suddenly unconsidered by them.
    I'm personally finding tons of use out of the Studio line and I've got some other big libraries, options from other devs and Spitfire's Symphonic line.
    I'm finding out what's useful in which context, what benefits from the sound of the series, how the unique performances of each patch can work to specific ends.

    I think the thing that's getting to me: this is the EXACT same process I approach every new library with. With confidence, I have not felt this library comes across concludable "worse" than other Spitfire libraries. If anything, it's very different. I'm likely going to use a lot of these instruments and articulations over the next few years in different combinations with other libraries as things fit the project. Sure I've been spending a few weeks upfront using the libraries on their own, but that's never entirely realistic to how a lot of us work. Isn't that kind of the point of having more than one library anyway? Not to be able to "ignore" and toss away bad patches, but because most patches have strengths that shine in the right places?

    Sure there are some libraries that I've almost completely thrown by the wayside because they just don't do a thing I'd like them to, but the Studio Series is hardly one of those on my end. I'm gonna be using these for at least a while.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  6. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

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    Well, some might say that argument would make BHCT a beginner's library (being that it's also a dry library). Or that dry libraries are beginner's libraries and I can't say that washes with me.

    Libraries like Spitfire Symphonic series are far more out-of-the-package (Albion, too). That's one of the reasons they're great for beginner.

    Dry libraries require more work, (including SSTO). One has to acquire at least a modicum of engineering skills to get them to fit into certain contexts. Granted, it's a great way for novices to learn the ropes in regard to really important skills...but beginners generally don't want that.

    So, no the series in question isn't a beginner's libraries...though your argument is made well. I should mention, though I'm certainly a lower level composer than most here, I do get paid to make music, and I have friends whom also get paid and bought the Studio libs.

    I agree to disagree in regard to this point. I don't think SA misrepresented themselves in that way.
     
  7. Paul Cardon

    Paul Cardon Ninja Otter Music

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    There's... more employees, more musicians with ideas and concepts for projects and more energy and force to put them together. I assure you that most of their libraries are developed in parallel, and some of the smaller more unique libraries have very much seemed pet projects of new members of the crew. They aren't all spending a month or two recording and scripting entire libraries all at once to shoot em out the door as fast as possible.

    They recorded all this stuff (Studio series and BHCT) 2-3 years ago. It's obviously been cooking for a while.
     
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  8. paulthomson

    paulthomson New Member

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    Very perceptive! This is all absolutely correct. In fact, we went back in several times to capture more stuff with the Studio range recordings. We've been working on it for a long time.
     
  9. Paul Cardon

    Paul Cardon Ninja Otter Music

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    Very cool! Caught some it in the manuals, mentions of the projects starting a couple years ago. Plus recorded in the same space, Simon Rhodes being on both of them. Makes sense that they all come from the same starting point.
     
  10. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    Yes all good points, and they are priced for lets say "old" SFA standards very low, which is on the one side great that it gives also hobbyists the opportunity to make music with orchestral libraries.(so more are buying it).
    And the market is very competitive these days. Just for my personal taste, I would love to spent more bucks than just lets say on 200 dollars on something half baked (not speaking in general). Thats also the reason why I never felt complaining too much about expensive libraries from OT. I felt SFA is on a thin line sacrificing their exclusivness factor which was back then such a big and important factor combined with stellar libraries. However..it seems the studio series is a double edged sword here.
     
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  11. Matt Riley

    Matt Riley Active Member

    I have the pro version of the Studio Orchestra. I just finished a symphonic band demo using the wind and brass. I found some of the patches lacking and some were fine. When I had issues with a patch, I would tweak it, or replace it with Berlin Woodwinds or Hollywood Brass patches. If I didn’t have those other libraries, I would have been hurting a bit. I think it is an okay library – not great and not bad either. I will say that I wish I hadn’t spent so much money on the collection now that I know the quality of the patches. I jumped on the intro price which was about $950. This is at least $300 too much in my opinion.
     
  12. Paul Cardon

    Paul Cardon Ninja Otter Music

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    I'll make one more point here. Even if the recorded performances and scripting is a bit limited, know that the sound of a smaller studio is a HUGE part of the perception. For example, here's PT's WAV put through a bit of EQ and two reverbs from Spaces II (EW Studio 1 and Reynold's Hall with the decay brought down to 75%).

     
  13. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear. My point was that one approach marketing might have taken is that this is an introductory line of products. Another completely different approach they might have taken is that this extends BHCT in a similar way that SSO can be thought to extend and bring detail to Albion (that's how the relation of Albion and BML was originally explained to me by SF). That would not have required the "budget" line of marketing and indeed would have largely precluded it, appealing to just a "different," drier line, somewhat like they are doing now but centering BHCT. Personally, I have always seen BHCT as an alternative approach to Albion One. (I would definitely have bought BHCT instead of Albion One if I'd had the choice when I started buying VIs.) But I don't have BHCT and am only assessing it from the outside (admittedly, always a danger). The question is how well does the Studio line, as it is now constituted, extend BHCT? You are now be in an excellent position to answer that.

    What makes no sense to me is a dry library priced far under a wet library and expecting they will not fundamentally differ otherwise—am I really paying that additional money just for the sound of the big Hall? Why would anyone then buy SSO at that price differential? This was the business calculation SF had to face when they started the project and again when they finally had to put it to market.

    To me Studio Brass feels budget. In saying that, I don't think it's a bad library at all—indeed, on the contrary, it has a lot of very good, even excellent things in it and I'm quite happy with it for why I got it. The price was certainly great. I'll add that to me budget doesn't mean bad or even inadequate; it means something closer to a focus on the utilitarian side, on what I think Christian Henson calls the "Minimal Viable Product." Indeed, budget lines can be most excellent! But Studio Brass does not seem as deeply sampled as SSB and the transitions between dynamic layers are much bumpier pretty much across the board (which are probably reasons it is less costly). In my rudimentary exploration of the library (this is only the third day I have had it), I have also encountered limitations much more frequently than with SSB and so I know I will have to devise workarounds much more frequently when using the library. If this was my main brass library, it would take me longer to get things to sound credible with this library than it would with SSB. For me this is to be expected, given that it is so much less expensive than SSB. But seeing the reaction here: I see why SF marketing department did what they did and I'll add that I now believe they were absolutely correct to do so.
     
  14. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

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    Alrighty, I think I getcha now. And btw don't hesitate on BHCT; I would have bought it WAAAY before Albion One myself had it existed. It is my favorite library, full stop.

    I'm going to stick with my EWH Brass, in part because of what you've (and to a degree others) have written and carefully backed up. I really like the sound of SStB, so this is a going a bit against my gut, however I rediscovered and fell back in love with EWH brass today, so the GAS won't be too bad.

    I'm very grateful for the help, my friend. I'll try to do something similar for you in the future.

    AD ASTRA!
     
  15. Garry

    Garry Senior Member

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    I wonder if one of the lessons here is that, it may be advisable for Developers to avoid engaging directly on this kind of detailed feedback, however well intentioned, and will likely instead need to leave this to the support staff they employ and train to engage with customers' feedback. In an ideal world, this forum would be a perfect vehicle for direct exchange of views between customer and developer. But in the real world, if we try to see this from both sides, for the customer who feels aggrieved (rightly or wrongly), buoyed by the anonymity of the interaction (in some, not all cases) this is an opportunity to publicly demand answers/remedies/apologies directly from those they feel have disappointed the (justified and/or unjustified) expectations of their purchase, which can represent a significant investment for them, both financially and emotionally. From the developer's perspective, whilst initially just feeling a need to (i) correct some misunderstandings/inaccuracies, (ii) help customers get the best from their products and (iii) defend their company, its reputation, and it's future, it can quickly become all too personal, because what could be more personal than public criticism of the work into which you poured your heart and soul, and that represents the capital on which you, your family and your employees depend. For any human being, how could this be taken anything other than a personal attack - whether real or not? In his vlog, Christian recently referred to how previous episodes on here have meaningfully affected the mental health of himself and Paul. We should listen hard to that. It's not victim claiming; in the context I've just described, it's almost inevitable, and we should take it seriously and responsibly. To you the customer it's an aggrieved purchase; to them, collectively you have the potential to threaten their livelihood, if not effectively rebutted.

    But this is precisely what support desks were invented for, and before the advent of the internet, no way were you, as an individual customer, going to be able to publicly chastise the co-founder of a company of 70+ people, based on your specific grievances, whether genuine or not. For the support desk, it is less personal - it represents something entirely different. I've praised Spitfire's support desk highly, and they appear prominently on a recent thread that was set up to recognize those who exhibit good customer service in this industry.

    My suggestions as to how we might all benefit from discussions like this in the future:
    - Paul/Christian and other developers of medium to large companies: once you grow to a certain size, it's hard for you to perform both roles in these forums: both company owner and mate down the pub exchanging ideas and banter (about YOUR product!). I think your idea of constraining your interactions to the specific thread you set up is genius. It must be incredibly tempting to deviate from this, and engage where you see misrepresentation, but I for one would much rather your presence remain here, than for you to get so discouraged as to abandon this as a means of interaction
    - Spitfire support desk: I can't speak highly enough of you, but think if you were to improve here in any way, it would be to proactively engage with discussions, even more than you already do, in the dispassionate way that your position allows (and requires) you to do. When Paul/Christian feel the need to jump in, perhaps that should be reflected upon as to whether you might have been able to pre-empt it by an earlier intervention. I know you often invite people to open a ticket, but that interaction then remains private, and in the long run, you might make your own lives easier if you more frequently post how issues were resolved, so others see the outcome.
    - We the customers: I think any rant or complaint should be preceded with: here are the interactions I've had with the help desk, and it did/did not resolve my concern, but I gave them an opportunity to respond first, before raising it publicly.

    This would truly be 'musicians helping musicians'. Then again, this is the internet, so we'll probably all just race each other to the bottom...
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  16. Lcas

    Lcas New Member

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    I think it's about being real. Paul Thompson was basically obligated to show up. It isn't just the specific language, a rose is a rose. "Utter crap" etc is too much, whatever words used to convey it. Let whatever evidence you have stand on its own without going into hyperbole. I appreciate the intentions to help and it almost got me to change my mind about studio brass, but the hyperbole got me to sleep on my decision before acting on it.

    When I woke up I figured have another look and listen. So it helped either way, to the opposite effect, besides the reverb info re-peat provided. But tons of unnecessary bickering and real world harm can be prevented with just a little thought about how harsh we are being.

    Pretend it's a friendly and honest professional environment. I don't mean mind your bad words, but not to eviscerate something that really didn't have it coming.

    And getting super personal and going to the ridiculous area of how and why developers do what they do. The good old days, whos still involved to what degree, and the marketing side of it. Who cares, none of our business. The good or bad of the product stands on its own regardless of the intangibles and intentions of its creator.
     
  17. Sean

    Sean I don't know what I'm talking about

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    But if I don't rant about a library then that means I'd have to spend my time writing music instead and that just won't do... ;)
     
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  18. brenneisen

    brenneisen Active Member

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    assumption? fact?
     
  19. Paul Cardon

    Paul Cardon Ninja Otter Music

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    Was a strong assumption from notes in the manual and a comment from an ensemble member that recorded on the session, but Paul Thomson responded right after that up above confirming it.
     
  20. givemenoughrope

    givemenoughrope Senior Member

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    In the time it took to write this you probably could have tracked down the cause of re-peat's trumpet examples.
     
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