Spitfire Studio Brass


It's very telling that Kontakt already has a built in facility for you to demo libraries but pretty much no developers take advantage of it. Because if you could demo most of the libraries, you'd never buy them.

It's a much better business plan to sell you libraries with tons of problems, misrepresented by very carefully made demos, and then say, "Sorry, no refunds, no resales".

Unfortunately I've been complaining about the quality of sample libraries since the gigasampler days back on that Northern forum (which got me banned!) and it's only gotten worse with time. At least the libraries don't cost as much for the sloppiness as they used to.


Senior Member
But I have to ask - have you considered that different customers have different expectations for the libraries that they purchase?
Key point and a huge understatement. I read through this entire thread from the beginning yesterday and much of the back and forth is people differing on what they want out of a studio brass library sonically. I wouldn’t expect any different and it’s a normal thing to do. Erik(?) posted all of those examples of NXNW. I could hear elements of all of them working, some better than others. Now imagine being a developer and trying to please the majority of the customer base via your chosen approach/aesthetic. It goes without saying that you’d have to be passionate bordering on maniacal to attempt these kinds of libraries let alone finish it enough to release it. So, yea, respect. But something with that many parts is going to have a few issues.


Senior Member
It's very telling that Kontakt already has a built in facility for you to demo libraries but pretty much no developers take advantage of it. Because if you could demo most of the libraries, you'd never buy them.
I know for myself the opposite would also be true. Even a library with issues/oddities if I could work around them I’d go for it. I mean, I own all of 8dio’s Adagio/Agitato. If I had no prior knowledge of those libraries and demoed them at a store or something it would take me a week.


New Member
Paul obviously refuses to accept that there might be anything wrong with these libraries, Rope. Had much the same thing happening years ago when Hollywood Strings was first released and proved to be badly out of tune, particularly the violas. Seven or eight thread-pages it took me and one or two other members to try and convince Jay Asher, who was EW’s online representative at the time, Doug bless him, that the library had serious tuning problems, but he would have none of it. He just wouldn’t. Audio example after audio example I posted, but to no avail. Jay kept replying that it must be a user- or system-error, and that the library itself was most certainly not the root of these intonation issues. How could there possibly be anything wrong, was his main argument, with a library that was engineered by the legend Shawn Murphy and produced by that holiest of trinities Doug, Nick and Thomas J.? How indeed?

This went on for day after tiresome day, until finally, at long last, word came from higher up in the East West Towers, that they acknowledged there was indeed a problem. Which was then solved (not entirely, but more than good enough) in the next update.

But the thing is, and this is the bit that’s still relevant today: to get to that point, you have to fight page after page against forces that simply don’t wanna hear about it. Fellow members start to turn against you, all kinds of assumptions are made about the evil intentions you might have, you’re accused of personal attacks (the same despicable trick that P. Cardon tried earlier in this thread), forum administrators begin to get a bit nervous, developers' egos are hurt so they disappear (I had a couple of feisty run-ins with Mike Barry from Cinesamples as well), the atmosphere sours ... And why? Only because a developer didn’t do his job right, and sold us a stinker.

In the case of the Hollywood Strings, it ended well. Doug and Nick were, thankfully, magnanimous enough to admit having let a flawed product go out of the door and they addressed the issue. Unfortunately, I don’t see any such outcome for the Studio Series. The moment I read that these libraries “had been lovingly nursed into existence with care and attention and a ton of work by a team of really talented people who work hard to make the products as good as they can”, I knew we were screwed.

- - - - - - -

Here is an excerpt of a post I wrote on the subject some years ago. I think it still stands every bit as much today as it did then.

"A point that is discussed far too rarely and which is, in my opinion, a big part of the problem: the quality of sample libraries is often simply not good enough. I know of no other field of commercial endeavour where the buyer has to accept — with meek resignment — that a product, for which good money was payed, might either be unfinished, flawed, through-and-through buggy or in no way capable of the claims it was sold with.

And for some bizarre reason, we — the paying customers — are expected to accept all that. And we’re also expected to have the polite and considerate patience to wait and wait and wait for months, sometimes years, in the hope that corrective updates might materialize. (We even have to accept that these updates never materialize at all.)
Moreover, if we dare say something about this, and happen to have the audacity to use words which betray a fraction too much emotion, disappointment, frustration or irritation, we’re branded rude, ungrateful and boorish whiners.

Why is that? Why has this totally absurd, unjust — and, I suspect, in some cases borderline illegal — state of affairs become the accepted norm?
And why are ‘respect’ and ‘professionalism’ deemed prerequisites when users talk to, or about, developers, but why do these same paying users have to tolerate to be treated without a hint of respect and professionalism by developers who sell them substandard, flawed or unfinished product?

(...) If I buy just about anything other than music software and that carries the tag ‘professional’, I can rest assured that a professional product, fully answering to the definition with which it was sold, is indeed what I will have purchased. If however I buy a so-called ‘professional’ sample library, entire sections might be badly out of tune, articulations might be missing, instruments might suffer from being poorly recorded, samples might be edited sloppily, the programming might be all off, certain functions might work erraticaly or not work at all, the library might be frustratingly incomplete, the package might still be in alpha- or beta-shape and in dire need of urgent updates and revisions, …

And we’re supposed to find all this perfectly normal and acceptable? And remain gentlemanlike and courteous towards the developer at all times? And if we don’t, and we vent our dissatisfaction instead, we’re accused of childish ranting, inordinate negativity, or suspected of having some sinister agenda towards the developer? (...)"

- - - - - - -

My respect for sample library developers is at an all time low at the moment. It really is. (As always, a few isolated emporiums excepted.) But what I find at least as depressing is the attitude of the majority of buyers. And it's particularly worrying that it seems to have become worse with the new generation of buyers. That docile, unthinking, spineless, uncritical, awe-struck willingness to accept whatever Mr. Big Shot Developer and Mr. Famous Engineer sells them, never questioning whether it is actually up to sample or not. Heck, most of them aren't even capable to hear the difference. And the hysterical indignation with which they condemn anyone who dares to be critical of a product of their revered developers ...

At the end of the day, you almost wanna say: well, it must be a fair world after all, these people — all these rabbits sitting round the Spitfire lantern in brainless sedation — get exactly what they deserve. The Studio Series is indeed the perfect product for them. What was I thinking, saying there is something wrong with it?

Relax dude, that's the whole point. I took your advice at face value but the stuff you said was over the top enough to give me some doubts. Not about what you shared, but the degree to which it is prevalent, or relevant to me.

It's not as bad as you have made it, not for the content to price ratio. I get it, a whole bunch of garbage is still just garbage, but enough examples and vouchers are around for it to be good enough for me as a base library.

If I'm wrong and it is so unusable, for a total beginner besides, I will be sure to let people know. I will be back after a few weeks to give my novice but relevant opinions on what this library is good for.

Now, I don't know what you are, but I imagine me wasting money on my first brass library is a bigger deal than you whiffing on yet another toy in your box. But I'm not going to start calling you names because you disagree with me.

If anybody has disrespect coming to them it would be you, but I don't carry that sentiment. You were being ridiculous and now you are crying about me being just a little honest with you.

No reason to get personal, call people rabbits, go on and on about how you wish it was. Things are the way they are currently, and I am better informed, because you generously provided me with your evidence and opinions. Despite this, I will still take the risk on this one.


Active Member
The only thing I can take away from all this discussion is that I no longer have a clue whether or not I should buy the library now! I was ready to hit the Buy button but now I don’t know who to believe. Help!

NYC Composer

Senior Member
There are very interesting points here, but (putting aside for a second the words regarding the developers) does any of this seem dismissive and condescending to the buyers? I have a hard time believing a good portion of this forum are blind SA sycophants...otherwise I'd never come here.

But hey, if that's what you think then more power to you (it doesn't exactly hurt my feelings). I remain grateful for your audio examples.
Sadly, you and I disagree vehemently on this point.

For unseen and unheard products:"Take my money! Here's my wallet!" Mmm.