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Spitfire: Studio Symphony Pro Vs Symphonic Orchestra

The Darris

Senior Member
I saw this thread pop up this evening and decided, after having removed SSW from my template a few months ago, to pull it up and play around with it. Like the rest of the SSO series, it isn't totally consistent across the sections in terms of articulations. Something that the SSO series really struggles with compared to the Studio Series. With that said, there are some very lovely sounding patches in here worth the purchase.

The low woodwinds for instance. The Bass Clarinet sounds wonderful. I love it. It's super warm and very heavy. AIR is a wonderful hall for capturing a beefy low end. The Contrabass Clarinet is just as warm and less harsh than you'd expect. That makes it a nice alternative to other options on the market. There are key noises in it that can be a bit annoying but in reality, that's just how that instrument is in exposed contexts. The Bassoon patches are less exciting. They are a bit more harsh sounding in the Legatos for my tastes. I prefer a warmer sound, like the ones in the original Berlin Woodwinds. However, SSW's Bassoon are okay. They sound like bassoons so that's good.

The Mid reeds like the Oboes, Cor Anglais, and Clarinets are the weakest in my opinion. They just don't sound right to me but hey, that's just my taste. The functionality is good for what they have but again, the inconsistencies of recorded articulations really limit the possibilities with these instruments.

The flutes are lovely. They captured the warmth you tend to like in those instruments but also captures some of the more overblown articulations which give them some depth beyond basic orchestral writing.

I just started to add the Brass back into my template. Mainly because I was missing that distant, warm sound on this last project I worked on. I prefer the sound of CineBrass and Berlin Brass (especially BBR's shorts). But, sometimes you really need that overly warm brass sound. Spitfire's low brass delivers here. The Legato instruments are hit and miss. I really like the Solo Trumpet but without the vibrato. I think they went a little too extreme with it's vibrato but that Non-vib version is great. Awesome for that lonely soldier on the battlefield moment. The one great aspect to the Brass library is the different section sizes. They do sound drastically different which gives you options. But, again, inconsistent articulations are what hold this library back. We still don't have a solo Trombone Legato patch yet.

As for the Symphonic Strings, there is just too much content to really focus on. I've not found any golden patches for me. I was using Chamber Strings forever as my main library and then when I got this one, I replaced Chamber Strings entirely and I wasn't happy. The content is comparable but I feel like it was executed better with Chamber Strings. It could just be the section sizes at SSS is a huge string band compared to Chamber Strings. The little nuances and details of each section are far less audible which is a characteristic I like is samples. It feels more realistic to me when that's the case and SSS just doesn't do that for me.

Having compared Symphonic Strings to Studio Strings, I definitely prefer Symphonic Strings as the content is more manageable (when compared to Pro version) and the samples are more accurately cut and edited versus my experiences with Studio Strings (v1.0). I don't know what updates have been done to Studio Strings since I removed it entirely from my hard drive but I didn't care for what it had to offer in comparison to Symphonic Strings.

I don't know if my thoughts are useful but there they are. Forgive my long winded opinions. I've been printing STEMS all day and this is a cathartic way for my to unwind for the night.

Cheers,

Chris
 

scoringdreams

Unsuspecting Person
I saw this thread pop up this evening and decided, after having removed SSW from my template a few months ago, to pull it up and play around with it. Like the rest of the SSO series, it isn't totally consistent across the sections in terms of articulations. Something that the SSO series really struggles with compared to the Studio Series. With that said, there are some very lovely sounding patches in here worth the purchase.

The low woodwinds for instance. The Bass Clarinet sounds wonderful. I love it. It's super warm and very heavy. AIR is a wonderful hall for capturing a beefy low end. The Contrabass Clarinet is just as warm and less harsh than you'd expect. That makes it a nice alternative to other options on the market. There are key noises in it that can be a bit annoying but in reality, that's just how that instrument is in exposed contexts. The Bassoon patches are less exciting. They are a bit more harsh sounding in the Legatos for my tastes. I prefer a warmer sound, like the ones in the original Berlin Woodwinds. However, SSW's Bassoon are okay. They sound like bassoons so that's good.

The Mid reeds like the Oboes, Cor Anglais, and Clarinets are the weakest in my opinion. They just don't sound right to me but hey, that's just my taste. The functionality is good for what they have but again, the inconsistencies of recorded articulations really limit the possibilities with these instruments.

The flutes are lovely. They captured the warmth you tend to like in those instruments but also captures some of the more overblown articulations which give them some depth beyond basic orchestral writing.

I just started to add the Brass back into my template. Mainly because I was missing that distant, warm sound on this last project I worked on. I prefer the sound of CineBrass and Berlin Brass (especially BBR's shorts). But, sometimes you really need that overly warm brass sound. Spitfire's low brass delivers here. The Legato instruments are hit and miss. I really like the Solo Trumpet but without the vibrato. I think they went a little too extreme with it's vibrato but that Non-vib version is great. Awesome for that lonely soldier on the battlefield moment. The one great aspect to the Brass library is the different section sizes. They do sound drastically different which gives you options. But, again, inconsistent articulations are what hold this library back. We still don't have a solo Trombone Legato patch yet.

As for the Symphonic Strings, there is just too much content to really focus on. I've not found any golden patches for me. I was using Chamber Strings forever as my main library and then when I got this one, I replaced Chamber Strings entirely and I wasn't happy. The content is comparable but I feel like it was executed better with Chamber Strings. It could just be the section sizes at SSS is a huge string band compared to Chamber Strings. The little nuances and details of each section are far less audible which is a characteristic I like is samples. It feels more realistic to me when that's the case and SSS just doesn't do that for me.

Having compared Symphonic Strings to Studio Strings, I definitely prefer Symphonic Strings as the content is more manageable (when compared to Pro version) and the samples are more accurately cut and edited versus my experiences with Studio Strings (v1.0). I don't know what updates have been done to Studio Strings since I removed it entirely from my hard drive but I didn't care for what it had to offer in comparison to Symphonic Strings.

I don't know if my thoughts are useful but there they are. Forgive my long winded opinions. I've been printing STEMS all day and this is a cathartic way for my to unwind for the night.

Cheers,

Chris
Interesting! I swear by Spitfire Chamber Strings too.

Thinking out aloud, would layering the patches with Solo Strings or Albion(s) or Masse help to warm things up? Or possibly just corrective EQ to make it fit?

Just when you mentioned removing Studio series from your HDs, I was actually thinking of replacing mine due to the dryness / versatility of the libraries. But definitely not going to do complex legato lines with them...chamber still rocks in that aspect.

Studio strings beat symphonic strings in my opinion, but not chamber.
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
Studio strings beat symphonic strings in my opinion, but not chamber.
That kind of stuff is basically what I was wondering. Currently have SCS pro and love it but I'm debating about picking the 2018 pro collection as I was already looking at solo strings. This would add studio strings pro to my list, and I was wondering how we're done it would be to SCS, or if it would be a nice complimentary addition.

While I think SSS has that more lush sound, I'm wondering if having the Studio series gives you more flexibility, and you can approximate it using outboard reverb. Maybe not though, IDK. As @jbuhler mentioned, either way the Studio series will probably take a bit more wrangling. But it looks like a bit more detail and articulations in the Studio series, so IDK.
 
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jbuhler

Senior Member
I saw this thread pop up this evening and decided, after having removed SSW from my template a few months ago, to pull it up and play around with it. Like the rest of the SSO series, it isn't totally consistent across the sections in terms of articulations. Something that the SSO series really struggles with compared to the Studio Series. With that said, there are some very lovely sounding patches in here worth the purchase.

The low woodwinds for instance. The Bass Clarinet sounds wonderful. I love it. It's super warm and very heavy. AIR is a wonderful hall for capturing a beefy low end. The Contrabass Clarinet is just as warm and less harsh than you'd expect. That makes it a nice alternative to other options on the market. There are key noises in it that can be a bit annoying but in reality, that's just how that instrument is in exposed contexts. The Bassoon patches are less exciting. They are a bit more harsh sounding in the Legatos for my tastes. I prefer a warmer sound, like the ones in the original Berlin Woodwinds. However, SSW's Bassoon are okay. They sound like bassoons so that's good.

The Mid reeds like the Oboes, Cor Anglais, and Clarinets are the weakest in my opinion. They just don't sound right to me but hey, that's just my taste. The functionality is good for what they have but again, the inconsistencies of recorded articulations really limit the possibilities with these instruments.

The flutes are lovely. They captured the warmth you tend to like in those instruments but also captures some of the more overblown articulations which give them some depth beyond basic orchestral writing.

I just started to add the Brass back into my template. Mainly because I was missing that distant, warm sound on this last project I worked on. I prefer the sound of CineBrass and Berlin Brass (especially BBR's shorts). But, sometimes you really need that overly warm brass sound. Spitfire's low brass delivers here. The Legato instruments are hit and miss. I really like the Solo Trumpet but without the vibrato. I think they went a little too extreme with it's vibrato but that Non-vib version is great. Awesome for that lonely soldier on the battlefield moment. The one great aspect to the Brass library is the different section sizes. They do sound drastically different which gives you options. But, again, inconsistent articulations are what hold this library back. We still don't have a solo Trombone Legato patch yet.

As for the Symphonic Strings, there is just too much content to really focus on. I've not found any golden patches for me. I was using Chamber Strings forever as my main library and then when I got this one, I replaced Chamber Strings entirely and I wasn't happy. The content is comparable but I feel like it was executed better with Chamber Strings. It could just be the section sizes at SSS is a huge string band compared to Chamber Strings. The little nuances and details of each section are far less audible which is a characteristic I like is samples. It feels more realistic to me when that's the case and SSS just doesn't do that for me.

Having compared Symphonic Strings to Studio Strings, I definitely prefer Symphonic Strings as the content is more manageable (when compared to Pro version) and the samples are more accurately cut and edited versus my experiences with Studio Strings (v1.0). I don't know what updates have been done to Studio Strings since I removed it entirely from my hard drive but I didn't care for what it had to offer in comparison to Symphonic Strings.

I don't know if my thoughts are useful but there they are. Forgive my long winded opinions. I've been printing STEMS all day and this is a cathartic way for my to unwind for the night.

Cheers,

Chris
I mostly concur with these opinions about SSO, except I quite like the oboe and English horn—for me they are real strengths in the library; in any case the library suits the kinds of lines I craft for oboe and English horn. I am less enthusiastic about the main flutes, though the wide variety of articulations is great. I also very much like the bass and alto flutes. For me, the solo clarinet is the weakest instrument by far in the set.

I also tend to rely on SCS over SSS, reserving the latter for only those instances that call for a huge string sections, and even then I often layer the two libraries so SCS can serve as a kind of half section that can lighten the sound when appropriate.

SSB has a lovely warm sound that keeps me coming back and makes it easy to resist other brass offerings that have come out recently. The trumpets and the horns don't quite have the incisive edge I sometimes need to cut through in a full orchestral tutti and for that purpose I use the Ark 1 a9 horns and trumpets as supplements.

I got the Studio Brass Pro recently as a complement to SSB primarily because SSB lacks all but longs for mutes. At any rate, I've been doing a lot of side by side comparisons of SSB and SStB, and one thing that comes through the comparison is how much the brass in particular really gains from the sound of the big hall. I also find I have to work harder to get the sound I want out of Studio Brass (not just in terms of reverb and placing the sound in a room but in crafting credible sounding lines) and so far I've run into far more limitations with Studio Brass than I do with SSB (though that may in part just be that I know SSB very well at this point and also know instinctively how to negotiate its limitations).
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
I mostly concur with these opinions about SSO, except I quite like the oboe and English horn—for me they are real strengths in the library; in any case the library suits the kinds of lines I craft for oboe and English horn. I am less enthusiastic about the main flutes, though the wide variety of articulations is great. I also very much like the bass and alto flutes. For me, the solo clarinet is the weakest instrument by far in the set.

I also tend to rely on SCS over SSS, reserving the latter for only those instances that call for a huge string sections, and even then I often layer the two libraries so SCS can serve as a kind of half section that can lighten the sound when appropriate.

SSB has a lovely warm sound that keeps me coming back and makes it easy to resist other brass offerings that have come out recently. The trumpets and the horns don't quite have the incisive edge I sometimes need to cut through in a full orchestral tutti and for that purpose I use the Ark 1 a9 horns and trumpets as supplements.

I got the Studio Brass Pro recently as a complement to SSB primarily because SSB lacks all but longs for mutes. At any rate, I've been doing a lot of side by side comparisons of SSB and SStB, and one thing that comes through the comparison is how much the brass in particular really gains from the sound of the big hall. I also find I have to work harder to get the sound I want out of Studio Brass (not just in terms of reverb and placing the sound in a room but in crafting credible sounding lines) and so far I've run into far more limitations with Studio Brass than I do with SSB (though that may in part just be that I know SSB very well at this point and also know instinctively how to negotiate its limitations).
. One of the most helpful posts here imo.
 

Vik

Scandi Member
I have the symphonic strings, there's certainly good stuff in there, but I have other string favourites - both from Spitfire (SCS) and others.
Based on this clip, I also like the SF bassoon:
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
I have the symphonic strings, there's certainly good stuff in there, but I have other string favourites - both from Spitfire (SCS) and others.
Based on this clip, I also like the SF bassoon:
did he say which lib that bassoon was in? Loegria? Sounds great.
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
I have only managed to spend a few hours with the studio libraries, but if you need any specific comparisons, I will be keen to help.

Or if you have MIDI files to run.
I think Christian pretty much sums up what I'm thinking here:


Meaning you can get close to the SSS sound with a lot of reverb?

I have SCS and love it to shreds, so wondering if SStS would be worth picking up for a little versatility.
 

The Darris

Senior Member
I did this little piece as a demonstration after revisiting the SSW collection last night. I wanted to do a Bass Clarinet Solo but before I knew it, I was adding in the upper woods, Chamber Strings, and the Symphonic Brass. It's nothing special and it's far from my best programming. However, I think it illustrates the strengths of what these libraries can do when working together. I did some mild corrective EQ and added little Lexicon PCM Hall to the final mix to glue it together a bit more. I hope some find it useful.

Best,

Chris

 
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