Thanks for you honest assessment. I wish I would have had this info earlier since I bought the Studio Orchestra core late yesterday. I haven't had a chance to really work with them yet but I too was very skeptical about what I heard in the demos. I was going to upgrade to the pro if I liked what I heard so I'm even more curious now... mixed with a lot apprehension. It's a shame if what you say is true, Spitfire's brand and reputation is what prompted me to purchase even with the concerns I had after viewing their demos. At least my wallet wasn't totally depleted by starting with the core.I have all three — the so-called professional versions — and I'm sorry to have to say: both the musician and the Spitfire-fan in me are abyssopelagically disappointed in this set. (Sorry, Luke.) It was the fact that, on paper, the Studio Series contains exactly the sort of libraries that I have been waiting for, combined with the many very satisfying experiences I've had with Spitfire in the past, plus, to a lesser extent, Paul's shrewdly luring walkthroughs, that made me want to see for myself what the Studio Series is all about.
Having now spent some time with these libraries however, I not only understand why all the demos done with them sound so unconvincing — the reason is simple: these are seriously flawed sample libraries — but I'm also filled with a sort of dread when contemplating if this is going to be the new standard of quality for Spitfire products from now on. Because, if it is, the increasingly misfiring outfit will instantly drop in my list of most respected and favoured orchestral library developers, from the top spot (which it shares with one or two other developers) to somewhere far, far below the average, if not the very bottom.
I could go into detail about what it is that puts me off so much in these libraries — musically and technically —, but it would become a very long-winded post during the writing of which I'm not sure I'll be able to contain my disillusionment and not start writing some rather unpleasant and unfriendly sentences, as is my wont when upset.
Let me just say that, in my opinion (and all of this is just my opinion of course), this material is neither worthy of the name Spitfire and most certainly not of the tag 'professional'. Not even close. Not even when the meaning of the word 'professional' is stretched to also include 'semi-'. All three libraries are severely under-sampled — as a consequence of which the programmers had to resort to some very questionable solutions trying, but failing, to mask the void —, many of the instruments don't sound convincing at all to my ears (there are couple of reasonably good ones, sure, but most of them seem to beg to be described as 'disturbingly average' or worse), the instruments are capable of only a very limited range of performances and expressions, and there's an all-pervading and very un-Spitfire-ish superficiality and sloppyness affecting this set which makes working with it a constant struggle and source of frustration and irritation. And whatever you do with these libraries, it'll always scream 'sampled', 'unnatural' and 'fake', as all the demos do, as all my own experiments with them do, and as Rhye's in-every-other-respect-very-impressive-and-applause-deserving piece does.
Not the worst, but certainly the saddest purchase I've ever made in nearly 2 decades of buying sample libraries. I can't for the life of me understand how whoever is in charge these days at Spitfire ever gave their fiat for this inferior product to be released. A veto would have been a decision far more in line and in character with the uncompromising and high-quality past achievements of the company.