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Spitfire Symphonic Brass or Cinematic Studio Brass ? What's the verdict?

constaneum

Senior Member
I'm planning to get a new brass so i'm having hard time deciding which what will work best for my Berlin Woodwinds and Cinematic Studio Strings and Cinematic Studio Strings. What do you think?

1) Spitfire Symphonic Brass:
  • Lots of articulations and wide ranged of samples brass instruments. Pricey but there's a 25% discount at the moment, $524 (until 27th Nov 2018 only) but i think for the amount of things sampled, i think it's quite worth the price
  • Dynamic range is pp - ff (is FF loud enough?)
  • Any concern of being too wet? Will it be easier to mix with Berlin Woodwinds and Cinematic Studio Strings? I need to add more reverb to create a wetness for Berlin and Cinematic to match with Spitfire's but not the other way round?
  • I like the performance legato idea and the fanfare patches
2) Cinematic Studio Brass
  • Sufficient for brass writing.
  • $279 for existing CSS and CSSS owners
  • Drier sound which seems to be able to mix easily.
  • Dynamic range is pp - fff (FFF baby !! i think this is one of the key selling point?)
  • Not a huge brass size. Might sound thin.
  • No walkthrough yet.
  • Not sure whether staccato attack+sustain works nicely or not
 
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constaneum

constaneum

Senior Member
I prefer the sound of CSB and it's more versatile and way cheaper. However your ears are what's most important here!
by the way, what do you mean by saying CSB is more versatile ? Spitfire Brass isn't that versatile ? in what sense? curious.
 

HelixK

Active Member
At this price point get CSB and something else you might be needing.

Spitfire slowly lower their prices each year and you can buy SSB during their next Spring Wish List promotion (40% off). Plenty of time to use CSB, recover financially and decide if you really need another brass library. Also Modern Scoring Brass is a few months away...
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
I worked quite over a year with Spitfires symhonic brass and I am still using it to add specific things to my brass core palette. Tone of that brass is great and the depth also. The only thing which annoyed me were the bugs that this library has and there are when you work in depth with that library quite some. Having said: There is very often a chance to to work around those bugs also in that case, but it is not very workflow speeding up. After a while you get used to it and know how to avoid those things. To get most out of it you really need to work with the whole arsenal of patches available there. I think the library is loud enough for my own purpose. Sure I know people who even feel that Forte or Double Forte is not enough however here are few examples I did a while ago all exclusive with the spitfire orchestra:






Hope I don´t bomb the thread, I just felt to give a few demos just from a user so that you have a bit more options to see how it sounds like in normal hands. I know the spitfire demos are all very topnotch.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Hard to make a verdict when one of the libraries isn't out yet.

I'm very interested in CSB, partly because SSB is a constant source of frustration for me.

The sound, as often with Spitfire, is gorgeous. But I often find it a PITA to work with. The patches are quite inconsistent across the sections and instruments, and there are some quite glaring tuning issues. The volume of patches within a section is out of whack in some cases, and some instruments are done somewhat more crudely than others.

You don't get legato for all the trombones, and the cimbasso strikes me as more of a gimmick - few articulations and soundwise it covers merely the "blow you out of your socks" territory that's so abrasive that I find it musically almost unusable for anything other than sheer brawn.

The wetness is another thing. While it may sound very attractive in some situations, I find it clearly too much in many others. Especially the low brass gets absolutely smothered in that thick gravy, especially if you go for the TAO mic setup.

As most of the time with SF, it's not the most tight or nimble samples. This can be a problem if you're trying to do more intricate lines and exposed playing.

On the plus side, the general color, texture and emotiveness of the instruments are really beautiful and sound very "real" to my ears. The library definitely has its strengths, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a one-stop shop library for all things brass, so it very much depends on what you need and what kind of music you write.

CSB doesn't come with any additionals like cimbasso or contrabass tuba. But if it's anything like CSS, it will do good in some of the areas I find SSB lacking (tightness, clarity, clean editing, consitency, easier to program and work with).
 
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Geoff Grace

Senior Member
I'm bumping this thread in honor of Spitfire's upcoming Wish List sale, in which Spitfire Symphonic Brass should cost $419.40 at 40% off. That puts it in a similar price bracket with Cinematic Studio Brass, which is $399 for those who have yet to invest in the Cinematic Studio Series ecosystem.

Of course, we're now at the point at which Modern Scoring Brass has entered the picture, with an introductory price of $599; so this is an appealing time to buy for those who are in the market for a professional brass library.

Looking forward to further feedback on this subject.

Best,

Geoff
 

The Darris

Senior Member
There are only a select *few* patches from Spitfire's Symphonic Brass that I might use on a project but it's very rare that I would. The biggest issue is how ambient it is. The tone of their brass just doesn't really mesh well with other brass libraries like CineBrass and Berlin Brass. I've tried very hard to like Symphonic Brass but it just doesn't hold up with the other players in the room (so to speak). By itself and with Spitfire's libraries, it sounds great. But, in my experience, we layers as much as possible in order to hide the "seems" in our mocks on pro gigs.

One of the select few patches I would use are the Bells Up or Cuivre patches from the Horns. Or the Trombone a2 longs for a nice warm sound when CineBrass or Berlin come off to harsh at times. Other than those instances, the other two libraries I've mentioned just have a better tone and blend better with everything else I layer together.

As for Cinematic Studio Brass. I will be buying sometime soon. It's got that similar sound to CineBrass but with a little more clarity based on my impressions. I would be buying it solely for the purpose of basic Brass writing in my mock ups. Spitfire's Brass has a lot more in terms of content but it's more about what would work better for me based on the work I get. Cinematic Studio Brass will be bought and added to my template. Spitfire Brass was recently removed.

Best,

Chris
 

ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
There are only a select *few* patches from Spitfire's Symphonic Brass that I might use on a project but it's very rare that I would. The biggest issue is how ambient it is. The tone of their brass just doesn't really mesh well with other brass libraries like CineBrass and Berlin Brass. I've tried very hard to like Symphonic Brass but it just doesn't hold up with the other players in the room (so to speak). By itself and with Spitfire's libraries, it sounds great. But, in my experience, we layers as much as possible in order to hide the "seems" in our mocks on pro gigs.

One of the select few patches I would use are the Bells Up or Cuivre patches from the Horns. Or the Trombone a2 longs for a nice warm sound when CineBrass or Berlin come off to harsh at times. Other than those instances, the other two libraries I've mentioned just have a better tone and blend better with everything else I layer together.

As for Cinematic Studio Brass. I will be buying sometime soon. It's got that similar sound to CineBrass but with a little more clarity based on my impressions. I would be buying it solely for the purpose of basic Brass writing in my mock ups. Spitfire's Brass has a lot more in terms of content but it's more about what would work better for me based on the work I get. Cinematic Studio Brass will be bought and added to my template. Spitfire Brass was recently removed.

Best,

Chris
Chris,

In regards to CSB, you mention the sound is slightly more clear than Cinebrass. On the contrary, I would argue that CSB has a slightly more blurry tone, which opens up and roars in the upper dynamics, but still contains that glossy sheen of the scoring stage.

Imo, Cinebrass has the clearest tone out of the brass libs I own (BB, CSB, CB), and I wouldn’t hesitate to use that on any cue that requires bold & clear brass to cut through the mix.

Both libraries definitely sound similar. While CSB has near flawless legato scripting and dynamic crossfading, Cinebrass’ pure tone is its selling point to me.
 

The Darris

Senior Member
Chris,

In regards to CSB, you mention the sound is slightly more clear than Cinebrass. On the contrary, I would argue that CSB has a slightly more blurry tone, which opens up and roars in the upper dynamics, but still contains that glossy sheen of the scoring stage.

Imo, Cinebrass has the clearest tone out of the brass libs I own (BB, CSB, CB), and I wouldn’t hesitate to use that on any cue that requires bold & clear brass to cut through the mix.

Both libraries definitely sound similar. While CSB has near flawless legato scripting and dynamic crossfading, Cinebrass’ pure tone is its selling point to me.
Sorry, I meant clarity in terms of the sound of the space CSB was recorded. CineBrass is very roomy sound yet is very bright. While CSB has a less wet sound but warmer tone. The room is important for brass.
 
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constaneum

constaneum

Senior Member
I prefer CSB over Cinebrass before CSB has better legato. Ever since the last update with Cinebrass which improves the legato but somehow ended up with bugs here and there for the 6 Horns patch (lots of MICs dont work....loaded with no sound at all), i've sort of put that library aside. I wonder whether there's any fix already.
 

Henu

Senior Member
I feel CSB is a bit like Cinebrass 2.0.

It's also definitely more "cleaner" in my opinion than SSB, as @The Darris said. I like SSB for more roaring and symphonic stuff, and CSB for more "idiomatic" writing. A bit like Berlin Woodwinds vs Spitfire Symphonic Woodwinds, the other is better for more exposed and clearer things and the other works nicely in a more dense and symphonic context in my opinion. I think it's up to your writing style which one to choose, but if you're looking for an "allaround" brass library, I'd pick CSB over SSB.
 

WindcryMusic

Always learning
I still like and use both SSB and CineBrass, but CSB has been an eye-opener for sure, and one that I am looking to more and more. The main thing standing between CSB and virtual brass perfection, as far as I am concerned, is the lack of bass trumpet, euphonium and cimbasso sections.
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
'm bumping this thread in honor of Spitfire's upcoming Wish List sale, in which Spitfire Symphonic Brass should cost $419.40 at 40% off. That puts it in a similar price bracket with Cinematic Studio Brass, which is $399 for those who have yet to invest in the Cinematic Studio Series ecosystem.
Jeez, that's still about $575 Canadian. I just can't get my head around these prices, although both sound like nice libraries. This makes CSB even more appealing (with the loyalty discount).
 

ridgero

Member
Jeez, that's still about $575 Canadian. I just can't get my head around these prices, although both sound like nice libraries. This makes CSB even more appealing (with the loyalty discount).
I will not buy any library when its not on sale. That doens't make ANY sense nowadays.

Especially Spitfire, they didn't do any sales in the past, now you get 40% sometimes...
 

Henu

Senior Member
^ Like in a couple of days. Just remember to fill your wishlist if you have anything in your mind before that!
 
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