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Spitfire Symphonic Strings

ProfoundSilence

Active Member
I don't subscribe to much of the jawing about "Hollywood sound" and "cinematic" when discussing libraries.

Most libraries, if you orchestrate the way it's done by JW or JNH or someone like that, can produce a movie sound, and if you arrange like Mozart, more that way. Of the two I still find it harder to do Mozart.

With multiple mic positions and all the articulations they provide (from soft to quite intense), I find that you can do quite a bit with SSS. I like CSS ok but find the sound of SSS more appealing -- just taste, and an aversion to vibrato. Still using Hollywood Strings and LASS too.

Apart from basic sound, it's handy to have ore than one library since, sometimes, one library or another has very small tuning issues. Accordingly, if you're writing dense harmony, you might find that you need to substitute a viola or cello or something from a different library to get that magic perfect tuning.

I'm not sure that it's that huge a decision; I've heard really nice music now for 15 years from composers who are great with samples. At this point I'd say choosing a library is more a matter of taste than its capability.
I'm not trying to take a dig at you here, but literally 0 orchestration chops will change the sound of something recorded in a church vs a scoring stage. Sure you could record a film score in a church - but it doesn't sound iconically like a film score(i.e. cinematic)

can you make great music with SSS? ofcourse! Andy Blaney could make great music with a sampled toaster... You could run something recorded on a scoring stage through a church IR much easier than you can EQ the church sound out of the samples.

I know we like to say warm and fuzzy things about composing, but the reality is that the samples are recorded with a certain sound because of the players, the signal chain, and the acoustic space they were sampled in. No amount of composing chops will take SSS out of the space it was recorded in, and the problems that it causes. You've been around for a very long time, and I know you know better. At the end of the day - if the OP(and you ofcourse) like the tone of SSS, that's fine... but no choice of notes will make the library magically be recorded in a different studio.

I appreciate the amount of articulations, but the sound is something you have to build your template around, and isn't very flexible
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
SSS is my favourite string library. The sound is just so wonderful, I always tend to use it as my first stop for symphonic strings. I find it isn't hard to get other non Spitfire stuff to blend with it. The shorts are a bit limiting compared to say CSS, but if you have some of the Albions, you can use them to get around that.

Like mentioned above, I tend to revert to the performance legato latches for anything a little faster or detailed, and leave the longs for more sweeping swells or support type lines.

Often I double SSS with CSS. A wonderful combination that works really well to create legato lines, although it takes a bit of effort to line things up with the CSS legato.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
I'm not trying to take a dig at you here, but literally 0 orchestration chops will change the sound of something recorded in a church vs a scoring stage.
That is absolute rubbish. Major budget trailers get recorded in churches -- I've done some. Also, as someone pointed out above, Air studios (along with Ocean Way in Nashville) are both former churches, now deconsecrated, in which people record movie music all the time. Hans Zimmer, being one.

Putting a sign on a space that says, "recording for film here" doesn't make it "cinematic" as such. John Williams recorded "Memoirs of a Geisha" and other film scores at Royc concert hall at UCLA, because of the sound of that room.
 

ProfoundSilence

Active Member
That is absolute rubbish. Major budget trailers get recorded in churches -- I've done some.
church vs scoring stage
church vs scoring stage
church vs scoring stage
church vs scoring stage

if you would actually read anything I wrote, you'd know that I've never claimed that you couldn't score a film in a church, or that its a low budget thing, or anything. What I have claimed(and very unbelievably unarguably) is that a church does not sound like a scoring stage. I expressed exactly what I(and probably most people) associate with a cinematic sound, and simply that you will not get that sound with something recorded in a church without really gutting it with EQ.

I've never suggested anything that isn't true(and the only opinion I've stated was that I consider a cinematic sound based on example)

You on the other hand have made the claim that it's composing chops to get a sound, rather than using samples recorded in the way the sound was made in the first place. Which is absolute dogshit advice to give anyone, regardless of your experience. I'm not going to argue against points I've never made, so either read what I've said(and not what you imagine I've said) or don't expect me to respond.
 

artomatic

I Compose With My Ears
SSS has remained my main strings library ever since I got it a few years back, even though I also have SCS and CSS. I like the sound of them in that space, as it screams "cinematic" to me in a way that the other libraries don't. I don't have a problem with the longs, but then again I use them for those very long, swelling chords, and quickly switch to the legatos as soon as I need the strings to be a bit more active.

Two caveats:

First, much of what I'd been doing the last several years has been symphonic and large, albeit not quite "epic", which I think has been perfectly suited to SSS. My upcoming project is going to be much less symphonic, and for that one I don't even have SSS in the template thus far, having opted to concentrate on Tundra, LCOS and some occasional bits of SCS for strings. This next project is going to be rather remote, brooding and frightening, though ... if it were something more accessible and romantic, I'd seriously consider leading off with CSS. But after this one, I am anticipating another highly symphonic project will be next up, and have every intention of putting SSS back in the forefront at that time.

Second, I've begun using the Jake Jackson "Fine" mix of SSS rather than any of the CTAO mics, because I am finding his mix gives me the enormous cinematic quality that I cannot get with just the Close mics, while still taming the room better than the Tree mics do. I don't know what magic Jake did, but no mix I've attempted with those two mics (nor with the Ambient or Outrigger mics thrown in) has been able to duplicate the combination of detail and enormity that the "Fine" mix seems to give me. This is a caveat because the Jake Jackson mixes are only available in the expansion pack, which is no longer available for SSS ... and while I expect them to reappear in a "Spitfire Symphonic Strings Professional" version at some point, that hasn't been announced yet.


Looking for the Jake Jackson expansion pack for SSS at the Spitfire web site but could not find it.
I'm wanting to buy this if it's still available. Thanks!
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Looking for the Jake Jackson expansion pack for SSS at the Spitfire web site but could not find it.
I'm wanting to buy this if it's still available. Thanks!
I don’t think it’s supposed to be available again until SF releases SSO Pro.
 

WindcryMusic

Always learning
Looking for the Jake Jackson expansion pack for SSS at the Spitfire web site but could not find it.
I'm wanting to buy this if it's still available. Thanks!
Yes ... as I’d mentioned, Spitfire discontinued the SSO expansion packs sometime last year. The assumption has been that they plan to bring them back eventually as “Professional” versions, just as they did with SCS, but thus far it hasn’t happened.
 

TintoL

Active Member
I was just trying to find the same expansion packs because I didn't have the outriggers in both woodwinds and brass. It's a shame that doesn't exist there. Thanks WindcryMusic for mentioning it.
 
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