"To Spitfire" or not "To Spitfire"

Discussion in 'Newbie Questions' started by M0rdechai, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. ashtongleckman

    ashtongleckman Senior Member

    Apr 8, 2017
    Indianapolis, IN
    SA blends brilliantly with most of what I have. I'm a big fan of string layering so I'll normally combine stuff from the metropolis series, mural, CSS, fluid shorts, depending on the cue. The sound of Air works really well with other stages like the Tuldex from OT, so layering w/ SA shouldn't be an issue.

    I think if you go towards the Orchestral Tools collection or the SF collection (Berlin / SA Symphonic Collection), you'll be in really good hands. The other one (CSS, etc) is also great. I use those all the time. Both routes you listed are great, you can make great music with either! :)

    Also, from what I've heard, HGW tends to lean towards SA, but I believe he uses private samples as well.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  2. PaulieDC

    PaulieDC Senior Member

    Oct 16, 2017
    Oy, I'm fairly new to this and I already have a collection of space junk forming...
    gsilbers likes this.
  3. PaulieDC

    PaulieDC Senior Member

    Oct 16, 2017
    Super important point, I'm coming to find that each library you own will have amazing and disappointing patches. NI's Symphony Series that Soundiron did for them doesn't get a lot of attention, but it was the first advertising that I came across and I took the bait. It's not terrible, but when you hear some of the VSL demos by Guy Bacos and others, good NIGHT, you find out why a library costs a bazillion salt blocks. HOWEVER, I got my price of admission on the NI Brass Library (which I got at 50% off) when I tried the Horns 2 patch, wow, what a massive sound... actually inspiring to compose melodies and I can't wait to use it when it's needed (I'm still in first grade don't forget). I'll never sell that brass library because there are 2, maybe 3 patches that are worth bloating my hard drives for. Anyway, there's enough YouTube demos out there to toe the Spitfire water, if it's the sound you are looking for, great. Pick one and commit, I did that with EW, you might with Spitfire. Never heard of them until after I committed to EW, and I hear Spitfire stuff that Guy Michelmore demos in his classes that sound awesome and even spark a little regret, but I can't worry about that now, I need a tune and the ability to compose that tune way more than a third library. Yep, I've definitely rambled on enough, back to the grind. Take care yall!
  4. Alex Fraser

    Alex Fraser Senior Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    I'll throw this one in. You're a Komplete owner so a crossgrade to the NI Symphony Series collection right now is silly cheap until the end of the month.

    It's not on the same level as Spitfire/OT etc, but if you're looking to get your feet wet it's worth a 10 minute visit to the NI website. If you're deadly serious about composing for orchestra then the companies you mentioned are probably your final destination. But the NI collection might be a nice step while you continue to save for the pricey stuff.

    My 2c anyway.
    N.Caffrey, tehreal and sostenuto like this.
  5. tehreal

    tehreal Senior Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I want to second this. Don't blow money on expensive libraries if you're new to this. Get something like Composer Cloud or NI and practice composing and orchestration. Blow your money (far less money) on composition books, courses, lessons, etc.

    See where you are with this new passion in a year's time. If you need the pro libs at that point then you will be much more knowledgeable and there will be more/better libs released by then for you to choose from. And as @mikeybabes said, wait for big sales.
    Kevin Fortin, Consona and pderbidge like this.
  6. I may be bias, but EW hands down. I found that once you find a developer you "click" with, that's the one you tend to gravitate towards for years to come. Aside from using EW for 90% of my orchestral work for that past ten years, I can attest that they are high end, quality libraries (I only use Gold).

    Project SAM had the recent 50% off sale, Symphobia 1&2 would have been an awesome choice.
  7. desert

    desert Just here so I don't get fined

    Jul 31, 2016
    I think you’re asking the wrong question here “spitfire or not to spitfire”.

    I strongly recommend you do not buy spitfire, or any other expensive sample library.

    When someone wants to learn how to play violin, no one goes out and buys the most expensive one for their first ever violin.

    VIs are instruments and takes a lot of practice to master.

    These days, a lot of sample library companies pry on the amateurs, hoping they would think being the most expensive correlates to being better quality.

    I always recommend to people like you who have never bought an orchestral library, to go for a cheaper one.

    Learn how they behave. Learn how to write for them. Even learn the theory and how to orchestrate.

    Someone suggested buying East West cloud. You can get access to all of their high quality samples like the Hollywood series.

    Go for that one.

    This forum loves to compete with what library is better. Asking which one to get first, opens up a massive subjective discussion..
    pderbidge, Farkle, col and 1 other person like this.
  8. Jimmy Hellfire

    Jimmy Hellfire Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2015
    The truth is that

    a) It doesn't really matter which libraries you use
    b) You can't possibly make an educated decision at this point.

    Therefore I would strongly advise against breaking the bank and getting thousands of dollars and hundreds of gigabytes worth of samples in one go.
    It takes a lot of time to really get the hang of the whole orchestral samples thing. I would give myself that time.

    Maybe something like Red Room Audio's "Palette - Melodics", along with some percussion is all you actually need?
    As many others said - East West Hollywood Orchestra, during one of their frequent deals, would also be a quite comprehensive and high quality path into the world of sampled orchestra.

    You most certainly don't need to go "all Spitfire" or whatever. At least not yet. Don't buy into the hype, don't touch the fairy dust, don't eat the yellow snow. SF is not the holy grail of sampling. It is what it is. I have a bunch of their stuff and it's great at what it does, but just as any other line of products, it has its typical and traditional downsides, problems etc. And if I went all Spitfire, I would now live in a world of Spitfire problems. Instead, I always have the liberty to pick and choose which library pisses me off today. :)

    My advice would be to take it easy and start slow. Don't overwhelm yourself with options. I think it's much wiser to start out with a good basic setup and really learn the reins first. There's so much to the whole orchestral samples thing that you can't possibly know looking from the outside in. And so much of that ends up resulting in buyer's remorse. There's no "best" library really - they all bring different qualities to the table and present their own set of problems in return - but you need some kind of tangible experience to even be able to judge what you're looking for the most and what kind of problems you can live with the easiest.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  9. MatFluor

    MatFluor Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    From my point of view:

    You have Omnisphere and Komplete Ultimate 11. Save your cash until you can make use of the "fancy" libraries out there. Komplete Ultimate has an Orchestral section - yes, it might not be that "current", but still worthwhile, especially when learning.

    My way in Orchestral was like this:
    1. Got Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 - learning the ropes, instruments and their rough sound
    2. Got some libraries from special deals like Kirk Hunter Strings, Auddict Woodwinds, Bravura Brass - I initially went for the "I want it dry and mix myself" approach - but my skill level wasn't there.
    3. I need a high-grade library to eliminate the excuse of "it's sound weak because my brass isn't the best" or the like. Long evaluation which boiled down to either Berlin Series or Spitfire
    4. Due to budget and computational power, I decided for Spitfire. Got the SSO package
    5. Created my "almost Spitfire-only" template, by adding SF's Harp, Grnad Piano, Percussion redux
    6. Added SCS to the mix, because lovely sound.

    So - I went full Spitfire - but not because of "difficult to mix" or anything. I simply decided to go "one dev" for ease of use. That's my approach to it. I could've well gotten into VSL and make that work, or go for Berlin and pray my setup can hold it (meanwhile it could, but some time ago it surely didn't). My main reason for "all Spitfire" was more, I listened to tons of demos, spoke to many people and listened to their mockups - and what I heard, Spitfire matched the "sound in my head". When I create a melody/Orchestral piece in my head, or think about a piece someone composed, Spitfire comes closest to what my inner ear hears. That and some of the performances of the samples are great - so I went with that. Sure - it's like an order at a restaurant, where you think you made the right choice until you see what others get - but I haven't looked back and didn't feel the need for other stuff. But that's not because it's "one dev", it's because that comes closest to my idea how an Orchestra sounds.

    I agree with a lot of points made here, there is no "best" library, every dev has a different focus and different sound. My advise is, start out with what you already have and learn the ropes, especially in Production and orchestration. Afterwards this knowledge will transfer to the "top of the cream" libraries - maybe you don't need to EQ that hard anymore, or apply less reverb - but you know what you did to make the Komplete package sound reasonable. Save up your cash from the gigs for a few months, and when you experience limitations, or think you are ready, then you have the cash and experience to make a proper decision.
    bdev likes this.
  10. pderbidge

    pderbidge Senior Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    I'm surprised that no one is pushing for the OP to look at some of the newer String libraries. Don't get me wrong, I think Spitfire and OT are great but in the last while I feel like we're starting to see some decent advancements in the way Newer String Libraries from other companies are starting to take us. For example, I Love Lass 2 and find it amazing that it still holds up well today and since I already own it you couldn't pry it away from me, however if I were just starting out I think with the new offerings there are actually reasons not to consider LASS. Furthermore, all of these alternatives are cheaper than OT, Spitfire and Audiobro and yet still very full featured. These are the ones I'd start looking into if I were the OP

    1. 8Dio Century Strings - unfortunately just missed the 40% sale on this one so until It goes on sale again I think the next ones on my list are better deals.
    2. Cinematic Studio Strings - Great interface and truly great sound.
    3. Chris Hein Ensemble Strings - Very flexible with the potential to cover a lot of ground, but perhaps a little daunting to a newcomer
    4. Angel Strings- Some very very cool Arts you don't see in the other libs. Perhaps not necessarily a bread and butter library but still worth a look. I plan to get this one myself to add to what I have.
    5. Performance Samples- No full string library yet (just cellos) but definitely one to watch out for and the freebies are great.

    The other advantage I see in the above, besides price, is that they have a sound that should blend well with just about anything else out there. Don't be fooled into thinking that because these don't have the Name Spitfire or OT on them and that they are half the cost that they are inferior in some way, they are not.

    Edit: I suppose the advantage of Spitfire and OT is the "all in" approach with similar workflow and sound, which is not a bad way to go but I don't mind blending different libraries and learning different approaches. I feel I get more flexibility that way.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    NoamL likes this.
  11. Desire Inspires

    Desire Inspires Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2016
    Miami Beach
    Just buy it already. So much thought into something that isn't that extreme of a life event.
  12. Vik

    Vik Scandi Member

    Dec 15, 2013
    I’ll comment on the string part of this only.
    If you want only one really good string library with a very good/flexible/advanced user interface, go for Berlin Strings. The section sizes are brilliant; SF Chamber String have very small sections (but is one of my favorite libraries), and SF Symphonic Strings can be difficult if you want a detailed, intimate sound (16 violin1s vs 4 in SCS and 8 in Berlin Strings).

    If things like SFs “super sul tasto”, true con sordino, flautando etc is important for you, simply go for Spitfire (Chamber Strings is IMO a clearly better library than Symphonic Strings).

    If your budget is limited, go for Cinematic Studio Strings. Really great library too, but with fewer options than the other too.

    Libraries generally blend well.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  13. bigcat1969

    bigcat1969 Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    So many opinions and yet still top full orchestra, no ilok, no dongle = Spitfire or Berlin.
  14. Henu

    Henu Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2017
    Sorry to derail a bit, but since I bought them (as a bundle), I've been dying to understand the purpose of that library. The sound is great and detailed, the flexibility is astonishing and the articulations are incredible. And I can definitely understand why people like it. I'd love to use it more myself- I just can't find any situation where I need that in an orchestral territory.

    In which context are you using it personally? I find the sound of SSS being too big and mushy, yet still not heavy enough for justifying the bigness of the sections (a.k.a more "classical"- oriented sound) but SCS, even with 2RR layering sounds a tiny pinch too small for more cinematic stuff. Are you using SCS as "the strings" in a symphonic palette? I know Alex Ball does that, but he tends to layer a lot of stuff, so I guess that is one workaround. But do they qualify as themselves in an orchestral context usually?
  15. MatFluor

    MatFluor Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    I personally layer SSS and SCS. SSS for the lushness and "size", SCS for the details and gorgeous sound. I use SCS alone for things that really need detail or the like - SSS has a "background" character for my ears - great for sweeping lines or as accompaniment.
  16. sinkd

    sinkd Senior Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    Western North Carolina
    This is a great suggestion. If you have time to really try out the East West stuff, it will help you zero in on where it meets your needs and where it doesn't. I use Hollywood Brass, but have other libraries (Spitfire, VSL, Cinesamples, OT) for other things. When you are sure that you need a different english horn, you can go out and find it :)
  17. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    That is terrible advice.

    Get a great-sounding library. Listen carefully to demos and choose among the really good ones: East West, Spitfire, 8dio, LASS -- whatever really rings your bell sonically, offers a lot of articulations, and has multiple mic positions.

    All you get with a weak library is frustration and wasting time. Yes, it does take a long time to master one of these libraries but at least if you're using a good one, your time learning will not be thrown away on rubbish.
  18. MatFluor

    MatFluor Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    That. AS said earlier - that's why I after some frustration bought into what sounded the best to me (or rather, closest to the sound in my head). Since then, I am very happy. No matter what dev it is in the end, or what mixture - but quality is quality.
  19. GearNostalgia

    GearNostalgia Senior Member

    Jun 11, 2018
    Hello. I just recently stepped into the sample library game from years of just using hardware. It was an expensive and painful experience. Think very careful about it and take great care to get unbiased reviews about products before you get anything and read very careful - the brands refund/resales policies. Cause some are far from normal business and can be hidden deep in their legal fine print. If you buy something that turns out bad for you in some way you may very well have ploughed down a huge wad of cash you can never get back in any way. Caution!
  20. OP

    M0rdechai Member

    Jun 12, 2018
    let me share what I take from all this:

    - going with 1 brand for your full orchestra is not a must, but it will give you an easy well rounded orchestra

    - going multiple brands might give a bit of mixing issues, but in most cases won't

    - most major brands are all fine, look for what you think sounds nice

    I will probably start of with buying CSS (I like the sound and the simplicity), Colossus (or an other one from The Unfinished) and a choir library (probably Dominus, but I'm waiting for Spitfire..). Combined with NI Symphony Essentials I will fiddle around with it until I get more feel of what I want.

    thank you all for your input.
    bigcat1969, tehreal and JohnG like this.

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