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Which Spitfire Libraries besides the main orchestra are worth it?

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
The Union Chapel Organ -- I forgot about that one! I bought it when it came out, which from the file system time date stamps looks to be fairly recent -- October 2018? That's probably why I haven't had a chance to put it to a full test yet, other than playing around with it on its own.

Looks like I placed it ever so slightly below Soundiron's Lakeside Pipe Organ (recorded nearby at lake Merritt in Oakland CA) and Garritan's large collection (which I rank high mostly for its academic depth and its breadth of coverage of different eras). VSL of course towers above the rest, due to its incredible recording quality and gigantic number of stops as well as ease of programming and mixing registers (the organ version of that terminology; not music staff version).

As a friend of mine who is a professional pipe organ player said many years ago: the organ is a family of instruments. VSL is NOT the only one I use in my collection, but I'm often pushed towards it when I need certain stops or combinations (registers). I even use Precisionsound's Knutby Church Organ sometimes, as it has a particularly warm timbre without being bright or too "big" sounding. Sonokinetic's Toccata is a bit different too (Bartholomeus Basilica, Netherlands). Too many others too list.

I should get back to the new one from Spitfire this weekend though, as I probably forgot to give it a final pass on some of my more challenging projects where I use 32 or more different stops.

Ive got a lot of organs - and I wouldn't say SF is my favorite organ, but it's an excellent one. Organs are really unique instruments - and each one is it's own living breathing instrument, so the differences between libraries really comes down to 1.) how well it captures it and 2.) if you like the character.

The room is just as much a part of the instrument as the stops/mechanics of it.
 

MexicanBreed

New Member
Wow! That's a lot of harps but I guess if you're doing a gig with the following playlist you'd be covered...

1) I left my Harp in San Francisco
2) The Harp of the matter
3) Total eclipse of the Harp
4) She broke my Harp so I busted her jaw
5) Turn on your Harp light
6) you gotta have Harp
7) She stuck a dagger in my Harp
8) Harp of gold
9) Bringing on the Harpbreak
10) Harpbreaker
11) Harp shaped box
12) Kickstart my Harp
13) Harpbreak Hotel

Alrighty then... Back to your regular scheduled programming.
Can't believe you forgot to mention "My Achy Breaky Harp".
 

nas

Active Member
I love LCO and Tundra V but two libraries that rarely get mentioned on here are Soundust vol. 1 and 2 which are amazingly creative and inspiring libraries (especially vol. 2) as well as Glass & Steel.
 

smallberries

member at small
Mike, that's a good suggestion to blend the two -- it's always worth trying. As many organs are "Frankenstein Monsters" anyway, there's nothing wrong with the concept of layering two organ libraries to get all of the necessary stops, if the timbres blend well together.
Another way to sort-of increase the number of stops (after you're done stealing stops that "belong" to other manuals) is to shift stops by octaves, sacrificing range, assuming you did not already have a half or doubled length for that stop. I stumbled on this with the Sonokinetic one and it solved my problem just in time to pause my wishlisted Union Chapel purchase. Drat ... next time for sure.
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
I'm about to give Studio Strings another run-through tonight or tomorrow. I started to do so last weekend, but ran out of time because the parts I was trying were combined string sections and Studio Strings doesn't seem to offer any patches like that.

In general, I find it is best to split such parts and handle each section separately, but these are parts that began years ago on a Yamaha MOTIF workstation. I need to split the parts first so I can use Spitfire and then compare to VSL (which I'm currently using). I need a warm sound in most cases, and surprisingly get the best balance with VSL Orchestral Strings vs. Synchron Strings, Apassionata, or Chamber Strings. I suspect the Spitfire Studio Strings will come closest to that nice warm timbre.

One of the nice things about Spitfire Studio Strings is that it offers divisi. That's getting more common, but is not present in any of VSL's older offerings (I forget whether Synchron Strings has divisi; I think it might).
 

aegisninja

New Member
Whiskers might have at least partly meant that, if you're wanting an ensemble library and don't mind it nice and wet, then Met Arks I and II might be preferable to Albion One. I completely agree with that statement.

You have some really good points re: A1 @jbuhler

But Albion One (besides EVO 1) remains the biggest SA disappointment for me. I ended up only really liking the Spicc/Stacc patch, otherwise I almost never use it.

The Arks, on the others hand...huge love for, and if you have even just the first 2 then imo you have it all over A1, whether you have the (in some ways better) Albion Legacy on top of the latter or not.

There are too many trouble patches for me in A1 as opposed to Met Arks, and to be completely forthright I've actually gotten the Arks to sit right with drier libs like EWH, BHCT and the Hein instruments. I can't say that about A1...in fact I regret the large chunks of time I spent trying to integrate dry instruments into projects with the latter. Once I got the Arks I was pretty much all set.

Finally, the Arks just plain sound better to me.

Just my opinion.
I have Arks 1 & 2 and Albions One, 2, & 5. So far, I've found the brass in the Arks to be MAGNITUDES better than the Albions, but I like everything else in the Albions just a little bit more (especially the strings and percussion), plus the steam band stuff is actually super useful, though so are the pianos and harps in the Arks (not so much the guitar or drums for me personally).
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
Wow! Spitfire Studio Strings is an absolutely incredible library! Possibly the most flexible divisi implementation yet, and with the usual Spitfire mic blend possibilities, you can shape this library to almost any ensemble size and room shape that you want! The mics are different enough that you can go warm or cold; your choice.

This is now my top library for orchestral string ensemble work, for held notes and legato, tremolo, etc. I love VSL Solo Strings, but other than the Chamber Strings (when that's what I want), I've always had a bit of trouble with the other two string libraries (and even the new Synchron Strings) in terms of getting the right section balance and timbre. Having put a lot more time into that tonight, I have concluded that Spitfire Studio Strings will often get me where I want to go, and faster.
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
I finally got around to comparing organ libraries tonight, and though VSL is still way on top due to a lot of factors, it is good to have choices and variety of organ timbre (or era). The Spitfire Union Chapel Organ comes in at second place, and in some ways I like the timbre the best of all, but the choices for stops and registrations are far fewer than on VSL Konzerthaus Organ. Highly recommended though.

I might have mentioned Garritan's Organ library as well. It's too late at night for me to have the mental energy to figure out how to create registrations of multiple stops with that library, but the few individual stops that I tried out, did not seem to be recorded nearly as well as other organ libraries that I have. I do not regret buying it on steep discount though, as it is the only regular commercial library (not counting Hauptwerk and GrandOrgue) that gives one an opportunity to compare organs of different eras on the same playing field.
 

Lode_Runner

Senior Member
Wow! That's a lot of harps but I guess if you're doing a gig with the following playlist you'd be covered...

1) I left my Harp in San Francisco
2) The Harp of the matter
3) Total eclipse of the Harp
4) She broke my Harp so I busted her jaw
5) Turn on your Harp light
6) you gotta have Harp
7) She stuck a dagger in my Harp
8) Harp of gold
9) Bringing on the Harpbreak
10) Harpbreaker
11) Harp shaped box
12) Kickstart my Harp
13) Harpbreak Hotel

Alrighty then... Back to your regular scheduled programming.
Wait there's a song called She broke my heart so I busted her jaw? Who's the misogynist who wrote that?

Never mind, just looked it up - looks like some knob who can't decide if he's a Southern Redneck or Ghetto Gangsta. Don't think I want to know anymore about it.
 
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