SPITFIRE SYMPHONY | man, does it spit fire
For me, for a long time - being able to produce the orchestral pieces in my head has been massively held back by either the limitations of the orchestral libraries at the time, the limited amount of articulations to utilise, and indeed (and often enough), the somewhat unconvincing sound itself. The orchestra is the ultimate instrument, the ultimate in organic playing - attempting to convey this with libraries that haven't received the attention to detail often falls flat, leaving ambition slightly dirtied.
Many of the projects that I work on require that symphonic sound - and unless the project has a budget that can commission a full symphony orchestra and transcriber, then we as composers, music designers, and audio producers have to be resourceful and improvise.
I'm a musician first, and grew up listening to and being influenced by a plethora of orchestral pieces. I studied music and focused on composition and orchestration at university, seeing some great success here with ensemble and project work.
It's only now that my orchestral ambitions when working in production with a DAW are about to be met. Introduc... hold on I can hardly do a 'come on down' moment with a library that's been around for a little while, whilst I'm also not endorsed or officially affiliated with the brand, but still - man, do I want to give Spitfire Symphony Orchestra the biggest of pushes.
| The sound
First off, the sound. It's utterly beautiful, warm, moving, organic - and that's the key word here; organic. Real players, real ambience, real serious.
Recorded at Air Studios, the space and ambient texture is baked into the recordings - offering up something that feels big, beautiful, and full of AAA stature. For those that don't know (that's perfectly okay), Air Studios is a world renowned recording space used by many of Hollywood's and Game Audio's top-brass (pun intended).
| How does it work?
The first thing that struck me was how out-of-the-box these libraries felt. A thoughtfully handy inclusion is the 'Performance Strings / Brass / Woodwinds' Kontakt instrument. When playing with this tool, your performance is recognised on the fly, with all the appropriate performance articulations to match your playing. This is super useful if you're needing to just go!
For the nerds like myself (having said that, if you're buying Spitfire Symphony Orchestra or even reading this blog, you're likely a nerd already), anyway - for the nerds like myself there are a great amount of articulations to work into and around your piece, together with the customisation of mic positions, vibrato, expression, dynamics - plus the ability to load in or undock patches on the fly, saving precious CPU.
| Where am I using this right now?
Without going into detail, I'm using this on the upcoming Mars Horizon soundtrack, as developed by Auroch Digital (AD). The base cues were produced and completed a short while ago, but since making the investment in the Spitfire Symphony Orchestra, I simply couldn't avoid overhauling these cues - improving upon the sound and character. The soundtrack has better appeal and credibility with this newly improved sound, and I can't wait to develop it further.
Below are some screens from Mars Horizon, the game is available for wishlisting - it shows so much promise, with support from both the UK and European Space Agencies respectfully. Released later into 2019, this has been a real passion project of mine for sometime and I'm so grateful to AD for allowing me the chance to produce for this.
| Next Up...
Next weeks blog will be a swift return to podcasting, it's just so essential as AD have launched season 4 of their hit podcast 'How to Make a Video Game with...' - I've been associated with this great podcast since it's foundation, and I'm looking forward to writing a little about how we record each episode, in parallel to its challenging environment.
#MatthewWalker #Sebaudio #Composer #MusicDesigner #Audio #SpitfireStrings #SpitfireBrass #SpitfireWoodwinds #SpitfireSymphonyOrchestra #MarsHorizon #AurochDigital #GameAudio #DAW #AirStudios #Kontakt #NativeInstruments