Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Link is HERE

If you fill out a questionnaire Spitfire says they will send you a free download for a 33 piece orchestra.

Alternately you may purchase the library for 49.00 right away.

Of course this is a leader to see if you might be interested in stepping up to their larger libraries. You are under no obligation to purchase more.

The discover library is 200mb. Restrictions include no solo instruments and less articulations than the core version.  Works in any DAW.

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Still no response from Spitfire.

It really is useless. I had a look through their "community" which is divided up to massage your query to one of their pre-packed solutions, sort of. There are over 500 troubleshooting queries, most of which have no responses. 

So as I can't use BBCSO discover without an answer and I'm unlikely to spend the sort of money this bunch ask for their stuff I'll have to work out how to remove the licence and software. I don't believe just uninstalling will remove the licence but there's no point in it hanging about on my computer.

Tim, on my setup the reverb knob is at zero by default. And there is still a ton of reverb. and that is with no other reverb applied, just the pure sound samples. If I turn up the reverb knob, there will be more reverb. Now, other libraries have some baked-in reverb that you can't get rid of. EWSO, for example. But it's a small amount, and easy to blend with other libraries. The trombones on BBC, with no external or internal reverb, have way more than my most reverbed instrument.

Still, I'm grateful to Spirfire for the freebie. I may find other uses for it as I go along. and maybe I'll learn there actually is a way around the reverb problem. Although I can't see how you take reverb out of samples if it's there by design. 

imothy Smith said:

Michael, do you mean reverb on the samples when the reverb in the plugin is completely removed via the plugin?

I'll look more into the control issues. Maybe I can find something useful out. Not that I'm a genius. They say even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and then.  I think I remember simply right clicking cc learn on the gui fader and using one of my midi controller knobs to do it. Maybe you're programming these changes? 

For anyone interested here is John ( SKiPy's )video on the setup he  made for BBCSO Discovery. I LOVE what he has done. This man really is a genius when it comes to sounds and plugins. Look at the 3:54 mark.

Hi Dane,

 I know you seem to have made up your mind about BBCSO. I did find this in the "Tips and Tricks" section of The Spitfire site specifically on velocity-

When you are playing long techniques with most of our orchestral libraries such as BBC Symphony Orchestra or Albion ONE the dynamics (how loud/hard the instrument is played) is not affected by the velocity (how hard you play the keyboard).

Instead the dynamics is controlled by MIDI CC#1 - this is usually the modulation wheel found next to the pitch wheel on most MIDI keyboards, or by moving the dynamics fader in the plugin window. 

Short techniques - such as staccato or spiccato - should respond to velocity in most libraries by default. 

This is a departure from other instruments of this type I have used.  I did a simple experiment and mapped both controls to my modulation wheel since both are usually worked in an almost tandem fashion using other methods. I attempted to play using this setup. I didn't hear any overt attacks on the strings, maybe more of a glossed over sort of thing. Almost sounded masked even on higher settings. When I think velocity I want an attack I can discern, so you have a keen point here on this library. I appreciate you pointing it out. FYI- It works the same way with my ALBION 1 library. The library seems to be better suited for more ambient kinds of work. This fits a niche' with some composers obviously. Since this library is the limited version one could only hope that they added provision for more aggressive kinds of work in other libraries.

On the "Orchestra" library. Dane I think you help to keep me grounded on some of this. I am probably not as enthusiastic about it as you might think and only seen it as a possible solution for some compositions.I mentioned it because a sale for 100.00 off isn't too shabby "if" this is what a person is looking for. Since I have their Action Strings package already I had access to that technology maybe in a more limited way.....I will say for me at least, I only use that sort of thing if it fits a pre-existing vision for a composition. If it fits, it is perfect, if it doesn't I won't use it. More often than not I burn through a half an hour messing about with different presets in Action Strings only to find nothing is working for my composition. In fact, I can't ever remember using it. If I was making a song about the dragons coming to eat the queen's medieval army...heck yeah that kind of thing builds tension and works well. All depends on the composer I guess.I doubt I'll be buying it for the same reasons as you.

Michael, Thanks for replying on your experiences with reverb in BBCSO Discovery. I  noticed this before in another Spitfire Library and I had hoped I was wrong about Discovery. Spitfire has lots of reverb on the samples themselves and as you stated, not much can be done. There are plugins like ERA 4 directed more at dialog reverb removal that "might" work here. I think it's a work around that shouldn't need to happen and can't seriously suggest it since there are other libraries with less reverb. I think we are similar in that we like to have the choice which reverb to use and how much we prefer.....big fail for Spitfire. Like you, I'll probably keep the library around for material that works well with this library choice.

Since I was the one who suggested the library I feel bad that it has caused grief for a few here. While I continue to see BBCSO as a viable option in some settings I can also see why it just won't work in others. TBH this version does not include their solo instruments which I hope would have more presence and attack if necessary. Might also have further options when it comes to velocity.I can only say 'might" here because I can't confirm it.

So far as the company support, Dane thanks for bringing this very important point up. Some companies have a wonderful product but no one to support it. Not sure if COVID is playing a part. Possibly it is. Spitfire are world renowned in sample libraries, so I find it very disappointing that this is how customer service seems to be right now.

Tim, I appreciate very much the effort you have gone to in helping us all find new sounds. It's exactly the kind of thing this forum exists for, and I'm sure we all appreciate it. Please, no need to apologize.

As I said,I have found an important use for the trombones already, and that made the download worth it, especially considering it was free (well, I did have to sell my soul to the devil, but all our info is out there on the evil web anyway). 

As Dane and you have pointed out, libraries fill different niches. I have always  found something to use in every library I have obtained, whether free or paid. Many will find this library perfect for their needs. For others it will provide the occasional needed touch.

Thanks again for letting us know about it.

Tim,

Sincere thanks for taking the trouble to look this up. It's much appreciated be sure, and given a couple of hours I'll try that - I haven't deleted it yet. I like the BBCSO library (I know the BBCSO well - made hundreds of off-air recordings and attended concerts at Maida Vale (a bundle of BBC studios), the Festival Hall and on. The BBC was once the finest broadcasting outfit in the world, technically superior and always at the sharp end of research - a reputation that's got tarnished of late. 

Just a shame that Spitfire are so lax with their customer service which is something one can rightly expect (to me) for spending >£1000 on its product. As I said earlier, compare it with VSL from whom you get as instant a response as possible.

Like Michael I'm also a bit concerned about the 'baked-in' reverb as I tend to rely on 'almost dry' for clarity and (attempting to) give a sense of depth by adjusting from that. 

Shame also, unlike VSL's model, they don't offer single instruments, a much loved feature as I use mostly VSL now. I'm not claiming VSL is the absolute apex. I've had a lot of trouble placing its solo singers in the mix and one or two instruments give me a bit of a headache - the Bb clarinet for a start - needs v careful adjustment of the velocities. The player's time-stretch facility helps.

I'm ready to persevere though.  

Again, many thanks.

Dane, I agree about that clarinet in VSL. I almost never use it. I prefer Garritan's (also like their flute and oboe). Although in general, VSL is the best. Converting my Special Edition 1 to the Synchron Edition allowed me to solve the pan problem, which I'd struggled with for years. Since the original SP1 inst's. are not panned, you have to do so manually. Which also requires you to pan any other libraries you are using. Which destroys their natural ambiance, as most other libraries are recorded in place. But now I can finally leave everything in the natural space it was recorded in. Most libraries follow the same basic plan. Combining that approach with my new reverb method - using sends - I am now getting better sound from my orchestra. Which means I now have to remix everything...fortunately I am not prolific.

Thanks guys for looking into these. I enjoy this kind of thing in looking at the new technology. I always like to hear ideas about the different libraries and how they are working for you. I don't claim to be an expert on all of it. Just someone with a keen interest in it who continues to learn.

 There are lots of options out there for sure. If what you have works, then there's no reason to change.

I was working in Miroslav Philharmonic Orchestra last evening using a score patch. Makes writing to individual parts a breeze. Loads all sections with outputs selected as tracks in the DAW  bringing the total of that track layout to somewhere around 12 tracks. No need to change midi channels on the controller. I just select a track and record.This is a baked in multi preset in Miroslav. Those sounds are much drier with respect to reverb. I think I've found a good basic  work platform for orchestral ideas. The integral mixer makes it easy to balance, pan add efx etc...or they can be added post in the DAW.

For me this is at least half the value of any library system. The ability to load it up fairly painlessly and play right away with little fuss. If the tracks aren't quite there sound wise  I can simply copy/paste the midi into another instrument I like better if I have a better sound. The sounds in Miroslav aren't bad for the most part. There are a bunch of both Kontakt and non-Kontakt multis similar from different makers. Multis that load up easily and can recognize and assign tracks. Cakewalk allows me to select individual tracks for each instrument at the time I load. This is a very nice feature. I haven't checked this with Studio One 5 yet. Hopefully it is similar since it's my second favorite DAW. 

My point being that for simple composition there are lots of workable options out there all sounding plenty good enough for conveying a musical idea to potential clients or just for fun.Taking it a step further, many are good enough for me to actually like aside from simply conveying an idea. 

Buying into a library with it's own gui is great in some ways. Not so great in others. Both VSL and BBCSO come from this approach to music. They don't really allow for adding anything other than their instruments.Other instruments can be added to the DAW using other libraries but if the maker(s) won't let you remove all reverb this makes it more difficult to do. I believe they both have some reverb baked in. VSL apparently not as much.

Just an FYI- Some are nervous about the direction of Kontakt with recent news that the prior Native Instruments company leaders are stepping into different roles. A new CEO will be taking over. How this will affect future business practices concerning the #! sample player software in the world is anyone's guess. Many orchestral libraries are made specifically  for this platform. One asset Kontakt has is that  any maker can write libraries for it and make use of the integration benefits it has with hardware. In that respect it was democratic even though it was owned by a private interest, writing libraries for it was encouraged. This usually means individual libraries from different makers integrate very well with Kontakt having independent effects such as reverb that can be applied globally. Libraries can be mixed up in one Kontakt instance.

While VSL and BBCSO are impervious to any developments concerning Kontakt, mainly because they have each designed their own shells (as have many others), the flip side is limitations to function in some cases, new methods need to be learned for those using Kontakt. These independent libraries possibly won't play as well with other libraries since they are so specific in function. I wish Kontakt had been open source then we probably would not be seeing these kinds of issues. FYI- Spitfire was  once only in the Kontakt domain. Word is out ENGINE 2 will be out. A revamp of the older ENGINE platform which competed with Kontakt but admittedly wasn't as good at the time. 

Time will tell how all of this develops. They all want our money to continue development. I prefer a more universal approach and don't much care as much for all of these independent systems within systems JMHO.

Interesting....

At last I had a reply from Spitfire. It claims use of the mod wheel to control the timbre/velocity. Yes, it's in the manual but seems to imply use of a keyboard....Great if one can - but I'm not sure other passengers on the bus or people in the café would appreciate a keyboard if I'm working away from the house! so I needed to know if this worked in a midi editor.

I'll try it.

There's a mole on this forum - or the Spitfire folk search around for comment on their product! Their reply was headed with a quote from me:

"I suppose today when everyone’s acclimatised to canned music it makes sense to tailor ‘production’ to given media." which comes from the Soundcloud mastering topic.

Then let's hope they step up to the mark if they read my other comments!

...

This is good to know Dane. Thanks.

 FYI- I was  probing around some on the VI-control forum and mentioned the concerns about  velocity since I had the same concerns about the Discovery edition. I was told  the CORE and Pro editions have many more mic positions, presumably closer to the instruments. This  would translate to a more up front sound with increased velocity.

I am also under the impression BBCSO is getting an update. This might not affect the BBCSO Discovery edition. The pro crowd is moving slowly in accepting anything new. Not that a few haven't already dove in and bought the big tamale.

It seems to me that Spitfire is still working through a few minor issues with their new player and the sounds. As it stands, Spitfire now has both Kontakt and proprietary libraries which can be confusing to a new user.

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