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(05-25-2020, 08:51 AM)GreenlightScore Wrote: [ -> ]Haha, that's true.

Actually, I wasn't serious. I think anything with a price tag can and should be scrutinized, and the fact that you can also get it for "free" is beside the point. Some people are surely paying for it, so looking at what kind of value for money they get is valid IMO. But when I brought that up, some people told me to stop whining...

(05-25-2020, 08:51 AM)GreenlightScore Wrote: [ -> ]Regarding the samples' "wetness", the orchestra was apparently recorded with a bajillion mics (for surround mixes and the like), so perhaps the full version has mics closer to the instruments, with less reverb?

Yes, most likely. Too bad the built-in reverb (which I'm assuming is an IR of the actual space) makes it sound like the orchestra was recorded in an empty water cistern.
The strange thing about the keyswitches is that they're way down at the very bottom of the range where they'll be off the end of any physical keyboard. That's still fine as a way of programmatically switching articulations in a DAW, but it isn't useful when playing live.
(05-25-2020, 05:38 PM)peastman Wrote: [ -> ]The strange thing about the keyswitches is that they're way down at the very bottom of the range where they'll be off the end of any physical keyboard.  That's still fine as a way of programmatically switching articulations in a DAW, but it isn't useful when playing live.

I wonder if it supports their CC-based articulation switching scheme; Spitfire were championing that a while ago and I had hopes DAW and notation software makers would catch on as it would be easy to create a coherent control scheme based on standardized CC rather than variable, movable KS.

Re: reverb, Spitfire has always preferred very wet recordings. Their close mics in Albion are about equal to EW 'mid' mics, which are themselves quite wet already! Wet recordings *can* sound fantastic out of the box to a basic user, but of course the lack in flexibility is very rough. I would have hoped with a library like this they would have provided mid or 'podium-position' samples.
Quick addition... I was on Spitfire's website checking out the paid versions of BBC SO and lo and behold, it looks like some poor web designer forgot to update the copy writing on one of the pages!  Rolleyes

[attachment=77]

Edit: So far not impressed with the commercial version.

I took the time to listen to all the demos and honestly I don't hear anything that's markedly better than EW Hollywood (which is what, 7-8 years old now?) or in some cases even VSCO 2 Pro (especially some of the perc). Particularly not a fan of the brass, which are subdued and close mic-heavy compared to Hollywood. Woodwinds sound quite good, as they usually are (except the clarinet which has almost no character/air to the point of seeming almost like a wavetable at times). Strings sound fine to me, although they are very, very hard panned and thus hard to listen to with headphones in isolation per section, but probably sound okay in section, and I guess maybe they were going for that "1950's/60's ultra super-wide stereo!" thing between that and the use of Coles ? The worst part to me is the default mixes; they sound worse than some of the mixes I did for VSCO 2 Pro before we went multi-mic on most things, with instruments sounding out of phase or having this weird disconnect between the close and far sounds. And while the legato is very nice at most times, any time he does a run on any instrument, it sounds like a slurred mess, not at all like it would be played by a professional orchestra; runs have always been a weakness of libraries, but at least don't bother showing it off if it sucks so much, or make a separate 'runs' patch with a dedicated super-fast legato. At least the staccatos are very nice, but it is next to impossible to screw up staccatos...

The most usable part to me is maybe the sections, which do sound really good, but I generally don't use except in hyped cinematic stuff. The most incredible part of this library is that they recorded it in only 200 hours; that's maybe only 25-35% more time than it took me to record VSCO 2 Pro. But efficiency of time management does not mean a superior product, sadly.

And that's ignoring the rather lackluster roster of instruments. Only one of each solo instrument, no aux WW, not even the common ones like A vs. Bb clarinet, Eb clarinet, alto flute (useful but uncommon ones like oboe d'amore), no solo bass trombone, no piano... but the percussion? only a SINGLE susp cymbal, crash cymbal, triangle, tambourine, tenor drum, tam tam, etc. Just two snares, two bass drums. This is the exact number of orchestral percussion instruments in a GM spec percussion patch, as specified 35 years ago as the standard minimum! EWQL SO has like three times the percussion instruments and it's nearly 20 years old! If I counted VSCO 2 Pro instruments the same way they count BBC Orchestra instruments, it would outnumber BBC Orchestra almost 3:1. Yes, there's a quality difference, but there's nothing more I dislike than being stuck with only ONE flute or ONE trumpet sound when I'm working on something and it just won't fit, and when you're trying to create a cohesive, single-ecosystem product like BBC Orchestra, it is stifling to only offer single player options.

The spill mics are to me an obvious and intentional gambit to increase total file size, which they effectively do by about 30%, most likely in order to fill that 1 million sample quota (why buy a sonically identical 700,000-sample lib when you can buy a 1,000,000 one!). Otherwise, any sane company would merge all the spill mics as a single slider, saving the customer gigs worth of RAM, storage, and download time.

Last complaint... but geez, I wish they wouldn't talk constantly through their entire playing videos, only playing 3-4 second little snippets here and there. It does not give the listener time to form an opinion, which I guess is the entire point, eh? A professional composer does not need explanations on what 'col legno' is; even a novice is smart enough to go google something like that.

Overall, it's just not cutting it for me. There are a lot of things I hate about EW Hollywood (namely that almost all the staccato samples are cut too short without fadeouts!), but honestly I almost feel better off with it than BBC SO, which is an enormous shame for such a potentially interesting instrument. I was actually really interested in this library when I first heard about it; I have many excellent recordings from this very orchestra, but it just doesn't cut it for 2020 for me. This doesn't sound any better or tighter than earlier Spitfire, and in some cases even sounds less coherent. I had to go back and listen to what their BML (now Symphonic WW/Str/Brs) stuff sounded like, and geez, I think it honestly sounds way better in a lot of cases.

Thoughts?
You guys tried layers? Caution it ain't small...
https://www.orchestraltools.com/store/collections/45

Or if you can stand Kontakt Player...
https://projectsam.com/libraries/the-free-orchestra/

How do they compare if at all with the Spitfire B Free Orchestra?
Heeeey, bigcat! Great to see you on here Smile

(05-29-2020, 09:26 PM)bigcat1969 Wrote: [ -> ]You guys tried layers? Caution it ain't small...
https://www.orchestraltools.com/store/collections/45

Or if you can stand Kontakt Player...
https://projectsam.com/libraries/the-free-orchestra/

How do they compare if at all with the Spitfire B Free Orchestra?

Layers is very good. Using it in a "temp" sort of project I have here, with the intention of weaving it into my compositions in the future. After all I have been using Sonuscore's strings/orchestra chords for a while now, for supplying a richer texture, and Layers is basically the same thing but a lot more detailed and flexible.

The Free Orchestra is much the same ilk as Discover IMO -- well-intended, but laregly useless unless in very specific cases -- though to be fair ProjectSAM at least has RR's on short articulations and some semblance of dynamics through the use of filtering. Smile
Come to think of it, the most annyoying thing about Discover is that I know Spitfire has this huge selection of samples at their disposal, edited and catalogued and ready to go. Picking and mapping a second dynamic layer and RR for all instruments (or at least the ones that matter most) would be a trivial matter. Yet they chose not to.
I think they want to dip their toes into this odd water of free but they also need to keep the prestige that sells really high end stuff and really high end prices. Christian Henson seems like a cool guy, but he also has to be corporate and they really do spend tons of money that they have to make back. Anything perceived as cheapening the brand I think has to be avoided. So they have to release quirky things on labs or extremely limited things at a low price or you jump through hoops to keep up the idea that buying Spitfire is like buying a Lexus. Straight up freebies turn you into well us...
(05-29-2020, 11:29 PM)bigcat1969 Wrote: [ -> ]I think they want to dip their toes into this odd water of free but they also need to keep the prestige that sells really high end stuff and really high end prices. Christian Henson seems like a cool guy, but he also has to be corporate and they really do spend tons of money that they have to make back. Anything perceived as cheapening the brand I think has to be avoided.

Funny thing is, after LABS and now Discover, I'm even less interested in buying anything from Spitfire. Wink
I've been in the audience in Christian's livestreams in the past and even created a Kontakt skin for a couple of his freebie instruments. He seems like a cool guy, but constantly reigned in by corporate. But yeah I really am not interested in what they do. I do have some Berlin stuff which I got on incredible sales. To me that is better as a 'high' end. Spitfire seems over hyped to me with the whole British thing. Is it evil to like Berlin over London? ;P
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