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Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

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tack
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Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by tack » Aug 30, 2018 1:01 pm

Spitfire is starting a new line of products recorded in the smaller Air Studio One and has kicked off the series with a strings product.

https://www.spitfireaudio.com/spitfire-studio-strings/
Image

It's available in two flavours:
  • Standard: standard sections and most articulations for $249 ($199 intro price)
  • Professional: expanded articulations, divisi sections, and additional mic positions for $499 ($399 intro price)
The Professional version marks Spitfire's foray into divisi sections, positioning it to compete with the likes of LASS and NI's Symphony String Ensemble. No auto divisi patches that I saw.

Personally I'm more interested in their upcoming brass and woodwinds offerings recorded in this space than I am with strings. Chamber Strings has always been quite good, but their symphonic brass and woodwinds products do seem to suffer at times from the untamable Air Lyndhurst hall, especially where legatos are concerned (and especially with the brass). With the new series, they've got a real opportunity to nail legato in the way that the Cinematic Studio Strings (an obvious competitor to this product line) has done.

To that end, I feel they've missed the boat with the legato patches on this new strings product. I do know that culturally Spitfire seems to place less value on legato than others (including me), and if that carries over to their brass and woodwind products I fear that'll really be a missed opportunity.

Still, the pricing is quite competitive with this new strings offering and it has the impressively broad palette of articulations we come to expect from a mature Spitfire strings product. I look forward to seeing (and hearing) the completed lineup.

(I also appreciated the comparatively less aggressive marketing campaign this time around, with significantly fewer pointless teasers -- just one that I saw.)
- Jason


Killiard
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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Killiard » Aug 30, 2018 1:30 pm

Holy smokes! Standard is 13.2gb...Professional is 210gb!

I’m struggling already for hard drive space at the moment...


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Guy Rowland » Aug 30, 2018 2:06 pm

VSL and Spitfire swap positions....

I'd love to know who was the first person at VSL to say, out loud, "What on earth have we DONE?!!!!"

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heisenberg
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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by heisenberg » Aug 30, 2018 2:11 pm

You made me laugh Guy... what's old is new again!
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tack
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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by tack » Aug 30, 2018 2:28 pm

Guy Rowland wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 2:06 pm
I'd love to know who was the first person at VSL to say, out loud, "What on earth have we DONE?!!!!"
Another interesting parallel is that as they've completely swapped their iconic founding strategies, they both seem to have ended up with really underwhelming products.

Maybe that's rather unfair of me to say, but I've really not gotten worked up by the demos of either Spitfire's new Studio Strings or Synchron's releases to date.

Of course that could also be fully explained by my turning into an old, unpleasable curmudgeon.
- Jason

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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Muziksculp » Aug 30, 2018 2:55 pm

I find it odd that they have Spiccato for shorts, but don't have Staccato.

Staccato is a basic, and very important articulation for strings. I wonder why they omitted Staccato ?

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tack
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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by tack » Aug 30, 2018 3:07 pm

Muziksculp wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 2:55 pm
Staccato is a basic, and very important articulation for strings. I wonder why they omitted Staccato ?
They made the same choice with Mural (SSS). But in Mural's case they at least gave you a couple different lengths of straight shorts that you could manipulate with TM (or used the timed release triggers feature). I suppose you could use TM to stretch spiccato, but obviously the bowing is quite different. So, indeed, there does seem to be a bit of a gap in the shorts.
- Jason

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Muziksculp
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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Muziksculp » Aug 30, 2018 3:39 pm

tack wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 3:07 pm
Muziksculp wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 2:55 pm
Staccato is a basic, and very important articulation for strings. I wonder why they omitted Staccato ?
They made the same choice with Mural (SSS). But in Mural's case they at least gave you a couple different lengths of straight shorts that you could manipulate with TM (or used the timed release triggers feature). I suppose you could use TM to stretch spiccato, but obviously the bowing is quite different. So, indeed, there does seem to be a bit of a gap in the shorts.
It really surprises me that a professional strings library omits Staccato, they should have multiple Stacatto options. but they chose to completely omit it. :/


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Daryl » Aug 30, 2018 4:04 pm

Muziksculp wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 2:55 pm
I find it odd that they have Spiccato for shorts, but don't have Staccato.

Staccato is a basic, and very important articulation for strings. I wonder why they omitted Staccato ?
To be accurate, there is no such articulation as staccato. That has just been invented by sample developers. All staccato means is detached notes, so by releasing a spiccato patch, as spiccato is a subset of the set of staccato, they have already released a staccato patch. :P

However, I can understand someone wanting multiple versions of staccato..

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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by tack » Aug 30, 2018 4:10 pm

Daryl wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 4:04 pm
To be accurate, there is no such articulation as staccato. That has just been invented by sample developers. All staccato means is detached notes, so by releasing a spiccato patch, as spiccato is a subset of the set of staccato, they have already released a staccato patch. :P
But spiccato is bowed differently, and the characteristic bounce of the bow causes a harsher attack than a note marked as staccato, doesn't it?

In any case, the "staccato isn't an articulation" philosophy is why Spitfire went a different way with Mural, providing instead the 0.5 and 1.0 straight shorts. But whatever sample library developers decide to call it, multiple types of shorts are unarguably important for phrasing. (Phrasing oblig.)
- Jason

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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Muziksculp » Aug 30, 2018 4:24 pm

Spiccato is when the bow bounces off the string, staccato the bow stays on the string. They are both short articulation, but sound very different. Staccato is a formal articulation, not invented by sample library developer.


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by givemenoughrope » Aug 30, 2018 4:41 pm

I guess I'm wondering how far off the the SCS/Sable close mics are from the studio strings...

I think I'm good with SCS. I dunno...


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Linos » Aug 30, 2018 4:44 pm

Not sure what you are trying to say here Daryl. Staccato clearly was not invented by sample library developers. In fact, Mozart mentions the articulation in letters to his father, and in his notation he clearly distinguished between staccato and staccatissimo. And there must be sources mentioning it that are far older than that.

Anyway, I like the concept of Spitfire Studio Strings, and I think the price is very fair. But I just don't like the sound in these demos and walkthroughs. There is a lot of competition in this field, and several of the competitors have a sound that I prefer to this one.


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Daryl » Aug 30, 2018 4:52 pm

Linos wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 4:44 pm
Not sure what you are trying to say here Daryl. Staccato clearly was not invented by sample library developers. In fact, Mozart mentions the articulation in letters to his father, and in his notation he clearly distinguished between staccato and staccatissimo. And there must be sources mentioning it that are far older than that.
No there is no such bowing as staccato. It's about a length of note, not a style of bowing. It's sample developers who have told us that it's a style of bowing. However, it's also sample developers who have told us that articulation and style of bowing are the same thing...!


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Daryl » Aug 30, 2018 4:53 pm

Muziksculp wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 4:24 pm
Spiccato is when the bow bounces off the string
Yes, along with other bowings that bounce off the string.
Muziksculp wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 4:24 pm
staccato the bow stays on the string.
Not necessarily. As I've already told you, spiccato is a staccato bowing.

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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Muziksculp » Aug 30, 2018 7:41 pm

In Spiccato bowing the bow is bounced off the string, producing a different timbre, and sonic character compared to a Staccato bowing, where the bow does not bounce off the string/s. I think I mentioned this, but I will repeat, so a Spiccato technique is not = to Staccato Technique. They are different, and sound different. The only thing they have in common is they are both short articulations.

See video below, the tempo of a piece will dictate which one is more suitable, Spiccato works better for faster tempi.

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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Muziksculp » Aug 30, 2018 7:47 pm


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Muziksculp » Aug 30, 2018 8:19 pm

With regards to the Spitfire Studio Strings demos posted so far, they sound good, but not impressive.

I think more demos will help evaluate them better.


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Lawrence » Aug 30, 2018 8:23 pm

:::munches popcorn, waits for Daryl’s response:::
(YOU can call me Larry)

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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Piet De Ridder » Aug 30, 2018 9:56 pm

I think I’m with Daryl on the spiccato/staccato thing. I always thought, since long before I began using sample libraries, that ‘staccato’ was simply an instruction to play notes shortly and snappily and that that instruction could be given to just about any instrument: winds, brass, strings, piano, harp, timpani, … they all can be played ‘staccato’. And singers can sing ‘staccato’ too. ‘Spiccato’ on the other hand is a bowing technique, exclusive to the strings.
(I’m not sure, Linos, but Mozart might well have been referring to the non-strings-specific articulation when he mentioned ‘staccato’ and ’stacatissimo’, and not to any bowing technique.)

Whatever is correct, there’s definitely a whole lot of confusion and inconsistency about it among sample developers, many of which seem to address the issue by simply considering ‘staccato’ a more aggressive and energetic version of ‘spiccato’.

_

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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by tack » Aug 30, 2018 10:43 pm

Piet De Ridder wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 9:56 pm
many of which seem to address the issue by simply considering ‘staccato’ a more aggressive and energetic version of ‘spiccato’.
Piet, did you mean that the other way 'round?

This thread sure did take an unexpected turn. And Larry as always I admire your expert shit disturbing. ;)
- Jason


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Lawrence » Aug 30, 2018 10:46 pm

I tend to think of spiccato as lighter, less bow pressure than staccato, as others have said, bouncier- but I defer to those who know more. As a (terrible) violinist, I would play the two markings differently.

What's more important for written music is that the intention of the composer is understood, and since Daryl is a conductor and a violinist, I assume that he's either correct or he has his bee in a bonnet on this particular matter ;)
(YOU can call me Larry)

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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Piet De Ridder » Aug 30, 2018 11:52 pm

tack wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 10:43 pm
Piet De Ridder wrote:
Aug 30, 2018 9:56 pm
many of which seem to address the issue by simply considering ‘staccato’ a more aggressive and energetic version of ‘spiccato’.
Piet, did you mean that the other way 'round?
Jason, no, I didn’t. It has often sounded to me that many developers seem to feel that when ‘spiccato’ gets in the mf dynamic range and above, it sort of becomes ‘staccato’. (And, to add to the confusion, with Sonic Implants, the highest dynamic layer of their staccato patch is filled with ‘marcato’ samples.)

Back on topic though: despite not being floored by any of the demos either — a new Spitfire release has become a lot less musically exciting than it used to be back in the days when the incomparable Andy Blaney was still a Spitfire-fixture — I heard enough nice sounding things in them to make me click the PayPal button. Will be a few days before I can download and install the library though, because my computer is currently completely taken up by a template which I am reluctant to unload before the thing I’m working on is finished. Sometime this weekend, I hope.

_


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by FriFlo » Aug 31, 2018 5:44 am

Guys, don't get into fights about that staccato vs spiccato. I believe we are all on the same side, that there are multiple ways of playing "shorts" on string instruments and a library should offer a variety for realistic programming, which is one aspect where this library lacks. I would generally prefer developers to spare all those con sord, soul tasto, soul pont, flautando etc for a volume two and instead focus on some variety of shorts and legato options (I am missing bow change and dedicated fast legato here, which SF used to provide in their string offerings).
What Daryl probably means is that there is a staccato sign in the score (the dot) and string players will use all kinds of techniques to play that, depending on tempo, dynamics and character. A Staccato on the bow will simply start to become a tremolo at a certain speed and at that point they would definitively play spiccato even without being asked for spiccato.
@Musiksculp: you should realize that Daryl is playing the Violin. :-)
@Daryl: Please indulge us with you wisdom and tell us more about playing "shorts" on the fiddle! ;-)


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Re: Spitfire introduces their Studio Series with Spitfire Studio Strings

Post by Guy Rowland » Aug 31, 2018 6:08 am

FriFlo wrote:
Aug 31, 2018 5:44 am
Guys, don't get into fights about that staccato vs spiccato.
I know. How many bar room brawls have started over THAT hot potato?
FriFlo wrote:
Aug 31, 2018 5:44 am
(I am missing bow change and dedicated fast legato here, which SF used to provide in their string offerings).
I've only given the walkthrough a cursory glance, but I'd have thought the need for a fast legato shouldn't be nearly as pressing in a dry hall.

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