Spitfire Audio has announced the upcoming availability of SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS — a revisit of the instruments it first released as SOLO STRINGS some six years ago as one of its first ever libraries. This time they say that it's an all-new accompaniment to its similarly self-explanatory SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS namesakes, featuring first-call London virtuoso single players performing in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, the acoustic luxury of which was captured on rich-sounding 2-inch tape. Spitfire says that it's the latest in a long line of outstanding sample-based virtual instruments for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform, also adhering to the NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD) extended plug-in format for full compatibility with NI hardware. Here's a full description in their own words...
It is six years since Spitfire Audio released SOLO STRINGS featuring virtuoso violinist Andrew Haveron, viola virtuoso Bruce White, and widely-recorded British cellist Caroline Dale — duly name-checked in its accompanying artwork. According to the age-old adage: time flies when you’re having fun. For Spitfire Audio has collectively clocked up over 2,500 hours of sampling time and associated awareness since then — time to revisit those essential instruments, in other words. With the resultant SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS, adding individuality and definition to big string writing as well as capturing soaring solos — whether for film, games, or pop music — is both an absolute joy to behold and actively engage with. With that in mind, think of the solo violin in John Williams’ wonderful score for Schindler’s List, Fratres by Arvo Part, John Corigliano’s Red Violin, or the cello carrying the Game of Thrones theme. Truly anything is possible... with the right combination of talent and technology.
That said, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS sees Spitfire Audio in the privileged position of working with a group of internationally-acclaimed musicians with a goldmine of experience as first-call soloists whose work can be heard all over major Hollywood feature films. Featuring the individual articulations of Jack Liebeck’s VIOLIN (VIRTUOSO), Clio Gould’s VIOLIN (1ST DESK), Thomas Gould’s VIOLIN (PROGRESSIVE), Max Baillie’s VIOLA, Richard Harwood’s CELLO, and Leon Bosch’s (double) BASS — all with an equal attention to detail and depth of sampling, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS serves up an exceptionally versatile toolset that can capably create anything from a single, searing cello line to multiple parts added to larger string sections, perfectly providing added definition and personality by bringing together an exceedingly unique sextet of players with unprecedented control and malleability.
Musically speaking, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is a no-compromise library in reality, recorded in an exceptionally resonant space. Spitfire Audio returned to the the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios to record SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS. Scores such as Dunkirk, Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, and Paddington 2 were recently recorded there, as well as classics like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Dark Knight, and Gladiator, so SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is in good company, clearly. Indeed, it was recorded by award-winning engineers, who capably captured each soloist using world- class equipment — namely, Neve ‘Montserrat’ preamps paired with priceless ribbon and valve mics through the world’s largest Neve 88R large-format console onto pristine 2-inch tape before being converted with top-of-their-class Prism A/D (Analogue-to-Digital) convertors at 96kHz (to ultimately have technology transform them into another extraordinary-sounding sample-based virtual instrument for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform). After all, there’s a reason why Lyndhurst Hall has been the recording venue of choice for Hollywood directors for so many years.
Yet capturing all those supremely-talented soloists’ phenomenal performances on a recording duly destined to flexibly form the musical backbone of SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS presented unique challenges. This time Spitfire Audio needed to reach beyond expectation, making each instrument versatile enough to match the emotional temperature of its ultimate users’ music by offering a broad range of mic positions and articulations to blend perfectly with its SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS siblings. So in keeping with that, the new solo violin central to SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS was created courtesy of working with three distinctly different players, presented in the finished product as three distinct modes, each containing not only their own range of articulations but also a range of recording locations within AIR Studios’ Lyndhurst Hall, as well as different performance styles: VIOLIN (VIRTUOSO), with a standing player, perfectly captures the sound of a sonata (or featured performance); VIOLIN (1ST DESK) was captured on the front desk of the first violins, perfectly placed for adding individuality and definition to a string line — while still able to blend in with the string section — with the performer playing ‘out’ to lead the orchestra; the VIOLIN (PROGRESSIVE) player was recorded further away from the conductor, designed to fit into larger string sections, or offer up solo passages in a more contemporary vernacular, opening the door to a modern, filmic sound of extended techniques, including Short Mandolin Pizzicato and Tremolo Whispers.
When all is said and done, quite simply, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is designed to stand out, but also fit in. Indeed, this all-new sample library sits perfectly alongside Spitfire Audio’s acclaimed orchestral ranges, utilising the same location, peerless signal chain, mic positions, and range of articulations that make up the DNA of its high-quality orchestral packages. Put this way: “They lock together nicely — within the stereo image field, as well as the sound of the instruments. So, when you’re using these to compose as one unit, they fit really well with each other, but also within the context of SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS as well — everything designed to work out of the box, exactly as you need it to work.” So says Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson. And as a working composer himself, he should surely know!
Pricing and Availability:
Spitfire Audio is already accepting pre-orders on SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS at a time-limited introductory promo price of £299.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$339.00 USD/€339.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until July 26, 2018 — rising thereafter to an RRP of
£349.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$399.00 USD/€399.00 EUR (inc. VAT)
(Customers who purchased the original SOLO STRINGS before the fire sale started on March 15, 2018 are eligible to crossgrade to SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS by simply logging in to their Spitfire Audio account and adding it to their cart, which will intelligently calculate a discounted price.)
SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS needs Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.6.8 or higher) — included in the purchase — to run as a fully NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) supporting plug-in instrument for Mac (OS X 10.10, 10.11, or macOS 10.12 — latest update) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 — latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.