«by SPITFIRE Welcome. Thanks for purchasing Albion II - Loegria, an exciting new array of orchestral and cinematic tools made “the Spitfire way”. ...»
Thanks for purchasing Albion II - Loegria, an exciting new array of orchestral and cinematic tools made “the Spitfire
We have introduced a raft of revolutionary features so even if you’re an ace Albion I user, this document may have
some useful ideas on how to get the best out of your new purchase. Reading manuals is a bore, so stick this next to your loo and give it a read whenever you can.
Spitfire was formed in 2008 by a group of successful British composers as a means of producing the tools they needed for their busy work schedules. Sick of dry, humourless, ugly, unrealistic enormously untamable sounding libraries, Spitfire set about redefining the way samples were created.
Our aim is to reproduce the conditions of top movie recording sessions and approach sampling as if we were recording a film score one note at a time. To record performances, and parts thereof, not scientifically created samples. To capture the timbre of a world-class set of players but also to record the room they were playing in.
If you are wanting perfectly tuned, normalised or “dry” samples you have probably come to the wrong place. For here you may find the odd string squeak, a “fruity” note, and lots and lots of “room” but put the whole package together, write some beautiful music and suddenly this library and our approach will make perfect sense.
Albion I was the first comprehensive set of Orchestral tools produced by Spitfire for the world at large. Having spent 4 years sweating blood and tears over what is arguably one of the world’s best set of bespoke and exclusive orchestral libraries. Spitfire rolled it’s sleeves up to “have some fun”.
Albion was designed as a work-horse cinematic orchestral palette designed to be used as the “daddy” of your main rig, or simply a sketch pad on your laptop. And so it proved, many thousands of you adopted and approved of our approach. So much so we were glad to introduce a whole raft of new features and content into our latest free update.
Some thing we always plan to do with all our libraries.
About “Loegria” Like volume 1, Albion II is a totally stand alone “everything you would need out of the box” set of compositional tools. Recorded performances of the best musicians in film music, to tape via the finest signal path available in one of the greatest recording studios in the world. But there the comparison ends. And in so saying this makes Loegria the perfect bed fellow for owners of Albion I.
Where Albion I is designed to provide that enormous, epic cinematic sound. Albion II is designed to fill your 5.1 space with beautiful cinematic detail and beauty, esoteric instruments and approaches and eccentric ideas. All with an essential selection of additional orchestral voices not found in Albion I.
Alongside a more comprehensive intricate and detailed string section (including some very useful half section articulations), we have a beautiful and very British Euphonium and Horn choir, and some lovely recorder sections.
We have updated and created a totally new bank of the very cinematic and thunderous Darwin percussion. A totally new set of Stephenson’s pads derived from all this new material including some truly amazing sequenced FX designed by Stanley Gabriel. A new tool called reversals, and our most eccentric outing yet.... The Byron Tapes.....
More of them later.
We have also bundled this into what can only be described the most genius and complex “simple-to-use” UI out there. As a group of composers ourselves, we know what will make our lives more interesting and inspired and hope some of you feel “why hasn’t anyone else thought of that?!” when you encounter the content and technology we have spent the last year developing.
System Requirements KONTAKT - Albion is bundled with a Kontakt Player, so if you do not use or own a full version of Kontakt not to worry. However if you ever want to do some deep editing other than the extensive set of customisable tools provided on our unique front panel. Making the leap to Kontakt is something we’d wholeheartedly support. If you are an existing user of Kontakt, please make sure you have the absolute latest version. 98% of all enquiries to our support dept’ are cured by the upgrade. This is a cutting edge library and it simply won’t work on anything but the latest version.
RECOMMENDED SPEC:The better your computer, the better the performance of Albion. But not to worry if you’re not spec’d up to the hilt. All programs are provided with a set of parameters that enable you to tone back the CPU demands of any given patch. But moving forward, we’re confident this module will keep your computer busy for many years to come! We recommend a combination of high processor speeds, a good chunk of memory and a devoted 7200rpm eSata, USBII, Thunderbolt, or Firewire audio drive. The more memory you have, the less demand placed on your drive, and having a totally devoted drive gives you the chance to load less into memory and reduce load times. The higher the speed of your CPU, the more capable your computer will be to deal with some of the amazing, but complicated scripts we’ve written.
We recommend an i5, or i7 Quad or 8 Core machine with 8 Gig or above memory. Vista 64 or Windows 7.
However, it will work with SP2, Pentium or Athlon XP 1.4GHz 1Gig RAM.
We recommend a Mac-Pro Intel Based Dual, Quad or 8 Core machine with 8 Gig or above memory. Mac OS 10.6.1 (Snow Leopard). However, we have made the module work satisfactorily on a Mac Mini 2.4 GHz and a MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo.
Firewire, USBII, or eSata, 7200rpm. Ask your dealer for drives that are suitable for “AV use”. We always recommend as small a drive as possible, as the platter will be smaller and the seek time less. The library will eventually take up 25 Gig on your hard drive. If using several large libraries, or a number of Spitfire modules from the same machine, we really recommend having your samples distributed over a number of drives. Lacie eSata or Quadras 7200rpm we highly recommend. Moreover, an exciting development lies in the recent arrival of some amazing solid state (SSD) drives. With seek times reduced to a fraction (0.1ms vs 6-9ms) of what standard drives can offer, we are certain you will be able to reduce your sampler’s “pre-load” (page 24.) buffer tenfold meaning you’ll be able to load enormous orchestral palettes into a single machine.
The Kontakt 4 platform should work comfortably on most commonly found platforms and DAWs. As always make sure you’re as up-to-date as you can afford! If you’re planning on building or adding Spitfire to an already large orchestral palette, we recommend running your library independently of your DAW, either on your host computer (e.g. via Re-Wire) or on a slave device (e.g.. via Midi or MOL). This will assist your load in times, and will allow your DAW to do what it does best, sort out all your note ons and note offs! We heartily endorse Plogue Bidule (www.plogue.com) as a virtual rack/ routing system. For more advice and information about setting up please check our website.
2. Open the Player (or Kontakt 4 full version if you have that) and click ‘Add Library’ in the library browser
3. Navigate to the library folder, for example: the ‘Spitfire Albion Library’ folder that contains your library’s Instruments and Samples folders, and also has the ‘info.nkx’ file.
4. Now, you have added the library to the Service Centre, and you will be prompted to open the application to enter your Serial Number.
5. Open the Service Centre application, and enter the Serial Number - this is in the format:
...and is the same number you used to download your library.
6. Restart Kontakt and your library is authorised.
7. Blow the dust off your ModWheel and enjoy!
GETTING STARTEDIf you have never used Kontakt before we wholeheartedly recommend your familiarise yourself with the basics of patch (or instrument) loading, multi management, outputting and MIDI routing detailed in the Kontakt
user-manual and Native Instruments website:
http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/kontakt-4/?page=975 If you are an established Kontakt user please make sure you have ABSOLUTELY the latest version of it downloaded via the NI service centre. Albion simply wont work on any previous versions. We cannot describe the multitude of painful symptoms you will experience if you don’t do this, needless to say, one thing is certain;
KONTAKT WILL NOT LET YOU KNOW YOU CANT PLAY ALBION ON YOUR OLDER ITERATION.You’ll just think we’re a bunch of jerks and have sold you a DOA VI...... So, please click on the service centre and wait for that progress bar to finish, to save brain curdle.
When you start playing these patches you will be triggering some of the greatest players, playing the greatest some priceless - instruments, in one of the greatest recording studios in the world. Produced by successful film composers and orchestrators, through a selection of unique vintage mics, onto a meticulously serviced Studer 2” tape machine via world class Neve mic pre’s and analogue Neve desk and finally via head-of-the-class prism AD converters into the 96k 24bit digital format from which these 48k samples are derived.
London is a very special place, a unique melting pot of not only cultures but of artistic industries. In one town we have 120 theatres with 80 orchestra pits. 5 world-class symphony orchestras, an embarrassment of chamber groups, dozens of concert halls from the Royal Albert right down to the newly opened Kings Place, two major opera houses, a beleaguered but buzzing pop industry, a vibrant jazz circuit, a TV output that has global reach, some of the finest film technicians and facilities houses in the world. Ringed by a number of world-class film studio facilities London has the highest concentration of orchestral recording facility’s outside Los Angeles. All this filters into the panoply of experience and demand placed on our musicians. What’s more we have 4 of the greatest music academy’s in the world with some of the finest collections of rarefied and priceless antique instruments. Quite frankly we have captured the greatest, most colourfully experienced musicians on the planet today, playing some of the most valuable and beautiful sounding instruments. It is this spirit and soul that we hope comes bursting out of the box the minute you start playing our wares.
We believe that sample libraries promote orchestral music in TV and Film soundtracks and on pop records by making the opportunity of writing it accessible for all. It is our aim at Spitfire to promote British musicians and studios the world over. By encouraging people to wherever possible, to use UK talent, by encouraging and inspiring composers to write better orchestral music! Whilst we know most, if not all composers would use any money they were given to book real players, we understand that this is not always possible. We feel even with a single player though the production value of your recordings and realisations will always increase ten-fold.
So please, wherever you can, try and keep music live. We’re proud to say that all of our musicians are paid the highest possible union scale and are paid a twice-yearly voluntary royalty based on sales. There are details of how to book these guys online, with many of the soloists offering remote possibilities for those unable to make it to our shores.
Unlike Albion 1 the orchestral content is organised in a very different manner. Instead of loading individual articulations, you instead load the entire ensemble or “band” and select articulations from within that patch.
Either via the front panel or by keyswitching. If you wish to work in the “traditional” way of having one track, channel or lane per articulation, simply load up the desired “Template Shell” click on the articulation you want, and microphone position and move on to the next track.
In order to maintain Albion’s claim to work on “any” system especially on your laptop late on the red-eye from NY to LA. We have selected useful default articulations and mic positions so your system doesn’t crap out every time you load something.
THE MOD WHEEL..... Go on, give it a wiggle.
All longs patches use the mod wheel to dial in different dynamic layers. Used in conjunction with a volume fader you will get an extraordinary sense of dynamic headroom and timbral control. Look out for “MW” in the title of the patch or instrument.
SAMPLE STARTSTo maintain reality we cut our samples earlier than others. The start of a note often gives a sample it’s character.
By cutting it’s front off too much we feel you take away it’s personality. If things are playing back a bit behind the beat, even after quantizing don’t be afraid of pulling that pre-delay down a few dozen ms on your DAW.
There are many popular enormous sounding strings libraries out there (Albion 1 included!). The reason for this is because they’re fun to use, impressively easy to impress with, they have been very fashionable and they enable composers to “move” the listener, to stir their audience with scale. But most of all, they’re relatively easy to make. A wealth of players give the perfect smudge needed when looping or cross fading content. The accuracy of individual tuning becomes inversely proportional based on number of players.