«by SPITFIRE Welcome. Thanks for purchasing Albion II - Loegria, an exciting new array of orchestral and cinematic tools made “the Spitfire way”. ...»
However when you start simplifying your waveforms, lessening the number of players everything needs to be approached at a more intricate level, from performing, to recording, and to how respectfully this material is treated within digital post production.
We’re very proud of Albion I, it was a toughy to follow. But we have really created something extraordinary here, and we all hope you agree the result is a wonder of delicate beauty, thoughtful consideration and technical expertise. We hope it inspires you to write music that doesn’t move with scale, but with searing melody, transparent intelligent harmony and subtle textural variety.
Here’s a brief guide to what we have made for you.
We recorded 8 1st Vns, 6 2nd Violins, 4 Violas, 4 Cellos and 3 Basses all in situ, left to right in the centre of Lyndhurst hall - Air Studios. For mic positions see later in this manuals more “technical” detailing of the front panel. As working composers we debated long and hard the most useful articulations. Aiming for a transparent, delicate and very modern sound. We decided to concentrate on making the most useful library as opposed to comprehensive. So you wont find any bass trills, and the legato range is limited to the instrument group’s “sweet spots”. This is so we could strike a balance between breadth of the range of articulations, the degree of attention to detail, system usage on a variety of rigs and of course cost.
THE ARTICULATIONS:STACCATO - Marked “light” unlike other libraries we wanted the staccato to be pretty to the ear, not just a thunderous assault. These are short and bright notes.
C SORD SHORTS - Marked “brushed”, C Sord stands for “Con Sordino” which is with the practise mutes engaged to give a brighter softer and quieter sound. These are super softly played short articulations with a very gentle attack that have an almost Baroque like quality. Excellent for shimmering ostinatos.
PIZZ - Plucked (Pizzicato) strings, unlike other libraries, reproduced here as played. Loose. We have not artificially snipped these performances. These are as varied as world-class players play these fiddly articulations.
We feel the less players you have playing this the better the sound, so this patch is an excellent divisi (when you divide one section, ie the 2nds, into playing two parts) sounding pizzicato that will brighten and sparkle within thick arrangements of larger sounding libraries.
COL LEGNO - When orchestrating this always warn your players in advance so they can bring a practise bow or even a pencil. Short articulations played with the back of the bow to give a very unique wooden clicking noise. If you’re doing repetitive or single note patterns like say in the opening of Holst’s “Mars” you may want to engage “use neighbouring zones” (See page 22) LONGS - Marked “Dolce”, which is a warm soft tone without excessive amounts of vibrato these articulations xfade through dynamic layers and an instruction of “poco espressivo”. The result is a very transparent modern tone, and is a great alternative to reaching for the Sordinos as so many people do when needing a mellow tone.
LONGS 1/2 SECTION - As above but with one player per desk tacit. This will enable you to create true divisi sections and yet again provide a cleaner, purer and more defined tone. As these are completely separate recordings to the full longs, you will be able to increase the perceived size of the band by doubling parts with both versions.
CON SORD LONGS - We concentrated hard to make these soft, but still warm. When using mutes with smaller sections it is so easy for the sound to become thin, sterile and lifeless. We think these still have a warmth and welcome silken brightness to them.
LEGATO - These are true legato patches where every possible interval within the range we have selected has been recorded. Kontakt analyses what you are playing and inserts these intervals between the notes to give a smooth, expressive sound suitable to melodies or internal counterpoint. They are monophonic and rely on you overlapping the notes otherwise the start of the sample will be re-triggered. When using quantise make sure the overlaps still exist. A good way of doing this is to open your piano roll or matrix editor, select or lasso all and increase the lengths of every note by enough milliseconds to ensure every note overlaps. These articulations could prove to be invaluable to eking out melodies when using larger sounding libraries.
A really cool new feature of our legatos is that the attack differs depending on how hard you play. So play softly and samples are addressed that have a beautiful slow bloom, play a bit harder for faster melodic, Loure (accented legato) phrases and Loegria will address samples with a faster attack.
LEGATO 1/2 SECTION - As above but with half of the players tacit. Again great for more detailed contrapuntal sections.
TREMOLANDO - A fast short bowed tremolando (lots of short and frequent bowing back and forth out of time with each other) that produces a beautiful shimmer on top of (or an octave above) normal longs, or in isolation provide tense anticipatory tones.
ARTIFICIAL HARMONICS - By resting a finger lightly on a string a fourth above the pitch it is being played at, a harmonic tone is formed. The resulting sound is 2 octaves above the pitch being played. It is an unusual technique and requires a huge amount of skill, we have decided to keep the samples with all the unusual artefacts and tuning imperfections you would get intact. We believe this is what gives these techniques their character.
TRILL MINOR (HALF TONE) - These long articulations are made by rapidly alternating fingers between the tonic and a semitone (half tone) above. Nice to use as long phrases but also just little frills or ornaments within legato phrases.
TRILL MAJOR (WHOLE TONE) - As above but with the fingers alternating between the tonic and a whole tone above.
FLAUTANDO - These are difficult to get right with an orchestra. Especially of this size. In the wrong hands they can sound thin, cold, and ugly. In the right hands they can be the most inspiring tool for tender soft and understated but deeply moving compositions. We achieved these long articulations by offering up the quite complicated instruction on the scores: “Flautando, poco sul tasto, warm and harmonic like, poco vibrato”. The players, we believe, then played with little weight but a fast stroke, slightly near or on the finger board with a measured amount of vibrato”. But by giving such a panoply of instructions each player interprets it slightly differently. And by hearing a number of players playing all slightly differently, the warmth and sense of scale is increased so you don’t get the “thinness” often associated with this technique.
10.BRASS & WIND
Albion I covered so many of what brass and woodwind sections are asked to do for films that we decided to produce a selection of ensembles not found in other libraries to enhance your scores in interesting hard-to-putyour-finger-on and sometimes surprising ways. We stayed close to the Loegria ethos, it had to be stunningly beautiful, esoteric and well.... British.
EUPHONIA & HORN CHOIR
The euphonium is a small tuba with an extraordinary range that features as the dominant force in colliery bands and military marching corps across the British Isles. It is almost a mortar like feature in British musical culture, so it is totally surprising that it rarely features in film scores from this shore. So much so orchestral players are usually trombonists enjoying a specialist doubling fee. The tone of the euphonium is between a tuba and the lower dynamics of the French horn. It has a tuning uncertainty or weakness about it that gives it a crying heart breaking quality, like a singer choking back the tears. This imperfection happens usually on the initial attack of the instrument with it then straightening into a purer tone of pure Bourneville chocolate heartbreak.
When booking colliery players, orchestrate in the bass clef. When booking orchestral or trombonists orchestrate as a transposing instrument in the treble clef.
The Euphonia & Horn Choir is a romantic neologism on our part (we understand the plural of Euphonium is Euphoniums) and describes two Euphonium and two French Horns playing in unison. The idea is for it to be used in thick choral style writing and is an excellent way of enriching a score where clusters of cello would produced an unusable muddy and confused sound.
SACKBUTTS HI & LO
The Sackbut is a trombone type instrument from the Renaissance and Baroque era. There tone is not really that of a trombone but for the hi ensemble more of an incredibly soft trumpet, and for the low consort that of a soft horn. But when you ask them to really blow the sound instantly becomes very very different and very very nasty indeed. These articulations are marked “marcato” in your articulation menu. We feel these instruments will be amazingly useful in providing an alternative to horn players which often add an unwanted regal or “proper”-ness to a cue. These will do everything a horn can but without that psychological preconception.
Post production on this range has proven that their tuning is a bit of an issue..... We’ve done a lot of work so you don’t have to, but where you hear frailties these are indicative of the instrument. We hope however you don’t confine these instruments to period or ancient scores. We strongly feel they have a place in modern scores....
However would always recommend you book them as an overdub!
RECORDERS HI & LO
Every person in Britain has had to play one of these little blighters at some point throughout their education.
In the wrong hands they can loosen fillings. But every wind player in the country starts on one of these so they have a place in our affections, and in the right hands have a naive pastoral beauty. We have introduced a slider to control the attack as we feel the bite of the toungueing at the beginning of every start may limit it’s uses. The instruments then settle into a beautiful tone that we feel could be utterly compelling presented alone or behind a bank of woodwinds to give a shimmer of interest. We look forward to hearing what you guys do with them.
Whilst the rest of Loegria concentrates on beauty and detail Darwin continues it’s brand as a thunderous aneurysm of cinematic drumming. There is no reason for this other than we just wanted more! So we got out players to play for longer, looser, tighter and for more dynamic layers. To make the success of our first outing something even more comprehensive.
So herein lies another collection of calamitous wide screen percussion. Available with 3 controllable mic positions, recorded with up to 5 round robins and up to 4 dynamic layers to give you fantastic realism. We have encouraged both a “loose” and a tight performance to enhance the sense of scale but also be able to produce more detailed and complex patterns than before (there we go, we got to the Loegria ethos eventually).
To toggle between tight and loose, click on the notation menu on the UI or use the pre-programmed key switches.
Hi, Mid, Lo Toms.
These Patches are arranged in areas of the keyboard according to their range, and so you can put all 3 patches into a multi* and have the complete menu. There are a number of hit types per patch and each hit has several round robins and a number of dynamic ranges. These hits are organised in pairs across the white notes to ease playability of fast repeated phrases on the same hit.
Metal Shop 2, Subs, Fine Drums As above, these are arranged according to pitch range and designed to sit on top of the Hi, Mid & Lo multi if desired, so that they, in the case of Fine Drums and Metal can provide some dramatic definition. Or in the case of the sub patch, a bit of thunderous bottom.
Easter Island Hits 2.
Unlike the rest of the Darwin ensemble. This is simply a menu of some choice hits without round robins or a dynamic range they are designed as a punctuation tool.
* Multis - To save you time we have loaded and tweaked a selection of multis to give you a useful selection of even chunkier percussion performance menus.
Derived totally from these new “Loegria” recordings, we have processed our precious players through an awesome array of effects, both virtual and outboard. To create an “alternative band” at the very least, at best, an “alternative universe”. These sounds have been designed with 5.1 wide screen film use in mind and having derived the source material from an organic origin that these patches will mix more gorgeously into your orchestral work.
Most patches are arranged to have similar controls to the original band patches. We have painstakingly taken different pitch centres and dynamic groups and created a totally new alter-band. So when you see the “MW” suffix be sure to dial up your modulation wheel to discover the true delights of this section. In addition to this we have processed both front and back mic signals through a totally different set of effects to create a controllable “tree” and “ambient” mic mix. Which sounds great in stereo but even better in a quad or a cleverly routed
5.1 spread (see page 27).
These are the most musical of the Steam Band section. We have taken each individual choir across the pitch register and have given you an alternate take, a very alternate take.
These are evolving drones that very much change over time and range between sonorous musical pads to sound design atmos effects. Some of these also have mod wheel xfades, look out for that “MW” suffix.
Gabriel’s Steam Band/ Multis:
Designed by programming wizard Stanley Gabriel these are tempo sync’d sequences, multis and 5.1 pads that make use of the Ostinatum and FX Sequencer engines. We’ve never experimented that deeply with these sounds and moving forward will be having a lot more fun in the future if ever there’s a quiet moment!
The Byron Tapes.