«USER MANUAL Welcome. Thanks for purchasing Albion, an exciting new array of orchestral and cinematic tools made “the Spitfire way”. Reading ...»
Thanks for purchasing Albion, an exciting new array of orchestral and cinematic tools made “the Spitfire way”.
Reading manuals is a bore, so stick this next to your loo and give a read whenever you can, you may find a host
of good tips and ideas on how to get the best out of your purchase.
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” trumpet 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 is the first comprehensive set of Orchestral tools produced by Spitfire for the world at large. Having spent the last 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 its sleeves up to “have some fun”.
Albion is 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. Each patch is eminently customizable, not only sonically but also in respect to its impact on your system resources. So work on your laptop with a stripped back stereo sample set then render back on your big rig in full 5.1.
If you are the owner of other orchestral libraries you will find Albion the most awesome regenerative tool to liven up your sample set, add warmth where things were a bit chilly, add strength where things were a bit wimpy, but also, most importantly, to keep you inspired.
Albion will be a great accompaniment to anyone’s sound set, because, quite simply, nothing sounds like Albion.
We recorded the greatest musicians, playing priceless instruments in a world class studio, through vintage mics, valves and ribbons, then through Neve pre-amps into a world-class Neve desk. Unique to Albion, everything has been recorded to 2 inch analogue tape, before being converted via the finest Prism A/Ds into the digital format you will be using. As a consequence it sounds richer and warmer than anything else out there but with the clarity and beauty you would expect from the Spitfire line.
We have used our experience as film composers to give Albion users a truly useful set of tools that you will go back to time and time again. By studying numerous scores we have isolated the mainstay of needs for larger “Hollywood” style scores and have arranged our orchestral sessions accordingly so that you can plug in a play and sound like a Hollywood band without setting up endless palettes of orchestral samples.
In addition to this we have sampled some thunderous percussion, a selection of awesome musical sounddesign in the shape of Stephenson’s Steam Band and a menagerie of curiosities, of commonly used tricks to brighten, sparkle, and motivate your scores in the shape of Brunel Loops.
All of this packaged with the most amazing set of customisable and sequencable fx parameters and the amazing “Ostinatum” tool.
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 whole heartedly 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 loading 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 the world’s largest Neve 88R desk and finally via head-ofthe-class prism AD converters into the digital format you are now enjoying.
It’s just about to get very very fun.
**** THE MOD WHEEL **** Without this you will be under using the entire Albion library by about 75%.
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 Sequencer pre-delay back a few dozen ms.
As the name suggests, long, polyphonic articulations with ModWheel dynamic control.
This acronym describes Con Sordino, or string-longs played with mutes, that give a slightly less expressive tone but one that is softer, brighter and silkier and a popular choice for many modern day film composers. Again, with Mod Wheel dynamic control.
Staccato phrases recorded with several round robins which you can expand to neighbouring zones (visit the front panel chapter - page 16 - for more info). These patches are velocity controlled for dynamic layers (how hard or soft you hit the keyboard) but can be switched to your mod wheel via the front panel.
Plucked 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. If you’re scoring the next series of Desperate Housewives or Six Feet Under you may want to go back to your super-tight and very un-real-worldy pizzicato patches!
These are very much a modern development. We have painstakingly recorded all the possible intervals between notes which Kontakt cleverly cuts in whilst you’re playing. We have 2 years of experience making these patches and feel that Albion is a distillation of this experience by providing you with some incredibly easy to use and instantly workable instruments.
For effective use, play in a legato style, preferably with a little overhang between each note (your orchestrator will love you for this). For experiment’s sake its worth seeing how effective fast phrases are.
As there is a lot of number crunching going on under the bonnet it is fair to expect a degree of extra latency with these patches, be generous with your DAW’s pre-delay to tighten up your arrangement.
These are somewhat a bonus patch. Designed originally for our Ostinatum engine (see page 19) these are also good as a soft, two dynamic layered, brushed staccato (Keyswitch A0) or spiccato (Keyswitch A#0)
There’s very little we can say other than have fun..... oh, and unlike a lot of other libraries these effects also have dynamic control via your mod wheel. You may want to turn your speakers down, testing these ones can make people think you’ve gone a bit mental.
These have been painstakingly programmed so you can’t hear the transition between sections and utilise the true “sweet spots” where sections crossover.
These are designed as your compositional workhorse writing patches, not particularly for demoing but working up charcoal-sketches, or finding that elusive theme and accompaniment. It’s likely you’ll be playing with both hands and your mod wheel will be less favoured. If you’re going to demo with these we always recommend a second pass of mod wheel and volume slider wiggles.
As you are effectively using 2 patches you will find your voice count takes a leap wherever they crossover.
We are working on fully mixed ensembles for future release.