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«USER MANUAL Welcome. Thanks for purchasing Albion, an exciting new array of orchestral and cinematic tools made “the Spitfire way”. Reading ...»

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No collection of cinematic tools would be complete without some thunder. Herein lies a collection of calamitous widescreen percussion. Available with 3 controllable mic positions, recorded with a number of round robins and dynamic layers to give you fantastic realism. We have encouraged a “loose” performance to enhance the sense of scale and the ensemble can be arranged in a way that gives you an instant modern film percussion arrangement layered across and, playable live from your keyboard controller.*

Hi, Mid, Lo

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.

Hi Sticks, Metal Shop & Sub.

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 Hi Sticks and Metal can provide some dramatic definition. Or in the case of the sub patch, a bit of thunderous bottom.

Easter Island Hits.

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.

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Herein lies the most curious aspect of our library. But one we are sure you will return to time and time again.

Our Brunel loops are a selection of tuned and untuned beat matched rhythm phrases designed to sit on top and in front of your mix. They are the only aspect of the Albion module not to be recorded in the hall and are very direct and focussed sonically, so they don’t feature any mic positions. They are a selection of instruments played very quietly but with mind that they may feature quite boldly in your arrangement with view to giving your cue sparkle, energy, and motion. Each patch has been recorded in a “tracked” fashion whereby the pattern is played almost identically twice (with the odd variation) to give a “very stereo” image.

These will lock to your sequencer’s tempo so are best loaded straight into your host DAW. We have provided at least an octave spread of any given pattern so you can pitch it to your liking instantly, with 2-3 patterns per patch. These all have Mod Wheel control where you will find dialling up will increase how hard the instruments have been played and in some instances will change to type of beater used. Stagger notes for arpegiatted effects or use the sustain pedal and hit the same key a number of times to increase from say 8ths, or 16ths, or just for it to sound like more players. These loops also sound amazing when processed through the Albion FX sequencer a bit of distortion can edge up the sound and then, when dialling up the mod wheel, can totally corrupt it!

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Derived totally from the original Albion 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 are enormous and suitable for widescreen film use 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 controllabled “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 23).

Steam Pads:

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. So the “Colliery” sections are a selection of brass re-sampled and messed up. There are woodwinds and strings (Ropeworks) to be found alongside a beautiful re-working of our piano, marimba and celeste. All of these pads have modulation xfade control.

Steam Drones:

These are evolving drones that very much change over time and are better suited to single notes or octaves (they are quite dense!) Some of these also have mod wheel xfades, look out for that “MW” suffix.

Steam Atmos:

These are our most dense loops that at points are less musical and are much more shash based. The idea of these is that they change and evolve over time so there is no ModWheel XFade. They are best suited to single note triggering and have real diversity between the Tree and Ambient signals.

Steam Ostinati Ostinatos, but like you’ve never heard. These are incredibly musical but also very dense and long patches that have both XFade Mod Wheel control and change radically over time, they are worth letting ring out, as there are some big surprises in there!

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6. 14.

2. 11.





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This manual presumes that you have already used Kontakt. If the main Kontakt window is unfamiliar to you

please consult your Kontakt manual or the Native Instruments site. They explain it better than we ever could:


1. Front Panel, 2. Ostinatum, 3. FX Sequencer Selectors These tags toggle you between the 3 main pages of the front panel.

4. Voices & Max.

The left numeral refers to how many voices are currently being processed in the Kontakt engine. Max.

Refers to the maximum number of voices assigned to this instance of Kontakt. If you’re experiencing dropouts, clicks or crackles you may want to have a look at these two numbers. If the “voices” numeral creeps up and equals the “max” numeral you may want to increase your voice ceiling (the max setting).

5. Samples Load Status.

Again, if you’re hearing clicks or crackles or if your sample is cutting out errtically check that the rightmost bar is illuminated. This signals that all the samples for your patch are fully loaded. If the lefter-most panel is illuminated the patch has yet to start loading, the middle, the patch is in the process of doing so.

6. Mic Controllers One of the most exciting aspects of Albion. C(lose) T(ree) A(mbient) & O(utrigger) mics. Above these letters are the mic cut buttons that dial the mic signals in or out, this will unload or load the samples needed to keep your system lean. Above the cut buttons are fader controls that allow you to mix the mic signals to your liking.

C - Close mics, a selection of ribbon and valve mics placed for optimum focus close to the instruments.

This mic control is great to add in for added definition and at times a bit of “rounding of sound”, in isolation it can be a way of achieving a more intimate or pop-music style sound.

T - Tree. This refers to the “Decca” tree of three mics placed above the conductor’s podium. In the case of Albion; 3 priceless vintage Neumann M50s. These are placed to give the ultimate sound of the band, the hall and are the default mic position that loads in with each patch.

A - Ambient. A set of condenser mics placed high up in the gallery away from the band. This mic position gives a massive amount of stereo spread and room sound over the band. Great mixed in with the other mics but also ideal fed to your Ls & Rs speaker sends for true surround information (see page 23).

O - Outriggers, a set of vintage AKG C20s placed wide apart to the left and right of the tree. These give a similar balance of room and band but with a broader stereo spread. The effect of this mic is somewhere between the tree and ambient mics.

7. Solo Mic This is a switch that converts the mic cut buttons into toggles. Activate Solo Mic and click on one of the Mic cut buttons. This will disable all other mics and activate the one you’re clicking on.

8. Transpose Unlike the “Tune” dial this is a coarse transposition tool that allows you to address different samples from your keyboard. The effect will be a transposition in pitch. We have included this function with the “Tune” dial in mind. Whereby if you dial up the transpose by say +3 and dial down the “tune” knob by -3 the pitch of your instrument remains at concert but is addressing a different order of samples. With this example of it’s use would be an excellent way of tracking an instrument or part with a duplicate sound, to make it even larger or “more stereo” without the two instances phasing. Or if you are slightly unhappy with the performance of a particular note (we encourage idiosyncrasy and variety between our notes throughout our sample sessions)or mix say of a woodwind group at a point in your melody or accompaniment this may be an easy fix without having to “get under the bonnet”.


9. Purge Unused This control keeps unloading any samples you are not using to keep your memory usage as low as possible.

10. Use 4x Round Robin This refers to the number of round robins* your patch uses, the number can be dragged up and down (1-4) to save you memory.

11. Reset On Key C0 When using round robins there may be a point where you clearly want to use a specific note. This enables you to control where you are in the round robin* cycle, or if you are using duplicates of patches in a surround format (page 23) this will be how you can guarantee your round robins are in sync. Simply program or hit a note event on C0 on your selected patch and it’s duplicates. (You can click to change the default note.)

12. Neighbouring Zones This will fake round robins based on neighbouring zones, this can be used in conjunction with the true round robins (10.) to give you a real variety of samples when playing fast or repetetive phrases or simply to save memory when on lesser systems.

13. Custom Velocity Curve Table Patches with large numbers of velocity layers can very much react differently to different MIDI controllers. We have found several controllers that don’t actually reach 127 even if you make your assistant hit it as hard as possible! This table allows you to tweak a velocity curve that suits your controller and your playing style. The table works from left to right 0-127 boost the bars in the table at any given point and you’ll boost the amount of juice your controller gives to the patch at that given velocity point. To enable this function click on....

14. Use Default Velocity

This gives you a pop down menu of 3 different modes:

Default Velocity - This is the standard setting and uses the default settings for velocity.

Custom Velocity Curve - This enables you to use the Velocity Curve table as described above.

Map CC1 To Velocity Curve - This maps mod wheel to velocity and disables keyboard velocity.

15. Time Machine On patches this is available on, it will use time machine to alter the lengths of the notes from 50% to 200%.

* Round Robins are a method of recording a number of versions of the same sample so that when playing repeated notes in fast succession you don’t get “machine gunning” a rapid repeat of the same sample that gives the game away immediately.

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A.K.A. “Your Orchestrator’s Next Headache”.

This tool can be used in a very scientific manner so you can very carefully design your ostinati, or in a random manner that will, we’re sure, provide you with acres of inspiration.


This tool is designed primarily for the two Strings Ostinato patches. These are a brushed, light staccato/spiccato recorded loose and tight (which can be toggled between by using A0 and A#0 keyswitches on your controller keyboard). However having used the tool for a few weeks we thought it only fair to roll out across all shorts choirs. It’s success is variable in this respect, but shines on the slightly looser patches like the V1V2 octave shorts which produce amazing shimmers, almost a measured trem effect on the faster note lengths. This is when you may want to return to the front panel and experiment with the “time machine” slider (15.) to cheat note lengths.


1. Note length.

Use the pop down menu to select the frequency of the notes in your ostinato. This will then be displayed in text to the left of the pop down arrow and in notation on the sequencer stave to the right.

2. Key Order Use this to select how “note numbers” are assigned (if at all) to each of the keys you’ve depressed. You can then use these note numbers in any order to form your ostinato. Simply pull down the menu arrow and

select one of these options:

Order pressed - This will assign note numbers to your key strokes in the order you play them.

Ascending - This selection will assign note numbers from lowest in pitch first through to highest last.

Descending - This selection will assign note numbers from highest in pitch first through to lowest last.

Chords - This selection will ignore assigning any note numbers and will simply play the chord you’re playing in unison at the frequency determined and with the dynamics you have programmed.

3. Keys Held Simply displays the keys you have depressed and how the engine has assigned the note numbers.

4. Sequence Notation Display A notation display of the note frequency selected and the length of the sequence/ ostinato.

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