Spitfire Studio Brass Professional by Spitfire Audio Review

Today we are taking a look in our review at Spitfire Studio Brass Professional by Spitfire Audio. Spitfire Audio is known for their film composer ready orchestral instruments libraries. At the time it as released many did view this library Spitfire’s entry into the ongoing Brass Wars. It turned out that this brass library was much different from the competition.

Installation

Spitfire Studio Brass Core and Professional Download

You use the download and install tool provided by Spitfire and register the downloaded libraries in Native Instruments Native Access using the provided serial. Kontakt or Kontakt Player 5.6.8 or higher is required. During install you need over 226 GB and the library itself does require a bit more than 113 GB.

Kontakt Player

Sound

There are two versions available we are looking at Spitfire Studio Brass Professional. A reduced core version called Spitfire Studio Brass (Core) is also available. You can upgrade for pretty much the delta between the price of both libraries. Speaking of the best time to buy, look out for wish list sale or go for bundled products which the company calls collection. I would recommend going for the professional version, you could start with the core version if it makes business sense to go that route. There are plenty of Spitfire Audio Videos on Youtube to learn more about the library, keep in mind that Paul and Christian are also really excellent salespeople in their videos. As with many Spitfire products Spitfire Studio Brass Professional is extremely musical and valuable in a wide variety of styles and expand when you use further third-party effect plugins.

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SPITFIRE STUDIO BRASS PROFESSIONAL and Core

Core and Pro Version compared

Spitfire Studio BrassSpitfire Studio Brass Professional
8 instrument with 130 articulations
4 Solo instruments
Limited Microphone positions
17 instrument with 260 articulations
13 Solo instruments
Full Microphone positions

Recording space

The library Spitfire Studio Brass Professional was recorded in Studio One at Air. Spitfire did push over the last years the fact that their more symphonic libraries are recorded in Lyndhurst Hall. All their Symphonic range have been recorded in Lyndhurst Hall which comes with a rich and big tone. The Spitfire Studio Series (Brass, Strings, and Wood) has been sampled in Studio One at Air which provides a sound that is drier and can be shaped easier plus it is a more focused and detailed sound. You get a so-called dry library as the room has very little reverberance. This library recorded in Studio One is an excellent choice for a composer who is in need to have further control over the resulting aspects of the character and tone. For the Brass library in the Professional Version having access to additional microphone positions make a huge difference and leave the core version in the dust. Studio Brass Professional is a useful addition for those who already own Spitfire Audio libraries and the Woodwind and String Studio ones.

Instruments

In this brass library, you have the choice between a wide range of instruments. The single instruments come with an extended range of articulation (compared to the core version) and what spitfire calls their extended techniques. Studio Brass has plenty of muted articulations, which in other libraries are lacking or sold as a separate add-on.

  • Horn Solo 1
  • Horn Solo 2
  • Horns a4
  • Piccolo Trumpet
  • Trumpet Solo 1
  • Trumpet Solo 2
  • Trumpets a2
  • Bass Trumpet
  • Tenor Trombone Solo
  • Tenor Trombones a2
  • Bass Trombone Solo
  • Bass Trombones a2
  • Contrabass Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Contrabass Tuba
  • Cimbasso Euphonium
SPITFIRE STUDIO BRASS PROFESSIONAL Instruments

Microphones included are Decca Tree, two Close, two Tree, Ambient, Outriggers and two mixes produced by Abbey Road engineer Simon Rhodes. As expected by Spitfire the Professional version of Studio Brass includes a large range of articulation and so-called extended techniques. Compared to other libraries those normally included mysterious sounds are not part of this version. Overall you get all the common brass instruments and other less obvious characteristics.  I found the enormous majority singing harmonious, really simple to play, and superbly recorded. Looking at the low dynamic layer the brass instruments are completely charming.

SPITFIRE STUDIO BRASS PROFESSIONAL Extended Techniques

Combining Symphonic and Studio Versions

If you do have access to Symphonic Brass Libraries you should look into combining a Symphonic version with the studio version. A Symphonic Brass library would give you that ambient, lush, loose, symphonic, epic, film and cinematic sound. The studio library is intimate, private and dry. You may think TV, producing music, and ads are a good fit for Studio Libraries and a Symphonic library for epicness. The studio version is more defined and combining that with the more epic libraries. The result could be an epic score with some detailed voicing, just add some reverb, compression and mastering effect tools.

The complete Studio Series suits producers and composers, especially at this aggressive price point. Spitfire Studio Brass Professional, Spitfire Studio Strings Professional, and Spitfire Studio Woodwind Professional are as a combination a complete set, add percussion to have a small orchestra on hand. The three Studio Series libraries are known for their clear and crisp sound.

Alternative and combining them

When it comes to brass libraries there are many choices besides the Symphonic Range from Spitfire (Spitfire Symphonic Brass). Brass libraries produced by 8DIO(Century Brass), Musical Sampling (Adventure Brass, Trailer Brass), Cinesamples (CineBrass), ProjectSAM, Output(Analog Brass), Heavyocity (FORZO), ORCHESTRAL TOOLS (Junkie XL Brass, The Berlin Series BERLIN BRASS, and METROPOLIS ARK), Sample Modeling, Audiobro (Modern Scoring Brass), Performance Samples (Caspian, Angry Brass) and Cinematic Studio Brass. You may already have some or many of these libraries, start combining them, the studio library could help you to define a score more.

Spitfire Studio Brass Professional is a comprehensive go the too brass library. Loads of Brass instruments, articulations and possible tone driving mic positions.

User interface & Usability

The UI is a classical Spitfire Audio interface and is in line with their other products released for some years. Now with Kontakt 6 and larger screen real estate, I would like to see Spitfire to upgrade their look and feel and as with their non-Kontakt libraries provide a UI that is just larger and offers more information which comes with easier to read for many as well. In these days their UI used on common high res screens is extremely small. Any composer who owns another Spitfire library will find their way around rather quickly.

Ostinatum feature

With the included Ostinatum feature you can create rhythmic patterns. Results are best with short articulations. It is all very tiny (see above) and you can think about it as a mixture between a limited sequencer and arpeggiator. The design asks for a tutorial video on how to use it.

Rating:  Five out of five stars

Spitfire Studio Brass Professional grants a remarkably wide spectrum of brass instruments. The recording as done in AIR Studio One which comes with dry acoustic. So far Spitfire recorded in Lyndhurst Hall where on the other hand the wet signal is extremely epic and fits cinematic use better. With this library, you are more flexible at the end of the day and still can blend it with the symphonic line by Spitfire. If you purchase one of the Studio Professional versions during the regular “wish list” sale it is phenomenal for the price tag, for the normal price point it is a good investment when you need moderate established cinematic brass sound.

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