Spitfire Studio Strings Professional by Spitfire Audio Review
Today we are taking a look in our review at Spitfire Studio Strings Professional by Spitfire Audio. Spitfire Audio is known for their film composer ready orchestral instruments libraries. Direct competition would be the libraries by 8Dio, Cinesamples, and Cinematic Studio Series.
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.
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 422 GB and the library itself does require a bit more than 211 GB.
There are two versions available we are looking at Spitfire Studio Strings Professional. A core version called Spitfire Studio Strings (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.
Core and Pro Version compared
|Spitfire Studio Strings (Core)||Spitfire Studio Strings Professional|
|148 articulations, across all instruments|
A limited selection of microphones
Standard (8, 6, 6, 6, 4) player setup
232 articulations, across all instruments
An extensive selection of microphones
Standard (8, 6, 6, 6, 4) player setup
Large section (16, 12, 12, 12, 4)
Two divisi sections (4, 3, 3, 3)
The library Spitfire Studio Strings 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 recorded 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. Strings drive home the emotion and are key to composition. With the dry space, you have the control to drive the emotion home.
In this strings 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.
- 1st Violin
- 2nd Violins
- Double Basses
Besides having access to 232 articulations you can leverage seven different microphones and two mixes. You can select any of the five microphone recordings in addition to the three available in the core version on top you get two carefully mixed versions.
Combining Symphonic and Studio Versions
If you do have access to Symphonic Strings Libraries you should look into combining a Symphonic version with the studio version. A Symphonic Strings 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.
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. The GUI cannot be scaled. Any composer who owns another Spitfire library will find their way around rather quickly.
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 Strings Professional has the expected outstanding sound quality across a large range articulation with several microphone positions and two expert mixes.
You can never have enough String Libraries. The acoustic intensity sets Studio Strings apart from other more symphonic Spitfire libraries. If you are composing professional, you need the whole Studio lineup. The entire Studio Series and Spitfire Studio Strings Professional is no exception is an excellent addition for any composer who works on a modern film score and contemporary pop music. This is a dry library which allows you to add a reverb to the sound and put the string ensemble in every place it needs to be. The Spitfire Studio range comes with exceptional tonal versatility, a unique acoustic color encompassing the sample, and is the main reason you need another String (or Brass or Woods) library. Remember that you can combine the Symphonic String Libraries recorded in Air Lyndhurst with this more comprehensive and right in your face library.