Spitfire Audio announced the availability of KEPLER ORCHESTRA — originally putting German astronomer Johannes Kepler’s discovery of the three laws governing orbital motion into musical motion as an aptly-named odyssey of orchestral sounds, articulations, and playing styles recorded in the crisp, vibrant acoustic of London’s legendary AIR Studios’ Studio 1 and presented in the sound-specialising British music technology company’s interactive Systems Grid articulation mapping tool based on its innovative Evo Grid technology to allow anyone to easily write and create complex polyrhythms a la late-20th Century composers like John Adams, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley, realizing ultra-realistic, dynamic polyrhythmic scores with ultimate control while the orchestral tools themselves take care of the hard work.
As an astronomically-inspired trek, creating KEPLER ORCHESTRA makes for fascinating reading, one which owes much to history, musical and otherwise. On the face of it, the great systems composers of the late 20th Century, such as John Adams, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley, have had a huge influence on modern music, inspiring composers and artists the world over — from Germany’s synth-centric Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream throughout their trailblazing Seventies heyday and beyond to American musician and composer Cliff Martinez and comparative newcomers like Berlin-based German musician, composer, and record producer Nils Frahm alongside American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens. Systems music is based on repeated sounds with contrasting rhythmic subdivisions that move in and out of sync, reminiscent of planetary motion — each planet on its own journey, but working together in perfect harmony. Himself inspired by this concept, composer and Spitfire Audio co-founder Paul Thomson harbored a vision of sampling a set of innovative and versatile orchestral articulations and playing styles, cyclical in nature, with the aim of enabling composers to score ultra-realistic repeated notes and complex polyrhythms using samples.
AIR Studios’ Studio 1
London’s legendary AIR Studios’ Studio 1 once again proved to be the perfect setting for capturing KEPLER ORCHESTRA, having previously served as the recording location for Spitfire Audio’s acclaimed BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT — taking inspiration from the electric genius of its iconic composer namesake (noted for his lengthy legacy of fresh film scores such as Citizen Kane, Psycho, Taxi Driver, and Vertigo that continue to inspire today’s composers) — and the SPITFIRE STUDIO ORCHESTRA series of world-class strings, brass, and woodwinds sample-based virtual instrument libraries respectively released in 2017 and 2019. Indeed, its 140m² floating floor (with a specially designed sliding door system that allows it to be divided into acoustically separated areas) comfortably accommodated a full orchestra made up of 40 strings, 13 woodwinds, and 19 brass, recorded as separate ensembles in the crisp, vibrant acoustic by renowned engineer Fiona Cruickshank — responsible for the resultant Full Mix option (available alongside multiple mic positions) — through the unique AIR-custom Neve/Focusrite large-format mixing desk with 72 channels incorporating original ‘AIR Monserrat’ mic preamps and GML automation. All 54 articulations and playing styles unique to KEPLER ORCHESTRA — many never sampled before — have been beautifully orchestrated by London- and Paris-based British composer Ben Foskett, with Spitfire Audio Production Manager Harry Wilson waving his production wand over the magical-sounding-musical-motions-to-be.
Other libraries that have been recorded in this location are Studio Orchestra Professional, Spitfire Studio Brass Professional, Spitfire Studio Strings Professional, Spitfire Studio Woodwinds Professional, Bernard Herrmann Composer Toolkit, Spitfire Chamber Strings, Chamber Strings Evolutions and any of our Swarm libraries.
Systems Grid itself is not a phrase library. Nor is it a series of evolutions. Rather it is a set of detailed and sophisticated articulations and raw materials, designed to provide users with the power to create their own complex, nuanced phrases with ease and control. KEPLER ORCHESTRA can, however, interpret its user’s music and play it in unexpected ways, thanks to a number of innovative articulations: DOPPLERS — recreates the Doppler effect (increasing or decreasing the frequency of sound waves as the source and observer move towards or away from each other, causing the sudden change in pitch noticeable in a passing siren) by bending short notes down by a semitone, so that they sound like they are shooting past the listener; SHARDS — based on particle swarms, reminiscent of shards of light or the light that can be seen flashing out of an accretion disk, resulting in swells of sound that change dramatically in dynamic until they stop; MOMENTUM — based on lightwave theory, notes increase and decrease both in speed and dynamic, from pulsing to accelerating; and WARPED — contains 30 contrasting sounds to add an extra layer of cosmic depth and atmosphere to polyrhythmic compositions, with each sound being produced using the organic sample content from the library, designed to add unique depth, texture, and atmosphere to any composition.
Another EVO ?
KEPLER ORCHESTRA is related to Spitfire Audio’s Evo Grid, but it is not an EVO as you are used to. The new invention is called Systems Grid which you can think off as an articulation mapping mechanism. Spitfire describes it as: Instead of using the pegs to create different textures, they are split by time divisions (duplet, triplet, quintuplet and septuplet time), tempo-locked to your DAW, allowing you to quickly create sophisticated combinations of different rhythms.
Kepler Orchestra’s Innovative Characteristics
The Doppler Effect is the change in frequency of a wave as the source and observer move toward or away from each other, for example, what you hear when an ambulance passes by or the red shift in light observed by astronomers. We have recreated this by recording notes that grow, bend down by a semitone and die away, so they sound like they are shooting past you.
Our shards grid is inspired by light particles, reminiscent of shards of light, or the light spun out at the creation of an accretion disk. The result is swells of sound that rise dramatically in dynamic until they stop dead.
Our momentum grid is inspired by light wave interference theory — notes that increase and decrease in both speed and dynamic, from pulsing to accelerating.
The Warped section contains thirty contrasting sounds to add an extra layer of cosmic depth and atmosphere to your polyrhythmic compositions. Each of these sounds was produced using the organic sample content from the library, designed to add unique depth, texture, and atmosphere to any composition. Some samples were made using granular synthesis, while others were pumped through outboard gear, distressors, reverbs, saturators, and guitar FX pedals to create something completely new and original. Presented in our Mercury synth, all of the controls are assignable to your control surface, giving you the immediate ability to make our sounds your own.
The 18,300 samples-strong KEPLER ORCHESTRA can be purchased and digitally downloaded (37.4 GB) for a time-limited introductory promo price of £199.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$229.00 USD/€229.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until June 6, 2019 — rising thereafter to an RRP of £249.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$299.00 USD/€299.00 EUR (inc. VAT).
After purchase you can download the library with the help of the Spitfire Download tool.