An Undulating Swell Of Orchestral Sound

Spitfire Audio's new ORCHESTRAL SWARM library features in BBC Blue Planet II      30/10/17

Buying Choices

Spitfire Audio has announced availability of ORCHESTRAL SWARM, which they say sets a new standard in orchestral library innovation through taking the company's so-called 'Swarm' approach (as an alternative to just using straightforward long notes by drawing upon the pointillistic effect of having multiple players perform short notes at random intervals to create an undulating swell of sound that can be performed in realtime) and adapting it to the orchestra to enable even greater detail by utilising the huge variety of articulations and playing styles of orchestral instruments. Here's more details in their own words...

ORCHESTRAL SWARM is the direct result of a creative collaboration with Bleeding Fingers (Sons Of Liberty, Roman Empire: Reign Of Blood), a next-generation composer collective for productions that are sonically brave, who wanted to create a new Swarm library in pursuit of composing a perfect soundtrack to the oceanic goings-on featured on the groundbreaking BBC Blue Planet II natural history television series.

Spitfire Audio was well versed in this approach already having harvested this technique when working on its previous HARP SWARM, MANDOLIN SWARM, and MARIMBA SWARM libraries, and this opportunity to work with Bleeding Fingers pushed the company towards a new territory -- to utilise the power of Swarm. Spitfire Audio speedily and secretly delivered an initial library for the team at Bleeding fingers to use exclusively for the BBC's Blue Planet II. It even ended up in its high-profile launch trailer theme, '(ocean) bloom', an orchestrally reimagined version of Brit art rockers Radiohead's 'bloom' in collaboration with Hollywood hotshot Hans Zimmer. Pushing the creative concept further still, Spitfire Audio later returned to the studio to capture even more material with the orchestra, including short notes and expanded techniques and layers, to create the most complete toolset for media composers.

Clearly, the same no-expense-spared approach was applied to these sessions as any other Spitfire Audio library, this time at one of the most highly-maintained and well-stocked studios on the planet. Founded by British singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer Mark Knopfler, British Grove is one of few large-scale studios to have been built in the new millennium, and its unique vision of combining state-of-the-art technology alongside legendary vintage equipment -- it owns two original and fully- restored EMI mixing consoles used by Sir George Martin and The Beatles, for instance, it is perfectly poised to leave behind a legacy of note.

Notably, the signal path on the day featured Studio 1's Neve 88R large-format analogue mixing console, utilising both its onboard pres, as well as D.A.V. electronics Broadhurst Gardens pres for room mics, and the vintage EMI TG12345 console's pres for some of the mid room mics. Manufacturers of the transducers used include Royer, Ela M, Neumann, and Coles. Creatively, the recording stage at British Grove is a medium-sized, semi-reverberant room, allowing for precise detail, yet with enough energy to maintain character and fullness.

The resultant ORCHESTRAL SWARM library comprises various string, brass, and woodwind ensembles, recorded individually and with the Swarm pointillistic approach, using techniques most idiomatic for those instruments. Moreover, many of these sounds have never been sampled before. Bassoon 'pops' to horn 'flutter tongues' and much more besides, a wide range of techniques were combined via the Swarm approach to give a vastly increased sound palette to the traditional orchestra. Indeed, included individual ensemble shorts also further extend creative options by allowing users to add a rhythmic element to their work, while the provision of two onboard reverbs -- a tight 'stage' sound and a longer, more lush 'hall' sound -- makes blending the Swarms with existing orchestral libraries a breeze.

But best of all, an ocean of variety awaits anyone diving deep into ORCHESTRAL SWARM. So if you've tired of static-sounding longs, or have fallen out of love with short ostinatos, this new textural approach to orchestral sampling will add life and sparkle to any arrangement. Join the pioneers of modern concert music and scoring to explore a new league of orchestral composition... and ride a tidal wave of inspiration with Spitfire Audio!


Watch Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson's 'traditional' ORCHESTRAL SWARM video walkthrough here:



Watch Spitfire Audio 'composer in residence' Oliver Patrice Weder's ORCHESTRAL SWARM 'In Action' video here:



Pricing and Availability:
ORCHESTRAL SWARM can be purchased and digitally downloaded (as 50.1 GB of uncompressed .WAV files, featuring 25,565 samples) for a time- limited introductory promo price of £159.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$199.00 USD/€199.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until November 16, 2017 -- rising thereafter to an MSRP of £199.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$249.00 USD/€249.00 EUR (inc. VAT).

Note that ORCHESTRAL SWARM needs Native Instruments' free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.6.8) -- included in the purchase -- to run as a fully NKSTM (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD) supporting plug-in instrument for Mac (OS X 10.10, 10.11 or macOS 10.12 -- latest update) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 -- latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), while Spitfire Audio's free Download Manager application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.

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