30. January 2022 | News | Carl
Spitfire Audio releases APPASSIONATA STRINGS
Spitfire Audio is proud to announce availability of SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS — seriously capable of creating flowing, passionate lines full of movement and dynamism as a next-generation string legato library recorded using a new technique that the sound-specialising British music technology company calls Impulse Legato, something that has its roots in experiments conducted back in 2007 when the then-non-commercial concern created its first bespoke orchestral libraries, albeit all set to infuse music with more passion than ever before with what it collectively considers to be the most alive- and best-sounding string legato sound available today.
SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS has been brought to life to create melody lines that definitively deliver passion, emotion, and intensity, thanks to beautiful long and flowing notes captured courtesy of the talent of 30 of London’s finest string players performing in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, so it will work seamlessly with Spitfire Audio’s AIR-recorded orchestral libraries like SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS — summing up the foundation of the sound-specialising British music technology company’s approach to sampling, recorded with no expense spared via the finest signal path, playing host to the same 60 star string players performing on the same instruments featured on so many memorable scores recorded there for films that have grossed billions between them — and SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS — smaller section with more detail and focus than the SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC… series, while still capturing the beautiful resonance of Lyndhurst Hall — as well as other offerings. On the face of it, then, that should come as little surprise since SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS was also recorded in situ using priceless valve and ribbon mics feeding Neve ‘AIR Monserrat’ remote mic pre-amps into a Neve 88R large-format console before being digitally recorded at 96K via two-inch Studer tape. The result is a next-generation string legato library like no other, helpfully housed in Spitfire Audio’s award-winning AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-compatible, NKS (Native Kontrol Standard)-ready plug-in that loads into all major DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) without the need for any additional software.
Some might be surprised to learn, though, that the legatos residing at the creative core of SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS are actually the result of many years of research and development. Company co-founder and composer Paul Thomson has long been hard at it, innovating and improving the process for recording legatos since Spitfire Audio’s first recording sessions 15 years ago. According to Paul Thomson himself, “It’s something that has its roots in our experiments back in 2007 when we first created the bespoke orchestral libraries.” So it is fair to say that SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS is informed by and benefits from those years of learning and expertise, a time in which Spitfire Audio has been busy crafting samples, creating a custom UI (User Interface), and collaborating with AIR Studios — Spitfire Audio’s spiritual home housing the architecturally unique Lyndhurst Hall where many blockbuster scores have been birthed, benefitting from its globally renowned acoustic properties much loved by composers and musicians alike as the gentle room reverberation always adds beauty to anything played within there — to fine-tune the process of capturing the intensity of a performance with attention to detail, culminating in a market-leading finished product. Indeed, in the case of SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS, inspiration will come in a matter of (musical) moments since those legatos — as alive sounding as they are — offer instant gratification from the keyboard with perfectly balanced vibrato while needing minimal intervention in terms of tweaking to enable composers to write in a beautiful, soaring melodic style in stunning detail.
Time, then, to tunnel down into what inspired Spitfire Audio to make SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS as inspirational as it is. Readily referencing the aesthetic of classic melodies from the scores of celebrated composers like John Williams and fellow American Thomas Newman, this medium-sized (8,6,6,6,4) string band duly delivers a much-sought-after performance style that is now anyone’s for the taking — to the point where the sound-specialising British music technology company collectively considers this to be simply the best sounding and most alive, passionate string legato sound captured thus far. For SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS allows those who work with it to compose with emotion, intention, inspiration, and, of course, passion.
Delving deeper still, Spitfire Audio’s so-called Impulse Legato recording technique has resulted in a wide variety of detailed legato types being offered in SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS, such that the main ‘combi’ patch features a combination of slurred, bowed, and intense Sul I intervals — albeit available only in Violins 1, Violins 2, and Cellos — with repetition-based alt-attacks. These techniques offer five dynamic layers, delivering incredibly smooth and expressive performances, four round robin attacks, vibrato, and velocity-switching between legato types. “There’s a huge amount of clever stuff going on under the hood here,” Paul Thomson concedes, continuing: “We’ve captured these five dynamic layers in such a way as to really maximise the potential for these kind of singing, passionate lines, and that extends from the whisper-quiet pp level all the way up to the full-throated, absolute fortissimo, with all the detail in between. You can ride the mod wheel to get through the different dynamic layers, and that works really well just on the basic setting, but we’ve got some new tech in here on the dynamic front, which is called dynamics smoothing [DYN SMOOTHING]; if set to RELAXED, travel through the dynamics is much smoother, and so if you’re playing something where you really want to be able to ride the mod wheel — without worrying too much about those layers — then the dynamics smoothing will help you to not have to worry quite so much about where you’re crossing over the transitions, and it does a really clever job of smoothing all of that stuff out.”
But better still, says Paul Thomson, “This is a library that you genuinely don’t have to move the mod wheel that much to get a very definite change in the dynamic and the kind of musical emotion of what you’re playing; it really is very sensitive and incredibly easy to get a fantastically musical performance from the library — just playing with the SUSTAIN notes makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, so you can just do these lovely, beautiful expansive things, playing polyphonically, unlike with the legato articulations, but the legato is obviously the prime reason for the existence of the library, so that’s the main thing that you’re probably going to be using most of the time.”
That the innovative Paul Thomson is so sold on the company he co-founded’s latest market-leading finished product is hardly surprising since Spitfire Audio has surely succeeded in building a library that duly delivers those beautiful, soaring melodies heard in scores from the likes of Thomas Newman and John Williams, while working seamlessly with its other orchestral libraries. It is, of course, especially satisfying to pair SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS with those libraries likewise recorded in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, thanks in no small part to its inclusion of no fewer than 11 professional signals — seven (Close, Tree, Ambient, Outrigger, Close Ribbons, Stereo Room, and Mids) mic positions, plus four expertly engineered mixes — to truly capture the sound produced by the soloists and ensemble, expanding and beautifully blooming inside the performance space concerned. Keyboard-centric composers seeking to literally lay their hands on the best sounding and most alive, passionate string legato sound captured thus far now need look no further than SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS.
SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS is available as an AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-compatible, NKS (Native Kontrol Standard)-ready plug-in that loads directly into a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for a time-limited promo price of £149.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$179.00 USD/€179.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until February 10, 2022 — returning thereafter to its RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of £199.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$249.00 USD/€249.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/spitfire-appassionata-strings/ (Note that there is a time-limited offer of an attractive 35% saving on its RRP available to owners of SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS, SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC MOTIONS, SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS EVOLUTIONS, or SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS, who should simply login to their Spitfire Audio account to access their discounted price while it is available to them.)
Spitfire Audio’s namesake Spitfire Audio application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime, and is available for free from here: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/info/library-manager/
For more in-depth information, including some superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS webpage here: Spitfire Audio – Spitfire Appassionata Strings
Watch Paul Thomson’s ‘traditional’ walkthrough of SPITFIRE APPASSIONATA STRINGS here: