Monday 14 January 2019

Spitfire Audio LABS

Sometimes I get invited to events in the music business, and very occasionally these turn out to be completely magical. Up until very recently, Yamaha inviting me to see Larry Adler play along with George Gershwin (courtesy of a piano roll converted to the Yamaha Disklavier) was at the top of those sparkling moments. But early in January 2019, Spitfire Audio produced a strong contender that I became aware of as part of their celebration to moving to new premises in Tileyard in North London, and it is a very different entity...

Here's a photo of the event, with Will Evans, Christian Henson and Paul Thomson (correct me if I'm wrong - I'm fallible!) from left to right facing the camera. Thanks to Benbrick for the photo that I forgot to take! This was the introduction part of the evening, but the bit that struck me was the Spitfire Audio LABS, which are free samples that anyone can get from the LABS website, and they are exactly as stunning as you would expect from a company that offers very high-end samples.

The link to the LABS website was on a tiny USB stick that they gave away at the event - although if you visit their main web-site, then there's a small 'LABS' in the list of sections as well.  For the current series of LABS samples, then you need to install a small Spitfire Audio app, which manages the samples that are available via VST2, VST3, AAX and AU plugins. (There are, as you would expect from Spitfire, lots of support videos in case you have trouble getting started...) 

Synth Pads was the one I fell in love with immediately, although the Soft Piano is gorgeous too. We are talking cool, smooth, lush (when they need to be, crisp and open when they need to be...) and very nicely produced. A very effective advert for their samples! If you ever wanted to get inside the heads of people who make high-end samples for a living, then the LABS samples take you there...

But there's more beyond just the current LABS sounds... If you explore the web-site, then you will find a lot of videos , quick tips and tutorials, plus their earlier LABS samples which are accessed using Native Instruments Kontakt player. One of the 'Quick Tips' is from Christian Henson, and covers some unconventional uses for reverb, with an accompanying Kontakt instrument that is one of the best Epic Piano Pads that I have ever heard.

Overall, there's a wealth of interesting and useful stuff lurking in the Spitfire Audio web-site, plus some very nice samples and virtual instruments to drool over. Take a look!


(There are just so many resources at Spitfire Audio!)

Spitfire Audio
Spitfire Audio LABS
Synth Pads
Soft Piano
quick tips 
Epic Piano Pads
Journal Archives
How to make a Sample Library

Kontakt (Other sample players are available!)



If you are looking for Part 2 of the 'Modulated Sine Waves / Gen' article, then that is in the pipeline!