Spitfire Audio returns to roots with rationalised and refreshed SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS

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LONDON, UK: Spitfire Audio, purveyors of the finest virtual instruments from the finest musical samples in the world, is proud to announce availability of SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS — an encyclopaedic super-deep sampled set of rationalised and refreshed strings articulations and techniques taken from recordings of 16 of the finest strings players playing the finest instruments via the finest signal path at Lyndhurst Hall within London’s legendary Air Studios, served up as the company’s first sample-based virtual instrument for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform to ship with NKS® (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD), an extended plug-in format allowing advanced integration with NI’s KONTROL keyboard controllers — as of July 21…

For many musicians, the word chamber can conjure up mental images of white wigs and harpsichords; however, in modern vernacular it simply describes a group of instruments that is smaller than a symphony orchestra — anything from a quartet to 40-odd players. Where strings are concerned it is generally taken to mean a medium-sized ensemble encompassing five sections — 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, and basses. As such, SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS features 16 of London’s top string players — four 1st VIOLINS, three 2nd VIOLINS, three VIOLAS, three CELLOS, and three BASSES, all super-deep sampled with multiple dynamic layers and round robins, plus over 244 articulations, including 38 SHORTS, 53 LONGS, 19 FX, 39 TRILLS AND TREMS, and 45 extraordinary LEGATO patches programmed by UK composer Andrew Blaney — beautifully recorded in situ at Lyndhurst Hall within London’s legendary Air Studios at 96k via a meticulously-maintained Studer two-inch tape machine using a stunning selection of valve and ribbon mics, Neve ‘AIR Montserrat’ preamps, and a Neve 88R large-scale console. Simply speaking, it sounds superb! Satisfaction ‘out of the box’ is further guaranteed thanks to a comprehensive selection of articulations and techniques presented in an ENSEMBLES format for sketching and composing while three essential and diverse-sounding mic positions — C(lose), T(ree), and A(mbient) — allow SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS to be used with flexibility… from expansive Hollywood to tight pop, it’s all there for the taking!

That, in a nutshell, is what SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS is all about. Appreciating the rationalised and refreshed rationale behind bringing about SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS warrants a brief trip back in time to when Spitfire Audio’s adventurous sampling served the needs of a chosen few. For Spitfire Audio was built on a chamber strings project that was four years in the making. Many friends, including ‘A-list’ composers, complained that sampled strings were unwieldy, ill-defined, and too epic in sound and scope. Several threads soon surfaced: sensitive and achingly-beautiful quiet passages through to the searing lyricism that made up much of their musical output did not need huge numbers of strings but rather attention to detail; symphonic ranges often tripled and quadrupled in size when playing lots of notes. Needless to say, the good ship Spitfire Audio set sail on a corrective course of sampling, starting with the difficult task of recording a chamber strings range which was shared as part of a private project with those nearest and dearest to the company’s co- founders. Fortunately for them, encouragement ensued in large amounts, although many noted — with best intentions — it still sounded… well, “Kind of big.”

Back, then, to the drawing board. Spitfire Audio returned to the ‘chamber challenge’ by posing themselves a pertinent question: “How small can we go before it no longer sounds like a string section?” 4, 3, 3, 3, 3 was the answer and they knew that for sure. Sound at all familiar? A uniquely intimate group of 16 extraordinary players was duly assembled in one of the best recording locations anywhere in the world — Lyndhurst Hall within London’s legendary Air Studios, scene of much famous film scoring, attracted by its exceptional acoustics, stunning architectural features, and natural light, with scores of resultant webpages (http://www.airstudios.com/previous-clients/film-project/) proving that Spitfire Audio was in good company.

Cutting a longer story shorter, over time the resulting recordings became the backbone of a seismic shift in superlative sampling, a lengthy labour of love that blossomed into several SABLE – CHAMBER STRINGS virtual instrument modules for Spitfire Audio’s acclaimed multi-volume BML (British Modular Library) — an ambitious project to create the greatest-sounding, deepest-sampled, and, ultimately, future-proofed living orchestral virtual instruments collection based on ultra-detailed, next-generation recordings of the world’s finest musicians — gave the company a firm foothold on the commercial music technology map. More to the point, perhaps, that those SABLE – CHAMBER STRINGS releases remain the pet favourite of everyone — without exception — who works at Spitfire Audio speaks volumes. As does the faithful following of dedicated users around the world.

Why, then, the need to now effectively replace several SABLE volumes with the rationalised and refreshed new product that is SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS (albeit one with 107.3 GB of uncompressed .WAV files, featuring no fewer than 72,697 of the finest musical samples money can buy)? In the wise words of Spitfire Audio co-founder (and composer) Christian Henson, “As users ourselves, and as a developer that takes pride in listening to our customers, we understand that it has been an incredibly difficult library to maintain, and, for new users, it has all the appeal of a kit car!”

Clearly the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few after all. As such, SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS’ simplified folder architecture advances accessibility to newbies and intuitive ease of use and convenience for SABLE veterans. It is instantly accessible from the library pane as a Native Instruments KONTAKT PLAYER library and comes complete with a new and intuitive GUI (Graphical User Interface) including an inline help system. SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS is also Spitfire Audio’s first product to ship with NKS®, an extended plug-in format allowing advanced integration with Native Instruments’ KONTROL keyboard controllers. Deep and friendly, detailed and easy to use… in short, it’s the chamber strings library its creators have always wanted. “It’s an incredibly detailed library,” concurs fellow Spitfire Audio co-founder (and composer) Paul Thomson. “We’ve consolidated everything into one package. This is the first release of that, which is the close, tree, and ambient mics — the most commonly used of all the mics, with the full articulation range of the previous SABLE – CHAMBER STRINGS series.”

SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS can be purchased and digitally downloaded from Spitfire Audio for a time-limited introductory promo price of £412.00 GBP/$629.00 USD/€579.00 EUR until July 31, 2016 — rising thereafter to £549.00 GBP/$839.00 USD/€769.00 EUR — from here: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/spitfire-chamber-strings/ (Past purchasers of any SABLE product are all entitled to a discounted upgrade path to SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS.)

Note that Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT PLAYER is included with SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS, while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application for Mac or PC allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.

For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS webpage here: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/spitfire-chamber-strings/

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Sample Logic releases Cinematic Guitars Organic Atmospheres

cinematic_guitar_atmospheresAward-winning sample library company Sample Logic is proud to announce availability of CINEMATIC GUITARS ORGANIC ATMOSPHERES — an atmospheric collection of samples and presets that advances its award-winning CINEMATIC GUITARS family of compelling cinematic virtual instruments powered by Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform to an even higher plane of organic soundscape creation consciousness as an all-in-one cinematic atmosphere solution second to none — as of July 27…

Derived entirely from recordings of real acoustic guitars of all shapes, sizes, and styles, CINEMATIC GUITARS ORGANIC ATMOSPHERES allows for an astronomical array of diverse, organic sounds in inventive ways that emphasise both the natural and earthy tones of realism and the imaginative world of cinema. All are a perfect fit for its inspired nomenclature. Needless to say, an inspiring individual was tasked with creating all the original samples from a suitably sizeable guitar collection — composer, performer, and producer extraordinaire Steve Quimette, namely… famed for his Guitar Hero exploits.

Exploiting his extensive knowledge and adventurous performance styles, Steve Quimette rose to the occasion, creatively criss-crossing countries and continents with a diversity of unprocessed recordings ranging from Southern, Southwest Bluegrass, and Old Western to Pacific Islands and traditional Asian genres using unique instruments such as the 4-string Cigar Box guitar, Baritone guitars, bowed and traditional Ukuleles, Puerto Rican Cuatro, Marx-O-Chime, Dobro, Purgatory Hill Harp, Silvertone Archtop, and much more besides. Beyond that, this truly magical material was duly developed by the Sample Logic team to create a wide range of all things organic- and acoustic-sounding, bringing breathtaking soundscapes to the discerning DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) user — Standalone mode operation notwithstanding, of course! From blissful and lush, dark and mysterious, bombastic and edgy to bowed, plucked, and strummed, those 850-plus presets — produced from 5GB sample content — collectively cover much musical ground, ranging from simple and stationary textures through to complex tempo-synched sonic animations. All are but a click away, while those seeking an adventurous atmospheric experience like no other with a more personalised touch can craft their own original soundscapes in a mere matter of seconds!

So CINEMATIC GUITARS ORGANIC ATMOSPHERES makes creativity simple, ensuring effortless design of infinite soundscapes. So who and what do its users have to thank for that, then? By being built on Sample Logic’s dynamic MULTI CORE engine, CINEMATIC GUITARS  ORGANIC ATMOSPHERES allows up to eight simultaneous SOUNDSOURCES to be stacked and shaped via four SOUNDCORES (with each SOUNDCORE capable of playing back two SOUNDSOURCES simultaneously), so starting with the seed of a soundscape then working outwards with the intuitive interface can quickly spiral into massive sounds! Such sounds need not be static, however, but can be infinitely evolving, thanks to the power and free-flowing creative combination of the X/Y slider and 3D Mixer. Mixing sounds in CINEMATIC GUITARS ORGANIC ATMOSPHERES makes for a new kind of KONTAKT user experience for sure — simply drag the crosspoint along the X/Y axis to smoothly blend between four SOUNDCORES, while the 3D Mixer itself is so much more than a balancing tool with an axis that can be linked to effects parameters that can also be animated with Sample Logic’s proprietary Step Animator and Morph Animator to take things to an even higher plane of organic soundscape creation consciousness!

Speaking of effects, CINEMATIC GUITARS ORGANIC ATMOSPHERES comes complete with dozens of fully-customisable effects presets with hot-swappable SOUNDCORE FX and MASTER FX chain technology to die for. Fortunately, there is no need to feel trapped by a prescribed effects chain ever again as chains can be built and reordered in realtime from a selection of over 20 studio-quality effects including Comp. (compressor), EQ, Saturator, Phaser, Delay, Reverb, and many more besides.

Better still, Sample Logic has helpfully equipped over a dozen parameters within its innovative interface for randomisation so CINEMATIC GUITARS ORGANIC ATMOSPHERES users can quickly tap into trillions of starting point combinations with creative effects. Effortlessly arm the randomisation feature, prepare to fire! The interface’s intelligent randomisation technology will guaranteed generate instantaneous inspirational results — every time!

Time, then, to unlock your creativity and launch amazing atmospheres into the world with CINEMATIC GUITARS ORGANIC ATMOSPHERES… an almost limitless number of sonic combinations are available to you and your musical muse with Sample Logic’s newest virtual instrument made entirely from guitars! Go get it while the price is right.

Get it now: https://www.samplelogic.com/products/cinematic-guitars-organic-atmospheres/ref/4?campaign=press

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Engineer Michael James Offers 2-BUS+ Mixing Tips #DangerousMusicTips

Michael_JamesEdmeston, NY — July 20, 2016 — Mixing engineer Michael James demonstrates how to enhance a track by using the ‘X-Former’ knob on Dangerous Music’s 2-BUS+ analog summing mixer. Hear how it sounds on the pop music track “Live the Dream” by Danielle Lopresti. The X-Former processor “tightens up the low end and adds sheen and sparkle, a different type of harmonic content,” says James in the video.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Michael James has mixed Gold, Platinum and #1 records for a wide range of musical artists including New Radicals, Hole, Far, L7, Robben Ford, Kalimba, Edwin McCain, Maia Sharp, A.J. Croce, Chicago, Jawbreaker, and Mario Guerrero, and many more. Michael’s break as an artist came in 1983 with KROQ spinning his first single. During his tenure as staff producer and chief engineer at Radio Tokyo Studios in Venice, CA from 1986-90, he recorded artists such as Jane’s Addiction, Ray Manzarek (The Doors), John Lang (#1 songwriter of “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie”) and Richard Page (Mr. Mister). By 1994, Michael was head of A&R and Producer at Warner/Discovery. Today, Michael helms Alternator Records and IndieProMix. He continues to mix records while promoting music education via special events, master classes and mentoring.
For more information on Michael James visit: http://michaeljamesproducer.com and his blog at: https://michaeljamesproducer.wordpress.com
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How to Record A Grammy Winning Jazz Record #DangerousMusicTips

Todd_Whitelock_Al_Pryor-WEBEdmeston, NY — July 20, 2016 — Al Pryor, the executive vice president of Mack Avenue Records, and engineer Todd Whitelock discuss how they have crafted Grammy® winning jazz records over the past 11 years together, and the recording equipment responsible, including their choice of digital to analog converters. Mack Avenue’s recording of bassist Christian McBride’s Trio “Live At The Village Vanguard” won the ‘Best Improvised Jazz Solo’ Grammy for Christian in 2016.
“Todd understands how to capture the sound of an acoustic instrument, which is of critical importance to Mack Avenue Records in building its own sound that aspires to what the great labels — Blue Note, CBS Masterworks — have done. We have been on this constant search for the tools that will help us get there. Dangerous Music is foremost among companies that understand the transition from the analog to the digital world to help us bridge the gap to get there,” says Al Pryor in the video. Todd Whitelock adds, “Dangerous Music has the clarity and transparency that I knew Al was going to like. It has changed, literally, the way we make records.”

 
ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES
Al Pryor, Executive Vice President for Artists & Repertoire for Mack Avenue Records is a veteran of Sony Music, Gramavision Records, Harry Belafonte Enterprises, Blue Jackel Entertainment, arts advocate organizations like Chamber Music America, and various commercial and public broadcasting operations. This past year Pryor was awarded a Grammy as the producer for vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant’s Grammy winning sophomore release For “One To Love.”  His work as an A&R man and producer has included collaborations with many artists ranging from the legendary band leader Gerald Wilson, to the great Brazilian artist Oscar Castro Neves, to today’s musical geniuses like Christian McBride and Danilo Perez, and to future greats such as pianist Aaron Diehl and multi-instrumentalist Warren Wolf.  But many musicians and jazz fans in the greater metropolitan New York City area know Pryor from his days as a pioneer of the all-jazz public radio format in America and the live concert broadcasts from NYC distributed throughout nation and the world.
 
Todd Whitelock has engineered albums for many of today’s most exciting artists including Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, Harry Connick Jr., Yo Yo Ma, Kronos Qt., Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis. and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to name just a very select few. His work has been awarded six Grammy awards over a twenty five year career, the most recent being “For One to Love” by Cécile McLorin Salvant which garnered the prestigious “Best Jazz Vocal Album” for 2016 and his recording of Christian McBride’s Trio “Live At The Village Vanguard” captured a Grammy winning performance by Christian for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, the first for a Double Bassist. Besides album work Todd has engineered numerous Broadway Cast Recordings, Film Scores and Feature Music such as last year’s Coen Bros. movie “Hail Caesar!” as well as the theme music to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert by Jon Batiste.
For more on Todd Whitelock, please visit: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/todd-whitelock-mn0000616709
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Native Instruments introduces SIERRA GROVE MASCHINE Expansion

NI_MASCHINE_EXPANSION_Sierra_Grove_1Berlin, July 25, 2016 – Native Instruments today introduced SIERRA GROVE – a new MASCHINE Expansion combining the emotional impact of classic soul music with aggressive drums, hook-laden melodies, and the most up-to-date production techniques. The expansion is aimed at soul and R&B producers looking for contemporary sounds for their tracks, as well as hip hop producers interested in creating hybrid styles by pulling from a wider pool of influences. SIERRA GROVE runs in the latest MASCHINE software on MASCHINE STUDIO, MASCHINE, or MASCHINE MIKRO and is available exclusively at the NI Online Shop. A compact version for iMASCHINE is also available via the iMASCHINE in-app store.

SIERRA GROVE is built on a foundation of classic sampling techniques. The included sounds comprise saturated drums, funk-influenced electric keys, and a host of guitar, bass, and synth samples – a staple palette commonly found in soul music. These classic sounds are complemented with exclusive presets for NI’s renowned MONARK and MASSIVE synths and the MASCHINE Drum Synths. Additional special kits including sound effects and talkbox vocals provide the final component to an expansion rich with the textures, grooves, and melodies of 21st century soul styles.

A compact version of SIERRA GROVE is also available as an iMASCHINE Expansion, for creating beats on the go. Tracks can be exported to MASCHINE STUDIO, MASCHINE, and MASCHINE MIKRO for completion.

SIERRA GROVE is available now at the NI Online Shop for $49 / 49 € / £44 / ¥ 6,820 / AU$ 79 and runs in the MASCHINE 2 software.

The iMASCHINE expansion is available at the iMASCHINE in-app store for $0.99 / 0,89 € / £0.79 / ¥ 100 / AU$ 1.29.

Additional information on SIERRA GROVE is available at:
www.native-instruments.com/sierragrove

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Get an exclusive Audio Assault reverb when you enter to win sE Electronic mics

tw2Get a free music producers bundle including an exclusive reverb when you enter Track Spark’s sweepstakes to win Se Electronic mics

Track Spark supply a monthly digital goody bag worth between $50 – $80 containing plugins, VST’s, high quality live recorded music loops & programmed loops, sample packs and tutorials for a subscription fee of just $2.99/mo.

For the whole of July you can get a sample goody bag containing the Winchester reverb, made especially for Track Spark by Audio Assault, Atmospheric Pads by Ghosthack, an editing tutorial by Audio Issue’s and live drum & guitar loops, when you enter Track Spark’s sweepstakes to win sE Electronics microphones. Enter the sweepstakes www.trackspark.com/comp and you could win:

1st prize: Gemini II worth $1399

2nd prize: Z5600 worth $899

3rd prize: Studio Bundle worth $250

4th prize: 5 x free Track Spark memberships

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AutoTonic MIDI Note Transposer Released

Get in touch with new harmonics …

Developed over four intensive years of research, planning, designing, programming and testing, AutoTonic finally rewrites the book on what’s possible with MIDI processing engines. AutoTonic moves far beyond standard note transposing – offering you a complete new approach to play authentically in the most fascinating musical scales in world history or scales you create yourself.

Combining the power of advanced scale mapping with a patented and instant responsive keyswitch method that is placed at the closest possible point – right next to your note-playing fingers – AutoTo- nic is a highly creative songwriter production tool that is applicable to all genres of music.

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You’ll discover harmonies you didn’t know were there!

AutoTonic offers a completely new approach to keyboard playing by its patented keyswitch technique which allows to map any potential/possible scale in Western tonal music (which is based on 12 pitches) to your white keys in realtime. Note transposing has never been so easy, and this is what makes AutoTonic so incredibly useful and unique.

Advanced Note Transposing: Through a unique and patented system developed in Vienna, Auto- Tonic automatically and dynamically allows you to play in any harmonic context existing in Western tonal music with ease.

Flexible Key Mapping: Offering a true linear fingerboard, AutoTonic allows the player to focus entirely on his finger movements instead of thinking about scale patterns or finger positions.

Integrated Scale Library: AutoTonic comes with a massive library of over 50 prebuilt scale templa- tes along with useful background information and performance suggestions for each template.

Customizable Scales: besides the usual drag and drop capabilities, you’ll also be able to access and edit all template scales in the library, and build new ones – creating unique new scales with    very few clicks.

Intelligent Live Functions: AutoTonic’s new key switching technology allows you to control Auto- Tonic right from your keyboard by reinterpreting the black keys as function buttons – access your harmonic content without the need to look at your screen!

AutoTonic MIDI Note Transposer is available to buy from AutoTonic’s web shop only, priced at $179.

 

AutoTonic comes with its own serial protection system (User Registration & Network Validation). No iLok required!

A free 14-day demo license can also be downloaded from the AutoTonic Website: www.autotonic.net

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