Monday, September 3, 2018

Spitfire Audio LABS


Free VST/AXX Acoustic / Orchestral Recreations. 

Spitfire Audio's new LABS project offers high quality, creative acoustic recreations for the thrifty computer musician. In fact they are FREE. All you will need is an email address, a VST2/3/AAX compatible DAW and some free hard drive space, and a visit to https://www.spitfireaudio.com/labs/




The Concept

The LABS concept is built around the LABS app. This is a kind of environment where you can view and download the various instruments and then assign them to your DAW's VST folder. 
Any instruments you download are then available to select in a single VST instance. They are not separate VST instruments, so this makes selecting the instrument you require quick and easy and you don't end up with a huge list of separate instruments in your VST folder. 
As with all Spitfire Audio products, the focus is on creativity and sound quality with all instruments being very high quality, played by expert musicians, and sampled in a studio with professional mics and engineers.
There are currently five instruments in the collection, and I understand more will be added on a monthly basis. 
Each of the LABS instruments has am accompanying video and audio files on the Spitfire Audio website so you can preview each instrument before downloading. Some of them are quite large, so it's worth checking out the video and audio files first, and downloading can take a little while. 

Video Previews:




What We Think

At the point of writing, I'd tried out three of the LABS instruments - Drums, Strings, and the Electric Piano instruments. 
There isn't much in the way of control with just level and dynamics sliders and an additional effects parameter which varies. On the Drums LABS it's reverb, chorus on the Electric Piano LABS. 
But, as mentioned, the focus is really on quality and simplicity rather than complexity and variability. 


Drums LABS

Drums LABS is a single kit expertly sampled in detail with, I reckon, about 4 different velocity samples per kit item. This means you get a really 'dynamic' and realistic sounding acooustic kit. Great for rock and jazz producers and songwriters. 


Electric Piano LABS

Electric Piano LABS is a vintage electric piano, again sampled in great detail at different levels. So, again, the dynamics are very wide and realistic and there is a 'chorus' effect variant. Again, we loved it. You'd be hard pushed to find anything this good in any free sample libraries or ROMpler. 


Strings LABS

This is a fourteen piece string ensemble, again, expertly recorded and sampled. Three sound 'types' are available with 'short', 'ensemble', and 'long'. 
Ideal for orchestral and film writing and developing. 

Conclusion

Spitfire Audio's LABS project really is a gift for any writers and producers looking for acoustic instrument recreations to add to their VST collection. The whole package is beautifully presented by people who clearly have a real passion for what they do and this shows in the results. 
The fact that these instruments are available in exchange for an email address is truly astounding and we strongly encourage you to take a look and a listen to them, and the other products developed by Spitfire. Those you'll have to pay for.  


Disclaimer:

This blog post is presented in an informal manner for general information only. I've attempted to ensure that everything here is correct but accept no responsibility for any situation arising out of the information, or the inability to interpret it correctly. 




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