Zero G Spiritoso
Performed by Ian Bracken, a world-class cellist from the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and recorded in Liverpool's famous Parr Street studios, Spiritoso: Live Cello Phrases is a 17Gb collection of thousands of live recorded phrases, rhythms, chords and arpeggios all compressed down to 8Gb of material using Kontakt 4's new lossless compression technology.
The fifty-seven Kontakt 4 instruments allow patterns to automatically sync to the tempo of your projects and a wide variety of chord, rhythm and scale types can be selected using key-switches. The dynamic level pp to ff can be smoothly crossfaded by mod wheel, the ensemble size can be zoomed from solo to 12 players, and two mic positions (close and room) can be chosen or blended. All of this adds up to incredible sonic control.
A great tool in itself, Spiritoso also works incredibly well blended with other premium orchestral sample libraries as a way of introducing a new layer of realism into your scores.
A total of six months combined work by an expert team of audio editors, scripters and GUI designers, with many genuine innovations emerging in the process and eventually having successfully met the initial goals and more, Spiritoso is ready to be enjoyed by the world's most demanding producers and composers.
WHY IT WAS CREATED
Spiritoso began with composer and sample library producer Dan Graham asking 'what can be done to make state of the art orchestral samples sound more real?' It became a more urgent question when one of his pitches was rejected because, despite an expensive collection of orchestral sample libraries, the client thought that the strings sounded 'a bit fake'.
The underlying problem is that however good premium orchestral sample libraries get, and however hard you try to add realism with slight randomness in the quantizing or tuning, there is always something not quite right, a little artificial, perhaps a little too clean, a little too regular and in tune. And so Dan set to work on an approach designed to work alongside the premium libraries, something that adds an extra edge of realism – a sample library built around recorded phrases and yet maintaining the flexibility needed to wrap the sound around the production and not the other way around.
Six months of combined work by a team of audio editors, scripters and GUI designers followed, with many genuine innovations emerging in the process, and finally having successfully met the initial goals and more, Spiritoso is ready to be enjoyed by the world's most demanding producers and composers.
BENEFITS OF LIVE PHRASES
Because the cellist played the actual patterns you hear, they sound real. They are built from generous 6 bar loops so that no two notes or consecutive bars sound exactly the same - there is natural variation. When you hear slight legato connections between notes it's because that's what he played, not a clever reconstruction of a legato interval using advanced scripting. And with fast rhythms, you are not hearing 5-way round robin performance repetition articulations; you are hearing 6 bars of completely different notes being hit in slightly different ways, flowing smoothly just as they were performed.
It may seem that triggering pre-recorded patterns may limit your control but there is in fact a surprising degree of flexibility. The tempo will fit your project. The same patterns were recorded at 3 dynamic levels, pp (soft) mf (medium loud) and ff (a bit hair raising), and by controlling this with your mod wheel (or by automating the mod wheel CC1 controller in your host sequencer) you can make the patterns constantly undulate, expressively following the crescendos and diminuendos of your compositions, and you can even use this mod wheel control to accent particular notes and therefore create syncopations and rhythmical emphasis tailored exactly to the needs of the music.
As a case in point, with the 'Rhythms' patch you can automate the rhythm-type key switches (e.g. 8ths, 16ths, 8th triplets) in fine detail in your sequencer, and therefore build your own custom rhythm patterns, and finally add accents by automating the mod wheel dynamics.
THE HIDDEN POWER OF THE UNOBTRUSIVE
Whereas some of the patterns might start to sound too recognizable if overused, others are very neutral, for example simply going up and down from root to fifth, or straight rhythms played on one note - that is to say, patterns which will blend unobtrusively within a more complex piece of music, whilst imparting the elusive quality of realism, expressiveness, humanity and live playing which is still missing from other expensive, beautiful, premium orchestral libraries. You may find these 'Up Down' and 'Rhythms' instruments to be the ones you keep going back to.
6 X ROUND ROBIN
These instruments have a 6 x round-robin effect created by randomizing the start point of the 6 bar loops, which greatly helps realism by avoiding machine-gun effects.