Thursday, July 30, 2020


Symphonic Motions Review


Moving String Performances



This is the main interface where you'll find the Motion Grid, Presets, FX Knob/Sliders, Randomise,  Overlay, and access to Master FX and Mixer.


(This is the section where you adjust the overall FX settings)


(This is where you adjust the Mix, MIC Positions, and Overlay Controls)

London’s finest players, including 22 violins & 12 cellos

Jake Jackson recording a session inside Lyndhurst Hall at AIR Studios, London.


Spitfire Audio has returned with a brand-new strings library that now runs in its on devoted plugin. The question many might have been wondering if it is worth owning. I have plenty of string libraries myself, so I was wondering the same thing. What could be unique that people would need this? 'Spitfire Symphonic Motions' was developed so composers could create intricate rhythms, realistic rebowing, and other complex technique performances that can take some time to achieve in other string libraries.

Spitfire recorded the library with some of London’s best string players including, 22 violins and 12 cellos in the legendary Hall at AIR Studios. There are 40 techniques captured with four different rhythmic patterns that include 6ths, 8ths, 12ths, and 16ths.

The installation of the plugin is very straight forward and simple using the Spitfire library manager app. I have never had any issues downloading or installing any of their libraries through the app. You should also know that this library will not take up a large part of real estate on your hard drive like some of the other string libraries, as it weighs in at only
 12.2 GB.

Once you open Symphonic Motions, you will see a clean GUI with a Motions Grid at the bottom half that is like their proprietary Evo Grid in some of their other libraries. In the center of the interface you will find the Main Controls. There are two sliders for volume and dynamics plus a configurable macro knob. The knob houses different fx parameters like reverb, attack, decay, sustain, release, and tape saturation that can easily be assigned to your midi controller by right clicking on each parameter. Below the knob and right above the grid, you will find access to a master fx page and signal mixer page. In the signal section you can choose between six signals. There are three mic positions close (dry/tight), tree (sits above conductors' head), and ambient (atmospheric/more reverb). Additionally, you'll find three mix settings that consist of full, balanced, and close. At the top of the interface, you find an assortment of designed presets that can be narrowed down by filters like Complex, Clean, Distorted, and Simple.

Back to the grid, you will see an Overlay section on the left side that provides a drop-down menu and allows you to select a variety of short techniques like Spiccato, Pizzicato, Con Sordino, etc... which will be played at the start of each note.

Combining overlays, in conjunction with the assortment of articulations on the grid, creates inspiring complex rhythms. Just click on the circles on the grid to activate where each of the forty techniques will be designated on the keyboard. There are variations of normal, Sul Pont, Pizzicato, Col Sordino, Sul Tasto, Col Legno, Major 3rds, and Minor 3rds.

Below the Overlay, there is a Randomise section with lots of variations. Included are, Hard, Soft, Discrete, Smooth, 16ths note patterns, 12th, 8ths, 6ths, and more. At the top of the randomization region is a selection called ‘Feeling Lucky’ which will randomize everything on the grid.

Symphonic Motions also works incredibly well with other string libraries, and the results were exceptionally awarding. If you want a string library that can easily compose those action or tension sequences with powerful realism, you cannot go wrong here.

'Spitfire Symphonic Motions' was a surprise and is indeed innovating as it is stimulating. I highly recommend adding these cinematic strings to your composer's toolkit, and I give this no less than

5 out of 5 STARS !

Written by Steve Montgomery
Composer & Musician

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