Friday, February 5, 2021


SPITFIRE AUDIO releases CONTEMPORARY DRAMA TOOLKIT that is perfect for creating modern drama scores quickly and it delivers!

When you load up the Interface you will see the Articulations and Velocity Layer Display View.
(This view shows the velocity layers of each note played in a patch. Some patches include Texture, Soft and Loud layers, while others create a rich sound from one or two layers. Unlock the potential of each patch by adjusting your playing dynamics.)

Clicking on the Wrench Icon will allow you to enter the 
The Overview Panel

(This is the main interface for melodic instruments. Its default view displays all available playing techniques, has a simple microphone mixer and includes the main feature controllers.)
 The 3rd Page is The Expert View
 that allows further in-depth control of the instrument, showing all available signals and feature controllers, as well as the ability to purge techniques from memory to reduce system usage.


I never had the opportunity to play the British Drama Toolkit, but what I have heard, it is simply outstanding. Entering 2021, Spitfire Audio releases a sequel to that toolkit called the CONTEMPORARY DRAMA TOOLKIT. Spitfire Audio again collaborated with British composer, producer, and songwriter Samuel Sim that has scored for film and television and has won a copious number of awards, including BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award nominations. They approached this release with more of an electronic synth textured layered sound that you are accustomed to hearing in a lot of today's film and television scores. They stated that they used a Roland Juno-6 analog poly-synth and textures from the historic Korg MS-20 analog semi-modular mono-synth released in 1978They recorded guitar, electric cello, electric violin, vocals and processed them via analog effects and Eurorack modules. The beauty behind this sample library is full of evolving textures layered with instruments that exquisitely captivates the emotion in a scene. With little effort, powerful underscoring is achievable with this library alone. You will still want to add more instruments to complement your score, but Spitfire certainly does not exaggerate the 'score in an instant' claim. 

CONTEMPORARY DRAMA TOOLKIT is Kontakt player compatible instrument that needs 28GB of hard drive space to install and includes 7,196 samples. When opening the toolkit, you’ll see ten NKI files that contain the ensemble and all the articulations. Below, you will find an advanced folder with sub-folders of all the individual instruments and individual articulations. There are 72 individual instruments, and a total of 44 combination presets, all included in the library. The only thing I can say that may be a small nitpick of the library is the interface. Unless you have a large monitor, you may have trouble seeing everything easily. I wish Spitfire would use a large-scale interface because the buttons can appear small on a laptop. Nevertheless, this is not about my viewing preference, but about the sound. 

One thing I found to be crucial is the velocity enabled feature on the articulations. One articulation can have multiple techniques divided with three different velocity layers. There is texture, soft, and loud, perfect for setting up the scene. Composing under dialogue or emerging emotion is a time saver with the velocity layers incorporated. The bottom is the texture section for delicate and moving cinematic beds. The top section is for loud expressive lead sounds, and the middle is soft that incorporates both. 


SPITFIRE AUDIO CONTEMPORARY DRAMA TOOLKIT is a compelling release that brilliantly opens a world of inspiration for any composer looking for a superb palette of sounds that focus not only on dramas but documentaries and more. 









 Written by Steve Montgomery

(Composer, Infinite Mindscape, Darkmood)




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