Monday, July 12, 2021

REVIEW: SPITFIRE AUDIO ALBION SOLSTICE

Spitfire audio Albion Solstice Reviews by Sample Sound Review


SPITFIRE AUDIO ALBION SOLSTICE

Modern Scoring, Inspired By The Past
 
 A celebration of un-notated traditions passed down through generations, and captured through the magic of sampling, Albion Solstice explores the visionary artistry from modern, folk, and heritage instruments. Passionately curated, this library transcends genre to give you everything you need to create modern cinematic scores.

 
OVERVIEW


MAIN INTERFACE OF 
THE SOLSTICE ORCHESTRA
 &
Expert View
 
(Mic Mixes/Expression Controls/Articulations)


The Drone Grid
 
Featuring long, evolving textures sourced from The Solstice Or-chestra



The eDNA Interface
within 'The Cassette Orchestra'
  

SOUND BAYS / EDNA BROWSER/ WOBBLES/ FILTER AND ENVELOPE/ SAMPLE AND NOTE CONTROLS/ MIXER / GATE SEQUENCER/ FX DASH/ PAGE BUTTONS
 


REVIEW  

Spitfire Audio released what I believe is the perfect addition to the Albion family. There are many films these days that use these types of sounds in their scores and trailers. A mesmerizing atmosphere pulls the viewer in with this modern approach using  traditional folk instruments mixed with evolving textures. Take, for example, the soundtrack to the horror film Midsommar composed by Bobby Krilik did a fantastic job creating a creepy mood of what I thought was a long-winded, subpar,  strange movie. The bottom line, the music made the film. Albion Solstice is a bridge for connecting age-old folk with contemporary.

Here's what you get...


Albion Solstice is Kontakt Player compatible and supports Kontakt 5.6.8 or higher. So no need to worry about owning the full version of Kontakt to use this library. It downloads at 73GB and contains 74,286 samples.

There are three NKIs that include THE SOLSTICE ORCHESTRA, THE CASSETTE ORCHESTRA, and THE DRONE GRID. There is a 235 articulations, and 78 of them found in the two string sections that include legatos.

 
The Solstice Orchestra features ten ensembles and a soloist. You will get strings, brass, synths, guitars, a choir, and a bunch of traditional folk instruments baked into the pre-orchestrated ensembles. The ten folders include The Elders (Strings), The Callers (Brass+Winds), The Mystics (Pipes), The Blaggards (Band), The Hosts (Choir), The Generator Trio (Electric), The Gut Circle (Acoustic), The Nursery (Bells+ Mallets), The Marauders (Percussion), and Individual Articulations. The Elders folder contains three sub-folders- Classic Octet, Traditional Sextet, and the Elders Bass. The Classic Octet includes four NKIs - Main Techniques, Effects, Evos (Evolutions), and Motors.


TRADITIONAL SEXTET include four NKIs, and features violins, viola, and cello (2,2,1,1), taking inspiration from Celtic traditions. 
 
THE ELDERS BASS has one NKI and is a thundering solo double bass instrument.

THE CALLERS (Brass+Winds) include four NKIs and consists of a broad selection of brass, woodwinds, saxophones, trombones, euphonium, tuba, contrabass, and clarinet.

THE MYSTICS (PIPES) contain one NKI and is a collection composed of Celtic flutes and whistles.

THE BLAGGARDS (BAND) has six NKIs and is a made up of an accordion, bass harmonica, nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy, harmonium, and clĂ rsach (Celtic harps).

THE HOSTS (CHOIR) contain 2 NKIs with a haunting ensemble of female singers with six high voices and one low that originates from a variety of folk traditions. There are captivating long pads, evolving textures, and vocalizations. 

THE GENERATOR TRIO (ELECTRIC) includes 3 NKIs that consists of two electric guitars, an electric bass, and allows you to create textures with strummed, plucked, and Ebowed performances.

THE GUT CIRCLE (ACOUSTIC) represents the traditional folk side of the guitar family and provides an association of ukuleles, steel guitars, nylon string guitars, and mandolins.




THE NURSERY (BELLS & MALLETS) - A group of tuned percussion, vibes, celeste, dulcitone, glockenspiel, bike bells, hand drums, and numerous elements of found percussion.

THE MARAUDERS (PERCUSSION) A percussion ensemble features groove performances. Unlike loops, these are real human percussion performances.


Lastly, all the individual articulations; are found in the Individual Articulations folder. The Interface of THE SOLSTICE ORCHESTRA contains an easy mix mic slider, expression controllers, and articulation display. Clicking on the wrench icon on the left of the interface enters The Expert View with more options and four mic mix sliders.


The Cassette Orchestra contains a vast abundance of presets derived from 750 sound sources. They processed them through a plethora of effects processing equipment creating, a beautifully hybrid sound design experience that utilizes the eDNA engine. The equipment they used included a Eurorack modular rig, cassette machines, guitar fx pedals, and analog tape delays. There are four NKIs, and a folder of 150 ready-made presets. The NKIs include The Classic, The Traditional, The Band, and Stephensons- The Visitor- which contains 100 different synthesizer sounds from Christian Henson's collection. Vintage and modern instruments are represented, including the SOMA Lyra 8, Roland Juno 6, Jupiter 4 and Jupiter 6, Korg MS-20, Moog Prodigy, and plenty more. 

 


The Drone Grid is extremely useful in creating evolving textures with rapid ease. You can click the dice icon above the grid for randomization and infinite combinations. I found myself lost in the grid for a couple of hours, discovering atmospheric textures I've been searching to acquire. You can randomize individual Evolutions or everything. Each Evolution is associated with a different color- All the Elders (Yellow Keys), The Callers+Mystics (Blue Keys), The Band (Red Keys), The Blaggards (Green Keys), and The Hurdy-Gurdy (Purple Keys). You can also 'Randomize only Visible' and limits the random pegs to the Evolutions currently shown on screen or 'Randomize in Column' to have a more systematic vertical layout.


Spitfire Audio Albion Solstice is remarkable, and its release could not be at a better time for the modern composer. No matter what your needs, everyone should find inspiration in this toolkit. If you are scoring drama, suspense, documentary, horror, and more, you should get immense use from this. However, do not get this library if you are looking to write Celtic or traditional folk music. This library uses evolving long textures using heritage instrument performances that suck you into the emotion and atmosphere of the scene. 
Stephen King's The Outsider on HBO is another example of how the music propelled the atmosphere and generated unnerving tension. This library would be perfect for creating scores like The Outsider and so much more.

The question of whether you need another Albion library is a definitive yes if you are looking for something divergent and unique to the brand.

Spitfire Audio Albion Solstice is thrilling, hypnotic, and utterly magical.


5 Out of 5 Stars !!




 
 



 



  
 
 
     
 



 


 
Written by Steve Montgomery
(Media Composer/Infinite Mindscape/Darkmood)




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