We don’t normally cover every sample library that hits the market, but some demand an exception. The Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra is such a case. Considering the effort and working hours that must have gone into this project, the word “epic” comes to mind, another one we don’t use often.
The sampling experts at Spitfire Audio had been teasing us for weeks, hinting that something big was coming. And it turns out they weren’t joking. In a partnership with the BBC and BBCSO, they’ve created an orchestral sample library of jaw-dropping proportions.
Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra
The numbers are quite astonishing. 99 musicians and 55 instruments (sections and soloists) were recorded at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios. For each melodic instrument, the library contains no less than 418 techniques, including 33 legatos. All of that is available as 20 separate signals, including 11 microphone positions and two stereo mixes, as well as a set of signals for Dolby Atmos mixing and five spill signals for an even more realistic sound.
The makers say that the total number of samples exceeds a million. We don’t know the exact GB count yet, but it’s safe to assume that it’ll be quite staggering, as well. That’s why Spitfire Audio offers to deliver the library to you pre-installed on an SSD, for an extra $199. Considering how long it would take to install or download this behemoth, that’s probably a really good deal.
For the front end, Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra uses Spitfire’s stand-alone plug-in, which is NKS-ready and available in VST2, VST3, AU and AAX versions. The interface was designed by ustwo, a digital studio which is known for the game Monument Valley, among other creations.
I think we can expect that the Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra will raise the bar for orchestral libraries not just by size, but also in terms of sound and versatility. All of the company’s products that I’ve used so far have sounded fabulous. And unlike some other libraries, this one features a world-famous, experienced orchestra, which was recorded on its home turf.
Price and system requirements
Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra will be released on October 24, 2019, and can be pre-ordered now. It costs USD 999, and there’s an introductory offer for USD 749 that lasts until November 7. The optional SSD, which you should probably go for, is an extra USD 199.
Spitfire Audio recommends a 2.8 GHz i7 processor with 6 cores and 16 GB of RAM. The minimum requirements are a 2.8 GHz quad-core i5 and 8 GB of RAM.
By the way: While this library costs a cool thousand bucks, Spitfire Audio is also a regular guest in our weekly best free plug-ins column. With their LABS series, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get your hands on some great-sounding and unique samples.