A (very!) Rayman-inspired Boss Battle with Solo Strings, BBCSO Core, LABS Drums, and more

edited February 2022 in Share Your Music

Greetings, spitters of fire.

Here's the last track I made with a couple Spitfire librairies and a beautiful Irish bouzouki I just got and can barely play. If you're a fan of some old Rayman games like me, you'll probably recognize a huge influence :)

I can't get over how cool Solo Strings are. I wish I could find something similar with brass instruments (any pointers?). And I'm having quite a blast with those LABS drums too! I also use a toolbox for percussions. I mean, I literally grabbed a box full of tools and shook it in front of a microphone. Hanz Zimmer would be so proud. A moog sub37 is also here.

I'm really having fun with all this, hope you'll have fun too, listening too this track! As always, any feedback is truly appreciated.

Cheers -Antoine


  • Hey Antoine - really liked this - you always bring something new to the table with your stuff which is awesome.

    Being super(!!) picky, I wasn't sure about the clarinet (& oboe, & possibly flute?) line at about 2.20-2.32 - I think winds can double lines on the same note( or at octaves) if the line is a melody line, but, on decorative and/or arpeggiated lines, when they double each other, they can get an organ like quality that sounds a bit synthy (whereas the rest of the track sounds beautifully organic and primal). I'd maybe break either the rhythm of the line or the legato, or perhaps both, or just have one instrument play it. Or, possibly, "distress" the midi notes in the piano roll a bit so that the parts aren't quite perfectly in sync...

    Anyway - if you're having at least as much fun writing as I did listening then you must be having a lot of fun: )

    On your query, aren't the solo brass instruments in BBCSO core doing it for you? Be interested to know what you think they lack. I suppose a "trombone total performance" (with gliss!) would be amazing fun (as would a solo muted trumpet - i.e. that "Chris Botti" sort of sound)!



  • Hi R., thanks for your feedback and kind words!

    It's funny you mention it, I actually hesitated on the subject of the arpegiatted lines (clarinet and flutes). I had troubles deciding whether it should be as smooth as possible so it doesn't stick out to much, or let it live and be more natural. Thinking back on it, if I were to redo it, I'd go with less quantification to make it a little bit messier, and I'd replace the Flutes A3 I used with a single flute (no idea why I used a flute trio...).

    It means a lot that you showed so much attention to this kind of details, so thanks again :)

    About the brass instruments in BBSO Core, they are magnificient and I'll probably try to make a track with the solo trumpet and trombone you mentioned. That being said, I can't help dreaming of a brass library that as the same mic positionning functionnalities as Solo Strings, as I reaaally appreciate the close sound you can get from it. When you play with soft expression, you can actually hear the scratchy noise of the bow, which I love. I imagine you could have an equivalent with brass, if you could hear a little bit of breath through the instrument. On the other end of the expression spectrum, more cuivre would also be nice, because in my opinion, the legato in BBCSO solo brass stay quite reasonable even when you try to crank up all the knobs to 11. Oh, and yes, some variety of legato techniques would be amazing! And some nice vibrato...

  • No worries - always a pleasure!

    See what you mean about the brass in BBCSO - I wonder if "studio brass pro" (look under "products" and "spitfire studio orchestra") may be what you want on the close mic front - haven't tried it myself but have heard good things (would be nice if Spitfire had a "try before you buy" option but wholly understand why that might be a deeply unwise thing to do).

    On the legato thing, I was watching Spitfire's Hans Zimmer composer roundtable video and one of the things Hans mentions is that brass legato samples never quite sound right because brass can't really do legato - no idea if that is true or not, but I was watching the John Williams Berlin Philharmonic concert over xmas and, on one of my nine (or so: ) viewings, I was paying particular attention to the brass and noticed that lots of the brass lines weren't in strict legato - I have therefore mostly abandoned brass legato patches (much to the delight of my cpu) and am getting good results.

  • Oh snap, I had totally overlooked Studio Brass! I just had a peek at Paul Thomson's walkthrough and indeed, seems like it sounds quite close to a "solo string's sibling". Didn't look to far into it because now is not the time for me to invest in new libraries, but this could definitely go on my wishlist!

    I think, back when I was looking for this kind of libraries, I was more focused on a jazz sound, even fancied a big band of new orleans brass. I checked out a few big band libraries and I can see why Hans Zimmer would say that.. heard some pretty aweful stuff ^^

  • Hear you about this not being the time to invest in new libraries - not least because anything above a solo kazoo (total performance, naturally: ) would probably be more than my hard drive can currently handle (a 2TB external SSD is the next investment, although tomorrow's sale may make an offer I can't refuse!).

    Would love a spitfire big band library though - I've written about 20 songs, can't sing and had my fill of working with actual singers in my 20s - reckon a couple of solo Jazz instruments plus piano might be a good way to present the songs to the world.

  • Agreed - a big band library would be amazing from Spitfire!