Divisi in BBCSO

Hi Guys,

I've been perusing the manuals and available materials and I'm looking for a bit of clarification on how the plugin handles divisi and how you guys handle divisi in the DAW so as not to "double-up" on the power of the section. Particularly if there might be a contrast in texture or articulation in the divisi section that you've written.


  • Richard Ferrando
    edited May 10

    BBCSO doesn't have divisi sections built-into the plugin, but I've tried to approximate the more intimate sound by using other mic positions in BBC SO Pro, like the close, leader, and stereo mics, and I think it works pretty well. Doing something like turning up the close and leader mics to 100% and adding fill with a little bit of the tree or one of the mixes seems to help make the section feel smaller, so while it's not true divisi, IMO it's a reasonable facsimile.

  • I use core and simply turn the expression down to 20-40% for each section to simulate divisi. It doesn't achieve that "intimate" sound, but it also doesn't sound like a mega giant symphony of 200 players. Overall, I wish there was a divisi option. I'm looking into the studio strings for this exact reason.

  • Spitfire Studio Strings have much smaller section sizes and has combined sections and divisi sections. The full library patches are 8 6 6 6 4 (or they provide a larger doubled version which is 16 12 12 12 4), but they have legato and other articulations sampled for the violin 1s like this: 8, 4a, and 4b. So essentially you can make your own sized sections using the combined numbers or using the divisi patches. The great thing is the a and b patches are separate recordings so they'll sound a little different.

    Violin 2s: 6, 3a, 3b.

    Violas: 6, 3a, 3b.

    Celli: 6, 3a, 3b. And the double basses are just 4 players. You don't really need divisi or to double this section.

  • Angus
    Angus admin
    500 Comments 50 Answers 250 Likes Spitfire Employee

    Hi @johnrakemusic

    BBC SO does not currently have Divisi. As @gregoryd mentions above, the best library we have for true divisi is Studio Strings.

    A workaround, in BBC SO Pro, would be to stack different instances of the Leader presets (solo strings) in order to gain a more intimate timbre.

  • I'm dreaming of the BBC SO Ultimate version with Divisi A and B for all string sections. I'd be willing to spend quite a lot of money for an upgrade if that should happen. Replacing the strings of BBC SO Pro with Studio Strings doesn't seem like the right way to go. They're not recorded in the same space, if I'm right, and hence will not blend perfectly as the strings in the BBC SO do. I have recently switched to Spitfire from East West libraries, and strings divisi is probably the most important thing missing from BBC SO Pro. As a composer and violinist, I find that classic divisi writing (particularly octaves, thirds and sixths in the romantic repertoire) is an absolute must for creating a lush string sound. Anyone from Spitfire that could comment on this?

  • They would have to go back in and rerecord. I guess it's possible, but not likely. There's a set similar to BBCSO that Orchestral Tools just released that does offer something more along the lines of what you're looking for. (I'm not affiliated, just saw the video yesterday and was drooling a little bit.)

    It might be worth a look.

    Berlin Orchestra (orchestraltools.com)