Some work with the Spitfire libraries

I have the pleasure to present here some works realized these last months with the very beautiful instruments of Spit.

These models are undoubtedly very perfectible, and I am interested in any advice and criticism. Do not hesitate !

(Also, my apologies in advance for my shaky English)...

  • Les oubliés : Based on an orchestrated piano improvisation. Mix of BBCSO, Appassionnata and solo strings
  • Extérieur jour Music to illustrate this presentation slideshow (windows is the subject). Library: violin solo, Appassionata, BBCSO harp
  • The drum More personal and contemporary... (even dissonant)... Recent orchestration of a project for piano and voice composed when I was a student, 30 years ago... Version for solo string quintet (mixture of BBCSO leader and string solo) woodwind quintet, solo horn, harp and percussion (BBCSO)
  • Der Lindenbaum (Schubert) I sometimes have fun doing some transcriptions or orchestrations. Here is my first experience of the BBCSO library.a lot of clumsiness and mistakes but I was very happy to find these magnificent instruments!I dreamed about it when I was young and we started lunch with our Commodore Amiga... It was a science fiction dream. I never imagined that we could one day have such tools. Moreover, I was not quite up to date in handling the Midi tools in reaper.

Thank you very much for your kind listening.

Do not hesitate to give me your opinions.

Thanks in advance


  • Krisp
    edited June 2022

    recent orchestral work

    Spitfire bbcso, spitfire solo violin and… my voice…

  • Hello,

    New link to works for voice and orchestra, composed when I was in my twenties, and orchestrated this month with the fabulous BBCSO. (and some solo strings). What a pleasure ! I push here the agility of this library to its limits and I am enthusiastic!

  • I can't believe you have no reactions on your work here, honestly.

    I'm just now listening to your first clip up there and it's just mesmerizing and hauntingly beautiful. I will continue to listen through them all, but right now I almost feel like apologizing for everyone for not reacting to this. No idea why that really is. You are sharing truly beautiful works here!

    I love that you truly lean into your composition and allow it to engulf all around you with no fear to give it all the time it needs. Very inspiring!

    Thanks a lot for sharing all this and I'm looking forward to listening on... 😊

  • Hello,

    Thank you very much for your lovely comment!

    Your attentive listening is very encouraging.

    I'm not surprised not to get too many feedbacks. The contributions are multiple and it is very difficult to keep up to date and listen to everything. I myself admit to being very late in discovering the contributions of members of this forum.

    For example, I am currently listening to your magnificent Ahnenträume, a work full of inventiveness, surprises and delicacy. So I return your compliment!

    In any case, I am delighted to be able to use the Spitfire libraries to refine my projects.

    It's really all I dreamed of during my studies, a long time ago. I measure the immense technological progress accomplished since these decades.

    I would add that the interest of such libraries is also the room for progression that they allow: a bit like the study of a musical instrument whose subtleties and reactions you have to learn to know. Exciting !

    I also find that SpitfireAudio gives us a beautiful human face through all the content, tutorials, videos.

  • here is a new orchestration of a piece composed when I was 20 years old, for voice and piano.

    I give you here the original version first (with piano) and then the orchestrated version.

    Here I use the BBCSO pro, Appassionnata str, solo string libraries.

    I was once again delighted to be able to give free rein to my sonic imagination thanks to the magnificent creations of Spit! It's very inspiring.

    For the moment I haven't really tried to leave massively the original proposed mix although I use some extra microphones on certain solo instruments, according to the needs. (with more than 110 tracks, it's quite difficult to find a solution to change the mix as a whole, at least with Reaper, so I haven't solved this question perfectly yet). Moreover, not using a Keyswitch function, I often find myself having to multiply the instances of the same desk, to vary the game modes, which increases the number of tracks...

    Finally, as you can guess, I am extremely satisfied with the result!

    De profundis , song and piano

    de profundis, orchestral version :

  • new project, this time for a different instrumentation.

    I originally wrote this piece for piano and voice. (still as part of my studies, in 1992)...

    I decided to make an adaptation of it by taking the piano as it was written, the voice as well, but adding a string quartet. I indeed thought that the color of the quartet added a part of mystery to this evocation, to say the least sinister !

    For this, I use Spit's solo string library, which I am very happy with. I admit that the first attempts to get started a few weeks ago on other projects were not easy because I was unfamiliar with Kontakt, which I like much less than the dedicated Spitfire plugin. But I learned little by little to discover and appreciate the game modes as well as familiarize myself with these libraries, to mix them as well as possible in order to find the most convincing and "real" sound possible. I hope to get close...

    your comments, as always, are welcome !

    Good listening and thank you for your advice.

    (I also have on my Youtube page the original version for piano and voice, recorded a few days earlier this summer).

    The image comes from my Flickr gallery

  • This orchestration was well done!

    I even tried listening to them both at the same time, and it sounds amazing even blended together!

    If I understood correctly, yes sometimes I find that separating articulations into different tracks can be frustrating due to the lack of keyswitch. But sometimes that's a good idea, especially when it comes to mixing the two articulations!

    Really liked the build-up and the really subtle slowing down and speeding up. I think the use of dynamics and expression made it the most realistic here.

  • I always use some form of rubato, even when an initial tempo is determined.

    Also, and it takes a lot of time, but it's really exciting, I edit the dynamic envelopes (and sometimes expression envelopes when I need an extension) at length. This work is a bit like that of a recording session, when you have to adjust the scales (we say balance in France) but I guess the term live mix is ​​more appropriate (I don't know the word in English).

    Sometimes, a small game element is modified and the whole color of a passage is affected.

    I am also very concerned with questions of realistic balance between instruments and more particularly the singing voice (being a singer by profession, and often finding myself confronted with these problems in reality).

    In this, I really find that the work on Spitfire presents a completely realistic aspect: certain passages whose orchestration is too dense, in volume or frequency, cover the vocal line. I'm not trying to cheat on these points, but to try to get closer to realistic constraints.

    Anyway, thank you for your kind comment.

  • here is now an instrumentation of a piece for piano and voice by Jules Massenet.

    I've always liked the very interior and pensive first part, melancholy, a bit haunting with this perpetual movement of the accompaniment on which a suspended vocal line is placed.

    In short, I wanted to look for a color a little like Gabriel Fauré (so very French...) by using an adapted force: harp, choir and string orchestra.

    It was also an opportunity to test my new acquisition "Epic choir". On this subject, I am a little divided. The color of the high voices is beautiful, the low voices a little weak, especially on the tenor side. The principle of mixing does not necessarily help to have a good dissociation of the consoles, but it is obviously the goal of such a library that can be used quickly.

    So, the vocal result is pretty good with the closed mouth effect, and very acceptable with the "aaah", if you don't push the dynamics too much... (otherwise it can bring out some oddities, I think).

    Moreover, the "turning" patch lacks a bit of homogeneity, giving too much presence to certain individualities with a somewhat approximate accuracy.

    On the whole it is therefore usable with precautions.

    I especially regret two things: the absence of a legato patch, because you have to cheat as much as possible to avoid the artificial side of the sequences. And also the limitation in the treble at G for female voices, which is a tone below the LABS choir. So I had to use Labs choir as a complement for some notes. And I find that LABS choir gives a better result on the (only) rotating patch.

    in short, I nitpick, especially for the very affordable price and quite usable for accompanying atmospheres (it seems to me that it is its role). However, we should not try to entrust this choir with a central role and it would certainly be appropriate in this case to opt for the very fine production of Eric Whitacre's choir, but which is worth its price!

    Merci pour vos commentaires ;-)

  • Love the mysterious start to the piece, then the building, with the strings incorporated into the piece. Love it.

    The end was also really well too. The minor chords until they turn into major with the mention of spring.

    Also, l love your voice in the video!

  • Oh thank you for your nice comment.

    It's a French melody of which I especially appreciate the first part with this strange lullaby. I find that Massenet is a little too academic in the second part, but the times demand that and it sometimes happens that the 19th century in France is a little mannered.

    We have to accept it. It is probably a little later that the genre for piano and voice will find its apogee in France, with impressionism, and the works for Piano and voice of Debussy, Ravel then the modern era of Poulenc and a few others.

    I don't know the English repertoire of the 19th century well, and I don't know if we have the same characteristics as on our side of the Channel...

    in any case, the instrumentation exercise in period style was interesting and the opportunity to test what the choir had in its guts...

    I also wanted to try to deploy a great lyrical flight of the cellos for the second part, but I think I didn't find enough hook, maybe my mix, maybe a bad choice of microphones in the mix of the Spitfire plug-in. I find that the result lacks a bit of density, precisely to envelop the voice more and avoid leaving it too bare in its slightly caricatural lyricism... (sometimes orchestration is a good way to hide dust under the rug!)...

    In any case, thank you, the comments are a pleasure to read!

  • jamesnic7
    edited August 2022


    I am about half way through these.

    Beautiful, haunting and moving. I agree with the other comments about the lack of reaction. I can only assume that not many people (like myself) feel qualified to criticise your work. Truly wonderful. 👏

    Can I ask do you work just in a DAW or do you use a scoring programme?


  • jamesnic7
    edited August 2022

    Forgot to mention. The images are also terrific.

  • Oh thank you ! And if I have few reactions on this thread, yours as well as the previous ones touch me a lot!

    So, I use reaper for a lot of things. The "reel" recordings, with beautiful microphones (including Schoeps which I love associated here with the Spitfire libraries).

    And initially, for musical notation, it's a notebook and a pencil, very old school...

    When the scores are already written (as is the case for old vocal and piano works), I orchestrate directly on the DAW using several templates that I have created as needed.

    Sometimes I also improvise on the piano, record a few sequences and then orchestrate them by dispatching the voices to the various families of instruments.

    I happened to have to provide a large arrangement score for an order. So I used the simple (and free) program Musescore, which really allows you to make very nice edits without worry.

    On the other hand, I have never associated an automatic musical notation tool with reaper. I never quantize the notes, preferring to enter each voice by hand on a keyboard which causes a lot of notation errors. (maybe there are solutions?).

    Ah, another thing that I'm particularly happy about and that didn't exist in my time: streaming, combined with the possibility of downloading free sheet music. With a tablet, it is so easy nowadays to listen to a symphony, any music, while observing the score and dissecting it all...

    It was of course possible, but you had to spend endless time in libraries and find the right recordings. So these recent tools have freed up a lot of space for students and that's pretty fantastic, isn't it!

  • Yeah, maybe reaper has a "piano roll" type of function? That usually fixes most of my errors.

    I like the idea of not quantizing however. I usually do just a hint of it (30-40%). Not quantizing makes everything sound much more realistic. After all, humans are not perfect robots 😁 the imperfections are what makes it realistic. Some I also do sometimes is changing the velocity of the notes, I vary them for them to sound realistic - particularly on the short notes.

  • gdw1_
    edited August 2022

    I have just listened to 'Les oubliés' and how you subtly increase and decreases the dissonance in this piece is very moving. The quality of your work is inspiring and I'm looking forward to listening to the other pieces you have shared.

    I've also enjoyed reading this thread as it's exactly the reason why I joined this forum. While traditional melodies might be more popular, personally I prefer music with at least some tension or dissonance. After the deaths of two of my favourite composers in recent years, Krzysztof Penderecki and John Tavener, I felt that the orchestral music I enjoyed was no more.

    Discovering Spitfire Audio, and composers such as yourself creating exactly the music I enjoy, has really got me excited about orchestral music again in a way that I never thought possible.

  • Oh ! Thank you very much for listening!

    I too love the music of Penderecki and Tavener and I have had the chance to interpret it many times. (choral music).

    Another great pleasure with the tools of Spitfire, is really the impression of being in front of a real musical instrument, whose possibilities are absolutely infinite; also the impression that nothing is frozen, as in "real" music on stage: as long as we take up a solo, a small element, a small musical twist, it will never be exactly the same thing, because we will have varied the dynamics a little, or the timing or the vibrato. So the possibilities are endless and I find that very inspiring.

    At the moment, I'm always busy (when I have free time and when I neglect my personal work), orchestrating a few pieces composed in my youth. The dissonances are quite numerous there (and yet at the time, in my circle of studies, I was always too tonal for my peers... Our time is much more permissive with the use of tonality (or at least a form of tonality) than what I knew 30 years ago. In France, the revival of neo-tonal composers made it possible to no longer be qualified as retrograde when using these resources. When I was a student, we were here again under the influence of god Father Boulez, and the deviations towards tonal music were frowned upon. Of course, I may be exaggerating a little, because we already saw these currents dawning but in the very academic classes, it had to flee the tonality like cholera...

    But since I'm not a composer, I'm also lucky to have the right to make the music I like, without constraint!

  • Hello everyone, I am pleased to share with you my latest summer work. This is an orchestration of another piece composed in my youth, on a poem by Jules Laforgue.

    It is a vast cantata for baritone, originally composed with piano accompaniment almost 30 years ago.

    This piece may be disconcerting at first by its length. Nearly 11 minutes, with a follow-up approach as close as possible to the meanders of the poem, by turns stormy or dreamlike.

    The writing is situated on the border between tonality and free atonality, with the use of work on certain particular motifs which emerge or disappear, in counterpoint to the poetic text (I will not go into the details of my cooking). ..

    So I used the beautiful Spitfire libraries, starting with my dear BBCSO pro.

    I also use the appassionnata string library whose more intimate sound corresponds well to certain passages. Finally, some violin solos in the solo string library (but few).

    The voice is recorded in ORTF with a couple of Schoeps MK4.

    Everything is matched by a reverb drawn from the Bricasti M7 (plugin)...

    I extend a little to present this work, but it must be said that it took me a lot of time. The piece is long, it travels a lot in different landscapes, and required a lot of attention.

    While knowing (and this is another strength of the Spitfire samples), that in my opinion we must keep at all costs the realism of a credible balance between the vocal line and the instruments, even if it means sometimes having an effect of mass covering the soloist, as it might in reality. (it would take a Baritone Verdien to sing that, which I am not, unfortunately).

    In any case, I still had a lot of joy in finally transcribing to the orchestra what was contained in my imagination when I originally composed this piece for piano, without thinking that I could one day transcribe with as much precision all these notes to the orchestra... and what an orchestra!!!

    I also submit the original version, for piano and voice.

    piano writing is very complex, requires a lot of work (and very big hands...)

    The orchestra was needed!

    Thank you for your comments, (if you have the courage to listen to all this!)

  • I am late to the party !! But what wonderful work you are doing. And some lovely video work as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks !

  • Krisp
    edited November 2022

    Hi there,

    Here is a piece that I called "adieu vendanges" (in French).

    For orchestra, several motifs of which are taken from a previous piece for voice and piano (l'hiver qui vient).

    I use here the BBCSO orchestra (pro) as well as the Appassionnata library for the beginning of the strings.

    The character is not strictly minimalist but not far, neither quite tonal nor really atonal.... I probably should have developed several elements more, but I'm sticking with this "miniature" for the moment. My wife thinks it lacks a strong theme, I can only agree with him unfortunately ! It's a bit like hearing here the accompaniment of something missing, and I can't find what... The voice maybe...

    What I can say is that the photo was taken about a year ago, maybe, not far from my house, with my old film camera and an Ilford HP5 plus film (you are very good, English friends, with all these good things that you know how to do so well, photo film, wonderful samples)...

  • Krisp
    edited November 2022

    Here something very different. A little game with my libraries, including Epic Choir, some Labs, and other synths under Komplete Kontrol.

    Do not look for a direct link between the sequences showing a vumeter. I plugged a small preamp into a headphone output, just to make the needle dance! I also recorded my wooden metronome and the ticking of a watch ;O)

  • Hi there,

    I had fun, following a little challenge with friends, to take up the theme of an exercise method for singers.

    The "practical method of learning Italian singing" by Vaccaj is a kind of old bible that does not fail to attract sarcasm because it really symbolizes the dusty singing lessons, in very classic salon and bourgeois styles.

    So I didn't change a note or Lyrics of the sung part but totally arranged with my greasy French sauce, thanks to the BBCSO pro.

    It's a form of stylistic shift for those who know the original piece which is originally a very nice bluette and here takes more the form of a funer al march.

    good listening !


  • Krisp
    edited December 2022

    Hi there,

    My last piece of music of the year will be a movement for solo cello and orchestra.

    As I said before, I haven't written much music since my youth but SpitfireAudio made me want to reconnect with this field. My goal here was to make a short play, a bit humorous. Finally, I was a bit overwhelmed and it's not that short!

    The challenge was twofold for me: to get back on my feet in writing, to try to animate the orchestra to avoid remaining too static (it was a bit of a problem with my previous pieces written this year). And the other challenge was trying to give the solo cello as much credibility as possible. I had first tried using the Solo String samples, but found BBCSO pro's Cello Leader to be more suitable. (really well recorded by Spitfire and therefore very practical to sound in almost all postures!)

    The visual illustration is a jumbled mix of photos from my manuscript.

    The title is a very bad assessment that I had in middle school by my English teacher on a class report! it said more precisely "the alert level has been reached". I thought it sounded even better in English than in French.

    Good preparation for the next New Year's Eve!

  • Hello.

    this message unrelated to my compositions, just to let you know that I was the candid victim of a basic scam!

    I had posted a small comment under a SpitfireAudio video, concerning the AbbeyRoad studios. This was followed by a notification that my comment had been selected for a surprise gift, as promised by Spitfire. I stupidly followed the telegram link, which seemed to have the logo.

    The person to whom I spoke (laboriously because my telephone is in French and corrects English unfortunately), the person was therefore made pass by Paul Thomson in person!!! I should have been more wary all the same... It was quite late and as I'm a Spitfire fan, I was the person dedicated to being easy prey.

    So this nickname Paul Thomson asked me to pay shipping costs (70 dollars) to receive this beautiful gift worth 1400 in France. And I... I paid.

    he then asked me to repay to unblock the initial transaction, which according to him did not work... I refused.

    When I hung up, I was well aware of my mistakes, even if the initial hook seemed credible to me. (at the moment...)

    And then last night, again, and late, I was revived by this so-called Paul, who asks me this time to pay again because he supposedly needs to unblock the sending that he has already financed... I hangs around and no longer responds.

    I will still try to report to Spitfire that a usurper is acting on their behalf, then turn to the police and probably Paypal, although with little hope.

    And yes, yet suspicious, I was fooled like a naive!

    good new year friends composers from england and elsewhere.


    PS. I think I deserved to be scammed because I'm really stupid!

  • Krisp
    edited February 2

    A small question if an administrator came to pass:

    I can't post on this thread anymore. It's very strange.My messages are sent and notified pending verification... Everything looks to me though ok

    Thank you in advance...

  • Hello, je retente de poster sur ce fil ma dernière compo

    BBCSO pro


    EWhitacre Choir

    Solo Strings