Jump to content
Reid Rosefelt

Albion One is Half Price!

Recommended Posts

Spitfire did a poll on Facebook about which library people wanted to have half off.  And Albion One won.  

So if you put it on your Wish List now, it will be available for half off once the Wish List sale starts, which I believe is Monday.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been eying since I learned about it some years ago. Can someone explain how Albion One is different then just an orchestra library?  Is it loop based or sample based or both? Is it mostly for film scoring or is it good as a general orchestration tool?

Sorry, I have looked at some of the videos and read the marketing material but I still don't quite grasp what this is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, reginaldStjohn said:

I have been eying since I learned about it some years ago. Can someone explain how Albion One is different then just an orchestra library?  Is it loop based or sample based or both? Is it mostly for film scoring or is it good as a general orchestration tool?

Sorry, I have looked at some of the videos and read the marketing material but I still don't quite grasp what this is?

Albion One contains orchestra patches, percussion, synth souunds and loops. No solo instruments. Albion is a bread and butter basic composing tool and at that it beats most others. The big thing that sets Albion apart from the rest is the Air studios it was recorded in. There are things it is great at (soft playing) and things it's not really great at (detailed solo or even section writing).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's intended as a complete toolkit for cinematic scoring, sort of a one-stop shop for all your cinematic orchestral and hybrid scoring needs. To that end it has:

a) full set of strings, woodwinds and brass articulations, including some legato articulations and fx. Most of the patches are combination patches (woodwinds in octaves, strings and woods together, etc), or full ensemble patches with a few specific legato sections.  There are no solo sections. I don't find the Albion orchestra patches to be as granular as others (Hollywood Strings, for example), but offers a set of commonly used textures and flavors often found in orchestral and cinematic scoring. They sound great, and I use them a lot for my own stuff.  They have a fair amount of baked in ambiance, and generally are designed to sound pretty big and epic.

b) cinematic percussion (toms, big hits, metal hits, etc). There is only a limited amount of 'traditional' orchestral percussion (some cymbals, etc), but no timps, and a cinematic piano patch which I use mostly for low end texturing.

c) Stephensen's Steam Band is a collection of patches based on the orchestral and synth samples, and are run through their eDNA synth engine, and basically turned into a big set of hybrid synth patches. Most have a pretty huge sound, and are configurable (with gates and sequencing, etc)

d) Brunel Loops - set of prerecorded loops that can be mangled and twisted for whatever use you want.

It's all really nicely recorded and put together, and it is hands down one of my fav libraries. I don't use the whole thing -- my current template makes heavy use of the ensemble string patches and some of the big percussion hits. I use other libraries for solo instruments, string legatos and brass.

But you can do a lot with just Albion ONE, and there is more than enough stuff to create a full piece of orchestral/hybrid scoring just within this one library.  It's really great. YMMV, of course, as with all libraries like this. But I consider Albion ONE to be a desert island purchase. 

Edited by Amicus717
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damm i went on heavycocity novo packs .....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For about $50 more when it is on sale I think I would go with with Hollywood Orchestra Gold.  Then again I have the VSL SE's and I really need to use that.  This one though is tempting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, kitekrazy said:

For about $50 more when it is on sale I think I would go with with Hollywood Orchestra Gold.  Then again I have the VSL SE's and I really need to use that.  This one though is tempting.

Well, it is worth noting that Albion ONE has weakness, too. These are just my 5 cents worth, but for the sake of perspective:

1) I really don't much like the brass patches in Albion ONE and almost never use them. There are some nice bits and pieces here and there, but overall the brass is rather synthy and never struck me as overly detailed or realistic. This is particularly true of the high brass, which is quite unconvincing to my ears. The mid brass is okay, and mid brass legato patch has a nice vibe to it, but the note range is more restricted than I'd like.

2) The strings are really nice, beautifully recorded onto 2" tape, and then converted to digital. So they have a real gloss to their sound. But they offer one specific kind of sound, and so if you are looking to summon a more intimate vibe, or work with divisi stuff or similar, you won't have much luck with Albion ONE. Basically, there is an Albion sound that is very particular to this library, and beyond changing the mic mix (which has limited effect, in my experience) you're stuck with that sound. I don't mind, as it suits me perfectly, but others might feel different about it. Also, the vibrato is not overly...vibrato-ish. Applying vibrato does make a difference, and it's quite nice -- but its more of an additional layer of texture added over the string than a real sense of the players applying deliberate vibrato. It works, but I find it has to be used judiciously, or the strings start to sound a bit synthy.

3) The Albion ONE string legato patches are very subdued in terms of legato transitions. The transitions are there, but not nearly as dramatic or swoopy as others, and there is no portamento. They also don't break the legatos out by individual sections (violins, cello, etc), but are broken out as simply Strings High, Mid and Low, and they use a lot of stacked octaves and similar. They work fine, but if you want more flexibility and tonal options, these are not the patches you want to use.

4) The  Darwin Percussion patches have some nice sounds, but I have always found them hard to use, as the calibration between velocity layers is rather twitchy and abrupt. The sounds are big and boomy and resonant (except the high sticks), and all the percussion patches are really of one flavour: big, intense movie trailer thunder. Which is fine and useful, but limited in range. I'm not really into that sort of Zimmer-esque tribal, storm-drum routine, so aside from the Easter Island hits (which are deeep, thrumming booms that I often employ on transitions), I don't fire up the Darwin Percussion all that much, as I prefer to use more classical percussion.

5) In all honesty, I never use the Brunel Loops, and likely never will. They are fine, and when I've poked around that section of Albion ONE I have found some fun sounds and useful loops. But that kind of music is not where my current interests lie, so the Brunel Loops are not a huge factor to me.

Basically, I like Albion ONE a lot because certain parts of it are perfectly suited to my tastes and the kind of music I want to do, and so they have become central to my working template. But other parts are not and don't see any significant use. It's clearly a well made and professional product with real polish, and it works as advertised. And even the weaker parts of the library can be coaxed into producing great music, judging by the demos on the Spitfire site. They do sound amazing, and I have no doubt that with proper care its possible to evoke all that from Albion ONE.

But it won't be for everyone, and how much use you get out of Albion ONE will depend on how much it's baked in sound and overall patch design suits your tastes and working style. I figured I should mention all this, as it is always nice to know as much as possible about a product - both good and bad - before spending a few hundred bucks on it. It would be great if companies made demo versions of their big libraries available to try, as I hate dropping money on a library that sounds great in theory but doesn't turn out to be what I was looking for.  I'm pretty sure we've all had that experience.

Rob

 

Edited by Amicus717
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wishlist sale is now active!

Albion ONE
Epic Composer Tools
Spring 2019 Wish List Discount
Albion One is $224.50  Saving: 50%

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this review Rob.

I believe I seen  an ad for Vienna in my email also on sale.  I don't really intend to compose for film, plus I already have a lot of the cinematic swoohes, rises and such in Komplete, has some Heavyocity multi stuff in it which I seldom ever use. My main intention would be realistic orchestra mock ups of my compositions  and possibly backing tracks for my violin.  

For a guy like me who has Amadeus which is an excellent writing tool,  Hyperion strings and all the strings included with Komplete, Kirk Hunter Diamond ( I know it's getting long in the tooth but it works still). I have a few dedicated violin libraries including Joshua Bell which doesn't make a lot of sense for me I guess. I'm supposed to be playing my violin lol. Would Vienna be a better overall bet in your opinion? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VSL more traditional classical composition but keep in mind it gets expensive. The basic libraries are good but just that, you probably already have those types covered with KH. If you have the budget to expand you might consider VSL.

Albion is a solid buy at 1/2 off. It sounds great but it takes tweaking to place it along with other libraries because of it's baked reverb. Very nice for classical, symphonic or pads & backing arrangements  in modern music.

I like them both, usually layering them along with others. Budget, investment & time involved would be the major factors I'd consider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Starise said:

Thanks for this review Rob.

I believe I seen  an ad for Vienna in my email also on sale.  I don't really intend to compose for film, plus I already have a lot of the cinematic swoohes, rises and such in Komplete, has some Heavyocity multi stuff in it which I seldom ever use. My main intention would be realistic orchestra mock ups of my compositions  and possibly backing tracks for my violin.  

For a guy like me who has Amadeus which is an excellent writing tool,  Hyperion strings and all the strings included with Komplete, Kirk Hunter Diamond ( I know it's getting long in the tooth but it works still). I have a few dedicated violin libraries including Joshua Bell which doesn't make a lot of sense for me I guess. I'm supposed to be playing my violin lol. Would Vienna be a better overall bet in your opinion? 

I generally agree with Hidden Symmetry, and I do think Albion ONE at 50% off is a killer deal. I listed my dislikes of Albion ONE because I'm very self-conscious about recommending libraries without trying to give as balanced a view as possible. Everyone can be so different when it comes to what works and what doesn't. I've read reviews and reactions from folks who love Albion ONE; and I've reviews from folks who think it's a major disappointment and barely useable.  I'm in the former, but I'd feel bad if you turned out to be in the latter after spending $250 bucks on it :) What I like most about Albion ONE is it that you can use it to build meticulous mock-ups with lots of complex programming, or you can use it to make quick and dirty, two patch sketches that still sound great. The VSL stuff I find to be more focused on detailed work and realistic classical orchestration, and they way they break-out their patches and articulations seems geared towards this. 

My template also has both Spitfire and VSL stuff (especially the latter's woodwinds and brass, which I am really liking). The combo works well for me, but I have to admit that I am very, very divided on the VSL stuff. They do have a lot to offer, and although the overall packages are expensive, they do offer some flexibility because their products are so moduler - you can buy what you need, as opposed to buying whole sections or bundles, and sometimes that is actually reasonably cost effective.  Also, their sample players (including the Vienna player and the Synchron player) are really configurable and you can tailor them to suit any working style and template setup

On the downside, their copy protection scheme requires a Steinberg E-licenser or Vienna Key (their stuff is not iLok compatible) and their policies regarding dongle failure or loss are draconian. Basically, if your dongle dies (and you haven't bought into their insurance plan) you have to send the broken key to them, and you lose your licenses and can only get them back for a $20 fee for each license.  If you lose your key or it is stolen, you have to buy back your licenses at half the original cost (they refer to this as "meeting you halfway" in regards to recovering your instruments). Even for myself, with a modest selection of their SE starter libraries and few extra Standard libraries, that would be prohibitively expensive. But for someone who is deep into the VSL ecosystem, it would be a disaster.  I reluctantly decided that I needed to buy into their Protection Plan, simply because I use their stuff a lot and cannot afford to replace my modest libraries if my e-licenser goes down, so the $90 fee for two years of protection makes sense. But it bugs me rather a lot that I need to do this. They already have my money, but now I need to send them more - just in case a random lightning strike takes out my USB hub. It makes me really hesitant to keep adding to my VSL collection, even though I like their stuff. 

Personally, I'd guess that you may find Albion ONE to be what you are looking for. But as always, YMMV.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Big THANK YOU Hidden Symmetry and Rob for your comments!This helps a lot. I looked at some demo video for Albion 1 and was pretty impressed. Seems a good library in combination with some of the others.  I was under the impression that  VL used an iLok dongle which it apparently doesn't and instead uses something more proprietary. This in combination with the Steinberg replacement in disaster solution is enough to tilt me away from VL. I don't make any income form any of this so far, so for me it isn't worth that hassle.

Spitfire is practically a household name among cinematic music composers. I watched a few of their YouTube videos. I'm impressed with what it can do!

TheSteven can you spare some change? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...