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Spitfire Audio Albion V Tundra [KONTAKT] AT THE EDGE OF SILENCE

Capturing a characteristically Scandinavian sound, we've sampled a 100-piece orchestra playing never-before-sampled techniques, at the very edge of silence. Alongside our huge range of orchestral content are bellows, percussion and a characterful warped synth section — everything you need to take it down a degree or two.

TUNDRA ORCHESTRA
A 100-piece orchestra recorded to tape at Air Studios, London
133 multi dynamic orchestral articulations split across Strings, Brass and Woodwinds ensembles
38 violins with 32 articulations including 19 longs, 11 shorts and 2 legatos
12 Celli and 6 Basses with 30 articulations including 17 longs, 11 shorts and 2 legatos
Brass ensembles with 17 unique articulations for both Mid and Low ensembles
Woodwind ensembles with 18 unique articulations for both High and Mid Ensembles
Legatos designed by Andrew Blaney
Multi-mic control with Close, Tree, Outrigger and Ambients
Recorded using priceless valve and ribbon mics
Neve Monserrat preamps into a Neve 88R desk
Recorded digitally at 96k via 2" Studer tape
THE “VRAL” GRID
32 hand-crafted slowly evolving drones, with varying loop points
All housed within our ‘Evo Grid’ engine, for almost limitless randomisation
STEPHENSON’S STEAM BAND
138 Stephenson Pads housed in our eDNA interface
Organic sounds created from the orchestral material
198 original sounds to create more content from
BRUNEL LOOPS
22 unique instruments with 52 presets
All played in triplets, 12ths, 8th and 16ths, tempo-synced to your DAW
Played by the infamous Paul Clarvis
DARWIN PERCUSSION
20 percussive elements
Single patch for easy playability

ICY STRINGS

Creating something extraordinary often involves taking a leap into the unknown. We knew we wanted the strings to have a 'frozen' sheen to them, and to achieve this we needed to scoop some of the lower mids out of the frequency map. To do this we made the bold decision to exclude violas from the orchestra, replacing them with rich celli and basses — 12 Celli and & 6 Basses sat in the middle of the room, with two massively enhanced violin sections of 20 and 18 players sat in antiphon (opposite sides of the room). We give you a huge selection of articulations ranging from classics such as our ever popular flautando, but with mutes added, and sections playing poly-divisi, so that even with a band of this size, every player can be heard. We also explored unorthodox approaches — from requesting that players attend the session with practise bows with no rosin on the hair for minimum traction, to bowing the strings with the back of the bow. Resident AIR Studios engineer Jake Jackson's real challenge, with the roof fully elevated so that the signal contains as much early reflection as possible, was trying to get the musicians louder than the ambient room tone. We recorded the strings in two sections, high and low, with matching articulations where possible. Highlights alongside these cascading longs articulations are flautando legatos, brushed shorts, and some extraordinary loose pizzicatos.

WHISPERING CHORUSES

When it came to Woodwinds and Brass, we recorded four different bands (high winds, mid winds, mid brass, low brass), approaching the sampling process with a choral mode in mind. Our instructions to all bands were that we wanted it to sound raw, honest and non-Conservatoire, but with very specific textural approaches that liven the hall, to create a very natural, mossy texture.


The entire Tundra Orchestra played from quiet markings all the way down to silent oblivion, resulting in a deeply dynamic and timbral set of expressive instruments that quite happily act as a standalone orchestral toolkit, albeit with a unique quality.

In what is always a fascinating creative process, we set about accompanying the Tundra band with a selection of Harmoniums and Shruti Boxes (bellowed single-chord Indian drone makers). But it didn't quite match up to the Tundra magic, so it was abandoned. Well, everything save a throw away portion of the recordings where Christian had requested for the players to perform on the knife edge between the bellow hissing, and the reeds actually sounding. This produced an extraordinary selection of stuttering granular folk beds which we have slammed through processing and have warped into a very special Nordic style Evo Grid. With 32 evolutions spread over 12 regions, and the all important dice function to immediately randomise your preset into a near infinite number of possible outcomes.

Following on from our hugely successful warped orchestral content in Albions I and III, we decided to approach this set differently. Instead of using our 'in-the-box' pristine set of digital processing and mangling tools, we decided to go wholly out-of-the-box, employing whirring Roland Space Chorus Echoes with classic Eventides and Axe FX Pros into the mangle chain. The brief: imagine you had put together a studio made entirely from an abandoned 1960s American early warning system. Not only does this collection feature orchestral material, but also the aforementioned Harmoniums and Shruti boxes which offer up a particularly unique, Northern feel.


The end result of this component is as inspiring and earthy as the rest of the library, presented in our ever popular eDNA engine enabling you to instantly make these presets your own.

Never to shy away from epic, we also felt it would be important to create some brooding epic drum combos, designed for intermittent use, to mark time or punctuate.Think Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten by Arvo Pärt. Featuring unique combinations of very small drums played against massive Verdi bass drums and taikos, these drums speak of distant pagan rituals.

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