Spitfire Audio is a modular and largely exclusive by-invitation-only orchestral sample library used by many UK and US based ‘A-list’ film & television composers who support and utilise the talents of British musicians and recording facilities. It features a sample set specifically designed to effectively fulfil the needs of media composers as a demo tool that also spiritedly encompasses and showcases the great musical talent available in the UK today.
Spitfire audio was set up by composers Paul Thomson and Christian Henson in 2008 with view to providing their immediate peers, colleagues and cohorts with exclusive demo tools designed specifically for their needs with an emphasis on character, colour, reality and spirit.
Designed as a “modular” library, Spitfire’s first outing was with the immensely popular “Air Project – Chamber Strings” module. Which, using a system devised and developed by spitfire, introduced a fresh approach to orchestral sampling.
Recorded at the world famous Air Studios in Lyndhurst Hall and – in partnership with the English Session Orchestra – featuring principals from esteemed orchestras including the LSO, LPO and RPO. Spitfire set about utilising their unique technique of capturing performances where life character and reality was re-engineered into the sampling process and the odd fingerboard buzz and squeaky pizzicato was applauded.
What Spitfire returned was a unique and lively module that finally allowed composers to demonstrate the worth of a chamber sized band to directors and producers.
It was not soon after that the phone started ringing with regards requests for a “symphonic” sized version of the “Chambers”?
Since 2008 spitfire has gone into production across the entire orchestral choral spectrum and now enjoys a broad user-base of simmering A-list talent. As of February 2010 Spitfire is in post production with it’s enormous “Symphonics” module, it’s seminal “Great British Brass” module featuring the most scintillating array of brass talent available on the planet today, and is currently in production with it’s woodwind collection dubbed “British Wood”.
All these modules are financed through the sale of a limited number of licenses with composers fulfilling specific criteria to be eligible. When extra development or production needs to take place, on any given module beyond the initial production process, more licenses are offered out to finance this. Giving existing users free access, and upgrades to what Spitfire affectionately refer to as a “living library”.
In 2010 Spitfire enjoyed its first credit block recognition for “Custom Orchestral Samples By:” on James Cameron’s “Avatar”. A score that has since received nominations at both the Baftas and the Oscars. This alongside projects as diverse as “Shrek 4″ and the “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” TV franchise.
In 2010, Spitfire embarked on their first commercial release; “Spitfire Percussion” – an ambitious orchestral percussion module, so the world at large can share in the Spitfire experience. Now several versions in, the percussion module has a loyal band of followers and has picked up several scintillating reviews including this one from: Sound On Sound Magazine.
March 2011, Spitfire’s collection starts broadening as it releases it’s second commercial release, SPITFIRE HARP – FEATURING SKAILA KANGA hoping again to impress the world at large and become the definitive sampled instrument of it’s type. All this whilst embarking on the stimulating prospect of SMALL STRINGS amassing some of the most amazing UK talent to produce the definitive collection of solo strings and an up and coming string quartet recorded in a prestigious chamber setting. Watch this space!
- Skaila Kanga - Harp
- Joby Burgess - Percussion
- Andrew Haveron – Leader, Chamber Strings.
- Andrew Marriner – Clarinet
- Andy Findon - Flutes / Ethnic Flutes
- Andy Waddicor – Bass Trombone
- Christopher Deacon – Trumpet
- Colin Sheen – Tenor Trombone
- David Fuest - Bass Clarinet / Contra Bass Clarinet
- Dom Kelly - Oboe
- Dudley Bright - Solo Tenor Trombone
- Gordon Laing – Contra-Bassoon
- Graham Salter – Bass Oboe
- Helen Keen – Piccolo
- Ian Moffat – Tenor Trombones
- John Barclay – Trumpets / Mariachi Trumpets
- Jonathan Snowden – Concert Flute
- Keith McNicoll – Bass Trombone
- Martin Owen - horns
- Maurice Murphy - Solo Trumpet
- Mike Lovatt – Trumpets
- Mike Thompson – Horns
- Owen Slade - Tuba / Contrabass Tuba / Cimbasso / Talking Tuba / Euphonium
- Paul Milner – Solo contrabass trombone
- Richard Watkins – Solo Gallery Horns
- Sarah Burnett – Bassoon