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Mandolin Swarm

Chaotic Patterns of Beauty

Eighteen of the finest guitarists in one room. The perfect blend of mandolins, charangos and ukuleles, placed in pairs between ribbon microphones around the hall at Air Studios, to create a swarm of beauty.

Swarm Playbutton

Screaming Lavender — Louis Rugg (0:00 / 2:20)

8864 Intro (In Action) — Oliver Patrice Weder (0:00 / 1:28)

Swarming Simplicity - Oliver Patrice Weder (0:00 / 2:08)

Apple Cores — Louis Rugg (0:00 / 1:58)

The Swarm - Oliver Patrice Weder (0:00 / 2:31)

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Swarms

THE COMPLETE SWARM COLLECTION

BEHIND THE SAMPLES

Christian was commissioned to write for a film in September 2014, operatic in its expanse, with acres of space. Always a fan of the work of Terrence Malick, the aim was to create something to emulate arcing fields of barley and teardrops of rain; sounds that would mirror these chaotic patterns of natural beauty. After much testing, we took a “Swarm” of players, 18 in total, to Air Studios, to play a specially selected blend of instruments — the perfect mix of mandolins, ukeleles and charangos. The results were sublime, from a beautiful patina of plucked notes, to jets of long notes, created by a multitude of chaotic unmeasured tremolos played by players all over the room.

Mandolin Swarm was recorded by Jake Jackson at Lyndhurst Hall, Air Studios, through an array of vintage microphones via Neve “Montserrat” pre-amps, to a beautifully serviced Studer 2” tape machine and then into digital at 96k via Prism AD converters. We elevated a second tree and third ambient and outrigger to create the perfect symmetry between every player. The players were placed in three waves: seven huddled around the first tree, six around the second tree, and six in each gallery quadrant. Whilst the upper dynamic layers provided shocking drama and definition, it was the quieter layers that offered the most intrigue.

A SWARM OF BEAUTY

The library is presented with six microphone positions and three stereo mixes which you mix and blend to fit the application you’re working on, but also automate for dramatic shifts in focus and depth. They're also fully output assignable for surround and 5.1 use. The definitive range is designed to fit with Spitfire's entire orchestral range.

One of the key areas of interest with this instrument type is the tremolandi. You have control over both the dynamic level of these extraordinarily long articulations, and the speed — from a gentle trickle, to a haze of notes. We also have two sets of measured trems that, depending on the application, can sync to your host tempo with varying levels of tightness, as well as a hair-raising set of slowly played chords.

When combined with Blake's scripting and our talented programmers, producers and composers, Swarm gives you instant inspiration of a very special kind.

GUIs

The Overview Panel

This is the main interface for melodic instruments. Its default view displays all available playing techniques, has a simple microphone mixer and includes the main feature controllers.

General Controls Panel

This view allows further in-depth control of the instrument, showing all available signals and feature controllers, as well as the ability to purge techniques from memory to reduce system usage.

Presets / Techniques / Articulations / Mics / Mixes

Instruments main mics:

  • Big ensemble chords
  • Big ensemble
  • Small ensemble
COG patches:
  • Big ensemble chords
  • Big ensemble
  • Small ensemble
Individual patches:
  • Big ensemble - Long Chords
  • Big ensemble - Long Measured Tremolo 90bpm
  • Big ensemble - Long Measured Tremolo 120bpm
  • Big ensemble - Long Tremolo
  • Big ensemble - Short FX Behind Bridge
  • Big ensemble - Short Pluck Alt
  • Big ensemble - Short Pluck Muted
  • Big ensemble - Short Pluck
  • Small ensemble - Long Tremolo
  • Small ensemble - Short Pluck Muted
  • Small ensemble - Short Pluck
Time machine patches:
  • Big ensemble
  • Small ensemble

Instruments stereo mixes:

  • Big ensemble chords
  • Big ensemble
  • Small ensemble
COG patches:
  • Big ensemble chords
  • Big ensemble
  • Small ensemble
Individual patches:
  • Big ensemble - Long chords
  • Big ensemble - Long Measured Tremolo 90bpm
  • Big ensemble - Long Measured Tremolo 120bpm
  • Big ensemble - Long Tremolo
  • Big ensemble - Short FX Behind Bridge
  • Big ensemble - Short Pluck Alt
  • Big ensemble - Short Pluck Muted
  • Big ensemble - Short Pluck
  • Small ensemble - Long Tremolo
  • Small ensemble - Short Pluck Muted
  • Small ensemble - Short Pluck
Time machine patches:
  • Big ensemble
  • Small ensemble

Mics & Mixes

MICROPHONES

  • Close
  • Tree
  • Ambient
  • Outrigger
  • Tree 2
  • Gallery

MIXES

  • Fine
  • Medium
  • Broad