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Review: London Contemporary Orchestra Strings by Spitfire Audio

Spitfire Audio London Contemporary Orchestra Strings

Let’s have look at LCO Strings, the latest Kontakt string library by the guys from Spitfire Audio.

Maybe you were also among those wondering why you’d need “another” string library at this point when LCO Strings was announced.

Did you also often wonder how to get some really commonly used but rarely sampled articulations in good audio quality, without hiring an orchestra? Let me answer that for you: LCO Strings is the answer.

Overview

So, what exactly is LCO Strings?

Here is what they say, and I couldn’t really put it better myself:

“Everything you need to make cutting-edge strings music. There is a shift in string writing that is becoming a global movement – based on innovative techniques and performance styles, it’s notoriously impossible to program with the tools currently available. We’ve partnered with the London Contemporary Orchestra, whose work with the likes of Radiohead and Jed Kurzel (Alien: Covenant) has contributed significantly to this shift, to create a string library that gives you access to this unique, experimental palette.”

London Contemporary Orchestra Kontrakt Library

This library contains multi-sampled violin, viola, cello and bass sections, and has been recorded at our dry stage in London.

With a host of dynamically controllable, never-before-sampled articulations, this rich set of diverse recordings are both playable and musical, and will transform your work…”

But there are few things to point out. For those of you who regularly use Spitfire libraries, you might be used to the “Air Studio Sound” as most of Spitfire Audios recordings are done at Air Studios.

LCO Strings was NOT recorded there and therefore has a much dryer sound than most other Spitfire Audio libraries.

No need to worry though, it blends extremely well, with almost anything I tried, especially with the other Spitfire Audio products.

The library comes with 4 separate NKI’s (Violins, Violas, Celli, and Basses + Celli) which also helps a lot with the blending with other Instruments. A full list of all the sounds can be found on the official product website – we added the link at the end of this review.

The Interface

London Contemporary Orchestra

To most returning Spitfire Audio users the interface should be familiar and by now I would confidently call it “Old but Gold”. There is no reason to make something perfectly well designed “flashy” just cause that seems to be the trend these days.

We find the usual three, familiar main views here: Overall, General Control (Spanner), and the Ostinatum.

With all the little extra buttons and menus this provides an enormous amount of control over the library without getting too confusing.

And since the interface is similar across all Spitfire libraries it’s well worth to familiarize yourself with it. This also shouldn’t be hard work, since the documentation is well written and makes it fun to discover the possibilities of this surprisingly versatile sample library.

The Sound

London Contemporary Orchestra Kontrakt Library

As we know by now, that Spitfire Audio usually records on the highest level of quality, at Air Studios, with the finest players, I was extra curious what this library will sound like, having been recorded somewhere else.

All I can safely say is that the standard we are used to has been maintained if not raised. The samples sound wonderfully alive and the library is very playable.

The sound quality is still top class and just having all of these unusual articulations at my fingertips already feels like a creativity boost.

Conclusion

For anyone composing for media, it being games, film, TV, trailers, or commercial, as well as theater, this is a total must-have.

It is no small investment but definitely worth it for anyone who is in this professionally.

It certainly is a top-level library and well worth any penny, and that also means it has the depth one expects from such a product.

The only cost aside from the money being that LCO Strings only truly shows all its power after you spend some time getting to know it.

I personally see that as a “plus” but for those looking for a quick and easy solution, this might be an investment they aren’t willing to make.

Facts:

  • Price: 349,- €
  • Over 100 Articulations
  • 2 mic positions
  • 2 individual stereo mixes
  • 2 additional analog FX
  • Integrated reverb, matched to the room
  • 42094 Samples
  • 45.7 GB Uncompressed WAV
  • 28.1 GB disk space required
  • 56.2 GB disk space required during install

Price & Availability

London Contemporary Orchestra Strings library is available via Spitfire Audio’s website and runs in Kontakt – FREE KONTAKT PLAYER INCLUDED!

More Details: London Contemporary Orchestra Strings

About The Author

Merlin Györy – also known as “Cloudjumper” is a Composer, Sound Designer, and public speaker working primarily in the video game and movie industry for over 6 years. He is also head of the game audio project MM4VG. Reach out to him here: www.cloudjumper.de