The last time we wrote about Spitfire Audio’s Let’s All Be Something (LABS) free instrument series we covered their Electric Piano. Well, it’s been a few months and they’ve been churning out instruments since then. In this article, we’ll cover the latest in a series of instruments from the plugin maker.


Charango

The first instrument to come after the LABS Electric Piano was Charango. The Charango is a stringed instrument similar to a guitar, but native to the Andean culture. It is in the lute family of stringed instruments. It has ten strings that come arranged in five groups of two.

This charango — an Andean guitar-like instrument — was recorded back in 2006 by Christian Henson on a KM184 mic in his Soho flat, played by his brother Joe. This was the instrument that inspired Christian and Paul to create Spitfire Audio.

It plays quite smoothly for a stringed instrument which can always be tricky when sampling. Here however, Spitfire Audio displays their skills by making a virtual stringed instrument that sounds like the real thing – and for free.


Choir

Next up, LABS has given us the Choir instrument. This instrument is a collection of recorded vocals from male and female choir singers. They play an ominous tone overall but don’t let that discourage you from trying them out. They are lush and will add a beautiful ambiance to any track you produce.

In June 2017, we sampled the exceptional Eric Whitacre Singers at Air Studios, London, to create our first ever choir library, curated and conducted by Eric Whitacre. LABS Choir features ever-changing choral samples, created by combining three evolutions from this epic vocal encyclopaedia — the textures weave in and out of each other and evolve constantly as you play, offering you endless inspiration. 


Synth Pads

Spitfire Audio debuted their Synth Pads instrument next! This one is delightful if you have trouble finding realistic sounding pads.

Recorded in May 2018 by Spitfire engineers Harry Wilson and Harnek Mudhar, LABS Synth Pads was created using Christian Henson’s much-envied synthesiser collection. They fed five vintage synths through reverb, guitar pedals and a selection of outboard gear to create a super celestial sonic universe!


Frozen Strings

Frozen Strings is the inspiration behind Spitfire audio’s most famous instrument library – Albion V Tundra. The strings are reminiscent of an eerie mountain range that is both beautiful and tense. Listen to them below and download, they’re free!

LABS Frozen Strings was the spark of inspiration that led to the making of one of Spitfire’s most renowned libraries — Albion V Tundra. With just six strings players, recorded dry on a cold day in January 2015, Christian Henson set out to create a sound of stark beauty, something that would fit against low, grey skies — the super sul tasto is a haunting highlight.


Peel Guitar

Peel Guitar, what is it? It’s a sampling of Psychedelic and British indie guitar sounds. It’s rock and roll ready to happen. As we said earlier, sampling string instruments is often hit or miss but Spitfire Audio has this clearly under control. Start rocking.

Sampled by Christian Henson back in 2006, this classic instrument has been used all over his scores, and despite its simplicity, is a directors’ favourite. Created using a Fender Telecaster fed through a 15w vintage tweed amp with a hint of vibrato, tremolo and distortion, we offer you a guitar sound synonymous with British indie music.


Modular Piano

Piece by piece Christian Henson built his modular piano by sampling two upright pianos and passing their audio through his modular rig. What it produced s an addicting mixture of hardware and electrical sounds all in one.

In January 2019, Christian Henson made a modular piano. He sampled his upright Schimmel felt piano and Wurlitzer, passing the signal through his modular rig — an array of analogue reverbs, delays, and other goodies — to give you twelve unique, beautifully atmospheric sounds with a slightly industrial edge.


Scary Strings

This instrument is mighty spooooooky. The sounds were created by recording a large group of string players and scaring them! Not really. But the effect is essentially the same.

These haunting string evolutions were the inspiration behind Spitfire’s Evolutions libraries, born out of the need for subtly shifting textures. Performed by a small ensemble of string players, we give you three distinctive presets: Cool, which creates icy overtones; Sustain, for longer notes; and Stretched, for a disturbing, drawn-out effect that will make your hairs stand on end.

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