Why and should I buy Spitfire Audio Albion?

Hi guys, I’m addict with Cinematic Studio Series and other stuff of 8Dio.

Looking on the web and Facebook I see a lot of people talking about Albion series. I mean One, Uist, Iceni etc etc, and they say this library are a must have cuz they sound so amazing, so real etc etc…

But when I checked on spitfire audio website the " PRESETS / TECHNIQUES / ARTICULATIONS" list, I was wondering cuz for the violin family… there is only Strings, like an ensemble… so D. bass, cello, violas etc are in the same patch… So when I press G3, Violin I, Violin II and Viola? O.o How can I mix that? I mean…

With other library I have Violin I and all the patch, pizzicato, bartok, spiccato, Legato, Sus ecc ecc so I can manage it as I want, even for the mix, If I want to make staccato more infront of, I can…

The same for Brass, WW… Woods High, Woods Low, Brass High, Brass Med etc etc

However I would like to understand If I should buy this library, how should I use it? For mock-up? How do you use it?

I hope you understand my doubt and I know that you can help me to figure out it :smiley:

Hi @Carlo_Tuzza,

I have Albion One and I love it. It has a certain “real” and “warm” sound to it. The sound is just “honest”. This is why I really do like it. For me personally the greatest all in one starter library. You get everything you need to make great underscore, as well as epic stuff. However, what you described is true. You don’t have solo instruments. You have ensemble, low, mid, high. That’s it. Super compact actually and very dynamic overall.

I give my personal view on how I approach my music right now. To be honest, I don’t bother myself on going “super-deep” into solo instrument orchestration at all. First, it takes much more time to make things really work well and second, it’s impossible to get a “competitive” sound, as everything sounds super small, light and “too-true”. I remember I composed a piece with a couple of ensembles. Later, somehow, I lost the session, but “re-composed” the same cue with solo instruments. The result was just horrible. Everything was weak, unspectacular and kind of cheap, although I used a good sounding library. The whole “solo-concept” definitely didn’t give the result, which I was hoping to get with the samples. Don’t get me wrong. If your music needs a small group of solo-instruments, kind of small quartet in a chamber, Albion of course won’t work like you think. However, it was never designed to meet that goal. In first place it was designed to make huge impact trailer-like, cinematic productions, although you can make more than that with Albion One. All other Albions are “Add-Ons” for your sound-palette. Other articulation, sound design, etc.

If you want to have a really “real” all in one package, save money and get the BBC Orchestra, where you have it all. But if you already have solo-instruments, having a second-layer of fullness below the solo instruments Albion is the way to go.

Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:

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• BBC Orchestra gives you all sections, including the “leading” instrument.
• Albion gives you all ensemble sections.

In general it’s a good thing to combine/stack/layer different libraries. For example: you can play a violins part first with solo instruments, then add an ensemble layer, which gives you more depth, power and sustain to your already playing violin/s.

Thank you for your answer.

With solo instrument you mean solo horns? Or 4 french horns?

However, I love CSS and CSB theu have “solo” instruments, for iex. 4 french horns, 2 trombones etc etc with the all articulation. Staccato, staccatissimo, legato, sus etc etc

So about layering to get a “Big” orchestra, you suggest to do like this? Putting this 4 French Horns in legato mode (CSB), and followed by Albion Brass Mid with the same notes of course.

So I have a “Big” Band? If so I should try with a friends who has Albion ONE

By solo, I mean only one instrument. Everything else is either small or bigger sections.
Sometimes you want to support your solo instrument and give it more power and room at some point, this is where layering comes in. You can have a solo melody which later should be doubled by an extra layered section.

Ah ok so I misunderstood cuz I was thinking on a legato patch of CSS violin I can apply Albion one Strings ensemble.

but what about the mix? How can i mix it?

Thank you for your time @jlx_music

Of course, you need to make sure, your solo instrument is the leading instrument, so it’s louder than everything else. Your backings instruments, the ensemble could be more compressed, so you get more sustain and “real” room out of your samples. Sometimes you don’t even need to use external reverb. It all depends where you want to go sonically. The best advice once again is using a lot of automation to makes things move and interesting. Everything else is 2nd place…

Does that help and answer your question?
Alexey :slight_smile:

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I personally love Spitfire Audio. The libraries are by far the most expressive and programmable. I have Albion 1 and it’s great for big sounding scores. The amount of good things I can say about it are vast.

They include a huge amount for the money, everything sounds better than good and it’s a bargain for the size. its Just been re-recorded and updated, Brunel loops are amazing and worth the money just for that, the UI is very approachable and the dynamic layers are Almost seamless.

Things that I don’t particularly like are;
It’s a very wet library… but it has the sound of air studios which is great. It just makes it aimed at epic and orchestral stuff, you can get a semi dry sound but it lasts detail at times… again it’s not a bad thing but does affect how you use it.

The percussion can be a bit flappy. Not the best for writing to grid.

Woods are orchestrated so you don’t have much control over them. Though this has worked to my benefit more then once, I’m a just control freak. Aha

These points are minor things and just emphasise that once u get A1 you’ll end up getting the others to expand it as that was the aim of the series. They all plug holes that are deliberately left.

If I had my time over I’d still get this library but I was actually a beginner when I got it… and I’m still using it 5 years later… so that’s got to count for something. These days I mostly use it as my secondary layer with a dry library that adds back the detail.

All I can say is you won’t be disappointed, but it does have “that sound” as a lot of the pros use it.


The Albion range are ensemble libraries so most of the orchestral patches are broken up into Strings Low, Strings High, Woodwinds Low, Woodwinds High etc. There are no solo instruments, its great for either sketching (as you don’t need to program each section) or music that doesn’t really need full control of each instrument within a section.

For articualtions you can have one patch loaded and use keyswitches or there are individual patches for each articulation, for instance Strings Low Pizzicato.

A quick overview of the different versions:

Albion One - Main Symphonic Orchestra
Albion II - Chamber Orchestra
Albion III (ICENI) - Low End Orchestra
Albion IV (UIST) - Unusual Articulations / Orchestral Effects and Textures
Albion V (Tundra) - Full Orchestra but focussed on soft dynamics and articulations.